Tuesday, September 30, 2008


My wonderful husband turned 30 today! We celebrated his birthday while he was in NM a couple of weeks ago, but it's not really the same. We usually take some kind of fun camping trips for our birthdays. We'll just have to celebrate double next year. Anyway, happy birthday Josh! I love you!

Monday, September 29, 2008

My first gopher- #197!!

A couple of weeks ago I took over the gopher hunting chore at my parents' house. For those of you who don't know, the area where my parents live has a major infestation of pocket gophers. Mom and Dad have struggled for years to get the gophers on their property under control. They have tried everything, and last year they finally found a poison/trap combination that works. Since May 2007, they have 196 CONFIRMED deaths. I emphasize "confirmed" because there are probably many others that have been poisoned but not caught in traps. There is quite a process involved in this chore. You have to dig down into the tunnel, get poison in there, set the trap, recover the hole, check the traps, repeat... If the traps are empty but there aren't any new mounds nearby, then we assume the poison got the active gopher. Anyway, my gopher was #197- yes, we absolutely keep count. For every 50 gophers, there is a reward trip to Dairy Queen for blizzards. We just need 3 more for another blizzard trip!! I guess it's a little weird that we get excited about dead gophers, but they are a serious problem out here. So the hunt continues. Even Titus gets involved and has become quite the digger. I think he is as proud as I am about this first gopher- notice the smile on his face!

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Home Sweet Home

Dad got to come home from the hospital yesterday!! He is eating and walking better than he has in weeks. He is also staying awake most of the day instead of sleeping. Huge, HUGE improvements! It's hard to know what symptoms were caused by chemo, swelling in the brain, and bladder infection. I'm sure we'll have lots of questions at the doctor's appointment next week.
Thank you for all your prayers and sweet notes. It's good to have Dad back home.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Days at the hospital

Well, this week hasn't been too fun. We took Dad to the hospital Sunday morning and he's still there. He was really weak, disoriented, and got to the point where he couldn't even keep water down. Needless to say he wasn't eating and was getting dehydrated.
At the hospital they did another CT scan, chest x-rays, blood work, urine work, etc. He's had 2 1/2 liters of fluid by IV too. They found a bladder infection and swelling in his brain. The doctors immediately started meds through the IV on Sunday and put in a catheter. On Monday Dad was taken off the IV and began taking medicine by mouth. He was also forced to walk a little, but was very unstable. Today his catheter was removed, he started eating better, and he is walking better (still with much help). Dad should get to go home tomorrow (Wed). That's the update for now. I'm headed back to the hospital now. I'll try to update more when we get home.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Dad update 9-18-08

I'm sorry it has been a while since my last Dad update. Josh was in town for a week and my sister-in-law also came for a visit. We've got more family on the way, so we're staying pretty busy.
So Dad had a pretty rough week last week. He did 5 days of chemo pills that were a stronger dose than before. They wiped him out. He was disoriented, weak, sick to his stomach, and very tired. He fell several times and hit his head once. We now have a wheelchair at the house which has made things a bit easier.
The last few days have been a little better. He still can't get around by himself, but the sickness is gone and he's not disoriented anymore. He has absolutely no appetite, but he eats a little for us anyway. He sleeps most of the time and only gets up if he needs to.
Please keep on praying for all of us. We love you all so much!

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Last day

So Josh had to go back to WA last night, but we tried to make the most of our last day together. We went to the aquarium, botanical garden, zoo, and out to dinner. It was quite a full day! I have added a link on the right side of our blog so you can easily check out our flickr photo page.

Friday, September 12, 2008

NM State Fair

I'm so happy that Josh is here!! We spent Wednesday at the state fair and had a great time. It had been 7 years since my last visit and Josh had never been. Our main goal was to get Josh some fry bread. We had a navajo taco and fry bread with honey for dessert. Yummy! Of course we went through all of the exhibit halls, animal barns, etc. Check out our flickr page for all the pictures from our day at the fair- www.flickr.com/photos/jbrokaw

I just have to say how wonderful it is to have Josh here. I am trying to treasure every minute. I love that we get to eat breakfast together and sit and watch TV- it's the little things that we usually take for granted. Thank you God for this time we have together!

