Monday, August 3, 2009

Great News from Dr. Hong

Hi VP's...if you've been following this blog you know that we anxiously awaited our visit with Dr. Hong this afternoon. He was going to let us know if Brenda would have to go through another round of chemo or not and if we could finally go home and do some healing before we had to come back for all the scans...we were holding our breathe as he walked into the room.

When he announced..."NO CHEMO"...Brenda jumped up and hugged him. Man! Did that surprise the good doc!! Ha! You should have seen his face. Ha! He told Brenda that she has gone through a really tough of the toughest...and she should be very proud of how she has handled all this. Well...we are incredibly proud of her...aren't we? She even gets to have the PICC line out that's additional progress toward the CURE and normacy.

He said he wanted to see her again after radiation finished...hey!!! Only 5 more days of that!!! That's good...her neck is so burned, swollen, and raw that he didn't even want to try and feel around in her neck. They said that was even going to get worse!!! Here was the other critical question...we asked if we could go home on August 21st!!! Our fingers were crossed...we weren't breathing. YES!!! We can go home on the 21st!!!WOOPIE!!! Arizona...Abbie and we come!!! We were so excited that we went out and celebrated by having iced mocha's at Starbucks!!! She can actually get that down!!

The plan is that we'll have to come back about 6 to 8 weeks from the end of radiation for all the scans and visits with all the doctors for their follow-up assessment...those will be nerve wracking appointments...but we're just focused on going home right now. Again...the great news is...NO CHEMO so we are officially retiring the name "Chemo-sabe." Now you all can come up with another nickname for her. Michele??? Do you have any thoughts on that?

I know you all were anxious to hear today's there ya have it. Tomorrow Bren starts double radiation treatments for the rest of the week. The bell gets rung on Monday. I've included a picture of the famous bell so you could all help ring it with Brenda on Monday about 2:30 PM or so Houston time. Ding...Ding...Ding!!! Don't worry...I'll take pictures.

After Starbucks we went right over to Office Depot and Big Lots and got some packing supplies. The plan is that we'll mail a lot of stuff home and then pack the rest in the car, drive it to the airport on the our friend who's going to drive the car home...turn over the keys and the map home...and get the next plane out of Houston bound for Phoenix!!! I'll drive down to Tucson the following day and get the dogs!!! Abbie and Tanner...get're finally coming home!

So there ya have it VP's...the news we've all been waiting for...the light at the end of that tunnel is really bright!! Thanks for hanging in there with'll never know how much that means to us. Now go help us celebrate!!

Nurse Dee and "new name needed" Brenda


  1. You are both very courageous individuals who have taught all of us what can be achieved with (amongst others) love, courage and humor. Your tenacity through this ordeal is something to be admired.

    And the good news flows….no doubt you can now focus on happy things to come which includes the healing process - one that will be expedited once you return home to familiar surroundings, friends and family….

    One can only imagine just what you both feel at the moment…..that light is shining oh so brightly now….you are our gold medal champions and we are so proud of what you both have endured over the past months….

  2. Such wonderful news!! Your hearts must be singing. Seeing Brenda leap up and hug Dr. Hong had to be heartwarming. You can bet that he'll remember that moment as well! Looking forward to all of your Bell Ringing! It's time to celebrate for sure!

    Bonnie and Jackie

  3. Wonderful news! I've been thinking about you guys all day! I am so happy there is a date to go home. That calls for a HUGE celebration...celebrate for days. Ring that bell on Monday so good I can hear it in Katy! You are both incredible people!

  4. Wow, I am so blown away by this AMAZING, FANTASTIC News!! Congratulations for making it to this incredible place. You should really take in the fact that Dr. Hong complimented how brave and strong you have been through this, Bren. He has seen countless patients go through very tough things. He sees it all. For him to relay just how hard this particular course of chemo and radiation are, and how much fortitude you have shown through all of this, is the highest compliment.... given all that he sees. You amaze all of us Brenda. We are very blessed to be your friends, your family, your village.

    Now, what to do about the name!! Chemo-sabe was really special. I was sort of thinking along the lines of famous Female Superheros. Mostly because I know you are a superhero to all of us. Wonder Woman is pretty cool, but so very common. So, I"m thinking "ELECTRA" Given how much you probably glow in the dark at this point!!! And, the web photos aren't hard to look at if you know what I mean.

    There is so much to celebrate. We couldn't be more happy for both of you. I'm sure Abbie and Tanner are even turning in circles of joy.

