Saturday, July 31, 2010

Four Left!

I will be done with treatments this week. Yes on Thursday afternoon I will be done with radiation. I am rather excited for that day. Last night I decided I was going to wake up whenever I wanted and well I guess my body really wanted me to wake up and start my chemo cause it woke me up one minute before my alarm usually goes off. I guess it was a good thing though because I got to wake up and start my chemo and get it over with so Josh could make me breakfast. He made me crepes for my birthday breakfast full of sugar and white flour! Yumm! I think the whole eating good thing will just have to start again Sunday...This is two big weekends in a row that I have gotten to cheat! I am one lucky girl. So I guess I am legal to drink and party hard but I think I will stick to drinking my green smoothie and resting whenever needed! :) Resting is my new idea of a party. Next birthday I will be a month away from being done with treatment. I will be 22 when I am done...weird. We are actually not 100% sure that I will be on the chemo for another year plus trial track. We are about 90% sure but it could change depending on my MRI on August 30. If my tumor doesn't look good they abandon this treatment and try another one. We are hoping they stick with the planned schedule. Well not that blogging isn't fun but I think there about 100 other things I would love to do on my birthday/Saturday off! Have a happy 7/31! happy birthday Harry Potter too...we have the exact same birthday. If he were going through treatment in the books I am sure JK Rowling would mention something about how he had to say 7/31/89 every morning. My 7/31 came! Yay. Now if I can just get rid of this crippling headache and stomach pains I will be ready for a real party...not a rest! :)

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Happy Day

Yesterday and the few days before were not fun days. I was so tired and so worn out. Yesterday I was so tired it was hard to breathe...I have never been that tired. Today I had a day off work and for some reason I was completely full of energy. I have felt good all day long! I went to radiation and then I had my hour injection for the trial and then we saw Trina in the hospital. I was feeling great so my mom took Nate and I to lunch for my birthday after we cleaned up the guest house we were staying in. Then we went to the temple for a few hours. I was so glad I got to go spend some time with my little brother. I really never get to spend alone time with him and he is growing up so fast! I am full of energy right now and even more encouraged to get these last 5 treatments over with! I think the Lord knew I needed an encouragement day. I am rather excited for Saturday to come. I will be 21 and it will be the very first birthday that I have spent in my home. Yes every single other year I have been out of town for my birthday. Last year it was at Lake Powell and the year before it was Alton Utah...The year before that was Utah and the year before that was southern Utah...I would and could continue on but most of them include Utah or somewhere on the road between Utah and Arizona. We are just always on vacation the last week in July. My 12th birthday I was home on my birthday but my mom and two brothers were in Europe. So this summer I am spending my birthday at home with my whole family...minus trav. I get to eat whatever I want! Brig asked if he was invited to my birthday party because I was invited to are so cute. It is amazing how much happiness kids can bring into our lives. Brig always kisses my head and gives me hugs and talks about how the doctor is going to fix my head...he still says ouch when he looks at it. Anyway it is time for a wedding reception and I am rather excited because I have enough energy to go! Have a great night!


Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Back from the reunion

I did not like leaving the reunion. It about broke my heart Saturday night when I realized that it was the last night for two years that my whole family would be together...I hate this every other year for reunion business. I just wish I could surround myself with my family all the time. They mean so much to me. I absolutely lost it when the song was played called empty chairs. I don't want to be an empty chair. I don't want to be the one who isn't there. I love being here so much. I just looked at every single person there and realized how much I loved them. I just sat there and watched them dance and looked at each and every person and realized how much I love them. Young, old...all of them. I love them. So maybe I was crying a bit that night so Josh suggested that I look at Rylee...surely her silly dancing would make me laugh. Make me laugh it sure did but more than made me realize how much I love her and her attitude and willingness to just be herself. This is when I started looking at everyone and I was overcome with so much love. I felt overwhelming love from each person there and if I had to make a bucket list for before I die I know without a doubt that seeing every single member of my family would be on there. I also know without a doubt that each member of my family would go out of their way to see me...why? Because that's what family does. I know I would do it for any one of my family members and I am so lucky to know that they would do that for me. They dropped everything in four days notice to be at my wedding. My aunt came straight from Lake Powell when she heard the news.  I strongly believe that there is nothing stronger than a good family and I am so lucky to have an amazing family. I love you my family and I will always love you. No matter what...I will never be an empty chair...I will be here

This weekend gave me more motivation to keep going. I am not going to lie I have had the thoughts of giving up. I am just so tired and weak. I can't eat and my body is shutting down. Today at radiation the nurses were saying that they had a lot of "no shows". I asked with shock to make sure I heard it right. Yes people do just not show up to their appointments. The more I thought about it the more I understood. What about those people without a support group? What about those people who don't have a happy mother knocking at their door in the morning to take them to radiation and feed them no matter how many things she has to pack (she packs like 4 lunches and then I chose one...I never know what I am going to feel like at lunch). How many people have a Josh who carries them up the stairs and kisses their bald heads and constantly reminds them that they are beautiful. How many people don't have people who read and comment and lift them through a simple blog? There are people I don't even know that are reading this and every now and then one will pop up and don't know me but I have been reading your blog...and then they go on to say something that may not seem like it means a lot to others...but trust means the world. I keep going everyday because I know I don't have a choice. I have not given myself the choice to give up. I knew this road would be fact I did not know it would be this easy. I knew there would be hard days and I knew I would get tired...I just didn't know how far love could carry me and lift my burden. I will never take the road of giving up. My parents and ancestors taught me that long ago. I will never give up and never back down from what I know is right. That may means different things at different times but right now it means that I will keep going and I will keep going with a smile. I will never give up and I knew the second I found out that I had a brain tumor that I was young and I would fight and beat it is I am young and I, along with all who love me, will fight this.