Monday, September 8, 2008

Awesome quilt

A huge thanks to LaDawn who made this beautiful quilt for me! LaDawn is a wonderful co-worker of mine from VMRD, and she makes the neatest quilts. She puts so much time and thoughtfulness into each one, making them all super meaningful to the receiver. One of the front office gals left VMRD earlier this year, and LaDawn made her a Diet Coke quilt because she literally lived on the stuff. My lab partner (who owns 5 ferrets) got married, and LaDawn actually found ferret fabric and made a really great quilt. So I feel very honored to have one of these lovely quilts. Of course mine is covered with labs- what else? The bottom picture shows a closeup of the dogs and also a small piece of the back of the quilt which is the softest, coziest fabric ever! I love it!

23 hours and counting!

Just 23 hours until my hubby will be in arms!! I'm very excited! Josh gets to stay a whole week with us. We plan to go to the NM State Fair (Josh has never been to a state fair, only county fairs) and eat Indian fry bread (Josh has also not experienced this little piece of heaven). Pray that the next week goes by very very slowly! I won't get to see Josh again until Thanksgiving.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Dad update 9-4-08

Well, Dad went to the doctor today and came home with some pretty good news overall. The tumors have shrunk slightly since his pre-treatment MRI. His platelet count is up to 346,000- huge improvement!! His red blood cell count is still very low, so he will have a blood transfusion on Monday. That should help him have more energy. The doctor also gave us a new timeline of 2-6 months without treatment and 1-2 years with treatment. At first Dad was unsure if he wanted to go through with more treatments, but I guess he has decided to try it. The treatment will be cycles of 5 chemo days (1 pill per day) then 23 days without chemo. The chemo will be stronger doses than when he was under radiation treatments. This plan is assuming his body is healthy enough and recovers fast enough from each round of chemo. My understanding is that the chemo will not really make things better, but it should prevent things from getting worse for a while.
I guess my emotions are pretty mixed right now. I'm so happy that the tumors are a little smaller and the platelet count is up. I'm not really sure about Dad's quality of life though. I'm not sure I would want to stay in his current condition for 1-2 years if I were him. I also don't know how all of this will affect my plans. I don't want to be away from Josh for up to 2 years- 2 months has been hard enough. I think we'll just have to wait and see how things go. Please pray for guidance in all of this. Oh how I wish I had God's wisdom in times like these!

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

All better

Mom, Dad, and I snuck over to the Shoemaker's house while they were at work today and fixed the fence. Mom and I did most of the work and Dad supervised. My parents are sooooo wonderful! I think the fence turned out pretty good. It took us about 2 hours and I was actually sweating by the end (I don't sweat easily). I think I may be able to begin forgiving Titus now. Oh yeah, I changed our dog's name because of this little incident. Because he loves the water, has a huge tail, and eats wood, his name has changed from Titus Meriwether Brokaw to Titus Meriwether BEAVER! Mom now calls him a chocolate labrador reBEAVER!

Monday, September 1, 2008


Well, our dogsitting weekend went wonderful except for 1 GIANT mishap. I got back from work this morning to find Titus in the front yard. How did this happen? He chewed through the fence!! This is by far the naughtiest thing he has EVER done. I was mortified. It's bad enough that he destroyed a gate, but it wasn't even our gate! Don't worry, he has been disciplined, but he is still not forgiven. The family was very understanding, but I am not. Why did Titus do this!?! And why did he feel the need to chew 2 holes? Was this a one way hole or was he making an extra one for Dakota? Thankfully, Dakota is a very good dog and did not leave the yard. She was just sitting on the porch when I got there. We were just hours away from a successful weekend. What a naughty dog!


Many of you know that dogsitting is one of my favorite things to do. This last weekend I had my first chance to dogsit in NM. I housesat/dogsat for the Shoemakers who are the parents of my very best childhood friend. It was very different being in their house without any of them there. Their dog is Dakota, and I remember her from when she was just a pup. Now she is getting old and slow, but she still tried to keep up with Titus as much as possible. That's right, I took Titus with me. They have a multi-level yard, and Titus just loved running laps around the yard going up and down all the different steps. I think that he thought he was out hiking the trails somewhere. Someday I'll post pictures of all the dogs I have watched in the past few years, but for now here's a couple of Titus and Dakota from this weeeknd.