Monday, March 28, 2011


Okay I made it!!! I am still alive. I am in recovery mode right now. Every time I go through this brain surgery stuff I learn something new. I thought I had learned it all... apparently I had not. I thought I could handle anesthesia just fine... I thought wrong!

The very first words I remember from waking up this time were"okay, you are ready to go now" my eyes were not even open and they were telling me I could go. I was seriously questioning their judgment and for good reason. They did not talk about anything other than getting me out of there from the moment I woke up. Nausea...not a problem for them. Just get her dressed and get her out of here! I felt like I was being herded out. I got out of their way and headed home in just a few short minutes. As we were exiting the freeway I felt that feeling that tells you, you better run cause something is coming up. Since that moment I threw up every time I put anything down my throat, including medicine. Without going into too many details you should just know that I spent the first 30+ hours after surgery without any pain meds. I thought I was crazy but I was yearning for the ICU. I wanted my good nurses that could help me with just a touch of a button. I tell you this not to make you feel bad for me but rather as a warning...When the nurses try to herd you out of there, don't give in. Make them take care of you for a while to make sure that you are handling the medicine well. Learn from my mistake. I know enough about brain surgery and I don't need another one to teach me something new. Three will suffice for me :) No more!!!

Today I am feeling the least amount of pain and the worst seems to be over. Sleeping is still an issue because my ruthless pillow loves poking my head in the night right where it is tender! I need my pillow to cushion my head not poke it!!!! :) I am eating fine again and did not lose too much weight this time around. My hair looks the best it ever has....not! I never thought it could do what it is doing right now...we all think it is rather funny. :) My head it too tender to wash it or wear a hat so it looks like the world can just have a good laugh for a few more days until I can wash my head.

Today I was babysat by my favorite sister in law! We played with Play-doh and colored pictures and ate pretzels. I fit in great with the kids! Oh, I wish I could go back to the care free days of play-doh!

Have a super wonderful Monday night



Friday, March 25, 2011

Home from Surgery Round 3

Surgery was this morning, and we are already home!!  It really was outpatient and Tara is sleeping downstairs.  She has to fight the usual nausea and pain from surgery; but we have lots of pain meds on hand and "team Tara" (family members) are good nurses; so she was released to our care.  Surgery was less than an hour and went well. Here's the details:

Dr. Smith said he saw infection AGAIN on a titanium plate at the top of her head - so guess what? He just plain and simple took that plate out; never to return.  He's tired of this infection recurring and apparently Tara's head doesn't like that plate; so it's out.  This means she'll have a dent in her head the size of a dime - but dents don't bother us.  The infection was only around the plate and he didn't see any on the bone flap - thank heavens!  She does have 4 other plates in there that are supposedly fine - but this one is troublesome being at the top of her head where there are not good blood vessels around to help fight infection.

The down side to all of this is that instead of finishing Vancomyacin March 29th, we now get to take it for another month.  So, pray for Tara's poor stomach to tolerate this drug.  We are working on combating the toll it takes on her stomach and yesterday Tara felt pretty good; so maybe the probiotics, slippery elm, and ulcer meds are all working!  We were really looking forward to not having this drug as of next week; but such is life, it's better to be safe than sorry!

We are getting to know Dr. Smith a little too well  - we really expected never to meet him - always hoping for the best and hoping ONE surgery would be it; but met him we have.  He is a very skilled surgeon, and very kind and we like him very much.  We are blessed to know two skilled, kind, brain surgeons!  His father had a glioblastoma, so he's very committed to the cause.  He really has Tara's best interests at heart.

Dr. Smith also said no chemo of any kind for a month.  No clinical trial or Temodar.  That puts us behind yet another month in our treatment schedule; but all's well because he reminded us he didn't see signs of a recurrent tumor in there; so the infection right now is more important than the recurrent tumor (that isn't going to recur because so many of you are praying and I have faith she will beat this!!!)

Love to you all,


Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Here we go again and now again...

Well we saw our Dr. Smith today and he looked at the little hole in my head. That little hole is costing me one more surgery... slim chance of tomorrow with a most likely of Friday...

To put you all at ease...mostly my mother...if all goes well, this will be an outpatient surgery (no ICU or hospital food!) and he will not go into the brain. If he gets in there and it looks like my precious bone is causing troubles we will have to go the titanium plate/helmet route. He said this is the last chance he is giving this hole and next time, we go take the bone. All the medicines I am taking is making it really hard for my body to heal correctly and that is the major problem. We are stopping Avastin infusions until I am completely healed. I was a good girl and did not pick at the scabs at my head or wash my hair so we know that this is not all my fault...we blamed it on me last time. :) This is my wonderful infections fault and we are trying so hard to kill it.

