Brenna's Birthday

Hello All Our Family & Friends,

 We had a little birthday party for Brenna on January 5.  It was certainly a very cold day-especially when the sun slipped behind the Oquirhh Mountains.  Gordon offered a beautiful prayer to let Brenna know we were thinking about her the whole day and then we released purple balloons, just like at her funeral.  It was a beautiful sight and I am sure she loved it all over again!  We had cheesecake-Brenna’s favorite and last thing she swallowed.  We were very pleased with the evening and we are planning to do it every year on her birthday.

 Gordon and I were discussing all the 5’s in our life.  Brenna was born on Jan. 5th ,1993.  She was diagnosed on April 25th , 2002 (Yes! There’s a 5 in that too!)  She was released from the hospital on June 5th , 2002.  She had 5 months of chemo.  Her tumor shrinking celebration was her “Shrinko de Mayo” party (ya know, May 5th , 2004)  She went to heaven on Nov. 5th , 2006  We have 5 wonderful kids.  Racquel came from a family of 5 kids.  Gordon’s parents have 15 grandkids.  Jordan gets paid $5 for each A.  I think that is our new special number.  So if I were on ‘Deal Or No Deal,’ I’d pick case number 5.  I’m sure it would be the $million.

 Thanks to all who have been so thoughtful to our family and showed love and concern for us these past few months..  Even a little note brings a smile to our faces.  Hint, Hint.  We love you all!

 The Augats

Hope your Holidays were Great & Happy 2007

Our family hopes we have found your family happy and healthy at the coming of the new year!  Can’t believe it’s 2007!  Where were you on 12-31-1999 @ 11:59:59?  Singing along with Prince?  All our kids were asleep in their beds-we have pictures.  I had to cancel my big party because of the worst cold ever.  Gordon was happy-but he’s getting used to parties now.

Our family had quite a good Christmas.  We didn’t get what we wanted-The Second Coming- but we hope we get it next year.  Our Christmas was very different than years past, but it was nice.  All the kids asked for a picture of Brenna for Christmas.  We could feel our sweet angel there with us.  The true meaning of Christmas meant soooo much more to us this year.  The gift of Jesus Christ’s birth gave us peace as we reflected on our memories of Brenna and look forward to being able to hug Brenna again and be a family forever.

Gordon has been doing a lot of reading about spirits, death and the atonement and I love it when he shares all the interesting things he has learned with me.  We have learned so much!  Joseph Smith said, “All men know that they must die…it is but reasonable to suppose that God would reveal something in reference to the matter, and it is a subject we ought to study more than any other.”  Gordon has posted many of the things he has read under the tab “Plan of Salvation” if you’d like to read a bit.  Knowing Brenna is anxiously waiting for us gives us more drive to be like Jesus to ensure our place in heaven with her. 

We didn’t get a break from soccer during the snowy months.  All our boys play on the same team on a U-13 indoor league.  They love it!  8-year old Kaleb is usually the goalie.  The other team figures out that kicking the ball in the top portion of the net is good as Kaleb is only 3 ½ feet tall and can cover only ½ the goal.  But he is sure feisty and has the best Mission Impossible back dive I have ever seen.  He is practicing his jumping up high skills.

My new year’s resolution is to get healthy.  I am dusting off the Ellipse right now and checking into a co-ed soccer team.  January 2nd, all the sweets go into the garbage.

Gordon’s resolution is to get translated by his birthday.  Maybe Brenna can arrange a meeting with Elisha!  That was one of her favorite Living Scriptures stories.

We pray for all our cute friends and their families who need a blessing this year…Emily, Lauren, Hailee, Hayden and Caitlin-to name just a few.  If I can do anything to help, please call! 

May 2007 be the best year ever!

With love and fireworks!

The Augats

She Is Still Doing It

I am such a proud mother!  I am so excited to tell you all what Brenna has done! 

I received her report card at her viewing.  She got straight A's on her first quarter report card at South Hills Middle School.  I know.  I know.  That is certainly no surprise.  She made the honor roll also which was a goal of hers.  She wanted to be on it all year through.  She mentioned how she was going to keep a 4.0 GPA so next year she would get a really great career assignment for Reality Town at school.  And she would, too!  Every time I visit the school, there are so many of Brenna’s cute friends who say HI to me or hug me.  Some of them, I don’t know their names.  But it humbles me to see how many friends she had made in the short 3 months at this new school.

Jordy also got really good grades.  He was pretty excited to receive the $$$ owed him for his 5 A’s and 2 B’s.  But, if I recall, it was spent even before I paid up.  He is growing up so fast.  He is 12 going on 16.  He knows every single detail about every single automobile that ever ventured the earth’s highways.  He has already been to a late night friend party and he has a few girls chasing him and giving him notes telling him “he’s hot!”  I discussed with him he can’t have a girlfriend until he is 25.  As handsome as he is, I think that might be difficult for me to enforce.

