Tagged: Chemo

Brendan’s Journal

Hi Buddy,

I just checked out your Caring Bridge site again, www.caringbridge.org/visit/brendanbarrie.  I haven’t been their in a while.  Even though I’ve been there many times, I have never noticed all the frogs :).  I like them!   I am going to forward the link to everyone that has been asking about you.  (There is a lot of them!)

Your grandmother told me she is doing the Neponset Valley Walk for Animals in Easton on May 15th.  That’s great!  I’ll have to ask her all about it this afternoon when I see her.

Don’t forget your orange bracelets today.  I’m sure we can get a few donations for you.  I know a bunch a people who want one.



Count Down to Boston

It was 128 days go I found out I would be part of the Dana-Farber Marathon Challenge team, and now there are only 10 days before the marathon!  Can you believe it!?!  The time flew by too fast.

 Next week will be such a great time to be in Boston.  There is definitely a buzz of excitement in the air.   Runners from all over the world will start to come to the city.  Along with friends and family, they will fill the hotels and restaurants,   walk with tourist maps in their hands trying to find Faneuil Hall and ask which train is best to take to get to Fenway Park.  The marathon expo and marathon number pickup will begin on Friday and last all weekend long.   On Sunday there will be pasta dinners happening everywhere, including our own Dana-Farber dinner at the Copley Marriott.

After work yesterday, I was able to go out for my first long in almost 3 weeks .  I ran from Bowdoin to just before Boston College and then took the marathon route back to Bowdoin.   It was great that I was able run that distance again, but I’m not going to lie to you, it was a tough run.  My legs are incredible sore today.    I’m glad I ran it yesterday because it helped me realize I need to rethink my strategy for the next week and the marathon.  I’ll let you know when I figure that one out :). 

I hope this week wasn’t been too rough on you.  Being back on chemo, plus all your other medication and having to go to multiple doctor appointments while trying to get back to school must have made you a little crazy.  I don’t know how you do it.  You have an incredible amount of endurance and strength that Ryan Hall would envy.   Take care and I’ll talk to you soon. 


Lions, Tigers and ….Giraffes?

Hey Partner,


Well I’m very glad that the tiger didn’t make you his afternoon snack!   That must have been a bit unnerving.  After that I think I would have told them it’s time to go see the new anteater exhibit, enough with the man-eating animal.   It’s great you got to feed the giraffes.  Your grandmother told all about how much you liked giraffes after I wrote the My Morning Run entry back in January.   How cool was it to be standing next to a creature that tall?   

Are you still eating?  I know how tough it is for you.  Any time you want to head back to Kiku-Yama just let me know.  We’ll get you a pile of the shrimp I saw you digging into on Tuesday night.    I liked that dish too.   I think I’ll be getting next time we go.

I got out for my first run today since March 22.  It went ok.  Slow and steady.  But don’t worry, we will be doing the marathon.  I wouldn’t miss it.  Not even a hungry tiger will stop me.  (Actually it might make me run faster!)  We got 2 weeks; plenty of time. 

I need something really important from you, partner.  I need one of your orange Brendan’s Buddies bracelets.  I’m going to wear it during the marathon. 

I just looked at the clock.  It’s late, so you won’t see this tonight because hopefully you are sleeping.  I hope you are feeling a little better.  I know you got yet another busy day seeing doctors, so I’ll give you a call late in the afternoon to see how you made out.   


Feeling Good

Hi Patrick,
Hope your feeling better. I feel pretty good despite being back on Chemo again. I had no appetite for the first few days but now the steroids seem to be kicking in again!!YAY!! My mom was starting to get worried I wasn’t going to eat anymore and need to be back on my feeding tube, but so far I’m ok and just using it for all my meds again. Unfortunately my jaw pain is back.
I went to school Friday for an hour to see the chinese acrobats that came to perform at my school. They were really awesome and it was nice to see my friends again. I will be back in school tomorrow, but not on Tuesday. I have 3 different appointments on
Tuesday, so I will stay home that day.
Monday afternoon, Make A Wish is coming by to meet me and talk about my Make A Wish. I had been wanting to do a Mediterranean cruise, but after looking through some cruise brochures, I think I might want to do a Caribbean cruise instead. ( I REALLY want to go on The Oasis of the Seas, ship!!! They even have a zipline ON the ship!!!! It looks amazing!!!

