Monday, February 14, 2011

Happy Valentine's Day 2011.

Valentine's Day has rolled around again. Maybe Valentine's Day is a somewhat silly "hallmark" holiday for adults, but not kids. It is one of my favorite holidays with them...maybe even most favorite...(hmmmm...have to think about that.) It is such a great day to love on them extra and there is no stress around this holiday whatsoever (unlike the others). We always do a candlelit special dinner with red foods. It is fun. Heart shaped homemade pizza. Heart shaped pb&j's in their lunchbox. When I mentioned making heart shaped pancakes for breakfast....Jerad tells me to draw the line. We can't do heart shaped for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. I loved going into school today and seeing all the kids and all the festivities. Must be because I remember loving V-day as a kid (Thanks to my Mom...and my Dad who always got me a heart shaped box of candy)

More than anything, today I was remembering last year. One of the lower points of our journey. Ally was in so much pain last Feb 14th that she couldn't go to school, but wanted to pass out her Valentines. I ended up rolling her into school in a wheelchair. This is how it went:

It is not easy to forget the agony of that time. But it is very easy to be grateful for what we have now been blessed with.
My precious kiddo Evan who won this cute Hippo pair in the "claw machine" at a restaurant, but saved the prize for me by hiding it under his bed. He was so proud to have something for me. Guess I will sleep with it! And my sweet girls. I love them.
Jerad has a tradition of writing them each a letter on Valentine's Day. They wanted to read them at dinner. I had to stop them so I wouldn't cry! :)

And the medical update: Ally did fine at chemo. Dr. B was out of town, which rarely happens, so we saw Dr French. We hadn't been treated by him since the last time she was in the hospital, but sometimes it is nice to get a different view on things. He is also a great doctor. So I spoke to him all about the belly pain and the liver numbers....he seemed to think it was all the medications. Dr B had actually ordered her to be tested for a few viral things: Mono, Hepatitis, etc...but Dr French said he would be shocked if it were any of those things. I have yet to hear the results (they take a few days). On a positive note: her blood test numbers were the best I have seen in a long time. Hemoglobin above 12, Platelets above 325, and ANC at 1500. Just perfect. The liver numbers had gone down again, but they are still elevated. They test her AST/ALT and they are supposed to be between of hers is 250. But I believe it was close to 500 last month. Decreasing is good.
The chemo did not slow her down too much. Although having belly pain, she competed in her last swim meet of the winter. Taking another 4 seconds off her freestyle. She also raced in the 50yd backstroke.
Finally, I wanted to share one story from school. The guidance counselor stopped me in the hall the other day and told me that they had been speaking with the kids about courage. She said all the kids were sharing stories about how they had been brave. Some of the stories were somewhat laughable, typical of a 3rd grade student. Then she told me Ally raised her hand to say how she had courage. She just said "Cancer". And then they discussed Ally's bravery. And how Ally was different when she was in that wheelchair. And how people looked at her when she had no hair. And again, all I could do was stand there and cry. No words. Just a brief thank you while I swallowed the lump in my throat and realized yet again how our life will never be the same. The good and the bad. She is a special girl and she makes me proud to be her Mama.
Happy Valentine's Day. Go hug your family!


  1. She's right, one word says it all. What an amazing girl, course that doesn't surprise me since she's yours, and Jerad's, especially with those great blue eyes! Happy Valentines day to you.

  2. Your posts always make me cry... and look at the hair!! So cute!! And did it used to be curly? :)

  3. I'm so glad Ally is doing so well. She looks great! Again...I can't believe how CURLY her hair came back in! I love it!! Praying she continues on this path!

  4. thanks for yet again, a fantastic post. i really hope Dr. French can help you figure out the belly pain. Ally looks so happy in her cap and goggles. It makes me smile. And, of course, I LOVE HER CURLY HAIR (but I am a bit biased...). Sending love to all of you. Evan's present is precious. You are such a lucky mom.

  5. I made heart shaped PB & J's too!! from 6 yr old girl (my Carly) - thought it was the cutest thing ever - 8 yr old boy could have cared less as long as I used grape jelly instead of strawberry....
    I also remembered the story from last year about Ally with her Valentine's and had a big smile this year as she was doing so well.....
    AND also swallowed a huge lump reading the courage story. Ally is a rock star!!!!
    You are thought of often - - and I miss hearing about the neighborhood stories now that my Beavercreek reporter lives in South Carolina now :))) But you are all thought of often and prayed for more than that.
    God Bless you all. Happy Spring!!
    ~ Jenny G

  6. WOW! Ally looks awesome, and you all have shown such courage. How wonderful that Evan was able to keep your gift a secret. You and Jared have done a wonderful job with those three and you have inspired many others. The tears keep coming, but now they are good tears for the road you have traveled and the successes you have had. It is wonderful to be a mom and even better to be a grandmother. Great job--and I love the curly hair!!