Today was the Reflections Contest Assembly (which I was in charge of – I am the PTA Reflections Chairperson) and it went rather well.  I did my usual procrastination routine and stayed up until 4am putting the final details together.  We hired Elvis to come perform.  He was a little short and chubby, but he was rather enjoyable and was a great MC for us.  And the best part of the whole thing was that Brenna’s poem took first place!  (See the Album for copy)  Jordy read her poem in front of the whole studentbody and then we showed her DVD that we made for her viewing.  It was so appropriate as she absolutely loved the arts-both watching and creating.  She was going to submit 3 Reflections entries this year.

Christmas is getting nearer and the days are getting slower and the more time we have to think about the empty recliner in our family room.  The late nights are hardest.  I just cry and cry because I miss her sweet smile and the sparkle in her eyes and the jokes she loves to tell.  But I know it would be selfish to want her back because it would put her back into such a limiting physical body.  I know she is soooo happy and is loving eating and running and dancing and singing.  I can’t wait to see her again!

I was shopping today and found a wonderful frame with a poem that brought the tears streaming down my cheeks.  I would love to share it with you:

The Broken Chain
We little knew that morning that
God was going to call your name.
In life we loved you dearly.
In death we do the same.
It broke our hearts to lose you,
You did not go alone;
For part of us went with you,
The day God called you home.
You left us peaceful memories,
Your love is still our guide;
And though we cannot see you,
You are always at our side.
Our family chain is broken
And nothing seems the same,
But as God call us one by one,
The chain will link again.

We have a dear friend who has friends in high places and he notified us that our family was added to the prayer roll of the First Presidency this month!  Oh, how our hearts were filled with gratitude and humility.  We really need the blessing of comfort as time goes on. 

Thanks to all of you who have helped us in any little way or big way.  It seems our counter is never bare of cookies!

Love to all!
The Augat Family

Thanks for the memories

Hello Our Wonderful Family and Friends!  (Our friends are wonderful too!)

It’s been almost 2 weeks now. 

Gordon wanted me to make sure to update and send our love and sentiment-I am certainly in concurrence.

We have gotten so many compliments about Brenna’s funeral service.  I agree that Gordon and Karl were amazing.  And the spirit there was incredible!  We really respect and admire our Bishop and his comments and help through those few hard days.  If you could, by any respect, enjoy your own daughter’s funeral, we thought it was perfect.  And at the cemetery, OH MY GOSH!  As hard as that was, it was beautiful.  Our wonderful friend, Val, who played the bagpipes was so amazing.  And we got sooooo many compliments about the purple balloon release.  It was so special.  I’m sure Brenna absolutely loved it!  Thanks, Megan and our ward Young Women and wonderful leaders!  We received so many purple flowers and planters, our house looked and smelled like a flower shop through purple tinted glasses.  It was so wonderful.  And the amount of people that came to her viewing and had to wait for 2 hours for the 2 minute hug-it was so humbling how many amazing people Brenna has brought into our lives.  We are so blessed.  It was so nice to see all the school friends from now and elementary, so many of which we didn’t even know.  She is the kind of spirit that just attracts people to her.  She is so sweet and accepting and kind. 

I am sure it is because of all the prayers and thoughts of our many family and friends, both local and not, that has carried us through these past 2 weeks.  I would love to name every single person who has been such a support, but then this would go on for at least 3 pages.  So I will spare you, but please know how much you all mean to us and we really couldn’t have made it without every little and big thing that was done for us.  

The first week, of course, was kind of a blur.  There were so many things to take care of and so much family in and out that there was hardly any time to think, much less cry.  Now that things have slowed down and we have time to sit and take in the current events and notice that the purple blanket on the recliner is unused today, it hurts.  And we cry.  The down time at night is usually the crying hour.  Way too late for us to call you, OK?  Our family seems small now and we are always feeling like someone is missing when we go out.

The kids are doing rather well.  Just a few comments here and there about how they miss her and that they want the biggest teddy bear in her room to remember her by.  Those who were at the viewing and services noticed how distraught they all were.  They truly love and miss her.  But Gordon reminds me that children have a clearer understanding of angels than adults.  Hannah accepted the very first day that fact that Brenna is an angel now but she can still be with us and we certainly will see her again.  Her attitude of, “Duh, Mom,” is so reassuring to us. 

Well, thanks for listening.  We love you all!

The Augat Family

Celebrate Brenna's Life

Brenna’s choice to return to Heavenly Father was a surprise to us.  She was just getting over a cold and she was so excited to return to school this week.  Her bipap slipped off during the night and her spirit became free.  She is free to run and play soccer, swim, eat and swallow, sing and dance.  We are so happy for her to enjoy all the things her mortal body wouldn’t allow.  But, oh, she did enjoy life as much as she could.  She loved school immensely.  She loved little children and animals.  She loved church, Young Womens and writing in her journal.  She absolutely loved to have friends and play games and watch movies and, most of all, laugh.

We will surely miss Brenna, but we are very happy for her.  We know that we will have that very special angel in our family forever.  We were so blessed to be her parents and be able to share her life experiences with her during her short stay on earth.  We are soooo grateful for those we met along this journey who helped us during the difficult times.  We will cherish those relationships always.

