Monday, November 28, 2011

Thankful

We had so much to be thankful for this Thanksgiving.  I do believe that this Thanksgiving was the first one since 2007 when I felt more happiness than sadness.  I always feel grateful and blessed, but sometimes the sadness can still linger in there.  First it was Mom, then it was Ally, but now we are walking down the right path again.  We had such a beautiful Thanksgiving.  Dad made a great Turkey...and all the girls made the fixings and we sat around a nice table and just enjoyed it.  And we have a new baby in our family to snuggle!   BONUS!  And I was on some sort of endorphin high because I did my first ever 5-mile race courtesy of some encouragement from my friends Lara and Jenny.  I have never ran that far in a race but it was a great way to start the day, for sure.  I have attached some pictures from our fine day of thanks.  



We also got to spend some good quality time in Junction City over the weekend with Jerad's family, and watch the Buckeyes play in the big game..... well never mind.  There is always next year!

Right before Thanksgiving, we were actually at Dayton Children's for Ally's monthly check-up.  Even though we had a bad day with her port (four times to access her and much yelling and crying...including her little sister crying because she had to watch)...we had a great report on her numbers.  I am thinking that could be the last time they access her port (barring any fevers) because Dr. Broxson said she could have her surgery to get her port out a few days before Christmas!!!!  Big news.  They will also do a bone marrow biopsy that day (from her hip) to make sure her marrow is free of all leukemia cells.  I would, of course, love some extra prayers for this particular test.  This will be her first bone marrow in over two years.

After our appointment, we also got to be a part of the live K99.1 radiothon in which they raised over $200,000 for Dayton Children's.  I can't believe how many people heard it!  I was quite nervous to speak live on the radio.  No chance for messing up or doing over.  And Nancy Wilson does it all day long without fail.  Amazing work they do with radiothon.  I don't think I ever even realized how impactful that is on our community.

And the question that got me (LIVE):  In the quiet and darkness of night did you ever think about losing Ally?  and do you and Jerad still worry as much now, or has the worry subsided a bit?

And the answer to that question is YES and YES.  I think I am still a few years out from being able to take my worry level down a notch.  I worry now more than ever that the chemo is gone.

But God is good and we are hopeful.  And thankful.


Thursday, November 17, 2011

K99.1 Radiothon

Every Year K99.1 FM does a radiothon during Thanksgiving week and the proceeds benefit Dayton Children's.  I can remember hearing about it in the past.  This year, they asked us to come to the station and tell Ally's story to Nancy Wilson.  You may have heard of her also because she is very active with the LLS. She just lost her co-worker and very dear friend Steve Kerrigan to blood cancer within the past year.  Of course, we agreed to help as we would do anything for Dayton Children's.  We all sat in front of these huge microphones for a couple hours and answered questions, etc.  Nancy even met with Ally on her own, because she was more likely to speak when Jerad and I weren't there.  (She always defers questions to us)

So they took all the talking and edited it down and put it to her song...Ally got to choose...and the song is "The Climb" by Miley Cyrus.  I remember posting the words to that song out here in the very beginning of her treatment.  We used to listen to that song to inspire us to keep going.  And now here the song is being used to tell Ally's story...with her voice, my voice, and Jerad's voice dubbed in.  They did a remarkable job and I hope that it helps to raise awareness and money for the hospital.  I hope you will take a minute to listen to it here...or even tune in next week.  I saw a full page add about the radiothon in the Dayton Daily News today.   

This is Ally and Nancy in the recording room.  You should be able to press play to hear the song...

video

Nancy let us go in to Channel 7's studio while the news was on.  (it was 6pm)  Very cool.  And then we got to play a little!  Ally's shirt was green so she blended right in.  I guess the weather people cannot wear green!
 I even got to sit at the weather desk.  Anyone who knows me knows I love some good weather drama!  Bring on the snowstorms!
 And here we all are.  This might explain why Evan told me at bedtime that he is "famous"....I was like, uh, why???  And he says....you know the Ally's Army stuff.  He is really just so used to it.
I loved all of the comments after my last slideshow.  Running Ally's Army gets to be some work!  Always good to hear people's reactions when I spend hours doing something!  Dayton Children's even hooked it up to their website.

Thanks again for following our story and praying for our girl.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Special Video

video

Blogger friends:  I know I have been neglectful.  I know I used to put info out here almost daily and now I am lucky to post once a week.  I know this has made some of you sad, and yet some of you happy.  For those of you that have been wanting more....I worked all night tonight on a video/photo slideshow of Ally's last spinal tap at the hospital.  With Dr Broxson's permission (of course) he left me document the day of her very last spinal tap and chemo infusion through her port.  You might wonder why on Earth I would want pictures of this??  A video montage, really?  The reason is mostly for Ally.  The entire 28 months she never remembered one minute of her spinals.  This was the way it was supposed to be and I never wanted her to know what was going on because I never wanted any FEAR to enter the picture on her part.  But the truth is that she was curious as to what happened.  And she deserves to know.  And one day, a long time from now I pray, she will look back on this with pride and strength and gratitude.  She has seen the pictures, but not yet this video (it is midnight right now!)

And the music is specially picked.  Katy Perry (one of our faves) and her song Firework.  If you have never seen the video, view it next!  She features a kid battling cancer.

But the video is not just for her.  It is for me.  And her Dad.  And her brother and sister someday.  And for anyone else out there in the blogosphere who just wants to know what a spinal tap is.  And how a little girl looks while going through it.  But for most of you it will just be to see Ally....doing something that she did I believe over 20 times.

Please watch!  Because I spent three hours making it and a bunch of my day taking pictures for it!

And I pray we never have to do this again.  Amen.