I have 7 more treatments left. Treatments and days are very different to me now. 7 more treatments means I am done Thursday, August 5th at 9 AM. 7 more treatments until I am done with radiation and ready to tackle the rest of the treatments. It is about 10 days away but saying 7 just sounds better so we could treatments...not days.  I can make it to Thursday and I know by the time Thursday rolls around I will find a way to make it to the next Thursday. To Thursday and beyond!!!

I don't want to be an empty chair...I will never be an empty chair

I am starving and I need food...but I am strong and will stay that way. I will not lose more weight! That's my goal for this week! :)

Goodnight blog readers
Sleep well tonight and remember who is watching over you...he is watching me too.



Monday, July 26, 2010

Back to Reality!

This is Becky.

We had a wonderful week away from Arizona last week.  I have not left the state since San Francisco (and I don't think THAT counts as a TRIP!) and you all know how HOT it is here!  So, I was happy to get away.  Before I left, there were some things that touched me - a friend of ours told Scott their family still prays for Tara at least 3 times a day and they haven't forgotten.  He reminded us that the Lord must be VERY aware of Tara and that she surely will make it through this.  We have little (or not so little) reminders from so many of you that you are still hanging in there with us.  Another touching thing.... I have a friend (I never like to name people by name because there are so many incredible friends and family out there loving us so much - you know who you are!) who randomly drops off items at my doorstep.  We trade books, notes (always her notes, I'm not that thoughtful) or other items.  Saturday morning as we were preparing to leave for vacation I see a check in my door for a weird amount - not enough for a candle, not the right amount for Nate's garbage clients or my piano students, and as I look further I see a note on the bottom of the check "for grey bracelets".  I was so touched all of a sudden.  Later in the day I checked my email and found an email from her wanting me to order some bracelets for her. (which I am of course so happy to do!)  Thanks to all of you for continuing to keep us in your prayers and hearts.  I really don't know how we would make it through this as well as we are without all of you - our angels - who continually lift us up and through whom we feel the Savior's love.  Last week as we prepared to leave town, we had a few snags come up - mostly due to my husband fulfilling his calling as the Bishop.  Scott had planned an evening to take the 4 wheelers to get fixed so we could take them on our trip.  That evening he spent at the hospital all of a sudden with a family in the ward instead of home preparing for our trip; so a helpful strong young friend helped me load up the wheelers and drive them to the shop. The next day we discover the tires on that old trailer really are not safe to drive all the way to Utah, so Scott calls another ward member to try to purchase tires for the trailer (again with not much time) - and agrees on a price (or so we thought). Next thing I know this neighbor shows up in our driveway while Scott is at work, drives off with our trailer, then returns later with 4 new tires on it. Talk about home delivery! The bill --- $40.  Now, we all know you cannot buy trailer tires for $40.  That's what it costs to mount and balance them.  He intentionally GAVE us the tires; which we are not comfortable with, but nonetheless, we felt again the love from our friends.  AND, while Josh's mom and myself were gone both the same week last week, many friends stepped in and drove Tara to radiation and invited she and Josh to their homes for healthy dinners.  Tara's week was more fun last week because every day to radiation she got to visit with someone different and she enjoyed you all so much!  She also loved going to your homes for dinner.  It is so touching for me as a mother to see the outpouring of love.  Whenever there is a need, there is someone there to help.

We're back in the regular routine again now - Tara is stuck with me as her radiation run person - but I personally cherish the time I spend with her and am pretty protective of that time!

Another outpouring of love ---(this was totally not necessary because now that Nate is home I can crack the whip and make him do yardwork) as we drove into our driveway last night (or early morning) at 1:40 am the first thing I noticed was that our front yard was mowed AND weedwhacked!  We have street lights so I could see..... Upon further inspection the next morning, I noticed the back yard was also mowed, weedwhacked and leaves were also blown!  Talk about a wonderful surprise!  I was able to find out the culprits of this adventure and they know how much we appreciate their efforts.  After I found out they did it without a riding mower and bagged all the grass I was even more blown away!  (we never bag our grass and we mow with a riding mower).  In 115 degree heat that was most definitely a labor of love.  Now, please, all of you reading this, don't mow our yard - Nate is home now and we don't want to deprive him of the pleasure of fulfilling that job - after all, he's not going to radiation on a daily basis!  It was wonderful to come home and not have to worry about the yard among everything else that I need to catch up on as you all know - you know how it is after vacation....

It was wonderful to be with family in beautiful Midway Utah last week.  I'll let Tara tell you more - but we have an amazing family and it's so therapeutic to be together.  The next trip (Tara teases me because I'm always dreaming of the next trip) is to Coronado Island next month.  We are celebrating Tara's end of radiation!!!  She'll be having her 4 week break from treatments and will hopefully be regaining some energy and be able to play in the waves and have fun.  Travis is even flying in from Utah so we are excited.  It will be some great family time.  We will escape for 4 blessed days.....

