Monday, December 7, 2009

We're Not Quite Done!!

Hi VP's...well, we got a phone call from Mary, Dr. Hong's medical assistant, this morning. We learned that although we are declaring Brenda cancer free, Dr.Hong wants a touchdown...with NO QUESTIONS ASKED. He wants Brenda to have some clean-up chemo to get any of those nasty cells that might still be lingering. Needless to say, Brenda is discouraged and so very tired of being so very tired. We both understand Dr. Hong's reasoning, but we don't have to like the path this journey is taking us once again.

The good news to all this is that we'll be able to do the chemo here in Phoenix. Dr. Hong has yet to decide what kind of drugs to use and how many treatments to administer, but he will continue to draw up the plans and then we just have to find a good medical oncologist here in Phoenix to actually administer the medicine. He wants to see the pathology slides and talk to the pathologist before he determines exactly what the treatment will be. Whatever it is, it won't start until after the holidays. Thanks the Lord!!

I feel so bad for our girl...I wish there was something I could do to take this from her. She's just been through so very much and she's so tired. But Dr. Hong wants a CURE (so does Brenda and I) and he wants to MAKE SURE the bad cells are dead! Brenda is driven to realize a long life, but it doesn't make the news any easier to take. Please continue all the wonderful prayers you've sent her way...for strength...for healing...for some happiness in all this...and most importantly...for the CURE!!!

I'll keep you posted.
Dee and Brenda

Sunday, December 6, 2009

The Pathology Report

Hi's a cloudy, cold (by Arizona standards!!) morning here in our Mesa "hood." All's right with the world. Brenda and Tanner are asleep on the couch. Abbie is asleep in the chair. And I actually got to report .02 of an inch of rain to the online weather reporting system I signed up with. Some of you are probably really laughing at that...but this is Arizona in a drought and since I put the gauge in the backyard in September, I haven't been able to report ANY rain!!! This is a big deal! Ha!

Well we finally got the pathology report on Friday. Lord...the holidays really bogged the system down. We heard from Dr. Gillenwater's nurse practitioner, but she hadn't spoken with the doc and was just a little hesitant to give us the news. It's important to note that she wasn't in the room when we met the doc before we flew home.

So...They removed 12 lymph nodes and tissue total from Brenda's neck. I don't know how many exactly on each side. Of the 12...6 contained neuroendocrine carcinoma. All of these were on the right side of her neck which was the side were the cancer originated. Some were encased in hard tissue, probably the result of all the radiation and some weren't. Once again I don't know the exact count.

It's important to remember the conversation I had with Dr. Gillenwater on November 30th. I specifically asked her if she got "it" all and she said "yes!" She then said..."You're done!" Of course the important test will be the next PET-CT that they do when we go back in March. We're envisioning "NO METABOLIC ACTIVITY!!!" Amen...go home and recoup and come back in another 3 months.

Please help us pray for only healthy cells and Bren's continued healing. She's very weak and very fatigued, but she's got a determination like no other I've known. OH! I forgot to tell you that on Friday we also went to a local ENT and had the nose stents removed. I was expecting to be grossed out again but it really was a simple procedure and not painful for Bren or to watch!! Once he got the plastic out he suctioned her nose and sinus out and them looked around. He stuck that scope in so far that I really thought the dang thing would come out the back of her head!! Amazing! He said Dr. Gillenwater did a great job cleaning out her scar tissue.

She's a very happy camper now that she can breathe through her nose. Now she doesn't sound like she's underwater all the time. The ENT also gave us a prescription for physical therapy at the hospital in Scottsdale so we'll see if they will be able to work on her neck and shoulders properly. Bren's doing her home exercises like a good recovering patient. I don't have to crack the whip at all!! Good dog!

So friends, that's the news for today. Life is good and we're still considering Brenda "Cancer-Free!!!" CELEBRATE!!! Today she's going to just relax and watch football, and I'm going to lunch with my Mom and take her to see "Blind Side."

Hopefully this entry finds you all well and gearing up for Christmas...I can't believe that that holiday is right around the corner...we are soooo far behind!

Smiles all around...
Dee, and the rest of the sleeping gang