Friday, July 31, 2009

Finally Out!

These are the nurses singing to the tune of "Oscar Meyer's B-O-L-O-G-N-A"

"Our Patients have the sweetest S-M-I-L-E

They also have the Kindest H-E-A-R-T.

Oh we love to see them everyday,

But now the time has come to say...

Pack your bags. Get off the floor.

You don't need Chemo anymore."


Then they threw confetti and gave her a sign and balloons.


This was at 9:30pm. We had been waiting since 3:30 pm for her TPN to be sent by pharmacy. I was happy to get back to the Target House, and so exhausted just getting Devree to bed and then going back down to the car to get our stuff. Wheeeeew! It was good to get back to the Target House to sleep in a good bed and not be interrupted by nurses all night long. But I kept waking up because I had nightmares that Devree was calling me and needed my help. She was always sleeping peacefully and woke up happy and told me about some of her dreams

We had to get to the hospital by 8:30 am and I had forgot to charge my computer so that is why this is so late today.


We are delaying the sock competition because we had a request from some cousins that their socks had not got here yet, so we will judge after we recieve their socks and we will get pictures of all of the socks. Look at past posts because we put more pictures on.


Today was a fantastic day, because Devree did not throw up and hasn't felt too nauseous. Our prayers are working already!

Love, Shana and Devree

Thursday, July 30, 2009

No Mo Chemo

Yesterday we received 2 more pairs of socks. The Fauvells sent some lovely purple and black houndstooth socks. The Richards sent Christmas early and gave Devree some Santa socks with some other lovely art work by Brenna and Austin, lovely glow sticks and a good book. Both pairs of socks are awesome and this contest is getting tougher. I am glad that I am not the judge.

Today in a few minutes Devree will be getting her stem cells for the last time. She will get out this afternoon and we will go back to the Target House. I am hoping to get my camera going to show you the pictures of the "No Mo Chemo" party the nurses do for each patient that finishes chemo. Even in the Medicine room where a lot of patients come in for different kinds of chemo, they throw them a "No Mo Chemo" party. Basically it is a song and confetti throwing.

Devree has already been visited by her psychologist, Elizabeth this morning. We talked while Devree was sleeping and she wants Devree to take an anti-depressant. She has discussed this with Devree and Devree doesn't want to do it. I told Elizabeth "Let's see how this month goes before we go home." I think Devree will be better when she starts feeling better. Devree has a lot of anxiety about eating and walking. That is what I am asking everyone's prayers about. The doctors are going to prescribe a heavier drug for an appetite stimulant. The marinol didn't help with anti-nausea or the appetite stimulant that it is supposed to help with.

We are excited to see Celest, Breck, Tayzia, Talon, Kallie and Jackson that are on their way home. Shay and Dane are having fun in Sullivan with their many cousins there. I can't wait to see Shay and Dane which they should be coming on Sunday. Todd will fly out 2 weeks from Saturday to take the boys and our loads of stuff in the apartment, home in the car. The time is getting closer.

Thank you to all of the wonderful words of support on the blog and by email. We are much loved, cared and prayed for. Have a wonderful Thursday.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Flaming Socks and Maya the Monkey

Flaming socks from Emily Larkin.
Maya the Monkey from the cousins. Because she is dressed so tropical!

Well what could have been better to help Devree feel better than 2 packages to open! We recieved your fire flaming socks Emily Larkin. They are awesome. We have a good idea from Cat and that is to see all of the socks we were given. We will have pictures on the blog. Friday is the final day for the sock competition. Saturday we will have a special blog and say who is the winner! But those that do not win we have thought up an awesome momento. Each participant will recieve a gold children's cancer ribbon.

Due to camera difficulties I haven't been able to put on the pictures. Maybe batteries is all I need.

So Devree had another huge package from Aunt Mary, Uncle John, Kayleigh, Tyson, Noah, Maci, Jackson and Matthew. Devree got her birthday package from them and inside was the cutest monkey that Devree has named Maya because she is so tropical. Thank you Hamblin kids for choosing such an adorable monkey. It has all of their voices saying "Happy Birthday Devree". Thank you so much.

Devree did quite well with her last night vigil of urinating every 2 hours. She actually sometimes did every hour and half. Today we are tired but it is Devree's day of rest. Meaning no more chemo drugs. She did wake up throwing up though. We have a great nurse today that will make sure Devree gets her anti-nausea drugs.

I found it funny that Kim (our favorite nurse practitioner) came to check on Devree because she heard from someone on the floor all of the terrible things that have happened to Devree this round. But we are DONE! No Mo Chemo!

This Sunday we are asking for those that would like to fast that specifically we would like Devree to EAT and recover her walking on her own.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Miracle amongst the Muck!

Devree has had a bad evening, night and morning. She started out with a bad fall last night. The nurse and the assistant nurse tried to help her on the comode and she fell between the bed and the comode and she scraped her nose and hurt her lip and jammed her thumb so that she will loose the nail. The doctor had to check her all out and she was in a lot of pain. When she cried, she actually had about 4 tears from her right eye. It had created a couple tears throughout the day and I was amazed. But when she really had a cry it did make a few tears! She was in a lot of pain with her thumb and face and I asked her if we could say another prayer for her and she said yes. I said a prayer and she was able to rest and even endure the next part of the night that was probably worse.

