Wednesday, June 30, 2010

62 staples

Well today marks my one week mark and i hold in my little hand 62 staples that is about become 61. I now offically have 61 weeks of treatment left and I am rather thrilled about that thought. Radiation was not horrible today but I had to keep the mask on for a really long time. I came out with squares all over my head but then I got to see Dr. B which made me happy because he is a good doctor who explains everything. It is amazing what difference a good doctor can make. He knows how to answer questions in..really human terms. We have no idea what is happening and half the time the doctors treat us like we are pros at this stuff. I ate good today even though I am losing the desire to. All my muscles have turned to jello but I made it up the stairs today...only cause someone was walking behind me and I didn't want to look like an idiot. Well I would love to post more but I am too excited to take a staple out and mark my one week mark. 2 weeks til the hair starts falling out. It is doing well so far and the itchyness isn't as bad as yesterday. Keep the prayers

Love ya all

Tara Bodrero

oh and my doctor said that i am not crazy or hallucinating with the blue lights and burning flesh smell. He said about 1 in 20 can smell the smell and 1 in 20 see the lights. I guess i am just special cause I can do both. he said that the smell won't burn my nose (I was worried about that and was holding my breath) and the lights won't burn my eyes either and I can only see them when the radiation is at a certain angle. They are so bright that I can pretyt much see them when my eyes are closed...I feel like I have special powers! :)

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

25 (who's counting?)

Someone asked me yesterday how I was doing and  of course I told them I was doing well and then proceeded to tell them that I only had 26 treatments left. They were so happy for me and congratulated me on my progress. I don't think they knew I only have 30 treatments! It has actually happened a few times I just find it funny everytime!

Well as you can see I am down to 25 treatments and yesterday we bought plane tickets so all you Schlappi's reading this...I'll see ya soon! I am cleared for the day off and more excited than ever to have a four day weekend off the mask. I am rather excited for this weekend because today I learned that the Barrow's is closed July 5th! That means I don't have treatment that day either! Oh happy days! So I have not thrown up since the other day and I am not getting too sick yet. Tired and grumpy...yes...but sick...not too bad. As for the smell of radiation..the lotion is working and helping take some of the smell away. I just try not to breathe when the machine starts going that seems to work the best and it gives my lungs excercise...yes I can multitask! I have found that it is really hard for me to walk up stairs. I have just lost all the muscles in my legs and arms. I can't really carry anything and Josh had to open my medicine again this morning. Good thing muscles grow back and I like excercising so it will not be like this forever. Today was blood, x rays, and radiation. I wish I could see the x rays. I still never have seen the plates in my head but I sure can feel them. I still haven't used the pad that we hauled into work so I could take naps.

Today I felt pretty good. My appitetite is fading really fast now and the thought of carrots makes me sick. Grapes on the other hand...I constantly crave! I am cold all the time which is weird cause I am always warm but I guess the chemo can do that to you. The medicine has done a lot of interesting things to me and hopefully I just get used to everything. I have a cool ID card for radiation so I don't even have to sign in now...I am a part of their special club! Well look at the time..it is 9 and I am dead tired. I can barely keep my eyes open. I have already read scriptures and cleaned the kitchen so it looks like teeth, prayers and then bed sweet bed time! I am so suprised how tired I get all the time but I guess it will really hit in two weeks. Come what may and love it. Hey a few weeks ago I am sure I was complaining because I could not sleep...I will take this over that anyday! I love my life and I am so grateful for this chance I have to become stronger. I know my body is getting weaker and weaker everyday but my spirit is growing stronger and hopefully this is preparing me for whatever is in store later. I know there will be a later and I know there will be a lot of fun and happiness in store. Each day is what we make it. Today I made perfect through all the nausea and headaches somehow it is ending perfect. I have a job, I have a family, I have an army, I have hope, I have a pretty attractive husband, I have prayers, I have faith, and I have the Lord taking care of me. I have a lot going for me and whatever happens with the trial will happen. Josh has me list happy things all the time and it really does make  every day perfect. You know, I was thinking again last night... So what if my tumor does grow back? Well really I know what the worst thing is that can happen but if I stay healthy through treatment then can't they just remove the tumor again? I have been through it already and they take so many scans the tumor would be so smal. Surgery would be scary again but easier right? Just as long as my Dr. Berger is around I should be good! :) I have been thinking about writing him an email thanking him for what he did but how do you rightly write an email to someone thanking them for your life? Are there words that can possibly describe my feelings? Can I say thank you the right way? It is weird laying in bed and really realizing that you are a miracle. I mean the fact that we are all on earth is a miracle in itself but this is a little different. Anyway, enough of my little ponders.

 Have a great night and Thursday is another sanity break (that means I get a treat and it is usually full of things on the "do NOT eat list") I have already planned what I am going to have! A warm brownie with ice cream on top and maybe some hot fudge sauce with a few bananas! I am pretty sure that breaks every rule! I am so looking forward to Thursday!

My life is beautiful
Make yours too

There are so many people suffering. We have no idea who is in pain so try and lift everyone.

Tara Lynn Bodrero
(why can my family not say my new last name?? Looks like we will have to practice this summer!)
Love ya all

Clinical Trial

This is Becky.  I read Tara's post and am posting what I have been reading about the clinical trial.  We had so much information to wade through all at once - it was hard to sift through it.  I'm now in the "sifting" process.  I spend time looking up healthy recipes, going to Sprouts, reading some of the materials I have and returning to my other life also.

So, here's what I know:

720 people will take part in this study.

It starts Week 4 of radiation and is administered intravenously every 2 weeks.  During Tara's 4 week break of no radiation and no chemo; she'll still have this. Good news is that she may not have many noticeable side effects of this medicine.

The name of this drug is Bevacizumab.  I'll call it Beva.  Beva can interrupt the body's ability to grow new blood vessels, causing tumors to shrink.  There is also information that demonstrates that beva may eliminate poorly formed blood vessels in tumors, resulting in improved blood flow.  This improved blood flow may result in better delivery of chemotherapy agents.  Beva may be better than either the chemo alone or the beva alone for treating some types of tumors.  The study doctors want to see if this will be true for Tara's kind of tumor.  Once again, we will have no idea if she's on the placebo or on the real deal.  I think with all our prayers and faith, if she needs to be on the real deal, she will be and if it's not going to help her, she'll be on the placebo.  Maybe that's too simple of an attitude; but that's how I'm dealing with this. We are praying and she'll get the help she needs.  I have to believe that.  There have been so many instances of witnessing the Lord's hand through all of this already.  He won't abandon us now.

We are learning we have to travel around knowing what medicines Tara is taking, present ID and insurance cards, carry snacks, etc.  Yesterday Tara said when she and Josh got to work it looked like she was on a camping trip - she had a big pad to take naps on, a blanket that will reach her toes instead of just wrap around her torso, and a cooler with her breakfast and lunch in it.  She gets cold.  The chemo makes her cold.  She'll have to wear a sweater when she's in A/C like I do.  Thank heavens it's summer and if she's too cold all she has to do is step outside and warm up.  This is weird because Tara has never been the one to get cold.  All these medicines have side effects that we are noticing.  Thank heavens radiation does not last too long.  That 4 week break will be a blessings.   I don't like Tara having radiation; but I do like driving around in the car with Tara and getting some time with her that way.  She is amazing and I love her more than she'll ever know.

Monday, June 28, 2010

My husband is amazing!

Okay so I have be fretting because I could not post any pictures! In fact, I was googling how to put pictures on blogs becasue I had some cool pictures of the lake and such and could not post them. So first I have an issue of connecting to the internet and Josh sits down and my computer connects! I have been dealing with this whole picture thing for a while and I tell him and he sits down and with one button he fixes the problem so now I can put pictures up...pictures like wedding pictures! Ya he is the greatest. That's what I get for marrying a man who builds computers! I will never have to worry about technology ever again...well hopefully! :) Anyway, so here are a few lake pictures. I am still working on picking favorite wedding pictures...it may take forever! Seriously! :)

I wish it wasn't super blurry we were having problems with the camera but the fact is that I got up on the wake board and was obedient and did not leave the wake! :)

Take that brain cancer! :) Who's the strong one now???


This one is a little more clear and you can barely see my little patch of hair that's missing. I was just so happy to have the board on my two little feet :)



Wedding and mask pictures to come and I may have to take a few more pictures when my rash goes away and before the hair is gone...well the parts that will be gone. I don't think I will lose much on the left side just the right...that will be my "funky haircut".

Tomorrow is radiation then blood day and I think I get to see Terry too! Everything is looking good still with the trial...now we just have to pray that I don't get the placebo! There is always something to hope, wish and pray for.