As for a mother's view on how Tara is doing..... admirably well for the most part. She was extremely slow going up the stairs to work today (which is a sign of how she's feeling) and her head is starting to look somewhat like racing stripes; but she's hanging in there.  Her head does hurt because how can it not hurt with all that radiation going on in there??  She's tired and nauseated at times; but hasn't lost much weight and still manages to eat.  It's tough to think of things that sound good to her.  She still smiles alot and doesn't complain.  Josh is very good and kind to her and continues to treat her like a queen.  She finishes this radiation August 5th!!! Not many more days, thank heavens.  This is hard for Tara and we will all rejoice when it's over.  One more thing, as a mother, it's very strange to have mixed feelings about this clinical trial.  I find myself almost "hoping???" that Tara will show a few side effects so we know she's on the drug.  When she said she had bleeding gums once when she brushed her teeth and she thought her throat was dry; I couldn't decide if I was sad she had more side effects going on or happy that she may be ON the trial.  It's tough to pin side effects on just one drug because there are so many different things you can blame side effects on. You could feel tired from either the radiation, chemo, or the Avastin (clinical trial).  You can be nauseated from either chemo or Avastin.  There are many different side effects so we'll just keep hoping and praying Tara is getting the help she needs. Many of you are asking about her further treatment - this is what we know now:

September she starts 5 days a month of a double dose of Temodar (chemo).  For example, now she is taking 130 milligrams per day; that will change to 260 milligrams.  Remember, this is the medicine that is so potent no one else other that Tara can open the jar.  That makes a mother's heart hurt just to know that little fact!!  This continues for 12 months.  Along with the Temodar, Tara will have the injection (Avastin) every two weeks.  The first week the injection was  1 1/2 hours long, next time 1 hour, then 30 minutes for the rest of the year.  We will have our next MRI probably the beginning of September.  Tara's head needs to settle down for 30 days after radiation before the next MRI because there's just so much going on in there it would be a false read.  The MRI to the brain tumor community is to what the PET scan is to other cancer communities. It's the way they measure what's going on in the brain.  If it's CLEAR, that's always a really great thing.  These doctors are very very good and they are determined not to ever let a tumor grow back in Tara's head.  They will check it often.  ( probably every two months forever more).

Love you all!!!  Thanks for your prayers!!!  We know the Lord is with us - I feel His love daily and it keeps me standing upright.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010


Today I ate half a watermelon! I just sat at work and ate watermelon for about thirty minutes. Today was a slow day at work because everyone was gone but I found productive things to do for a few hours. Then I clocked out and took a very nice...watermelon break. I just sat there with my big watermelon and ate and ate. It is good for me to be eating watermelon. Today at the doctors we had to test for a bladder infection...not fun! They told me to drink lots of water and they are hoping it is not an infection and if it is they are going to try to catch me before I catch my plane so we can call an anti-biotic up to Utah to get it filled. I cannot have any infections in my body at all right now. They have me on all the medicines I am allowed to take with all my other drugs and that helps with the pain. So let's all hope that I don't have a bladder infection. They take super good care of me at Barrow's and they are going to call me on my cell as soon as they find out. They said it would take 48 hours and I told them I would be out of cell phone range by then so they said they would make it work faster. I love texting and calling my doctors...imagine just a few years ago when they could not call you or you them whenever you wanted. I butt dialed Terry 8 times today on accident. She called me back all worried because I had called 8 times! She said all she could hear was music and it was most definitely Josh and I singing as loud as we could with the music...if only she could see the dance moves that were going along with it! We have way too much fun in the car and I am sure that we scare people around us but little kids like to watch us dancing at stop lights. Well I am feeling rather nauseated so I have to go soon but I wanted to say thank you to the Dyar's who blessed our poor tummies with food tonight!

Tomorrow's the day...let the packing begin!

I took a picture of the sky tonight that I want to put up. It looks like a hand reaching out. I felt like it was God's hand reaching out taking care of this earth and all his children. I felt like it was his hand for maybe I cried a little looking at the sunset.

Arizona has the best arguements


Tara Bodrer

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

nap time

So today at work I woke up at about four in the afternoon in my dad's office. I had no idea how I got there or when I got there. I guess I fell asleep in Shelley's office and then made my way over there. I guess I must have done a bit of sleep walking. Well I have been losing more hair and I can feel it falling even more with the fan on. We just decided to take pictures every few days to mark my hair loss progress. I am so glad today that I cut it when I did. Life has been absolutely amazing lately minus the air conditioning unit being broken and the leaking ceiling. I have had so much happiness fill my life this week. It seems like everywhere I go people are just smiling and happy. I need those smiles even though it is a million degrees outside. My Aunt Tilly had her baby today. She was due in five days but we all know that the family reunion is in five days and we can't have childbirth and labor interfere with the reunion...Tilly was induced and had a girl earlier this morning. :) Ha we are serious about our family reunions. I am so excited to see my new cousin and I really don't think that is why Tilly had her baby today but I would not be surprised. Only a few more days of treatment! I have almost made it through the worst!

A lot more is gone from a week ago... and there is my scar...i think it is funny to look down at my keyboard and see it covered with hair...this fan is blowing my hair everywhere...I am so glad it isn't long

You can see right where they are ear has taken quite a beating

Front still looks the same...

 This one is kinda blurry but he ain't never going to let me go. He takes such good care of me

Goodnight..tomorrow is one more day closer to a day off radiation!

Today Stephanie's mom and twin sisters drove me to radiation. They are growing up so fast. I cannot tell you how happy I was to see Cami and Whitney in the car when I walked outside. Thanks for coming girls and for making me smile! The Cluff's are amazing

I'm a gonna make it

Tara Bodrero

Sunday, July 18, 2010


This post has nothing to do with how I am doing or anything new with my treatment or anything. I came to the computer with the intention of blogging but all I can think about is Mario. I grew up in a house that never ever had video games and Josh has introduced me to Mario and I am making up for all the lost years. It is so much fun but I am horrible. I think we calculated and died over 130 times...pretty sad I know but I am learning. Well it is late and I would love to write more but I spent all my time playing Mario...sorry all! :) I will try to budget my time better tomorrow! I am doing great and I am super happy. Both of our parents are out of town but we have someone new driving me to radiation everyday. I am actually looking forward to the next week and best of all...this Thursday we leave for the family reunion. Life is amazing and I can't believe I lived this long without Mario...and Josh! I am a super happy girl and loved the new ward today. It was kinda hard to go to church after seeing my old ward in the halls but Josh and I were good and went to church in our new ward. Well let's all have an amazing week no matter what happens. Goodnight

Tara Bodrero

Maybe tomorrow I can type extra fast and play some more Mario...maybe :)

Friday, July 16, 2010


Let's start with the mask...

