Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Deep in the heart of TEXAS

Bonus points to whoever can identify the artist: back in the birthday twin's country days, she used to love a song called God Bless Texas. Who was that?

Oh, never mind. But God bless Texas, and everyone at MD Anderson in Houston, where Sahara is headed today. Listen, Miss S, if you would like to impress that German doctor, beam at him and offer: Ich bin krank. Mein kopf, dummkopf! (I'm sick. My head, dumbass) And if you really want to impress him, there's always the handy Mein puttenspieler ist kaput which is the incredibly useful "My record player is broken." Also tell him you like everything mit schlag which will get you whipped cream, even on your powdered eggs.

Unfortunately, I've forgotten the rest of my German and cannot instruct you further. It's a good thing your new doctor isn't Russian.

Whatever he or she turns out to be, I think your trip south is wonderful. A lot of people are pulling for you. Get down there and try some real BBQ, and then let that German cowboy get to work on your head. For those of you inclined to pray, add one Dr. Wolff to your list. From God's ear to his hands.

Amy's latest:

There are too many great things going on in the medical world to just simply settle for the status quo. To start chemo would mean permanently excluding her from any other type of therapy, and she would not be admitted into any other program.

M.D. Anderson Cancer Center in Houston is our next stop. We are flying out Tuesday afternoon, and she has an appointment at 11 am on Wednesday. They are doing clinical trials and having amazing results. They also have equipment that is straight out of Star Wars, that no one else in the country has at this time.

Check them out at www.mdanderson.org. We are seeing Dr. Johannes Wolff, a jolly-looking German doctor who is leading clinical trials to save the lives of children.

Within the course of two hours this morning, I managed to get all of her pathology reports and tissue slides sent from St. Louis to Houston, requested that MRI's from here be burned onto a cd to take with us, and was waiting for a call back with an appointment time.

My precious nephew Darrin helped me with all of this, because Shannon had to work today. Meanwhile, we had friends working from another angle (God bless the Tegel family)...and by 1 pm I had the Wednesday appointment. It all fell into place, just like clockwork. I've heard it can take weeks to get in...but we hit the jackpot.

I have no idea how long we will be in Houston. They told us to pack for 3 to 5 days, and if she starts treatment, it could be much longer. I just want some encouraging results.

The outpouring of love, support and prayers has been absolutely astounding. Our church family from Lynwood Baptist, all of our friends and family members, teachers and principals and school personnel, neighbors, people we barely know...we have literally fielded hundreds of phone calls, from people near and far, who all love Sahara.

The messages being left onthe blog just make my heart soar. We are scared to death, numb from thinking, hoarse from talking on the phone, and exhausted from all of it. And we haven't even gotten started yet.

Please keep praying and thinking of us. We need all of the positive energy we can get.

Meanwhile, Sahara lounges in what would ordinarily be considered the lap of luxury, as people bring her things like yellow roses, stuffed animals, balloons, more cheesecake (LOL), cards, a prayer shawl from the Methodist ladies, a prayer cloth from the Pentecostal church, a Furby (which scared the crap outof Shannon when it talked as he walked by), games and fuzzy socks, a Hello Kitty pillow, an autographed Pat Summitt photo (GO VOLS), and the list continues to grow.

All of these wonderful things are given with love to a girl whose eyes continue to sparkle, and who refuses to think negatively. Her sense of humor was in back in rare form today,when some of her wonderful friends visited (thanks,Gunnar, Lexi, Caroline and Emma). She acted as if she didn't know who Caroline was...which totally freaked out the poor girl to the point of near-tears. That was just plain mean...but funny when Sahara said she wasjust kidding. That's my girl. (Sorry, Caroline...LOL)

I've been packed since yesterday, just in case they would have told us to catch a plane earlier. Our wonderful pastor Derek Staples is driving us to St. Louis tomorrow so that we don't have to deal with traffic, parking, a shuttle, etc. Sahara has to have a wheelchair and he has one at the church that they are loaning us for the trip. I dread putting her through the journey, she's still so weak. And I know she doesn't want to leave home and her pets again. None of us want to leave - but we have no choice.

Special thanks to the Jones family and the DeCourseys today...you are truly amazing people. We love you.

Amy, Shannon and Sahara