Saturday, February 28, 2009

Valentines Day & Noble's Cruise

What to say about home…

In Noble’s words, “I was wondering what the house would look like when I got home from the cruise? Totally destroyed, or like mom keeps things?” The house is definitely not destroyed. However, there are some differences. I set up a card table behind the sofa in the living room. It was covered with folded laundry. Sometimes the card table is set up in the bathroom so that I have a quiet place to do bills. (Mom never did that!!!)

The cruise was wonderful! Noble really had a lot of fun. He loved the entertainment and THE FOOD!!! There was one place that the boys could get a pizza 24/7. All of Noble’s pictures were of the beautiful places, and things he saw.

Noble, Kyle, and Manny's Ship

Noble in a Shuffleboard photo op.

The ship's pool. Noble said it was brrr cold. It sure looks fun though.

This bar of piano keys surrounding a piano was impressive to Noble.

Noble said that the towels were folded into a new shape every day. He had pictures of all the different shapes.

There were also photos of very stunning and beautiful scenery. These guys had a blast the whole time they were there.

Shana gave us specific orders to not sit home and be sad. So we have really kept a busy schedule. Shay has had basketball games. Dane and I went to Winnemucca for a Bud Fitzgerald’s baptism (I gave the Holy Ghost talk) and we had a wonderful visit. Shay went to a Klondike Derby. Noble went on the cruise. We went Geo Caching with O’Barr’s. Today we went sledding.

A shot of Shay before his next heart throbbing run down the hill.

Dane said he was tired and ready to go home. But he had a smile on his face and a donut in his hand from the Elder's Quorum. They also provided hot chocolate.

The “Super Sibs” chart has happy faces for all three boys.

I never told you about Valentine’s day. The day before I gave Shay & Dane the talk about how I want them to help with the chores, and when they complain or don’t help it makes me feel like they don’t care. (I have heard that speech from Shana to the boys, and from my mother to me when I was younger.)

Shay took my words to heart. The next day I woke up to Shay busily making breakfast, and Valentines notes all over. My breakfast plate had, “DAD – BOOP BOOP DEDOOP I LOVE YOUP.” My shoes had pictures of hearts on them with notes that read, “HAVE A WAKADOODLE DAY” and “its all for you just for you.” Then when we got in the car there was a note on the steering wheel and a big “I love you” heart. He was a great helper throughout the day.

Todd and the boys display the Valentine's Day package from Shana & Devree.

Manny dropped by to say hi real quick, and he took a picture of us. Then we decided to decorate Manny and take a picture of him.

Then I took Shay and Dane to their Primary Activity at church where the kids made gift vouchers. I had vouchers for hugs, and will help with anything, etc. Dane came back with vouchers that said, “Read me a bedtime story.” And “play video games with me.” Shay and Dane were both really wonderful and fun to be with.

Well, that is our update.

We love you all!!!
Todd, Noble, Shay, and Dane

Friday, February 27, 2009

1/2 way through RADIATION

It has come to my attention that I didn't write my email address right yesterday. It is

So today when Devree is 1/2 way through her radiation treatment, she will be 1/2 way through. So when she is done because today will be her 17th session she will be MORE than 1/2 way through. YEA! This is a very special day because we are going to see the 3D Jonas Brothers Movie and Devree said "Mom you really don't have to go because I know you don't love Jonas Bros. like I do." I told her "I am going to get my enjoyment from watching YOU!" They had a special on MTV that we caught the last 15 min. and it was all about the biggest Fans of Jonas Bros. because of a contest and the Jonas' were there. Devree knew all of the answers except ONE! She would have won all by herself because there were team competitions.

Today is also very special because Jessica, Liz, Kaylun, Aunt Becky, Uncle Jeff, Aunt Mary and Uncle John are arriving today to visit us. We are SO EXCITED! They are coming from MO so it is about a 6 hour drive for them.

Well Devree is still not keeping stuff down and not getting much relief from nausea. We will probably have to up the Marinol. Poor Girl, I am so worried because before my eyes, she looks more pale, and thinner. Seeing her bald head, I still get a shock. I know it is Devree but she just doesn't look like she used to. I know she will again, but it is hard to see her suffer so much.

OH VERY IMPORTANT NEWS! I found this really inexpensive laptop at Sam's Club. Todd my wonderful Computer knowledgeable husband looked at it and of course upgraded it and it is coming SOON! We are thinking of buying my own access to wireless internet so I don't have to worry about pictures etc. on the St. Jude's wireless that is so weak and unsure, here at the Target House. THANKS FOR ALL OF YOUR REPLIES! WE FEEL LOVED!

We will have a FANTASTIC weekend and we hope you will too. Hopefully on Monday I will be able to blog some pictures of our weekend.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Things to do on Thursday

Wow THANK YOU DAYTON SEMINARY! The cards and letters were much appreciated and brought Devree up where she needs to be. Miss Caterpillar, we are very excited you are going to seminary. I guess I better stop making boobie jokes if the whole seminary is reading. Devree says "Seminary is the best part of the day and the only way to start the day!" Brother Watts I am sure you are a great teacher. Devree is doing "Home Seminary" and the wonderful Sister Crowder from Germantown ward is helping us to do that.

THANK YOU SISTER HALVORSEN for getting the shoes. Todd will bring them in a few days when he flies out here.

THANK YOU SISTER MAKUAOLE FOR BRINGING AND HAVING DINNER WITH OUR BOYS LAST NIGHT. Dayton ward you are awesome for serving our family so wonderfully. I know SISTER FOSTER still gives them dinner almost weekly. THANK YOU.

I keep asking Devree if she will let me take a picture of her bald head and she says "NO!" So maybe not yet. The Marinol seems to be working. Yesterday she ate quite a bit and she felt less nauceous. I think her body must build up a resistance fast to these drugs and I will be very happy when her nauceousness goes away completely. I know Devree will be happy for that too.

It is getting harder and harder to blog. I try to do it at the hospital because my laptop is so particular I can't do it on it. The computers there are so slow and yesterday I waited at 2 computers that took 10 minutes each to try to load the blog and one still couldn't get the blog up to post. I only get 30 minutes on a computer to blog so please forgive my spelling because I am typing so fast and I don't have spell check in the blog page. Please make comments because that is how I know it is worth it to BLOG! If you want to send Devree or me something personal and it is easier to make it work you can email us at

WE LOVE MAIL of any type and WE NEED MAIL to make us feel better. Okey Dokey?

