Monday, August 31, 2009

Feeling like our old self

We went over to Ronald McDonald house on Friday night and had dinner. They have a beautiful newly renovated place. It is not like Target House. You share the common areas of TV and kitchen and there is like only a space to sleep with your kids that is private. I told Devree that the Lord knew that I couldn't handle that kind of living for 7 months and I was glad to go to Target House 2 which is the roomiest and the best!!!!
Getting our pedicure. Devree choose blood red polish.

Devree and Tayzia doing the foot soak and getting massaged in their chairs.

We had a pretty great weekend. We were treated to dinner and a pedicure by Celest and Tayzia. Our toes look so pretty and even have little jewels in the middle of flowers painted on our big toes. Devree and I thought they were a little rough on her toes but we were glad they didn't make her bleed or anything. They had these awesome massage chairs while we were getting our feet done. I loved that most of all. Connie and Stephanie that is what we should insist on the next time we get a pedicure. The sad part is Devree can't show off her cute toes because she has to wear sneakers all of the time to support her leg braces.

We spent the night and went to church. We said Goodbye to the Germantown ward. Breck and the sister missionaries gave excellent talks about "Where did I come from? Why am I here? Where am I going after this life?" It was perfect because I had talked Tayzia into inviting her friend Paul to church. I told her that Paul needed the gospel in his life and he came to church and stayed the full 3 hours. Breck made me cry because he ended the talk about how wonderful the ward has been to Devree and I. When we went back to Breck and Celest's, I told the story of how my Dad was converted by those 3 questions that the talks were on. Celest, Tayzia and Talon did not know that story about Grandpa Rice and how he was converted by the missionaries that were actually teaching his Mom and brother when he came home on leave from the army. The missionaries were on that discussion "The plan of Salvation". I think Paul knows enough other Mormon kids on the football team that he can really be fellowshipped in the church.

Brenda Griffin is inviting us to dinner tonight for our final farewell. We will check out of Target House and spend our last night in Tennessee with Breck and Celest. We will have our final appointments and then fly home. YEA!

We will surely miss the wonderful people we have met in Germantown ward and at St. Jude's. This has been a challenging and exciting past 8 months. I am glad for the experience but I am glad that we get to go home and start living our life again. I have to tell you one last funny thing. Devree and I were listening to the radio and Miley Cyrus "The Climb" came on. Devree snorts and says "What does Miley Cyrus know about ANY CHALLENGES!" Devree doesn't like Miley Cyrus very much. I started laughing my head off. I said "You don't think that a girl that is worth a billion dollars knows about challenges?" I smiled to myself that as soon as that song was released, at St. Jude's so many parents chose that song as their ringtone for their cell phones.

Friday, August 28, 2009

Friday Fun!

Well Devree gained another 3 lbs from Tuesday to Thursday which is fantastic because she hasn't been doing her liquids as well as she should. Breck took us to lunch at the hospital cafeteria. We went to a Dominos pizza party at Target last night. That is about it for yesterday.

We did laundry this morning and I had to hurry so the blog is late. I was happy to hear about Dane's first cub scout meeting. They had a rain gutter regatta. Dane is excited to start in Cub Scouts and I am happy that Sister Johnson is his Wolf leader. Dane is already having problems at school. He said his teacher is introducing division and he had to stay in at recess because she said he was zoning out and not getting his work done. He is so worried about it that when he finally saw Tanner at lunch he told him he is worried he might get put back into 2nd grade! This surprises me because Dane is usually great in math and loves it. He does zone out though. He kept saying he needs me home and so I told him just hold out for 3 more school days and then I would be there. I told him he and I will work on Wolf stuff together.

We got our appointments for Monday and Devree gets her line pulled. She has all day appointments for Monday.

Today we just had OT and then we talked to Justin about school I need to talk to Dayton High School because I think we are just going to let Devree start with a 1/2 day. They have no more A @ B days so she will probably go to Monday, Wednesday, Friday in the mornings and Tuesday, Thursday in the afternoons. She will have to have a few concessions for going to school but this should all be just temporary.

We are planning a fun weekend and getting a pedicure with cousins. Today Devree doesn't feel like doing much. We might go to Ronald McDonald house tonight because they are serving dinner.

Only 3 more days till we leave.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Ready for a few more days of fun!

Devree modeling her new jeans when we came home last night. Notice no hiney!

