Monday, August 16, 2010

Houston Trip - First Round of Scans

Well, I finally am posting about our trip to Houston which was the end of July. I guess I'm not too terribly behind! We had to go to Houston for Emery's first round of scans since she finished chemo in March. We were excited to see Dr. Thompson again and a tiny bit nervous about her scans, not so much about the results but everything she has to go through when the scans take place. We took our time getting to Houston because we didn't want to put ourselves or Emery through the entire drive in one day. We stopped and stayed the night with Sarah and Miles in Dallas which is always fun. One night is never enough! We went on to Houston the next morning looking forward to seeing our Houston roomies, Dan and Lauren. They both turned 30 this summer so we had some wonderful birthday dinners with them! For some reason David cooks a lot more when we are in Houston...

We had to be at the hospital bright and early Wednesday morning for Emery's MRI. Thankfully, my child doesn't like to eat so she really didn't mind going all morning without eating. She was super busy as always so we had to find creative ways of keeping her entertained for a couple of hours while we waited. They have to sedate her for the MRI so it's always hard handing her off to the nurses and watching her fall to sleep on the table. They take good care of her and are always so sweet to her in the recovery room. Thankfully, the scan didn't take too long and we got to see her about two hours later. After her MRI, we had to go down to Nuclear Medicine where they injected her with a chemical that is absorbed by her type of cancer cells. After the injection we were done for the day and headed back to Dan and Lauren's. The next day, we didn't have to go to the hospital as early which was nice. We had to get Emery to drink some Pedilite with the contrast in it for her CT scan. She didn't want to drink it from a bottle so we had to drop it into her mouth with a straw. I'm sure the nurses were pretty amused with our 8 month old who wouldn't take a bottle. Once she had taken it all, we thought they were going to sedate her for the CT scan but they ended up not having to. Good thing we starved her all morning. However, she did have to be sedated a little bit later for her MIBG scan which is what she got the injection for the previous day. This was a much longer day for us and Emery. She was a trooper though and toughed it out! On our way home that day, Dr. Thompson called and insisted that we stop by Craig Waibel's (the soccer player) house. We felt really uncomfortable doing it but knew that Dr. Thompson would be upset with us if we didn't! He is so funny about David and Craig being friends! So, we complied and stopped by Craig's house. He and his wife were super nice and Jocelyn and Emery got to meet. They just stared and smiled at each other the whole time. We had a good visit and headed back to Katy.

We had to go back to the hospital AGAIN the next day to see Dr. Thompson at the clinic. It was strange being back but it was wonderful to know that we were just there for a check up and not treatment! We ran into Dr. Javi while we were there. He was the fellow who worked with Dr. Thompson when Emery was first admitted. He couldn't believe how big she has gotten and all of the hair she has now. It was great seeing him even if it was only for a few minutes. Dr. Thompson needed a urine sample so we had to get Emery started on that right away when we arrived. This might be too much info but it was pretty funny. We have had to do this in the past and have never been very successful. This time was no exception! They give you these little plastic bags with adhesive on them that you have to stick over the entire genitalia. Sorry, but that's the best I can figure out how to describe it! Anyway, Emery moves a lot these days and we were having a hard time getting a sample! So, we were changing the bag out in the little exam room we were in and she peed all over the exam table! We ended up having to wait almost another hour after we had met with Dr. Thompson before we were able to get her to use the rest room again. I finally took her diaper off and blew on her tummy a few times and she finally went! It was pretty funny! Back to Dr. Thompson, it was great seeing him as always. He was full of laughs and jokes for David. He was so impressed with Emery and gave her nothing but compliments. The scans were all clear! She still has a few spots in her liver but he is not worried about them at all. He said they would have never even treated her had she only had cancer in her liver. It will go away on its own because of the nature of Neuroblastoma. He also told us she has a less than 5% chance of the cancer coming back but he doesn't anticipate that happening at all. She is perfect in every way and he couldn't be happier. We just love him so much. God couldn't have given us a more perfect doctor for Emery. He knows just the right things to tell us and is always so encouraging.

Craig and his little girl, Jocelyn.

The daddies and their girls.

Emery and the scale having a hard time getting an accurate weight!

Having fun waiting for Dr. Thompson!

She's ready to see him!

Staying busy in the exam room.

Yay! It's Dr. Thompson!

This is why we love him!

Emery is obsessed with getting people's mouths...

I love this one. Dr. Thompson is definitely one of a kind. He treats every patient like they are his only patient. He will answer every single question we ask and spend as much time talking to us as we need. I don't know how he gets to all of his patients every day but I'm pretty sure none of them mind waiting for him.

So, we had a wonderful visit with Dan and Lauren (unfortunately we don't have any pictures of them...) as well as Dr. Thompson. Emery is technically in remission now and we will continue with scans every three months for the rest of this year and then just twice next year.

Thanks for all of the continued prayers for our baby girl. She is truly amazing. She blows me away every day with all of the new things she is doing. She is definitely a determined little stinker!