Friday, July 29, 2011

First Haircut

First Haircut! In about 28 months.

Just a teeny tiny bit of hair came off to shape it up a little!

Just another momentous occasion that I thought I would share with the army.

We also had our monthly chemotherapy appointment on Thursday. Ally did really well this time. Her friend and "big sister" Alex went with us and that alone actually made it much better for her. Her ANC was 2600 so Dr B kept her medicine the same. We talked a lot about "the plan." And here it is.....all spelled out for all...

She just had her last infusion in the clinic.
In august, the first week of school (boo) she will go into the hospital for her last spinal tap and a bone marrow aspiration from her hip. She will get her last dose of chemotherapy thru her port at this time.
She will then start her last 5 day pulse of steroids and continue with her nightly chemotherapy until September 17th.

The nurses and doctors seemed almost dumbfounded that her last chemotherapy day EVER coincided with the first EVER Curesearch walk to be held in Dayton for the kids. How amazingly cool is that. I almost can't believe it. I can't believe the whole series of events that are facing us. I am back to crying at the drop of a hat just even thinking about it.....something I rarely let myself do except for just the strict planning of it all.

We would be so thankful to anyone who could join us for the day of the walk. Please come and give our Ally girl a hug. Give me a hug. And help us celebrate a day that has been so long coming for our families. And thank you to those who have already signed up to walk and /or donated to our cause. You can sign up here:

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Monday, July 25, 2011

Curesearch Walk Sign-Up

Hello Ally's Army. A short time ago I mentioned a walk that we are going to be doing in honor of Ally. It is called the Curesearch Walk. Unless you are a victim of childhood cancer, you have probably never heard of Curesearch. The truth is that this organization is the reason that my daughter is alive today. They are first and foremost doing research for CHILDHOOD cancer and developing the protocols for the medicine that Ally has taken.

CureSearch for Children’s Cancer is a national non-profit foundation which funds the lifesaving, collaborative research of the Children’s Oncology Group (COG), the world’s largest, cooperative children’s cancer research entity. Money raised supports bench-to-bedside research which includes developing studies, enrolling and treating patients and interpreting the results of the clinical trials.

The COG study is the one that Ally participated in. And the ones before her are the studies that developed the protocol that helped to save her. Many many kids who have gone before her, paved the way with these studies. Likewise, her study has paved the way for those to be diagnosed down the road.

This is the organization that her doctors and nurses are involved with and they are all in support of this walk and will be there! As will all of Ally's friends from the hospital. They made a short video that includes many of Ally's friends (and Ally!) who you may have heard me speak of over the last two years. These are not nationwide people...but local people battling cancer. Bonnie, Amanda, Kayleigh, Jackie...just to name a few. Ally is at about the 2 min mark. Here is the video....and these are the reasons we walk:

Please consider walking with us.

You can sign up to walk here on my webpage:

Eastwood Park
September 17 2011
Registration / Check - in
9/17/2011 8:30 am - 9:30 am
Opening Ceremony / Walk Begins
9/17/2011 9:30 am - 12:30 pm

If you can't walk, you can also just donate to our cause. I would love for Ally's Army to stand behind this organization so near to my heart.

Chemo day is Thursday this week. I will post more later. I think I can count on one hand the number she has left, but I am still not letting myself go there.

Congrats to Miss Bonnie Noj who had her last chemo today. Ally has been right behind her the whole time. Same diagnosis and treatment plan. And her Mom has helped me through.....I couldn't be happier to have one less child going to bed tonight without a dose of chemo.

Monday, July 18, 2011

Happy Birthday Car Car!

Happy Birthday to my baby girl is so hard to believe that you are four years old already. Time just flies when you are having fun.....uh...I that most of your life as of yet could be an episode on Grey's Anatomy. On your sixth month birthday your Grandma was in surgery at the Cleveland Clinic. Your momma was gone a lot of the next year....and on your almost two year birthday, your sister got sick. And again....your momma was gone a lot.