Tara Lynn

26 treatments left

Today i bravely walked into the place I may possibly loathe the most. I really don't like the radiation but it is what I have to do so today I tried to do it with a smile. I tried putting a really strong lotion on my nose so the smell was not so bad and it did lessen it a bit which was nice. The thing that hit me the most today was when I saw a little pink mask right next to mine. I asked them if that was a mask of a little girl and they told me it was. Okay I about broke down into tears. How could I possibly ever complain when a little girl has to go through it too...she surely can't like it either. I bet her mask it tight and she can smell the smell and I bet she has the same types of feelings I have. I feel bad for all those children who have to fight. She should be going to school! Not radiation. I just added "the girl with the pink mask" to my prayers. As far as headaches and nausea it is all getting better. My scar has been really tender lately and they say that will develop a serious case of dandruff and I can feel it coming. My head itches a lot but I am trying to keep it moist to keep the itch away. I don't know if I already shared but the Doctors are giving me a day off of treatment on the 23 of July. It is my birthday present I guess and a sanity break! Josh and I are going to try to see if we can take a weekend off. I can leave Thursday after treatment and have a nice four day weekend away from everything! I am so thankful for a mom who is never afraid to ask questions. She will ask any question even if she is 99% sure the answer is no. I still must tell you that I can feel your prayers. I may sound super strong on the blog but when I am not blogging I have my tough times. Yes, I do take brave breaks and it is nice to know that so many people care and are praying for me and my family. My brother told me that his company has been reading the blog! :) Thanks JP Morgan it made me smile to learn you were reading. I guess there really are people that I don't know who are reading this. I better check for typos one more time! Well I am doing great and happy to be here and I am excited for that 26 to turn to 25. Stay strong and never forget who you are. We will win...it just may take patience! It may take 14 months but we will win. Yesterday I learned all about patience and I decided that I need to be actively patient. I can't just sit around and wait for the end...I need to work happily for the end with a smile! I wish I could have Sister Bang just post her whole lesson on here it was just what I needed! Anyway, the headache says it is time to go lay down.

I believe

Tara Lynn

Friday, June 25, 2010

Smoothie recipe

Many of you have asked for my green smoothie recipe. Thanks to Monica Adair whose "job" it was to find a green smoothie Tara liked; here is what we do:

Fill a blender 3/4 full of greens (I use spinach and kale, can use swiss chard or other greens)
1/2 cup plain yogurt
1 banana
1/2 dropperful Stevia
1/2 dropperful vanilla Stevia

(Monica uses 2 packages of the crystal kind of Stevia)
1 cup frozen berry blend from Costco

Fill with water and ice to the 2 cup line

That's the basic recipe and then you add whatever fruit or veggies are in your fridge that you want to get rid of. I have put pineapple in (it's really good) plums, raspberries, carrots, celery, and tomorrow I'm trying cantaloupe and flax seed oil (3 Tablespoons per blender). I might even throw some quinoa in there and see if my magic expensive powerful blender can grind the quinoa up so well my family won't notice what they affectionately (or not so affectionately) call BROWN BUGS. If I have enough fresh berries, I skip the Costco blend; which I will again try to skip in the morning because I have cherries, plums, and peaches that I need to use. My family does not like this at all if I skip the bananas (they affect texture). My neighbors are getting used to me running around scouring for ripe bananas in the morning. I always seem to run out... Another friend puts whey protein powder in hers which I want to try to help Nate play football and basketball faster and better! (ha ha) Maybe just help him GROW taller; but I'm afraid tall genes are not in the cards with the Scott Schlappi family...

You normal people can all use Agave for your sweetener or if you dare, just plain old poisonous sugar; but Tara can only have Stevia. The vanilla flavor Stevia is really good. I found a website that sells Stevia cheaper than I've found it so far; but you have to order $100 to get free shipping (otherwise it isn't cheaper than the health food stores) so let me know if you want some and I'll put an order together. You can email me at beckyschlappi@cox.net


I have to admit when I saw Tara on the radiation machine Thursday; I was pretty intrigued for a minute or two; but had to take another brave break when I left the room. I need to remember to be grateful for the technology that is helping her instead of sad that she has to lie on that big old bed with a big machine whirring around her in a large room all by herself. I don't like what it represents; but once again Tara came out of the double doors with a smile on and made me stop my brave break and pick myself up again. I am going to get her a mat from Costco to lie on at work when she needs to rest for a few minutes - so far she has been lying on the floor. After day 1 of radiation she did bring a blanket and pillow to work with her which I'm sure helped. She seemed better day 2 than day 1. Day 3 (today) she said her head didn't ache too bad; but she did throw up already. Many of you have been asking me how Tara is doing with the treatments; so I told you the truth. That's how she's doing. Generally she is doing okay and she remains positive. My mission this weekend is to find a way to get some peppermint under her nose while she's in radiation so the smell doesn't bug her. My sister is helping me out on that one. I am also on the lookout for crunchy, salty, or sweet snacks that Tara can eat. Not easy to find. I am starting to try the healthy food in all the bins at Sprouts. One little bean or nut per bin I try at a time. Tonight I tried some bean thing with salt on it and it was so awful I gagged and had to find a quick garbage can. Rather embarrassing. This complete healthy eating deal is tough; but we are finding a way. I didn't think we ate bad, I always have tried to cook vegetables and I even can grind my own wheat and make my own bread (remember the Little Red Hen story?) but the completely healthy eating is quite a change to our lifestyle. I am feeling better however and I don't crave sugar as much as I used to - so that's a good thing.

Thank you all for your continued support of our family!

Becky

27 days left

So I have not posted in a few days but it has been a rough couple of days. I really don't like radiation. It is hard for me to lay in the mask and smell the smell of radiation and just realize what is happening for all those minutes I am in the machine. I kinda don't like talking about it so I have decided to talk about happier things and not post the pictures of the mask quite yet. I will get them later but I just don't like looking at them. So I have had three treatments of radiation and three treatments of chemo. I have 27 left of radiations and quite a few of chemo but the chemo is a pill so that's all good. I have become very aware of the time and have many alarms set on my phone so I take my meds at the right time. I am not getting too sick as of right now minus a few headaches and nausea. They told me to double up on the nausea meds and threatened to put me on decadron if my headaches don't go away...they said I could take Tylenol so I am praying that works. The best part of this week was the brain testing I had a few days ago. Terry (my favorite doctor person/study organizer) gave me the test. The first part of the test was she read off 12 things and I had to list as many of them back as I could. She was in complete awe when I listed back all 12! I guess I have a good memory. She said the test required her to read them twice more because no one usually gets close until the third time...I was pretty proud of myself adn by the third time I could about list them in order. Yes bragging about myself is much more fun than thinking about radiation! :)There were also a series of other similar tests that I aced! See Josh I am still going to school and taking tests...you are not alone! They give me homework too! It is like a full time job. In case you were wondering I can still remember the 12 words... They were not in this order. horse, cow, tiger, lion, emeral, peral, sapphire, opal, hut, cave, hotel room, tent! I of course re ordered them in categories and I think that's how I remembered them. I like brain games and I get to play them again throughout treatment! :)

Oh and the otehr exciting thing...I got to go to the lake before treatment started!. Josh's family took us to the lake on Saturday before it all started. They were a little nervous and said at first that I could not get in the water but then quickly learned how stubborn I am and let me in and then let me wake board. I had to promise that I would not leave the wake. It was a hard promise to keep but I gave them my word and had a good safe ride behind the boat. It felt so good to be in the water and I felt so free on the wake board. hopefully after radiation I can go again and maybe...just maybe...leave the wake! :) I will have to be really nice to tony for the next couple of weeks and show him how strong I am! :) He's the greatest. He went through cancer and it is so nice to have someone who knows what I am going through with me a lot of the time. So instead of the mask pictures I am posting a few of the lake pictures.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

First Day

Well today the journey began. I woke up and took my first pill at 6:30. This pill makes me so I don't throw up when I take the chemo. Then I had the chemo pill at 7:30. You are not supposed to eat before or after the meal so breakfast really hasn't happened yet. I had radiation at 8:30 down at Barrows and then I have work til 6:45 right after. They tell me I am going to be tired because of the meds but I think I am just going to be tired from long days! No wonder I am ready for bed at 8:30ish. The coolest thing about this morning was Josh and I calculated how many weeks of treatment I had. I have 62 weeks of treatment ahead of me. That's 14 months. Guess how many staples were put in my head after surgery? Ya I had 62 staples and we asked the nurse to keep them. So I have 62 staples and I think I am going to throw one out at the end of each week to celebrate and have a little count down. I guess I am going to have the hardest time these next few weeks because I am on the highest dose of radiation and good news... they are almost positive I MADE THE TRIAL!!!! Infusions of the medicine don't start for a few more weeks but that is good...I don't want an hour and a half  infusion right now. All went well with radiation there was just a funny smell but the mask wasn't as bad as yesterday and I think I will be just fine with the radiation part. Anyway, it's going to be a great day. Josh and I are busy moving in and out and in and out. I think I am allowed to say now that we are moving into the Gulbrandsen's home for the next three years while they are serving as a mission president. We are super excited about this opportunity. We have been blessed in so many ways. Now we may just have to find a riding lawn mower...that lawn is huge and I don't think Josh and I can handle it without a riding lawn mower but whatever happens...I will assure you that we will be smiling! Have a great Wednesday. Josh and I almost got hit by a car today...horrid accident...we are still a little shaken up about it so I will have to explain later. Thank goodness Josh is a good driver and changed lanes really fast before the car changed directions. It hit the car in the lane next to us...it was really scary but we were both wearing our seat belts! Anyway...no pictures of the mask yet but hopefully later this week!