See that white thing in my nurses hand...that'y my mask I have bonding time with everyday. See how far up in the air I am? Ya they tell me not to fall off that table. The thing at the top is where the radiation comes out. I can see the blue lights when it is around certain areas. There are little knives that move around and protect areas of my brain that the radiation is not supposed to hit. They are not really knives I just call them that. The computer tells that head where to go...maybe I will get a picture from my view so you can see up in the head. In a later picture you will see the head underneath me. That is so it can shoot from below. The head moves all around and the table does too...they say it is like Disneyland... I beg to differ. 

They always ask me questions and I can't talk because they mask is so tight so I give them the thumbs up...they really like it...sometimes I grunt too. You can see the green lights they used to line my head up with. They take exact measurements everyday. This picture doesn't show how tight it is but you can see where they screw it to the table...see my long pretty hair coming out the side? It is never in the way anymore!

This shows the head at the bottom. No radiation is being shot at this point. They can't shoot any with people in the room.

This is me waiting for blood work. I sit here every week and I will for the next 59 weeks. I am rather cold every time so we bring a blanket

Here comes the can see how much my hair has already thinned since Sunday... I try to be brave when they stick me with needles. Dr. Jared you will be happy to know that I am taking extra good care of my teeths! :)

They got it in and the trial has begun...thumbs up...I have not had an IV since the hospital...I don't miss these things but the nurse did a really good job and it really wasn't that bad..all is well. 

Trying to sleep and keep my arm fell asleep many many times. 

I made it to sleep...I am one tired cookie

Well I am off work today and I have already been to treatment and back. All is well and I am just tired...I may be this way for the next 14 months. We do not know if I actually got the drug for the trial and we probably will never know. The only reason they would uncover me and find out is if we were having problems or if my tumor comes back...I pray I never know whether or not I am getting the medicine. Have a happy hot Friday and if you want to add people to your prayer list please remember Trina Day and Tony Bodrero. Both are in the hospital right now. They are not fun places and everyone could use an extra prayer. Bishop Huish called me today and I am so excited for our new ward. I know that they will take good care of us and hopefully we can help bless others in their ward. I will miss my ward so much. It will be weird to not have my dad as the bishop and to not see everyone every week. I have been in this ward since we moved here. I am glad we still live so close so I can go and visit so I can see all those faces of friends who have prayed and fasted for me and given up so much for me and blessed me with their talents. I love my ward and I know I will grow to love my new will just never be the same as the ward I grew up in. I will never forget. 

Today's agenda

Clean the fridge
Bug sister
take a nap...a long nap
make a chain counting down days till radiation is over

mm sounds good to me! 

Sorry there are so many pictures

Tara Bodrero

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Trial Day

My heart is going about a million miles per hour. Today is trial day. Today they inject me for 1.5 hours and the medicine is "mean" as the doctor called it. We are not sure if I will get the medicine and at first we were praying that I did but I am really scared now and almost hoping that I don't. I don't want to get it if I am going to have all those side effects but if I can help medicine by being in a study I will do it. So ya I am scared but I know that when it comes down to it I will just walk in there and let them do what they need to do. I have officially completed more than half my radiation treatments!!! I have completed 16 out of 30. Only 14 left. I get sicker each day but somehow I manage to get up and keep walking. I still think it is all the prayers. You think after two months people would settle down with the prayers and the kindness but they don't. I always have people tell me that they have not forgotten me in their prayers and people still just want to help. I still need the prayers and everything. Joshua is probably the best thing on this planet and I really think he may be an angel in disguise. He helps me up the stairs and he makes me feel so beautiful just the way I am. See, I am the luckiest girl in the world. For everything bad that has happened there have been about 15 good things that have happened to offset the bad. Well, my mother should be here soon to take me to my treatments and then work. I took a three and a half hour nap the other day at work. See, I am so lucky...who gets to sleep at work? I guess I have lost weight because the doctors are telling me to eat five meals a day and lots of protein...another good thing...don't we as girls all wish that our doctors would order us to eat more? Well I don't know why mom isn't here...she will be soon...I guess I will go get my green smoothie and get ready.

After today we are down to 13 treatments! Yayy

Have a happy Thursday...tomorrow is Friday!

Tara Bodrero

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

cancer cannot

yesterday I went to go give Shuani a birthday present...twas her birthday and she decided to give me a present and I love it. It is kinda weird getting gifts on other people's birthdays but she was wearing it on her wrist and insisted I take it...this is what her bracelet said...

What cancer cannot do...
It cannot kill friendship
It cannot shut out memories
it cannot reduce eternal life
It cannot silence courage
It cannot quence the spirit
it cannot shatter hope
It cannot eat away peace
It cannot destroy confidence
It cannot cripple love
It cannot corrode faith

Thanks Shauni

I really do believe what this bracelet says. Cancer I will beat you. Cancer you will have no power over me. Cancer we will win.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

