Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Marshall Vic is Back and News from Houston Central

Hi VP''s Wednesday night and time for an update and a brand new Marshall Vic Chronicle. She has blessed us with more priceless pearls of wisdom in a fashion that only our dear Marshall Vic can give. These are just priceless and good 'ole Marshall Vic always comes through when things are tough here at Houston Central. These episodes just make us laugh so much...they are such great medicine when times are dark. Thank you MV for brightening our days with your wisdom and down home remedies. VP's ya just gotta love the Marshall.

So it's almost the end of week 6 of radiation. You're right Marshall...we CAN see the light at the end of this tunnel. In fact we've even set a potential date to come home...but more about that in a minute.

Here's the medical bullet for the week. There's no doubt about it...this much radiation is not for sissies or wimps. The good news is that the tumors have and are reacting just like they were supposed to...they are dying or are dead!!! We won't know for sure until the scans are done but, no way could any nasty cancer cell live through this. They are literally frying our gal alive...her neck is purple, blistered, weeping, and itching. We got some new prescription cream to put on all that and it seems to be working nicely. The biggest issue we are working on is the pain in Bren's throat, nose, and mouth. We got the approval from Dr. Schwartz to up the pain medication tomorrow. Although we won't be able to totally eliminate the pain, we are trying to get it reduced so she can sleep better and continue to drink water. She needs to keep her swallowing function.

We also saw the eye doctor yesterday who did a very thorough assessment of her eyes...long term, that's still a big issue with all that radiation to her face. The side effects can crop us years after the radiation is completed so it's something we'll really have to watch. The doctor said Bren's eyes were very healthy and the excessive tearing was just a side effect of the radiation. The tissue around her eyes is very swollen and raw, and some of the tear glands might be blocked bu the swelling so the doc gave her some antibiotic-steroid eye drops to use to see if we can get the swelling down. I really don't know what we would do without all this medication. That's just one more med to add to my chart. OCD is a good thing when you have all this medication to keep track of!!

So when we went to see Mary (Dr. Hongs PA) on Monday, we began talking about when we could go home. HOME!!!!! And we continued that talk with the radiation team this afternoon. Radiation will end on August 10th!!! That's just around the corner. Bren and I talked and decided it would be a good idea to stick around here for 10 days to 2 weeks because radiation is still working for about 2 weeks AFTER the actual treatments stop. The thing we still don't know about right now is if Brenda will have to go through any more chemo. We see Dr. Hong on Monday and that question should be answered then. PLEASE keep your fingers crossed he says NO!! A dear friend has offered to come to Houston to drive our car home so Brenda and I can fly home together and I can keep up with my nursing duties on our home turf.

So here's the news VP's...the most exciting...most happy making...almost the best medicine ever. We're shooting for Friday August 21st to go HOME!!!!! We are on cloud nine! I don't know when I've seen Brenda with so much energy considering the condition she's in physically. She is one happy camper...well actually...that makes 2 of us! This isn't cast in concrete yet but we should have a much better idea if this is doable on Monday. Double keep your fingers crossed. August 21st...we actually have a date in mind!!! It's just music to our ears. I'm going to start packing this weekend!!!

So please celebrate our almost home-going with us. Go out and toast to life, look around your home and the dear folks that mean so much to you and who enrich your life and thank them for all they bring to you. Give your animals an extra biscuit and take them for a nice walk (unless you live in Houston or Phoenix and it's too stinkin hot!) And most of all...pray for a cure for this horrible disease.

Do enjoy our fabulous Marshall Vic and our news. Hugs to you all...
Nurse Dee and a very fried, but focused on HOME, Chemo-sabe


  1. Julie in OK here, Marshall Vic you really crack me up. Wish I had a Doc that had the humor that you have. Dee and Brenda, Glad there is a time frame that you can both look forward to to get home. I look daily for the updates on the progress and "The Cure". Lots of good vibes coming from here.

  2. Hello in Houston . . .
    Yes, it's too hot to walk the dog in Phoenix, unless one loves the 0400 hour or walkin' after midnight. . . but I like your idea of looking around your home and the folks who make it all worthwhile. :) It is such good news to hear that you may be able to come home in just 3 weeks! Courtney, Carissa & I will keep praying for good news on Monday. In the meanwhile, I hope that ointment and increased pain meds provide some relief for what sounds like a most unbearable lot . . .but you know what's amazing?? Only Brenda could handle it with such humor and grace. . . God love ya. Keep your spirits up Chemo-Sabe. Your VPs are sending out good vibes, prayers, positive energy and all the love we can muster! xoxox

  3. That Marshall Vic is just too stinkin' funny! She better watch the placement of her props or she'll have all the girls having hot flashes!

    Great news about the "wishing & hoping" almost home temporary-Houston cure-gals!

    I'll be putting a couple extra prayers in the hopper for getting home August 21st! Can't wait to see our gal Brenda in the flesh! And heres hoping it cools down a little by the time you get here... even Payson has been having a heat wave (upper 90's) for the few weeks!
    Lots of Hugs, Love & Blessings Cathie & Evelyn

  4. Well, if doctors ever need a good laugh, this blog could become very popular. That 'hot flash' video would be appreciated in many locations around the country in more than one!

    Brenda and Dee...what wonderful news that you have a date on the calendar when returning home is a reality! Moving forward with dignity throughout this process has been your gift to all of us. You're on the home stretch, so we send our loving arms to help carry you through these last few weeks.

    Bonnie and Jackie

  5. Hello VPs,

    Isn’t Marshall Vic a riot???? She cracked me up when I felt like hell. Hot flashes, like cancer, suck!!!! The sad thing is that my purple blistering neck triggers these hot flashes.