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

FAT TUESDAY but really Wednesday!

So yesterday was Mardi Gras or FAT Tuesday. We celebrated here at the hospital with Devree making a mask and they had a parade and handed out beads to everyone. A new friend I made, Melanie from VISALIA, CA asked the lady at the front desk "What does Mardi Gras mean? I said just loud enough for Melanie to hear "Show me your boobies." She smiled at that one.

Devree informs me that radiation smells like pesticides and bleach very strongly. That is why she only likes to rarely eat Teriyaki beef jerky and Kosher dill pickles. On this diet she has lost more weight. Yesterday they prescribed Marinol which is a derviative of Marijuana to stimulate her appetite and help to take away her nausea. We are hoping that Marijuana is GOOD for SOMETHING!

Today we both had to take extensive psychologocal testing. It is part of another research test they have here to see how patients and their families deal with stress and cope with the disease. If they can learn from the Hamblins then so be it. I hope we can help others who may not be able to deal with this.

Here is what the sister missionary from Germantown ward told us. "How do you pronounce the name 'La-a'?" We tried a few things and she said "The mom got mad at the teacher for mispronouncing her daughters name. She said 'La DASH A. The DASH don't be SILENT!' " Isn't that a funny one?

Have a great Wednesday!

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Radiation is not a RACE!

THANK YOU KACEY for having your co-op preschool think of Devree. So Devree's comment for your 3 year-olds is you have to say it like "Little Rascals" the movie, "You're gonna run the race, You're gonna win 1st place, and you Mom has a PRETTY FACE!"

THANK YOU CHRIS and CINDY for the lovely cards. They will come in handy sending out Thank you's to all of those that send stuff.

THANK YOU WORKMANS for the lovely notes and pictures. Kirsten you sure are a good artist.

THANK YOU SHANNON for your comment on the blog. I had to have a serious talk with Devree to repeat that her job is to do what the doctors ask, to have a good attitude and to exercise those facial muscles even when you don't feel like it and to EAT even if it doesn't sound tempting because if she loses too much weight they will have to hospitalize her and not let her come home after her radiation. She didn't think about that one! Devree told me that "Yea the doctors told me all of these side effects and I thought, I will be different and it won't happen to me. But now they are happening to me and I am a little MAD!" I told her that this healing process does take the range of emotions and it is a lot like the steps of Grief because you are feeling grief over the loss of your health. So I think that Devree has gone through disbelief, denial and anger. We are slowly working toward acceptance and moving on from there.

There was a really good quote that was given on Sunday. "Be Kinder than necessary for everyone you meet is fighting some kind of battle."

Monday, February 23, 2009

Old man syndrome

We had a pretty good weekend.  Devree has been feeling a little more nauseous and only eats enough for a bird.  We went to Breck and Celest's late on Saturday after we found a new scarf and Sunday shoes for Devree.  Sunday morning she was again nauseous, but we prayed that she could go to church and she was able to enjoy the Sabbath.  Germantown ward is really great and it starts our week off right by attending church.

Sunday night Devree's hair really fell out and we had lots of tears, only on the left side of course.  Devree commented on how she looks like an old man now with her balding spots everywhere.  She took a shower and the hair clogged the drain so much she had to take the hair out of the tub by the handfulls.  There is a big difference in shaving your head and knowing and seeing that the hair is there and will come back, to seeing it fall out and not any sign of hair and wondering if it will grow back.  We have seen many kids here, where their hair has not grown back.

This next Sunday is Fast Sunday and for those that would like to fast and pray for Devree we are asking that you will specifically ask for Devree to get her right side of her face back.  She needs to have her eye close all of the way, she needs to make tears and she would love her smile and expressions back for the right side.  We really are concerned about her eye because it is susceptible for infection and disease with not being able to close all of the way and not making tears.  The right side of Devree's face has been her biggest thing she doesn't like.  Not even the hair is as important even though tears have been shed over the loss of it.

I am trying not to worry because of the latest book on Faith I am reading.  Garth Allred wrote it and Todd and I know him very well because we took his classes at BYU-Hawaii.  He wrote "Worrying is a lack of faith."  So I shall not worry! Ha! Ha!

Looking forward to relatives coming on Friday and Todd coming on Tuesday!

Friday, February 20, 2009

MRI Friday

Today for part of her testing here at St. Jude's, Devree is getting a MRI while she is doing mental problems. For example she will have a screen that she watches and a rubber switch she squeezes when she gives her answer. They will be testing little lines that are paralell or weird letters that are tallest or the same. Anyway this helps the doctors to see how her brain is working through the strong radiation she is getting. Her school was cancelled today so she just has radiation after this.

We will be having a big turkey dinner with Emma and her Mom Catherine. Catherine wants to share this big turkey she got from a gift certificate that was given her. Emma is doing well with her radiation and chemo pill form. She is a little nauseated but seems to be doing well. They went to the Pink Palace yesterday and saw the IMAX, and we did too, but we just didn't get ahold of each other to do it at the same time.

The Germantown Ward Relief Society Presidency came to visit me at the Target House last night. That was sure nice of them to drive that far just to see how I am doing. Thanks again sisters.

Yesterday in the elevator Devree had her "Alice Cullen is my favorite vampire" button that the Young Women made for her. This man is talking on his phone but hitting his wife and pointing at Devree's button. They turned out to be huge "Twilight" fans and even like "Moonlight" that the Sci-Fi channel picked up because CBS cancelled it. He told us to go on "" to tell the Sci-Fi channel to pick up this show and make more episodes. We loved Moonlight because it is about a "Good" vampire that is a detective in L.A. Devree and I laughed later because they were TRUE fans of "Twilight" and knew the books well.
HAVE A FANTASTIC FRIDAY! We will blog on Monday.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

YO HO I am 1/3 through!

