Wednesday, May 28, 2014


Lilly was supposed to be admitted last Friday to start the next phase of treatment, but she didn't make counts. Her platelets and ANC have to be high enough to withstand the high dose methotrexate that she needs. So, we were delayed. We've been delayed twice now. It's kind of hard on Lilly because she mentally prepares herself to go in and stay at the hospital and then it doesn't happen. She just wants to get it over with. So we need prayers for Lilly that her counts will go up. We get another blood test on Monday and hopefully they will be high enough. 

Since we didn't get admitted, we wanted to make the best of the long Memorial Weekend. We got special permission to go to the new aquarium after hours. Lilly's ANC is only 100 which is very low and she could very easily get an infection. So no people around is the best way to go! We are grateful for kind people in this world who are considerate of Lilly and her situation and allow us to still do fun things with her. We had our own personal tour guide and we had FUN!

The seahorse was one of Lilly's favorite animals to see. So tiny. Like the size of a nickel.

Em had so much fun going across the rope bridge with her Daddy!

 The penguins were pretty fun to watch.

Very friendly too.


Family Photo. We sanitized our hands A LOT! I think I went through 3/4 bottle of hand sanitizer and we were only there for an hour and a half!

The aquarium just got this little guy on Monday and he is so cool! It's called a Cuttlefish. It's related to the squid and octopus. He was very friendly and kept watching Jay move around. He even changed colors for us!

We thought this was pretty special to find... An exhibit sponsored by the Flamm Family in Loving Memory of Millie. Even though we never got a chance to meet Miss Millie, we have a great love for her and her family.

Sea Turtle. Another one of our favorites. 

Lilly was kind of scared of the shark tank. She doesn't get around water much. I think it's pretty cool we have a shark tank in UTAH!

Lilly liked this fish because it was purple and orange! Her two favorite colors!

Our tour guides: Karli and Curtis. Thank you for allowing Lilly to come to the aquarium. She had so much fun and is still talking about it. WE LOVE GOOD DAYS!!! But, we do need to pray for Lilly's counts to go up so we can continue this journey. Thank you all for the love and support you have given to our family. It means so much to us!

Saturday, May 24, 2014

It's here! It's here! Lilly's Wig is HERE!!

It FINALLY came! Lilly's wig is back from China and we couldn't be more excited - especially Lilly! We were supposed to be admitted over the weekend to start the next phase in her treatment, but Lilly didn't make counts so we were delayed. She was bummed because she was mentally preparing herself to stay at the hospital and get it over with - she hates staying overnight. What better way to cheer her up than tell her that she gets her hair back!!

Michelle at Creative Wigs has been so great to work with and she is so cute with Lilly. She let Lilly help wash her wig and she taught Lilly how to best take care of it.

While Lilly was trying to be patient and let her wig dry after washing it, she decided to try on other wigs just for fun! Of course the purple one was a hit! She sometimes says she wishes her hair will grow back purple - or at least a purple stripe in her hair. 

 Em had to join in the fun!

 Sisters! Em will do WHATEVER Lilly does. 
It can be very entertaining to watch!

 Yay! It felt so nice to finally have on!!

Such a HAPPY girl!

It's been amazing to me how many people look at Lilly differently because she has no hair. I think she's beautiful no matter what, but it makes Lilly feel whole again now that her long hair is back and that part of her wig is actually HER OWN HAIR. Wherever we go, there are people who just stare and point at Lilly. As her mother I probably notice it more than she does, but I wish people didn't look at her as "different." She's my same Lilly, she's just fighting a hard battle right now. She needs love and support now more than ever. So many times during this journey Lilly would just cry and cry because she missed her hair so much. She frequently asks to brush or play with my hair because she doesn't have any. Now a little piece of her is back and there's a little more sparkle in her eyes. 

There's my beautiful girl!

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Shellie's School of Dance, SMAWESOME Concert

Thinking about all the many things that Lilly cannot do since her diagnosis and there are many. But, up in the top 5 in Lilly's list would be not being able to attend her dance class with so many friends and teachers. Lilly has always been a very enthusiastic dancer even before she ever started dance classes. There is hardly a moment that Lilly won't find a vogue like pose when her picture is taken or isn't movin' and groovin' to the beat of music.  That being said, Lilly belongs to one of the best dance classes ever. 
Shellie's School of Dance

Ever since Lilly's teachers: Shellie, Anna, Lexie, and Sara, found out about her cancer there has been a continual outpouring of love from them and the many other teachers. When Miss Shellie came to visit Lilly in the hospital she brought with her a joyful spirit of dance to Lilly and reminded her that no matter what she can always have the spirit of dance in her heart.  That night Shellie was introduced to our word of the day, and it just so happened to be our family word SMAWESOME. A word I've used many times to describe things that are more than just simply awesome, they're SUPER MEGA AWESOME or SMAWESOME for short.  From the beginning of Lilly's diagnosis we have chosen a word of the day so that Lilly may find one thing that she can focus on and find something good during the hard day. I think Shellie must have found Smawesome somewhat peculiar when Lilly first told her, but she quickly realized how much it meant to Lilly. 

