Posted by: cusenbary | April 12, 2013

All part of the healing process…

Brad and I have defined a new sport in developing extensive reasoning on any changes regarding how Brad is feeling…namely anything that does not result in the answer being LB – a form of CSI Steamboat.  I recently had to create a flow chart to track my own reasoning on the fact that Brad was fatigued, had a headache and zero flu symptoms…because OBVIOUSLY this could have nothing to do with a mass in his noodle.  Well, sometimes whatever superpower you believe in, needs to smack you in the forehead to address reality.

At our March 5th scan we saw some swelling around LB.  As a refresher we were unable to pull out the tumor so we cooked it with chemo and radiation – the mass of dead tissue still exists, but we have no reason to think it is active or anything more than ‘dead cells’.  Because Brad has been feeling great our oncologist, Dr Damek, said ‘let’s treat Brad and not just the scan’ – which we loved because who wants to go back to treatment!  I am not going to lie though…we walked into that scan expecting a completely different story (something along the lines of ‘Everything looks great! In fact, you are doing so well we don’t need to see you for another 6 months’).  Yes, something to that tune was more in line with Brad and my plans for 2013.   Turns out we are not in control of those plans…

So, we went home to Steamboat somewhat deflated, but maintained our onward and upward attitude.  However, things did not get better.  In fact, things kept getting worse.  This is where our CSI skills could truly conjure up every possible reason that he wasn’t feeling good.  Some examples included: a virus, allergies (minus any sinus symptoms), his thyroid, a tooth infection, and many more that are too embarrassing to put on the blog.  Our mentality was to lay low and this too shall pass.  But it didn’t pass…it got worse.  At the end of March we had been home laying low for four weeks when one evening the ‘superpower force’ elected to put the smack down.  Brad’s headaches had gotten to be painful (7 out of 10 on the Richter scale).  At this point we cracked and at 6am folded and paged the neuro-oncology dept.  I explained my amazing theories of what was happening to Dr Damek, who responded with a now famous quote…”I don’t know, Laura.  I am guessing this is the brain tumor. I mean…we know that he has one and that it is swollen.”

Last night we headed back to Denver for an early morning MRI and follow up with Dr Damek.  It was a REALLY good appointment.  Turns out Brad is continuing to have symptoms of treatment effect.  We learned that treatment effect is actually healing – the swelling is a side effect of the recovery process.  It is a long process, but it is still going in the right direction.  Brad is back on steroids and Avastin to reduce the swelling and protect his tremendous progress in speech and physical wellness.  We are happy to have a plan in action to get better and back on track…onward and upward we go.  And I must say that there is no human in the world that I would rather be on this journey with – Brad’s unwavering heart and spirit is amazing.  I know he will continue to get better and better…it is written all over that shit-eaten grin of his!

Thank you for your continued support and love.

Brad & Laura



  1. Oh Man! No doubt Brad’s strength is incredible. I am so glad it is going in right direction and hope the horrendous headaches subside. Really appreciated the CSI approach. You guys have to know more about things than some doctors. Love that devilish smirk!

  2. Have a great summer Brad!

  3. Laura: You are right. Brad has the best shit eating grin ever. I continue to be amazed at how you and Brad approach every hurdle during this journey. Thanks for this update and Pam and I contiue to pray.

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