It's gone and I guess I feel better

It was really hard for me to cut it..I guess it was harder to actually make the decision to cut it but I knew the decision was coming and I really could not stand the chunks of hair that were falling out of my head. Every time a chunck fell out it was if I had to relive the fact that it was going to fall out. I had hair itching my arms all the time and when I went into a room with a fan on, my hair just started falling out like crazy. I could not touch my hair and wanted to have hair so bad on Sunday (I had to stand up in front of everyone and speak) so I threw it in a bun and left it that way from Friday until Sunday. I think I lost most of it in the shower before church and I knew the end was coming soon. I did not want it to come but I knew it was coming. Now I sit here with hair shorter than Josh and a visible scar. Nothing is super comfortable except for thin scarves and loose hats. We tried wigs but I just didn't feel right wearing one and my head is still too sensitive. For now we are just doing hats and scarves or my personal favorite...nothing. That really is what feels the best and I am getting used to being bald. I don't wear a hat all the time at the office or at home but when I go outside I usually put something on. Cutting it was quite the experince as you may see from the pictures Chol put on and I am so glad it happened the way it did. At first I just wanted Josh to do it and that was the plan but the whole family was over and it turned into family night pretty much. At first I thought Chol and Josh would cut all the banded pieces but then I knew I wanted everyone to try so I asked them all to cut off a piece and then halfway through I decided that we needed a picture with all of us and our locks of hair. Ya, Trav we made sure and cut you a piece too. Ryan and Dad did not want to cut but I just had to look at them and tell them I wanted them to cut a piece and then they did it. They really will do just about anything for me. It is amazing how excited I am to see Ryan all the time. We did not always get along the greatest...every sibling fights...but now I have this happy feeling in my heart every time I see their white car in front of our house. It means that Steph is over and Ryan will probably be by after work. I was so glad that Steph, Brig and Ryan were there on Sunday evening. Steph's sister had her baby yesterday so they were busy at the hospital and Steph decided to have pizza with us on Monday becuase she had not made dinner! Today has been a better day than yesterday. I had to take a three hour nap at work yesterday and was tired from the moment I stepped out of radiation. Today has not been as bad but I did fall asleep during lunch when Dad was trying to teach me important information about the business! Tomorrow is my three week mark of radiation and after tomorrow we are on the downhill slope for radiation treatment and one day closer to the family reunion! I can do this...well, really I have no option...I can do this and I will be strong. This next week should be the hardest week but I am making it up those stairs everyday...I never take the elevator. Twas pretty tempting today though.

Josh and I's family night lesson last night was about how we should never let anything keep us from going outside in the world. Pretty much it was a talk to myself saying not to hide indoors just because my head looks a little funny or because my rash is still acting up sometimes. We just need to go out and bless the world with our smiles no matter what is going on. There are people in much worse situations than ours and we have no idea who is hurting. I just have to be tough and realize that if people stare it is only out of curiosity. I had a few people looking at me at Target but hey...if I saw a girl with a shaved head and an interesting scar with random bald spots I would probably look at her and wonder what was up too! I can't expect people to just pass me on as if nothing is wrong. It is okay to look and wonder...I am 100% sure I would do the same.

Well, the hair still falls but now they are little short hairs that don't quite bug me at all.

Goal for this week...don't complain about hair

Reason for not I need one? No. But good thoughts include the fact that they think it will grow back...not everyone has that head is not disformed from surgery...I have a new cute white hat that does not irritate my doesn't take long to dry my hair after a shower...I can save money on shampoo and conditioner... I can put my oils and lotion on my can see my cool scar and Brig look the same...people love me all the same and don't really care how long my hair is...I can still be beautiful.

Love your hair

Tara Bodrero

Happy Birthday Shauni
Love you girl!

Grey bracelets

This is Becky....

I ordered brain tumor bracelets from the American Brain Tumor Association today.  If you want a bracelet, you can click this link and purchase them in lots of 5 for $5.00.  We know you support and love Tara and our family; and you don't need to wear a bracelet to show it; but just in case you're curious about where to purchase these, this is how you do it.  I bought many today and plan to pass them out at our family reunion next week.  All proceeds go to the ABTA (American Brain Tumor Association).

I think we may have mentioned on the website before that Tara walked into radiation at one of our early meetings with a yellow bracelet on which she thought was supporting cancer.  Terri Thomas, one of our favorite people we work with, informed Tara that was a "testicular cancer bracelet" and that testicular cancer is very treatable and has a high rate of success in removal and longevity; (of which I am very glad because we have a close relative who went through this).  Anyway, Tara decided at that moment she would rather show support for her own brain tumor instead of testicular cancer; so we ordered grey bracelets.  The bracelets are grey which represent the tissue of the brain.

Enter this website in your browser and then look in the top right hand corner and click the "store" icon to get to the grey bracelets.

I told Tara today that we will measure her progress by how she climbs up the stairs to work every day.  In a few months when she dashes up the stairs it will be very exciting!! Today she noticed the elevator on the main floor (there are two flights of stairs to the office) but I told her that she should still walk up the stairs. She rests at every landing.  Watching her walk up the stairs is one of the hard things for me.  I'll let Tara tell you the rest of how's she's feeling; hopefully she'll have time to post today.

Love you all!

Sunday, July 11, 2010

And it's gone...

Rachel here...

So tonight we had a "fun" little family activity
It was called,
Time to Shave Tara's Head Because Her Hair is Driving Her Crazy.

So... We had a family council before hand. We looked at all the pro's and cons, heard multiple opinions...
(us Schlappi's are very opinionated in case you weren't aware...)
and then Tara made the final decision.

Just shave it off.
Those were her words exactly I believe.

Anyway, so it wasn't an easy thing seeing as hair is pretty much a girls pride and joy if you think about it. But after mom shed a few tears we started.

It was quite the process.

This is the before.
Josh was great and cut the first piece.

this is after we got the majority of the hair off....
We just chopped it off piece by piece.
I think we did a great job. 
We should open up a new Schlappi Hair Cutting business.

Then mom brings out the shavers to even it all up!

This is the cut. All done!
She and brig are twins.

And here is the whole family that attended this memorable event.
We all cut off a chunk of hair to be part of this forever.
Yes, that is a picture of her brother Travis by my head. She wanted everyone to participate so I cut a piece for him and we held him in the picture.

