Monday, January 31, 2011

Ponder of the Day

If life was fair, there would be no bravery.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Dear Readers

One more round down, 7 to go. I can't tell you how excited I am for August 2011 to roll around. Some count down to birthdays and holidays...I will count down to the day I get to finish my temodar. I started my most recent round on Thursday and the day was completed by yet another poke and the avastin-placebo drug. Needless to say I have been a wee bit tired since then. Yesterday when I got to work I did not bother to set up my computer. I put my lunch in the fridge and headed straight for that pillow! I slept from 7:30 to 10:00 and could have used a few more hours and then a few more naps during the day. It is absolutely rediculous how tired I am. I love to measure by how easy/hard the stairs to work are...I barely made it up them yesterday, today I made them up better but then had to turn around and go back down the mountain I defeated to get something from the car and face my challenge once again. Thank goodness it is thursday and there is no work for me tomorrow. My mom texted me earlier with a wonderful list of things we could do tomorrow...all which required energy. Quilt Store, Laundry, Cleaning, Quilt and Craft Show in the afternoon, Nate's game, Lunch, Grocery Shopping. MOM....YOU FORGOT A 5 HOUR BLOCK OF TIME FOR A NAP!  I now realize that I have become lame and boring and that is completely fine with me. I continue to bond with the food network and have ventured out a bit to check on my Jack Bauer...okay I ventured by watching a whole season in one day (almost). Saturday I was in bed the whole day and was out for a grand total of 1 hour. I am getting to know my bed too well. I am just glad that our room is dark, quiet and...has a 90 inch projector...that is kinda nice for sick days!

I am back to eating to live. I about threw up when I accidentally ate turkey in my soup last night. people there is a problem if I am not devouring the turkey. I am a turkey girl and really, the thought of it right now kinda makes me sick. I can't stand the smell of bread being toasted but could eat a whole loaf once it is. My Dad has to shove food down my throat at work and my poor mom packs half that pantry hoping that something will sound good when lunch time comes. She can't ask me in the morning because we never know what is going to happen. I think I am over my grape addiction and Thai food has completely died. Pasta is still there along with oranges and jamba juice. Okay, I think I could live off Jamba! Josh get's his spicy chickens from Carl's Junior and I get my Jamba (with protein to make joshua happy! :) ) I have lost a little weight this treatment but I am sure I can get it all back on...there is nothing that a couple watter bottles and a loaf of bread can't fix before a doctors appointment!

Travis had a birthday this week and is kinda hard to celebrate when he is forever away but we love him none the less and appreciate all the wisdom he has patiently shoved down the throats of us. He is currently applying to his PhD school or something smart like that. So far we have a yes from a school is Texas and a yes from Cal Tec. A no from Princeton and awaiting the next seven soon to come. His dream is to go to MIT. The families dream is that he gets to go to MIT because he really really wants to but our second Cal Tech. Trav you can't move forever away!

Joshua is on a Train Track for Tara and trying to get all of school done as fast as possible so he can get a job with a big company who can't say "no"  to a girl with Brain Cancer. It is kinda sad how much this has altered his life as well. Not only does he have a non-functional wife who is constantly complaining but he also has to think about his future and about how he has to get a job where I can get benefits. The things he does for me... I would not make it without Joshua. I actually saw a Yahoo question yesterday from a goes as follows..wait I just went back and it was I am glad it was gone. Anyway it pretty much said, "My girlfriend is bald from Chemo, how do I break up with her. When I go places with her I get red with embarrassment and can't handle the stress." Oh this infuriated me! He, of course, had mnay answers of what to do. Most ended up with...she deserves better and you are a horrible person. It just made me so grateful for Joshua. I never had to wear a wig or even a hat if I didn't want to. He was happy with me and it made it easier for me to be happy with me. Everyone has been so encouraging of me and my hair and it really does help. It helps me deal with the fact that I HAD no hair. I, of course, am now growing lucious locks of hair! I now have bed head and empathy for my brothers who have the same straight hair that I do...It will not...will not...lay down. I used to wonder why their hair always went straight up...wonder no more! Oh the lessons I am learning.

Wow, that was long.

It feels good to write again!

Happy weekend everyone!

Sunday, January 23, 2011

7 months down - counting my blessings

This is Becky.

Just a few thoughts.... I wanted to thank all of you who keep praying.  Scott & I were talking this week about how the prayers have sustained us - I reflect often on all of you praying and I know it helps.  People often say to me "I don't know how you make it through this so well."  Well, sometimes I make it though better than others.  But, as my sister said once, just don't think about it.  That helps to just move forward and try not to dwell on things.  Keeping ourselves busy helps.  But, it's always there.  Tara is never, never out of our thoughts and heart felt prayers.  Her smile keeps us both going.  She just has a great spirit - one you can palpably feel when you're around her.  We have wonderful, talented, doctors who care about Tara and are doing all they can in this fight.