Around 1am they decided she wasn't urinating enough and she had to get a catheter. The nurse tried 2 times and was unsuccessful. Then they called in the big gun nurses and after another hard 1/2 hour they finally got the catheter in. So Devree was in enough pain and asked why they didn't put her under for that procedure. I think she would have liked to be saved the embarrassment. Then at 7 am she got herself on the comode and she urinated. I told the nurse and the assistant nurse to be really careful because of her falling last night and not more than a few minutes and Devree falls again and scrapes up her right side because the assistant nurse had gotten her up to weigh her! Now they took out the catheter because she is urinating with it in and you are not supposed to be able to do that! Now the nurse from B clinic that doesn't ever know how to say Devree's name, (we call her tatoo wrist) asked me if I think Devree is getting worse at being able to stand and walk. I told her "Absolutely". She asked if I thought it was the chemo and I said "Yes". I just want this course to be done and not have these harsh chemicals in Devree anymore. Last night I wished again that I could be Devree and give her a reprieve from all of this for a little while. Tomorrow cannot come soon enough. Tomorrow is the day of rest, which means "No Mo CHEMO!". She will get her stem cells on Thursday and get to go back to the Target House.

Our prayers are working inspite of all of the horrible side affects. Having her eye making tears is wonderful to behold. I will be happy for that.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Not Soon enough Sunday

We recieved some socks from Grandma Rice, the Neumiesters and from Emma Wilcox. Devree is really liking Emma's flourescent ones.

Devree's hemoglobin was a little low so her chemo was not started in the morning like usual. Our favorite nurse Kim told us Friday that they would wait and give Devree some blood before the chemo started. Well Devree got all of her nausea drugs in the morning and her blood pressure was low. Then the nurse realized that she couldn't give the chemo and ordered the blood. It finally came at 1pm. Then by 8pm Devree was finally given her chemo. She has never done the "v" word so much. We did get some drugs all day, but not the big push of anti-nausea drugs like usual. So Devree has been throwing up black for the last few times. She threw up all night long and we still had to do the urinating too. She has had a roungh night, so today I hope they let her sleep. I don't think that she will get her second dose of chemo till tonight because of the late start yesterday. This is the time she really has to urinate every 2 hours so she won't get the bladder problems. This chemo is cumulative and I am so glad that this is her last round. If she can't urinate every 2 hours than they will put in a catheter. As bad as she is feeling, I don't think she cares.

I want to paint her windows with "Home means Nevada", "Last course" "Devree is Done". I have to wait till a child life specialist comes with a key to open the cupboard to get the window paints.

To end off with something funny. Todd had to call me and tell me that Shay squirted cheese into his belly button and let the dog lick it out. This was after being gone a week at Scout camp. Shay's comment was "My bellybutton needed a good lint cleaning!" Say it with me now. "Eeeeeeewwwwwwww!"

Friday, July 24, 2009

More Socks

Becca we have received your 3 unmatched socks. You and your grandmother sent great socks. Thanks for the other goodies too.

We are hoping today is a much better day. I tried to get Devree to take Finnergen the first moment she woke up to get a handle on the nausea. Yesterday when Devree weighed she weighed the least amount since she got here. Too much v wording. We changed the andancetron back to Kytril in the medicine room. I talked with Kim, our favorite nurse and we discussed how Devree's body will work for awhile with one anti-nausea drug then it doesn't work well. So back to Kytril and she had a better night and no V wording this morning. She was not a happy camper all day yesterday. She has been having PT everyday and she just didn't feel well yesterday. She told everyone that I broke the back of the Sequoia so now she can't go in a wheelchair. The back broke again. This is the second time it has broken. After she gets all of her drugs in the medicine room and then she gets a wheelchair because she is a fall risk.

Yesterday while Devree was going to be hours and hours in the medicine room, I went shopping. I had to get myself a new pair of exercise shoes because I ripped out the in-soles in my shoes so Devree could wear her braces. She needs a bigger size and my shoes were bigger. It was a good thing because she shouldn't be in her braces forever and I needed a better pair. Target had the perfect pair for $7. Yea! I did have something funny happen to me while I was shopping. I was trying to get gas at a very crowded gas station. This lady in a fancy sportscar, zipped out in front of me and around me to go to the last gas pump available. I pulled up behind and saw that in her impolite haste, she had pulled her car up on the wrong side. I saw that a car had pulled out just across on the right side for her. I motioned to her to the right pump for her and backed up and let her pull her sportscar to the right pump. She was a little sheepish but she went to the right pump.

So here is a Shana quote for today. It always pays to be polite. You never know what kind of idiot you portray to others when you are impolite and in a hurry.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Thursday starting with V word

At 6am I was awakened by Devree. Her nausea keeps getting worse. She started out vomitting like every 3 days and then everyday and now twice a day. This saddens both of us because this means even the IV drugs are not working. This week is supposed to be her best "feel good" week because it is the farthest out from her chemo drugs. I think that is what we will ask of those who would like. Next Sunday is Fast Sunday and we could fast that Devree gets her appetite back and will start to eat. She won't even try anything when I offer so many different things. I think if she would put something in her stomach it would settle it.

On to better things. We had 7 Young Women and 3 leaders come to our apartment last night. I gave them a tour of the Target House and I had made chocolate chip bar cookies. We packed all the ladies in and sat around and talked. We didn't have room or time to play any games. I had my camera ready to take a picture and I forgot to take the picture. It was a packed living room. I know this blog gets boring when we don't have pictures. Sorry I forgot.

