Saturday, April 18, 2009

Adaptation Continues...

Hey Arizona Buddies...we've seen more rain here in the last 2 days then we see back home all year!!! It poured and poured and poured...had a little lightening and thunder... and then it poured some more. WOW! It's really a gloomy day out, but we're settling into our new routine.

Man! Was it a zoo in the ward last night...they even had to call the police and patient services because they were so backed up and because there was close to a riot about to happen in the waiting room! Bren and I could have handled it if we had had our riot gear available...helmet with face shield, body shield, and the visual?

Tonight it's MUCH different. Thank Heaven! We also discovered Garage 10 and the skybridge from parking to the main facility...yesterday we parked in a different location and we got soaked...tonight we're dry as can be. It just takes a while to figure all this out. It's a HUGE place in a very congested area.

We actually had a relaxing day. I'm almost afraid to say that in case the pilot of that insane airplane wants to take us out for another jump or two. Since we didn't get to bed until around 1:00 AM we actually slept (with the help of those wonderful Ambien) until 9:00 AM. So I got the laundry seems like I'm always doing the laundry! Ha! I then walked over Randall's grocery store (right next store to the apartment), and got some things we forgot and my morning cup of joe. The store is really nice and it's so handy to have it right next door since Brenda is experimenting with what she can eat without tasting that damn lidocaine.

We are actually working through a litany of foods that she can get down without disgusting herself and we've come up with some good ones. If I didn't know better I'd begin to think Brenda might be pregnant!!! IMPOSSIBLE! But get this...if she eats a dill pickle first she can actually tolerate peanut butter and jelly sandwiches and Top Raman Noodles. (YUCK!!!) Also if she eats BBQ Lays potato chips, she can get some things down, but the pickles work the best. AMAZING!!! Our motto right now is "Whatever Works!"

So we sat around the rest of the day reading, working on the computer, eating a little food, and just doing some more organizing. We ought to get out of here by 9:00 PM so that won't be bad at all and we'll actually get to crawl into bed a whole lot earlier. We checked on her future chemo schedule and the sessions will start at 8:30 AM not 4:30 PM so that will be a whole lot better. It was really nice just to sit and have a relaxing day.

So everyone that 's the news from wet Houston on this dreary Saturday evening. Thanks Vera and Cherly for your very generous offer. We're set here for day at a time and all that. We'd love to see you both again so maybe we can arrange that in the future depending on how this's just so new to us and we really don't know what to expect especially as she gets deeper into the treatments. She tires easily and I know her blood counts will get low and we'll have to be very careful to keep her safe. Here's the power of Olivia connections once again.

Vic...thanks for the gift card suggestion you made...what a very loving thought. I'd be lying if I said that this will be easy on us financially. We definitely DON'T want anyone to think that they have to do anything except write comments...THAT EVERYONE HAS to do!!

Love to you all from the new Houstonettes!

Nurse Dee


  1. Only you two could have a police situation at the chemo clinic! Glad to hear your schedule will be better next round. They rushed you in so fast I'm sure you were at the end of the line. It should be much better during the day.

    Sounds like you're getting a taste of Pittsburgh weather....rain, rain and more rain. Actually we have had two sunny and warm (70's) days in a row. Andi loves her new fenced yard. She runs and plays for hours. She has two neighbor dogs that visit, Spencer the Pomeranian (sp?) and Brandy the poodle puppy. It's a riot! Tomorrow the rains come again. Oh well, it was nice while it lasted.

    I'm trying to come up with an idea for the headwear contest. How about a ball cap that says, "Bald Beaver Club?" Only those who have had a bald beaver can wear one. Of course you don't have to wear it on your can just hold it over your bald beaver....believe me it's not a pretty sight (I can tell you from personal experience). For those bloggers who think this is sick humor, I'm sorry, but it will make Brenda laugh.

    Dee Dee, there are two movies on the way as soon as they're released on Tuesday so don't buy any new movies this week.

    Love you both,


    PS: It usually grows back.

  2. Wow, what a night you had last night. How about if we construct an ARK instead of a head dress? It sounds like you're gonna need an Ark with all the rain, huh? Let's see....two by two...TWO Bald Beavers, right Vic? What will that mean for you Dee?

    I think Cate has our head dress already figured out. Can't wait, I'm sure I'm gonna be the one modeling it. Ugh!! I LOVE this competition idea.

    Along the same lines, I was thinking that it would be wonderful if each of the Village bloggers introduced themselves. While Dee and Brenda know each of you, and certainly the Olivia "Pod" know each other.....there are several people posting who are probably not known to the whole group. I was thinking perhaps we can just give a one or two liner describing how we know, or are related to Dee and Brenda (if applicable,) and how we met them. It would be a nice way to come closer together as we support these two amazing women, no?

    So, I'll start... Cate and I met these incredibly fantastic women only 6 months ago. Which, is COMPLETELY hard to believe. Michele and Karen had been telling us about them seemingly for years and we all feel like we've known each other forever. Dee and Brenda, I truly consider you to be very deeply connected friends, as though we've known each other for decades. It's uncanny. We met last October in Turks, and we'll always be connected now. As Brenda said, from now on, we travel together.