This week is a "chemo week."  After this, we're down one more treatment, one more month closer to finishing.  7 months of treatment sounds like a long time, and sometimes it feels like it's been forever; and other times not.  Trisha said something last week that really made sense and I hadn't thought of it this way before.  She talked about the "cumulative effect" of the Temodar in your system, and how after months of this treatment, you just start to be more and more tired - this drug is meant to stay in your system and work hard on those cells.  I have been going through each month just focusing on 5 days of chemo, then she will feel better.  And, many times, that is just the case, she does feel better after she's finished those days and I pray that continues; but we have to realize she is indeed not a super woman and trying not to push herself isn't a bad thing sometimes. Just relaxing and resting that precious head of hers can be a good thing also!

Tara said to me Friday, "do you think I will ever be normal and have energy to do things again - to do what I want to do again?"  Meeting Trisha gave us hope that can really happen.  It's just a long fight, this cancer fight is.  It's definitely trying our patience; but I have to admit I am learning things from this journey.  One thought a friend said in a meeting last week was helpful also - she said you can "never stop trusting and loving the Lord."  I have to remember that.  Another thought this week that was helpful was "give us the day our daily bread."  (from a CES talk by Elder Christofferson I want to hear).  Focus on getting through TODAY.  Get through each day the best you can.  Tomorrow is always a new day; a new day with hope and love in it.  So, Tara is sick today - well, we'll just get through that and hope for tomorrow to be better!  I also believe I am enjoying the "moments" in life more.  I loved seeing Ryan & Stephanie's house have grass and flowers yesterday. (they got sod yesterday for their front yard) That was a moment to treasure - a day spent working hard together; but reaping the fruits of our labors and looking at their pretty house front!  I can hardly wait for the flowers to grow - you would think they were my own flowers!  I love looking in my children's beautiful brown eyes, (except for Ryan who is the only one taking after me with his blue eyes), love Brigham's hugs, love Nate being taller than me and giving me grief about my "gray hairs on the top of my head", love watching Nate play basketball, love waiting to hear about how many more schools will be choices for Travis to further his education, love reading Rachel's very fun blog about her life, love spending time with Tara - even if it is at Barrow's; love going to lunch with my girls and my mom, and the list goes on.  Forgive me for rambling; but I really need to count my blessings today.  My wonderful, supportive, husband and my children and their spouses and Brigham are my greatest blessings.  I am blessed to be able to be here and enjoy all of this.  I think the joy in life is more magnified because we have to experience such sorrow also.  I think I have to live this trial to really, really, appreciate the moments in life.  I believe I enjoyed moments before this; but it's just "more" now....

I have to admit there are many times Scott & I have heavy hearts, but those times pass and we do move on.  Thanks to the Lord for strengthening us.  Nothing is too hard for the Lord; I must remember and cling to that. I am hoping that this is not too hard for me -but then how can I talk or complain?  I can't possibly feel sorry for myself when I look at Tara; I'm not the one sick and not the one getting all these shots and tests - I just am the one watching.... her strength continues to amaze me.  That girl has so much love in her!

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Lunch with Trisha

Last week on my Friday I actually got to spend the day having fun instead of at doctors or in the ER. My mom and I went to lunch with Trisha Johnson and what a joy that was. Trisha had a grade three tumor. I guess it is as close to mine as you can get without it being the scary…grade four. She had her tumor removed by Dr. Smith. We have not heard one bad thing said about Dr. Smith. Everyone who has had him…absolutely loves him. He is my emergency doctor if I have to have surgery again. It is just nice to hear one more good thing about our Dr. Smith. She also had Brachman and Shapiro..well still does! She sees Shapiro every two months to check her scans. She had other oncologists there (ones we were considering going to) and she did not like them. She told us that Brachman and Shapiro were her absolute favorites and that my team was the best. She reassured me that I have the best care. She went through 16 months of temodar and knows every medicine. She too hates Dilantin and is actually on another med now for seizures. She knows exactly what it is like to look at the scans with anxiety running through you. She knows how it is to look at a scan and see ¼ of your brain just GONE! Ah I cannot remember everything she helped us with but I will try to list a few.