You didn't fuss. You didn't know. You adopted a few more mommies who filled in while we were gone. Your Auntie Mel and Auntie Jess...and Mrs Winger...and Mrs Booher...and Jackie...they are all your favorites now. You didn't even know it, but you got a lot of extra love these first four years of your life.

And now your family is pretty normal again. You still have the occasional holding of sisters' hand while she gets her blood drawn. And you still know your way around the hospital pretty well, but maybe, just maybe, this fourth year....will be fun and just NORMAL. Well, that is what I pray for you every night. Every day I pray for you...

You are still the sweet girl that I love.
And maybe you are a little bit sassy (bossy?!?)
And oh how you to love to play.....
And your sister (and her friends) just dote on you all day long....
And your Daddy just loves to cuddle with you....
And your brother....well, he is a brother after all, but he might actually be your favorite.
Oh wait...I want to be your favorite?!??????
Because no matter how old you are, you will ALWAYS be my baby.....
And stop sucking that thumbie already! You are four now sister!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

And special thanks to Erin Cobb for capturing ***this*** moment in my family's life in pictures. No matter the good, the bad, the ugly....I always want to have my pictures to remember.

Happy Birthday Carly girl......

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Summer Fun!

I have to say I am disappointed in myself for my lack of blogging. My intention is to do more. Although the medical information is not as prevalent now, this is still my little record of my families life and I want to keep it that way. There is no reason other than we have been super busy.....HAVING FUN. My kids are living the spoiled summer life. Just within the past ten days or so we have:

1) Went to our family lakehouse with Dad and Barbara (first time in a year)

2) Went to the most Amazing Fourth of July party ever (complete with fireworks)

3) Had a pool party

4) Went to see The Lion King (incredible too, I must add)

5) Went to Kings Island with A Kid Again with other sick kids.

6) Went canoeing with friends

7) Celebrated Jerad's birthday with friends.

We also had two kids birthday parties, swim practice, fishing, regular time at the pool....well you get the idea. Things around here do not seem to be getting done, unless it happens from 10pm -1 am every night which seems to be my new bedtime! Again I will say that we are making up for much lost time when Ally was so sick. I guess I need to find a balance because sometimes all the fun can actually stress me out when I get home and see all the things I have neglected. (like this blog!)

Ally did have her monthly chemo last Friday. Her ANC was still very high (like 3500)...however Dr B did not change her daily chemo meds yet again because he said she also had some 2000's thrown in the ANC pattern in the last few months. So I guess as long as he is happy, then I am happy. She did really well with the chemo this time, just a few stomachaches...and of course the many nights of not sleeping well because of her steroids.

Here are some of the many (MANY) pictures of our summertime fun:

Jerad's sister Amanda was in from FL

Carly touched a worm! We caught tons of fish!
They love to run down the big hill. Over and over and over.

Just love the blue eyes on that child.
Cheering on my swimmers at Cardinal Hill Swim meet.

Pa came to watch three of his grandkids who swim!
At VBS at Kirkmont with two of his best friends...
With cousin Owen after they each won a race.
At Lake St Marys....
Biggest S'more EVER

At my old pool with my Mom's best friend Larue (and Bill) who came to watch...
That's Evan hanging from the trapeze artist at the Fourth of July party.

oh and they rode.....A CAMEL!
More baby blue eyes....
Love this shot of my whole family in red white and blue!
On the boat with Daddy...
Yep, a hayride on the FOURTH.
Pool Party throw in.

Jerad, Laura, and Nicki...

Pool party pizza chef....Larry Booher (and also world-renowned canoer)

My girls...always holding hands.

This is Ally's kindred spirit and friend Kayleigh...also an ALL survivor. They rode rides much of the day together at Kings Island and it just warmed my heart. Although there is a height difference, they are only a month apart in age. Both from Beavercreek too.

Carly made a new friend in Kaycee...(Kayleighs little sister)

Thanks to all who continue to follow our journey. I still love when people get on me for not posting to the blog. Because it means there are still people out there reading. Following our story. And pulling us through to the end. Thank you to all who still count themselves part of Ally's Army!!