Wednesday, May 2, 2007

2007 May 2 O'Neill Update

Hello to all. Thank you so much for your comments and postings. Brian and I read through them tonight. It was great for him to hear from so many of you. He thought this whole concept was really cool and now he can come down and check whenever he wants as he knows where the computer is and what the website is.

It was great to see the kids again and some neighbours. It was very strange to leave and realize that I am not going back. It makes me very sad to leave as we loved it there and it is not the terms on which we intended to leave. It is actually heart-breaking. We will miss it dearly and I know it devastates Brian to leave this portion of his career like this. He truly was loving what he was doing. The boys are excited about moving. Gavin is finishing school this week. Grant finished today. Everyone hugged him and he said, "mom, some girl even KISSED me." Mom said it was very cute. I think Mom will be ready to go home, too. Dad arrives today to help mom for a couple of days and then help get the kids to Missouri on Saturday. I think the "honeymoon is over" with mom and the boys and they are starting to show some of their true colors with some sassy mouth and some naughty behaviour. They will be at mom's for about a week. We will leave here probably Wed or Thursday next week and get Brian settled back in Peoria for a couple of days before we bring in the cavalry.

I arrived back in California yesterday morning. Doctor Edwards came by and said he is pleased with the plan drawn up for the cyberknife treatments. However, there has been a delay in getting the ATO (Arsenic Tri Oxide) and the cyberknife will probably not be until Friday, Monday and Tuesday. SO, we are delayed right now. We don't know if it will happen those days or not, but we should know tomorrow, Thursday.

Brian's rehab is going great. He has already surpassed his PT goals - he is walking about 150 feet with a cane and supervision. He ascended and descended a flight of stairs today with supervision. In PT and Occupational Therapy (OT), they did a lot of family training. They showed me where to stand and how to stand and what to help Brian with to maintain stability. They showed us how to get his chair on and off curbs. We looked at pics of the house and went through where problem areas were going to be and how to handle certain issues. I feel better about home now, but still have concerns about how to handle everything when real life with kids hits. Brian's hand is getting stronger. He is opening his fingers better and able to clumsily grab some smaller objects and turn them over and back. His arm and hand have a long way to go, though. His stability is getting really good and speech continues to come along well. He carries on conversations, but has to talk slowly and really think about certain words or say them lots of times to get them out properly. His speech therapy is migrating to more concentration, attention span, problem solving skills - crossword puzzles, word games, deciphering codes, etc. It is fun to watch and participate and learn in all of this. he plan is still to discharge Brian on Tuesday, May 8. Brian will continue with out-patient rehab when we arrive in Illinois.

Jan is out of the hospital again. On Friday, she had an angiogram that was normal, so, they got her heart rate down lower, still in A-Fib, and released her on Saturday. On Sunday morning at 2:00, several hours after she was discharged, she was bleeding from where her angiogram had been and wouldn't stop. She went back to the ER and was immediately admitted. They could not get an IV started, she was losing blood fast, it was leaking back into the groin/leg area where the angiogram was performed, and her blood pressure started to drop. They called in the rapid response team and they finally got her stabilized and in the midst of all that, she went back in normal Sinus Rhythm. So, we are teasing her that when her heart misbehaves, she just needs a near death experience to get back into sinus rhythm. Turns out the problem was that her blood was too thin from the blood thinners and they had to spend the last couple days getting it to a healthy level. She was discharged yesterday and is doing a good job taking it easy and being smart about everything.

Anyway, I am trying to take care of myself, too. Last night, I finally slept for about 10 hours. I haven't slept more than about 6 hours (and many nights as little as 3 or 4 hours) since Brian was admitted. I stayed in Brian's room and was even able to sleep in the hospital. I was exhausted and needed rest like I didn't even realize. It got up and went for a run this morning in the light misty rain of Palo Alto on the Stanford campus. It was pretty nice.