We figured out what we could do for fun. We went to Huey's for their world famous burger and Devree actually ate one all by herself! I think that they figured out we were from St. Jude's because Devree was in her Barney PJ's and her hat she borrowed from Noble that is a black knit hat that says "Alcatraz swimming team Head Coach". Anyway they gave us a 50% discount. Wasn't that great?
Then we came home and made chocolate chip cookies and watched "Bride Wars" with Susan, Lindsey and Chelsey. Then we went down to dinner which was a potato bar. Devree got her new jeans on and we went to Young Women's in Germantown. There are 10 other Mia Maids so it is awfully fun for Devree. They played Scattegories and they were planning a fashion show. We were giving them a lot of ideas from the sensational fashion show that the YW had recently in Dayton/Comstock wards.
So we need ideas to pass on to Germantown ward because we will be gone by the time of the Fashion Show.
We are planning a few more fun activities before we leave. Today is important in Devree's weight gain. For all of those times we wish we would loose weight, we really need Devree to keep gaining weight!
FIVE more days till we are home.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Just twiddling our fingers

Thanks Summer for making our blog look wonderful again!

Well we are having very boring days. Yesterday we did have 3 appointments and Dr. Armstrong (the frustrating doctor) actually told us, "Well if you weren't flying, you could go home today. But since you had to make plane reservations, you will have to wait till your flight." I can't believe he made such a big deal about 2 weeks and we could've been home TODAY! He did show us how awesome Devree's MRI's looked. He compared when we first got here to the ones done last week and there is such a remarkable difference. When they do the contrast and you can see the cancer spots vividly, now you can't see them at all or even know where they were in the brain and down the spine. There is not even a brightness at the initial tumor bed.
So just getting back to what Devree was before all of this, is of course the goal.

I did ask to see the eye doctor before we leave. Devree's right eye made tears while she was on chemo but now it is very dry again. Her eye shuts better at night but Dr. Armstrong said it might pop open during the night and cause extra dryness. So we are back to taping it shut. Poor Devree doesn't have any eyelashes. This will prevent any from growing there too!

Yesterday I asked the shuttle driver where was a good place to eat and he pointed out this little cafe I have been interested in. He said it was French food and so Devree and I thought of all of the French food we loved and decided to go there. We get there and it is a hodge podge of Italian and other food. Devree ordered a chicken picatta and I ordered a seafood bisque and their scallop special for that day. They brought out the tiniest cup of the bisque and the scallop was a scoop of some kind of thick creamed rice/pasta with 5 scallops. That was it. Devree's chicken was served on lots of vegetables, but not mine. Devree's had tons of capers and she didn't like that too much. Anyway very little food for $40! The bisque was $7 for a few bites!

We had fun playing with Lindsey, Susan and Lindsey's friend Chelsey last night. We played cut throat UNO and SkipBo.

Darcy Hughes made an awesome map of Lake Tahoe and I am inept at putting it on the blog. But I know how to forward her email to you. If you need better directions for exactly where we will be at Sand Harbor for the celebration, email me and I will forward the map. Thanks again Darcy.

What should we find fun to do today?

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Dane's Baptism

Dane Anson Hamblin
Happy Baptism!
I had these darling photos of Dane that Lynda Thomassen took in January of Dane. But unfortunately, I packed them up and sent them with Todd home. For all of you that would like to attend Dane's baptism, here is the official invitation.
Please join us in celebrating the baptism of DANE ANSON HAMBLIN on Saturday, September 5th, 2009 at 7pm at the Dayton LDS chapel at
We will also be celebrating "life" along with the baptism and the return of Devree from St. Jude's. We will be meeting on Saturday the 5th at 10am at Sand Harbor, Lake Tahoe. We will be meeting at the group Gazebo area for all day swimming and lunch. Admission to Sand Harbor is $8. per vehicle. We will be leaving Lake Tahoe by 3pm to get ready for the baptism that evening.

I wanted to reserve the Gazebo area, but it was already reserved. We will be down on the beach area. So as you drive into Sand Harbor, try to park at the very first area on the right, right after the big building. We will be down in that little rocky cove.

We are a little bit surprised today because Devree actually lost weight this morning. She just got weighed and she lost 3 pounds since Thursday but she is still eating well. I think she needs to drink more to give her some weight but we are not complaining. The nutritionist just spoke to us and said that is expected after Devree is not on TPN and all of that liquid.

Next Tuesday night is when we arrive home.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Wasting Time

We had an awesome weekend but we feel like we are wasting time here. We did not have to be at the hospital since Thursday and today we have one 1/2 hour appointment for Occupational Therapy or OT. Devree kept practicing her hand and finger exercises all last week and through the weekend. But we are kind of like "Why wouldn't Dr. Armstrong just let us go home this week?" I guess we still have to prove that Devree can gain weight and get off her Megase (the appetite stimulant) and still eat and not have a relapse.