This is my piratey scarf for being 1/3 through radiation.
This is our cute nurse Lindsay (aka Santa's elf).
Devree has a ton of things to say and I am going to let her tell you all of the good news. She is in the eye doctors right now so I will wait for her to tell all of you.
Good Day to all you blog-followers! I have lots to tell you! Lindsey the Elf checked my balance and said that it was much better. I also went to a place called ACT I think. There I met Webb and a woman I forget the name of…The nameless woman has a 17 year old daughter who loves Twilight so when we told her about calling Dr. Armstrong Dr. Carlisle She thought it was hilarious! She said she would put “Dr. Carlisle” over his nameplate since his office is next door to hers. She also told us that her daughter is a swimmer in competition. One time they had to go to a swim final in Minnesota and they heard that the whole Twilight cast was at the Mall of America. They begged their mom (the one telling us the story) to take them to the mall instead of the swim meet…and she did. So she met the “cute guy” (which wasn’t really verified so I’m hoping it was Robert Pattinson rather than Taylor Lautner.) and he came to their meet and signed her daughter’s arm. Totally unfair. Whatever though. OMIGOSH, I had to do a balance test there too and THEY even told me I have good balance. I mean ABOVE AVERAGE balance. I mean after hearing that I really wondered why I walk like a drunk.
So I took Emma to New Beginnings where I got to lead the music. I THINK she liked it but I can’t be sure. She never said whether she did or didn’t.
Oh and my eye doctor said that my plug came out. It sounds stupid to plug an eye that wasn’t making tears (which really it did seem) but on Saturday night it started leaking. So yeah, and they told me they would either put a stitch in my eyelid or a weight to make my eye close. Sounds sort of intimidating…Anyway I want to say thank you to everyone and say happy belated Valentine’s day!
~Devree (Little Miss Alice)

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

New Beginnings

Tonight is New Beginnings at Germantown Ward. Devree has been asked to lead the music and we are bringing Emma too. Devree has had a kind of bad morning because she got coughing and did the "v" word. I hope she is feeling okay. We have a kind of a long day. We had to be here at 8am and our appointments don't get over till 4:30. I am hoping to make one of the appointments earlier or reschedule for another day. Most of the time the hospital is so good about letting us reschedule.

I forgot to say that Noble called the night before last from the cruise ship. He had been on the ship for hours and he hadn't left port. He had explored and found out all of the fun things there are to do and I was so very happy because he had "THE FUN" back in his voice. He tends to internalize his emotions sometimes and I know Devree having cancer has been especially hard on him because some students ask "Is Devree going to die?" That is a question as a family we don't ask ourselves. But if we were to answer we would say "Yes. All of us will die someday." We are trying to be positive, pray and have faith. Noble deserves to have some fun. Sometimes I think he goes around looking and feeling sad because he doesn't get those feelings out. So now I hope he really does have a lot of fun. He has earned the money and NOW is his time to have some fun.

Today is Celest's birthday. She is still a very young spring chicken! Breck, Celest and I are going to meet and go out for lunch for her birthday. Devree is going to rest for New Beginnings tonight. For those of you who don't know what New Beginnings is, it is a program for the young women in our church who turn 12. It is a special program to help them enter Young Womanhood.

Have a Wonderful Wednesday!

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

1/4 Way through RADIATION!

Yes today we celebrate Devree being 1/4 through. We will buy the "Camp Rock" lunch box that has Joe Jonas all over it in the gift store. Today Dr. One More Thing said she is done with the spine and can lay on her back through the rest of the radiation. Devree is going to get several tatoos the size of a freckle so that the marks don't keep rubbing off and so when she has her check ups throughout the years, the marks will be there and they won't have to keep doing them. She asked me about them and I said it was her body so she could decide. She decided she wanted them.

Devree also decided for her big English project that she would write a modern "Romeo and Juliet" play. So Mrs. Bum, maybe Devree will show you that play when we get back. Sister Halvorsen, would you be able to ask Monica Kho for Devree's shoes she left in her gym locker? Devree doesn't remember her locker number but she was sharing with MoniKho (Devree's nickname) when she was at DHS. Will you please give the shoes to Todd so he can send them to us. Devree will have to start wearing some arch supports in shoes to help with her balance. Devree is excited because she ran a little with Tayzia. But she still can't do heel,toe walking, YET!

We have met some new people that are in remission today. It is always nice to meet people that are coming back for their whatever YEAR checkup to know that they are happy and well. We met a 15 year-old girl that had cancer in her thigh bone. She is not afraid to go around with her shiny bald head. Devree also learned about a cute 14 year old boy named Shane that has the same kind of cancer as Amanda.

I have been reading Sheri Dew's book "If life were easy it wouldn't be so hard" or something like that. Paula Heusser gave it to us. I thought, I love Sheri Dew, but what can a woman without a daughter, let alone a daughter with cancer help me with? It was a fantastic book. I recommend it to all. THANK YOU PAULA! Thank you for all of your comments on the blog that I can't hardly read because it makes me cry.

We are really enjoying Germantown ward and I missed it last Sunday because Devree was so sick. This Sunday we heard a cute story. This little boy was told that he needed to be more like Jesus because a part of Jesus was inside of him. One day the little boy got into trouble by his Dad. The Dad sort of grabbed him by the arm. The little boy said "Dad! You are shaking the Jesus out of me!"

Have a FANTASTIC DAY everyone!

Monday, February 16, 2009

President's Day

We had a really wonderful weekend. The only really bad thing is my laptop died. I am so sad because I loved being able to blog and read my emails etc. while I wait for hours for Devree. BOO HOO! Now I only can use the hospital computer if there is availability and only for 30 min.

So Celest, Breck and Tayzia took us to eat crepes and other good things and the adults went to a movie. Celest and Breck tried to not let me feel like the 3rd wheel on their valentines date. THANK YOU!

Friday, Devree and I went and saw Coraline and went shopping. We went to a knitting class that Kallie loved and Celest, Devree and I endured. Devree had a big fall there and started to just get overwhelmed with all of this sickness etc. She had a good cry with me and Aunt Celest and I cried along with her and Devree got out all of the things that she really wants to do and wants her body to do eventually. We do have good news though. On Sunday, her right eye actually made a tear! The eye doctor plugged her tear duct and maybe all of that emotion helped unplug and her eye is looking less red. Of course Devree bounced right back to her happy self and I did too! So don't worry about us too much!

