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 in dripping in all the a drippy 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 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..


  1. Hey I am so sorry to hear you are stuck in Houston once again... If there is anything we can do... just whistle (or e-mail or call)!

    Sounds like this is a fairly easy fix once you get all the scheduling on track!!!

    Lots of Love, Healing & Blessings to you both... we are sending all the Healing Angels to take care of it!!!

    Love Cathie & Evelyn

  2. Looks like you're facing another challenge, Brenda. Not to worry because that's when your inner strength takes over and things turn out right. Love and prayers are coming your way every day. Hang in there!
    Joan & Andy

  3. The Renaissance Festival is fun. There is a bit of walking involved, if you are up for it. Going to Kemah is also always fun. I am tied up Saturday but could joing you Sunday if you want company.

  4. Ahhhh Houston....memories of nose aliens, Mr. Bojangles and olive chicken. I would vote for a relaxing weekend, maybe a movie. Red came out (with Bruce Willis, Helen Mirren and an all star cast). The previews looked good. I'll consult Marshal Vic and see if he has any suggestions. Love and prayers to both of you.


  5. A "leaky dyke"..."upside down"..."hot spot"... Hmm, What kind of blog is this?! ;)

    I can only imagine the suggestions Marshall Vic is going to come up with for both plugging the hole and your entertainment options while in Houston. FCC be on notice!

    At any rate, you both know by now that no matter where you travel or detour your village will follow with love and healing energy by your sides. I'd offer my services, after all given my Dutch nationality I should know a thing or two about leaking dykes. However best to defer that to the good Docs and perhaps Marshall Vic D.O.

    May the scheduling Fairies be swift and a drippy nose soon be in the past!