This weekend Devree has still done awesome. On Saturday we went shopping for some jeans that fit Devree and we got some tennis balls to go on her walker because the legs that are not wheels, they are getting chewed up and get caught on carpets etc. Now Devree has 2 options for Halloween. She can be "Mr. Fredrickson" from "UP" or "Avitar". Devree said if she got a tweed jacket and she used her walker with her new tennis balls she will look like Mr. Fredrickson. but we will have to get a white wig and big black square glasses. But Mr. Fredrickson is very stocky and Devree is not. We (me and the boys) are trying to convince her to be Avitar, which is a a cartoon character of a small bald headed boy with an arrow painted on his head.

We went to a FANTASTIC movie. We laughed and cried and it was a totally great movie without any bad language, violence or sex. It is BAND SLAM. Lisa Kudrow from Friends is the Mom in it and she is looking very old. I had to look her up on the internet to see how old she is and I am only a little bit older than her. I guess we are starting to look old. But I don't feel old.

We were able to go to all of our church meetings yesterday and spent the afternoon with Breck and Celest. Devree had a pretty good lunch and even came home and wanted more food and she didn't even have her appetite stimulant yesterday. She didn't need a zantac either. She wanted to go to bed without even taking any of her nausea pills but I made sure she had them and woke right up this morning and had some cereal.

Well Dayton people enjoy the first day of school. I really wish I could be there for my boys and make sure that everything will go well today. I know you can do it without me because of good friends that have stepped in to make sure that happens. Thank you for good friends.

Thanks again for all of your faith and prayers. We are experiencing the miracles.

Friday, August 21, 2009

"We got no strings"

Well yesterday they took the TPN and said no more Medicine room with IV drugs. As we were in the medicine room yesterday...FOR THE LAST TIME I went and bought Devree some lunch. The cafeteria was having chuck roast and I figured that would be really good calories for Devree with some mashed potatos and gravy. She had to get some pantamotine which is a once a month drug that prevents Devree from getting a virus like flu or pneumonia. All of the nurses came by to talk to Devree. They all ooohed and aaahed and couldn't believe that Devree was just sitting there eating her food. She is happy and quick on the wit!

Brenda Griffin had a birthday today and we started celebrating last night. She and her Mom, Ethel came to the Target House and Chili's was serving up dinner so we had ribs and coleslaw and then we met Billy at the theater and watched "The Time Traveler's Wife." I cannot recommend it because it is a stupid story line. The idea is fascinating and very intriguing but they needed me to write a better story for them. What is it with Hollywood trying to throw nudity in every second and putting in bad language for nobody's sake? I was so disappointed in "Julie and Julia" when they threw in one "F" word. I do not think in the late 50's or early 60's that people even said that word!

Anyway this morning we were so busy getting ready for the birthday celebration. Brenda and Bill left us the "shark car" again at the movies last night. We really have no strings because we didn't have any appointments today and we have a CAR! We met Brenda at her house at 9:30 and went and saw their new house they are building. It will be an awesome house and very beautiful. I kept getting lost beause we were following the wrong black truck! Thank goodness for cell phones. Then we had wonderful mexican food for lunch. Devree had to have a zantac after that but her nausea is not there!

Have a great weekend!

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Gaining Weight = GOOD NEWS!

Well another early morning catching the shuttle at 7:15 and being here for a ton of appointments. We got weighed first thing and Devree has gained 1 1/2 pounds since Tueday. Isn't that awesome? The first time since I had babies, that I am excited about weight gain. She definitely is eating well. This morning she didn't eat very much "Fruity Pebbles" but I don't blame her. I think they were a little stale from Shay and Dane leaving the box open. Devree has been saying that food tastes good and not so weird anymore. I have been proud of her for keeping an acurate food diary and asking the correct amounts for what she has been eating and drinking. She could drink more water, but I am not complaining or hounding her about it.

We are meeting with E clinic and the nutritionist and pharmicist. Devree cut out her Ativan yesterday in the medicine room. I still give her an ativan and a 1/2 of a Finergan at night. We are having to go to the medicine room at 7:30 pm to get hooked up for her TPN that they are tapering down the time. They trust me to unhook by myself. We meet with Physical Therapy and Elizabeth the psychologist today. I want to ask Elizabeth how long Devree needs to be on the anti-depressant. I also will be asking Lindsey in E clinic how long Devree will have to have her other medications. Devree is down to one gel cap at night. I mash all of her pills and put them into that because it is easier for Devree to swallow. This is good news if she has to take the huge Septra pills she hates. I can mash them up and put it in a gel cap.

Have an awesome Thursday and remember you can be as happy as you want to matter what!

