Hello beautiful and wonderful people!
It's been a while since I've blogged! So here I am... And warning.. it's gonna be a long one! :)
So, as most of you know, I moved to California in the end of March. It was a super hard decision to make with everything going on with Bri. Back in around August, our brother Bill was diagnosed with Multiple Myeloma (cancer of the blood plasma), and at THAT point, I said... I'm moving to California. So it had been the plan that once I was done with school in December, I would migrate out to California. Then Bri was diagnosed in January. So, I'm sure a lot of people are wondering... "Why the heck did you just up and move to another state while your sister is going through this?!" but I didn't plan on Bri having Leukemia. haha None of us did. BUT... it worked out that I wasn't working when Bri was diagnosed because I could stay with her and stuff. Then I got a temporary job and the timing worked for the job to be over around the time my lease was up, so I went with it. I've been out here in Long Beach for a couple months now and I LOVE it here, but it's been really hard not being with my sister after we had basically been glued to the hip. So, when we got the news that she was out of remission, Brudder Bill decided that I should go back and see her, so he sent me back to Denver to see Bri for the weekend (He's amazing).So, last weekend, I surprised Bri with a visit. I was so excited!
I text her when I was outside the hospital, to make sure she was gonna be in her room and stuff. I saw that she had started texting (love iPhone iMessage), but then it went away.. so at least I knew she was awake. So I made my way up to her room. I knocked on the door and slowly peeked my head in and walked in and she looked at me kinda strange and said, "What the HECK?" hahaha She was kinda out of it cause she'd just had some meds and was probably thinking she was seeing things.
So we got to hang out and it was so good to see her. She was in good spirits and handling everything so well. They had done a chest xray because she had a cough and they wanted to see if the blood clot was gone. Turned out, the blood clot was gone, but she had pneumonia. So they had her on a bunch of different antibiotics so she was hooked up to her IV pump pretty much at all times. She has a bacteria infection in her blood, so they took her PICC line (central line) out just to be safe. So, because they did that and that was the main source for giving her antibiotics and everything else, they had to put an IV in. Her veins are small and it's hard to get IVs in them, but after a few tries, got one in. But it caused a lot of problems with the IV pump because if she bent her arm or anything, it would make the thing beep constantly and drive her insane. Me too. Sometimes she'd be out of it or asleep and it wouldn't bother her, but I'd be like.. BRI! CALL YOUR NURSE! haha Those things are annoying. But anyway, they ended up putting in an additional IV so they could do two things at once. They needed to give her a bolus of fluid and still keep the antibiotics going. So, poor thing had two IVs. But she managed.
We had a few visitors come and hang out for a while. and then I had to leave on Monday evening to come back to Cali because I'm still looking for a job and was waiting to hear about a nanny job I'd interviewed for. It was hard to leave her again, especially knowing she has pneumonia, but she was doing so well and I know she's in good hands. I told her next time Bill and I will come visit over the summer. It was a good visit. :)
So, here we are almost a week after I've been home. They did a bone marrow biopsy on Bri to see if she was headed toward remission. Waiting is the hardest thing in the world! It's hard for us as her family, but I can't imagine how much harder it is for her. Especially when you're just sitting in a hospital day after day. We all have lives and things to do. I am constantly amazed at how strong and amazing my big sister is. She's handled this past round like a total champ. She's had a good attitude, smile on her face, and such a strong faith in God. She rocks my world.
Anyway.. the past 24 hours has been a tornado of craziness and a rollercoaster of emotions that has rolled through our lives. Yesterday the doctors came in to give Bri the results of the biopsy, and I'm not sure it was anything any of us were prepared to hear. The doctors said she's still not in remission, the cancer is still there, and that they're running out of options. They gave her a few options, but one of them was to send all of her stuff to MD Anderson Hospital in Houston, TX to take a look at and see if they have some clinical trials that could work for her. I got the news from my mom and got on the phone with Ted to get the details and stuff. I've heard good things about that hospital and I have a couple friends in the medical field that both suggested that hospital, without me even telling them it was an option. So mom, Ted, and I started communicating back and forth and we all really felt like this was what we should do, and I offered to go to Houston to stay with Bri as long as it takes. There's obviously a reason why it's been so hard for me to find a job here after 2 months. I don't know how my monthly bills are going to be paid, but I have a huge God and know that it'll be taken care of somehow. I offered to just declare bankruptcy and go that route, but mom and Ted said not to and we'll figure it out. haha I just get in "Let's do this!" mode and want to just bulldoze through haha.
So when I woke up this morning I had two missed calls from Bri and one from mom, so I knew something was up, so I called Bri back. They made the decision to send Bri to Houston and she should be leaving Tuesday or Wednesday. She'll be flying a chartered plane with a nurse on board I guess. She'll probably be there a month or two and once they get her into remission, we'll go back to Denver and she'll get her transplant there. I've taken a break from packing my stuff up to write this, but I'm driving to Houston starting today. I'll stay in Phoenix with a good friend, and then see how far I can get tomorrow. It's 22 hours altogether... but if we're gonna be there for a month or two, I'd like to have my car out there. When she gets the transplant, she won't have to be in the hospital the entire time, but she'll need to stay in Denver so she can be close to the hospital for appointments or if something happens and she needs to go to the hospital. So, I'll stay in Denver with her for that. Mom will be there, but she'll be working during the day, so she'll need someone to be available to her 24/7.
I know this is kinda all over the place, I'm sure, but my thoughts are all over the place. hahaha I am trying to get packed and get on the road and needed a break to write this all out. So much going on in all of our minds, I'm sure. I'm trying not to think about finances, I'm sure Ted feels the same. I know God will supply all our needs. I am just so grateful that God has allowed me, AGAIN, to be able to be with my sister during this.
Mom is going to be setting up an online auction to raise money for medical bills and whatnot because this is not going to be cheap. We're not really sure how it works, but she's going to figure it out. That's her project. haha So, if anyone knows how to start something like that, get in touch with my momma. Also, if anyone has anything they're willing to donate to be auctioned off, let my mom know. Whether it's art work you've done or something that you're willing to part with to be auctioned off to benefit this, whatever. Or if you don't have anything, but want to just donate, there's always the donate button on this blog. :) I hate asking for money, but this is sort of a time where we need to put our pride to the side and ask for help.
You guys are all so amazing and we are continually grateful for each and every one of you. We may never be able to tell you enough, but we feel all of your love and support and we appreciate it so much!!!!!
And while you guys are all amazing, incredible people... I just need to say... I have BY FAR THE BEST family in the entire world!!! I am continually amazed at how God put such an amazing group of people together :) He really outdid Himself! haha But seriously... the love and support and teamwork is amazing. When something comes up, everybody works together, there's no fighting, we're able to put our differences aside and just love. That is something I'm EXTREMELY grateful.
So, Ted, mom, the girlies, Bill, Nan, Spencer, Becky & Ciara, Ted's mom and family, our dad, the "Nudder Grammas", extended family.. cousins, etc. I want to say thank you, thank you, thank you for being so amazing. I feel so incredibly blessed to be a part of this family!!!! I love you guys.
Sooooooo..... HEEEEEEEERE WE GO!!! Bri and Brooke, off to Houston, onto our next big adventure! I'll be keeping ya informed.