Sunday, August 9, 2009

Over and Out ...

It seems to me that no news is good news - and that's about where I am. I am back at work, feeling fine and more appreciative than ever for all my great friends. Thanks to everyone who has been so attentive during my "brain issues." The calls, cards, well wishes and, yes, the food was wonderful. I loved the anticipation of waiting for the dinner delivery each night. 

However, at this point, I think that the time has come for me to stop the updates - there's just not that much to say. I do hope that you all will continue to keep me in your thoughts and prayers - this isn't over yet, of course - it's just that I'm so much better!

If you're interested, send me an e-mail - I promise that I will answer. We have some exciting times coming up - two weddings and more. During all of this, I'll continue with the oral chemo and I'm keeping my fingers crossed that all continues to go well.

Thanks one more time to all of my wonderful friends and family - I've loved having your support!

Think Happy Thoughts -
xxx from the Brainiac

Monday, August 3, 2009


This weekend we celebrated Tiffany - it was her wedding shower and my mother, sisters and daughter arrived in town on Friday evening just in time for a nice dinner out and then back for bedtime. We were up early for a visit and bagels and then we all had to rush around - sharing the bathrooms, etc. to get ready for the party.

We had a car full of people and presents, too. The shower was so nice - I enjoyed watching Tiffany and her mom and sister as they greeted friends and then opened the presents. Tiffany got lots of things that she asked for - those wedding registries are the best! One of the nice things about them is that they stay up for a while after the wedding so you can go back and order gifts for birthdays, anniversaries and the holidays. Right now, it's just hard to believe how close the big day is!

All my guests left shortly after the party, leaving the rest of the weekend for me to rest up again for the week. And, the week has started - there's lots to do and we're always busy. I am feeling better all the time - still working on my energy, but basically doing very well. Today, I entered the next round of my doctor appointments into the calendar - those seem to never end. 

Clif is off to Chicago for a meeting with a group he belongs to - he leaves very early on Wednesday and returns on Sunday. Brian is in charge of taking me to and fro - I know he's excited about that! Just think - I'm down to less than two months until I can drive again - but who's counting!

No more news from me - all's well on the Brainiac front and I hope that you and yours are doing well, too. Have a great week -


Sunday, July 26, 2009

Good News This Week!

I've been kinda dreading this week - it was one with numerous doctor appointments plus an MRI and cognitive testing. But, at the end, there was great news for me - Dr. Conrad said that things are looking good. He says that he doesn't usually see much progress this soon, but that the MRI shows good results. Things are shrinking up there and I'm certainly glad to hear it. I'm still on the oral chemo, thank goodness - it's so much easier than being hooked up to a pole to get it!

We made a quick trip to Dallas this weekend - all my MOG clothes were ready and I had to go try them on for alterations. I had my favorite Goff's burger, saw my parents and sister and brother-in-law and stayed with my daughter - all in all, a nice trip. 

Tonight we had dinner out with Brian and Tiffany and Braden, too - he was in town for Brian's bachelor party, but heads back to Seattle early in the morning. We were adding up all the times we have and will see him this year - pretty impressive!

Now I have to turn over my computer to let him check his e-mail, etc. - and, besides that, it's time for me to say night night.

Hope everyone had a great weekend - 

Love from the improving Brainiac!!!

Monday, July 20, 2009

It Was My Birthday ...

and we really had a good time. My nearest and dearest celebrated with me at the Hyatt's Lost Pines Resort for a long weekend - we sang "Happy Birthday" more times than I can remember. There was lots of good food, some spirited happy hours for those who could imbibe and even lots of presents for the birthday girl. I truly can't remember when I've had a celebration like this one - made hitting my 6th decade a little easier to handle.

This year I had more to celebrate than usual. I must say that I was happy to be here for this. It is a milestone year - and I imagine that my little incident may have prompted this great party. However, we have set the standards high so now I am looking forward to having both of my sisters reach this special age. I can't wait to see what kind of fun we'll have then!

The birthday continued back at the office today with petit fours and more with my team. We tried to watch this incredible slide show that my sister Shannon created, but it wouldn't run - however, the photos were all there so I provided the narration. We missed the music from "Patton," but the "Little General" managed to get the theme across!

All in all, this was the best birthday I can remember and I know that I have my whole family to thank for that! The lesson in this is to be sure to celebrate with those you love while you have them with you - you'll never regret it!

So, just one last time ... 
Happy Birthday to me,
Happy Birthday to me.
Happy Birthday dear Gaillllllllllllllllll,
Happy Birthday to me!

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Happy Birthday, Mom B!

This is the month of the birthdays - it starts on July 5 with my mother's big day, then July 7 belongs to my son's fiance and July 9 is my mother-in-law's. We celebrated this last one BIG - it was her 90th - a very important day. We had most of the family in for dinner at Vargo's, a longtime favorite of hers. They sat us downstairs in a semi-private area and there was a piano player there, too. He came around and visited the table and took requests - ours was, of course, "Happy Birthday" plus a lot of the tunes from the 40s. The dinner was great - just what we were hoping for - and then we went back to the "Media Room" at the Terrace where Mom B lives. Once there, we showed tons of pictures from the past thanks to the scanning abilities of my husband, enjoyed a delicious birthday cake and champagne toast and then passed out photo memory books created from Kodak Gallery. It was a very late night and the birthday girl was definitely fading by the time it was over, but I know she had a great time. 