    Love to both of you. You are both Superheros!!
    Amanda (GA-MD)

  5. As G.F. Handel said, "Haaaal-le-lu-jah!Haaaal-le-lu-jah!Hallelujah,hallelujah, hal-leeee-luuuuu-jah!!!!!

    Terrific news and well-deserved kudos from Dr. Hong. "New name needed" Brenda, you are the hero all superheros aspire to be. Wonder Woman ain't got nothin' on you.

    Much love to you both,

  6. There could not have been a better outcome from todays appointment than those words that you can go home. After all you've endured you deserve to go home and relax and heal. We've all tried to watch and listen and pray as you made this tough journey. We really have no idea how difficult it has been. We can only imagine and admire you for what you've gone through and wish you comfort and healing in the days ahead. As for the new name, you already have it...Tawanda !!!


  7. YEP-EEEEE!!!!!! GREAT NEWS I am so happy for you both. You both deserve all the compliments anyone can muster. Ring that bell loud enough for the whole world to hear.
    Celebration time is here. You guys are beyond special, I feel very lucky to have you both as my friends.
    Hugs and Kisses

  8. Thank you Village!!!! You are all to be commended because you all took a very big part in my healing. I talked to my brother today and he said, "Who is the almost naked lady?" She is funnier than hell. I told him a bit about Marshal Vic and he said that that's a true friend and there aren't many of those. I agree and if I were to take my inventory I have a lot of rare friends. A rare cancer deserves rare friends and I am here to tell you that I am the luckiest person on earth to have such a fabulous village and partner. I must tell you that Dr. Hong said that Dee was a wonderful friend and did an excellent job as well. He knows that it took this village to keep my spirits up, my focus direct, and my dogged determination intact.

    I am still not out of the woods yet. I have radiation to complete and then I have to recover. We really won't know if I have any cancer left or anything to repair until I come back in 2 months and will be scanned head to toe. By the looks of my neck I am convinced that they wiped out all of the cancer. So keep the prayers coming because all that we're doing is working so far. I have a lot more to contribute in this lifetime and look forward to more trips and more laughter.

    Thanks to all of your for keeping me and cancer in the forefront of your minds. It's much easier to stay disconnected and wait to hear the outcome. It is hard to see and a tough issue to deal with. Only the courageous and dedicated people could hang in there with me and I know that. Thank you just doesn't do it. Just know that if anything every happens to one of you I will be courageous and do whatever I can to make things just a little bit easier for you. You are givers in life and so am I. I will honor the day that I can return even a little bit of what you all have given me. Yes, that even includes helping Karen get Michelle all of her beers by the pool!!! I am forever grateful to be loved like this!!!

    love, chemo sabe minus the chemo!!!!

  9. Well there you have it - her new nickname from me is "waitress' :) Perhaps I should buy a bell so rather than rudely yelling 'Excuse me Waitress' I can simply ring the bell. Let me ponder that for a bit.

    Oh man excellent news no chemo, going home, serving me...... Today is a good day in this journey. Karen help is on the way!!!

    Amanda - I love Electra as a nick name. For the radiation she has had to endure and for how she went through this this is true star fashion - the show must go on! That takes me to Carmen Electra and boy do I want to go someplace else real quick, but you all get the point. I will try to focus on how she lit the way for many more people to follow.

    The next time I say 'I can't' or 'something is too hard', I just have to look at the example Brenda set and the standards she has defined and I will be "electrified" and motivated to get up and get to it.

    Dee - you are our Florence 'THE ROCK' Nightingale - no two ways about it!

    My thoughts surround the fact that after all the gals have been through, some sense of normalcy is definitely in order. I am so happy to hear they are going home and I'm looking at the picture of the bell and I am thinking - Liberty. To me that bell represents freedom. Freedom from this round of cure; freedom to go home; freedom to have time to regroup and return to normal routine; also the Women's Basketball Association (WMBA) NY Liberty Team (tee hee). Most importantly ringing that bell for the USA serves as a tremendous symbol of our struggles to attain freedom. We know freedom has responsibility and in 'Electra's' case it means follow-up visits, scans and all the medical poking and prodding requisite to getting to the cure. Ring your bell and we will be there for all the future holds!

    Hugs all around (except the neck area). Truly that news makes this week easier to endure and boost your energy. Hey I hear it was 111 and sunny (who would have thought that) in Arizona today - Electra - wear a hat!!!!!!!


