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Saturday, January 21, 2006 9:20 AM CST

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A year ago we were in the hospital in Seattle. Dave had surgery for the third time on January 18th. The trip over was like the third circle of hell. Rain, snow, sleet, every person I love in a car on that treacherous mountain. The flights were canceled. Dave was out of it...the tumor causing so much swelling, his brain not working right. Tension was high. I remember my Dad deciding to go out of our way to get gas at Costco and being furious, not wanting to go over the bridge in the snow, handing Dave the cell phone, telling him, "Call my Dad and tell him we are NOT going to Costco. I'll give him the $2.50 he'll save in gas." Ranting in typical Michelle style. I looked over at Dave. He was staring at the cell phone like he'd never seen it before. The bottom dropped out of my world. It was the scariest moment of the journey. I think at that moment the tumor became "real" to me. We'd been battling the blasted thing for 8 years, but Dave was always on top. Small headaches, a bit of forgetfulness, tired sometimes. But this. This was different. This man, Dave, so bright. So bright in so many ways. Quick, intelligent, caring, loving, sensitive, creative, musical, determined, strong. He shone so brightly, people were drawn to him in an inexplicable way.

And here we were, driving down the road, and he didn't know how to work a cell phone. It became a joke later. But it was never funny.

And within a few days after surgery, Dave was back. He fought and won again. He was walking stairs, smiling brightly, no longer crooked, making jokes with the nurses, telling me, "Not today!" A year ago today, I had so much hope. We were ready to go home, scheduling gamma knife for the tiny residual tumor they couldn't remove during surgery. Dave was back to being himself. I spent so much time on my knees, thanking God for this reprieve, this gift. "We'll beat this, Shelley, we will," Dave would say. I was sure we would. We always had.

Don't forget CONSPIRACY OF HOPE at WaHi on Tuesday and Wednesday.

Other news:

Zach is learning to play Dave's guitar. Thank you, Shane, from the bottom of my heart.

Zach has a basketball tourney in Pendleton this weekend, but his feet are messed up from snowboarding blisters that aren't healing correctly. Went to the doc yesterday, and Ted did some minor "surgery" on Z's feet. He's riding the bench for a bit until they're better.

The plumber came and fixed my faucet. Said we need a new water main. Guess I should be glad some things never change, eh, Evy, who understands exactly what I, plumbing, projects gone wrong$$$!

Kate is skiing with Uncle Bob today. She's very excited. Kenny is skiing with Special Olympics today. They should have a lot of fun.


Duke, well, looks like we're out of the newborn puppy stage. We're doing all the usual puppy things now. Chewing, barking, waking us up all night long, pooping and peeing every 10 minutes. But, wow, he's so darn sweet!! We love him to pieces. For everyone that asked, his dad is a chocolate lab and his mom is a smaller, white, mixed-breed mutt!


My friend, Cathy, and her husband Lou, who live in Chicago on the 58th floor, they don't have a website, and I forgot to ask for prayers for them on Thursday (I'm so sorry, Cathy!), but Lou had an MRI Thursday, and it looks like there is some growth. They are making treatment decisions, and it's so hard. Here's a post she put on the list, since it's already public, I think it will be okay to post it here. It gives you an idea of what they are battling and how much Cathy loves that man. Please pray for them.

Greetings dear list friends,

MRI was late last night...scheduled for 8:30, we got there at 9:15 due to
various one there to check us in. They are open until 11:00.
We go into the MRI department and find someone. The only good thing about
evening MRI's is NO ONE is there and so it goes faster. Go with Lou into the
changing room, like always. How many MRI's have there been since October
05.....perhaps something like 12 at least.....each one, the "first" one for my
Lou......"have we been here before "....."what do we do
here"....sigh.......last night, no different. Go into the MRI room, hold his feet, like
always....and pray as the machine makes it's loud noises.......please please not this
time, not yet... we aren't ready for that yet.....we can live this way, we
really's ok like this.....I'll take him like
this..........sigh...... it's over.....back to the changing room. On our way out, Lou says "I
thought we were going to go dancing after this"........this is why we keep doing
this, isn't it.........this is why we keep going, keep searching, keep

This morning, no email from the dr. Not a good sign. I finally email him.
He says "where can I call you". Not a good sign. He calls. It's not
good news, but, it could be worse. There is progression in the main tumor
(which has been dormant since it shrunk over a year ago now), and the lesion.
"How much progression" I ask? "maybe 15r so, just eyeballing it". OK,
like I said, could be worse, huh, I know this. I know this after the week
we have seen on our could definitely be worse. Some say less
than 25 percent growth is "stable", right??? We have had hardly no treatment since
October really. There was no change after 5 weeks of no treatment, so we went
to the low dose temodar, but he didn't really get much this month all told.
Now what? Doctor says several chemos we can try....and a new trial is
available. But I know the real issue.........should we do it.........can Lou do
it.........he is NOT walking well says it is not due to the
tumor. Why can't he walk well? His counts are all very good. He does look
good. I think maybe the ruta is helping his alertness.....but.......chemo
and Lou.........tough.........bad reaction to just about everything........

Now what........don't know........nothing until we see the doctor next week
anyway..........just going to be with my guy, as the snow falls
outside........snuggle in, hang on, and pray...........pray for all of us.........what a week
it has been............God bless us all........

Cathy B. w/o Lou, age 69, dx inoperable gbm 10/04

Kevin and Kari are starting a new chemo combination on Tuesday, his MRI showed growth. Please pray for this next chemo to be THE ONE!