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

We got our GO HOME news!

Dr. Armstrong told us that if everything goes as planned and Devree doesn't have a set back we can go home in two weeks. I called and made our plane reservations through St. Jude. So Devree has to continue to eat and gain weight and they are cutting back her TPN today. Dr. Armstrong doesn't want her to take IV anti-nausea drugs and so we are going to cut them out. Devree did have her scans of her spine and brain and I have to wait till Thursday to find if they are clean or not. I am very confident that Devree will not have any more signs of cancer. Everyone is amazed that Devree is doing so well with the eating. She ate breakfast and then she wasn't supposed to eat anything until after her Lumbar puncture because she has to be anesthetized and they don't want her to get sick and vomit. She woke up and had a wonderful dinner last night and even later had some dessert.

We are making sure that Devree is having something to eat every little while because she only really eats a few bites each time. I just saw this cookies and cream shake that is supposed to have 1,200 calories. I teased Devree that she should be drinking 3 of those a day. She informed me that she wants a banana split blizzard at Dairy Queen when we get back. We don't have a car so I can't find one, but I think she could have a shake at the cafeteria or even maybe talk them into a banana split! We will try that today.

Treat yourself to a Wacky Wednesday lunch and have an ice cream shake for lunch! Thanks again for all of your prayers for Devree. I am witnessing the miracle of eating before my eyes.

Goodbye, but when do we leave?

This is the new acrylic tree in the new D & E clinics. Behind Todd and Devree is a little enclosed area with soft blocks for babies to crawl around in and play while waiting for the clinic visits
This is the crocodile on the floor in the new Rehab center. They have a jungle theme and it is about 10 times bigger than the old area. Rehab includes OT, PT, audiology and Speech. So we have to visit there everytime when we come for checkups.
These are some more tile work on the floor.

This is the Jaguar on the wall that reminded us of Kaylun and Kolten's room long ago. Even Teara and Liz thought the same thing.
They have a big snake painted on the wall too that reminded us of Kaylun and Kolten's room too. They have 2 orangutans and lots of parrots painted too. The artists are also painting one really long hall with the 4 seasons with little kids playing outside.
We had to say goodbye to Todd, Shay and Dane yesterday afternoon. It was an emotional time because we just want to be leaving with them. It has been a long time and we just want to be home with our little family, together. We know it will be soon, but the goodbyes are so hard. They are on their way to MO to visit the Hamblin side and Noble flies into St. Louis tonight to be with them and to help Todd drive back to Nevada.
Well Devree had her MRI of her spine, she had her speech and audiology checkups. Today she gets her MRI of her brain and her lumbar puncture. Everyone is saying, we will see you in 3 months so the time is getting close to going home.
Right now we are waiting for our E clinic visit. They will hopefully say when we get to leave. We were transferred to E clinic and we said goodbye to B clinic yesterday. That was really sad because we absolutely love Kim Woody. She was the most awesome nurse and I will miss her as a person. I know if she lived in Dayton we would be great friends. I got teary eyed just talking to her to say goodbye. We are leaving her our blog and my email address.
I had a dream that we actually got to fly on Saturday and beat the Boys home! Connie could you pick us up? We will tell the WORLD when we get to go home.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Dane's Birthday/Small Town Meets Big City

Dane with his birthday breakfast at the hospital, because we had to be here so early.
Devree is doing so good today!!! She is taking the smallest dose of anti-depressant possible, but it has made a huge difference. It has been the little nudge that she needed to get out of the difficult and negative rut she has been in. (Todd writing) Now me writing. Devree has done awesome with her appetitie stimulant and she actually has eaten breakfast, lunch and dinner throughout the weekend! Your prayers and our prayers are being answered! We feel it is a small miracle that Devree actually is eating! We have cut her anti-nausea drugs back to 2 drugs in the medicine room and then I mash up all of her medications and put them into 2 gel caps and she takes them at night and that is it!
Friday did turn out awesome. We went down to the" Target Back to School Backpack Give Away" We thought we would get some new backpacks and boy were we surprised! Shay and Dane went with me and I represented Devree. Once she gets home from a long day at the hospital she is ready for a nap. We picked out some awesome, high quality backpacks and then there was a whole list of rooms with a long list of supplies we put in the backpack. Shay and Dane were so impressed we had to take out everything to show Devree all of her cool stuff too. In fact Dane thinks it is so cool that he has been caring it everywhere and it is heavy and he accidentally left it at the hospital on Sunday when Devree got her TPN and medicines. He was so sad that Todd immediately turned around and went back to find the backpack.
Todd flew in on Saturday and we were finally together after being apart since the 4th of July. Then Target House kicked him out on Sunday night. He took the boys to a Motel 6 in downtown Memphis last night. There were 3 men checking them out as Shay loudly (is there any other way Shay talks?)asks Todd "Are you bringing in your laptop Dad? But the most scariest thing of all happened this morning. Todd was in the shower at 6am and there was a knock on the motel door. Shay (the whippersnapper) OPENED the door and there was a scary black lady that was checking out the whole motel room and speaking loud to someone around the corner. She said something about her shower didn't work and if it was flooding in there as she scopes the room out vividly. Todd comes out in a towel and she asks the boys if they needed a new step mommie. Then she asks if they are leaving for breakfast. Todd tells her that "We are going to visit my daughter at St. Jude's. She quickly left. Shay did not hear the end of it from Todd and I. Devree had to have her last spine MRI today at 7 am so that is why we had to leave so early and celebrate Dane's birthday here at the hospital. We usually serve breakfast in bed for the birthday person.

