Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Chemo #4-GONE!!!

Yea...yea...yea!! I know it's been over a month since I last blogged...oops! I've just been really busy and a little lazy about blogging. I've been reading the Haynes Auto Repair Manual for my Spitfire and researching all the parts catalogs...just obsessing on my new little hobby. But both Brenda and I thought I ought to get on the stick and give you all an update...she's so good about getting on my case by not getting on my case about things!! Ha! What a wonderful soul...she has me so figured out.

Chemo infusion #4 went well today...now only 2 more to go and we'll be done in another 6 weeks...PARTY TIME!! Brenda has had some really good days this past week...figures...it's time for another infusion. It's definitely a roller coaster ride. Brenda will be so very glad when this is finally over. We'll both be dancing in the streets. We saw the doctor today and he said all her labs were holding and looked good. She also saw the eye doctor and the ENT yesterday and both said things were looking good. This is music to our ears. Now we just have to ride this out for another 6 weeks. Keep those prayers a comin...please!

Another big milestone is that Bren went to see the ASU PD Chief and put in her resignation. There is just no way that she could return to work by the time limit and in the same capacity...it would just be too much and she's just too depleted to be a police officer. I think it's a little sad that her law enforcement career is over, but she is handling it really well and has just accepted the inevitability of her situation and the need to move on. ASU has been more than patient in waiting, but it just clear that she can't return to the rigors of that job. We all know she'll be a success in whatever she does next...go Brenda!!

Life back here in the Mesa hood is wonderful...we've had more rain in one month than we had all last year!! The desert is green and is about ready to explode in wildflowers. Temps were a bit cool over the last week, but they hit the 80's today. It's a fabulous time in the desert!! The downside is that the weeds are taking over the state!! I have got to get out with the hula hoe and rake and get these under control!! YIKES! I'll just get Brenda out with the whip to give me some incentive!! Ha!

Of course I'm obsessed with getting my Triumph in a safe condition for driving around town without worry...after all it's 33 years old. It sure does bring back memories. I had to replace the gas tank because it leaked and was patched with that putty stuff. YIKES! That just wasn't the best way to go...the tank just had to be replaced. I looked at it and decided that I could replace it myself so I called Julie...she put an aircraft engine together when she was younger so she was the perfect co-mechanic...and the 2 of use spent an afternoon and got the new tank in. Check out the pictures!!

I've had a ball with this thing and spent last Sunday over with some local Triumph car enthusiasts and they went over my new baby and we found some things that need attention but for the most part it's in good shape. Tomorrow I'm getting new tires on it. The ones that are on it now were manufactured in 1996 and are weather checked, cracked, and ready to cause me a true headache..if not worse!! I took Brenda for a ride the other day when we got the new gas tank in and she described it as a "modern day luge ride!" She still can't believe that I drove my '67 Spitfire from Michigan to Arizona (for grad school) with a vacuum cleaned strapped to the luggage rack.

Really folks...all is well...we're just loving the weather and have our eye on the end of chemo. PARTY!!! Just as a reminder, the final treatment is April 27th. Brenda will spend the next week adjusting her meds, and dealing with some of the side effects of the chemo...not drastic like the ones we experienced in Houston, but some side effects none the less. Life is good and we can see the light at the end of this tunnel. YEA! Brenda is such a trooper...this has been such a long hard ordeal for her.

So VP's...consider yourself briefed once again and if I forgot something, Brenda will let me know and I'll get you an update. Hope all is well with each and every one of you. God bless you all...

Spitfire Dee


  1. Wow...what great news! You two have mastered the art of life, love and living. Personally, we will never be the same based on this blog and look forward to seeing a picture of you both making the rounds in that treasure of a Triumph. It's time to celebrate this journey with joyful new adventures.

    Bonnie and Jackie

  2. Well you guys have surely been very busy this last month! Almost too much to comment on... I especially like the pix of Dee sitting in the trunk... new driver position???

    As always sending out the good positive energies for Brenda and we can hardly wait for this part of healing/treatment to be done with so you can get on with the next adventure in life in the "new" spitfire!