This is her obituary that is in the Deseret News today:


Brenna Racquel Augat – January 5, 1993 ~ November 5, 2006 – A very special angel left our home on earth to again be in the arms of Heavenly Father.  Brenna was born in Salt Lake City to Gordon and Racquel Augat.  She passed away peacefully at home with her loving family.  She bravely fought an inoperable brainstem tumor for over four years and was taken by an anoxic episode-a side effect of the tumor.  Brenna blessed many lives with her loving and accepting spirit.  She was always a joy to be around and loved making people laugh.  Her smile and laugh were infectious.  She dearly loved school and was a straight ‘A’ student at South Hills Middle school where all who worked with her made her learning experience enjoyable.  Brenna is the oldest of five siblings, Jordan (12), Aaron (10), Kaleb (8), and Hannah (6).  Her dogs, Shep and Skipper, and her kitty, Trixie, will miss her lap.  She will be dearly missed by her family including her grandparents, Ute & Heinz Augat, Joyce and Chris Hicks, Janice and Bill Sipes, and many aunts, uncles, cousins, step-families and an abundance of friends.  Funeral services will be Thursday, November 9, 1 p.m. at the Stake Center located at 4501 West 11800 South. A viewing will be held one hour before the services and also Wednesday, November 8, at Broomhead Funeral Home 12590 South 2200 West, Riverton, from 6-8 p.m.  Interment at Wasatch Lawns South Valley, 13001 South 3600 West in Riverton.

Love and Tissues,

 The Augat Family


Boy!  Does the time fly!  Nothing really big has happened lately.  Just little tid bits...

Brenna is absolutely loving school.  She is currently a straight A student (surprised?  NOT!)  There was a scare last week with an A-, but she cleared that up with her teacher and there is calm waters now.  She is on the PTSA and having so much fun planning school activities.  Right now they are working on Red Ribbon Week.  Her favorite was making the posters.  She was also proud that she found the police officer (her Uncle Darren) to present and anti-drug ditty to the school.

The physical and occupational therapy is coming along really well.  Her hand strength has doubled the past 3 weeks!  She is pretty much off the oxygen during the daytime.  And the nausea is down to maybe 4 hours per week!  Keep it up Brenna!

She is planning on being a devil for Halloween.  She said that, now, when her brother, Kaleb, calls her a devil, she won't have to get upset at him.  She wants to stay home this year and hand out the candy.  She loves to see all the little kids in their costumes.  And, since she can't eat candy anyway...

Hannah gets her neon orange cast removed next week.  The orange replaced the neon pink one that she got after a scary fall from the top of her closet.  When I download the pics from my camera phone, I will share.  It was quite the experience.  This was our first broken bone, so we didn't know what to expect.  Hannah was soooo brave and when they gave her the Ketamine, which is a pain killer and amnesiac, the doc bent her broken wrist in so many unnatural positions, I had to look away and soak my sleeve with my overflowing tears.  Then, when they were sawing the cast open for swelling purposes, she was screaming bloody murder.  The doc said it doesn't cut and touched his arm with it, but when we changed casts, there were burn marks on her arm.  And her arm is still in the funny 's' shape as 4 weeks ago.  Weird.  I will avoid Jordan Valley Hospital at all costs in the future.  I know of only one person that has ever had a good experience there.

Two more soccer games and the season is OVER!  It is really a love/hate relationship there.  I love to watch my kids love and play the game (they all are really good-thanks to a soccer crazy dad), but I haven't had a date since March!  Movie popcorn, here I come!

Still loving the new neighborhood and neighbors!  Still only half unpacked, however.  We got new carpet a few weeks ago.  So, after moving all the furniture out and back in again, it feels like we moved in just a few weeks ago!

Mom got a part time job at Daybreak school as a playground and computer room aide.  It is such a different thing to have to be depended on by someone other than Brenna.  Now the house will never get unpacked!

Much love and PTA meetings!

The Augats

Brenna meets Raven Symone

You'll never guess what happened today!  We got tickets to see Raven in concert at the State Fair.  We were so far away, we could barely see her.  The concert was fun and Raven was her so cute self-talking to the kids and making it a dance party.  Brenna was happy to be there, but she was bummed she couldn't get closer.  Sooooo... her big mouth mom told a security guard all about how meeting Raven was Brenna's first choice for her Make A Wish and they talked her out of it.  Then she saw all these Make A Wish kids with Raven on TV and it broke her heart.  She said, "That was supposed to be me."  So, mom asked him if he could ask Raven if she would just come say HI to Brenna or even wave at her as she leaves.  Kim, the security guard left for a while and then came back to escort us back stage!  We saw Lil' J (don't know who he is), Raven's brother and mother and then, finally, Raven!  She came over to Brenna and said, "What's up, girl!" and talked to her just like they were best friends for 10 minutes.  She was soooo cute!  Her mom was very nice and very concerned that MAW discouraged Brenna from a celebrity meeting.  Brenna was SOOOO excited!  She said her heart was pounding.  She even got Raven to sign her Tshirt.  It was a dream come true for Brenna! Thank you so much Raven!