We have received 2 more entries for knee socks. I overheard Devree tell one of the nurses which pair she liked the best. You will have to wait and see. Yesterday was "Super Hero Day" at the hospital. They have groups called "Volunteens" where teens come and help patients do crafts. They had big peices of felt that the kids decorated and then they hung around their necks like capes. I was tempted to show them how to cut the felt smaller at the neck and more like a cape, because they basically had rectangles and felt doesn't fold or move. So the kids looked like they were wearing signs on their backs, not capes. But in honor of the day, Devree wore her "Spiderman" socks and everyone OOOHED and AAAAHEd over her socks. Devree has to use her walker more, because the back door on our Sequoia broke again. I can only roll down the window and I cannot put the wheelchair in. Here another hardship will be good for Devree. Although she talked me into finding her a wheelchair at noon because she was tired from PT and walking all over the place.

Here's another great book that the Huesser's sent us. "The Broken Heart" by Bruce C. Hafen. It is about "Applying the Atonement to LIfe's Experiences". It has helped me get through some rough times out here.

Have a great Thursday!

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Young Women Wednesday!

There are only a few young women and leaders left in Germantown. So we invited them to come to the Target House tonight. We are excited to entertain. I think I will show them how to play "Cut throat UNO". This is a game I learned on my mission and it was bad because my companion had got all of the elders to gang up on me, but it will be good practice for Devree, because she needs to think fast and use her motor skills to act fast too!

We have a very busy long day today. I think we will both take a nap before the young women come. We have physical therapy, an ultrasound to check on her bladder which has resolved finally. She talks to the psychologist and the school program to get her classes ready for Dayton High School. Then we talk with the nutritionist and get bawled out again. Devree did eat 2 grapes last night. Then we have to go to the medicine room with our 24 hour drugs and TPN.

We did find out for sure that the last round of chemo starts Saturday night. YEA! Then we are DONE!!!! Then it is working hard to the road back to complete recovery. We will be given GCSF (drug to stimulate cell growth) and then they will depend on Devree to get her numbers up to go home. We will have to unplug the TPN, still get her last MRI to see if everything is clean, get her double lines pulled and back to "E" clinic and HOME!!!! So we will be home by the end of August. I can't get too excited because the time will go by slow then. But I want to pack the apartment and be ready TODAY! Of course it won't be today.

LOVE ALL OF YOU! and thanks for your prayers.
Shana

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

YW leaders luncheon

Today Valerie Wheatley and Cat Sparkman are coming to have lunch with Devree and I. I told Devree we have to look good today, which means wearing the hair. Devree has been oh so tired but this will perk her up.

We received 3 more pairs of socks yesterday. I realize that this is really not knee sock weather and there probably is not a selection in the stores. Thanks to all of you that found them on the internet and other places.

I keep trying to find out when Devree's next scheduled chemo time is and the doctors still have not put it on the schedule. I am such a planner and scheduler and being here has been so so hard. You don't know what you are doing from one day to the next or when they will schedule things for you, or how long appointments will last or when we get to go home! It is more than patience that I have to practice when you just have to hand the reins of your life over to someone else. We pray that the doctors and nurses will be inspired in how to help us. But most of the time I want to pray "Let us please go home soon!" I ache to be taking care of my family and being there for every little thing. Right now Dane is having a really hard time. He told Todd, "Dad you forgot 3 things. You forgot to bring Mom, Devree and the hospital with you." It will be interesting to live life without the security of the hospital. But I am ready to try. If you look at the St. Jude website, in the last 5 years they have increased the survival rate of medulloblastoma to 85%. That is a big jump from Dr. Gajaar's 65% rate that was earlier this year. So after doing a St. Jude study of the last 5 years of medullo patients, it is now 85%.

I haven't done quotes for awhile so here is my quote for today. From the Prophet Joseph Smith in Liberty Jail "Brethren, fear not, but be strong in the Lord and in the power of his might."

Monday, July 20, 2009

Some very unique Socks

During the weekend we have received 5 pairs of socks. Each pair very individualistic and interesting. We are proud of your creativity. Devree says that for those of you that send extra stuff, she knows that trick. But if you are sending extra stuff to just be nice, she says "Thank you very much." I asked her to tell me which pair she liked the best so far, but she wouldn't say a peep. She is going to have a hard choice.

She is still struggling with nausea just about every morning and I just don't know how to make that better. She takes her ativan before she moves and can keep her pills down about an hour and then everything comes up. We still go to the medicine room everyday to get the IV 24 hour dose of the big drugs, but it doesn't help in the morning. Most of the weekend she has wanted to sleep. She felt so yucky yesterday that we didn't go to church. I miss church and next week we should be in having our last round of chemo. Devree is way too unstable to leave. I can't hardly go down to exercise because she falls too easily. I have to tell her to stay in bed and don't move till I get back. I miss church though.

We have been able to start on some of the books people gave Devree for her birthday. Koe I did finish "The Hourglass Door" by Lisa Magnum. I was getting pretty antsy for something to happen besides teenage girls steady boyfriends etc. but finally the author pulled through and I think the next book will be better. It is a good read if any of you would like to read it.

Crosby's, I totally enjoyed "Austenland" by Shannon Hale. That was so funny I didn't want it to end. Alas that was only a 1 day book for me. Are you reading Cindy, Chris and Tricia? READ that book. You will totally love it! I want to read Shannon Hale's other books now. Brother Crosby, I heard about your leg. I hope you are feeling better really soon.