Friday, August 14, 2009

Thursday was Awesome and Friday will be too!

Devree has made great improvement. Her attitude is much better and she has not vomitted in 2 days! Yesterday our friends the Gruwell's (Lindsey is her for her 3rd round of battling ALL) asked Devree if she would like a strawberry banana smoothie from Starbucks that is inside the hospital. Devree had maybe a tablespoon and said it didn't taste right. That is usually the case but Devree didn't like the soy they put in it. Then she asked for a mango strawberry Fruitista at Taco Bell and actually ate a few bites of nachos I made for her. I think the anti-depressant and the appetite stimulant are both working.

Devree had to be to the hospital at 8am for some lab work and when I got her settled waiting her long wait for the medicine room, I went back to pick up the boys. We drove out to some good shopping and the very first store had everything we needed for school. Thanks to Talon and all of his hand-me-downs, Shay and Dane are set for school clothes and even some clothes to grow into for Dane. That helps Todd and I out immensely because both of these boys can go through clothes and shoes. Dane even got a pair of slip on brown leather shoes that look like they haven't been worn from Talon. Dane told me they are "Sunday shoes". I said "Hey Tanner wears these type of shoes to school." So Tanner is one of Dane's good buddies at home so what is good for Tanner, Dane is okay with.

Shay and Dane are so funny. They already are little flirts! There is a church group that comes from South Carolina with their youth group every year to do 2 weeks of service for St. Jude and the Target House. They do crafts at the hospital and Target House and they serve us several dinners. Shay and Dane started talking to the teenager girls and invited them to play the Wii at the Target House after one of the dinners. So every night this week they have been trying to get together with the church group. But I took Shay to the movies, and Dane to the movies and then we celebrated the birthdays. So finally last night we had a party in the Amy Grant room and had the Wii going on the 80" screen. About 10 different girls and a couple of guys came. Dane reminded the girls during dinner to come and meet us there. Then as they came, he leans over to me and says "See I can get the girls to come." Shay also had reminded them and some of them even wanted hugs from the boys because last night was their last night.

We got some great news yesterday. I ran into Molly the protocol coordinator and she told me that Devree will only have to come back every 3 months for 18 months. She will also give us a schedule for way in advance so that we can plan around the trips to Memphis.

Have a fantastic Friday and a really great weekend.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Wednesday was better!

Dane is excited about his gifts from the Rice's.

He is really excited about silly string.

Breck and Dane celebrating their birthdays.

Devree did so much better yesterday. She read the blog and we had a talk and she ate a couple of Doritos and a couple of bites of watermelon and actually had a much better attitude. We have started her on her anti-depressants. They are at the minimum dose but it is still where you have to have serious talks by the medical staff about suicide. Then we started her on her highest appetite stimulant last night and that has some nasty side effects too. She will only be on that for 2 weeks because of it.

The boys stayed up on the second floor and played on computers all day at the hospital. We hurried home in time to fix a quick meal to celebrate Breck and Dane's birthday. Breck has been in Boston the last several days and Celest has been home with the kids and the contractors and having a very hectic first week of school. Breck and Celest get to go on a business trip to Kansas city for about 4 days. Breck's birthday is tomorrow and Dane's birthday is next week. Dane already got to celebrate his birthday by opening one present last week. Then he had another present last night with birthday cake and then he will get another present next week at Grandma and Grandpa Hamblin's on his actual birthday. He didn't like his present I gave him last night. I gave him a soccer goal so he could practice in the backyard. I want that boy to get some exercise. Shay was excited about it because he wants to start playing street hockey. We shall see.

