Monday, May 3, 2010

Put A Fork In It...Chemo is DONE!!!

Hi VP...It's amazing what being shamed publicly on Facebook will make a girl do!! I know Cathy...I've been horrible about keeping the village up to date and YES! it's partly due to my obsession with working on my Spit...Bad Dog Dee!!! So here I am to bring you all up to date with the latest hap's here in Arizona. the most important info first...CHEMO IS NOW HISTORY!!! Brenda is SOOOO over all this. There have been a few bumps in the road lately but she'll be back to her feisty self in no time, I'm sure. Just before Chemo #5 she went for her regular ENT visit and they found she had a sinus infection beginning and she was running a low grade fever...NOT GOOD AT ALL! She had been feeling really bad for a couple days prior and so we got her into the oncologist who ran a blood test and got her on some antibiotics and steroids. She was feeling much much better in a couple days...heck...just in time for chemo #6. Now that's just mean! We'll get you feeling so much better and then we're going to poison you again!! Damn!

So here we are with chemo #6 history last Tuesday. The problem is that Brenda has gotten another sore throat, she's horribly fatigued, she's got more sinus build-up, and she just feels crappy. No fever this time so that's good. We have her on some additional meds and tomorrow we take her in to see the PA in the Oncologists office to see what we can do to get her feeling better. I just feel so helpless when she's so under the weather. I'm sure we'll have her back to her old self soon. With no more chemo she can get over this hump and then start really healing from all that poison.

We heard back from Mary at MD Anderson and we go back to Houston on Sunday June 27th, the PET scan and all the doc appointments will happen on Monday June 28th, and we'll fly back home on Tuesday the 29th. I know that we'll get only good news that the cancer is history and they'll tell us to go home and after some BBQ...we're GONE! At least for another 3 months! Keep those prayers and positive thoughts coming as that will help this dream turn into reality.

Life here at home had been good...busy, but really good...we are so blessed that we could be home during this last part of the CURE. For the most part it's been good, but with's had it's ups and downs. The "UP'S" certainly have been Brenda's continued healing...most of it has been positive...our dear, dear friends and their love and support, the dogs...they just make you smile...our home in the desert...well you get the picture. The "DOWN'S" have been a few of those really low days for poor Bren, news that my sweetie Abbie's (our 6 year old Dobie) heart condition is worsening...DAMN!...and a medical emergency with my Mom last week that ended her in the hospital with a gall bladder attack and gall bladder surgery. She's here at the house recouping and doing just great so that's all good. She went through the surgery without a hitch...thank the LORD! It's hard to keep a good woman down!

Of course I've been busy playing Nurse Ratchet to all my patients...the list is growing!!! STOP! And of course I've been busy with house work, errands, time at the gym, visits to Starbucks...thanks to all of you that sent me Starbucks goodies for my b-day...YUMMMM! I'm in heaven! Of course I've really been busy with my Spit. I met this wonderful woman through the Triumph club who has been restoring British cars for years...she's a retired mechanical engineer and is an absolutely amazing mechanic! She came over to help me install a new steering column and steering wheel and it turned into 8 days of fun, grease, laughter, swearing, and parts, parts parts when we ended up fixing a whole bunch of stuff on the car. One thing just led to another...and know the drill....after's a 33 year old car. Marie and her partner Betsy are wonderful folks and we have talked them into coming to Amsterdam with us in 2011...more on that in a minute.

So one day...after talking with Vic on the phone, Bren decided that she really needed something big to look forward to that had no relation to medicine or cancer. We can all agree with that. She was also thinking that trying to do her Australia trip next year, the way she wanted to do it, might just be a little too much. She's got a lot of healing and building to do over the next year. So we just had gotten the announcement of the Olivia Tulips and Amsterdam Riverboat Trip in April of 2011 and she thought that was a perfect adventure to look forward to. She needed something positive to work toward and this was going to be it. Are any of you Villagers going? I think it's a fabulous idea and can't wait to visit Europe with my favorite gal. How cool is this??!

So that should bring you all up to date...hopefully I'll have tons of great news to report in the future with Brenda's healing. We love you all and want to celebrate the power of the village in helping Brenda get through this journey. You are all the best!

Sending blessings to each and every one of you.

Dee, Brenda, Abbie and Tanner


  1. WOOHOOO!!! (Arms flailing and doing a happy dance!) Way to go Brenda!!!!

    You're done, finito, you did it! It was not easy, but your perseverance and determination brought you to this point, you are amazing!

    Now every breath, every moment will be dedicated to regaining your strength so you will be your energetic, dynamic and crazy, joyful self before too soon!

    I can't wait to see your smiles Brenda and Dee, here in PA and then...AMSTERDAM!!!