Chemo Brain (doesn’t go away) she said it is a real thing. I of course believed her and went to Google it to see what it really does! Here are a few words from Mayo:

“Chemo brain is a common term used by cancer survivors to describe thinking and memory problems that can occur after cancer treatment. Chemo brain can also be called chemo fog, cognitive changes or cognitive dysfunction.”

and here are a few words from the cancer help website

“The phrase ‘chemo brain’ has come to be used by cancer survivors to describe changes in memory attention, concentration, and abilities to perform various mental tasks that are associated with receiving chemotherapy treatments for cancer.”

Great…just what I need…an added disability to focus and remember things…! :)

Sensitivity to loud noise and motion (will go away) I have struggles going mainly to Nathan’s basketball games. I always get sick after and don’t feel well. Trisha told me that it is most likely this sensitivity…nothing will stop me from going to his games. Being a little more sick is definitely worth it.

Extreme tiredness (semi go away) She said that there were days that she had to just stay in her PJs. She told me the importance of naps and the effect they have on your brain. She still takes a nap every day. It is just all the medicine pounding my body.

Appetite (coming back!) I will eat like a pig again! Yay

Fatigue (go away) I will be normal again…wait! What is normal…I seriously am afraid that I forgot what normal is.

Okay there were a ton more but I can’t remember…maybe my mom can come in and add a few things later.

I got to ask her all about everything! Twas wonderful. I asked her about the white fuzz still surrounding my scans. I got to ask her about decadron and hear her hate for that as well. I learned what she did with her radiation mask and figured that maybe a baseball bat wasn’t such a bad idea after all! I asked her about what she ate and how she handled the whole thing. We pretty much went from start to finish with her whole process. She told me how I can tease Shapiro and everything! I can’t remember much more but I do remember how extremely grateful to have that time with her. Just to see someone happy and healthy and full of hair with a smile on their face means so much to me.

I actually found a decadron while cleaning the other day. I destroyed it! I crushed it to fine dust that I will never have to see ever again. I really don’t know if I have ever disliked something as much as I dislike decadron. They did up my Dilantin…which I don’t like but can handle. I had to take 600 mg last night…talk about being tired! I am surprised I am still walking and alive! That stuff literally knocks you out. Of course I have a sweet husband who vacuumed the house for me and then went to the grocery store…then went to two banks, staples and then back home to watch food network with me. I am the luckiest girl in the world. Will he still do this when I am better??? Do I want to get better?? Ha!

I do want to get better…more than anything else. I want to run and have fun and not feel any limitations. I don’t want to want something…and then tell myself no. I hate telling myself no. I hate telling myself that I am sick and can’t do everything. I want to be super woman so bad! I want to be able to go and never stop! Trisha said I can’t be superwoman right now…I need to rest and let my body have the chance to heal.

I will be super woman…just give me a year or two!

My mom said I need to get a picture with my is growing back so fast!

Wednesday, January 12, 2011


For the past few days all I have wanted is breakfast!

Saturday we had breakfast for breakfast and then had breakfast for a second breakfast… For lunch we had a normal boring lunch but for dinner Saturday night…we had breakfast! :) Sunday morning we had to have breakfast for breakfast again and then had breakfast for Sunday lunch at the Bodrero’s. Unfortunately we dinner for dinner that night but come Monday morning I was up making breakfast again!! Silly lunch for lunch yesterday but best of all…last night Josh and I made supurb breakfast for dinner!

Here is what we had...


Eggs+ Crepes+ Toast + Sausage+ Hasbrowns+ Pancakes+ Cranberry Juice+ Milk= complete bliss and happiness!

Lately Josh and I have become “foodies”! The only thing we ever watch is food network.

We loved master chef (pictures above) but we have finished the first season and the second season is coming out week by week, treacherous! Whitney was the first winner and she was my girl the whole way. She is 22 and from the south and she just really is the cutest thing. The judges were afraid that she would be to timid and could not handle the pressure but to get a little older and then tried. Her sister then reassured the judges that she was fiesty and could fight and win. I was going for her the whole way. She scared us a few times but came out on top...ya the little girl from the south beat them all! Go Whitney! You can hear Josh and I (mostly I) yelling that from time to time at night when we are cheering her on. Season one was grand as far as season two... I hate waiting for episodes to come out! I always just watch the whole season at once. Because we became frustrated at the lack of instant gratification Master Chef was giving us (going week by week…eww) we have switched to Top Chef. We finished Season One Just Desserts and now am on to the next season. Iron Chef makes in into our schedule every so often but we really like the top chef. I think the thing we love most is how weird the judges are. They are so dramatic and pick at every little thing! So now Josh and I think we know everything and pick at everything! We add salt to a dish like we know what we are doing and have to taste everything before we plate it to make sure the judges don’t rip apart our meal. We plated things last night when we were down to the last seconds…and barely made it. We of course dramatized everything and once we were done preparing our meal we ate it, just like them. We took tiny bites and then looked like we were trying to taste everything…we analyzed how it was cooked and with much drama…decided it looked…perfect! Only you foodies will understand! Chol… We then gave up eating like judges and reverted to pigs! We scarfed everything on our plate and completely enjoyed it! Josh of course helped me with the dishes and then we went to relax.