Dane was listening and reading the blog and when Queen's "We are the Champions" music came up I asked "Dane do you know this song?" He told me "Of course." I said "Oh really? Where did you hear it?" He said "Mom you know where." I told him I didn't know. Then Dane said "From 'Chicken Little'". So my kids are hip because movies have taken the songs I have known and made them popular for the next generation. I did notice that they used the same song (Black Eyed Peas singing "Boom Boom Pow") in G.I. Joe and G-force.

Have a wonderful Thursday. The weekend is almost here.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Wednesday will be Wonderful!

This is Scott Dixon 2008 INDY 500 winner. He is from New Zealand.

This is Dario Franchitti married to Ashley Judd and the 2007 INDY 500 winner born in Scotland.

We especially liked Paula Huesser's comment on the blog about being "v" less. We had only 1 time yesterday when Devree choked on the ropey phlegm she gets. I will try to do as well as Paula today and not even have "v" in our writing.

I hab become bery frustrated with Debree because she is not being a good patient. She is not habing the fighting attitude! She will not eben try to eat anything! and she is not doing all in her power to do her OT and PT exercises. I ran into Dr. Armstrong, our E clinic doctor and he said he won't let us go h0me if she is not eating enough. My mom says maybe she is afraid to go home.

Meanwhile Shay and Dane hab started to get into the swing of things here at the hospital. Yesterday they did all sorts of things there. They had "Doggy Days" where they bring these dogs that let kids hug the dogs and comb their hair and that was therapeutic for Shay and Dane because they miss our dog. Then they went and did crafts, saw a puppet show, had free Dominoes pizza and to top it all off, they met 2 famous race car drivers. One driver is married to Ashley Judd and the other was from New Zealand. They got a hat and both drivers signed it and they got a picture with them and they got their autograph on a special card. Target House also had a special dinner and then Dane and I went to see "G-Force". It wasn't as bad as I was anticipating. I had to just groan at a few of the potty humor things. I was thinking of Tammie and the roach scenes and I wondered if she liked it.

Today we don't go in until Noon. Eberyone likes to sleep in at our house. I hope you make Eberyday a good one.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

"Terrific" Tuesday

Well yesterday was so crappy for Devree that Devree gave me the title for today because we know today will be better. She threw up 3 times yesterday but today will be better. We also found out it will be another week till we get to go to "E" clinic because Devree's ANC has to be over 2000 for 2 consecutive days. Dr. Armstrong only sees patients on Tuesdays. That delays us going home. Boo Hoo!

Shay and I went to G.I. Joe last night and we decided that the toy merchandising on this movie will be every little boys dream. Tonight Dane and I get our date and we will watch "G-force" much to my agony.

I have to tell you something funny that happened on Friday. The boy that wanted to see the cheerleaders is slightly mentally handicapped, but his hormones are in full force. He has a speech impediment and Devree, Teara and Liz were trying to politely talk with him. He was telling all of them that he soon would be 18. He gets up and goes around the corner out of site of his Dad and motions Liz to come over and he asked her out. Liz told him that she couldn't date until she was 16. The Dad gets up and yells at his son to sit back down. I think that the son has done things like this before. Anyway the boy has great taste asking Liz and we teased her the rest of the day when we saw him about "her new boyfriend".

Thanks Aunt Jan! You are the only person who played my "where is this scripture found" game. I hope you are planning to come to Dane's baptism.

Love, Shana, Devree, Shay and Dane

Monday, August 10, 2009

Pretty good weekend!

Saturday we were in the medicine room for about 7 hours getting blood, platelets and other things. I read a neat article on the St. Jude's website about a man that drives from MO every couple of weeks so he can give platelets. We sure are thankful because in our stay here, Devree has probably got platelets about 3 -4 times for each round of chemo. So if you figure that per patient they need about 16 packages of platelets, that means St. Judes needs lots of donors. Devree also gets about that many packages of blood too. We are on the upswing now though. I doubt she will need any more blood products because her counts are maintaining and that means going up from here.

Sunday, Devree was able to go to Sacrament meeting. We got her all "dooded" up and she even let me put make-up on her and everything. Grandma Rice's socks even matched her skirt so everything looked great. She had on her wig, but she still had to wear her mask. We tried to say goodbye to some of the people because Todd will be driving the boys home next week, and we won't have a car to get there. Shay and Dane had been spending the night with Celest and kids. Breck is gone on business to Boston and then he flies home for a few hours on Wednesday before Celest and he get to fly to Kansas City on Thursday. We are going to celebrate his and Dane's birthday on Wednesday night. I will make dinner and a birthday cake. Dane is actually going to get to celebrate his birthday 3 times. I let him open one present so he could enjoy it. It was a Shark mask and shark fins for his feet and his hands got these things that can squirt other people. He had fun with them in the pool. Then we will celebrate his birthday with Breck and let him open another present. Then on his actual birthday he will celebrate in MO with Grandma and Grandpa and cousins and open another present we got him.

