Sunday, July 31, 2011


This is the Trolley we went around on for 2 days.

See the cobblestone streets and the beautiful architecture? This is close to the Wharf.

This is Paul Revere's house. It is from the 1700's!

This is the entrance to Paul Revere's house.

This is one of the bells that Paul Revere made. He did many jobs in his life but working with different types of metal was his specialty.

This was a unique war memorial. It represents dog tags of those fallen in wars.

This is a statue of Paul Revere.

I loved the different architecture. So fancy and embellished. It is nothing like we have in the West.

This is the Old State House. This balcony was where the Declaration of Independence was read.

Devree liked this roof embellishment of a Unicorn.

I just had to get a picture of a mounted policeman in Boston Commons, the huge park. He was texting on his smart phone.

The Swan Boats have been run by the same family since the late 18oo's. The boats are powered by PEDALS. Yes 1 person sits and pedals like a bike the 20 or so people around the lake.

Here we are ready to go on our cruise.

More of the outskirts of the park.

There were only 2 real swans on the pond.

There were many ducks and turtles. The ducks had their own island and a little ramp to get up on their island.

A church getting renovated. So elaborate.

They have green ways everywhere and there were fountains and splash parks everywhere for kids to play in.

Devree and I ordered a small Boston Cream Pie to share. It was soooo delicious. We also ordered a little cup of clam chowder to eat for dinner and it was heavenly. I wished I had them to eat RIGHT NOW!

There are some sad things that happened in Boston too. Many people were put in the stocks and don't forget all of the people that were hung for witches. One lady was trying to preach freedom of religion and was hung in the park back in the 1600's.

This is a coffin which is another part of the display to see the "Scary" parts of Boston at night. They take you where the last "Boston Strangler" victim was found. The guy that confessed to all of the murders was murdered in jail waiting for his trial. He was defended by none other than the same group of attornies that defended O.J. Simpson. Too bad the same thing did not happen again.

The harbor cruise we took.

The Skyline of Boston.

The USS Constitution. A ship that has been around since the late 1700's. Think "Master and Commander" or the other name of the ship is "Old Iron Sides".

There were rows of cannons on deck and rows of cannons below deck. One person said "It looked like the cannons just bounced of the hull.

This was a little stand that college students had. I thought it was hillarious how they made President Obama into Hitler. Uncle Ky would like this.

This one even has Obama with "crazy eyes".

This is a statue of the famous Bobby Orr, the Hockey player. I remember hearing about him when I was young. He played for Boston Bruins.

Devree and I saw these "Forgiveness signs alot. We thought it was interesting. They said "
Forgiveness is the way."

This is actually when we are on the USS Constitution.

You will see many people dressed up to give tours on the "Freedom Trail".

Devree is pointing to the place of where the "Declaration of Independence" was proclaimed.

This is the parade for a saint in Little Italy. We were lucky to be waiting in line to get to the famous "Giacomos" where Rachel Ray filmed $40. per day. It is tiny. There was only enough room for about 20 people!

This is the statue of the Saint and they try to get more money on him by having the parade.

This is the band in traditional costume.

This is the article of Rachel Ray eating at the restaurant.

This Chad and Jessica M with their two adorable twin daughters that are 8 months old. We had a lovely dinner after waiting about an hour. The girls were great dinner guests and did not make a peep! Chad is a cousin of Todd's and Chad and Jessica just moved to Boston.

My first impression of Boston was that it was a very clean city. Most people were very dressed up. We are talking suits, ties and nylons for the ladies. You could tell who was a tourist because we were dressed very casually. Even our Shuttle driver wore a tie.

The reason we went to Boston is to see Dr. Tess Hadlock. Our bishop's parents live in Utah and they know a boy that had medulloblastoma too. He went to Dr. Hadlock and had the procedure done to help him smile. I only talked to the boys mother on the phone, but I had a really good feeling that this was a doctor we needed to see. The first doctor in North Carolina took 4 months to get back to us. After one phone call with Dr. Hadlock's office and we had an appointment and been pre approved by insurance. We did pray about it also. It is interesting because when we visited St. Jude's this time, the first doctor seems to have retired. Dr. Hadlock wants to do some in office procedures and then 2 hospitalized operations. We are thinking this will be good for Devree. She talked to Devree face to face and was very personable. She wants to do botox in the good side to make it more slack. Then bring up the right eyebrow, put in a platinum weight in the crease of Devree's eyelid to help it close better and then tuck up the lower lid. She wants to bring Devree's nose over so it is more in alignment. Devree also has to do some exercises and physical therapy for her face. The doctor will send a letter detailing everything plus hopefully the cost, so we can make a firm decision.

So we flew in on Wednesday and I booked us into a Comfort Inn that had a shuttle from the airport. The Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmiry sent a list of hotels that offer discounts to patients. They were all $300 per night and up. So the Comfort Inn was in an industrial area and too far from the "T" or subway system. We did find a trolley that came by our hotel and took us on tours of Boston and free entrances to some museums. The trolley worked out perfectly because we went into downtown at 9 am and could get off and on the trolley all day and then ride it back to our hotel at 5:30 pm. The hotel had a great breakfast but their Mexican restaurant for dinner was not good. We were in awe of Boston. We visited Paul Revere's house, the Old North Church, Little Italy, Chinatown where we had lunch, rode the swan boats in Boston Commons and saw Fenway Pahk. (That is how one of the signs spelled it because that is how they talk.) It is tinier than the Reno Aces park and I wondered why there are so many baseball fans of a team that has only won RARELY! But Boston was fabulous for seeing where our nation began. We had clam chowder and Boston Cream pie that was to die for it was so YUMMY! That was only the first day.
The next day we went on a Boston Harbor Cruise, toured the USS Constitution or "Old Iron Sides", went to our Doctors Appointment, visited The Old State House where the Declaration of Independence was signed and had dinner in Little Italy that Rachel Ray ate at. Oh I also had a lobster roll at the cafeteria at the MEEI (MA eye and ear Infirmary) and lobster ravioli at dinner. We had a wonderful time meeting Chad and Jessica M. at Giacomos in Little Italy with their adorable 8 month old twin daughters. While we were waiting in line to get in there was a parade for a saint and some real Italian music and dancers dressed in traditional clothing.