Our version of relaxing is doing a puzzle until your neck is about to fall off because you have been looking down so long and then laying down in our bedroom with our 90 inch projector and watching food network! It very well could have been one of the best nights ever!

I don’t think I could ever get sick of breakfast…I will have to attach my crepe recipe…ah to die for a completely Tara Friendly! (Definition of Tara Friendly = no sugar, white flour, oils, table salt!) To tell you the truth I kinda make it up as I go. Sometimes…I will follow a basic recipe from my favorite site and then add what I want… I of course have to make the dish “mine”… (another foodie thing)

Breakfast, puzzles, food network…can life get better?

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Beautiful pin cushions

I received the title of  "the most beautiful pin cushion" two days ago after being stuck approximately 6 times in 72 hours. First was a weekly blood test followed by a nice shot in the rear. The next day was made complete by an ER trip where they stuck me once more to get blood and then twice to place an IV...the first time they missed. I spared myself another stick by refusing to let them take out my IV when I left. I assured them that I would just walk to the third floor and get my chemo...I was not after drugs or anything else stupid. Seeing my awesome haircut, they believed me and let me go. I have a few new bruises to add to my collection and another memory of the ER. After receiving the depo drug shot (a shot from the ob-gyn to make me stop having periods), I had some sort of reaction (we think) that led me to have pain when I breathe. I had a sleepless night and the next morning called our faithful Terri who told us to head to the ER..I could have blood clots! Great, this was my day off and I had 100 other things I wanted to do and ER was not on the list! Since I walked in I was not an emergency ER patient, I was just an ER patient who needed an Xray and ct scan and could not get one done any other way besides going into the ER. Lame but I made it. We have learned that it takes about 5 hours to ever talk to a doctor so my mother and I brought our stitchery! (chol I know you would love to know!) We could have sewed a whole quilt in the time we have spent waiting for fact, my mom almost has. The trip was uneventful and our outcome was blood clots! I continued on up three levels to get my infusion and then to Dr. personal favorite. He loves to explain things and make you feel comfortable. He gives you hope in all things and makes sure that you leave his office with all questions answered. Truly a wonderful doctor. He explained more about the scan and confirmed that he also, was not worried. What has happened was not what they had hoped, but that doesn't mean just means different. He said I should be fine and that it should not affect me much...each body heals differently. The ER and depo shot left me pretty sore but today I have been up more with a bigger smile! I am just so glad that we eliminated the worst thing that it could be...we can handle what it really is later. Nothing life threatening.

So I am now officially the most beautiful pin cushion according the my parents and Josh. What a title...don't think I will add that to my resume.

Dr. checked my hair follicles and said they are ALL coming back! Big deal to me and I am extremely happy. I am a little worried about getting all my hair back though. I never have had so many compliments on my hair until I lost it all! Will people still think I am beautiful when it is back??? (were they just being nice? :))  Do but kinda don't care what people think...I will have all my hair back and am going for the long locks again as soon as possible! :) Short/no hair has been great but I am ready for my security blanket back!

Well that's my update.

Hopefully this week brings only one shot!

Only 8 months left! :) I can do it.

Enjoy your Sunday


Oh and are an awesome family.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Do you live to eat or eat to live?

Do you live to eat or eat to live?

For me this varies all the time. Right now, I eat to live. Eating has been harder than usual lately. I tend to just put something down there because I know that I need to. I can’t stand the smell of meat and anything but water tastes funny…even my water tastes dirty sometimes. I tell myself that ice cream will make it all better but then I remember my new goal…twice a week cheating on food…not twice a day!  I am sure that it will all come back but it is just weird right now to not want food because I constantly ate the rest of my life. Sometimes food makes me sick and that could be one of the worst things about chemo. I still drink tons of water which helps most of the time. Since the new year I have drunk all the green smoothies given to me. Thankfully, my mom did not have time this morning so I was spared another day!  I have to five my mom a hard time about those!