Fauvell's Devree is reading "Yearbook" and she says, "Wow this is about Mormon kids." Devree has not been feeling her hottest so she hasn't read too much.

Cat I have started to read "The Crystal Cave" by Mary Stewart. One of the nurses said she loved it. I love to read about Medieval times so it is interesting. I will let you know how it goes.

We did go and see "UP" on Friday night. It was awesome and I can recommend it to everyone. We saw the non 3D version.

Have a great day everyone.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Stem Cells for 3rd Round of Chemo

My apologies about this post. We took pictures during Devree's 3rd round of chemo and things got busy so I'm sharing them with you now.

Guess what??? That's right!!! The Jonas Brothers were the first poster up in Devree's room. lol :-)

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Mormon Ads (Clever posters about having good Christian values. Devree loves them.) There is also a message about Tinky Winky. (Some kind of secret cousin code message for Devree.)

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More Mormon Ads, and a picture of Jesus with a poem below about how he is there for all of us. Devree also liked her Twilight poster over the window of her door. It was kind of cool because the light on the other side of the door makes Edward's face glow.

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Megahn Jones sent a Dr. Seuss book complete with pictures. We taped "Fox in Socks" up for fun. Devree's nurse Nichole would come in to visit with Devree during her break time. She brought Jonas Brothers articles, and watched the New Moon movie trailer with Devree. Every morning Devree would find a colorful note from Nichole her night nurse. This note is to cheer Devree on because she is 75% of the way done.

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Aunt Celest added some "LOVE" when we first got in the hospital room.

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Cousin Tazia always thinks bright happy things for Devree.

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Aunt Celest has done amazingly fun and cheerful things to make sure that Devree has no doubts about how much she is loved. So this art work by Aunt Celest is really fitting.

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If you look in the top left corner, you will see "The End of Cancer". It is a picture of the hind end of a horse (Art work by Uncle Breck.). This horse's hiney is quite famous at the Bone Marrow Transplant clinic. All of the doctors made their way to Devree's room and mentioned that they had been told about, "The End of Cancer". Who knows, maybe St. Jude's will want to change their logo. :-)

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If you look closely, you can see the fog coming off of the container. Click the play symbol in the center of the picture to watch the movie clip.

video
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The huge syringe is delivering Devree's Stem Cells to give her a boost after the chemo therapy.


Well, that's it! I hope you all enjoyed these pictures from long ago.


Love,
Todd

Friday, July 17, 2009

Mackley Reunion

This last week I have been trying not to feel too homesick. Todd and the boys were at the Mackley reunion. Breck and Celest have gone to a family reunion in Utah. That is what summer means to me is to get together with your extended family. In our family, Todd's family reunion is this year and my family reunion will be next summer. We set it up to alternate summers and at least see most of our extended family every 2 years. I am a family reunion kind of gal and have planned several family reunions. I LOVE IT! Anybody want help in organizing a family reunion, just talk to me.

Todd told me how many people came to the Mackley reunion and I was so happy and sad at the same time. I would have loved to have seen all of you and talked with all of you. Some of you, I haven't seen for quite a few years! I was so glad that Todd and the boys got to go and I hope to see all of the Mackley side in 2 more years,. So you better come again! Okay?

The leg brace lady finally came at 4:30 yesterday and Devree has her new leg braces. She did quite a bit of walking in her walker yesterday. I was very proud of her hard work. Today she is feeling nauceous again. She tried to get the ativan in herself before she even thinks about moving. Sometimes it works and sometimes it just doesn't. We try to get on with life no matter if Devree vomits or not. She is getting much better about not making it a bad day, no matter how icky she feels. She did only have 1 bite of canned peaches yesterday. Everyday I wake up and hope this day will be a little better in some way and it usually is. Today we hope to be able to see a movie. Devree is able to not have to urinate for at least a couple of hours. She wants to see Harry Potter, but that might be too long. I heard that movie is 2 1/2 hours.

Have a wonderful weekend and thanks again for all of your faith and prayers.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Thursday Technical Difficulties

Here is our address for all of our sock entries. If you loose it, it is on the right side of the blog when you boot it up.
1811 Poplar Ave. #517
Memphis, TN 38104
We are SOOO excited to see all of your SOCK entries!!!!

We had a huge thunderstorm last night. It actually started at 4am and we heard LOUD thunder clear till 8am. I don't have computer access because of the storm. Devree was so exhausted last night because of her bladder problems that she was crying over every little thing. I said, I am putting you to bed because you are exhausted and at 6:30 she was already asleep. I kept checking on her and she was sleeping soundly.

At 7 am when I checked on her she hadn't urinated very much and I checked her TPN bag and it was full and saying transfusion complete! So it hadn't gone all night and so I started it up. Devree did eat some Fritos and some grape tomatoes yesterday in the medicine room. Her South American Nutritionist convinced her she needs to eat something everyday because her esophagus will atrophy. Devree understands that word now because that is what her legs have done. I was happy that she got a good nights sleep finally inspite of maybe she should have had her TPN and been urinating all night.

Today I made her walk with her walker for our morning appointments. I thought she would finally get her leg braces, but alas, the lady was not here again! She is a flaky lady I think. From telling us that we would have the braces in 3 days to over 2 weeks, this is not good. She is not from St. Judes but an outside provider. She is not going to get a good review in our book.

Goodbye for now. I don't have internet so I have had to borrow a computer from St. Jude's and my time is up.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

The Game is AFOOT!