For more photos click HERE.

Journal Entry

WEEEELLLL....It's about time, I know! We are still so consumed with house stuff, I haven't had a minute. We had to replace the carpet because the stuff in the basement was way crappy and the tack strip was causing open wounds on everyone's heels. But before we get on that we have to paint the boys' room (in REAL Salt Lake Soccer colors, of course.) We got a free truckload of dirt so we've been digging and hauling like crazy this week. Gordon was praying for the faith to move a mountain so we wouldn't have to wheelbarrow it all. But no luck. It's coming together nicely. When it's done I will show you a picture. We are absolutely loving the neighborhood, the neighbors, our new ward and our new house. There are still 116 boxes in the garage to week.

Brenna and Jordy started Jr. High last week and absolutely love it. Brenna has the cutest aides. She got a power wheel chair that is actually made for her which will help her posture and result in a non-sore butt at the end of the day. The busing took a while, but I think, by Friday, they finally got it worked out (with a little call from Mom to the district, that is.)

The other kids are back on track tomorrow and I will probably get my chores done this week. Wahoo!

Gotta go help Brenna with some homework. She had to stay home this morning while the rest of her family hiked up to Timpanogas Cave as a Labor Day activity. It was a very nice hike and the tour through the cave was fun and chilly. But we were sad our WHOLE family couldn't go. They won't allow wheelchairs on the skinny trail. And the 200 stairs inside wouldn't have been good on my piggy back. But she was OK with it. I just have to buy her a Sprite (did you know they have natural Sprite now?)

Ciao for now friends and family. Hope this finds you all well and happy.

Love and trail mix!

The Augat Family

Journal Entry

Weeeellllll, today is the big move! I, surprisingly, have a very low stress level at the moment. We'll see when 5pm rolls around. We are down to using paper bowls and plastic spoons for breakfast.

We signed up for Daybreak Elementary and they stuck us on C track-the least desired track. But, I figured we would be able to deal with it this year as next year we will be tranferring to a newly constructed school and get a different track-hopefully D. C track is 3 weeks on (they started July 25th!) then 3 weeks off. Wierd. But, hey, they will be in school during the move and then off to help unpack and do their own rooms. They love school and their teachers. Although, Kaleb wasn't too keen on the mascot--the Daybreak Dolphins.

Brenna had the opportunity to go to stake girls' camp last week up by Park City. She did so well and loved just being there. She couldn't do the hikes or phyically demanding activities, but she did do the zip line (after a $5 bribe from mom) the crafts and had a part in the skit. We had to drive 1/2 hour down the mountain to a Park City hotel every night because of her machines, but it wasn't too bad. It was a wonderful and spiritual experience for her.

Therapies are underway and she does them faithfully every other day and her grip is getting stronger, her oxygen better and her walking more sure. She was fitted for a DAFO brace to help her left leg when walking. We are working toward getting a smaller more portable power chair for her before school. She can't wait for school to begin. And, already, a staff member from her school is beginning to get things in place for her such as aides, busing, IEP's, etc. They sound very proficient-which is what mom's love!

Santa visited Brenna a little early this year. Our neighbor was trying to sell a white bichon frise puppy she had unwillingly aquired (husband bought it when she was out of town-you get the picture) and Brenna fell in love when it curled up on her lap and fell asleep. So she talked Oma into letting it be her Christmas. She named it Skipper. It is the cutest little thing (see pics) and very energetic when it wants to be. But, very loveable when it's not around our Aussie. Trixie, her cat, is not very happy about the whole thing. And mom isn't happy about it not being house broken yet. It has to be in the hospital for a few days because the pet shop didn't take care of him and allowed him to cope with a pneumonia for weeks. Brenna misses him.

Well, the weather is finally below 90-it's actually in the 60's today and stormy. It's a nice change. But I hope it doesn't rain on our move!

Love and boxes, boxes, boxes,
The Augats

Journal Entry

OK, Shari! I'll update! After all, so much has happened the past 2 weeks!

We were notified last week that the state had shut down the Omaga Academy. I was so angry at first. "We have tried the traditional things and they didn't work for Brenna. Natural is our choice and here comes some puffed shirt saying someone can't operate a business that helps people with serious diseases without one prescription being written!" I was especially distraught because I discussed with Dewayne the week before how to get serious tumor shrinkage. But we came to a happy place-and that was a home therapy. We already have the Rife Machine-and that is the one thing that will be the most effective. Which reminds me...

Sorry. I had to start her on the 3 hour Rife treatment.

We sold our house last week and started packing up boxes. Our closing date for our new house is the 27th! Nothing like cutting it close, huh? We are really excited about our new house. It is in a cul-de-sac across from a park, on a fully landscaped 1/2 acre, interior built around a wheelchair-and, the second most (first in Gordon's mind) important thing-it's walking distance to a soccer field! We can't wait! Brenna is sad to not be going to Oquirrh Middle again, but all the kids are excited to be going to new schools.