    I have to tell you that Dee is my hero. I am on so many medicines and treatments that I can’t keep track of them all. Dee not only has an OCD chart to list them all, she created a new one because they started to exceed the page. I am to the point that when I get my medicine list at every appointment I hand it over to Dee to update. I think that I am feeling as well as I am is because Dee keeps my pain under control. I am sleeping and even though I fall asleep Dee sneaks in those extra cans of formula to keep my weight and energy up. She doesn’t think that I catch her at times but she’s good.However; I pulled one over the nurse’s eyes this week....

    President O’Bama has been all over the news after he stepped into it with the police officer and the black man that was reportedly breaking into his own home. Cal called us and told us that 40 people from O’Bama’s administration were coming to Pamela’s for breakfast. Cal works for the owners of Pamela’s restaurants and is their “Boss Woman.” She takes care of business that’s for sure.

    So back to O’Bama. I came out of radiation one day and O’Bama was again on the television. Dee had my fanny pack and cell phone and as we started walking away I asked her if President O’Bama called me. She stopped in her tracks and asked me to repeat what I asked her again if President O’Bama called me. I had a straight face and I could hear Dee’s inside face saying, OMG, the tumor spread to her brain and this is what it looks like when people go over the edge. We all know that the President is a projection of a lot of mental illness.

  6. Hi Girls,
    Great news with a date to shoot for. Hope Dr Hong can be done with his chemo and our Chemo Sabe will be cleared for the most wonderful trip of her life--- Going home with a cure on board.

    Love the Marshall Vic Hot Flash Video. I remember the hot flash days, I even did ironing in my birthday suit. Got a burn scar on my belly to prove it!

    You both are such troopers. Brenda is my hero. I have never seen such a wonderful team approach that you and Brenda have mustered to get you both thru this very difficult maze to the CURE.

    My good wishes and positive thoughts are all being sent your way. Keep up the good work and know we are all here pushing for you.

    Miss ya lots, love,
    Karen aka Mcguyver

  7. I waited a few minutes that to Dee seemed like hours. Then I started to laugh and tease Dee how I had her hook, line, and sinker. That was a good one. She told me that if I can make jokes when I am feeling so crappy that I must be healing.

    Well, the look on Dee's face was priceless. She was worried and I could hear her saying with her inside voice, "Uh Oh." Then I had to laugh and she let out the longest sigh of relief. OMG did I pull one over on her and she told me that I scared the shit out of her. That was a good one I'd say.

    Dee told me that there is nothing wrong with my brain because under pain killers and all of these violations to my body I still have access to my humor.

    I have one more day for this week. I will have a radiation booster next week which means I will have 2 radiations per day Tues-Fri. My last radiation is Monday the 10th. YAHOO!!!!!!!! We'll find out on Monday when I see my oncologist if I have to have that last cycle of chemo. Lets hope not.

    Thanks to the VPs that have been so supportive and giving of yourselves. I am truly blessed to have such an amazing village to get me through this. I keep singing the song, "I'm Coming Home."

    chemo sabe soon to only be Sabe :-)

  8. Vic, Vic, Vic
    Take the cap off. Everyone knows a hat helps the body retain the heat!!! As a hospital administrator I hate it when I have to correct a Doc - NOT!!! I'm actually doing a happy dance :)

    Home is a magical thought and in sight. I should send you all my ruby red slippers (its a brouche) for good luck.

    Chemo sabe - to have an energy spurt at this time - freaking amazing. You know the docs said this is when most men would have already crapped out. I have shared your story with so many women that are going through other forms of cancer and they are encouraged at your will power and tenacity. Please know you are serving as a life saving model for at least 12 other women and one man (the proportion is off only because I know more women).
    Remember the word that drive your treatment plan - CURATIVE. For your disease that is magical. Magic is happening and my mojo is going towards helping you endure and getting you home. I have to admit that I also share a little of that mojo to hope that the bureaucracy is minimal and that you get priority boarding when you go home.
    In fact - I hope a first class trip home.
    Perhaps it is premature, but I do want to meet all on this blog. If I ever get sick, I want you all in my corner!! Marshall Vic - lose the tobacco dip and requisite spit.
    Dee and Chemo sabe
    Stay the course; focus on HOME!!, but at all times on the cure.
    I can safely speak for Karen (which you know she is always cautious when I do, but not now) and I when I say - you guys are amazing. You are in our hearts, our thoughts and our prayers.
    We love your both and one more day to only one more week
    Kick ass!!!

  9. Oh two other observations:
    Marshall Vic - when you recommend a big fan did you mean the dog scratching and the breeze that created? I just want to be clear :)
    And Karen is going to smile broadly when she reads this (I'm on the road so we are not communicating tonight) but Marshall Vic you cannot wash bath towels with colored clothes; it makes lint and discoloration!! (Karen I am on the redeye home - did I do well??)
    Callie - I know you are behind all of this so ; ; to you sweetie.

  10. Ahhh Michele, The colors in the laundry basket were not important....the important thing is that the basket was full!!!! When we started that video Cal started cracking up as she was filming and we had to stop. Usually we do these in one take, so I asked her what was wrong and she said, :your bush is showing !) (Proof to Chemo Sabe that it does grow back !). Cal is the director/videographer but the "pot stirrer" came up with the movie themes (except the spit cup--that was all Cal). As for the hat, Marshall Vic would be naked without the hat and is much too shy for that.

    On a positive note, I skyped Brenda last night and she looked so much better than a couple days ago. Nurse Dee is amazing! The combination of loving care, good nursing, and the promise of a homecoming in the near future are obviously good for her soul!