1/27/2009 5:32 PM
Our doctor is fantastic! He is a pediatric neurosurgeon/oncologist. It was wonderful to watch him work with Devree. He told Devree he wanted to do a few more tests, and she jokingly groaned. The poor girl is getting tired of demonstrating the things that she can’t do.
“No, not the finger test again!” Devree says jokingly. “Why don’t you like the finger test?” Dr. Armstrong asked. “Because I always lose that game,” came her reply. He laughed and told her, “I’m going to go home tonight and tell my wife that I met a great girl today, but you know what? She couldn’t do that finger test very well.” (The finger test requires Devree to touch her index finger to the doctor's and then touch her own nose. He keeps moving his finger.)
Of course that got Devree smiling, and she did the tests that he wanted to see.
Dr. Armstrong said that Devree does have a 35% chance of the cancer coming back, but we will worry about that “when and if” it happens. Everything he said was positive. He said that St. Jude was blessed to have the radiology team that they have. Other hospitals tend to send the children to an adult radiology team. He likes having radiologists that are keenly aware of how to work with kids. Another thing that he likes about our hospital is Dr. Gajjar’s treatment plan.
They (St. Jude) have learned that they can be effective using tight parameters (Radiating only the cancer speck and not overshooting the area) with their radiation. This will be a great benefit for Devree. Another wonderful benefit here is their procedure of harvesting the patient’s own stem cells to help them heal later. The chemo therapy will negatively affect Devree’s bone marrow. Her body needs functioning bone marrow to help her heal, with the new blood it produces. The stem cells will be used to heal her bone marrow from the chemo.
I will be returning to Dayton late Thursday night. I feel very comforted by the housing and meal plans that St. Jude have made for Devree and Shana. Our Hamblin girls are in very caring and safe hands here. I agree with Season. Making the trip here was worth all of the work.
We absolutely love the team here at St. Jude. Although all of us are in similar situations with cancer, everyone is upbeat and smiling. The mind set seems to be, “We all have trials and challenges in life, and this is our challenge.” One nurse on the St. Jude staff, said that most of them felt that it was a blessing to work here, and that it was their calling to bless the lives of the people that come here.