January 5th was a tough day as that was the first day that we followed the new routine. It did not take long to figure out that getting up in the middle of the night was not going to make any of us happy. Bri was not adjusting well to radiation and was complaining about the mask. She was telling us that there was a terrible smell when the machine was performing the radiation. Ang told her that we would bring some kind of lotion or lip gloss to try and cover up the smell so she would not have to smell it any longer.
January 6th started routine. We had the morning meds and then Ang got Bri ready for the trip to IU for radiation. We had bought some peppermint lip gloss and Ang and Genivie rubbed some of this in the nose area of the mask. We put her Shrek CD in the player so she could listen to music while she was in her treatment. She would use her music to tease her radiologists from here on out. She would either use Shrek and start it on “I’m Too Sexy for my Shirt” or she would use Hannah Montana to bug Jason. Then Mommy placed the little lion finger pet on Bri’s finger and they strapped her to the table and locked her mask in place. Every time I watched this I had to fight the tears as Bri begged us not to go. Angie and I stepped out of the room and went to the waiting room. The waiting room routine stayed the same throughout the entire six weeks as well. Tears flowed for the first few minutes until I could talk and then we leaned on each other and I prayed to God that His healing hand would heal our beautiful daughter.
After the treatment Bri was still complaining about the smell. We discussed this with her radiologist after the treatment and he said that what was happening was that the radiation was probably hitting an olfactory nerve and her mind was telling her there was a smell when there really wasn’t one. We continued to try to find something to put in the nose to possibly mask some of the smell she thought she was getting but of course never found anything to take over.
When we left we had to start another routine. That would be feeding Bri. The steroids were beginning to kick in and every day that we left the radiation treatment we would have to stop and get Bri some food somewhere. I remember one day we stopped at Arby’s in Plainfield and as we ate some food fell out of Bri’s mouth. Her coordination was starting to go a little and she knew it. She got very emotional and started to cry. We asked her what was wrong and she said she was embarrassing because she couldn’t even eat right. It was so heartbreaking.
Once we got home I helped get Bri settled in and left for work. It was not a great day to be on the roads that morning but it seemed like they became less slippery as the day went on. I worked until 4:30 and left for home. The roads were pretty good all the way over to 37 and beyond but I hit a small bridge just before Mann Road and the truck slid sideways. I tried to correct and the truck whipped around 180 degrees and went down over the side of the road and rolled two to three times into a deep ditch on the north side of 144 ending up in the cornfield on its top.
Now this is my third accident in my life that I really believe I should have died in. It is quite obvious to me that God is not finished with me yet and I believe that he has kept me here to see Brianna through this. In 1991 I flipped a truck onto its side and was trapped in it for almost three hours. When it went into a ditch it became airborne and landed on top of a pole like you find at the gas stations to protect the pumps. When I came to the pole was in the driver’s window lodged between me and the steering wheel. They cut the top off the truck and used the jaws of life to extract me. Injury list? Glass in my arm and bruised ribs. Truck? Total loss. Then in 2004, I hit a deer on my motorcycle coming home from work. Injury list? Road rash, broken ankle, and lacerated spleen. Motorcycle? $4500 damage. And this wreck? I remember being thrown around inside the truck as it rolled. Did I mention I stupidly was not wearing a seat belt? Injury list? A 1/8″ long cut on my left index finger and deep tissue bruise in my right shoulder.Truck? Total Loss. Luck? I don’t think so. God’s hand is upon me.
So, I just trashed the only vehicle we had for our family. My truck was sitting in the driveway in need of repair and undrivable. Besides, it is tough to throw five people in an S10.