Later we found out that Shellie wanted to turn the spring dance concert into a fundraiser spotlighting Lilly. She even decided to name the concert SMAWESOME and wanted Lilly to help her on stage to introduce the word and the audience to the show. We were worried that Lilly may not be able to attend since there is always a possibility she could end up in the hospital at any moment.  Especially the days leading up to the concert when she was getting chemo every other day and her white blood cell counts were very low.  We were so blessed that her numbers jumped up high enough for her to attend both nights.  Lilly couldn't have been more elated to be a part of her dance concert even though she couldn't actually dance with her class.  We were however not able to stay for the full concert for fear of Lilly being exposed to too much but, were able to watch the first 8 dances and Lilly enjoyed every moment of it.  Lilly and Emery were dancing in their seats.

They were even so kind to put together a slideshow featuring Miss Lilly.

As I mentioned Shellie turned the concert into a fundraiser to help Lilly get her wig and to help with medical bills. But, we were utterly astonished at the love, kindness, and generosity given by the Shellie's School of Dance family and all those that helped our family see the goodness that still exists in this world. May we give our deepest expression of gratitude for everything that transpired last week. Thank you all so very much.
Love the Alldredge Family

Sunday, May 11, 2014

What a Mother Means to Lilly, Emery, and Myself

Not often in my life has there been moments of "aha, I get it!" But on occasion something in life comes along and changes your entire perspective and what can only be described as glimpses of reality amid chaos.  Two of these moments came to me as Lilly and my family have been hurdled into this chaotic normalcy we now find ourselves in.  The first one came to me during the first few weeks of Lilly's diagnosis.  When Lilly would cry on my shoulder in pain saying: "Dad, why do I have to do this... Can't it be someone else's turn?".  I could only reply with tears swelling up in my eyes: "I would Lilly... if I could... I would!!!" It was in that moment when I gained that "aha" perspective of just how difficult it must have been for our Heavenly Father to watch his son Jesus Christ, our brother, suffer so exceedingly and know that he could do nothing.  Even when Jesus prayed so earnestly saying: "O my Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me...", Heavenly Father knew he could not "fix it" though he had the power to do so.  That has been the MOST difficult part of this for me, me being the "I can fix that" person that Lilly knows me for and not be able to.  I have gained more understanding on Gods love for all of us and learned that I must trust in the Lord and have faith in his plan.

The second moment came not so sudden but gradually as each day passes and I watch how Tiffany and Lilly's relationship has strengthen.  Watching Lilly rely on Tiffany for strength, comfort, and security and how Tiffany has found by the grace of God the added strength she needs to be that anchor for Lilly. But, not only an anchor for Lilly but to Emery as well.  I realized that all mothers have the amazing power within themselves to strengthen those closest to them.  My thoughts turned to Jesus' Mother Mary when she was watching him upon the cross and Jesus called out to her saying: "Woman, behold thy son!" Oh, how awful that must have been for her to watch her son upon the cross, but how her presence must have given him strength in his last moments.  I know that Tiffany has strengthened Lilly, Emery and me even though she may feel weak, stressed and overwhelmed she has managed to receive her daily bread from Heavenly Father and shared it with us.

It's in those "aha" moments that I realize it's God's plan for us and that we are his children and that he LOVES us and is constantly watching over our every moment.  Though Friday-Saturday were challenging days filled with physical pain and unyielding emotions, and although I can't "fix it", he has given us Tiffany, the Mother of my children to strengthen us.  

So what is a mother? A mother to me is Strength given to another who is facing opposition.  Someone who puts others needs above her own. Someone who teaches and inspires us to be better than we are. Someone that is willing to do anything for their child even if that meant given up her own live.  There have been many wonderful Mothers in my life that have given me strength when I needed it most.  So, may I express my love and gratitude first to my day to day strength, Tiffany, and secondly to all those that have helped Mother me into who I am today.

Happy Mother's Day to a Beautiful Mother

Thanks to all those Special Mothers in the World!

Saturday, May 10, 2014


It seems like we can never have a "normal" easy day @ clinic. There's always something that happens... Yesterday @ clinic Lilly needed a fresh frozen plasma transfusion because her clotting factor was a little "off," platelet transfusion because she was down to a 7, Vincristine (chemo), and the Erwenia shot (chemo). We got to clinic @ 9:00am with the hopes that if Lilly felt well, we could stop by her dance studio and sneak in to get class pictures @ 4:30pm. Sounds reasonable enough. Or so I thought...