    After your food descriptions above, all I can picture Brenda is you wearing your holster with big Pickles on each side. Ride 'em cowgirl!! Whatever works is RIGHT!! If it takes a pickle to get your yogurt down, then power to ya!! (Pardon if the rest of us cringe a little.)

    Vic, I loved your gift card idea. In fact, you and I think a lot alike. Brenda told me that once she saw that NOT ONE, but TWO Starbucks were in walking distance from their apartment/resort...that decided it for her. They were renting there FOR SURE!! So, when I got home (this will blow the surprise Dee) I ordered a Starbucks card for her so that she can go and enjoy as often as she likes. Then the next day you made that fantastic suggestion. These are the many ways that we can support you both from afar, Dee and Bren. It feels like a way to send a small gesture of love. I think we're all itching to figure out what we can be doing for you.

    We love you both dearly, and are with you totally. Love this Blog.

    Have a great night,

  3. Hi guys,
    I'm not sure if this is going to show up as a comment from me (Cate) or from Amanda because I think I screwed up my original sign in...long story. Anyway, yes, I may have a winning head dress idea. I'm not going to ruin the surprise but suffice to say that our 4 year old nephew's Disney-themed party today was the inspiration. The criteria was to create something Brenda would never wear under normal circumstances, right? If so, I think I've met that criteria square on the nose!
    Wish I had been there in Houston this week with Amanda. Sending much love and many, many prayers your way!

  4. All this talk of unkept underwear and "bald beavers" - I think I'm blushing just a little bit.
    In terms of introduction, Karen and I met Vic and Callie in Eleuthra and went to enjoy a peaceful lunch. That's when we met Dee and Brenda. It was the end of our peaceful lunch and the beginning of great friendships. We traveled a bit together - with Vic, Calli & Dori, each trip holds special memories. Snorkeling in the pool in Eleuthra, spin the bottle and "Amazing Grace" in Sonora Bay. Perhaps I'll explain that in the future.
    Brenda's infectious laugh and failure to grasp the concept of boundaries has made each trip exciting and absolutely hysterical. We laugh from sun up to sun down and beyond. I have succeeded in getting Brenda to do pretty much anything I ask. She is just too easy in that regard, but taht is clearly part of her charm.
    So now I have to put my thinking cap on (no pun intended) and consider alternative ideas for the cap contest. Perhaps I will submit two, as the mullet and bangs photo might just be a winner.

  5. Hi all....
    Toni here... I have been friends with Dee for about 30 years and about 21 years with Brenda. Dee and I worked together at the police department. Brenda and I met at a party when she was about 19. (Yes, she was a tad under age considering all the alcohol.) And wasn't that the party Brenda where your softball coach was "busted"??
    I have met some of you. I went to Eleuthera years ago and also to the Turks last May. I can't even begin to tell you all how much your thoughts, prayers, blogging, and friendship means to these two ladies. Keep up the good work!! Amanda, hopefully we will see each other again when I come out next week to keep an eye on the patient while Dee goes home to get things in order.
    Brenda, if you need me to bring anything specific on Tuesday, let me know. Dee tells me I will have to keep a watch on your temperature, so I am bringing my rectal thermometer. Anything else you want? Should I go by the house and get your purple buddy? :-)

  6. What a great idea about introducing ourselves Amanda. Cal and I met Dee and Brenda exactly ten years ago next month in Eleuthera with Olivia. We bought snorkeling gear prior to the trip. We went to a scuba center and since we were new at this, and stupid, we bought more than we needed. The guy asked us if we were going to consider scuba in the future and when Cal said yes, he sold us these GIGANTIC fins! Mine were bright lime green and Cal's fluorescent yellow. I still can't believe we got them in the suitcase. Anyway, we get to the beach, and anxious to try our new gear before we get on the snorkle boat and make fools of ourselves, we put on our fins and mask and try to walk into the ocean. Of course we made quite a spectacle of ourselves! We finally backed in. Then on top of that, Cal's snorkle was defective and every time she put her head in the ocean she sucked a mouthful of salt water. We had not yet met Dee and Brenda but unknown to us Dee was off in the distance watching our little endeavor. She said to Brenda, "Look at those two women over there!" and they had a good laugh at our expense. Later that day we went to lunch with Karen and Michelle (who we had just met). Halfway through lunch they figured out we were the dorks on the beach. The rest is history. They said come visit us in Arizona anytime and we get out there 2-3 times per year. I now affectionately call these trips, "Spring Break 1, spring break 2 etc." We were there for Spring Break this year (the tickets were purchased in December when I was on the couch recovering from my surgery) and it just happened to coincide with Brenda's diagnosis and initial surgery). We've probably been on a dozen trips to various places in addition to getting together at our house and their house and cabin. They truly are our "chosen family" Spring Break 2 this year was scheduled for the last week in May but I changed my itinerary and added a couple days so I can be in Houston for a week.

    Well, I'm rambling, if anyone is interested I can tell the stories about surprise visits on Thanksgiving and again on Dee's 60th birthday. Dee has some interesting photos.


