Saturday, August 1, 2009

A Quiet Saturday Morning at Houston Central

Well week 6 of radiation is history VP's!!! Only 6 more radiation days / 10 more treatments (remember there are 4 days of double treatments...) and Brenda can ring that bell that she's finished with this nasty radiation. I can't even begin to tell you how nasty our poor chemo-sabe's neck is. Nasty, nasty, nasty. In spots it's blistered, weeping, and raw. We have special gel sheets that we put on the nasty spots at night just to soothe these really angry wounds. She is such a trooper and I'm a great mixer of the drugs to keep her comfortable. We've got a great concoction worked out so she sleeps solidly (that's another word for totally drugged....Ha!) through the night.

She's actually doing a lot better than she was about 2 weeks ago. Mr. Flipper (the feeding tube) has decided to "play nice" and we're getting meds, food and water in like we should be doing. We have her pain down to a 4 or 5 (scale of 10) and we've even got a little weight back on her. Now that's music to all our ears!! All your positive energy is really helping get Bren through these last hard days...we know it. Here's another request...please send your collective positive, healing energy on Monday at 2:00 to 3:00 pm Houston time. That's when we see Dr. Hong and we're hoping, praying, begging, pleading that he won't say that Brenda will need another round of chemo. We are so hoping that he'll say just go home and heal from all this and come back in about 8 weeks for the follow-up scans. PLEASE!!!!

When you see Bren you're going to have to ask for her autograph because she is becoming an MD Anderson "star." We all know that she has had one of the best attitudes imaginable through this mess, and we also know what a nightmare the feeding tube was initially. Well Denise, our dietitian, asked us to be on a video they're producing about feeding tubes!!! Ya just gotta laugh! So yesterday we came in early for the know all that "cut, print, wrap" thing. There's another part they want to tape about the cleaning of the wound around the tube so we'll do that before we leave for HOME!!!! We all know that Brenda was a star before all this she's a "star" at MD Anderson!!! We're getting a copy of the final tape...autographs upon request!! Ha!

We're still hoping for August 21st or 22nd depending on flights and the final coordination of all go HOME!!! That is such music to our ears!!! We've even begun to pack up some boxes of stuff to ship home because I don't think all the stuff we've collected over these past few months will fit in the car!!! Ha! We are definitely "Gear Girls!!" Heck! We have a carload of just medical supplies!! I will never begin to tell you how crazy happy "Going Home" makes us feel. I think that's just the perfect medicine that Bren and I need right now, especially for her continued healing. HOME...HOME...HOME!!!

I've got Chemo-sabe's meds so fine tuned that I think we're even going to try and take in the new Harry Potter movie tomorrow that's some darn good drugs!! She might sleep through most of it but at least we get out of the apartment and do something that feels more like our normal life. I think it was Bonnie who asked what Brenda was looking forward to when she got home. We were talking about that the other day and although our lives will never be the way they were before this diagnosis, we both are looking forward to recreating the "new" normal for us...back in our home...with our dogs, friends, and family around us...celebrating life and each other and trying to make a positive difference in this world.

So there ya have it for Saturday morning. Brenda is sleeping on the couch while I get a feeding in her. I'm doing the laundry and will do some more packing this afternoon. YEA!!! Wishing you all a wonderful Saturday.

Nurse Dee and a sleeping, drugged, Chemo-sabe


  1. Hey Sis and Dee-
    NIce to hear you are having a nice CALM saturday. Good for you. Sounds like you have things under control now and just cruising along. Love to hear that! Keep comfy sista!! That will just rev you up for your 2 a days...sounds like football camp! ha

    Very hot here in Boise as well as Houston. Ventured out this am to the downtown market place for some fun, veggies, and lunch and now back home. Time to hit the pool! Wish you were on a raft with me cooling off, someday soon for sure. Dee- my Apple should be delivered by Tues....soon to skype you all!!
    Love you both...

  2. Ahhhh!!!! A quiet Saturday! Just what the doctor ordered. Marshall Vic wants you to know she's available for advice regarding your film debut! If you have to get naked charge them extra! The giant fan is still in my family room (normally it's on the deck) from the last film and I actually stood in front of it this morning when I was having a hot flash. It worked very well I might add and it may just become a permanent fixture. Wishing you calm days, quiet nights and no flippin' feeding tubes!


  3. Dee and Brenda...Thanks for the update regarding your plans to depart Houston Central. The countdown is definitely on and the blast off is around the corner. You have made a difference in ALL of our lives. We will never be the same. Our understanding of a REAL challenge and the ability to meet that challenge with digity and determination has been clarified. The wonder of the human spirit and the support from The Village have impacted all of us. Within time, Brenda will be healing, while our hearts will always remember this journey with deep emotion.

    Bonnie and Jackie

  4. Nice note and count on me for some positive energy on Monday.

    Chemo sabe - is a "Super Star". What's the name of the video they are producing? Better yet, lucky they did the taping this week and not last. I fear if it were done last week, the language Chemo sabe would have used most certainly would have caused the issuance of at least an "R" rating.

    Harry Potter, drugs and gel sheets - sounds like a nice Sunday in store for you both. I hope you can get out a bit. For some reason, burning energy always makes me more energetic - unless it cleaning house or working on the damn driveway or cooking, or.... never mind maybe I meant to say it seems every time Brenda burns energy she seems more charged. that sounds more true to form.

    Well I have to get some sleep (hopefully). I have to store up all my good vibes for Monday so you gals get some positive news and a green light towards Arizona.

    Enjoy the movie.

  5. Hi ladies,
    Hope you are comfy and cozy sitting in a temperature controlled movie theatre somewhere pleasant watching Harry Potter. I am sitting at the Jersey shore waiting for the impending thunderstorm to strike. Just another lovely day here in New Jersey.

    Many of you know once a year a take my family (all of them) somewhere on vacation. This year it is the Jersey Shore. I also fly my aunt Kathleen up from North Carolina. Not only is she my favorite Aunt, but she is also the wackiest person you will ever meet. It is a limitless source of questionable statements, off the wall observations and inquiries that will boggle the mind. I will most likely have a Kathleen story for every day, but I will start with yesterdays moment of brilliance.

    She wanted to get some souvenirs for her neighbors. I decided to take her up to the boardwalk where there are plenty of little shops willing to sell you all kinds of 'stuff' AND more importantly I did not have to shop with her. That is a win-win in my book.

    She was gone quite a while when her came ambling down the boardwalk smiling from ear to ear. She could barely contain herself as she explained how she worked this guy down on price for some tee shirts. Here is her story:

    He wanted to charge her $15 per shirt. She wanted 2 shirts. He told her if she brought 3 shorts her would charge her $12 per shirt. She thought that was great and decided she would buy 4 shirts. The guy in turn offered, wow i'll give you all 4 for $50. Kathleen said SOLD!!!.

    My seven year old niece had to explain. In the meantime, my mother elbowed me in the ribs saying - don't forget that is your father's sister.

    I am sure there will be at least one of these per day and they are out shopping again. Stay tuned.

    Chemo sabe and Nurse Dee

    Let the countdown to end of radiation begin!!!!!