Love,
Tara Bodrero

We will win

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Today's the Day

Well today is my dry run day for chemo and radiation. I get my schedule for everything and it all begins tomorrow morning at 8:30 am. I have to put my mask on again today and make sure the fit is all set for tomorrow. Maybe we can get a picture of the mask today! We still don't know if I have been accepted as a part of the trial so keep praying for that but we should have more information today. Well I am on my second day of work and I am learning a lot. My dad said it could take months to even start to understand what is happening but I am determined to do well and learn super fast. I am doing well so far. There are just so many acronyms for everything I can't keep them all straight! :) We were able to feel the plates in my head last night and it was really cool. I have no feeling where they are so they are easy to find for me. I still can't believe how lucky I am. I love life. Wish me luck! :)

Tara Bodrero

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Fathers Day

Where would I be without my dad? Well I could start listing things or I could just cut to the point...probably dead. Okay I would most definitely be dead but that would have happened a long time ago.My dad has always taken care of me.Josh told me today he could tell how much I love my Dad. Probably because I talk about him non stop. My dad really is one of my heroes. My sister gave a really good talk in church today and I wish I could jut copy it in here and then add to it but I don't think I can. One thing she mentioned was going to the dump. Now if you know the Schlappi's you know we are a very "do it yourself" kinda people. Yard crew?...out of the question! Yes we have a ton of bushes and palm trees and grass and rocks and a garden (a rather large garden) and flowers and really...everything you can think of. Saturday's Work always consists of someone mowing with the big mower, someone with the small mower and someone with the weed whacker. Well lately there have been less in the home so we try to consolidate the big and little mowers or sometimes...I really hate when this happens...the weed whacker turns into the small mower. Sorry only my siblings may understand that last sentence. My dad takes Labor Day quite seriously...in fact I used to wonder if it was his favorite holiday. We really do LABOR the whole DAY! Usually we fill up the whole trailer and overflow the truck bed with trimmings and then head to our personal favorite place...THE DUMP! I honestly have no idea how many times I have been to the dump but I have learned to just say thank you when we go. The first time I told my dad thank you he gave me a weird look but then I told him why. I really am thankful that my parents have taught me to work hard and that I know how to go to the dump. Really not every girl knows how. Not many know that it is a good idea to bring your utility bill and that if you are not going to pay that way cash is the way to go. Not many know about the weighing system( I am so fascinated by it) or where to dump your trash vs. yard waste. I could take you straight there! :) So thank you Dad for taking me to the dump and teaching me to work hard. He always said "you aren't a real woman until you've been to the dump". Now I am not saying that all you women out there needed to go to the dump in order to arrive at womanhood in fact, I think my dad may have used it as an excuse to get his girls to go with him! Ya, he probably just wanted a daddy daughter date and didn't know where else to take us! :)  So we went. Apparently being a woman also requires you to know how to drive a five-speed 3/4 ton diesel. Thank you Dad for getting that truck! My dad has taught me a lot more than how to work hard. He has always taught me to do my best. I will never forget the time he told me "Tara do your best, no one can ask for anything more." the greatest thing about my dad is most of what he has taught me is through example. He has lived a life of service. He has taught me how to love by loving me. I hope I can learn to love others as he loves me. He and my mother have tried to teach us to be well rounded so of course we played basketball and played the piano among other things. This past month my dad has been my medical manager and has spent endless hours working out every single details. He really has turned over every rock and he has made sure that I have the best possible care. He is the reason I am married to my best friend. He got the temple time before we even knew we were getting married. Dad if you are reading this you still have your letter coming and your gift just isn't done yet. I know you don't like gifts but i have been longing to get you just this one little thing. Dad I love you so much and I always will. That's what you always say to me and I will never forget those words. When I am sad I can hear your voice and see that smile, that same smile I saw again on Saturday night and all fear goes away. You are my hero and I love you so much. I owe you my life and I will forever be in your debt. I will always be your little girl. I am who I am today because of you and you told me I am a good person! :) Have the greatest day! I love you. Thank you.

Love,
Your Tara Lynn

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Pictures :)



These are just a few pictures from Saturday. We have not gathered all the cameras or picked up the pictures from our professional photographer so I will post more when we get them all collected. 
These are my best friends! They are the people who have helped shape me into who I am today. I don't know where I would be without them. I love you guys! You're next!
I have been dreaming about this white carriage since I first met Daryl Hatch. He told me that if I learned his favorite song on the piano that he would come and pick me up on the day of my wedding. So years ago I learned and memorized The Entertainer on the piano and played it for him. Saturday he put the "temple shoes" on the horses and came to pick us up just like a fairy tale. I told you all I really did have a fairy tale wedding
My favorite picture so far!
*** if you click on the picture it will come up on another screen bigger and trust me you have to see it bigger!

Well there is a little preview of what's to come. Life is amazing and today is another day med free! Yesterday I went swimming for the first time! it felt so good to be in the water. I decided not to wear sunscreen because the doctors told me that I have to wear a ton once I start my treatment so I am I little burned. I just got off the phone with my amazing mother-in-law and we are going to the lake! :) More sun! Maybe I will wear sunscreen this time. I don't think I can quite wakeboard yet which is kinda sad but at least I can enjoy the boat and being outside in this beautiful world. I have to really count all the goods instead of the bads. (especially when I eat) I am just glad that I can eat and that I have food to eat. Not everyone is that lucky. Who really cares what it tastes like right? I am alive and happy and that's all that matters! Have a wonderful Saturday and remember to smile. It really is amazing what a smile can do. I cannot not smile when someone is smiling at me and smiling makes everything better. So make someones day better and smile at them.

Tara Bodrero

Friday, June 18, 2010

Life begins again

Good Morning! Aren't ya glad I didn't post at 3:30 this morning? I didn't post that early casue I WAS SLEEPING!!! I have a hard time falling asleep cause I keep myself up just thinking about everything and everyone so Josh puts a movie on for me every night and it works like a charm. I slept about 7 straight hours with no interruptions! Yesterday I did not have to take any medicine! It feels so good to be off that stuff. So I guess my "dry run" will be Tuesday now and everything will start Wednesday. My new job starts Monday. I am so excited about work. I hope I can make myself worth hiring. I am just so thankful that I have this chance to get all my health paid for. Josh and I were doing our budget again last night and we just love looking at my health insurance portion and putting a big fat zero. I guess they had to knock how much I earn each hour down quite a bit to cover it so I am not bringing very much home but at least we will not have a surprise $200,000 brain surgery to pay for cause I will have the same insurance that paid for the first one!  I am so thankful for insurance even though they can be a serious pain sometimes. So Josh and I are going to try to be as normal as possible on Monday. I guess life can begin again. Today is three weeks from surgery so I can swim and exercise and even sky dive if I want. All restrictions are off (except get pregnant, sunburned, or take any medications all my doctors don't approve of) so I can do whatever I want. I guess I can't do whatever I want... if I could a fat brownie and a nice bowl of ice cream would be in my lap followed by a nice white roll and a big fat steak. Okay so maybe I wouldn't eat that for breakfast and maybe I would eat them in the other order but you get the picture...I would eat all I wanted! Food isn't that important I guess and I will do whatever it takes to beat this and if that means drinking a green smoothie full of spinach and carrots every morning by golly I'll do it. I am probably the most stubborn person brain cancer has ever met! my hair is growing back so fast! It have almost a little mo hawk where the surgeon cut my hair and where the fruit loops were.  The best is right on top of my head cause it sticks straight up! :) It will probably be the funniest right when I start to loose my hair in three weeks. I am kinda curious to see how that goes. Curious.Not scared. I really am not scared about any of the treatment. The doctors sound very confident. Well I have to go do wifey things now like laundry and cleaning our cute little place.

Keep the prayers coming

We will win

I believe in miracles

Tara Bodrero

Green Smoothie

From Becky

Tara is still is so much wedded bliss that she is having trouble posting every day.  They don't have wireless at their place (which hinders blogging) and she's enjoying being with her husband which is as it should be! I'm sure she'll find time today though.  My post will be quick - I just had to share my excitement about green smoothies!!

After more than a week of a green smoothie miraculously showing up in our fridge from a friend, I decided it was time to take this project on myself.  I did not to go any doctors this week and had some time; so I'm trying to learn to eat healthy myself instead of relying on all our ward members to feed us!  I tried Tara's green smoothie sometime this week because it was in the fridge and she was gone and I did not want it to go bad.  It looked gross; but Tara said they weren't too bad; so I gave it a shot.  It was actually tasty!!  Can you believe it?  So, I have now borrowed a high tech blender from another friend who is out of town and got the recipe from our green smoothie elf and did it yesterday!  WOW!  Tara liked it, Josh EVEN liked it!  I liked it and this morning I made another blender full and this is the ultimate test..... my ice cream, sugar loving, pizza & hot dog eating daughter, Rachel, actually tried it! She liked it and she even watched what I put in it and still ate it.  She was so surprised that she liked it.  She took it to work with her and said it actually filled her up!  SCORE!  That was the ultimate compliment.  If any of you want to know what I put in, email me.  You can also go to a website greensmoothiegirl.com and learn more than you probably want to know about it; but it was very informative.  My next project is to get Ryan, Steph, and grandson Brigham on to green smoothies.  Maybe it will cure their allergies and Brig can get all his veggies in for the day!  Travis is escaping because I can't bring green smoothies to Utah..... sorry, Trav.  I also made whole wheat bread twice this week.  I haven't had time before this to make it - so that felt good.  We have been buying the Sprouts whole wheat bread at $4.50 a loaf and downing it like crazy so it was nice to make our own for a change.

