Friday, May 30, 2014

A Tale of a Brain Tumor Warrior

Hey folks, it's Trevor here once again sharing another book review. This one is
going to be a lot of fun to do. This particular person's book has had a big impact
on so many people in the brain tumor community.

So without further ado, we have a surprise for a very special person. He happens
to think I rock and just for that, he certainly will get a dog bone, I mean a great
review. BOL

The book is titled, How Horseshoes Saved My Life: A tale of two brain tumors,
by Rick Franzo.  Brenda became friends with Rick through his group that he
started, Brain Tumor Talk. Wonderful title isn't it? Anyway, he had been working
on writing this book and asked Brenda if she would like to see a rough not (ruff)
draft? BOL I'm a dog, so ruff would make sense to me.

So she read it and couldn't put it down. She just knew this was going to be a great
book when it was published.

She has spoken with Rick on the phone several times and one time, he asked her
if should would be interested in sharing her story on his new radio program, that
he was starting? It was going to be called, Catch The Brain Wave, another great
title. Of course, Brenda said yes. He actually shared her story not too long ago
and even sent her the DVD to be able to listen to it on her computer. Now wasn't
that kind?

Okay, I know we got a little sidetracked here, but he also sent her the book with
an autograph inside. Brenda always tries to get autographs from authors of books,
if she can. She has quite a collection from others she has connected with on social

This book was pawtastic! Brenda was cheering and even crying as she read it. I
could see, as I was watching her very carefully.

Rick went through so much and truth be told, he shouldn't even be alive. It was
truly a miracle that he was playing horseshoes that day. I see where the luck comes
in, but I really don't believe in luck, but he was definitely at the right place that
particular day.

He had noticed that things were a little off, but you don't normally run to your
doctor for every little thing. I don't even like to run to the vet, for a normal visit.
Okay, back to our story. Anyway, he decided that he'd better go see what was
going on. Never in his wildest dreams, did he think, he would be diagnosed
with a brain tumor.

So he went through the shock and disbelief of all of that. He had a wonderful
supportive family and many friends, that was so beautifully illustrated by all
the kind acts that were accomplished.

We don't want to give the whole story away, but Rick did not come out of the
surgery as he had hoped and actually had to learn to walk again, which he did.

He is a fighter and he is now battling a second brain tumor. Just for point of
reference, he had the same type of brain tumor that Brenda had, a meningioma.
His had grown to critical mass. Sounds so scary, which it was and had he not
been playing horseshoes that day, he could have had a grand mal seizure or
even could have gone into a coma and died.

We are so happy that did not happen. Brenda has been so blessed by Rick's
friendship and how he has helped so many with advocating. He really is
quite the speaker. I got to listen to him on YouTube.

So you see, even though this was a very horrible thing that happened in a
brain tumor warrior's life, he turned it all around. He went through his times
with depression. I think we all would have. He was just showing his human
side and that makes you appreciate him even more.

I would like to offer my congratulations on a job well done and I personally
give this book FIVE BARKS!!!!!

We hope you have enjoyed this wonderful story of a brain tumor warrior, who
I would gladly share my dog bones with.

Saturday, May 10, 2014

A Tale of 2 Teeth

Hi, Trevor here once again, to share another tale of Brenda's life. This is going to be
about 2 teeth, that have been her nemesis for many years.

Our title was inspired by the great author, Charles Dickens, with his Tale of Two Cities.
We promise you, ours will not be that long. BOL

It did start many years ago, with a nerve dying in one tooth, so a root canal was performed,
by a dentist who specializes in them. By the time this was all said and done, several dentists
and specialists will have been involved in this case. This was very complex to say the least.

So she had the root canal performed almost on the wrong tooth, as he decided before starting,
to test the nerves and low and behold, it was the tooth next to it. A crown was put on later and
it seemed to be alright.

Then the next tooth, the one that almost got a root canal in the first place, starting aching bad,
so they decided to put a crown on it. She was told that a root canal was possible down the
line, which did end up happening.

Both of these teeth had been aching on and off for over 10 years. That is a long time to be
dealing with pain. Brenda as you know, also lives with rheumatoid arthritis, so she has long
felt, that there was a strong connection, dealing with this saga.

Finally this year, both of these teeth started aching with such a vengeance, that something
was going to have to be done.

It started with the one crown shifting and having it re-cemented. She thought that would be
it, but no, that is when this all started to get worse. It seems that tooth was so badly fractured,
no wonder it was so painful.

Her regular dentist decided to send her to a specialist, as he thought he would be able to spot
something, that he was missing. She had extensive x-rays and the news was, that neither
tooth could be saved. They would first need to be extracted and then done the line, dental
implants (which thankfully will not be happening) but more on that later.

She was referred to an oral surgeon for consultation on what to do with these horrible teeth.

She was in horrible pain and needed to be medicated until she was to see him, which was
several weeks yet.  So they put her on Ibuprofen, 3 tablets every 6 hours and also a pain
medication. She had already been put on an antibiotic, that tore her stomach up pretty
good. She was really concerned about all of these pills and what they would end up
doing to her stomach. She faired pretty well, considering.

She was put on another 2 weeks of another antibiotic, as they just wanted to keep that
infection at bay. Speaking of infections, they meant Brenda could not take her biologic
for over a month. You can not take a biologic, anytime you have an infection or the

This was very difficult for Brenda and I heard her cries many times and saw many
tears, throughout this whole ordeal. There is pain and then there is tooth pain. There
is nothing like it.

So she finally saw the oral surgeon, who she really liked. He was very honest and told
her, that those 2 teeth need only to be extracted and that the implants were not
necessary. Fine with Brenda, just get these teeth out ASAP.  She explained that her
RA was progressing and that the teeth were hurting bad, so she got an appointment
to get in the next week. Hooray! 

So on May 8th, which was also the same date, 23 years ago, that she was diagnosed
with RA, she had those 2 teeth extracted.

It was to be at 1:00 p.m. but ended up being after 4:00 p.m. because the oral surgeon
was delayed. She didn't care, as long as they got done that day.

She was numbed up and several shots given, which was the worst of it. He told her
she didn't even flinch. This was after she told him, she was tough. Yes, she is! 

The first one came out just fine, which she got a glance of it. No wonder it hurt, it
was ugly.  The second one, which was the one that was fractured came out in pieces.
There was a little pus that came out too, but it was decided that no antibiotics at this
time, because he did not want to rip up her stomach. She was given the green light
to go back on her biologic. WOO HOO! 

It has now been several days since the procedure and Brenda is doing pretty well.
She has only had to take one pain pill so far and she has been icing, rinsing with
salt water and getting lots of rest. This has taken a lot out of her. It has been a
long road, emotionally and health wise.

The stitches should dissolve within 7 to 10 days and she should be well on the road
to recovery by then.

She did have a discussion with her oral surgeon after about her feelings that this whole
saga, was much worse, because of her living with an inflammatory disease. He actually
agreed this was possible. Come on, would the average person go through this with 2
teeth after the nerves should be dead? I don't think so. This had to be related to what
she believes was systemic, as it did involve her entire body, as it was at war.

She tolerated the procedure very well and he told her that. She just kept telling herself
even has he was pulling them, that she could do this. She told me, it was strange having
to listen to that noise, as he was pulling them. It didn't hurt and he was so concerned about
that, which was great.

She went back to work the next day and was pretty tired after a full day. She took two
naps and has slept even more this weekend. This did take a lot out of Brenda, as I mentioned

We are glad this is over and until next time, this is Trevor, The Tell Tale Dog, reminding
you to see your dentist regularly.