We have been riding the shuttle back and forth from the Target House to the hospital because it is about 5 miles away. Devree said she was hungry for pizza. Whenever she is hungry for something, I try to fulfill that need to fatten her up! So we go down the main street and I count 1,2,...7 fried chicken places. I comment to the driver, "You know you are in the south when you can count 7 fried chicken places and not one pizza place!" She laughed and told me where the pizza place was. I guess you know you are in California if you count 7 mexican food places and 1 pizza place!

My new friend Celest has a little 4 year-old girl that they have been dealing with this since she was 10 months old. Celest and I talk while her daughter is sedated and given radiation. The other day, Devree and I got there first and Celest and I started talking. The 4 year-old, said "Mommy YOU are NOT SUPPOSED to talk to STRANGERS!" I explained that we are not strangers and we talk when she is sleeping.

THANK YOU KENDRA for the melted Crayon heart that said "YOU MELT MY HEART, for CRAYON OUT LOUD!

THANK YOU Neumeister's for the 2 hats and the dream catcher.

THANK YOU Kalene for the book and the adorable homemade fridge magnets.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

We Love Your Prayers For Devree

It is amazing how much strength can come from the prayers of so many people. Devree & Shana both need that strength right now.

Radiation and Chemo-therapy are really not that good for the human body. That means that things will get worse before they get better. Poor Devree is experiencing it, and poor Shana is helplessly watching the process. So they really need our thoughts and prayers right now.

I know that LDS temples refresh their prayer rolls every 2 weeks. I’m not sure about how often prayer circles change their names in the Lutheran, Baptist, and other faiths. Anytime that you have an opportunity, please add Devree & Shana to your lists again. The Lord tells us that we must ask before we can receive. We really need to lifted and helped through this process, and I know that prayer works. I have felt the lifting power when I absolutely had nothing left.

Footprints in the Sand
One night I dreamed I was walking along the beach with the Lord.
Many scenes from my life flashed across the sky.
In each scene I noticed footprints in the sand.
Sometimes there were two sets of footprints,
other times there were one set of footprints.

This bothered me because I noticed
that during the low periods of my life,
when I was suffering from
anguish, sorrow or defeat,
I could see only one set of footprints.

So I said to the Lord,
"You promised me Lord,
that if I followed you,
you would walk with me always.
But I have noticed that during
the most trying periods of my life
there have only been one
set of footprints in the sand.
Why, when I needed you most,
you have not been there for me?"

The Lord replied,
"The times when you have
seen only one set of footprints in the sand,
is when I carried you."
by Anonymous

I can tell you that during our low points, I know without a doubt that we were carried. Your many prayers made that possible. Thank you so much!


Friday, February 13, 2009

Free Friday

This is Talon and Uncle Breck and unhappy Jackson at Tayzia's cheer performance.
Tayzia and Devree showing her "BLONDENESS". Aunt Tammie we are still searching for a red wig!
This is Tayzia and our new friend Brenda Griffin who has been so charitable to us in lending us a car while we are here and giving us a ton of stuff that we love!
Today we have to go to Radiation for a 1/2 hour and then we are FREE to go to a movie or shopping or whatever. We are looking forward to having Kallie come to the knitting class with us at Target House and then she is going to spend the night. We thought we would share some fun pictures and heeeeere is Devree. YEA!
Thank you thank you! omigoodness i feel funny becaue i'm supposed to be ready to leave the house and i'm in my pjs and a blonde wig. wow. i just wanted to say happy Belated birthdays to Aunt Kalene and Kaeliegh and happy almost birthday to Teri. HAPPY VALENTINES DAY TO EVERONE!!! Even tho i know valentine's Day is tomorrow. I dreamt up a really great story start last night but i don't remember it now....bogus. I have gotten a million and two posters since i've arrived in Memphis and this morning we tried to find a plce for them all in me temparary room and we failed...tear tear. GASP i got a button that says "Alice Cullen is my favorite Vampire!" It makes me happy. I don't see Dr. Carlisle today so i can't tell him that's his name.....OOH my stitches FINALLY came out! I have to go but i love you guys!
~Little Miss Alice(Devree)

Thursday, February 12, 2009

What Is Happening At Home???

The boys and I had a great day this week. I think we even hit “Super Mom” status for one evening (“Super Dads” do different things). We made homemade lasagna, did a load of laundry and folded it, put dishes in the dishwasher, went to Shay's basketball game (He scored!), and looked at our broken garage door opener with our Home Teachers. We even thought to call Shana & Devree to tuck them into bed. lol :-)

Dane with his "Friendship Necklace" from our cancer support group.

Shay's group took time to have each child create all of the words to describe what it is like to have a sibling with cancer.
Creepy Cancer
Time with my sister.
Playing games and having fun.
All it was, was fast.
Easy going
Battle off the cancer

Noble was visited by childhood friends from Fernley. They took Noble out for Round Table Pizza and reminisced about everything from preschool to soccer games. Then they came home and played Super Smash Brothers Brawl on our Wii. Noble really enjoyed talking about old times, and I loved seeing the warm smile it put on his face. His dear old friends still love and care about him. (Thanks for the visit Nathan, Chris, and Quentin!)

Fridge Emotion Charts From Cancer SuperSibs
Noble: Anxious
Shay: Mischievous
Dane: Mischievous

It amazes me that the boys are still using their emotion charts. They update the chart on their own, and it’s funny how accurate they are. Shay and Dane have been really in to teasing each other and their father. Silly boys. :-)

Noble’s chart is accurate too! He is preparing to go on a cruise with Kyle’s family, Kyle, and Manny (Manalope Extreme -We love his posts!). Earlier in the week Noble obtained his pre-arranged absence slip, and he collected all of the home work that he will need to complete before his return. Tonight he packed his bags, he leaves tomorrow night. He will be gone from 2/13/2009 – 2/22/2009.

The trip was well planned and paid for in advance (We didn’t know about what Devree calls her “Radiation Vacation” until much later). Kyle’s family made all the arrangements, and Noble earned money for his part of the trip. We want Noble to continue with his full and crazy fun teenage life. So Noble’s big emotions right now are excitement and anxiousness.

