Thursday, May 26, 2016

Day 26: Third Time's a Charm

We loved Cincinnati Children’s but missed being home. We didn’t love Erlanger Children’s but wanted to stay in East Tennessee. We needed a children’s hospital that was equipped to handle Tillery’s day to day needs while also keeping us in the Holston Conference for Joe’s job. We found what we needed at East Tennessee Children’s Hospital in Knoxville.

ETCH has been a great fit for us. A clinic visit feels friendly while also being professional. The staff drinks sweet tea and talks like us, unlike our more Northern friends in Cincy. Everyone has been wonderful to accommodate our schedule as we have had issues with traffic or weather that delayed our arrival. They communicate wonderfully with our primary team in Cincinnati as well as our local pediatrician’s office.

Dr. Spiller is specialized in pediatric neuro-oncology. She communicates easily with our primary oncology team and the neurosurgery team. In addition to the medical side of things, Dr. Spiller has been a great match for Tillery’s sassiness. Most of her weekly evaluation happens while walking circles around the clinic alongside Tillery. When we are in the room, she knows the things that Tillery is interested in and talks to her about those things while doing her exam.

The nurses and child life friends are also wonderful. They know that Tillery’s first priority is getting a snack and then she needs her baby and doctor’s kit. While Tillery roams the halls, everyone stops to say hello and there are always compliments on her hairbows and cute outfits. Anna always comes with her iPad already tuned into Mickey Mouse Clubhouse when it’s time for port access and Tillery usually doesn’t even realize the chemo has been administered until all is done.

We are moving to Knoxville in a few weeks to be closer to our ETCH team. The gang there is excited to have us as locals and they are look forward to buying lemonade from Luke once we are ready for our next lemonade stand. We are also excited to be able to be more involved with events that the parents group organizes and to be able to socialize with many of the families that we see weekly at the clinic.

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