Fred, Cheri and Olivia are making it through the days, a slow process, painful, but full of many small gifts and much love. Please pray for these days to bring many blessings, many memories to treasure.

There is an 18 year old boy on our list who has been given no hope by the doctors, his spinal tumor continues to defy any treatments thrown at it. Please pray for him, his mom and his sister.

Hadley Bug, Hawaiian princess, her treatment is in a sort of limbo right now, pray for the right treatment to become clear to her mom, Angela.

Hailee has been quite ill and in the hospital. Please pray for healing for her and strength for her mom, Melissa.

Brenda, her husband Clyde and their son, Justin need our prayers. This BT journey is so hard on families. Clyde has chosen not to pursue further chemo or surgery.

So many families, so many struggles. Such bravery, such heart, such love.

Such love. Shelley

PS. Please join me in praying for the families whose loved ones have lost
the battle against brain tumors in 2005. These are from one of the
lists to which I belong. The name of the patient is first, and the
parenthesis indicate caregivers/family members who were members of the listserv. As you can see, the list is far too big. Please pray for a cure to
be found.

2005 Honors:

Laura Adams (mother of Ashley)

Lori Arquilla Andersen (daughter of Linda Magiera)

Glen Baker (cousin of Jacki Fitzmorris' mother)

Ugo Bartole (husband of Debbie)

Doug Bennett (brother of Don)

Bill Bither (husband of Carol)

Bruce Brink (husband of Shaun)

Jack Brownell (father of Jacki Fitzmorris)

Gordon Brunhild (gentle husband of Sunnie)

Leo Burr (husband of Jean)

Tino Carbone (father of Krissy)

Pam Caulfield (wife of John)

Johnnie Cochran

Kevin Collins (husband of Carol, brother of Carol Roberts)

Mary Lois Cook (mother-in-law of LeeAnn Boston)

Damien Cusick (husband of Susan)

Ginger Dorn (wife of Henry)

Dorothy (mother of Stacey)

Lesli Farry (twin sister of Lori Najera)

Lauren Fitzgerald (daughter of Michael)

Donna Fraser's father

Darlene Garth (mother of Kelli Froman)

Melanie Gillmeister's mother

Sophie Goddard's father

Howard Goldberg (husband of Carole)

Rich Gordon (father of Carey)

Raymond Gravlin

Larry Graybill (husband of Sue)

Janel Gubeno (sister of Michele Jenkins)

Betty Hamlin

William Hapgood (husband of Lili)

Dell Hesler (brother of Terri Martin)

Daryn Lyn Holland (son of Fritzie Samford)

Janet Huebner's brother-in-law

John (husband of Kathryn Geyer)

John Jacobs (father of Abra)

Jamie Johnson (husband of Cindy)

Tony Kapulka (husband of Melissa [Plantation Towers])

Andy Keenan (fiance of Erica Brown)

Kevin (husband of Angela Gilliam)

Gwen Kuss (sister of Jessica Smith and Natalie)

Nigel Lee (husband of Diane)

Daniel Richard Levin (son of Barb Ott)

Myrna Lewis (sister of Diane Eickhoff Barnhart, stepmother of Cindy Butler)

Shelly Lewis (husband of Peggy, father of Lynne Siegel)

Spencer Mattson (son of Julie and Rob)

John May (father of Marci Baumann)

O'Dean McKenney (husband of Sabrina)

Ken Melton (husband of Sue)

Edith Meltzer (mother-in-law of Cathy Meltzer)

Michael Metcalf (husband of Donna)

Dave Meyer (husband of Michelle)

Mike (fiancé of Troylene Cooper)

Stephen Miloscia (son of Mary)

Roxanne Morrissey (mother of Christine)

Gill Mustafa (mother-in-law of Ziv Shevket)

Ivan Noble

Brittany Renée Nolan (daughter of Marilynn)

Norman (father of Francesca Cull)

Apostle Babalola OlaOjo (father of Ann McLean)

Will Oliver (husband of Helen Pitt)

Martha Jane Pap (mother of Lynn Krasiewich)

Bud Paulding (father of Trish Thackston)

Irene Philips' aunt

Bob Popowski (father of Maria Carr)

Andy Posa

Leigh Roberts (wife of Stephen)

David Rufo, Sr. (father of David)

William Sansalone (son of Maria)

Sarah (daughter of Ron Holmes)

Linda Sargeant (mother of Scott)

Ian Scott (husband of Marje)

Scott Sellers (husband of Kellie, brother of Heather)

Vince Sgro (husband of Fran)

Bonny Shannon (mother of Patty Simons)

Philip Shattuck (brother of Shari Ouillette)

Russ Shields (husband of Tina)

Hardip Singh (father of Harpreet Kaur)

David Taubenfeld (husband of Felicia)

Robert Tisch

Barbara Tona (mother of Mike Tona and JoAnn Sei)

George K.Y. Tseo, PhD (husband of Hui Fu)

Eugene Vance (father of Wanda Graham)

Patricia VanDragt (mother of Kellie Wiersma)

Chris Wilcome (friend of Lisa Weinstein)

Jeff Wilcox (son of Ken and Kathy)

Dr. Lee Wiltse (father of Emily Woudenberg)

Pat Wolter (son of Connie)

Mike Wowk (father of Julie Watt)

Paul Young

Yuri (father of Marina Mandelzweig)

Richard A. Zanol, Sr. (father of Jennifer Talluto)


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