Here's to healthy eating!  Tara is still feeling great this week!  YES!!!  I know you all want to hear from her, so I'll let her tell you about her life from her perspective.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

I got my daughter back!

This is Becky.

My daughter is back today.  After months of headaches, tiredness, surgery, who knows what else; I saw the OLD Tara today; except she is new and improved because she is so happily married.  Tara had energy - she moved boxes around, organized her little place, moved out of our place, and just generally worked all day without getting tired or feeling weird in the head.  She hasn't been like this since March.  Even though previously she had some hours every day without headaches, or an occasional day or two with no headache, they were kind of always there in her head bothering her now those headaches are GONE.  We will enjoy these days of feeling good.  They could last a long time.  The doctors said the chemo and radiation shouldn't be too bad - we are hoping for that.  I got some good advice today again that I have heard time and time again - "just take it a day at a time."  (at least we're up to a day at a time instead of 10 minutes at a time!)

Tara is right - she needs to be in this clinical trial - so pray for that and pray that the treatments will do their job on Tara and her body will respond to them and that the cancer will not return.  Hopefully that is a pretty specific prayer for you all.  We are still going to pray for that miracle - if you don't ask for the miracle; then you can't get it, right??

Here's why Tara is sleeping better.  Ever since the week before surgery, Tara has been on a drug for brain swelling called Decadron - it's a steroid. It keeps her wired.  The week of surgery, she was on 16 milligrams a day.  We are on a "taper" of this drug - which means we gradually get the dosage down.  Today she took 1/2 a milligram.  The first week after surgery she was still taking a narcotic to ease the pain; but once she didn't need pain meds anymore; she stopped sleeping; which was one week after surgery.  So, it is so nice that she is medicine free for a few days.  I'm sure it doesn't hurt that she is happily married- that helps the sleeping situation I am sure.

It will be interesting how we work out the driving from North Scottsdale to Barrows, back to North Scottsdale and home to Mesa routine.  We figure on good days where we don't talk to any doctors, it will be at least a 2 hour run.  This is only for 42 days - so we will happily do this.  I think she'll finish radiation about the time school starts or the week after here in Mesa.

I don't know how we would have gotten through the past month without Scott and his problem solving skills.  I always knew why he was successful in business, but now I've had a bird's eye view of what he does every day.  He just applied all his skills to Tara's problems.  I know we had the Lord's help also; but we had to do all we could and then the Lord would bless us and He did.  I think now the worst of everything is over and Scott can return to his normal work.  I sent him to the mountains in southern Utah today to go fishing at his most favorite place on earth, the Boulder Mountain. He was not going to go because he has missed so much work and his church work is also piling up; but I prevailed upon him to go and be with his sons and other male members of his family.  I told him his clients and ward members would understand that this has been a very irregular month and he really needed this break and they would still be there when he got back.  Before leaving, he made sure Tara's chemo drug was all worked out and it would be ready in time. 

Love you all and thanks so much for your thoughts and prayers!! 

I'm Back

Man it feels like it has been forever since I posted! I see my mother posted and did a very nice job...Thanks mom love you! It has been an amazing few days. Saturday easily was the best day of my life. I never knew so much happiness could be jammed into one day! I did get tired and weak but for the most part, for a whole day I got to forget that I had brain cancer and focus on nothing but being happy! There was no brain planning on Saturday and no healthy eating! I let myself take a break for the wedding (and maybe some of the honeymoon!). I had to have one last steak and one last scoop of ice cream! I had a lot of lasts this weekend but luckily I had a lot of firsts as well. First weekend alone without the parents and first breakfast with my best friend! The firsts were a lot better! Can you believe the weather on Saturday? It was 108 last week and then for some reason it decided to drop for my wedding. Just another tender mercy to add to the list that grows every minute. Thank you so much for everyone who came on Saturday and stood in that long line. I kept getting updates on how far back it was and all I could think of was all those people standing in line forever just to come see us. I wish I could have stayed and talked to everyone for more time but we were under strict orders to keep the line moving and I don't think I would have made it if it was much longer. I was so glad I had a chair to rest on and sometimes we had to stop the line so I could shove food in my face! I felt so bad eating in front of people but they pretty much forced me to. Sometimes I wonder who controls my life...me or my mom! :) She just loves me a lot! The reception was beautiful and I cannot believe how many cupcakes there were. I had to eat one. I have been looking at them all week and watching other people eat them so when I had the chance I grabbed a cupcake and I think I literally ate the whole thing in a minute and a half! Then I got to dance with my dad and my husband and cried tears of happiness the whole time! I really don't think I have ever been as happy as I was dancing with them. In those minutes I felt strong. I felt like I did 8 months ago before the headaches even started! I will never forget the smile on my dad's face. He was so happy. I will always love my dad. He is my hero and I am his full time job! So maybe I tripped leaving the reception. :) I just had felt so strong during the dances so I completely threw out Dr.'s orders and tried to run. My knees said "NO!" and they said it loud and I ended on the floor. (poor wedding dress...) Josh picked me up and took me away just like a real prince should and now we are living our happy ever after! My fairy tale came true!

Honeymoon was great. I was probably a lame wife because I didn't sleep an hour on Saturday night so of course I kept Josh up the whole night and then I rested all of Sunday and wasn't any fun. He of course told me I was amazing and stayed with me the whole time. Sunday I found a sleeping pill and got a few hours so on Monday we were able to do a little shopping. We decided that T-shirts and jeans didn't quite fit the dress code for work so Josh spoiled me and got me all ready for my new job! Monday night I fell asleep ALL BY MYSELF and I actually slept for more than an hour! So Tuesday I was all bright-eyed and bushy tailed and we packed up and were home by 9:30 so we could make it to the Dr. in time.

On Tuesday I had the best MRI of my life...thus far. I have a lot more coming. It was short and I did not even feel the shot for the colored fluids they put in you. Then I went to my next easy-cheesy Dr.'s appointment where they tested my heart. They tell me I have a good heart!

Update with the treatment. I have what they call a "dry run" on Monday with the radiation. I don't actually start but they have made my mask and they are going to go over my schedule for medications and everything. I hopefully can start chemo and radiation on Tuesday. Josh and I had quite a scare when we went to go pick up my medication yesterday. We went to Walgreens and they wanted $7500 for one month of chemo and that was after insurance! I just smiled at the lady, took my credit card back, and said "I think I will call my mom." So I called her and the battle with insurance began. Thankfully my dad is good at fighting these insurance battles and we found a way around it. We moved my prescription to CVS where insurance should cover it all (hopefully) and we will be great! That is a huge load off my chest. It would kill me to know that we had to pay that much for 14 months. Today I am very very grateful for insurance. We still don't know if I am a candidate for the clinical trial. It would be a good thing for me to be a part of, so remember that in your prayers. So the next part in my journey begins Tuesday if all goes well!

I know there are people that are reading this that I don't know. Thank you. I know there are people who are praying for me who are not of my faith. Keep praying. I wish I could meet all of you and tell you thank you myself. I feel kinda bad because my writings are not very eloquent and I often have typos. I just can't write and re write and often what I write is just what's on my mind at that current time. What's on my mind right now is how happy I am to be married to my best friend and how lucky I am to be alive in this beautiful world at this beautiful time with amazingly beautiful strong people all around me.

Today I feel strong. I can and will beat this thing. We will all beat this together. I really feel like we are all a team. We can do this! I love ya all.

Keep the prayers we still need a miracle!

Tara Lynn Bodrero :)

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Tara Lynn Schlappi Bodrero

This post is written by Becky.....

First of all, I don't know how I can make it through this post; but I feel as if I must try.  My heart is overflowing with love and gratitude.  It's so full it's just indescribable.  I must write and express some of my feelings - I know I am speaking for my husband also. I just am in awe at the highs and the lows we have felt the past 29 days.  Yes, tomorrow it will have been one month since Tara and I were in the room at EVDI hearing the results of that first CT scan.  I have lost complete track of all time and sense of days.  Everything is a blur.  In less than one month we have experienced more emotions than I've experienced in a lifetime it seems.

The wedding reception last night was enchanting.  Picture perfect.  Every last detail came off without a hitch.  If I start thanking people, I know I will fail and leave someone out - so please know that the army of people who pulled together for this wedding will never be forgotten. I tried to have pictures taken throughout the day of everyone who showed up at our house to help; but I know that I missed people - people who did work prior to the wedding, people who took care of any detail I could possibly think of that I needed done.  Every time I thought of something I needed to do; someone was there by my side offering to do it.  To pull a wedding as perfect as Tara & Josh's was last night; was nothing short of a miracle AGAIN; especially to pull this off in 5 days!!!  I've tried to express some of the kind acts of service that have been done; but I know I have failed and missed some things.  Just know that you all are so loved and we are grateful from the bottom of our hearts.  It's tough for us sometimes to accept help - it's much easier to help others than to watch people help us; but we've learned to accept help through this.  I guess that's part of what we have to learn through this experience; allowing others to serve.  I'm much happier being the one serving than the one being served; and I know Scott feels the same way.