Also, I have had my first experience with acid reflex and I am not enjoying it at all. The Vanc completely killed my digestive system (as if it wasn't suffering before!) Now I am taking 50 billion + of these probiotics to try to help...we will see how this new problem goes.

Anyway, that's the update as of yesterday. We should be fine...

Please third time's a charm!!!

Four just isn't a lucky number.


Surgery Friday would be ten times better than tomorrow...then I get to see the Jimmer play on Thursday night! Please brain hold on til then!


Sunday, March 20, 2011


Yes, it is I, the lost blogger. I have come back to share the news since the last hospital visit. My mother gave all the medical details including the growing pussy hole in my head and the visit with Dr. Smith I assume so I will get to the fun stuff which includes...
Horses with the Hatchs
Creative Bows and Arrows/POGO
 and last but not least....SHAMU!!!!!

First stop...JIMMER!

Okay, I am now aware that the whole world does not know who Jimmer is or love him as Chol and I do. For those of you who fit in this sad category...please take a moment and do a little Google-ing of my good friend Jimmer.

Now that you are more aware and in awe as I am you will further appreciate my amazing trip to Las Vegas to see that one and only Jimmer play in the Mountain West Conference. I could sit here and tell you about how I feel about the stinky casinos or the buffet I about died eating at but instead I will focus every character of this segment on Friday Night (aka the Jimmer night).... Okay so as you know, I recently had surgery for the second time. As I well know, the rules for recovery from brain surgery are "no running or physical activity is strict" for the first three weeks! What the doctors did not realize was the fact that I very possibly could have missed the tip off to the most intense basketball game of my life. So after watching the clock and realizing the extreme traffic we were in, I had to make a decision. To run, or not to run. RUN!!!! How could I not? I of course had Chol and Nate on either side of me practically carrying my the whole way. I swear we ran more than a mile. I got the strangest looks! Who is the girl with missing hair, a fanny pack, and kids carrying her at an intense speed? :) Thanks Cholzone and Nate for carrying me there. We walked into the stadium for tip off and then quickly found our seats.  This weekend was the first time since before Ryan's wedding that the Schlappi five children have been together, just us. We all left our spouses at home. I looked around and saw all of my siblings screaming their heads off and rooting BYU on. I have never had so much fun at a game. Jimmer of course had to give us a show and beat his record and scored...52 POINTS!!!! He scored 52 points in one game. I have saved my ticket knowing that it will be worth millions later! :) ha. He was on fire and so were the fans. I almost felt bad for the other team until the guy in front of me decided to stand the whole last 10 minutes just out of spite. I have never been so angry at another fan before...I was so close to smacking him and I am usually not a very violent person. From the pictures, you can tell that we did not have the world's greatest seats but I will not complain...and it will remain the greatest game I have ever attended. The risk was worth it and so was the headache! Go BYU! You just got Jimmered!

I only have one and I am gunna love her forever!

All Five

I just erased a wonderfully, semi-disgusting picture of my head. I figured not everyone was not as intrigued with disgusting pictures as I am. Yes, the night after Jimmer night, we had leakage in the head. I am sure my mother has informed you. One would maybe try to blame it on all the excitment of the game mixed with the mile run to get there but I prefer to do otherwise. This head hole is not Jimmer's fault!

Next Stop...Horses with the Hatch's

For starters, Brother Hatch is the cutest cowboy that ever lived and Sister Mary Helen Hatch is most beautiful angel that I have ever met. Not a soul would disagree with me. These people have got to be the msot Christ-like people in Mesa. They have always been my friend and through this whole brain mess have constantly been taking care of me. One day, during a visit they brought up the idea of possibly riding a horse when I was all better. They knew by the excitment on my face that they were in trouble...I was going to be healing extra fast! About a week later I got the call...the horses were ready and was I! I got to spend a wonderful afternoon with Jerry (my horse) and the Hatch's!

Third Stop... Bows, arrows and a Pogo stick

I have a very creative husband who has been dying to shoot a bow and arrow since the day we were married. He researched how much they were to buy and realized that they were too much so he started researching how to make one. The wood is expensive but it is still something he wants to do before he dies. He is a smart kid and knows that we are proabably not going to drop a few hundred dollars towards a bow right now so last Sunday, he improvised and made his own. I was taking a peaceful nap on the couch and after waking from my nap and saw Joshua walking around in the backyard. After watching him for a while I finally realized what he was man was making himself a bow from the backyard bushes! He used a rubberband and tied the whole thing together. It was completely priceless! He may not be too happy with this little segment but I had to add these pictures. Notice the church shoes with no socks...once again making it work with what he had. I took a great video of him shooting the arrows and grand five feet but I think I will leave that off for now! He said Nephi made it of the wilderness and figured he could too! :)

Now for the other little tidbit I had to add!