Anyway... So she officially made the decision to get rid of her long, gorgeous brown hair.
But, she says it already feels soo much better.
So it is worth it!!
 Her hair is all gone
But it's okay!! She is so dang beautiful that it doesn't even affect her. Really, she is so GORGEOUS and flawless it's unreal.

I really just love her.
So much.
No one could get a better sister than this. I have the best sister and always will. I am so blessed to have such a strong, beautiful, and AMAZING sister. 
She has been the best example to me and will always be my hero.
I love you Tara.
You will always be my shrub :)

From Becky:

Rachel has done a remarkable job of this blog post; and I don't want to take away from her post - it was perfect; but I can't sleep and I'll just type a few thoughts until sleep overtakes me.  Rachel and Tara were both so brave tonight.  As I lie in bed, I keep reflecting on my amazing family and how blessed we are.  Rachel in all sincerity offered to shave her head just like Tara if Tara wanted her to.  I even believed she would do it when she offered.  Tara, of course, being the person she is, declined and said she really did not want Rachel to shave her head.  I held up better than I thought I would.  Only a few tears.  Josh was amazing and so was everyone else.  It was actually very therapeutic to kiss Tara's head after it was shaved.  I was also very excited to put some aloe gel on top and relieve some of that burning that was bugging her.  Kissing the top of her poor shaved head reminded me of the days when Tara was little and a mother's kiss meant the world and you could kiss their fears and tears away.  Now Josh is there to kiss Tara's beautiful head and remind her how beautiful she really is. The right side of Tara's head has some battle scars that are now noticeable. The radiation is taking its toll and I can see why her head was bugging her so much.  The hair was really thinning on that side.  She just couldn't stand to take any more clumps of hair out of her head.

Tara and Josh both spoke in our Sacrament Meeting today.  They leave our ward today and will attend their new ward (congregation) next week.  Their new place of residence (the Gulbrandsen home) is in a different geographical boundary of our church; so now the Estate Groves Ward will be the lucky ones who have Tara and Josh in their ward.  We will all miss them; but of course Tara is still in all of our ward family's prayers and thoughts.  Tara's talk was on adversity and trials, and Josh spoke on faith and hope.  I had a good cry during those talks.  A new friend told me today that it's okay to cry - go ahead and do it whenever I feel like it.  Just pull over on the side of the road, find a bathroom, or any other place and just let it out.  You can still be brave and cry.  You can still be positive and cry.  It's okay.  So, I am taking her at her word and I will cry whenever I feel like it.  Many times like today, the tears are tears of amazement at the strength of my daughter.  I told someone today that she is stronger than all the rest of us put together.

I was also a little surprised (only a little) at how much Tara still looks like Tara after all the hair is gone.  Like Rachel says, she's still beautiful.  She is still Tara and hair is just an outside covering that all of us women spend way too much time worrying about.  (although my rule with hair is 5 minutes or less for the hairstyle or it just won't work for me!  Ask any of my beautician friends and they will verify this is true).

We are having quite the family bonding moments - moments I would have never dreamed we would have; but have them we are doing nonetheless.  I wouldn't wish them on anyone; (moments like shaving Tara's head) but I am feeling the Lord's love for Tara and for us throughout all of this.  Every cloud has a silver lining.  Tara is happier now without her hair driving her crazy.  It was worth all of it if only Tara's head won't itch and bug her so badly.  Her head is so soft now...... almost childlike.  I sometimes remember the days when she was young - my how time flies.  Now my youngest is as tall as I am.  (Nate is pretty consistent about reminding me how much taller he is this year!)  I am so blessed to be the mother of such incredible children - every one of them.  AND incredible additions to our family, Stephanie, Brigham, and Josh.  AND, of course, the head of our family who cries with me and is always there to be my strength - my wonderful husband.

Thank you all every single one of you for all of your constant prayers.  We really do feel your love.  Hang in there all of you in all of your own personal struggles.  Tara said today in her talk that we all will have trials - they will come, we just have to be ready for them, and be positive while we're going through them.  I have learned through this experience that all of us have challenges.  Some are just a bit more obvious than others.  I have a stronger empathy for those who suffer through physical challenges and health issues. Throughout my life, I have often reflected on Scott's brother, Mike, whenever I feel like complaining or like life is too hard and just thinking about Mike and his positive attitude can pick me up again.  Mike is another story for those of you who don't know about him.  You can google Mike Schlappi and find his website.  Suffice it to say, he's been in a wheelchair for over 30 years now and has been in 4 Paralympics with the USA Wheelchair Basketball Team.  He always has a smile on his face and has been an example to our family for many, many years.

Okay, enough rambling, now maybe I can sleep. This will be a good journal entry for my day.  Good night all.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Brave Breaks

So yesterday I took a little brave break with the whole hair falling out thing. Yesterday morning it was just falling out. Last night it started falling out even more but I learned it was only on the right side. I have a feeling this is going to be a very funky haircut. Yesterday Lori and I (okay so mainly Lori) cut Josh's hair and all I could think was how Josh and I could very well be switching places in the near future. If I have to shave my head I want Josh to do it. I know that he will do it and then pick me up, wipe my tears, tell me I am beautiful, and then hold me until I feel all better. That's the kind of guy Josh is. Really he is the perfect man. Whenever I am sad I know I can go to him and he will somehow make everything all better. I jokingly call him Dr. Josh but really he heals my emotional wounds and fears all the time.

