Monday, March 30, 2009

Learnin' to blog

For anyone who hasn't heard yet, Savannah has been diagnosed with stage 4 Melanoma. She has a large tumor under her arm and has 3 small spots in other areas. We are blessed to have been accepted at the National Institute of Health in Bethesda, Maryland. We are in Middleburg, VA right now staying with my brother and his family untill we can check in at NIH. We had an appointment with her doctors on Thursday and they explained several treatment options. The one they decided to use is where they remove the tumor and somehow extract the good immune cells and treat them to fight the melanoma. They will put the good cells back into her through an IV infusion. To grow the immune cells it takes 4 to 8 weeks. When they are ready she will come back to the hospital for 3 weeks while they give her the treatment. This will hopefully shrink or terminate the other spots.


We heard from NIH today and found out that Savannah's surgery has been moved from Wednesday to Thursday due to scheduling problems. :( We were hoping to get it over with and get back home sooner but apparently she is not the only one needing medical care. Savannah is doing well but she is having pain in her underarm area where the tumor is. She has pain medicine that is helping but the real help will be when they remove it.
We have been having fun, killing time till check-in; shopping, seeing a movie taking in the scenery. Danny & Donna (my sister-in-law) got to go to an NRA Banquet and today Danny, Savannah and I went to Front Royal to the ATF (Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearm) Canine Explosive Training Facility. Donna's best friend, Diana, works there and she made that all was awesome! We also took a drive up Skyline Drive in the Shenandoah Mtns was gorgeous. Savannah took tons of pictures. Maybe we'll get those online soon....?
Tomorrow we will go to Bethesda and stay in a hotel for one night. They want Savannah to go ahead and check into the hospital on Wed so they can have her all ready to go on Thursday.
Hopefully, from Wed. on we will be staying on NIH campus at the Family Lodge.
Please continue all those prayers! Much Love the Dutton's


  1. Patti, it is so good to hear your "voice." My friends have been commenting on your faith and grace during this challenging time. We "can" do all things through Christ. I am so proud of all of you.

    Love, blessings, and continued prayers,

  2. Patti and Family,
    I am thinking and praying for your family often, as I know hundreds, if not thousands of others are, too. I get to talk some to Linda and she fills me in on what to be praying about. It is so good and encouraging to see your faith and positive outlook. I know this is a tough time, but keep your eyes on Jesus' face as he will hold you all above the water, just as He did for Peter. A verse that I always find so comforting during tough times is, "So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand." Isaiah 41:10
    Hugs & Prayers,
    Mandy (Ferguson) Campbell

  3. Hope that your day is going well. I am so glad to hear that things are falling in place. Sorry that there was a little schedule change. I know that the waiting is so hard. Shelby is doing well. She told me that she did laundry over the week end and I encouraged her to pass on that knowledge and skill to Kim.!!!! Naturally that got an eye roll from Kim. You guys are in our thought always. It is amasing the impact that the Dutton Darlings are having on our community and I know that great good will come from this. Danny,Brad says to say HELLO and that I is thinking of you. Lot's of love, Tanya

  4. I am so glad that you are blogging to keep us up to date. I know that tons of people are praying for your family! I don't know Savannah personally, but I am sure that I would love her as much as I loved Shelby in class :) I admire your faith and positivity! Take care,

    Lillie Jones

  5. Precious Savannah, I am praying for you. Be anxious for NOTHING. He is taking care of you, friend. Love you.

  6. Just want to let you know I am thinking about you- and praying - I have heard from so many people who have told me to keep them updated and that they are praying for you. We also had a special prayer at church Sunday for you all. You are all so strong and brave and your faith and courage has touched so many people. I love you all and miss you alot. Linda

  7. My Dear Savannah only one more day and the healing can begin! We are so proud of you that you are so very Brave! Our prayers and love are with you as is Gods healing hand. Thank you for keeping in touch with us this way. We miss you all very much!
    Love and prayers, Rebecca & Family

  8. Hi Danny and family,

    I just wanted to leave a quick note to say that our thoughts a prayers are with you and your Savannah. I haven't gotten to visit with you since you switched departments. I know that with your faith behind you, all will go well. The gang at the office has been keeping me posted, but I'm glad to have this blog to follow more closely.
    All our thoughts and prayers!
    Mark, Chris and Mary Catherine Moore