Now we need to rest up for my own celebration next weekend. It's the big 6-0 for me and Clif is taking me for a weekend of rest and relaxation with our whole family at the new Hyatt Lost Pines Resort near Austin. I won't be participating in any champagne toasts, but I'm really at the point where I think cold water and an occasional Diet Coke taste pretty good. Our Seattle son and his fiance will be celebrating with us - and then Braden will come back to Texas the next weekend for Brian's bachelor party. It's a very busy month!

August doesn't slow down much - the festivities for Brian's and Tiffany's wedding gear up - there's a shower and the bridesmaids' luncheon - and then Brian and Braden celebrate their 30th! My friend Maggi is in New Hampshire where there are so many birthdays that they are having a "Decades of Decadence" party. Maybe we should have done that for all of our parties - one huge celebration might have done the trick. Then again, it's kinda fun having all these parties.

The good news is that I am feeling significantly better. While I'm not totally back to "normal," I really think I can see a lot of improvement. My energy is still a challenge, but I find myself doing things that I know I wouldn't have been able to manage a few weeks ago. I have some testing and doctor appointments lined up this week and next - that keeps me busy, too. I think that I'm going to be in good shape by the fall. All of this is still hard to believe - I can't answer the questions about why this happened to me, but I continue to feel grateful that I work at the #1 cancer center in the world and and feel so lucky to be on the receiving end of the very special care offered to me here. 

Now, as we go into the middle of July, please just try to stay cool - it's hot out there!
I'm still celebrating! - xxxgbg

Sunday, July 5, 2009


It was a very successful weekend in Big D! First of all, I got to chow down on my very favorite hamburger - a #10 Goff burger. We went straight to Goff's from the airport and then hit the trail in search of my MOG outfit. 

My sisters had discovered what they thought was the perfect store: totally my style, gorgeous fabrics and relatively reasonable prices. They were on the mark and I left with a rehearsal dinner outfit and an outfit for Brian's wedding and also one for Braden's. There was a lot of trying on, which was an exhausting exercise, but very worth it because I accomplished what I went for. Everything should be ready in about three weeks and then we go for alterations. It will all be complete just in time for the big occasion in September - and, of course, for Braden's wedding in April (or maybe May - date is still being worked on).

We had a wonderful southern-style dinner with my parents and sister Kim and her husband on Friday night. I can't remember when I have had so many of my favorite foods in one day - the burger, cornbread and even pie for dessert. After a good night's rest, Mother, Daddy and I got up bright and early on July 4th and went to the local neighborhood parade - from fancy cars to politicians to candy, families and fun, it was a great occasion. We went back to rest up and Clif finally arrived about 1 p.m. Then we had barbeque from Daddy's newly found joint, Off the Bone. The day was topped off by watching the local fireworks from my parent's balcony in conjunction with the Boston Pops on TV - plenty of stars and stripes!

Today, July 5, was my mother's birthday and Kim cooked a fabulous cold lunch - only topped by her table setting. We had a great celebration before we had to leave to come home to Houston. Tomorrow, it's back to work - but we have lots more celebrating to do this month: Clif's mother's birthday next weekend and then mine the week after that. There are a few others in the next few weeks, too.

So, light the candles and say hooray! I'm feeling like a party!!!

xxx from the recovering Brainiac

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Week 3 Begins Tomorrow ...

It's hard to believe that I will start my third week back at work tomorrow. For the most part, everything has gone just fine - I've answered all the e-mails, returned lots of phone calls and hugged many, many friends as I've passed them in the halls. My amazing colleague made a list of all the projects still in play and we divided them up. Basically, if it has to do with social media or Web sites or medical news in the Children's Cancer Hospital, it belongs to Sara. I've got a couple of newsletters, multiple events and the Children's Art Project back on my plate. The good news is that there are no looming deadlines, which gives the ol' Brainiac an opportunity to get back in the groove.

I made another trip across the street on Friday - had to attend the CCH Beach Bash. Though I was hoping to get a tan, it just didn't happen. However, I felt lucky to make it back to the office - WOW, it is hot out there. I'm trying to work out some transportation that will get me to meetings and events over in the main bldg. - at least for a while - but so far I've had no luck. The shuttle service is not optimal from my bldg. - thought I might twist their arms to beef it up or at least allow me to use the "Special Request" shuttle, but that doesn't seem to comply with the rules. I'm going to push a little harder next week and try to make that happen.

I have a trip to Dallas on the calendar for next weekend.  My sisters and mother have found "the perfect place" for me to get a mother-of-the-groom dress so I'm going to go shop and see if this is indeed a fact. I'm hoping so because I've not seen much here in Houston (not that I've done all that much shopping, but ...). It would be super to cross this off of my to-do list. I also need to start thinking about the other little details for the rehearsal dinner - like the invitations. I do have a little time on this, but not much. I was so on schedule until I got sidetracked on April 1. At least I can be thankful that we had the location and the menu lined up before I had so many other things to think about.

This week should be better than the last two - I am very slowly regaining my energy and getting up and about helps this. Oh, I just finished round 2 of the oral chemo - so far, so good so keep your fingers crossed!

Stay cool and don't fry your brain - xxxgbg