Pogo stick...Jessa's birthday wish and my Sunday thrill! Josh had to help me...

Jess was really good at it

Josh was amazing too but a little heavy so we made him stop! I am jealous of their balance skills!

And now last but not least.....SHAMU!!!!

Ah what a dream. I loved every second of it and there are more pictures that are better than my phone pictures but I wanted to put something here! I have been wanting to see Shamu for a very long time and this weekend...I saw the big beauty in person!

These guys were so loud and so active. It was nothing like to zoo where it is rare to see the cool animals move.. Sea World rocks!

If I had to pick friends based on looks...we would not be look too mean!

This turtle was massive

At the long awaited Shamu Show!

You can't tell this is a kangaroo but it is and they are incredibly soft. Almost unbelievably soft!

This Polar Bear was so fun to watch and held nice and still while I stole this shot!

Then came right to me to see how he looked in the picture...had to make sure it was a good one ...ha

My favorite friend that I stared at for about 30 minutes. We liked him so much we came back to visit at the end. I just think they are beautiful and he really liked getting his picture taken!


Shamu Shamu!!!

Well as you can see, recovery hasen't been all that bad. Sure it was more difficult than last time but we still managed to have tons of fun. Brain surgery stinks but it won't ruin my fun! 

Cancer you got nothing on me! Imma win this one

Tara Shamu Bodrero

please pray for my head. i know i said it would be fine if i had to end up in a helmet but i would be fineR not and i would prefer to not go into major surgery number three...

Thursday, March 17, 2011

She's in San Diego!

Late breaking news.... kind Dr. Smith got on his cell phone either in between surgeries or before surgery or something yesterday morning and told his medical assistant to deliver the message to me to: "go to San Diego!"  He said the new leakage in Tara's head was not unlikely because she showered and washed it, so just go ahead and go and he'll see us Tuesday!  So after our very worrisome night, and the Bodreros cancelling their trip; we encouraged them to UN cancel their trip, promised them we would find a hotel after theirs was cancelled and full, and they are GONE!  Tara is in Sea World today and Lori said she ate pretty well last night - this round of chemo has gone well at times; but at the end of the week was pretty tough again.  She finished Monday night; so hopefully that will get out of her system enough for her to enjoy the trip.  By the way, on the chemo count, we are DONE with 8 treatments - only 6 to go!!!  (That doesn't count the radiation and chemo in the summer as a treatment - I'm referring to the monthly 5 days of chemo).

I have seen improvement in Tara - she went from NO noise or light in the hospital to being with thousands of people in a stadium for a BYU basketball tournament last weekend.  She did have to take 3 Advil to get through it and was pretty wiped out the next day; but she did it!  She enjoyed the game with her 4 siblings - nothing short of miraculous to get the 5 kids together.  We so enjoyed being together - enjoyed the basketball games, a buffet, shopping, etc.  It was a very nice 1 1/2 days.  We have to steal these small trips when we can!  It's very difficult for Tara to leave town for more than a few days; but we'll take those few days!

We see Dr. Smith on Tuesday; hopefully no more stitching or surgery - thanks so much for your prayers!  I just have a hard time believing those very strong antibiotics haven't wiped out this infection yet!  I keep praying they will work.....

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

We need your specific prayers

This is Becky.  This will be quick - I'll try to post more tomorrow; but this is a plea for specific prayers.   Tara has had some leakage coming from a small hole in her head.  The fluid is yellow.  It happened Saturday while we were in Las Vegas for the BYU tournament.  We saw Dr. Smith today, and he was originally worried after seeing the picture Tara sent from her cell phone over the weekend; but after seeing her head today, decided she could go to San Diego and come and see him next week, provided there was no more leakage.  Tara washed her hair tonight, and then the leak started again and we could see a definite HOLE in her head. I'm not gonna lie, I don't like this and I wish the infection would get itself under control.  I don't know who is more sad about the trip being canceled, Tara, the Bodrero family, or myself.  I love trips and I was so excited for Tara to get away with the wonderful Bodrero family for Spring Break.