Getting her wig all fixed up and custom fit to her head.
The final touches.


This morning when I fixed it. She is looking pretty awesome in her new wig with tons of compliments. Thanks again to our special friend and stylist.

Devree says "Ahaaaaaa" to my title for today. We are excited to see that people are excited about our little knee sock competition. We are thinking up a really good prize but Devree wants to cater it to who wins. It will be special and we are having conversations about it now. Can't wait to see some of the entry's.
I think Devree is getting better with her bladder problems. She actually was able to sleep 1-2 hours and I noticed yesterday she was able to go longer in-between times. There doesn't seem to be as much blood in her urine but after labs today we will be sure. She is complaining about leg pain today at 6 out of 10 and she does get her leg braces today. We will show you pictures tomorrow.
Her counts are doing awesome so they stopped the drug to stimulate her blood cells and she hasn't had any more blood or platelets so she is doing very well.
We had an awesome evening. We actually got out of the medicine room early enough to go out to dinner with Brenda Griffin and her family. Brenda invited us to go to a BBQ place and listen to this 11 year-old girl named Brittney Russell. Brittney idolizes Hannah Montana and dressed like her and sang alot of her songs. Her dad plays lead guitar, her 16 year-old brother plays drums and her uncle plays the bass. Her aunt has even written songs for Brittney and her "Trunk Monkeys". That is the name of her band. They sang "Play that 'Monkey' (Funky) Music White Boy". Devree and I were singing along. They played alot of Hannah songs (Devree is not too fond of) and a pretty good variety of other stuff. It was great food and a wonderful evening. Thanks for inviting us Brenda.
Thanks for all of your prayers. I know our prayers have helped Devree recover quickly from this last adventure. Keep praying. We are almost through the last round. Two weeks and we should be through the last round hopefully.
Love, Shana and Devree

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Sock COMPETITION!

Devree just thought this up this morning so here is how it goes. We are having a KNEE-HIGH sock competiton. She got her leg braces fitted yesterday. They have to trim them a little so they will be a perfect fit but Devree needs to wear knee-high socks so they won't rub or make her feet or legs sweat where they touch. So I asked her about maybe going knee-high sock shopping and she said "Hey let's have a competition! Whoever gives us the most outrageous knee-high socks will get a special surprise from us. So here are the rules:
1 entry per family

Competiton closes July 31, 2009. If we don't have your socks by then, we can't judge them against everyone elses'.

Todd did the leg work and got us a temporary Handicapped placard from the DMV in NV for our car. That has been an extra help because of the wheelchair and we actually get a place to park and it is more room for getting the wheelchair out and opening the passenger door as wide as it can go so Devree can get in and out. THANKS HUN BUN!

Koe you had a question about how far Little Rock was. The airport from the Target House is 130 miles. So it is a long morning drive there and back. It is worth it though because people have been extra kind and have given us vouchers on Southwest Airlines and that is the closest they fly out of.

Devree is very exhausted when she wakes up in the morning from getting up every hour or 1/2 hour to urinate. I think she is getting better because there are less blood clots but they are bigger which are concerning if they stop her from urinating. Yesterday she was taking longer times between urination. We watched "Knowing" and we can honestly say, don't waste your time watching that one. We had to fast forward alot of it because it was icky and the story was just blase.

In just a few more hours Devree will be getting fit for her wig. We are both very excited. There will be pictures tomorrow.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Not too bad of a weekend

Saturday started early to get Shay and Dane to the airport. Lindsey Gruwell and her sister were kind enough to come and stay with Devree for awhile and then Breck came and took her to her medicine room appointment at 11am. I drove to Little Rock airport because that is the closest that Southwest flies out of. After driving that 2 Saturdays in a row, I am glad that I won't be doing that again soon. Shay and Dane made it safely to Las Vegas where Uncle Cody had a hard time finding them because they were quietly sitting in an odd place playing their Nintendo DS'

We live most of our lives in the Medicine room. While we were there Devree called her good friend Leah that she has been friends with since Kindergarten. The nurse and I were overhearing her conversation and the conversation went something like this. "Well I tell my friends 'Hey they are not crying over you so why are you crying over them? Then a pause and then Devree said "Yea some of these girls aren't my friends anymore because they don't like what I say about their boyfriends." The nurse and I laughed and laughed. The nurse said "Isn't that the truth about boyfriends and girlfriends that are crying over them."

We left the medicine room and went to an ice cream social at Target house that was sponsered by a church in MS. There were several teenagers there that had a nice long conversation with them. It was good to talk to regular teenagers except one Senior girl talked about her 3 year-old daughter at home.

Devree felt good enough on Saturday to actually go shopping. She had been given a Target gift card for her birthday and saving up her money and she bought 2 movies. We went grocery shopping afterward which was kind of interesting in a wheelchair. I had to stack up things on her lap because there was none of those shopping wheelchairs. She was getting kind of cold before we were done because of what I stacked on her. I ran to get a gallong of milk at the last second because there just wasn't any more room and I didn't want her to have to hold the heavy gallon and have her get more cold. While we were waiting in line a lady came up and asked me if Devree was a St. Jude's patient. I told her yes. She "clanked" her left thigh and said "I was a St. Jude's patient in 1964 with bone cancer. I made it and she will too!" I thanked her and told her that it looked like she had a good life and thank goodness for St. Jude's. We went home and Devree watched both her movies but I could only stay awake for one.