Everything was perfect; from the twinkly lights to the food.  I stand in awe at what my decorator friend and food caterer friend pulled off in such a short time.  They did have help from our army of other friends; but they still headed up much of what happened last night.  Thank you so much Ahtanya Riggs and Jamie Campbell.  Ahtanya was my decorator - we had met a few months ago and started this process; but it was still a major accomplishment to pull off all rest of the details in such a short notice.  For those of you who want a decorator in the future, her phone # is 602-469-3866.  Jamie Bingham Campbell headed up the food - and doubled the food estimate from our previous guesses.  We did not run out of food - can you believe that?  Her phone # is 480 215-7859 and her email is jamiecampbell888@gmail.com.

Before the reception started, I made time for Josh to take Tara around the yard as a guest would walk around the yard.  We were all blown away by the entire setting.  It was breathtaking and that was even before it got dark!  It was even more breathtaking when it was dark and all the twinkly lights, candles, and other lights were lit.  All of it was perfect and it far exceeded Tara and her mother's dreams.  Rachel is already asking if her wedding will be this pretty?!  Please wait, Rachel, I know you caught the bouquet, but really, you have some time here (just kidding - I have to bug her).  Scott & I were in tears so often all week as we watched our friends work for us.  We did not even see all the behind the scenes work.

Scott & I want to publicly thank all of you who helped so very much.  We are hoping to create a list of those who helped with this wedding so that we will always have it to refer to and remember.  If you are left out of that list; please know that we appreciate you and we love you and could not have done it without any of you; but our minds are foggy and we have so many things running around in our brains; I know we will unintentionally leave someone out.

I have heard rumors the receiving line was long and those of you who had to hurry through the line; I'm so sorry!  Tara was so very tired - we tried to make her sit down on the captain's chairs that were there for her and she did sit some, but she was fading fast.  The last 45 minutes were pretty tough for her; but she was so happy and really wanted to see everyone.  We have to remember she just had major surgery a brief 2 weeks ago!  WOW!  With Tara's usual grace, (have to tease my daughter since she has my "grace" - sometimes we both trip UP the stairs - crazy, I know - how to you do that?) she tried to RUN out of the reception with her dress all around her. She tripped and fell and we were worried she had hurt her head.  I got a text from Josh sometime last night saying that Tara was fine and already laughing about tripping out of her wedding reception.  They are taking a break until Tuesday and not answering any phones or probably not reading any emails or blogs.  I have a feeling Josh wants Tara all to himself for awhile......and Tara feels the same way about Josh.

The wedding in the temple was a spiritual highlight for me and probably those attending also.  I can't describe it here; but watching a child get married in the temple for eternity is one of those high points as a mother you just can't top.  Tara and Josh were absolutely glowing.  They glowed all night.

People have asked me if I'm stressed from planning the wedding - the completely truthful answer is NO.  This wedding was so not stressful.  How could it be?  I didn't do anything!  I spent my week sitting in doctor's offices while the Citrus Heights Ward of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter- Day Saints (AND friends, AND decorator, AND caterer) did all the work!!  Monday night I literally typed my list of what I should have done for the wedding, sent it to some friends and never worried about it again. I was asked sometimes what was going on, where something went, or such things, my honest answer was always, "I don't know."  I did not know where anything was, how anything was hooked up, absolutely nothing.  All I knew was that my daughter was radiating happiness and everything was perfect.  I loved seeing all of you and giving you all a hug.  I promise the only thing that keeps us going is everyone's faith and prayers and love.  Keep praying for those powers of heaven to heal Tara - we still need it.

Thank you family members and friends for making the effort to share this beautiful night with us. My only regret is that there wasn't time to see each one of you as much as we would have liked to.  We will have more chances!!

I kept joking to many people last night that the weather was "Miracle #64!" Tara quickly corrected me and said, "Mom, it's way more than 64!  It's got to be over 100!!"  We haven't been keeping track of the number of miracles; but it's definitely getting up there.  The weather was the icing on the cake.  You all know hot HOT Mesa is in June.  Last night had to be a record for the absolute perfect temperature EVER in June with the perfect amount of breeze.  All the candles stayed lit, all the lights stayed lit (thanks neighbors for all your electricity!!) and we never ran out of food.

As I was too tired to stand up anymore and was considering going to bed I went in the kitchen and saw some friends on their hands and knees mopping my floor with rags at 11:45 pm. That epitomizes what all of you did for me - soooo many people helping prepare food, serve food, clean up food, run errands, set up, take down, print pictures, frame pictures, make corsages, bouquets, and boutainneires, alter wedding dress, make cute bag for Tara to take to the temple, make wedding cake, make 500 cupcakes and desserts, take pictures, be bossy about the line keeping moving (only my sister could do that - but that was her idea, not mine just so you know - but it was much needed I believe!) hunt for keys, take down twinkly lights, set up sound system, etc. etc. etc....

Love you all!!!  We can never possibly pay you all back; but we send our love and heartfelt thanks.  This wedding in 5 days - who would have ever thought????  The invitations only took one day to mail within town!!   I wouldn't recommend going through what we did to get a wedding planned for you; but the wedding kept us focused on happy thoughts.  As Tara said earlier in one of her posts (or was it just to me?  I don't remember..) I like wedding planning so much more than brain planning!  I informed her she wasn't planning, she was WATCHING the wedding being planned.

We have a break from doctor's until Tuesday.  Radiation starts whenever they get it ready.  I guess it's a complicated process.  They're waiting for us to get the MRI so they can do their high tech stuff.  Radiation will not be longer than a week from the MRI.  Here we go.....we'll hang on for the ride.  With faith and lots of prayers, we can do this thing!  That's the only way you can do it.

We'll await Tara's return from her honeymoon for the next post.

I made it through the day while not seeing her smile this morning - I imagined it in my head as she was with Josh and that got me through the day.  I know she's happy and that's enough. 

Saturday, June 12, 2010

I am getting married in the morning

Well good morning again! I swear I tried so so hard to sleep! I finally gave in and came to send off a little last note before I become Tara Lynn Bodrero. :)

Yesterday was amazing...I know I say that a lot but really, everyday is so amazing. Today I KNOW will be even more amaing-ER! The best thing is knowing that the next day, can be amazing too. It CAN be, it is just all what we make it. My view on each hour of each day has changed. Ya I have bad hours, really bad hours, but I have good hours and I guess I just have to be thankful for the good ones and try to learn from the bad ones.

Yesterday I was able to attend the temple. It was the most spiritual experiences of my life that I will cherish with me forever. My feelings for the temple are special and I think I am going to keep them with me and not share them here.

Just know that yesterday was full of ups and downs but the ups far far overcame the downs. I learned from the downs, so yesterday was amazing.

Can you believe the weather? Another one of those miracles that has been coming my way! Out of all the weeks of the summer, this week happens to be the coolest! Today the high was the lowest of the whole five day forecast! Not one of the lowest or average...the lowest! There was a nice breeze yesterday and everything! Today is going to be perfect!

And I am on a two day food break and loving it! Subway. Ate it. Cold Cereal. Ate it. Deep fried tortilla. Ate it. Chicken, sour cream, cheese, tomatoes. Ate em. Lemonade. Drank it. And best of all, cake...devoured it! I am just counting down the hours until breakfast cause I am going to eat it all!! :) I really think it could be unhealthy for people to just be this excited about eating food. :)

Well no doctors until Tuesday! That quite possibly could be the greatest wedding present! I am so excited to marry my best friend. We have been through so much together and we have a long road ahead of us. I cry without a doubt every time I talk about Josh so I better not get started. I wish I could tell you how much I love him. It takes a special man to put up with a girl like me, for FOREVER!

I will have Chol or my momma put up some pictures cause I am taking a few days off!

Oh last funny few things that never got posted but really needed to.

Remember how my right jaw was all swollen and how I complain about not being able to open my mouth and my jaw hurting? Okay so maybe my mom only remembers the complaining...anyway, the Dr. just decided to tell me that in surgery the CUT my jaw muscle! Well that explains a lot! I thought I was just crazy! They gave me exercises to do to help get the muscle back. So if you see me randomly opening and stretching my mouth...Dr.'s orders. :)

Next thing.
All of my doctors ask me the same questions! A nurse will come in and make me move all my arms and legs and look at my eyes then have me touch my nose and spell world forward and backward and tell them my birthday and where we are and all that jazz and then the Dr. will come in and do it all again! Seriously people, take notes! Then I will go to a different Dr. right after and the whole process starts again. And they take your height and weight everyday, at every office! I am pretty sure the report reads... 8:30AM height: 5 7, weight: 136 and then at 9:00 it reads height: 5 7, weight: 136.2. I think I just need a sticker on my shirt that says my height and weight! Really I don't think I am going to grow much between today and tomorrow! This is supposed to be short and sweet but venting is kinda fun sometimes...oh back to what I was originally going to say... So I am at the Dr and we have been through all the questions and then he throws me this crazy curve ball. How many nickels in a $1.20? I sunk. I sat there for at least a minute and a half and could not figure it out for the life of me. I put my hands in my head and just said I don't know. You should have seen my parents faces! Priceless! The greatest thing is when we came home at family dinner we asked the question and chol quickly said, "40" We all gave her a funny look and then she went through the same thing I did. She was counting on her fingers and everything. We finally had to tell her. It felt so good to know that I am not really losing my mind...I am just Rachels sister! So if you come over and we ask you how many nickels are in a $1.20, the answer is 24! :)

Tomorrow I am down to one med! :)


See ya tonight! I will be the one in white.
Keep the faith and prayers coming.