I dropped Jordan off at BYU Soccer Camp on Monday. My first kid being gone for more than one night! He calls every night and keeps us posted on his fun level-which is very high. We miss him. All four of the younger kids are on comp teams this year! Busy. Busy. Busy. I am team mom for Aaron's team coached by his dad. I enjoy actually feeling needed.

Brenna absolutely loves her swimming pool physical therapy. I think she is going to get a pretty good tan sitting in the swimming pool in her new float chair and doing her 20 minutes of therapy. We've got wonderful friends who let us use their pool when we aren't at the PCMC pool. THANKS Lauren's mom & Denise!

Everyone is healthy and they all love staying up until all hours of the night and sleeping in till all hours of the morn this summer. Can't believe school starts in 3 short weeks! I'm thinking of changing from D track so they will be in school during the move-then they would start next week!

Love and Gatorade,

The Augats

Journal Entry

Hello all our friends!

There have been mixed emotions the past few weeks in our house. Brenna had a couple of doc appts. that gave us some extreme hope. Hope that she will swallow again from a simple stretching of the esophagus procedure (2nd one) and hope that she will be walking by the beginning of school with extreme physical and occupational therapy. Brenna is excited to do the PT in the swimming pool!

Brenna braved the second procedure last Tuesday. Dr. Harnsberger came to me afterward puzzled because Brenna's esophagus was just fine and she couldn't understand why the food won't go down. She suspects that the muscles need some therapy or something but she will make a few calls. Thus, we have an appt. with an ENT to test her esophageal strength. That kinda dimmed our excitement about an easy solution for swallowing. If we knew then what we know now, we NEVER would have done radiation on Brenna.

All of us had a blast in Lake Powell. It was only 110 degrees at Wahweap. Brenna even got a life jacket on and swam in the lake! We did a lot of sightseeing and boating to break in Opa's new boat. All the boys tried waterskiing or wakeboarding and all 3 got up! It was so exciting!

We are packing up all our extras in the house-the kids bedrooms have never been so clean! Gordon is really happy about it all. Mom is really stressed about is all-keeping everything clean all the time just in case someone calls to come see it! Can't wait 'til it's sold! The kids are all excited to move, get new bedrooms and go to new schools. Only six more weeks! Summer always flies by too quickly. We don't have any more vacations planned.

Check out the new pictures I have finally uploaded!

Love and sunscreen!
The Augats

Journal Entry

Well, Brenna is out of school for summer! It's really wierd to have the other 4 kids still in school until the end of June. Brenna worked really hard on her school work during the last quarter and earned all A's again! I'm sure she will be getting her 4th honor roll award. She really misses school and friends and something to look forward to.

The kids (especially Brenna) were looking so forward to going to Camp Hobe this year and they rejected Brenna without even the consideration of calling mom to check her condition. We were pretty offended. Let's see....a cancer camp for cancer kids-but they have to be 100%
healthy?! What a paradox! So we decided to withdraw our applications and go to Lake Powell with the cousins instead. Brenna will get way more cancer support there than she has ever gotten at Camp Hobe.

And now we are fighting tooth and nail to get to Camp Sunshine. No one seems to want to support us when we need it the most. We are getting pretty tired of fighting cancer and fighting our support groups. What's the deal? Natural choices are very discriminated against.

We thoroughly enjoyed the REAL Salt Lake game that Amy Greene at Candlelighters arranged for the families. We love soccer-did you know that? Amy is awesome and fun and really seems to care about the families and their needs. Unlike Richard. (Another long story.)

We met with Dr. Such-Neibar at PCMC yesterday to assess Brenna's physical needs. She gave us a very positive report and hope that she will be pretty independent by the end of summer. It made mom cry! Someone that believes that Brenna is OK! Wahoo!

We are pretty stressed trying to prepare our house to list this weekend. We were blessed AGAIN to be led to the perfect house! It really suits all our needs-one being that it was built around a wheelchair and the other that there is a soccer field around the corner. We will be moving at the end of July if all goes well! We are excited!

Love and shipping tape,
The Augats

Journal Entry

I want to share a blessing that we have experienced recently...I have been trying to get information about a power wheelchair for Brenna for quite a while. Brenna could sure use it at school and getting around the neighborhood. She would gain a sense of independence. (But, that means she could be a teenager and turn away from me when I'm lecturing!) So...I called insurance, our school therapist and Praxair to try and coordinate getting one for her before next school year. The info was a little disheartening. A good chair costs around $12,000 and insurance would only cover $2,500. I thought about it and decided we would just deal with the manual chair until she becomes mobile again (hopefully, in the near future!) The very next day, we were walking (wheeling) to a Young Women's activity a few blocks away from our house. As we crossed the big intersection as was rounding the back of Blockbuster, a van stopped in front of us. A gentleman hopped out and asked if we could use a power wheelchair. I asked if he was serious and asked Brenna to pinch me. He stated that his dad had passed away in January and they had advertised but couldn't sell the chair and he wanted to donate it to us. Of course I started crying and made a comment, "How did you know?" He told me that he was actually driving in a different direction when a voice whispered in his ear, "They need the chair." He almost didn't turn, when he heard the voice again. Thus, we ended up with a power chair the very next morning.