Thank you so much for loving Devree and our family through this experience!



Well Devree and I have been keeping ourselves pretty busy with all of the love that has been shown us these last few days. Aunt Jan in Idaho sent us her handsewn beautiful bunny and a little plaque that says "Life isn't about waiting for the storm to pass. It's about learning to dance in the rain." Isn't that a good one? THANK YOU AUNT JAN!

We went to Young Women's last night in Germantown and the Activity Girls had made 3 baskets of cards and fun stuff. THANK YOU SUSAN! Then Devree and Emma went to young womens in a new Blonde wig that Devree acquired from a girl that was giving her wigs and wig shampoo away. Devree got to see what its like to be blonde and made "ditzy" jokes all evening. The Young Women gave her a huge box with about 10 hats, scarves and a whole lot of Jonas Brother's (a light up blanket to BOOT!) and Twilight stuff. THANK YOU LISA and YOUNG WOMEN! Dawn also made Devree a blanket with her name embroidered on it and some wonderful meals for us to eat later. THANK YOU DAWN! Also Aunt Celest, Tayzia and Uncle Breck brought back the coolest Jonas Brothers shirt from Disney World. THANK YOU UNCLE BRECK, AUNT CELEST and TAYZIA! As she put her shirt on today, she didn't feel like just wearing jammies. She said "I look good so I need to wear jeans to match my cool Jonas Brothers shirt".

Today we had another wonderful basket of things including Ketchup which Devree wanted. THANK YOU LIZ! Devree made a few valentines to give to everyone at St. Jude's too. We made a little basket of goodies to give to "E" clinic. Dad and husband Todd gave Devree and I wonderful valentines stuff. THANK YOU TODD and DAD! He also sent a gift from Terry. THANK YOU TERRY! Celest asked me last night if I missed Todd and I told her I can't even go there. It is such a loooong time till we get to go home and I just have to go day by day. But thank you Todd for learning how to be a great MR. Mom. We love you lots and hope you get our valentine package soon.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Cyber Stalked!

We have three pictures of Devree. One she is singing at the Target party last night. Target bigwigs came from all over and they had Chik-filet? cater and then they had crafts and candy and Kareoki?. Devree loved it! She got up there for 3 songs. The picture of her is singing or talking "The Devil went down to Georgia". The next picture is of Devree and her new friend Emma that is 12 and went to young womens tonight. The other picture is her with 2 packages she received from Aunt Mary. Aunt Mary's Mom Janie sent Devree a cool blanket, red fuzzy jammie bottoms, a stuffed bear, a heart pillow, 2 pairs of socks and I am probably forgetting something. Then Aunt Mary sent her another package with a Sullivan High School sweatshirt with "Hamblin" on the back. Devree wanted her Dad to send her sweatshirt from home so she was excited. Macy picked out a cool monkey watch and Mary's sister, Debbie made her a very nice blanket. Thank you all! To those back home, our new home and those far away, THANK YOU for all of the good things you send, especially all of the prayers.

Well we have been cyber-stalked. One of the fun nurses, Ginny, had to know what Dr. Armstrong's nickname was. She googled us. Then even Dr. One More Thing yesterday knew his nickname. He teased with us and said "Oh and One More Thing...". Devree still has 29 more business days. Devree doesn't mind so much now that the meds are still working. She partied hard last night and she still feels good. She has decided that Dr. Armstrong's new nickname is Dr. Carlisle because Dr. Armstrong is her favorite "Real" doctor and Dr. Carlisle is her favorite "Fake" doctor. Dr. Armstrong hasn't read "Twilight" so he won't know.

Good News! The preliminary findings are Devree is not having seizures. They think that she only fainted due to dehydration. We won't know for sure till the doctors at another hospital read it and reply.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Terrific Tuesday

The pictures we are going to try to post are of our door to the apartment. Devree decorated it. Notice her "Mormon Ad" from the New Era "Be your own kind of Beautiful". She is wearing a new hat that our wonderful new friend Brenda gave to us. Brenda has been giving us little bags with gifts to countdown our weeks of radiation. Devree is also wearing her T-shirt that she made last night in the craft room. We met our new friend Simon from Scotland there. Devree made her "Radiation Vacation" T-shirt and has received numerous compliments on it today. Many people said she needs to market them. Then we have a picture of the Target House. Celest, Breck, Tayzia, Talon, Kallie and Jackson all came to see our place yesterday. They brought a wonderful plaque that cousin Summer made in Canada and sent to us. It is a saying whatDevree learned from young women. "You are second to none. You are a daughter of God." Jackson saw lots of things he liked because it is so geared for little kids. We didn't show him the playground yet because they could only stay for a few minutes.

Yesterday was a pretty hard day. Devree's medication didn't help her with the nausea and I laughed to myself that when she was surrounded by medical staff and started to vomit in her container, they all took a few steps back. We found a new nurse named Ebony, that is like our other favorite nurse in LPCH. This Ebony will sing with us and laugh with us and she knows how to get blood from Devree even if she is dehydrated. She told us that anybody with a name like Ebony will be great. Today we sang "Here comes the sun" by the Beattles and she sang right along with us. Anyway "E" clinic put Devree on a IV yesterday and we are borrowing a wheelchair and "We've got a new drug! One that doesn't make us sick." (Huey Lewis and the News) She held down her dinner and breakfast and is not having the nausea at all! HOORAY! Let us hope we have now found the magic mix of drugs to help her feel good.

She will have to have an EEG because they think she is having seizures and why she is falling alot. That is why she is in a wheelchair. We will let you know what the outcome of that is. We had a consultation with the radiologist and she has 16 more sessions on her spine and 20? more on her cranium. That seems less than we were told because they do them at the same time. So 20 more sessions sounds much better than 29 after today. But I am not counting my chickens yet because Dr. One More Thing did not tell us that. He is the one that decides.

So sweet cousin Summer is going to get our blog looking better and she has asked us what Devree's favorite songs are. So we look forward to her juicing us up.

We are looking forward to Hamblin Aunts, Uncles and 2 cousins visiting us soon. We hope that Devree will be feeling great for that visit.