Well.....for the last time

Tara Lynn Schlappi

Friday, June 11, 2010

Good Morning

Ya, it is about 3:30 AM and I have been wide awake since about 1. I try so so hard to sleep but my body just won't let me. It stinks but at least I have time to blog right? It seems like my body feels best in the middle of the night. My mind is clear and my meds don't make me dizzy and all is fine, so why can't I sleep? Anyway, yesterday was, not surprisingly, an amazing day. Well it ended amazing. I did get called into the Dr.'s office again and they poked me and kept me there much longer than I wanted but I just have to keep telling myself that they are only trying to save my life. It just gets old day after day after day. Luckily everything we have heard can be considered good news for the most part. They say I should get to keep all my hair until three weeks into radiation. They kept saying I would have a "funky haircut". This is because the hair dies wherever they shoot the radiation and they are going to be shooting it in all different directions. They said I could have strips of missing hair and dots and just random areas so I guess we will just have to wait and see about that.Then after being at that doctor for much longer than I wanted they told me I had to go to another and then we had a doctor call us wanting to meet. My heart just sunk. NO MORE DOCTORS!!!! I was overwhelmed but my amazing parents and Josh got me through it and I am almost positive that I don't have to see a doctor until Tuesday!! My parents just had the doctor appointment over the phone and let me sleep and Josh helped me get in and out of blood work with a smile. I made it! At one of the appointments yesterday they made the mask for my radiation treatment. I will have to get a picture of it up sometime. It is really interesting. So I guess everyday I have to lay under a mask for a certain amount of time at the hospital and they shoot radiation beams into my head. I can handle that! I don't think it takes too long, maybe I can take a nap. :)

Last night was my bridal shower. WOW. Talk about a party. It was the first time I was back into the real world. I have seen people one at a time or two and been places but not everyone at once. Man, it was good to see everyone! People are always surprised when they see me. Why? Because and look and feel normal! I have answered the door so many times and people are in awe! The looks on their faces are priceless. But thinking about it, what would I think if I knew a young woman had major brain surgery 2 weeks ago, then a few days later was told that she has to continue on with a serious treatment for a very rare tumor? Ya, I too would be a little surprised when a girl with a full head of hair comes half walking-half skipping to answer the door with a big smile on her face. So yesterday I got to see everyone again and come back into society. What a perfect way to do so! It was all smiles and fun and for a few hours I really didn't have to think about what I am going through! For those hours I had no time to think about but happiness! I loved last night and I feel like I only got to see a few people! I guess you can only talk to so many people at once right? Thank you so much for everything it was beyond amazing. My body did shut down at the end but I made it pretty far and loved every second of it.

I guess it is Friday already. That means temple and wedding dinner :) Today is going to be an amazing day. I guess I can try to sleep again...wish me luck!

Everyday is going to be an amazing day, I will make sure of that.
Miracles happen and I am so grateful to be a miracle.

Keep the prayers and faith!
We will win this battle

Tara Lynn Schlappi

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Fairy Tale and Fog

This is Becky.  Sorry I haven't posted since Saturday - life is really a blur.  We can't decide if we're living in a fog or a fairy tale. Sometimes it's one thing, sometimes another.  It almost feels like we've lived 3 years in 3 weeks.

I'll start with Sunday.  Sunday, as you know, Tara went to girls' camp with her Dad and learned what the supposed odds really are about this kind of brain cancer.  Tough news for her and for all of us.  Sunday morning was a tough one for me.  I keep reciting scriptures in my head from my prayer rug that a friend gave me, "I will not leave you comfortless, I will comfort you."  "I can do all things through Christ who strenghteneth me."  I am holding God to those promises and I pray for them regularly; sometimes several times a day; depending on  if I am losing it at that moment or not.

Sunday I went to church with Nate & Rachel.  It was hard to walk in and see all those loving faces who care so much about our family and they were all so sad; so of course, I was teary eyed also. As the meeting wore on, I was extremely glad that I was where I knew I should be.  I received such personal spiritual strength during that meeting that I have been carried through this week.  I am carried by that outpouring of the Spirit, along with all the other prayers I have been praying throughout this whole ordeal.  I KNOW that through the prayers of all of you people, I am feeling the Spirit and being uplifted throughout all of this; as well as our family.

Some of you have said that you're not sure what to pray for now that surgery is done and went so well. Here is what we were counseled Sunday to pray for; and I firmly believe that this is what we should pray for - we need to be BOLD in our prayers and call down the powers of heaven in Tara's behalf.  We CAN expect miracles!!  I lost track of all the miracles that have happened since May 14th.  Tara is a walking miracle and she is NOT a statistic!  She is Tara and she can make it through this thing.  People do.  She can be one of those PEOPLES who make it through this.  Like my sister said, whatever that percentage of people that lick this are, Tara has a 99% chance of being in THAT percentage!! She is young and strong and has, most importantly, has a positive attitude and sooooo much faith.  So, please keep praying and we WILL be bold in our prayers.  I know, there is God's will in all of this; I just pray that God's will is not to need Tara so desperately on the other side that He can't leave her here.  I really feel inside like Tara will make this.  All I have to do in the morning is wake up, look at her in her room with her smile on her face, and I feel better.  I think it's harder on all of you out there who can't see her smile in the mornings and know that she will be okay.  What will I do when she's married and Josh is the one to see that smile on her face in the mornings?  Lucky Josh!  I hope my heart can make it through the mornings then.  Mornings are sometimes a hard time - Scott & I wake up every day and have a brief fleeting thought that maybe this is a "normal" day, then that "other" feeling comes to our hearts.  Thankfully, every day that heartsick feeling is a little better and doesn't last quite as long and we get going on our day.  Tara removes all heartsickness.  All you have to do is look at her and know that everything will be alright.

I'm supposed to give a report on what we learned yesterday - I wish I could have Scott be the one to do this; he took the notes; but I'll try.  We learned so much. For an hour this wonderful doctor (radiation oncologist) educated us about our whole process.  I'll highlight a few details for those of you curious about the process.

Brain cancer does not spread to other parts of the body - can't remember why, but it doesn't.  No metastasis.

When you operate on the brain, you only cut exactly what you need to cut - other kinds of cancer, (stomach, breast, etc) the surgeons typically cut an inch or whatever they feel is needed, radius around the cancer part to safeguard the spread of the cancer.  In the brain, you can't do this.  You'll hurt too many things by taking brain tissue.  So, even though Dr. Berger "got it all" there are some errant cells in there we have to worry about.

Brain cancer goes by grades, not stages, of cancer.  So, when people think of Stage 4 cancer - this is not the same.  Grade 4 is still serious; but not the same as Stage 4.

Treatment involves radiation for 42 days, with Saturday and Sunday off.  She lays on a table with a mask on her head and is bolted to the table so she won't move out of that position she needs to be on.  This radiation process is very specific and complicated.  They tailor it to just exactly what Tara needs.  Radiation is only on the precise area where the tumor was located.  It lasts 10 minutes per session and she has to go to Barrows every day for this.

She will lose hair in the area being radiated  - that means she'll have what the doctor calls "an interesting haircut."  She may not lose all her hair, but will likely lose it where they are radiating.  That means her cute hats she will wear on her right side of her head!

Chemotherapy goes along with radiation at the same time. It's a pill and it again is very specific according to her body mass.  The drug name is Temodar. (I think).  Chemotherapy may make her nautious, radiation will make her tired; but she shouldn't feel too sick they keep saying.  There are anti-nautious medications which help.

After 42 days, she has a 4 week break from radiation but not chemo.  Then, she starts a double dose of chemo but only 5 days per month for the next 12 months after that.

For some reason, chemo and radiation are easier to deal with when it's in the brain and not other parts of the body. Thus, Tara may not be as sick as David Wayne has been, who, by the way, is a walking inspiration to us and everyone else!  His positive attitude and smile are infectious!

Fertility has been troublesome; but Dr. Shapiro (chemo oncologist) seems to think there is a good chance Tara's ovaries will work again after she's done with all of this.  He had many beanie babies on his shelf from previous patients who had the same chemo drug Tara is going to be on.  I cannot believe the decisions this girl has had to make and she's made them with such incredible faith - she and Josh both have.  They both just have faith everything will work out and they will be parents someday.