Sunday was back in the Medicine room so we couldn't go to church. Her counts are pretty good considering she got 2 batches of platelets on Thursday. They gave her another batch just to make sure she is on the upside of this bladder problem.

She didn't have a great night and we had to be back here at 7AM and she said she was awake and urinating every 1/2 hour. Devree still has her problem but we just took a urine sample and there were no blood clots. On Friday they gave her a pain patch for her shoulder and they keep giving her morphine by IV or by pill at home so it is not as bad pain as it has been.

Friday, July 10, 2009

Hair, Birds and Bad news







We started out Thursday getting to pick out an amazing wig. This is a prothesis wig which means you can swim in it and everything. We have a very sweet new friend that wanted to do this for Devree's birthday and so she came with Clelest, Tayzia and Kallie. We met them at the place and Devree got her head measured and she got to try on different colors. We brought the picture of Alice Cullen and we told the wig lady that this hair style was what Devree had just before she lost it all.

We should have the final fitting on Tuesday afternoon and we both are very excited. This is a most wonderful surprise to get it so soon and to have it be a really personalized wig that will stay on Devree's head and let her head breathe and it feels really comfortable. She will be able to have it for ever because it is human hair.

We got back to the hospital and had an ulta sound of her bladder because of her frequent urination and burning sensation. The prognosis is a condition caused by the chemo where her bladder is enlarged. It is very painful and they haven't said how long it will last. She is passing blood clots but we have to watch for constant blood or that she can't go at all. It has been a blessing too because she is getting plenty of physical therapy by lifting her heavy fluid bags (2) and walking to the bathroom every hour. We put her bags in the wheelchair and she pushes the wheelchair into the bathroom. She walks better now and is more steady.

We were still in the Medicine room when Uncle Breck came to be with Devree while I took Talon, Shay and Dane to Huey's for dinner and then we were given Red Bird baseball tickets. I asked Talon if he would like to do that for his birthday because his birthday was Wenesday. We enjoyed the game. There were two balls hit out of the park for homeruns and several foul balls that were not close enough for us to get. It was a pretty short game lasting a little over 2 hours and the Red Birds won, 4-2. The mascot was named Rocky and he was pretty funny to watch . The camera shot us on the big screen one time.

We went to the medicine room and Celest had brought everyone including Paul and so we had a party until 11pm. I am exhausted. Devree is exhausted, but the boys sleep through anythingl.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Wonderfully WICKED Wednesday!

Wonderfully WICKED Wednesday!

We were at the hospital for a long time yesterday and we were worried that they were going to tell us again not to go to Wicked but they knew we were going to go and we did!

It was the most amazing thing. It was better than I imagined. There is a huge metal looking dragon that is over the top of the stage as you enter and then there is a map of Oz with Emerald City sparkling green in the center. The costumes were really creative and of course the acting and singing were fantastic! Tayzia was sitting next to Devree and they would sing along with their two favorite songs, “What is this feeling?” (Loathing song) and of course “Popular”. Devree still had the urge to urinate before the intermission and I knew there was no way that we could get through the crowds to go to the bathroom during so we I had to hike to where her chair was and load her in it and we went to the bathroom and we got back in time to see “Defying Gravity” where Elfaba flies. It was so wonderful,. Of course we wanted to see it all and by the time everyone let us through (it has been sold out every night!) I even cried at the last because I realized that one of Devree’s and I’s dreams have been fulfilled inspite of cancer! We made it with only 10 minutes till the Medicine room closed to get her TPN hooked up.

Devree wore her mask and even plastic gloves. We used the sanitizer a bunch. Today she is going to get an ultra-sound of her bladder and Urinary tract today. She is still having lots of problems where she has to get up hourly to urinate. She isn’t having as much pain. But yesterday we did use the morphine for pain.

We are looking forward to better days soon.

Love, Shana and Devree

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Allanah Comes!


ATTENTION FAMILY! I put more pictures on yesterday's blog because Devree finally felt up to helping me. Take a look.

Yes Alan and Sue Staggs brought Allanah and Erin 200+ miles each way to come and visit us. It was a perfect day because Devree needed a lot of uplifting. While I took Alan, Sue and Erin around St. Jude's on two different tours, Allanah and Devree talked. As soon as we would leave the room the whispering would begin. Then when we returned, they would stop. Devree was in the Medicine room for 4 hours getting platelets, blood, andancitron, benedryl, ativan and the antibiotic for her lines.

We were able to take them back to the Target House for dinner. Alan's parents live in Missouri and they came the extra way to visit. I still can't believe it! How wonderful that they took the time and effort to visit. It meant alot to both of us. Thank you so much for thinking of us.

Nica if you are reading we got your birthday package and it was awesome. Devree uses her "Burt's Bee's and she has her stuff in your handbag right now. We loved getting the package.

The doctors still don't know why Devree is having trouble in her urinary tract after tests. They have given her a pill that is supposed to take away the pain, but it still hurts. Breck is coming with someone in his ward to help give Devree a blessing to help her with this latest problem.

We talked to Kim, our favorite nurse practitioner, and told her that we are still going to "Wicked". She told us that she is going to pretend she didn't hear us. Because by the hospital standards, Devree's counts are too low to go out in public. We are going to take extra precautions.

Thank you for all of your prayers.

Love, Shana and Devree

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Tuesday's Surprse!