She absolutely loves it and has mastered the getting through the door technique already. Too bad there was only 2 weeks left of school! Which, by the way, is over tomorrow! She is still an honor student. She kept up with her homework when she was home sick.

My other kids are still in school until June 30th! My 3 boys made competition soccer teams and the madness continues with practices every day of the week through summer! WHEN WILL IT END?!!

With love and dribbles,
The Augats

Journal Entry

Howdy All,

Sorry I didn't update for a while. I have been kinda depressed there is no exciting news to share. Brenna still cannot swallow-though she tries and tries and tries. From past information (speech therapist)...I believe that the radiation treatments 3 1/2 years ago have thickened her esophogus creating a whole new swallowing experience she will have to learn by using different muscles and retraining the damaged ones.

The MRI results were "Stable" again. And again, I am depressed about it. We just want shrinkage! She needs to move from where she is at this time. Just a little tiny shrinkage would probably allow her to breathe better and walk better and use her fine motor skills better. However, because she hasn't used them very much, I am scared they have been taken away a little. Kind of motor skill atrophy.

The Omega Academy is expanding at a very speedy rate! They have introduced so many new therapies to help cleanse and heal the body. Brenna's favorite is the detoxifying footbath. However, with all the things that need to be plugged in, it creates a literal furnace in the room. It was only 80 degrees outside and we were frying today! What is it going to be like when it's hot outside? Brenna is miserable in heat-just like her Oma! It makes her nauseous. I am tempted to halt visits until it is under control.

Our house is another furnace Brenna has to bear on a daily basis. Every single spring our air conditioner has issues-well, last year and this year it's the furnace part. I am so sick of paying a repair man!

SEE! Nothing new or positive to share. Hopefully, next entry, huh?

Something positive...You are all awesome and we love you and your support! Thanks! (Now I feel better.)

Love and Speed Stick,
The Augats

Journal Entry

Howdy All!

Good news/Bad news...

Bad news: We went to our ENT appt last Wednesday that I was soooo looking forward to (milestone=swallowing!) We waited for two (2) hours to see him. Fortunately, it was a beautiful day so Brenna and I walked around outside the quaint Old Farm office and the tulips were so pretty and that made it bareable. But, when the doc came in, he said, "It's nice to see you again, but we don't do that specific procedure in this office. That would be a GI issue." I just about cried at the thought of calling our GI and hearing them say, "Our next available appt is July 26th." ...And that is just what I heard.

Good news: The very next morning I called Dr. Harnsberger, who is wonderful and takes calls personally between 9 and 10. I was all ready to give her my sob story and ask if she could move up our appt. I got to the speech therapist's opinion when Dr. Harnsberger said, "Would you like me to do that next Tuesday?" I just about cried again! She explained that the anesthesiologist would take 20 minutes and her procedure would take 5 minutes. By Friday, Brenna would be able to swallow!

Brenna even said today, "I can't wait until next Friday," even though she is a bit nervous about the appt. OH MY GOSH! She won't have to spit into a cup and carry it around with her at school and people won't be uncomfortable around her. It will do loads for her self esteem! And the $$ we will save on paper cups! It's all good!

We'll update in a week to let you know how fun it is for Brenna to swallow food!

Love and gleeks!

Journal Entry

Well, Brenna went to school for the first time in 4 weeks! She is quite peppy in her 'Happy Bunny' shirt that says, "I just realized I don't care!" She is also sporting a new do! She was getting so hot she decided to chop the locks for summer. It's very cute. There is only 6 weeks left of Jr. High! I am so used to year round school.

She is doing soooo much better through the night-it's just the first hour that she has trouble getting to sleep. We are using Melatonin and Valerian to calm her down. Usually, when she does wake up it is because of the pesky oximeter that doesn't read very well. She is still a physically a little weak, but that is improving daily along with her respiratory. She is down from 1 lpm to 1/2 lpm (for those who understand, ha, ha.) Hopefully, she will be back to her January baseline soon!

GOOD NEWS! Last week, Brenna had a swallow study which I was really excited about because she has been chewing food and trying to swallow liquids. I was watching the real-time x-ray and it showed her trying to swallow about 5 times but it stopped at a certain point every time. Then she aspirated a little as she spit it back up. Cute Courtney, who did Brenna's speech therapy last summer, told me the problem is that the radiation and intubations (3) that she has had ruined the muscles at the top of her esophogus so much that they won't allow food past. But there is a procedure to correct the problem! Of course, the moment I got home, I called her ENT to make the appt. I can't believe we are so close to having her swallow food again! No more spit cups! Wahoo!

My kids are all looking forward to going to Camp Hobe at the end of June. Poor Brenna! She hasn't been able to enjoy it more than the Day Camp every year and this is the last year they can go! I feel like Camp Hobe rewards families that do chemo instead of natural methods.