Clinical trials - Tara is trying to qualify for a clinical trial.  She will be on this drug (starts with an A) as well as the others at the same time as chemo and radiation.  It's administered through an IV.  50% of this test group have a placebo (the doctors don't even know if the patient has the drug or not) and the other 50% have the actual drug.  We are hoping Tara falls in the catagory of actually receiving the drug; but it's a coin toss.  I have decided within my own self that if Tara needs the drug; the Lord will make sure she's in that 50% that does not have the placebo.  This injection is very expensive (20,000 per injection) but is free because it's a study.  If the doctor sees something he does not like on her scan; it will be revealed to her if she in on the placebo or not and then she can get ON the drug if she was in fact on the placebo.

Enough medical stuff - we are sick of it - but I hope this answers some questions you all have been having.

As for the fairy tale, I cannot say enough about the joy that has been in this household as we having been living the fairy tale of the wedding this week!  Thanks to so many people that I cannot even start to name because I know for a fact that I will leave someone out, we are just overwhelmed with love so much that we are dumbfounded.  We kindof walk around with our jaws dropping and smiles on our faces.  I'll try to give you a little clue.....

Monday - let's decide we'll have a wedding!  Thanks to help, all the invitations are stamped and in the mail (3 different post office locations at least) by the next morning. Dinner is brought to our home; we all eat a very tasty healthy dinner and move forward.

Tuesday - meet with Dr. Shapiro - long day at doctors.  I type a list of what I think needs to be done for the wedding and then everyone else takes over.

Wednesday - supposed to have a day off doctors, but no luck.  We spend another long day at doctor's; come home to another very tasty meal - Mediterranean cuisine this time!  We were starving and it tasted soo good!  Last night it was impossible to be sad when I heard strains of "I can hear the bells" being practiced by Rachel and Jessica, and Tara and Josh were working on their wedding video - we had such happy sounds at our house!

The days are a blur so I give up on what happened what day; but here are some other fairy tale things - and I know I'm leaving out things.....

Flowers show up and brighten our home, cards, gifts, edible bouquets, healthy dinners, and loving people.  Loving emails, texts, hugs.... all these have helped.

It seems as if I need something, I just twinkle my nose and it happens - Tara's wedding dress needed a few tucks that came undone and a few minor adjustments - I call my quilting friends and within the hour it's done.

Our yard and back patio miraculously look perfect.  We were eating breakfast this morning at 6:30 - we hear the beloved sound of blowers and weed trimmers that are NOT ours working in our yard!!! You have no idea how incredible that sound is to the Schlappi Family's ears!  Keeping up with our yard is always a challenge we have faced.  We'll get maybe 1/4 of our yard looking good at once, but NEVER the whole yard at one time!  We felt so spoiled and so luxurious.

I haven't had to cook all week; other than breakfasts and heating up leftovers for lunch....

Our house miraculously got cleaned one day while we were gone - even the baseboards AND the laundry!

The list of what is being done by so many people for the wedding is too long to put down here; but as Tara said, it does make me cry just to look at the list and realize how very many people are giving their time and talents to pull this thing off by Saturday.  This all happens while we sit in doctor's offices.

Tara said she likes wedding planning sooo  much more than brain planning!  I told her, "you're not planning the wedding - you're WATCHING the wedding being planned and carried out before our eyes."  The pictures are breathtaking, the guest book perfect, the food is perfect, the lights will be wonderful, the list goes on and on and we did none of the work. I feel somewhat guilty for not helping; but am so overwhelmed with love.  Please excuse me if I haven't had time to talk to you long if you come to the door or respond to all my emails; but know that I'm just a little busy this week and I love you all so much!!!  Our lives will all settle into a routine, hopefully soon.

The good news today that is after we run and get more lab tests done; Tara has 4 blessed days with NO doctor's appointments (unless we try to squeeze an MRI in tomorrow instead of Tuesday).  She needs a break and so do we.  She needs a honeymoon!!!  She'll have a longer one in a few months during her 4 week break from radiation.  She and Josh are unique and very special.  Josh has to put up with alot - he has to put up with very abnormal wedding circumstances, and it's not always to put up with the Schlappi family - he comes through both with flying colors!

I have to run and get those tests done so I must quit - but please know that we all love you so much and appreciate all the fasting, prayers, and love sent our way.  You are all so wonderful and with this army we cannot fail!

We are so excited - our family starts coming into town in an hour!!!  YEA!!!!  We'll see many of you Saturday night and thank you, thank you, thank you!!!

Oh, as a little PS - I actually "felt" like working on my hand applique project at the doctor's office this week.  I haven't been able to touch it since last Thursday; but I picked it up yesterday; so I think that's a good sign that my heart will make it through this.

Thursday

Last night I got more sleep then I have ever had! I had 6 straight hours without a single bathroom or medication break! Now I can conquer today! Man my body was so tired! I had all these great plans for Wednesday and I was going to be "productively restful" the whole day. Plans changed when the our radiation Dr. called and asked us to come in a little earlier. We of course arranged for the appointment and left for the hospital to meet our new doctor at around 1:30 in the afternoon. We were gone until past 6!!! My medicine almost makes me act like I am on speed sometimes and I cannot hold still. I felt bad at the doctors because I was swaying and fidgeting. I was just so restless the whole time. The Dr. yesterday was amazing though and in those hours we were there he was very clear and straight to the point and he really really helped us understand everything. Us, being my mom and dad...the unmedicated. I actually did listen and learn a lot even though i couldn't hold still. With my medicine I really feel like myself 80% of the time. Right now for instance, I don't feel a thing. The only problem is I need to figure out how to time my medicine so I am not crazy during the most important parts of the day...aka sleep! So I took my meds earlier and said a little extra prayer and slept last night! I just need to make sure that I am awake for the wedding! I will get that timing down! Today we get to go back to the hospital so they can make my radiation mask and take a CT scan and start some of my blood work and other lab test. Staples come out today too. Temple dress and wedding playlist on the list too! Eat, nap (my mom always orders these...they never happen!) smile and family gets in town today! Packing my room? I think I am just going to shove my room into a few boxes and call it good! Man, today looks like it is going to be an amazing day, yet again!

I tried to imagine where I would be like without my family and friends carrying me through this and it made me really really sad, so I stopped. I am able to be happy and positive and hopefully through this because of all you! Keep the prayers coming!

We really did learn a lot about treatment and my parents took great notes. Sometime in the near future my momma will fill you all in. Best part is, a lot of good encouraging news!

Keep smiling

Tara Lynn :)

yay breakfast time!

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

What is the date?

I think I am still in shock! I have lost all sense of time and date! Wow yesterday was a long day. Monday night at around 7 PM we had the go ahead for the wedding and by 8:00 am yesterday morning, most of the invitations had been sent! Maybe they will get there in time for Saturday!

My parents and I had Dr.'s (and hair :) ) appointments from 8:00 am until about 4:30 pm and in that time frame the whole wedding...was pretty much planned. My mom had a few friends kind of take over and they seriously have put this thing together. My parents were both very overwhelmed yesterday with all the Dr.'s appointments. This whole cancer, radiation, fertility and timetable was draining yesterday. We did get good news and they say that the treatment should not make me too sick and that I should be able to live normally for the year in treatment. It is amazing how many tiny little details go into this treatment. There are medicines to counteract other medicines and treatments that need to be done at certain times in certain places. We have a whole team of doctors who get to poke me all the time! :)  We came home to a beautiful bouquet of flowers and a list of everything that needed to be done and how it was going to be done. It was amazing. My mother read the list to me three times in tears. We would be a complete mess without all you! You are all the only reason this is possible. Please know that you are making someone's dreams come true. Actually, my dreams weren't even close to as amazing as this. Someone smack me I don't believe this is real.


If you are reading this, you are invited to our glorious event! We are worried that all the invitations did not get labeled in our hurry because we have about 60 left over so please come and join us in the celebration!

The Reception will be that night, June 12, 2010 from 7:30 until 9:30 PM (trying to avoid heat)

Reception held at Schlappi Residence
1933 N. 39th street
Mesa, Arizona
85205

I have a long nap scheduled in that day so we can party all night! I am so excited to see you all!


oh last thing... we found out the rash that is taking over my face is from my medication which i don't need anymore! :) No more seizure medication!

Love ya all!

How many minutes til Saturday?

Tara Lynn

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

No one can stop my fairy tale

May 14, 2010 I picked up my wedding invitations. May 14, 2010 I was told I had a brain tumor. Invitations were not stuffed and have sat teasing me in mt dad's office since that day. Not to be dramatic but on May 14, 2010 I felt like my fairy tale, happily ever after, and dreams were being torn from me. My bridal shower was canceled within an hour or two of the new findings and my little heart just broke. I knew that I maybe could still get married and that it all could happen and I had a lot of hope but it was really hard for me. I didn't really like the word "could". We decided not to send the invitations to the wedding and decided we would just do inserts with a date change if I was cleared by the doctors to get married. We really did not have a time frame. It could have been a weeks, a month, a year, possibly more.Yesterday miracle after miracle after miracle occurred. My dad jumped over every hurdle and found a way for what we thought, was the impossible to become, a reality. He threw "could" out the window!  To make an extremely long (but awesome and full of miracles) story (not short) but shorter... I am proud to announce that Josh and I will be married for FOREVER on JUNE 12, 2010 (that's this Saturday!)