Monday, February 9, 2009

Monday Mornings

They always seem to want us early and all day. I guess 8am is not too early but Devree doesn't feel the greatest in the mornings. She had a rough weekend. She wasn't able to go to church and only had a little bit to eat. So many people have already asked me "Why is Devree so sick already?" Most people don't get sick during radiation. They usually get sick during Chemo. I will tell you why, . . I think. She is having the highest radiation possible. Dr. One More Thing even wanted to up that! Then she is having it on 2/3 of her body. Three places on her skull and 3 places down her spine. See Todd's blog to see what Devree thinks. The medication she is taking for the nausea still makes her not feel totally well and really really tired. She fell last night and gave me a really good scare. She sort of falls in slow motion. But I never can get to her fast enough. I asked "Devree did you black out? Did you have a seizure?" She said "I 'Whited out'!" She scared me so badly that I hugged her and cried a bit. She asks "Now can I have a wheelchair?" I have been wanting her to walk because walking helps with the circulation and it helps her practice her balance and focus etc. But maybe today she can have a wheelchair when we get there. I told Todd about the fall and he said maybe she can have one of those sitdown walkers like Grandpa Rice. I told him they don't have those kind of walkers but maybe I'll sit in the wheelchair and she can push ME!

Devree wasn't able to get any of her school work done. It is one of those days where I can call the teacher and tell her we need more time.We need to get home by 2 pm because she has signed up for this "Look Good, Feel Great" class for teenagers. They give a whole bunch of skin care products and tips here at the Target House. While she does that, I have signed up for a free facial that they do here at the house on Mondays. I am excited! It is my very first facial. So Tammie I now can tell you that I have had a facial!

As Devree says in her countdown for the end of radiation "Just 31 more business days!" She says this because she gets radiation only on Monday-Friday's except holidays like President's Day. Aunt Kalene asks "Are counting down the hours and minutes yet, Devree? She said "Not Yet!"

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Devree Calls Dad!

Devree passed out again today. Shana couldn’t get to her quick enough. So she fell, but didn’t get hurt. The last time she passed out was January 14th when she first got out of PICU at Stanford. Her pediatric neurosurgeon had a name for what had happened and was not concerned. He said that she could prevent future blackouts by sitting up and taking deep breaths before she actually stood up.

We are hoping that this is more of the same problem, and not a big concern. It is at times like these that I am so grateful that Devree’s Pediatric Oncologist at St. Jude is also her Pediatric Neurosurgeon. He will know what is going on with Devree, and we should have answers soon. (No surgery is being considered, we are just happy that he is available to explain things.)

Today I received a wonderful surprise. Devree called to talk with her Dad and brothers today. We laughed and visited until I was up to date on all of the latest news, straight from Devree herself. Her nausea is still faintly there. She says that it is like the headaches she had after neurosurgery. The Vicodin helped, but the pain was still there in the background.

Her spirits are high though! She told me, “There’s no reason to be sad, because it won’t change anything, and if I cry I only have tears in one eye, and that’s stupid.” I was happy to hear her sassy sense of humor. “Hang in there Devree!!!”

She also told me her theory about why she gets sick and throws up. “Remember Aunt Tammie saying that radiation was like army soldiers attacking the cancer?” Devree asked me. “All the dead cancer must go to me stomach, and that’s yucky. So I throw up.” I like how Devree has a positive association for being nauseated and throwing up. "Thanks Aunt Tammie!!!" This is now our version of, "Pain is weakness leaving the body."

Aunt Tammie’s Radiation Analogy:
So each time you have the radiation I am visualizing that the radiation is the Army, Navy, Marines and Air Force all entering your body and attacking the enemy! One by one killing each cancer cell until they are all gone. The mission is a big one but they are trained and can handle it. Especially with so many people praying and fasting the cancer cells don't stand a chance.

I loved my visit with Devree. She is such a joy! I was also happy to learn about her 12 year old friend Emma. They like doing crafts together. Emma had a cancerous tumor removed too, so Devree’s new friend really understands what she is going through. I have been asked to send Devree’s piano music so that she can play the beautiful grand piano at the Target House. (I was happy to hear that request, because Devree finds a lot of peace in playing the piano. It also means that she is feeling good enough to play.)

Love you all tons!!!

Mr. Mom

Mr. Mom has been trying to get up to speed. I always thought about shopping as a fun thing. Now it kind of feels like work, I’m not sure why though. It isn’t just my perception though. “Oh, we need to go back and get Valentine’s Day cards!” I exclaim as we walk out of Walmart. “No!!!” says Dane as he tugs me towards the car.

I know my shopping skills make Shana roll her eyes, but when my sweet 7 year old Dane can’t stand it any more… Well, perhaps I need to work on my shopping ability. I know I’ll get better, but right now even the thought of going shopping makes me tired.

Normal house hold chores are sometimes a struggle. When you consider that there are only a few precious hours in the evening to get everything done. The other evening Shay and Dane were having a snack before dinner. Within a short time they both had spills in the kitchen that got their shirts and their pants dirty enough that they were both in new outfits. (I can’t believe I’m even mentioning it. It’s just that getting the laundry done had been difficult last week.)

My support group is other men. Men don’t understand why something like that could be frustrating. Actually I understood mentally why it would be frustrating, but that is way different than actually feeling the frustration. Shana, I apologize for all the times that I just didn’t appreciate what you were going through. Now I understand how shopping is work, and how meal ideas can be difficult. What an amazing world I have entered.

Another thing that happened last week was Noble’s Honor Band Concert. Noble was selected to participate in Honor Band. He had to try out, and was one of the kids selected from Northern Nevada. I loved his concert, and I was amazed at how good the Honor Band was with only 2 days of practice. “Good Job Noble!!!”

Dane and Shay came with me to support Noble, but didn’t share my enthusiasm. Dane put his head on my lap about 15 minutes into the concert. Somehow he fell asleep even though we were sitting on seats like those found in a movie theatre. Shay and I were amazed that he was able to sleep through 45 minutes of the concert.