I enjoyed Nate’s game yesterday and Brig and I always make sure Nate knows that we are there! People all around know who Nate’s number one fans are…that funny bald girl who always is in fancy clothes and that adorable (semi stubborn) stud next to her. I am still in the process of designing our number one fan shirts but I am sure they will be top notch! We yell “go nate” when all else is quiet or when the other team is shooting free-throws. He never acknowledges us but he knows we are there. He is not supposed to acknowledge us so he does well but we make it hard! Watching Nate still remains one of the highlights of my week. I think I am bothered by the noise and commotion of the games though. Every time I get sick after…but it is always worth it. I think it is the pom poms in my face and the running back and forth…my eyes can’t keep up!  Stapley won AGAIN!! I am definitely a proud sister…sometimes I am not shy and let everyone know…”yup, that’s my brother!”

Haven’t broken any resolutions…yet. Won’t be long though!

Happy Wednesday…may my blood tests show that enough Dilantin is in my system so I don’t have to take any more of that nasty stuff!


Tara B.

Monday, January 3, 2011

Tumor Board Results/ New Years/ Dunes Trip

We got the call from the tumor board and all looks well for another two months. They think that I am stable and that I should continue treatments for two more months and then have another scan. I am hoping that the collapsed cavity turns into something wonderful. I guess we can say that it is good news from the tumor board…the only weird thing is that the doctor does not think I am on Avastin! It is a war between the doctor and the nurses. I guess it doesn’t really matter, I just hate not knowing.

Anyway, with a new year here I have begun again to set new goals. In years past I seem to always set the same goals. Make new friends, get straight A’s, get in better shape, be more earnest in prayers and scripture reading, and finally…better control my emotions. Weird but those seemed to be my goals every year…this year things are different and my goals have become a bit different! :) Here are a few and yes, I will need help fulfilling some of them!

Tara Bodrero 2011- Closer to Heaven

1. Beat Cancer

2. Improve physically so I can run a mile again

3. Go back to only cheating (sweet food wise) to twice a week

4. Finish the Book of Mormon again by my birthday

5. Find one person a week to serve

6. Come closer to Heaven in every way but physically! :) My body needs to stay here.

7. Continue blogging and making new friends

8. Find a way to reach out to another woman who is losing or has lost her hair…I will find you…my new friend!

9. Keep and attitude of gratitude

10. Start saving for my future puppy

11. Read President Monson’s book

12. Drink Green Smoothie and Brain Link

Happy New Year and Christmas to all. I am excited to start this New Year. 2009 was the hardest year of my life and 2010 was the most life-changing and scary year of my life. 2011 will be the most blissful year full of health and love! :) oh the beauty of positive thinking!

Oh and the family took a trip to the dunes this Christmas and Josh better learned how crazy we really are. He does not quite understand why we do it but he smiled the whole time and did great for his first time. He only fell off once and did not harm the machine at all. He jokes with us saying that when something happens we always check the machine and then asks how we are doing…we are so concerned with saving the machine!

He learned that when on vacation with the Schlappi’s you do not have personal space. Your bed becomes others in a matter of minutes and yes, it may be your pillow…but that doesn’t mean that we can’t throw it in the microwave to help it stay open so we can hook our projector screen to it! It may sound weird but pictures will explain as soon as Chol gets them up! :)

Our family just loves being really really close with limited running water…almost 0 gallons hot water and less than 15 hours of electric power total! Josh and I’s bed was the kitchen this trip…we didn’t have an oven but my mom packed food that needed to go in the oven! Disaster???? I think not! :) Why not put the muffins in an electric skillet that can only go on top of the sleeping space because that is the closest to an outlet? Why not cook everything you have in that skillet or in the 2 by 4 inch wanna be toaster oven?

There is no table??? That’s okay we will use three TV dinner stands instead…one of which is broken and if you move…it falls down! We will put them together and then put a cutting board on top so we can increase our surface area for when we play games. Games are of utmost importance to mom!

No pitcher to make juice? That’s okay we will use the pan to make our juice in…but wait…we need that pan to cook our dinner! Drink fast Trav and Josh we need that juice all gone and we will not waste any of it!

Who cares if your gloves don’t match or if they were picked up off the side of the road by Dad? And those famous (incredibly ugly) green coats Dad has kept for years are surprisingly really warm. Unfortunately for Trav they do not have dune camo… he did look great in his full on camo green though! It made him easy to find at all times! :) Oh how I love my family.

Okay maybe we are crazy…we just always do the dunes on a budget and have no problem being a little bit…different! :)

Hopefully I can steal pictures from my loverly sister in the next week! Twas a trip to remember.



Oh, I forgot to mention how we celebrated New Years earlier than everyone else...why? So we could watch Lost! We are so lame! We all gave toasts and mine went to my eggs...may they live long and prosper!

Okay now I am done!!!