My Dreams Could ARE Coming True 
This is it! A copy of the original invitation with the original date! My little heart has never been so happy!

Last night we were frantically trying to stuff some invitations. It was quite a site! We had half an army over here helping us get this ready by Saturday. Some of the labels may be on upside down and I don't know where we were putting half the stamps but we did get a lot done. We were hoping that some of the invitations make it in time but if they don't all the information is right here on that blessed picture above! You are all invited to come and celebrate the happiest day of my life! I am so excited to see you all! They are ordering me a huge nap that day so I can be rested and ready to party with my army! (In case you didn't know, I rather enjoy calling you my army. There is no way I could do this on my own!) So I will see you Saturday June 12, 2010 at 7:30!    *my face is stuck in this silly smile...maybe that's why I can't sleep!

There is a list of things that we potentially may need help with in order to get this together by Saturday. My mother is in the process of forming that list. If you are interested in helping or have any ideas or thoughts you can contact her.  beckyschlappi@cox.net  is probably your best bet just because her phone rings off the hook constantly anyway. Thanks so much! Ah I am so happy!

I will keep posting with further details!

And I thought I was happy the other day! Nothing compares to this feeling. I think having it potentially ripped away, has made it all the more special.

I am the luckiest girl in the whole entire world!
My Dreams Are Coming True!
I am a Princess.

Tara Lynn Schlappi (Bodrero!)

I know the picture is a little unclear so I am trying to add some links so you can view it better

http://img38.imageshack.us/img38/4582/invitationh.jpg

If you can't read any of the information or it is unclear from the picture let us know so we can find a way to make it more clear! Thanks!

Monday, June 7, 2010

check back in a few hours

Please read the blog in a few hours I have a very special announcement I am itching to tell you but I have a few things I need to do first.

MIRACLES HAPPEN!!!!!!!!

tara

Happiness is blooming all around me

People have had a hard time commenting or posting on the blog and just as an update I tried to reset some settings so anyone can post. Email is also an option. I am sorry I do not respond to 90 percent but know that I read and re-read 100 percent of what is said and shared and I enjoy all of it. You really all are my angels and whenever I have my down times...I have a million places I can turn to immediately cheer me up! Thank you.

taraschlappi@yahoo.com

I have not posted in forever! Well I guess it just seems like it has been a long time. It is amazing what can happen in a matter of minutes. It seems like things are constantly changing and moving around. There are constantly new hurdles but somehow we manage to fight them all. My life has been nothing but a miracle since the last post. About a million things have happened and there has been a lot of really good news. Much of it may be a little too personal for the blog but please know that all your prayers of comfort and peace and love and healing...are being heard by our Father in Heaven. The Schlappi family is doing very well today. I feel 10 times stronger than yesterday and this morning...I skipped! I had tried little jumps earlier but today I tried a full on skip! Amazing! The doctor said I could even go swimming as long as I do not put my head under the water! Swimming this afternoon for sure!

Man this whole thing can be scary sometimes. Many people have wondered if I know what's going on. I went to Girl's Camp with my dad yesterday and yesterday, I learned...what's going on. I am afraid to say this but it is reality. All of us are going to die. We are. The Lord will take me when he needs me. When I go, I do not know. It may be sooner than I would have wanted three weeks ago but I know without a doubt that the Lord will take me when he needs me. Ya, there are a million things running through my head but the most dominating one is that of hope and love. So yes I do understand the severity of what is going on but more importantly I KNOW whose hands I am in. I don't care what the doctors say because God is in control. Dr.'s would have said the Red Sea can't be parted and the blind won't see, the dead can't walk, and the dumb can talk but the most amazing thing is, with God anything is possible. I love my Dr.'s and I am so thankful for them  but they aren't in control, my Father in Heaven is. My life always has been in his hands and it will continue to stay there. There is so much peace in knowing that Heavenly Father is in control. I cannot even imagine enduring this trial without a knowledge of the Plan of Salvation and the gospel. It is amazing how much you can learn in such a short time. It is amazing how alive the scriptures can become and how immediately, everything pertains to you. Life has new meaning. Life is beautiful.

This post seriously could turn into a book if I had the time and energy to write all my feelings and record all the miracles that are taking place. I think the list of miracles alone, could take pages! My true feelings seriously could take years to record!

Happiness is blooming all around me and I feel like a little girl again! I am so excited and happy about life right now. I am so happy it is exhausting and I really need a nap. Sorry this post was really random and crazy. Pretty much describes me.

Know that I love you and I always will!
I believe

Tara

Saturday, June 5, 2010

A little note from Becky

Tara is one amazing girl.  She is a liar when she said we all go to bed with smiles on our faces - but I'm so glad she does have her smiles. She's speaking the truth about herself. We did have a fun pizza night.  She picks up her Dad and myself when we need it the most.  She does usually have a smile on her face.  I am eating healthy now also - it's something I've needed anyway.  I've tried it in the past; succeeded some; but never totally conquered; but we will conquer now!  Nate is home now from an activity he had with boys in his church. He was gone when this all happened. I told him his job was to be happy while we're eating the healthy stuff; and to continue to be the best brother possible for Tara.  That's not hard for him, and it's not hard for Rachel either (to be the best sister, that is!).  Our family has really pulled together the past few weeks.  Ryan and Steph and Brig come and make us smile as we watch Brigham's antics and they are a great support also.  We miss Travis; but he texts Tara from Utah. 

Just want to personally say thank you for all your prayers and love.  We wouldn't be standing upright without all the support we have been given.  I am so glad I have the gospel in  my life to draw strength from, and receive strength from our Savior.  We also receive strength from our family and friends who are continually praying and fasting and loving us.

We'll just keep trying to put one foot in  front of the other one.  Tara goes to Girl's Camp tomorrow with her Dad. That should be a wonderful experience for her.

Love you all!!!

New Morning

Yesterday was a hard day. It is okay to have hard days. It is not fun to get news you really didn't want to hear but hey, "come what may, and love it." We are still working on all the details for my chemo and radiation and we really don't know much other than it needs to happen and it needs to happen as soon as it can. We are doing everything in our power to fight this. I was put on a new special diet yesterday that pretty much will hopefully starve and not allow cancer cells to grow and help with my immune system and everything in general. Pretty much, I have eaten my last cupcake. Let me tell you, it was a good cupcake! Sister Bayles makes the best cakes and cupcakes (and they are cute...that makes them even more fun to eat!). So pretty much I guess cancer cells really like white bread and white sugar. They like white things...and cupcakes...are white! :) My sister-in-law said she would make me chocolate cupcakes, Joshua said red velvet but our nutrition expert caught us and said...food coloring doesn't quite work! Sister Maloney has taken the reigns with the whole food thing and brought us the most amazing pizza last night. My mother made the mistake of saying she would pick up some pizza tonight for our movie night at Wallyball where Sister Maloney soon assured us that we would still have pizza...it just would not be Poppa Murphys! She walks in our door about 5:30 with heaven on a few trays behind her. I am thinking pizza...cheese, olives if I am lucky, little meat, sauce, you know just pizza. Okay, this was not just pizza. We all were rolling out our own individual WHOLE WHEAT crusts and then topping them with onions, peppers, olives, tomatoes, turkey, cheese, and pineapple! We had pesto sauce and red sauce! I really did not feel like I was eating healthy at all! It quite possibly could have been the best pizza I have ever had in my life! If this new diet thing involves this pizza every Friday night...this next year may not be that bad after all! :) More than anything, it was fun. My family was all there and we have all had a little different presence about us but it seems like in that hour we were together it was easier to smile and laugh. For an hour, I got to forget the doctors and what they were saying and I got to look at the people I love most and smile. Thank you Sister Maloney for making my family stronger last night. Yes, yesterday was a hard day but we found light and we all fell asleep with a smiles on our faces.

We will keep you updated when we know more. We still have a few battles we need to fight this week but we will fight them. We will love what comes.

I believe

I love prayers

I am young and strong...much stronger than those stupid cells in my brain! :)

Tara Lynn

Thursday, June 3, 2010

more news

We are so blessed. We have so much good news but today we were dealt with the other side. I know my sister previously posted but I wanted to write a few more sentences. We will keep you posted as promised. today we found out the the tumor I have is in the bad category. I am not exactly sure what it is called and we don't know everything but we do know that it is a grade 4. There are 4 grades and I am at grade 4. We still have hope and we still have faith. We still need and appreciate all prayers. I feel okay inside but we are a little shaken. I will need to start chemo and radiation therapy as soon as possible and we are working on creating our team on doctors currently. We will keep you updated and we do appreciate all your prayers and thoughts. My mother needs a lot of prayers and love. Please remember her too. She loves me so much. Please keep your smiles on...we got ours on! We appreciate everything love you all! Thank you. We will have more information soon but we are not sure how soon. They need a few more days to run tests on my tumor in San Fran. The doctors are in touch with us and will will keep you posted. Thank you so much! I am young and I am strong and I still have tons I people I have to bug! Imma be around for a while! Enjoy every moment! I love you guys!

I believe

I love

Tara Lynn

Oh and just as extra info....they are going to try to harvest some of my eggs and save them for later! :) Sorry that's a lot of extra info but it was good for me to hear! Smile!