Boy we had a wonderful time in Boston and can't wait to go back. The doctor is going to be sending us a letter and hopefully outlining the cost of all of this.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Scans are Clean and Great!

We just got the news that both scans are good and we are ready to leave at 6am for Boston for the next part of our journey. Dr. Armstrong here at St. Jude's wants to know how that procedure goes because another doctor retired that was doing the nerve transplant operations.

Yesterday as Devree and I were walking in the halls we ran into Dr. Gajarr. I said "Devree it is the famous Dr. Gajarr and he is the reason we came to St. Jude's and he is the one that published his protocol and allowed you your life." He gave Devree a big hug and we told him it has been 2 years since the end of his protocol a nd THANK YOU! Dr. Gajarr had 65% recovery rate for this protocol for medulloblastoma and now it is past 85% recovery from this cancer. We owe him a great deal.

Devree wasn't able to get her new hearing aids today. They didn't come soon enough but they don't have to be fitted so they will be sent in the mail and we can just hook them in her ear. Johnnie Bass is Devs audiologist and she said that she appreciates Devree being a good guinea pig to try out these new lighter, tinier, less intrusive hearing aids. I think hallelujah! We are blessed beyond measure! I hope you feel blessed today too!

Monday, July 25, 2011

Back to St. Judes for a check up.

Devree did the craft at the Grizzly House. We braided yarn to make bracelets and anklets. It was quite funny to hear the Asian man talk so Southern. He said he "Grew up in Arkansas and when I crossed the river they made me buy shoes!" He was hilarious. Just another volunteer here at St. Judes.
We flew in on Sunday because we had to get blood samples etc before our appointments on Monday. That meant we had to go to the Medicine Room and see all of our buddies that only work on Sundays in the Medicine room. It was great! 5 nurses came and hugged and said hello and were so happy to see how well Devree is doing. She weighed in at 120 lbs! She hasn't weighed that since January 2009.
The eye doctor says she still needs to add more eye drops per day. She needs to apply them hourly. Also he told her she is not allowed to wear eye makeup on her right eye because her eye cannot feel it when makeup gets in her eye. Devree was a little ticked at that and would not look at the doctor very much.
The Audiologist wants Devree to try a new kind of hearing aid. She ordered them and we should get them tomorrow. We will let you know.

Bron and Carrie

On the way home from the reunion we stopped by Bron and Carrie's house. This is Ruby who is named after Grandma Ruby.

Ruby without her pacifier and Carrie holding Zoey.

This is Fiona. I haven't seen Fiona since she was a baby.

Carrie and Bron with cousins and girls.

Zoey let us all hold her. She would wrinkle up her nose so cute too.

Ry came home and he is turning into a big 9 year old.

All of us look pretty tired after the Mackley Reunion. It was so good to stop in and see Bron and Carrie. Bron gave Todd an orchid book because he used to grow orchids. We had a lovely chat and their kids are all so cute and lovable. Thanks Bron and Carrie for being such wonderful hosts. Sorry we couldn't stay long enough to see Teril and Coy. Maybe next time.

Mackley Reunion

We had the Mackley Family Reunion in Island Park, Idaho this year. I was very excited to go since last time (2009) Devree were at St. Jude's.

Little Natalie Hamblin, getting bigger and bigger. We were there when she was born in April and she learned how to roll over while at the reunion.

Matthew Hamblin turned 4 years old on the first day of the reunion and he got 4 cakes. He is pointing to all of his cakes. Aunt Jan was in charge this year and she did a great job.

Chris and Tricia helped their Mom a lot at the reunion. Wendy and Linda enjoying a meal.

Kaylun and Dane eating together with some little cousins.

Chris, Tamara, Chip, Aunt Jan and Brandon

Aunt Kathy, Kaylee and the back of Devree at one of the meals.

Lafi, Uncle Earl, Aunt Mary, Alicia on one side talking to Uncle Bill on the other side of the table.

Karyn and John talking with Uncle Brownie.

We went to lower and Upper Mesa Falls. It was very gorgeous.

Wendy cheesecaking it.

Todd and Karyn looking at the falls.

Wendy and Shane

Aunt Mary, Lafi talking with Chip

Hailey riding on Aunt Tamara's shoulders.

Fightened by the bear on the wall.

Devree's a good poser.

More Fall pictures.

I likeAlicia's t-shirt. She is an "Amazin Sight". The opposite side of the falls was so green from all of the spray while the cliffs under the green were a stark white and black with sometimes orange lichen growing.

Devree doing a "I like the mist" pose.

Tina came with us to the falls. She was "THE" camara person for the reunion. Thanks Tina for all of your awesome pictures.

They were awesome falls and an awesome reunion. Looking forward to the next Mackley reunion in 2013. Noble will get to go to that one hopefully. I love all of you Mackley's and thank you for all of your generous donations to "Help Devree Smile". You contributed enough for 1 round trip ticket to Boston. But like Mary Hamblin quoted "Oh I've never been to Boston in the Faaaallll". But Devree and I will be there in the summer and I'm sure in the Fall too.