So, please pray this infection will get under control WITHOUT having to remove that bone flap.  Dr. Smith prepped us today that could likely be the case; but after seeing her head; was more encouraged that he wouldn't have to do that.  He said he may have to do minor surgery to take a few more stitches in her head and clean out the infection, provided it is superficial.  Pray that Dr. Smith will know what to do to deal with this properly.  Please pray that the infection does not spread to the bone.

We met another glioblastoma patient today - she was awesome and she's on the same schedule as Tara.  She was happy and very uplifting.  She knows another patient who has dealt with this for 18 years; with 9 surgeries.  Tara said she would happily have surgery every 2 years if it meant she could live.  It hit me sort of hard that I even have these talks with my daughter.  I look at her face, and she's just TARA.  I look at her and remember Tara before the tumor - she's just Tara - the Tara I've always known and loved - why am I having to talk with my daughter about years to live???  I just can't believe it sometimes.  In my heart I feel Tara will beat this - I really do - but we still have those talks about years of life; which hurts my heart.  Oh the things we learn along this pathway.  Thank you so much for your prayers!  I'll let you know what Dr. Smith decides tomorrow....

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

She's recovering!

This is Becky.

Tara is slowly regaining her strength.  She actually looked somewhat normal Sunday and had energy for 40 whole minutes during choir practice; but then faded pretty fast near the end of rehearsal.  We are 3 weeks into the 6 weeks of antibiotics; and so far Tara is hanging in there ok.  It's not fun; but she's making it.  Her stomach continues to take turns hurting with her head; but we can see improvements.  She is gaining some weight back; but is still quite turned off by the smell of my fridge or food cooking!  (which makes things a little difficult at times!!)  She made it to all of her church meetings on the weekend which was great also.  We have yet to take a walk outside; but she is going up and down the stairs several times a day; so I guess that counts!  Shapiro says the reason her head is still hurting is because the infection was in the "dermis" layer and it's still recovering and therein lies the source of the pain.

I have only one other brain surgery comparison to compare this to; and last time Tara lived up to what Dr. Berger said she would and was 80% within 2 weeks; but not so this time.  But Dr. Shapiro thinks Tara is strong enough to start chemo again Thursday..... I really hope and pray that she will make it through okay this next week; I'm not sure she's ready; but they don't want her to get any more behind on her schedule.  I guess this means we may finish Temodar in September instead of August.

We've had some good times here at the home front while Josh & Tara are staying with us. We are enjoying having both of them around. While I lie in bed at night; I hear happy noises coming from the basement again like I used to when the rest of the kids were home.  Tara, Josh & Nate are up talking, lifting weights, or whatever and it's fun to hear them.  Nate really enjoys having company around; he's been lonely since Rachel left home and it's good for him to share the basement and stop being an only child around here!  I enjoy Tara's company also; although much of the time she doesn't like light or noise; which can present a problem; BUT, slowly she is getting better about light and noise.  She went with me to quilt group Monday; and made it in the common area for an hour; but then had to leave the room because we had a few conversations going at once and she just couldn't take the noise.  I keep telling myself we are taking steps forward, even though she's not exactly "normal" yet (but then again, WHEN was she EVER normal??).  The important thing is she's moving in the right direction and I have to keep remembering that.  Patience was never one of my strong suits!  I'm learning way too much of that trait during this whole process.

I heard a great thought today from Laura Bayles' missionary letter - do you know the hymn "Jesus, Savior, Pilot Me?"  Think of it like this.  The waves He is piloting are the trials that are saving us from harder things - the ROCKS. This is in Laura's words, "They are a protection against the rocks that are under the surface.  I had never thought about that before... that God may give us trials to protect us from some form of even greater destruction. How lucky we are to have trials that can stretch us and make us grow."  I'm trying to remember we are lucky; and I know we are blessed and Tara has the greatest attitude. I have to make sure I learn and grow closer to my Savior throughout this process instead of feeling sorry for myself.  Saturday Pres. Bawden and another priesthood leader came to our home; and Tara once again said she was thankful for this trial and what she has learned from it.  I stand in awe of my daughter.  Her spirit shines bright.  Tonight a friend of mine came with a gift for Tara and for some odd reason Tara bust into tears - I think it's the fact that so many people are praying for her, including this sweet Spanish friend who barely know her or know her not at all; but they are praying and praying and hold her in their hearts.  That is what she said - Tara is in her heart and her prayers even though she claims she "can't speak English." One of the thoughts on the notepad that was brought said that "angels surround you." I know Tara is in all of your hearts and that means so very much to all of us.  We wouldn't be this far in this good of shape without all of your prayers that are REBUKING this cancer. You are our angels.  Thank you!!  Now just pray she has no lasting effects from this medication she's on..... always a worry.

With love,