Well I wrote that two days ago and today I am doing better with the hair situation. Maybe because I have stuck it in a bun and don't want to touch it. I want to have hair for church tomorrow so I am not touching my hair until then. I am still very nervous about my talk but we have blocked out a good few hours to prepare so all should be well. We moved into the Gulbrandson's house yesterday and it was a big project. Of course I still need to move all my personal stuff in but we have the kitchen just about done which is the first thing a girl wants done anyways. The closet of course is soon to follow! We had quite a team working yesterday to get this place looking like our own home. It feels nice to be in a place we can finally call home for a while. Josh hooked the whole office up so we have internet and everything. Today is going to be a good day I just know it. My head itches like crazy but I just go scratch Josh's head or I scratch somewhere else on my body so I don't touch my hair. I guess the more you touch it the faster it will fall out. I am hoping that I don't take my pony tail out and have the whole thing just fall out. Some people say that when their hair was ready to fall out it was ready and the wind took it all away. It is kinda crazy how fast things can happen and we have known for weeks that it would. It has been about an hour since I took my chemo so I can go and make breakfast now! Yay! I am always so hungry in the mornings but Josh is always really nice and when we are home he waits for me to eat he is pretty hungry too! Pancakes sounds good to me! Happy Saturday! I love can just get so much done...or nothing at all! Today has been productive so far but the option of nothing is quite inviting sometimes. Well I can afford to do nothing because I don't have school or a family. Those of you who do never have the option. Yesterday I was thinking how lucky I am to not have a family yet. The timing of this is amazing. I do not know how people could take care of themselves and a family. I want a family but it is really good that I don't have one yet. I want to give them all my attention and right now I have to give my brain and Joshua and being positive all my attention. I love this world! I wish it rains soon! I could smell it yesterday...mmm

Almost half way done with radiation!

Tara Bodrero

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Hard Week

It is easy to say you don't care about your hair until you start losing it. This morning I guess it decided to start falling It is everywhere and I have a feeling it is going to keep falling this next week. I can still try to have a good attitude but it is getting really hard. Every time I put my hand through my mane more hair falls 10 strands each time without fail. Okay I need to just keep breathing and go to treatment and work. I knew my hair would fall out but I was not ready for it. I don't know if you could ever be ready for it. I thought I was ready for it before surgery but I have a feeling that if I would have come out of surgry half bald I would have had a slightly different story. Yes I would have still been thrilled with how the surgery went but I know that I would have been a little sad about my hair and it would have taken some time to get used to it. Hopefully this is the same. I will get used to it. I am used to the six shaved parts for the fruit loops and I am used to the scar and it balding spots so hopefully I will get used to these radiation spots as well. I just don't like the unknown. I have no idea how much hair I am going to lose and I have no idea how it will grow back. Have a great day. Found another piece of hair wrapped around my finger and stuck in my ring...I wonder where else I will find it. I will always try to smile.

Tara Bodrero

it will grow back

it just may take a while

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Home from Heber

I loved Heber. It was so much fun to get out of here for a few days and meet more of Josh's side of the family. I got to meet some more cousins and watch the best fireworks! We got to also go to church with Josh's family. They are Lutheran. I have never been to another church service before so I was interested and excited about going. His uncle is a pastor for the Lutheran church and he was talking that day at church. He did an amazing job and taught a good lesson from the New Testament and taught us about freedom and how our fears can steal our freedom away. The Lutheran people are such good people. I sat there in awe as they all prayed for the people that needed prayers. I sat there as they prayed for me. They have been praying for me since they heard of my condition and they made me a blanket as well so it was good to see the people that helped make the blanket. Josh's cousin and aunt sang an amazing song and the whole service was pretty neat. It was just nice to see how other people worship. It was nice to see that both churches value the importance of good morals and it was just great to see people worshiping God. I really love every prayer that goes to God in my behalf. I don't think it matters what God you are praying to. I believe that it is in your heart and it is your faith that brings about miracles. I am a little nervous about speaking in our church on Sunday. I am just glad it is summer so most of the ward will be out of town. Josh and I are supposed to pick our own topics but I was given a kind of special one to think about and consider. Any guesses as to what it is? They suggested trials and adversity and faith. I am super scared because I feel like people will expect something super profound and deep because of what has happened. I hope that I can just remember to keep it simple. I never expect things out of speakers so I can't imagine why people would expect anything out of me. I will just do my best. Okay I am still super scared though. Talking in front of people isn't my forte. So wish me luck on the talk!

Well, they said I would get tired and today I felt like I was hit with a brick...maybe ten bricks. I about couldn't stay at work and food just doesn't ever sound good. I pretty much don't eat unless you set food in front of me and it is warm when I am cold. I ate at Costa Vida tonight and it was amazingly warm and very filling. I had not eaten really all day so it felt good to eat and get some energy but I am fading fast again. It has been a super long day. I leave at quarter to 7 for blood and then go straight to treatment and then straight to work then straight home then straight to dinner and I wish now straight to bed but I have gots lots of things before then.

I am 1/3 the way done with treatment and Terry called today and they have my trial medication and I will get it on the 15th at 9 AM. Let's hope it doesn't give me any of the nasty side effects the paper had listed. we don't expect any but there were some really nasty side effects. My hair is starting to thin. I am doing well now and it is really easy to have a good attitude while you still have hair. Hopefully I can keep it because it may be really hard for me. Anyway, enough of that. Goodnight everyone dream happy dreams and do something nice for someone.