This is Talon's new buzz cut that he didn't want me to take his picture. He said "My hair will be as short as Shay's when school starts!" I said "That's okay because Shay has lots of girl friends."
Kallie, Devree, Celest, Tayzia, Paul (trying to hide behind Talon) Talon trying to cover his adorable buzz cut with a hat.

Yesterday we had a wonderful surprise and met up with Emma Wilcox. She was the girl we met when we first got here and we took pictures of her with ther sister Clarissa, and her adorable baby brother David. I forgot my camera and therefore I was hoping that Emma would come with her Dad to the Target House dinner last night, but they didn't come. Emma is here for her 3 month check-up and looks great. She shaved her head again because she said it is hot. She had really long hair and after radiation and chemo by pill, it came out in two big round bald spots. Her dad said one day they were traveling in the car and Emma said "It's hot!" and proceeded to roll down the window and then the rest of the family had long hair all in their faces because it just literally blew off her head. Emma gave Devree and I a huge bag of goodies. Mostly for Devree's birthday but Catherine (the Mom) sent me some good books to read too. Thank you very much Wilcox family. Sorry Emma you and your Dad didn't come to the dinner so we could get your picture.

Last night we invited the Rices to come to Target House last night because there was a dinner and I thought we could enjoy Family Home Evening together. Shay and Dane are having a blast and wanted to make sure that I was not going to make them spend the night in the Target House. We got to meet Tayzia's friend Paul and he is a cute kid and very funny. Tayzia remarked to Devree as Devree is lounging in the Amy Grant room, "Devree, Paul thinks the "Twilight" movie is dumb. Devree replies "Paul you come over here and I will show you what is dumb!" as she weakly hits her fist into her palm. It was so pathetic, we all laughed and Paul said "I am very comfortable right here."

It was a fun evening, but alas this morning we are at the clinic at 7am because Devree has pain when she urinates. We told B clinic yesterday, and Devree was up all night trying to urinate. She is starting a low grade fever too. Yesterday the doctors told her that she shouldn't go to see Wicked on Wednesday night. We were planning on going anyway. I guess this is a way to really stop us, because they will probably put her in the hospital. It is such a great disappointment because Devree has wanted to see Wicked for about 3 years or more and has had the music on her IPOD for as long.

Today a very special guest is coming to visit Devree. It is a surprise and it is someone from Dayton. She is going to be really excited if she can start to feel a little better. I brought my camera this time.

Monday, July 6, 2009

Miss 4th of July!

The wonderful work of love by Brenda Griffin. She made an awesome "Memphis Memory Quilt" that has all of Devree's favorite things. Jonas Brothers on one side, Twilight on the other, Disney Cars and Finding Nemo, Teletubbies and even Low Rider our dog. She put the Young Women colors on it for all of the Young Women to sign and purple hearts for her family to sign in. It even has purple Monkey fleece on the other side.
Inside watching the Devree DVD. Celest made an awesome DVD with some of Devree's favorite songs and all of these wonderful pictures of when she was a baby on up through most of the blog. It made me the Mom cry!

About 60 people from Germantown ward came to Devree's surprise birthday party at Breck and Celest's. It was wonderful to see that many people care about Devree.


A purple lei that twinkled and a birthday crown to wear.



Miss 4th of July courtesy of Grandma Janie's awesome Birthday box.

It was an awesome weekend starting on Friday night. Even though Devree threw up 5 times before the party started it was an awesome party at Breck and Celest's. We love the Germantown Ward and Breck and Celest and family worked hard to make it an awesome event.
We still had to take Devree back to the medicine room for her IV anti-nausea drugs and her TPN but all in all it was a fabulous day.
Saturday started bright and early to take Todd and Noble to the airport in Little Rock. It was sad to see them go. It was nice to have the whole family together and we were able to sleep in the Target House for a total of 3 nights, even if we weren't supposed to. It was so lovely to have the family together.
I took the boys and Devree to downtown Memphis on Saturday night to see if we could see any fireworks before we had to take Devree to the medicine room at 9pm. We had to fight for parking and they saw a few but our most eventful night was eating at the famous "Huey's" that has world famous burgers. Shay said we had to eat there again before he flies out on Saturday. I will be driving Shay and Dane to Little Rock for them to fly back to Las Vegas for a family reunion.
We did find out that Devree's lack of being able to walk is also caused by Vincristine that is one of the chemo drugs that they give during and 6 days after. It is called a "foot drop" and causes the walking. Devree has been in a wheelchair and has a walker for around the house. She will be getting her leg braces this week.
The boys sure put spark in our lives. They are always loud and rambunctious but they have been good at the hospital when we have to wait hours. They are at the Rice's now so they will have fun with the cousins for the next few days.


Friday, July 3, 2009

Devree's 2009 Birthday

Devree did the 'V' word a couple of times this morning. She has a tougher time getting the pills in her system, her favorite is to take her medicine through her IV. The anti-nausea cocktail is in and as you can see, Devree is having a fun birthday so far. We have a lot of fun planned for her!!!


Our family tradition is, "Breakfast in Bed". Devree's eyes are saying, "You know I'm not going to eat that? Right???"
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Shay gave her a bag that he won at Bingo last night. Dane gave her a Camp Rock notebook that is inside.
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Dane gave her a Camp Rock notebook that he won at Bingo too.
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What is this? Noble gave her some accessories for her IPOD.