    Lots of Love, Hugs & Blessings
    Cathie & Evelyn

  3. I just skyped Brenda and want to let everyone know that she looks great. She seems so up beat and this chemo really got rid of all her hair so she has a very nice shiny head. There is definitely light at the end of this long and winding tunnel.

    DeeDee you are supposed to be driving that car not sitting in the trunk. I can't believe they used putty to patch the gas tank, they might as well have just stuck their finger in the dike...mmmmmmm.......maybe that was a poor choice of words.

    After all the rain (and flooding) you had, you better get busy with those weeds. I'm not sure about using a hula hoe on them. I thought that was someone Michele used to date back in New Jersey!

    Love you guys!


  4. Okay so just to be clear - I did not date a "hula hoe". It was a hoe with a hula. I was young and in college where anything goes - right?
    Dee I know you are not driving the car from the trunk. Cathie, Evelyn and Vic are just being silly I guess. What I am puzzled about is you mention you are replacing the gas tank, yet you are in the trunk. Where is the gas tank on that puppy of yours? Maybe it's me and my lack of a mechanical acumen, but isn't the gas tank typically UNDER the car somewhere?
    Brenda, Brenda, Brenda - bald, shiny head Brenda. You are simply the best! Now, just some warnings - you will have to be careful when Dee takes you for a spin in her new toy. For safety reasons cover your head to avoid sun exposure and perhaps a chin strap-on (tee hee - I seem to always find a way to fit that visual into the blog). Also, be careful if you throw stuff in the trunk - I think they put the gas tank in the wrong place.
    I hope to talk soon, but until then we are pulling for you both and sending all the mojo we can muster to help you through this course of treatment on your road to the cure.

  5. Hello Sis and Dee... always enjoy this blog. The Humor alone can keep anyone smiling and laughing for days. Vic and Michele you kill me. Glad you are only down to a few chemo's left and then on to FREEDOM and some travels. June is approaching quickly.....can't wait to see you in Boise. We are all excited. Had a busy softball travel weekend in Oregon, the girls played well. Will update you soon. Hope all is well in AZ.

    Love ya Sis

  6. Okay so one more observation - in one photo Julie is squatting near the car. In the next photo there is a big wet spot on the driveway - coincidence?

  7. julie gets so excited to have cerebral projects. She is one of those freaky bright people She was so excited to help that she wet herself!!! I saw it with my own eyes....lol

  8. I knew it !!!!
    she was probably laughing too hard from Dee trying to put the gas tank in the trunk.

  9. The tank is SUPPOSED to go in the trunk!!!

  10. Really??
    Again, I do not have a mechanical bone in my body but I have owned a few cars and all the gas tanks were under the car. In fact, one of the SUVs I owned even put the spare tire under the car. I guess that manufacturer knew Karen's propensity to overpack so they wanted to maximize my storage space.
    Chemo-sabe - I think you and I are going to have to get together and watch these two gals rebuild this puppy. I do not want to speak for you but I know if I make the trip west, it is not because I will lift a finger to help if it means getting dirty. If there is a need to Google something or observe something with a completely blank stare, I am your girl. You my dear can just sit there and try not to wet yourself from laughing. The net-net: Chemo-sabe has a great time laughing and Dee and Julie get the car fixed. Me, I get out of very rainy northwest where I have spent the last week or completely saturated NJ where I live and head to someplace sunny and warm. Maybe I can even get to the Sugar Bowl:) I think in business they call that a win-win-win. I call it a win x 3 with a cherry on top.
    Love you guys

  11. Come on down woman! it is gorgeous here and I am certainly not the type to help with this modern day luge ride. I watch and wonder as Dee lays awake at night thinking about how to fix this car. She is at the "group" garage now working on it. I have to laugh because she is so into this car and fixing it herself. I think that she even amazes herself. She certainly amazes me.

    You are welcome at our home anytime. We can get the patio furniture in place so that we can be entertained by mechanic Dee and Julie or entertain ourselves out back watching the wildlife. I love this time of year because it warms up. No problem worrying about mold here. :-0

    I can't wait for our visit in Pittsburgh this Labor Day. What a hoot that will be. It will be the best medicine I have had yet.

    love you my friend..