It has been great having Dane and Shay here. They keep us hopping and on our toes. They always want to go to Target House 1. They want to play Foosball and go to the Amy Grant room which has all of these couches, a huge screen TV, musical instruments and all of the game systems. We watched a movie and they played around while I relaxed on the couch. I think they get stir crazy in our little apartment. The Amy Grant room is larger than our whole apartment.

I had a good conversation with Dane about what he wants for his baptism. He wants all of the cousins that come (that includes you married cousins) to sing "How firm a Foundation". So start practicing your parts. I am going to ask Kolten to play, but I think it would sound neat to have it accapella for the last verse if everyone practised their parts. Dane decided on the prayer and the talk. We get to share the baptism with a girl that we have known since we moved to Dayton. Her name is Megan and she is a few days older than Dane. Megan and Dane have always had a really good relationship and Megan has always had a special place in Dane's heart. If anyone wants to hear the funny story about that, you will have to email me.

I also had a good conversation with Shay about some of his school goals for this coming year. He would like to try more sports. I know he has musical talent and I want him to develop those talents too. He is considering playing the trumpet. That is going to take lots of chill pills on my part. But then again his bedroom is on the other side of the house! He has really done well in school and has excelled at math and english. He is a little nervous going back to public school this year, but knows many kids there.

Well this has been a long one. A good way to start the week. . . Tell me where this paraphrased scripture is found. "Pray always. Never Ceasing."

Friday, August 7, 2009

Thursdays Surprise

This is Devree very excited to see her cousins.

Well I was able to keep the secret from Devree. Her Aunt Paula brought Shay and Dane from MO. But the best part is she brought Liz and Teara her cousins that are 15 too! The nicest thing is that Devree didn't do the v word all day. They got here about 5pm and I had to get some groceries and shop for Dane's birthday presents. Shay decided to come with me. Shay and Dane seem so huge when I see them and they are hungry all of the time and can eat us out of house and home.
Paula had reserved a motel room and the boys went with her and the girls stayed here and laughed till 1:30 am! They are having a hard time about getting up. We have a 9am appointment at the hospital and Paula will meet us there with the boys and hopefully Celest and kids will come and meet us at the hospital before Paula takes the girls back to MO.
Devree was also asked to be in some photos for the Jonas Brothers Birthday card. They just changed the sign for each of the J bros. It is Joe's birthday in August and then Kevin and Nick's are later.
TTFN Ta ta for Now.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Thursday a Surprise for Devree!

We had a very long Wednesday. Devree's counts were at 0 so that meant no pedicure and no going to the Young Women's activity. We were getting blood and staying in the medicine room until 6pm. It was nice to have B clinic just visit us in the medicine room instead of waiting forever for them to call us back.

Today we will have to probably get platelets. We have Elizabeth the psychologist first. I was having a hard time sleeping last night and this morning I got in the mood to pack a couple of boxes. So I didn't do the blog until I got to the hospital. I cannot believe how much stuff we have accumulated in a few months. Everyone is so kind and has given us so many wonderful things.

Last night I got a phone call about Devree's surprise today. I don't even want to tell her she is getting a surprise because she will figure it out. So she will be SURPRISED!

We watched the funniest movie the other night. Cody and Kalene said it was cute and I laughed so much because I could really relate to how cold it gets in some places. It is called "New in Town" with Renee Zelweger and Harry Connick Jr. It is about a little town in Minnesota but was actually filmed in Canada. I know about Canada and the cold. It really is a good "CLEAN" flick. It makes me want to make some tapioca.

I had some exciting news yesterday. I ran into Lindsey (Santa's Elf nurse) from "E" clinic and she said that we are on the schedule for next week! Do you realize that is putting us REALLY close to going HOME! We have our last MRI scheduled for 8/16 and if we see "E" clinic next week than they are the ones that say we can go home! YEA!

This last week I was talking to some people and their attitude reminds me of this quote I made up. "Never put off something today. . . when you can always put it off tomorrow!"

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Occupational therapy starts

Well yesterday we had Devree tested and she needs OT really bad. She has had a foot drop and now she has had a wrist drop. What it means is she doesn't have small motor skills and not hardly any strength in her hands. She set some goals and is going to work hard at achieving those before she gets home. One of them is writing because her handwriting is so shaky. We cut all of her beautiful long nails so she can manipulate things better. I was hoping she would set some goals towards manipulating eating utensils, but alas that is not high on her priority list. But Devree is going to send out some of her own thank you notes. So be prepared for old lady writing. Devree did awesome this morning and put on her knee socks and braces and put on her difficult shoes over the braces and tied them. That will help her get strength where she needs it.