    The word for today is a definite "HOERA!" Pronounced "Who-rraah" with a rolling r and dental 'say aaah'.

    No more chemo for Brendita, Hoera, Hoera, HOERA!!!!!


  2. Oh ladies I am doing a happy dance as well. Sorry Dori I do not flap or flail my arms. After all I am Irish and apparently any type of arm movement is prohibited.
    You guys are really going to love the Amsterdam trip. What a great goal to work towards. The trip has changed, for the better, since we went on the inaugural trip. I am sure it is just the motivator to get Brenda focused and stronger. I say that tongue in cheek because we all know those two characteristics pretty much define Brenda.
    Dee - from Nursing to car grease - you certainly know how to play the full spectrum of life. One more patient and you are going to have to become licensed!!! Karen is so proud that you have successfully nursed two individuals back to health with nothing more than gun permits and a pilots license. You go girl.
    Well, I am off to Orlando for a two day meeting - yukk -o. With any luck I will avoid the kids at the airport and maintain my health and the last bits of sanity. Would love to be with you in May but that is the start of the Cancun trip. I will see you both in June and will share those plans once I get off my butt and make them.
    Brenda - get better soon. Perhaps you can muster Marie and Dee's car knowledge to fix your thermostat. You look brrrrr cold my friend.
    To quote Dori - HOERA (I hope that means something good and that I did not just curse you out in Dutch). You are in the fast lane now to the cure!!!!

  3. Thank goodness I don't depend on the blog to keep me updated on your progress. That DeeDee has been way too busy being a nurse and a mechanic (an interesting combination I might add). Dori gave you the word of the day but didn't give you the translation. No Michele it's not a curse word, it means Hooray! The only word I need in Amsterdam is biertje (pronounced "beer cheh"). It means beer, what else could we possibly need? Brenda you are truly a warrior (Tawanda) in this battle. You will always have my utmost love and respect for getting through this last year. I can't wait to see you in person next week, you are way overdue for some Ribby hugs!


  4. Yahoo from Illinois! Plans, by all means plans are in order and the Amsterdam trip is perfect! You will love the leisurely life of a river boat cruise! The quaint towns, flower markets and European ambiance will be the perfect getaway.

    Bonnie and Jackie

  5. We also are doing a happy dance and singing!!!
    I am so glad all this treatment is finally over and you can get on with some real living... a riverboat trip sounds perfect... with your feet up eating bon-bons as the scenery slowly passes by your window!

    I am soooo sorry we will be unable to make your party on the 15th... I have to work that week-end - one of our semi-annual symposiums is happening that week-end & I can't be missing since I am THE coordinator! Maybe we can plan another week-end to do an additional celebration!

    Love to you both with lots of hugs & kisses & positive healing energy...
    Cathie & Evelyn

  6. Hello my friends,
    It is a week (+ or - a day) and time to check in to see how you are feeling. I know that the chemo has long lasting effects, which is what we hope for, but the side effects are surely continuing. Hope you are navigating both well.
    No, I have not made my June travel plans yet, much to the chagrin of the Arizona Planning Committee, but I will in due time. I have been busy with work, of course, but the real reason for my tardiness is that I have been doing the same stiff arm, rapid leg Irish dance movement mentioned before. This time the reason is that my nephew Matt (and his girlfriend Jenn) are moving to the East Coast - yippee. They are moving to DC on May 21 - how wonderful is that??? For those of you that do not know me, Matt has always been the twinkle in my eye. It will be wonderful to have him in the same time zone. He may regret being this close to his oppressive family, but heck - kids have to suffer right?? I keep telling him humidity is good, humidity is good. He keeps telling me therapy is good, therapy is good. Silly boy!!!
    Brenda - I hope you are kicking butt at the gym and taking no prisoners. The road to recovery is hard enough, no need to carry extra baggage. Get better quicker!!!!
    Love ya both
    Karen and Michele

  7. Okay - two things:
    1. Dee - no update??? Too busy with that cool car :-) I have to admit, it is a cool car. I know our gal is doing great, so I will update the blog so all can track her progress. I can say when I visited, Brenda she walked two miles in freaking Arizona heat on two consecutive days (102 and 104 degrees respectively) at a very rapid pace. Dry heat my @#$ it was $%^&* HOT. I was a little verklempted, she seemed fine. Then she made lunch, went to the store for dinner and prepared dinner. I almost felt bad for not helping, but I got over that quickly. Brenda looks, good, sounds good and apparently is getting back some taste, but I will never say she tastes good :-) It's our little secret .
    2. Next week. Big week for sure. Dee and Brenda - we are churning mojo for you guys. Go to Houston knowing you have the best support system on earth. Brenda - pass this test.
    Godspeed my friends
    We love you
    Karen and Michele