I don’t know why exactly, but for some reason I thought this would be a great “Kodak Moment.” So I gave our camera to Shay and told him to take a picture after the last number was over. I didn’t think it would be too bad to take a picture after the lights were back on. It didn’t work out how I envisioned though. The last number had a trumpet fanfare that startled Dane. Shay didn’t want to miss our “Kodak Moment” so he took aim, and fired.

Talk about embarrassing when all of those heads turned in our direction.

This kind of thing only happens to me. When Shana is present, there is order in the universe.

Celebrating Noble's succesful Honor Band Concert with a Blizzard from Dairy Queen.


Saturday, February 7, 2009

The Food is staying down!

Well after visiting the hospital and finding out Devree was 2 quarts low...(they gave her 2 containers through her IV) she was given benedryl and some other drug that made her really sleepy. It works! Hurray! She is keeping her food down and feels so much better. She even played on her computer for awhile.

Sad news though. Tayzia's team came in 10th because one girl fell and had an injury. Well at least they were in the finals.

Tomorrow is church so we will not be blogging. So everyone have a great Sabbath!

Saturday- Start the day in the hospital

Well it has been almost 48 hours since Devree has been able to hold something down. I called the hospital and they wanted to see her. They are going to put an IV in and try some other medications to help with the nausea. I could not sleep last night worrying about if we can help Devree hold her food and liquids down. She is just so listless and one of the symptoms is fatigue that cannot be relieved by sleep or rest.

On a good note, Celest just texted me that Tayzia's cheer team is in the semi-finals. One of these days maybe I will learn to text. But I am not in any big hurry.

We appreciate your faith and prayers.

Friday, February 6, 2009

"V is for Vomet!"

There is a wall on the way to the Kay Kafe that has each letter of the alphabet on a 3'x5' board. They have taken kids own writing and put what each letter stands for in the hospital. We have now understood the "V" word and spelled it for you just as the child wrote it. This cancer stuff is not for the squeemish. Devree had her first radiation which is at the highest level of radiation that is allowed and now has 32 sessions left. She did the "V" word about 12 times last night, but was finally able to sleep. I think we are going to have a celebration for when she is 1/4 done, 1/3 done, 1/2 get the idea. First thing this morning I called to see if we could get some medication to help her. So I talked to Todd this morning and we are going to ask all of you to pray that we might find the right combination of medication to help with the vomitting.

She has another session this afternoon and we are going to try not eating a few hours before and definitely not eating a dessert after the session like we did yesterday. The book suggests not eating for a couple of hours after too. At this rate Devree will be a skeleton before we are through.

Did I tell you that the Catholic church donated the land for the Target Houses for $1? That is why it is about 5 miles from the hospital but that is really cool.

Yesterday I got to meet the famous Dr. Gajarr! He is back from India and I shook his hand and told him how grateful I was for him getting the ball rolling and having Tabitha get things done so we could be at St. Jude's. He was very humble and such a nice individual. He asked Devree how she was too.

I have to tell you something funny that Devree did when she was going to be put under for her lumbar puncture. Being the mom I try to get her to talk to see if she is concerned or worried about any of the things happening to her. We had already talked and she said she wasn't nervous or concerned but then while we are waiting she gets this really concerned look on her face. I asked "Devree are you okay?" She replied, "I just realized that I didn't clean out my P.E. locker and I left my tennis shoes in there!" She then explains that she is sharing with another girl. I told her that we can get Noble to ask the girl to give him the shoes.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

We are the BEST! We're HHS!

We went to Tayzia's cheer performance last night. You have to imagine for all of you poor Dayton people. This place is really into cheering. There were 24 girls on the middle school team, 14 girls on the Junior Varsity (Tayzia's group) 20 girls? on the senior varsity team. Every 4 girls do the lifts. Three girls lifting and supporting one girl in the air. Then they do gymnastics across the floor with alot of smiling and head bobbing and cupping the hands clapping. That was their cheer, "We are the BEST! We're HHS! But we are saying HHS stands for "Happy Hamblin Status! I did a little rendition for Breck and Tayzia and they thought I did pretty well. Breck said "I would think they would get brain damage with all of that head action."

Today Tayzia, Breck and Celest fly to Florida for the National Competition. They will be back on Monday. We wish Tayzia all of the best and hopes she has lots of fun. We wish the cheerleaders of Dayton could get inspired by all of those HHS cheerleaders.

Thursday is today and today is the first radiation. Devree has a little cold and doesn't feel really well. I have been trying to pump orange juice and other things to help her, but it has been really cold here. We are looking forward to warmer temperatures. We will tell you how it goes.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

No Nickname?

Uncle Ky, girls or women do have nicknames. Maybe not for each other but we do for everyone else! We named our tiny little oncology nurse Lindsay, "Santa's Elf". She is so happy and chipper and looks like she is 10 years old and about the same size. We named Dr. Pie(?), "Dr. One More Thing". But our pediatric neuro-oncologist, Dr. Armstrong was hurt that we didn't have a nickname for him. Devree and I said maybe we will call him "The Cute Dr.". Dr, Cute had some really good news for us yesterday. He said the bone scans showed no more cancer. Also that Devree won't have to have her stem cells taken from her bone marrow. Now for those of you that may be queezy, don't read this next part. Okay if she did have to get the stem cells from her bone marrow it is excrutiatingly painful with 12 shots to the hip bone. Most days Devree has a "port" in her hand. That is an IV that they leave to take blood. Right now Devree has been getting enough stem cells from her blood to help her when she will need it in the future. So that is really good news. She doesn't like the port too much, but I think she prefers that to getting stuck in her hip several times.

Devree has made a new friend. Her name is Emmaline and she is a very tall 12 year-old. She is from Alabama and is here with her Mom and 8 month old baby brother David. She is only here for 6 weeks of radiation and then she is done. We are a little envious. Emma made her wish to go to Egypt and see the pyramids. She also likes to craft. We went to "Taco Night" together and then we went and made valentines. As we were finishing up, this young couple came into the craft room. She is from London and Simon is from the Lakes District in Scotland. It was really fun to talk to them and they have come to work in the Pharmacy at St. Jude's for a 1 year work visa. They are taking off time from college. They come and volunteer in the craft room on Monday nights. We are looking forward to talking to them again, since Devree and I love everything about England.