We are building a rambler just a few blocks away. We have a beautiful two-story at the moment. But for Brenna's sake (and mine and Gordon's backs sake) we need a rambler so we don't have to keep carrying her up and down the stairs. So if anyone is in the market around August for a beautiful house in Riverton let me know!

The prayers are working! We love you all and God bless you all!


Journal Entry

Well...Brenna tried going to school after getting out of the hospital, but she got worn out really fast. She could only go 2 hours for only a few days. So we kept her home and didn't press it. She was really sad.

Then, the next week, Brenna started acting really wierd. She couldn't control her hands and legs, she had a slow tick when she talked and her responses were really slow. She would get really upset because she couldn't make her body do what she wanted it to. She started having major anxiety attacks-especially at night. Gordon and I were up every 20 minutes consoling her that she really isn't falling out of bed and administering Benedryl because she said she was itchy all over. She has been very unstable and requires her parents constant care.

We understood what she was doing because 1) It's another de ja vous from 4 years ago-but she took weeks to recover from that one. And 2) because Gordon had been through a little dehydration episode which caused him to experience anxiety attacks for over a week. We know she will recover and we see a little bit of improvement every day.

But the first few weeks drove us to Zombie Land-from which we still haven't quite recovered-which rendered both of us useless during the day. Gordon couldn't concentrate on work and our house suffered quite a bit. She is also having more pass out seizures. Most of them are manageable. But there have been a few which rip us up emotionally. But we don't involve the docs because they can never do anything for us and we waste our time at the hospital to have them tell us to go home.

What a crazy few weeks. Since next week is a short week at school, we are keeping her home for the 4th week in a row and, hopefully, she will be well enough to get back to her favorite thing to do the next week. She got straight A's last quarter! Honor roll again-she is so proud. And so are her parents.

As Gordon always says to me (usually in the middle of a bawl session) "This too shall pass."

Love and sunshine!
The Augats

Journal Entry

Well, something big happened so I am updating! Wahoo!, huh, Shari & Jamie!

Gordon was out of town this week so it was time for Brenna to be ambulanced to PCMC. This is the 4th time he has been out of town for an emercency call. He swears he will never leave town again.

Well Wednesday eve, mom was rushing from a kids' soccer game to a region basketball game-in which, mom's knee was maimed and we still lost! I rushed out the door leaving instructions for the boys to "be in bed by 8:30!" And they actually obeyed! Upon arriving home, I limped into Brenna's room to find a gray ragdoll girl with her bi-pap and the phone lying next to her. The phone read that 45 minutes ago she tried to page someone.

After replacing her bipap and praying for 5 minutes, she still showed absolutely no response. So after Uncle Scott gave her a priesthood blessing, I proceeded to call Gold Cross ambulance (instead of Riverton that is right across the street that my insurance won't cover.)

In the ER, they ran blood tests because when the brain goes without O2 for 45 minutes it throws all kinds of counts out of whack. But, every test proved more positive than the last. But the most response we got out of her was a squeeze of the hand.

She ended up in PICU and, after the move, Brenna began responding verbally and by knodding-but very very slowly. Her sats kept going down and her CO2 levels kept being scary so there was a threat of intubation and a CT scan-of which her parents kept denying approval. Last time we were here and they wanted to do a CT scan and I said, "NO," the head ER nurse said that it "has been clinically been proven to cause brain tumors." Why in the world would they use it on cancer patients!?

But in the last few hours, her CO2 levels have gone down considerably, her oxygen dependency has reduced and she is way more responsive. We are all so pleased!

This is kind of a de ja vous from 4 years ago when this whole journey started with an hypoxic injury-just like this! But she recovered from that and so she shall with this one! Please keep praying for her quick and complete recovery.
With love, The Augats

Because the Caring Bridge site was having issues last week and wouldn't accept my is the second part of my entry.

I was so sad and scared on Thursday that we may never get our sweet little angel back that I cried most of the day. Gordon flew in at 10:30 am and flew directly to the hospital to a very compromised little girl that could barely move and talk.

Well, Friday morning, I returning from sleeping around 9 am and Brenna looks at me and says, "I want to do crafts," as well as she could with the bi-pap blowing in her face. I was so excited! And she continued to get better and better from there. She wanted to take off the bi-pap and go to a nasal canula. But the RT said it might be a few days and not to rush her. I agreed. I thought her lungs might need to rest and relax after such a serious injury. But by 1pm she had moved to a nasal canula and her sats stayed above 90! She is incredible!

I didn't even want to ask about going home until Monday. But, around 3pm, the doc came to me and asked, "There is nothing we are doing for her here that you can't do at home. Want to go home?" Uh, let me think about that. YES! So we were home by 6pm.

She is still very weak and you can tell she will need a bit of time to recover physically. But her teenage attitude is back and, thankfully, her cognitive skills are back 100

Journal Entry

Whew. We are so glad to be out of the hospital. -not that the company wasn't great! We were sad that they were there but loved the company of Shari & Hailee Iverson and Joy & Isabell Postma!

