Sunday, July 30, 2006

Who's got the ball now, doctor?

Missouri may have good barbecue, but it doesn't have everything. And while those doctors in St. Louis may be smart, they may not know it all, either. While they may have done a fine job of checking out this thing in Sahara's head, and their laboratory technicians may have peered into their microscopes and identified the foolish tumor, they are not psychics or graduates of the Official College of Divine Intervention.

In other words, what do they know? They don't know Sahara, they don't know her parents, they don't know the spirit that surrounds this girl. They know the tumor. Well, so what? Someone needs to remind them: this is the story of the girl who kicks the tumor's ass.

Matter of fact, she's gonna stomp on it and kick it. And then Amy and Shannon are gonna drive over it with a bus. A bus filled with screaming Titans fans who know something about REAL barbecue.

The ball is back in the Aldridge court.

The latest from Amy:

We have put on our battle armor and are preparing to fight for her life.

We are supposed to contact the docs in St. Louis tomorrow to make appointments for Friday. One to have her stitches removed, the other to receive the death sentence the radiation/oncology docs are going to give us.

But you know what? We are not accepting that.

I can't begin to explain all that has happened over the last three it divine intervention, call it madness of desperate parents, call it what you will...but by the end of tomorrow (Monday), we hope to have plans to either go to a) M.D. Anderson hospital in Houston, or b) St. Jude's Hospital in Memphis.

There are amazing things happening in Houston...hinging on a new drug called Delta 24. This drug has completely eradicated cancer in the brains of lab mice, and did not damage precious brain tissue. It's injected by catheter into the tumor, two weeks later, the tumor is removed, cancer free.

We are going to try to get her into one of the human trials that are starting this summer - there's no time to waste.We asked the doc in St. Louis to send the vital info to St. Jude's, to get a referral in place there. He is supposed to do that tomorrow morning.

Going to St. Louis on Friday is not what we feel we should do. If she begins chemo treatments, she will not be allowed to enter any cutting edge trials. And they already know it won't save her, because of the location of the tumor in the brain stem.

We've never been the kind of family to just sit back and be told "no." We are not going to start now. As Sahara's parents, we refuse to submit to the status quo - they have given us no hope whatsoever in St. Louis.

There has to be something better out there...we don't care if we have to go overseas to get it...but we are going to search. There just isn't much time.

Sahara's spirits are good, and she's so glad to be back at home. Seeing her cats and dog again lifted her up so much. People are calling, praying, bringing gifts and is truly unbelievable to see the outpouring of love and concern, even from people we barely know. We are truly blessed with a big circle of friends and family, for which we are eternally grateful.

I'm at work tonight, sorting through my desk and trying to maintain a connection with my job. I love my coworkers (who have been so very kind and supportive), and my workplace is very good about helping people in tough circumstances. I hate leaving them all in such a lurch, but they understand and have been outstanding.

Next time I write I hope to have news of a trip to a place that can offer even a glimmer of hope, because the light has been doused in St. Louis.

Let it shine, Sahara. You've got the ball. Slam DUNK.