  12. Brenda & Dee:

    What good news! I keep praying that the long road is leading to a big celebration! and it sounds like this is true!

    I like all of the descriptors in this latest blog and commentary. Modern day luge ride, finger in the dike, getting excited to the point of wetting one's self and my favorite, hula hoe -- someone's former date. It is amazing how the mind works. . . Have to agree with Rhonda . . . it's enough to keep laughing for days. And, Dee, I love the car. I still say I am going to fix up a 72 El Camino and paint it MaryKay pink. And, I want to learn to do the work all by myself. Don't ask me where the wild hair comes from. . . the blog people might start answering.

    I especially could relate to driving the Spitfire across country with the vacuum cleaner and all your earthly possessions to get to school. Reminds me of the carloads Courtney & I used to take back and forth -- first to Prescott and then to Denver. The last time we loaded up her "Priz" (short for Chevrolet Prism), it looked like the Beverly Hillbillies moving to the Hills. Lord, good memories!

    Sorry to hear about your retirement, BrendaG. I have many fond memories of working with you and seeing you ignite with passion for your work. Need I say hubcabs?? we had some fun. Courtney and I were just talking about when she was 10, and you told me she was going to grow up to be a lesbian. We were cracking up. I miss our laughter. And God knows, at CPS I could use some laughter.

    I am about 40 days away from finishing the coursework for my MSW. Wooo hoooo. Now, just finding time to do the field internship and THEN a diploma and licensure. I'm thinking about law school or moving to London for a couple years to do Social Work in the UK. Gotta keep moving forward.

    Love to you both. Hope Easter brings renewed hope and Spring to your steps!

    Love you guys!

  13. Brenda,
    The blog is a year old in the morning. That is great!!! I say great because you are on the road to the cure and although it has been a year - IT IS A YEAR. The Blog - well each time I return to the swamp thing in Tahiti I laugh out loud. This is a public site - what were we thinking?? No wonder you retired.
    Wow, to the friends, the medical specialists, the family, the partner, and most importantly, the patient - Great job. (To the mechanics, the jury is still out).
    Now the challenge is to transition from patient back to person.
    Brenda you now have an insight very few of us will hopefully ever have - you lived this ordeal. Use your retirement to help others. Couple your journey with your love of the mind and the potential is endless. I for one would be happy if you focused on others so you could stop trying to figure me out. I'm irish and impervious to therapy!!
    Love you both

  14. Good lord Michele, if I figured you out then i would be able to write a national bestseller!!!

    It has been a year and believe me I am well aware of the anniversary date. I am so thankful that i am on this side of the treatment and feel very blessed to have made it through. After tomorrow's infusion I will have 1 more chemotherapy treatment and 3 weeks to go. I am like a horse running back to the barn. I haven't been able to come up from treatment without having to face another treatment so I am crossing my fingers that this is it. I am so excited to start healing and getting my strength and energy back. When I am at a point that Michele can take me then I know I have a ways to go. :-)

    I am so thankful for everyone on this blog that has taken part in my healing process. I am a firm believer that cancer didn't have a chance with "The Village" at my side. It has been a long and rough road but now I will be able to reinvent myself and what I want to do next with my life. With a counseling degree and license I will be heading into the healing field and give back what has been so generously given to me over the years.

    I miss my traveling friends and the great adventures. I will be back to torment you all once again. i am working with a trainer to get my body back and if Nurse Ratchet has it her way I will be putting on the pounds once again. I just want it to be muscle and not fat.

    Love to you all,

    chemo sabe

  15. Hello Dee are you there??? How is our favorite patient doing???
    I know it is getting close to the last dose of chemo so just checking in to see how things are going?

  16. Michele, I don't know what Dee is up to. Maybe she's locked in the trunk of that car. Since she posted this blog update about chemo 4 being done, chemo 5 is also finished and chemo 6 is less than a week away. If she's too busy I'll talk to you. Maybe I can get Marshall Vic to corral her into an update.