When Lilly gets any kind of "blood product" (plasma, platelets, or blood) she gets premedicated with Tylenol and Benadryl. Last week after a transfusion, Lilly had two little hives show up so they premedicate her to prevent a possible reaction. That didn't happen yesterday. :( While she was getting the FFP (fresh frozen plasma), she had a huge reaction and had so many hives they turned into giant welts on her face, arms, and legs. It was so scary!! They stopped the transfusion and immediately gave her two different doses of hydrocortisone steroid. We put ice packs on her cheeks, arms, and legs because Lilly said they felt so hot. She also said her face felt tight like a balloon! Can you imagine how much worse the reaction would have been had she not had the Benadryl? My poor Lilly. She is so brave. I kept asking her (about every 30 seconds) if she could still breathe ok, and if her throat felt itchy or not, and if she could swallow ok. I was a little nervous about the whole situation to say the least. Thankfully it was just hives and it didn't get any worse. 

We didn't make it to pictures on time. It was around 4:30 when we finally left the hospital. Lilly was bummed she couldn't take pictures with her dance class. We got a hold of one of Lilly's dance teachers and they told us to still come to the studio to at least get an individual picture done. Even better, she got to have a group picture with ALL of the dance teachers. There weren't nearly as many people there at the studio, which made me feel better because Lilly's ANC is low right now and she can get sick very easily. 

Lilly felt special and that's all that mattered. Now we need to pray that she stays well and feels well enough to go to the very first part of her dance concert next week. They are spotlighting Lilly and her fight against Leukemia. I am so grateful for Shellie's School of Dance and all they have done for our sweet Lilly.

Thursday, May 8, 2014

Be Brave 4 Lilly T-Shirts

We are having T-Shirts made to support Lilly in her fight against cancer.  We'd like to get an idea of how many shirts to order. Please select the size /sizes of shirts you'd like to purchase when available. We are getting the best deal possible with the relationship we have with the owners and these are the only available options in the colors Lilly wants. The lavender only comes in mens, kids are only in white, and women only have the light pink. If the women would rather get the lavender you may order it in the men's sizes.  The price will be between $12-15. Help her be brave by wearing a shirt for her.

(Image does NOT represent actual fit of ladies shirt.)

If you need multiples of a size please submit its size, refresh window and submit again for each additional size needed.

Notice: This is not a purchase.

Please select your size / sizes:
Mens: Small
Mens: Medium
Mens: Large
Mens: XL
Mens: 2XL
Mens: 3XL
Ladies: Small
Ladies: Medium
Ladies: Large
Ladies: XL
Ladies: 2XL
Youth: XS(2-4)
Youth: S(6-8)
Youth: M(10-12)
Youth: L(14-16)
Youth: XL(18-20)
Poll Maker

Note to women: Please understand that the shirt shown for ladies is not an accurate representation of a ladies fitted t-shirt. My wife was worried women may be confused, since the Ladies Shirt looks like the Mens Shirt.

Note to men: You may disregard the prior statement. 

Sunday, May 4, 2014

Motherly Instinct

"mother's intuition: an immediate unreasoned understanding that a mother has toward something regarding the well being of her child."

Yep. Mother's intuition... I listen to it A LOT lately. Yesterday was a rough day for Lilly. We had clinic up at the hospital. Lilly threw up on the way there. She had to get blood, platelets, and chemo which made for a LONG DAY. And then she got sick again just before we were finished. It's so hard on Lilly when she throws up - especially when she has nothing to throw up.

Today was a pretty good day. Lilly seemed pretty happy. We were able to be outside for a little bit. We had some family stop by and visit. Later this afternoon the "mom instinct" just started to kick in... She had an upset tummy... On the toilet a lot... Noticed more bruising than normal... So I called the on-call oncologist. I wanted to get a CBC done and also check her stool for bacteria. The on-call oncologist said we couldn't do a CBC because it was the weekend. She was just going to send out the home health nurse for a stool sample... I stewed over it for a while... And then the "mom instinct" set in again. I told Jay we just need to go into the ER and get Lilly checked out. Even though we were just at the hospital yesterday! 

Well, I was right. She needs MORE platelets even though she just got a large unit yesterday. The frustrating part is we had to fight for it!! The ER doc talked to the on-call oncologist and they thought she would be fine if they waited until the beginning of next week. Nope. Not going to happen. Not with how Lilly's history is... Dr. Lemons, Dr. Fair, or Dr. Raetz would all vouch for us. Lilly's numbers drop so fast that she needs more platelets. So, after talking to two different doctors and calling the on-call oncologist AGAIN, they are sending us upstairs for the night and we are getting platelets. Next time I see one of Lilly's  regular doctors, I'm going to either ask for a note from them explaining Lilly's history, or I'm asking for their cell phone number so they can personally vouch for us.

Melissa was our nurse in the ER. She used to live next door to us when Lilly was probably 2. We had VIP treatment that's for sure!! Thanks for making our ER visit much more bearable!