I am a happy girl

Tara Bodrero

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Headed to Heber

Today we are headed off to Heber with the Bodrero's. We are rather excited to see the grandparents up north and I get to meet new family. I like having this two families thing. When I got married I doubled the number of people that pretty much have to love me cause we are stuck together as family! See all you other people out there that love me, love my by choice and at any time you can back out because there is no promise that I will see you every year at a family reunion or gathering! :) I have a feeling you love me by choice but still it is great to think that I have a huge family now! I love it. I really just love families so much. It kills me to know how many people (children especially) don't have good families. So many kids don't have a mother or father who pay attention to them and nurture them. I have been thinking about adoption so much this past week. So I never posted anything about this really but we had a huge fertility mess happening right before we were married. When the doctor called to deliver the bad news about my cancer and it's needed treatment and severity he also told us that we needed to start working out fertility issues. As a girl this was harder to hear than to hear that I had a brain tumor. I had a really really rough couple of days. I of course tried to stay positive and I was really happy but there was this gloom that stayed with me for about two days. We found a doctor and we started considering options about my future family. At first they wanted to freeze just my eggs but that never really works and then they wanted to freeze an embryo because Josh and I were to be married and so we legally could. This is when the decisions became so hard but luckily so clear. Only my parents know how much I hated that doctors office. The week I was to be married we were there about a total of 7 hours in 2 days. We were in our chemo and radiation doctors offices as well trying to figure out my treatment and the effects it would have on my family. (I have no idea why I am sharing this now...I had decided not to share it but it just started coming out). The doctors did not really give us any good answers. Radiation said I would be okay because they are radiating my head so it should not effect the eggs and the chemo said that there is a chance I still could have children. Anyway, at that time no one could or would give us any answer and it came time for me to decide what to do. That is what made this whole thing so different from anything else. This was my decision and my decision alone. Yes I was asking my parents and Joshua and taking what they said heavily into account but I realized that it was my decision and what I said went in this case. I never really felt at peace with the whole fertility thing. I felt a lot of hope but I never felt peace. I was really confused. I wondered why I hated going to that specific doctor so much and I really wanted an answer as to what to do. When we were on our way home one of the days I began praying. I realized that I needed to study it out in my and make my decision and then ask. That made it hard as well. I came to the decision that I did not want to do the whole thing. I was really surprised that I had decided that because I was so excited about the chance to have a family and being a mother has been what I have always wanted. I was the little girl who always wrote "mother" on the line when they asked what do you want to be when you grow up.Being a mother is so important to me and a mother I still can be. I will never forget the feeling that I had when I kneeled to pray for my answer. I have sought answers before but in the past month I have sought for many many extremely important answers. I was married for eternity and got to pray about that and I had to make a choice about my future family. I have never felt so much peace in an answer. I have never recieved an answer so quickly either. My prayer was not long and strenuous and I did not feel like I was still looking for an answer or confused at all at any time. I knew as soon as I felt that peace that that was my answer. I felt like I should not go forward with the fertility thing. I stood up and told my dad that I did not want to do it. I am a miracle. The Lord saved me and it is because of Him that I am here. Miracles will never cease and if God wants me to have my own children then He will send me my own children. I know that He can and will if that is what is right but in the past week I have felt so much peace with adoption as well. I know that I can be a mother to someone that does not have a mother. I know that I will be a mother no matter how it happens. I have felt peace since the moment I got my answer and Josh felt the same way. The doctor called the day after I got my answer and wanted to discuss more options and as soon as I heard He wanted to see us again I got a huge knot in my stomach. I told my parents I did not want to go and we ended up not going and they talked to him via phone instead of having me go in there. I don't want to go back until after treatment and until it is right for Josh and I to have children. I feel peace with everything and I cherish this feeling.

I still don't know how this all ended up getting on the blog but I just couldn't stop writing. I think this is enough for the day though. Have a happy 4th and don't burn too bad if you are staying here in the 110 degree weather!

Heber here I come!
Miracles will never cease
Tara Bodrero

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Link to wedding pictures

If any of you want to see some wedding pictures - here's a link.  I know Tara says she is going to post some of her favorites; but if you want to see some while you're waiting for her; go ahead!

Love you all!

Becky   - When you go to this link; click on Stacey's favorites (the photographer). Tara hasn't had a chance yet to compose her favorites; if you click on her folder there are only 4 pictures in it and I think they are ones I started compiling and then never got back to it because there really aren't any pictures in that folder. 

I ate a snickers...don't tell my momma! :)

I decided that I may skip the hot fudge on my brownie today because I just had to have a snickers and let me tell you it was worth it. I have never had so much happiness in one small bite-sized snickers bar. Really it melted in my mouth. I have been waiting for Thursday for it seems like forever! Okay maybe I am being a little dramatic but life without chocolate is really hard for me so this was a big deal! Today was the best radiation day I have ever had. We were thirty minutes early so I actually stole the 8:15 slot from the guy who is usually there. They came out to get him and saw that I was there so they set up the room and took me back. It was pretty quick and easy and I really like my nurses that are filling in while the other one is on vacation. I walked out and saw the man who is usually before me. My mom was talking to him and learning his story. Tomorrow is his last day of treatment and his treatment is in his spine. my appointments permanently go to 8:25 on Monday so I guess I am taking his slot. It kinda felt good to realize that I may never see that man again. I guess I will probably see him tomorrow but to think that he made it through everything and doesn't have to come back. It just gave me hope that I will never have to see those people in the waiting room again too. Not that they are bad or mean people but just that I don't have to go back. it really does get easier every day and today I took a nice nap on the pad at work. It was just what I needed. I wish I could post the mask pictures right now but they are on my moms computer so that can't happen. I have found it harder to post sometimes because when I get home i have no free time. Not complaining at all. I love having my best friend excited to see me and hanging out I just had so much more free time when I was single. Being married is amazing and I could not imagine this any other way. He may be the reason I am able to stay positive. He is always just picking me up and making sure that I am happy. He tries to eat my "interesting" foods and drinks the green smoothie and even pours his milk in a cup when I am watching...I am telling you he is a serious keeper! Tomorrow I have a day off so maybe I can get the pictures up and all that fun stuff. Have a good Thursday...even better...tomorrow's Friday!  Keep a smile on your face even though it is about 109 outside right now!

I believe

Tara Bodrero