Yesterday we went to the Franklin Park Zoo to have a private tour of the Zoo and to go and feed the Giraffes!! Giraffes are my favorite animals and have been since I was a baby. It was really awesome to be up close with them. I got to feed Beau, the male giraffe since Jana is more nervous around people. Beau is 18 feet tall. He was so nice and friendly.  After we saw the giraffes our guide took us to see the lion and the tigers. As soon as we got there, the lion stood up and started to roar. We didn’t think much about it until we got to the tigers, and one of them was completely fascinated by me. Every time my mom moved my wheelchair, the tiger followed us. The man from the zoo said he had never seen them so interested in someone. When we finally went to walk away, The tiger followed us as far as he could go. It made the man nervous and he said he was going to tell their caretakers. I think they saw me as easy prey and were sizing me up as a snack!!
I just went to see the movie HOP, with my mom and dad this morning. It was a lot of fun!

Hope your muscle pull is feeling better and you are able to start running again soon!! I’ll update again after I meet with Make A Wish! Have a good weekend.

A Little Setback

Hey Brendan,

Good luck!  I know it’s a big day for you today.  You have your science fair as well as your blood work to see if you can start chemo again.  I’m sure both will go well.  I can’t wait to hear how everyone loved your project.   I’ll have to remember to tell Isabella about it.  I’m sure she will agree with your results.

Well, I’ve gone 14 months injury free but my luck ran out today.  I have an adductor (groin) strain.  That’s a new injury for me.  Most of my running issues are from the calf down.   It’s not too serious (I think) and shouldn’t keep me from the marathon but my training might be on hold for a bit.  I have a doctor’s appointment tomorrow morning.  Not that he will be able to do anything but after examining the injury, he will tell me what I can and cannot do over next few days (or weeks).

I’m calling your mom after 4pm to get your results, so maybe I’ll be able to talk to you then.  Take care.


RM: 1.5
WM: 24.5
TM: 350.0

A Little Foggy






Hi Brendan,

I heard the news from your mom that you are on hold for chemo yet another week. I feel bad that you were not able to start. I know it is frustrating for you. She told me your numbers are looking a lot better and with some luck you should be able to resume your chemo next week.

Your mom also said your CD4 levels were much better than they have been so this means you are good for the DFMC party on Saturday! It should be fun and I’m looking forward to seeing you there. We have a big task ahead of us creating the marathon poster. Just to warn you, I am one of those people who think an 8 Count Crayola box already has too many crayons in it. I know how inventive you are with Legos, so I definitely think you will be the creative lead for our poster design.

I’ve had some trouble getting good quality training runs in lately. I only have 23 miles in this week. So I made sure I got out there this morning….for a spooky run.

Thanks to daylight saving time, the sun doesn’t rise until almost 7am again. When I stepped out of my house, I noticed the dense fog. It seemed thicker due to the darkness from no street lights. I don’t think I could see more than 20 yards in front of me.   Continuing along my way, I could barely see the houses and the sounds of nature seemed to echo of them. Just when I started to realize just how little I could see, I startled some nocturnal creature who then returned the gesture and scared the “you know what” out of me! That surely helped get the blood going.

Once I got on the main road it reminded me of some of the earlier snow covered runs. I had to make sure each of the cars saw me in the fog. I could hear my dad’s voice in my head telling me to get a light to wear while running. I should have listened to him because it would have come in handy this morning. I’ll have to add that to my shopping list.

Toward the end of my run the fog started to lift and the dawn sky started to brighten. Returning to my neighborhood once again, I thought how different it looked. It pretty amazing how quickly things can change for the better.

Hang in there.


RM: 8.25
WM: 23.25
TM:  318.25

A long week

Hi Patrick,

I’m glad you were able to go to clinic with me last Thursday. Too bad it ended up being so quick with no Chemo.

I’m so glad that my biopsy seems to be negative, but I still need to get the final results hopefully Monday, and then we still need to have the Lumbar Puncture so they can check for CNS involvement. It was a really scary 24 hours!!

I hope you aren’t too sore after your run today. I can’t believe the marathon is a little over a month away. The family who my mom used to babysit for will also be at the Pasta Party, since there dad run’s for Dana-Farber every year.

Hope you have a good week. I’ll let you know what happens this week in clinic. Keep your fingers crossed that I can finally get my chemo!!!

Talk soon