If you didn't look yesterday, the sock winner is Emma Wilcox. Look at our video and see all of our socks!

We are very proud of Noble. He did his Eagle board of review last night. He did awesome. He was pretty frightened because of Todd. Now on to the District and National. I told Todd to tell them to HURRY so we could have his court of honor on Labor Day Sunday. But Todd doesn't see how they could move that fast. I would love to have ideas about how to make Noble's Eagle special, so if you have ideas, send them my way.

Today we are going to get a pedicure and try to go to Young Womens tonight. Devree still does the v word every morning when she tries to take her anti-nausea. I think she is getting a little better and even had some chocolate ice cream last night. Devree said it was strange, because it was cold and weird for her to swallow. Yes ice cream is cold!

Have a Wonderful Wacky Wednesday because we know we are!

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

And the WINNER is.....

May we have a drumroll please..... And the winner is Emma Wilcox with her flourescent squared knee socks! Congratulations Emma! Your Memphisopoly (Monopoly with a Memphis theme) will be arriving soon.

Thank you everyone for playing our game. Everyone who participated will be receiving a gold children's cancer pin. You will be getting them soon. I have got to find something that will mail the pins well.

Devree woke up and was doing fine, but she tried to take her nausea pills and she threw them up. She is feeling a little better and we don't have to be at the hospital today until 10 am and PT is the first thing up. She will get that over with and be much happier. She also has Occupational Therapy because I asked them to do an assessment of Devree. I feel that her small motor skills have decreased and she should probably get some therapy there to help her with all of the important things like buttoning your own buttons etc.

Yesterday I talked to the nutritionist and she is going to subscribe the strongest appetite stimulant to Devree as soon as her counts are up. Right now they are plummeting, but they should go up next week. The appetite stimulant has to be approved by Dr. Gajjaar, (the head of medulloblastoma's protocol) because it causes side effects and can only be taken for 3 weeks. Devree also might take a mild anti-depressant because she feels so low and overwhelmed with the walking and eating. The eating thing is really a mental game with her because she has such bad associations with vomitting and nothing tastes right and her throat has trouble swallowing and half her tongue doesn't work. We will see.

Have a Beautiful Day!

Monday, August 3, 2009

Breck and Celest really do have the MUCK!

We finally put pictures on the Blog called "Flaming Socks and Maya the Monkey." So go back and look.

Welll Breck and Celest came home Friday night to a disaster. Their upstairs toilet broke in the master bath and leaked down while they were gone on vacation 3 weeks. It collapsed the family room ceiling and also there was some storm damage to Tayzia's bedroom and the downstairs dining room. There have been several tornados in the area in the last week. So the Rice's came home to standing water in the bottom of their house and it smells like sewage. We had everyone come to Target House for dinner last night. We can only have 4 people maximun stay at Target, so I am sad we can't let them stay here while insurance comes and fixes things. With all of the claims in the area, insurance is very busy.

Rice's also had an entry into the sock competition yesterday. They were all impressed with the variety of socks Devree got. We are still waiting for our other cousins socks so we will let you know who are the winners! We will take pictures of all of the socks we promise!!

Now the music was put on by wonderful Summer, because Devree and I feel like the "Champions of the world" for finishing chemo. Devree also requested "It's a beautiful day" because we feel like it is that. But it may not be so beautiful for the Breck Rice's!

Devree has had a moderate last couple of days. She still did the v word a couple of times on Saturday but yesterday she just did once but she never ate anything all weekend. Today we have started out better without doing the v word. She will get worked today with PT everyday this week. She has lots of appointments until the medicine room at 11:30. We have been here since 8:30. We ran into a teenage boy this morning that was mocking being sad. He said he had too many appointments so that he can't meet the Red Birds (Memphis Baseball team) this morning that are coming to St. Judes. I asked him which player he wanted to meet and he said "Oh I don't want to see the players. I want to see the cheerleaders!" We laughed at that one.

Thanks for fasting for us yesterday. I have already seen a difference in how Devree is feeling and acting since other rounds! We are counting the days to feeling better!

P.S. I just saw the Red Bird players and the "Red Hots" (cheerleaders) and I told them that there is a teenage patient that was so disappointed that he had appointments and couldn't see them. So the leader asked me where he was and I told them to go to Rehab and D and E clinics because that is where he is. They asked "Who should we look for?" I said a "A teenage boy!" They laughed and went to find him.