Cheryl, we have to remain upbeat because that is the only way to survive. So many cancer books said to do the "Polyana" thing and find something good everyday and laugh everyday! So here is the funny thing today. As we came to clinic "E" a little 2 year-old girl kept yelling happily "We're Here! We're Here!".

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Tight Tuesday

Today is "Tight Tuesday" because everything happens today. The clinics are full, there is no place to park and we should get to meet with her doctors today. She was put back a day for first radiation to Thursday instead of Wednesday.

So about the hair donations. I have put Connie O'Barr in charge. (Poor girl, she was in New York and I decided to do this.) Let's put a date when it needs to be to Connie like February 17th? That gives everyone a couple of weeks. Give it to her and then she can send 1 box of hair to my sister-in-law Celest. I don't know if it can be dyed or not hair. I don't know how many heads of hair it takes to make a wig but it does need to be 11 inches long. Just send it and Rachel the wig maker can decide. Okey Dokey?

We started off the day getting to sleep in and didn't have to be here till 9am. We called it our "Late Start" and felt right at home fixing our bacon, bagels and orange juice. It almost felt like home except we missed the men in our family. We have a wonderful van loaned to us by Brenda in the Germantown ward. It has a GPS in it so we don't get lost too much. But let me tell you I have already been pulled over by the police. Just to let you know, I don't get pulled over and I haven't had a ticket since Devree was 6 years old. So what happened is this; when I went shopping on Saturday I went a few blocks away on the same street as the Target house to do some grocery shopping. I wanted to make sure that I got back on Poplar so I wouldn't get lost. Devree is my GPS operator and she was still sleeping in the apartment. So Poplar is this huge 6 lane street that runs all the way across Memphis and through Germantown. So I get in the left lane to turn left, I signal, the ongoing traffic is just a few cars, I wait and make a safe turn. A policeman immediately turns his siren on. I pull into a restaurant and get my license out. I use "Sir" alot and tell him I was going to the Target House and didn't want to get lost. He told me that there were 3 signs that said I couldn't turn left. He didn't give me a ticket but the rules out here for driving are a little bit different. You can NEVER turn left unless they have a sign that says you can. So we do things the UPS way and try to figure out how to make ALL RIGHT turns! I guess that is our motto from now on. ONLY MAKE RIGHT CHOICES!

Devree made the nurses laugh at her "Radiation Simulation". They let her bring her ipod in for her 3 hour ordeal. We found out the real sessions of radiation are only like a 1/2 hour. Anyway Devree puts on her Favorite Play list. Of course it has Jonas Brothers and then it has "I believe in Miracles, Where you From? You sexy thing!" They all started laughing because Devree has so many types of music she likes. The nurses were shocked that they listened to some of the same music.

Monday, February 2, 2009

New Address

New Address:
Devree/Shana Hamblin Room 517
Target House II
1811 Poplar Avenue
Memphis, TN 38104

Old Address:
Devree/Shana Hamblin Room 422
Target House II
1811 Poplar Avenue
Memphis, TN 38104

As far as flowers, fruit baskets or edible baskets, they are not allowed. The gift shop and the get well emails, we don't know about yet.

Hair Donations for Devree's Wig
If you have hair to donate to Devree you can send it to:

Sister-In-Law Celest Rice
9208 Longwood Lane
Germantown, TN 38139

February 2, 2009 3:39 PM
Shana said...
It needs to be at least 11 inches long.

I am going to have Connie O'Barr collect it and send it. It needs to be at least 11 inches long. It needs to be sent to my sister-in-law Celest because Rachel is in her ward. The one doing the wig.

I also remember Shana saying that Devree needs 5 or 6 hair donors in order to make one wig. Is that right? Yes! If we get more maybe she can get another wig. I don't know about if it is colored or not, Paula. I think Rachel the wig maker will decide what she can use.


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Love you all!!!


So we have had a ton of things happen this weekend. I went shopping, set up our new little apartment in TARGET HOUSE II. That is a fancy schmancy place. We have a grand piano in the music room, the state of the art fitness center with "Spa" facilities where we can get manicures, facials, haircuts etc a teen room with everything you can imagaine, a huge catering kitchen where they offer dinners once in awhile, a BBQ area and what we love the most a HUGE craft room.

We went to Celest and Breck's Saturday afternoon. Devree was craving smores so we had to have that and then Sunday we went to the Germantown ward and had a wonderful welcome with lots of people showing their support and fullfilling any little need we wanted. They are a great ward with 6 boys and 3 other girls in her Sunday School class and a huge group of young women.

During half-time of the superbowl, and yes Ky I actually watched a little bit of it. It was sad that the underdog did not win. Devree asked me to shave her head. Hence shaved one side, then the other then we tried to do a mohawk. Devree has already got a lot of new looks with hats, scarf and a wonderful girl named Rachel in the Germantown ward. She makes wigs. She came over and measured Devree's head and even styled one of her wigs for Devree to wear. She is going to make Devree a wig out of all of those that donate hair for Devree. It takes about 6 weeks to make a wig once we have the hair.

The Target House we will try to send pictures and they have lots of scheduled events there to keep us busy and entertained as well. Radiation will start on Wednesday.

Thanks for all of your prayers.

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Tons of Love and Friendship

Before Devree left for St. Jude, Kaia asked for Devree's handprints on her new bedroom wall. If you look closely, you can see Devree's name below her handprints. What a cute picture of Kaia!

2/1/2009 9:58 PM
Hey Devro!!
So, I cut my hair and now there can be two baldies in Young Womens!! I heard the terrible news, and while I don't exactly know how it feels to receive that kind of news, then I can't say that I know what your going through.... So instead I'll just tell you good luck!! Hang in there!! We miss you tons back here, and if theres anything I can do for you, then please let me know!! I love you Devro!!
Tons of Love and Friendship,

Kaia Galloway!!: )

Today Devree was at a Super Bowl party with Breck, Celest, Tayzia, Talon, Kallie, and Jackson Rice. Shana reports that Devree is now sporting her new look (At least you are not alone Devree!). That's all I have for right now. I am just as anxious as you are to get the next post from Devree and Shana.

I know they keep you busy at the hospital, but we would all like your mailing address when you get a chance.