Wednesday morning was interesting...At 4 o'clock in the morning, Hannah was in mom's bed just a snoring away. Mom got sick of it and carried her into her room. Hearing the beeping of Brenna's bi-pap machine, I went in to adjust her mask and she was found with NO mask on, not breathing, catatonic stare, lips blue and non-responsive. Being used to her passing out episodes, Gordon and I proceeded to take care of it without the assistance of emergency personnel. Really, we didn't know what to do except put her mask back on because it forces oxygen into the lungs. After a few minutes of that with no results, Gordon put his hands on her head and gave her a priesthood blessing. The moment we said, “Amen,” Brenna’s involuntary breathing kicked in. Coincidence? I think not. After a few more minutes, the breathing became more normal and she could respond to questions by nodding her head. A few more minutes and she could respond with, “Yes.” A few more and she could focus on us. Our previous home nurse, Kim Moreno, got a call at 4:15 am with the question, “How do you lower a 150 heart rate?” Wonderful Kim came over just to check Brenna out and make sure she was OK. She listened to her lungs and told us they were pretty wet and to go to a doc that day.

We ended up at PCMC and in the PICU by 7pm. As much as I hate the PICU, it wasn’t too bad. They allow the parents to sleep bedside now-IN A ROCKING CHAIR! The comfortable accommodations and the fact that Brenna’s oxygen saturations went down to 40 (optimal is above 90) followed by passing out a few times through the night for the next 3 nights leads to a sleep deprived loony mom. At first they told us it was pneumonia and put her on two IV antibiotics. After the night episodes, they told us it was also RSV. Then after a second x-ray they decided it wasn’t pneumonia and took her off the antibiotics. RSV is a viral illness that they can’t do anything about so really we stayed in the hospital because of her night episodes. Saturday, they said they were going to keep her another night. I told them we had all the equipment at home except a pulse ox to monitor her oxygen through the night. So they sent us home by 10am with one. Wahoo!

GOOD NEWS! Last week, our chiropractor took Brenna’s x-rays again and notified us that her atlas that, 15 months ago was negative 12 degrees (should be positive 30) was now 0 (zero)! That was exciting! Not that we needed a piece of paper with black letters on it telling us how well she was doing (see previous journal entry), but we believe that is the reason why Brenna is breathing so much better and not nauseous as much. We believe it was excelled by the natural treatments we are doing at the Omega and the VIBE. The treatments cause neuro-muscular stimulation which straightens up her posture which, in turn, allows the spine to sit straighter and be adjusted easier. AWESOME!

Also, Brenna got straight A’s 2nd quarter. She will be on the honor roll again! She absolutely loves school and is really sad and certainly bored not being able to go for 3 weeks. She is looking forward to going to fabulous Las Vegas this weekend.

Well, not much to write so maybe more next time, huh? (Just kidding!) We love you all! Thanks for your prayers!

The Augats

Journal Entry

Well, the news isn't as big as I expected...actually it's not at all what I expected. We waited a whole week to have a specific radiologist read it and when I called to check the status, they told me a different doc read it. I gave them a few "that's not what I asked," words and got Dr. Boyer to call me back with his take on the other doc's impressions of the MRI. When I got the news that "it looks about the same and stable is good," I wanted to cry. Unlike some parents, I don't like the phrase, "At least it didn't grow!" or "but stable is still good." I WANT TO HEAR SHRINKAGE! And, after getting a copy of the radiology report and trying to decypher the lingo, I read that the edyma (swelling) that was previously receding is back. And things make me wonder-like, "The degree of ventriculomegaly appears grossly unstable." And, "Stable appearing obstuctive hydrocephalus." And, "Transependymal flow is again noted." WHAT?!?! Say that six times fast. When I find out what they mean, I don't think I will burden you with more to read unless it is important. I was really floored with "stable" because she has been doing so well! Our hope and prayers are that the MRI readings can't measure the release of pressure on the inside of the tumor which is allowing some of her functions to return.

With this news, we are contemplating starting a cesium chloride & DMSO protocol. It is natural chemotherapy. Brenna has been on the IV form before and associates 2 hours of pain with it. However, this will be the oral dose and other patients say it doesn't hurt at all. But it does make you smell up a room like 'bad olives.' So maybe school will be put on hold-which will send Brenna into depression. She still loves school and, with the semester ending this week, she still is above a 3.9! She is so excited to be on the honor roll!

We are working on the swallow. Brenna loves to chew on things-especially candy. Her new found love is Jolly Ranchers in the bubble pack. They are hard to find. I figure, as long as she is brushing her teeth and not swallowing the awful sugar, it won't affect the 'natural balance' in her body. But tasting and chewing is a step toward swallowing.

Pray for Brenna and her parents that we will be guided to the correct treatment to heal Brenna and allow her to be a kid again (what's left of it!)

We love you and thank you all for your thoughts and prayers. The Augats
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