Tuesday, October 26, 2010

We're Going Home!!!

We just got back from seeing Dr. Hanna. They identified where the leak is coming from and he said that he can repair it by going through Brenda's nose. YEA!! He said it's a delicate surgery that he doesn't want to try and squeeze in someplace and then find that he doesn't have the right amount of time to make sure this is done right. We totally get that and have absolutely no issue with it. That's exactly why we came back to Houston to get this done. So the bad news is that he can't get us on the schedule until November 11th...UGH!!

Well, the Executive Assistant to the Princess was very happy that the proposed fix for the leak was looking like it would be pretty straight forward and we definitely came to the right guy to do the fix. Dr. Hanna said that there wouldn't be a lot of pain and very little blood loss and although other things could happen, but with the good Lords help...it won't. The thing I wasn't happy with was the long wait until we could get this done...UGH! I hate sitting around when there's so much to do at home. GRRRRRRRR.

So we thought about this and ran some money issues through our brains and we both decided we'd go home until we had to come back for the surgery. YEA!!! I actually had a free ticket from using my Southwest Airline credit card so the trip home cost us $5.00...some tax thing!! AMAZING...God sure gives you gifts when you ask...This is a best news. We are now both wonderfully happy campers...in the words of the immortal "Dorothy" from Wizard of OZ..."There's no place like home!" So we fly out at 12:15 and we'll be in Phoenix by 1:15...I'll have the dogs by 4:00 and back by the time Survivor hits the TV at 7:00...yea!

So we'll come back on Nov. 9th, Have an appointment with the anesthesiologist on the 10th and then the surgery on the 11th. Dr. Hanna said she's just be in the hospital for about 24 hours for observation and then could recoup at the apartment for a week. She'll see the doc on 18th and we'll probably be able to fly home on the 19th....YEA!!!

So there ya have it...we finally have the plan for this phrase of the cure. The leak will finally get fixed.

Keep posted on the haps...the adventure continues.

Dee and the Princess

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Marshall Vic's "Drip Repair" Medical Minute

Villagers...Brenda and I have stopped laughing long enough for me to post this wonderful "Medical Minute" provided by our favorite Jill of all trades....Marshall Vic.

Warning: DO NOT have anything in your hands, like hot soup, electric tools, or sharp instruments, as you watch this pearl of wisdom.

Can't wait to hear the comments, so don't be shy about posting!!! God love ya Marshall Vic!!

We sure do...
Princess Brenda and her Executive Assistant.

All Is Fine with the Fair Princess

Hi Everyone...Just wanted you to see with your very eyes that Princess Brenda has recovered from her ordeal yesterday and is doing quite well this fine Houston morn.

She's a thing of beauty and grace...don't ya think.

The Chief Princess Keeper...

Friday, October 22, 2010

Locating the Leak!!

TGIF Village People...add another day-long stay at MD Anderson getting this "leak" test done. Thank heaven this is done. It wasn't the most pleasant experience and really stressed poor Bren out. It was all that gunk being pushed into her spinal canal...remember she hates needles...the pressure (mental and physical,) the weird positions they had to put her in to get the gunk up into her brain and then out her nose...to put it in her words..."It WASN'T a do-over!"

But it's over and we're back at the apartment with instructions that Brenda is to be treated like a "princess" for the next couple of days...no lifting, nothing strenuous, just couch-potato time. Imagine! So we have movies, the baseball game, and football to watch this weekend. I'm totally up for the "princess challenge!!" Ha!

We know they found the leak but the radiologist said he had to study the films and then would contact Dr. Hanna. So we haven't seen Dr. Hanna yet and will do that next week I'm sure...so more waiting. GEE!! The thing we love to do the most...NOT!!

Other than that...we're doing OK...anxious to get this totally over with, but we're OK. Brenda had a fabulous nurse this afternoon who took really, really good care of her. We also ran into Paula's husband, Jason, who is a nurse at MD Anderson and had a little breakfast with him. He is such a wonderful guy...thanks Jason, for being such a love.

So there ya have it...watch for another update early next week. Have a wonderful weekend wherever you are.

Off to care for the "Princess!"
Brenda's personal assistant...