  10. I have to agree with Viv on the "Tawanda" It comes from one of hers and mine as well favorite movies. "Tawanda" righter of wrong, doer of good, "QUEEN beyond Compare" (Fried Green Tomatoes) She has had that bumper sticker in her office for years...and I think it has worked for her. I even took it and mailed it to Houston for her.She has it on her bulentin board with all her friends- "VP's" pics. It has been her motto for sure!! Or if you don't listen to reason there is always "Iggy" right sis??? HA HA

    I was so jazzed to get your text this afternoon and could feel the celebration through the phone. It made my day. I am so proud of you!!! Yes we still need to keep the well wishes coming through these next trying 4 days for sure, so sending lots! Know that I am still hugging on you....and miss you!
    Love you Sis oxoxoxox

  11. Brenda (Sabe) and Dee: I am singing right along with the Hallelujah chorus that Jan sent. The prayers of your whole village have been answered. And, what were you trying to make us do (bawl??)with that thank you note? We know you are a giver. And we gladly gave you of our time, love, prayers and support. Once you are healed, we will have to have the Village People Bash of the Century to celebrate your homecoming. And, yes, it's been 111+ for way too long back here at home. However, I trust that with everything you and Dee have survived to this point, Arizona weather will feel good to you, and home will be the best medication around. As for the new nickname, might I suggest "RAREST FRIEND OF THEM ALL." (kind of like fairest princess of them all, but it was already taken!) Now, VP's, we need to send out as much love and prayers as ever before that she is free and clear of all those cancer cells in 8 weeks! No sense in losing our good energy now! Happy Day!

  12. Hi Brenda and Dee,

    Congratulations you have come very far. I was thinking the same thing about what Dr. Hong said about this being one of the toughest treatments. My partner had her own cancer fight last year. It was tough but man your fight is crazy. You are a winner!!

    If you would like, I could drive down to Tucson and pick up your babies and have them home on the day you get home or you can settle in and I could get them the next day for the both of you.

    I would love to help!! Just let me know 602-432-7046 or


  13. WOW!!! I am so excited for you! I can't believe you finally are getting to come home & heal in the comfort of all your usual surroundings and friends. It will certainly speed along the process...

    As always if there is anything we can do to make the transition easier or more comfortable please let me know.

    Love you both and look forward to seeing you soon! Lots of Hugs & Blessings, Cathie & Evelyn

  14. Great news for sure...
    You two are the epitome of strength, courage, and love. So happy to see the great news, and I wish you the best, and a safe trip HOME !!

    As far as the name, I really like what was mentioned above - "Electra" !!

    I do hope to see you soon, on my next trip to Arizona.

    Root Beer Floats Rule !!

  15. Dee,

    I just heard what Brenda and you have gone through. I have both of you in my prayers. Please give Brenda a hug from me. If any two people can fight the cancer monster it is the two of you together.

  16. Hope this note finds you both enduring this last round of radiation with all the energy of the village behind you.

    I love all the nickname suggestions, but I think I have the solution to the name for this next stage of the 'cruise to the cure'. Let's all celebrate a return to normalcy for both gals. Before the disease, BD if you will, we referred to Dee and Brenda in our own special ways. I heard '"Peeker', "Towanda", "Sister Mary Brendita", "Video Star", "Lola of the Desert" (did I read that one or make it up - who knows). I also heard sister, friend, daughter, aunt, business partner and soul mate. Each one personal, some comical, but all said with heartfelt affection. My suggestion for a nickname for the next stage is to urge you to use whatever name you called the gals BD. To that end, I will call them Dee and Brenda. Maybe if I am lucky I will once again be able to say 'Sister Mary Brendita" who knows - a girl can dream.
    I know this village is with you through the cure and will stay on always. Love to you both.

  17. Dear Dee and Brenda,

    WOOO HOOO what fantastic news. I am so happy to hear that you are both able to go home soon. As they say Home is where the heart is - I feel blessed to call you both my friends and it is my blessing to be part of your lives. You guys are just unbelievable. I hope that Donna and I can visit you in AZ as soon as you are feeling well enough. It is just a short southwest ride that we are waiting to take. much love to you both,
    Jodie and Donna

  18. Thanks for the heartfelt message, Brenda (with the many nicknames)! Funny how in your case Chemo-Sabe is the true antithesis of The Long Ranger, since this message board sums up the love that is present from so many with an exchange that always focuses on humor and admiration as you have lived for the cure. Frankly, your bravery leaves us speechless; your strength keeps us humble and the angel (Dee) who has walked beside you during this entire ordeal deserves her own medal of honor!!

    We look forward to more bell-ringing!

    Bonnie and Jackie