  7. PS: Anybody want to buy a couple pairs of slightly used snorkle fins?

  8. Toni, you're making yourself sound younger that you are. I've known Brenda for longer than 21 years. Brenda was my Moms student teacher when I was a senior in high school. She was a senior in college. After meeting her at the high school we accidentally ended up seeing her at a bar. We busted ourselves both out and had little to say to each other. I was certainly underage at the time. Julie, in OK

  9. Evelyn and I met Brenda & Dee about 6 years ago when we moved from NYC to the small village of Pine in the central mountains of AZ near were they have their week-end cabin. When we first got here we had a bookstore while Eve was trying to acclimate & find a job. We have celebrated Thanksgiving with them ever since... not to mention other get togethers usually when they are up here in the mts.
    Lots of Love & Blessings to all
    Cathie & Evelyn

  10. Geez.... Ok, ok..... I was blogging at a late hour last night (for me) after a very long day rehabbing a house, so my estimate of how many years ago I met the girls didn't add up so well... I am going to punt again and say it's more like 36 years for Dee (or Dee Dee Bird as I affectionately call her) and 29 years for Brendita. And now that I think back on it, I'm sure we were all in and around kindergarten/grade school age at the time. (JJ, you were still in diapers! :-)

  11. I think we finally have this blog thing down. Dayna and I have been following it for a while but it took Dayna to get me up to speed on the typing thing.
    When Dayna found out you guys were at MD Anderson, she too agreed that you're where you should be. A Houstonion herself, she's heard great things about the hospital!
    As for the hat contest! We'll try to come up with something. I'm sure their will be helmet involved. That way it can do double duty as riot helmet.
    All for now but know we think about you gals daily. Trust your journey!
    Love you,
    Louise & Dayna

  12. I'm Barb, Dee's little sister. My husband Tim and I have been avidly following the adventures of Dee and Brenda and appreciate all the updates. This blogging thing is a little confusing but I am getting the hang of it.

    We live in Michigan, but are buying my brother's house in Mesa, so we are there a couple of times a year.

    Dee - the headwraps will be on the way on Monday, now that I know where to send them. Being the biker that I am, I already have a couple of "headresses" and an idea for 1 more. I will send you pics ASAP. If Brenda likes them let me know and I will make her one, although a picture my not do them justice.

    Keep up the information and our thoughts and prayers are with you. BTW-I tried to talk Mom through the link you sent in your email, but I gues AOL doesn't show it as a link. I told her to type in the address in the web browser, so I hope she can follow it. I will check on her to see if she can follow it.


  13. Kathy said....
    LORDY! LORDY! Look who is "Forty" on April, 24th!! "You've Got Mail!
    Aunt Kathy signing in...I have known Dee sice a little babe. Even taught her how to ride her first 2 wheeler after the training wheels came off. Brenda...when she was 21 at the same party Toni was? WOW! Brenda and Dee are amazing individuals and as a team...they are dynamite!!! Have had many fun experiences together either in Az. or Colorado over these past years. We call our contingency from Colorado...The Village 12. Most are not bloggers, but we pray and support these wonderful gals every single day. Admire all of you bloggers here....your love, support and wit is fantastic! I know this means so much to Brenda and Dee. Bless your hearts!
    My pendulum are already healed and totally well. Your physical body just has to catch up to your higher self and soul.
    Our love Brenda and Dee,
    Kathy and Larry

  14. From oceans to mountaintops, riding rapids thru the canyon to contraband at the vortex; each and every time leaves another simple pleasure of life; the meaning of true family and unconditional love. We have laughed in and out of the country, cried on each others shoulder and loved one another thru every adventure for the past 10 years.
    We have plans for the next ten years and can't wait for a village reunion. Karen and Michele I miss your necks!!! have expanded our family and I am so blessed with so many new people to measure....Brenda no telling! I love you and know God's Plan is Perfect and as we travel this journey together with the strength in our numbers, we wait patiently for the "all clear" battle cry. Love and hugs...Callie

  15. Vicky and Callie - you left one thing out of the "explanation" of your snorkel adventure. I do believe we 'found' you both snorkeling in the POOL prior to your jaunt to the beach. I too, being one to not miss a silly move someoe else makes, said to Karen "maybe you should go over to them there girls and tell them they aren't going to see anything in the pool. I think the fish are over there (pointing to the ocean [yes Dee the REAL ocean!!)". So Karen, ever the brave one tapped Callie and told her what I had said. Now I say alot of things, but I am a little scardy cat when push comes to shove. Callie was perfect. She sneared at both of us and than busted out in one of the greatest laughs we have ever heard. I think it was love at first sight - especially since she didn't kick my butt. Our necks miss you too sweetie :)
    Toni - we are still marveling how that trip to Turks, with that horrible weather - brought together so many wonderful people. Perhaps the saying "into each ones life a little rain must fall" is true. Dee if that is the case, enjoy the rain in Houston. As my grandmother used to say - if it weren't for the rain, there would be no rainbows! Let it rain.