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Hi Ho Hi Ho...It's Off To Houston We Go!!

You can tell everything is getting back to normal on the healing front when all our Village People don't get any e-mails from the nurse! Brenda has been doing great with her rehab...she's put on a little weight, her energy is slowly returning, she's getting a few more muscles, and the best news of all...she's cancer free!!! That was again the case when we went back to Houston for her check up 2 weeks ago...YEA!!! Double YEA!

So there we were in Dr. Gillenwater's office (that's Brenda's neck surgeon)...and Brenda mentioned that her nose keeps leaking...as in dripping fluid...as in all the time...like a drippy faucet...one drip about every 10 seconds...drip...drip. Man! Dr. Gillenwater's attitude changed and she seemed to get real concerned...OH! MAN! Was the air going to be sucked out of the room again! NO! A thousand times NO! After a couple questions...the good doc said that she suspected a leak in the dyke! (I just couldn't resist...sorry!)...a "CSF LEAK!!" That is a "cerebral spinal fluid leak." What on earth!! With all the surgery, tumor, and radiation, the docs think that there is a small crack or hole in Brenda's skull base where the cancer was that's leaking the fluid. The risk is that she is open for an infection like meningitis. YIKES! That's a really bad boy we want to stay away from...FAR AWAY!!

So they gave us a specimen cup and off to the airport we went while Brenda collected the fluid coming out of her nose! You should have seen all the looks we got as Brenda leaked into that little cup!! I'd love to hear all the mental comments folks were thinking. So when we got home we took the stuff to our ENT and he sent it in for tests. After a week of waiting and waiting...that's the absolute worst part...we heard back that...YEP...Brenda's spinal-brain fluid was coming out of her nose! HEAVENS!! Ya know we just have to keep this in perspective...there is no sign of the nasty disease...she just needs to get a patch!...sooner rather than later.

YEP!!! It's back to Houston we go...UGH! In fact we're there NOW! Dr. Hanna's office...he's the skull-based surgeon that is the expert at repairing this kind of thing...called us last Friday and asked if we could be in Houston on Tuesday morning for an appointment. We chased around and around and around and with the help of all our fabulous friends and the good Lord, we arrived in Houston on Monday night and saw the doctor yesterday.

Dr. Hanna stuck that dang scope up Brenda's nose...like everyone else has...and no one...including him... can find where the actual leak is coming from. So they have prescribed another test which will pinpoint where the leak is. The test injects some radioactive material into her spinal fluid...ick...spinal tap...and then they hang her upside down...or something like that...and take pictures to see the leak. He thinks it's a small crack someplace and hopefully it can be fixed through her nose. AMAZING!!

So now we're waiting for the scheduler to call us to arrange the test and we see Dr. Hanna again on Friday. Then we'll really have more info...we'll know where the dang leak is and the doc will have looked at his schedule to know when he can actually get her in for the repair. He knows we're here from out of town and it's really expensive to just sit waiting for an opening in the schedule. He said she would be in the hospital for 2 to 3 days and then we'd need to stay in Houston for an additional 7 to 10 days for the healing process to work it's magic.

So now you might ask...where are you guys staying. Well, we have again rented an apartment...we're at a place called The Esplanade, and it's right next to the apartment complex we were in when we had to come for Brenda's neck surgery. The apartment is nice and we have internet right at the apartment and not in some wifi hot spot. We brought our wireless router and Ms. Tecky Me hooked us all up so now we're wireless...YEA!! For all of us that are hooked on our computers, you know how important that is. Ha! The good news is that the apartment complex has a Cyber Cafe with an automatic Starbucks brewing machine...YUMMY!!! I'm saved! Ha!

So now we wait...we hate this part!! Brenda just called Mary...our guardian angel and main tree shaker to see if we can get the scheduler off her butt. I guess I've had too much of that free Starbucks bold roast this morning!! Ha! Let's get this show on the road...we want to go home already!! More coffee please!!! Ha!

We're now trying to find something fun to do this weekend...maybe the Renaissance Festival or maybe going back down to Galveston. Anyone have any suggestions?

So dear friends...consider yourself updated. Watch the blog in the days to come for the continuing story of Brenda's Adventures in Recovery.

Toodles from Texas..