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This is a Jonas Brothers concert book she got from us. We gave her a funny talking card from "Hoops and YoYo". The boys had to listen to it about 10 times each.
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Devree said "THIS IS THE BIGGEST CARD I HAVE EVER GOT! It plays the blues where the whole card vibrates.It is from Grandma Janie. Grandma Janie is Aunt Mary's Mom that has sent Devree such abundant awesome stuff. She got movies, and 4th of July and birthday decorations and the most amazing 11 glittery hats.
*** An awesome Twilight Calendar from Grandma Janie.
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Some DVD's from Grandma Janie.
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More DVD's.

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A glittery cowboy hat.

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Todd called this the Jamacain "Sorting Hat" like from Harry Potter. Devree quips up in her best Jamacain accent. "Yo know maaan. They gotta learn that magic too."
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Purply glittery.
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Black and White cow print glittery.
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Musical Note glittery.

We have many more gifts. Thank you to all. We will spread the pictures out later. Devree has thrown up now 4 times and it is not quite 2pm. We are hoping her Medicne Room drugs will let her enjoy her own birthday party.

Thanks so much for the calls too.

We love you all. Love the Hamblins

Thursday, July 2, 2009

One step forward 40 steps back

Yes this is Shana and it is 3:45 AM. Yes I am very upset. Yes I can't sleep. And YES, I would never make a good doctor or nurse for that matter. Yesterday has been one of those times that you have to ask yourself "WHY?"

We get to the hospital ysterday and I told Devree that we would be taking a walk after a TV show she was watching. Before the show was done, however, a new physical therapist came in and wanted to do some work with Devree. She brings her back in a wheelchair and tells us that Devree no longer has the use of the muscles in her feet up to her knees and will not be allowed to walk until she gets braces to help her walk. They send the Orthopedist who just happens to be there only on that day of the week to come and make casts of her legs with regular cast material and Devree gets to choose the different patterned plastic in which the braces will be made. She chooses a midnight picture on one and a butterfly pattern for the other.

Devree also talks to her Psychologist during all of this too. Todd and I had been talking to the psychologist right after the PT person took Devree. So when Devree got dropped back off, we let Devree talk to the psychologist. I had to leave. I do not understand why you let a sick girl who doesn't think logically decide to stay in the hospital when she could have gotten out of the hospital and had to walk everyday! Why does that sick girl not understand that she has just set herself back by who knows how long because she "doesn't feel good enough for walking"?

When I got back to the room and waited for the psychologist to leave, Devree knew enough to try and hide herself under the covers. I whipped back those covers and I said "YOU no longer get to choose about your health welfare! You do have a choice about whether you have a smile on your face or not. But I am choosing for you when it concerns your health until I can see that you can be logical about what is best for DEVREE!

She isn't allowed to exercise or walk until she can wear her leg braces. So here we go with the 40 steps backward. It really is too bad, because now she will probably have a walker too, to help with her balance. She really is Grandma Rice.

Next week there are even more surprise visits by people she knows and loves. We have tickets to see "Wicked" the Broadway musical on July 8th. She will have a surprise visit on the 6th and a different one on the 7th.

We look forward to her birthday tomorrow.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

"My Sisters Keeper"

Every morning I have been going down to the exercise room with the 3 boys. They love that place and I get a good workout. Todd stays at the hospital because he is so kind and generous. He tells me that soon enough I will have to be at the hospital. The boys and I have been sleeping in and our apartment is a mess because we hurry and get to the hospital on the shuttle. We don't come back to the apartment till really late every night. Monday night we stayed at Breck and Celest's till after 11pm.

Yesterday we get to the hospital and there is Devree with her ordered lunch of grilled ham and cheese sandwich, tater tots, peas and pickles on the side. She said that everything tastes funny. She also had a red splotchy cheek. Devree has no skin coloring except white white skin with a few brown spots from the radiation where her hair will be on her head. Any coloring at all is signs of alarm. Sure enough she had a low grade fever. She only ate a couple of bites. She "conveinently" got the fever right before the Physical Therapy lady came. Devree hates physical therapy and any exercising. I got her up for a walk, the day before, but not before she got so angry at me and threw a pillow at me. I said "Oh! This is good exercise too. Here is the pillow back. Now do you think you could throw it a little bit harder this time?" When the PT lady and nurses heard about that they teased Devree and said "Oh what a terrible mother you have to try to keep you out of ICU or help you feel better by exercising!" They love to tease her like that. The wonderful thing, is they are all mothers and they know my perspective! Devree got drugged up to try to bring her fever down, so she slept all day. She did well though about getting up every two hours to do her urinating so the chemo drugs don't cause more problems in her bladder.

Todd and I went on a date with Breck, Celest, Bill and Brenda. We went to this little Italian cafe we discovered and then we went and saw "My Sister's Keeper". Brenda was worried that I wouldn't be able to handle it because it is about a 15 yea-old girl with cancer. I said "A good cry is always welcome too." Well the movie was really good but it was more about a Psycho mother and a dysfunctional family. There were a few moments that hit home to Todd and I but mostly we enjoyed it. It did bring back some feelings for everyone that watched it because everyone is related to cancer in some way and knows someone with it. I just felt so bad for the other kids in this family that were ignored. Todd and I try really hard to include the boys in everything and follow-up on things that are happening in their lives as well as Devree's.

But back to Devree. She turns 15 on Friday. We are planning a huge surprise celebration and are hoping she will be out of the hospital and able to attend her own party. If she doesn't get out of the hospital, we are bringing the party to her! We have already received many birthday presents. Thanks everybody!

Love, Shana and the rest of the Hamblins