Brian is starting to go a bit stir crazy. He wants out - it is like being trapped. He is sick of the food and we are both sick of the cafeteria as an alternative. We get outside for a bit every day, but it is still just sitting around. I called him out on his crabbiness today and said, "Brian, even when we are home, we have to come up with things to occupy and keep you busy that can be done sitting around." We determined that is his biggest issue right now. He is tired of sitting and would like to walk more, but only walks about 20 minutes a day in PT. He is going to talk to his physical therapist tomorrow to see if we can get clearance to walk around the halls a bit more for Brian to gain some more strength.

That's it for now. Probably won't write again soon unless Brian's cyberknife changes.


Brian, Angie, Gavin and Grant O'Neill


  1. Brian and Angie,

    It was good to hear things are going so well for you. Keep up the progress. Our prayers and thoughts are still coming your way.

    Tell Ed and Jan we are thinking of them also and hope Jan stays on the road to recovery.

    All our love and prayers,

    Aunt Anne and Uncle Dan

    God Bless You

  2. Brian, Angie,

    Keep on fighting!! It is great to see that things are going in the right direction! I am thinking of you guys every day. Good luck with all the next steps and stay strong!

    All the best for now! Best wishes also for Jan's recovery, and lot's strength to Ed and the rest of both families!!


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  4. Brian & Angie,

    Thanks again for the info. It's great to hear things are coming together for all of you and hope the move to Peoria goes smooth for everyone. It's great to hear that Brian's Mom is doing better and may have a day or two of rest before the trip back to Peoria. Jessica & Nicole would like you to give Brian a great big hug from them!! They giggled and said they would give the boys their hugs when they see them. It's great to hear you were able to get a "little" sleep. Please try to take care of yourself.

    Prayers & Love are with all,

    Mike, Kathy Jessica & Nicole

  5. It is good to hear that things are going well. Please remember when you guys come home, that I am just down the road and a phone call away!

  6. Brian & Angie, Jason Raw (Cat Training Class 951) at work just sent us this blog site. Please know that you and your family are in our prayers and Brian is always through my mind as someone I know that is strong and able to find miracles where there seems to be none! The Lee Family ~ Chris Lee

  7. Angie and Brian,

    Thank you for the update. Angie I am happy that you made it back safe to California,
    Reading about all that is happening, overcoming so much,seeing you both take steps in faith, that inspires so many of us.
    Realizing that keeping our eyes on God and the word, signs,wonders and miracles do come our ways.
    Each step taken, each word uttered by Brian, makes for stronger tissue in the body everywhere, bringing restoration,seeing that salvation spiritual power hard at work within.
    Brian and Angie, we continue to cheer you on, storm the Heavens with prayers, and seeing many blessings coming upon you as a result.

    Keep Believing, we are right here with you. God bless Love you Marjo

  8. Brian and Angie,

    So glad to hear that each day you are getting stronger Brian. You have come such a long way in less than two weeks. By the time you are back in Peoria, you will be playing baseball with the boys, we are sure of it. You are both such troopers and amaze us each day. We miss you both so much and can't wait to see you all soon. We will be in Peoria the 2nd week of June so be ready for the girls to beat the boys in a mean round of euchre. We will also be ready to help you with whatever you need to get life settled back in Peoria.

    Once things have calmed down a bit, we want you to come down to Raleigh so we can take you to the ocean and just relax. We know you have some other friends that live here as well, so you can just jump from house to house and get pampered. Lots of sun, great BBQ and hush puppies await your arrival.

    Prayers, thoughts and love for you all.

    Andrea, Brian, Zach and Carson

  9. Brian... I am glad to hear that things are progressing with your strength. I am sure that you can get a few people to come over and play some Euchre. It was alot easier for me to grab a card while eating in the cafeteria of Hallmark. I am flying back to KC this weekend to hang with my family. We will continue to think about you and pray for you to continue to heal, progress, and get stronger. Take Care! AEKDB HUDSON

  10. Brian and Angie,

    I am so glad to hear that you are doing so good, all of our prayers were answered, right? And they will continue to be.

    Just keep on fighting and believing.

    Just remember, WE NEVER WALK ALONE.

    Love, Sue, Alicia and Collin

  11. Dear ex neighbours!
    We will miss you, already do! The weather is so nasty at the moment, it looks a lot like Holland: rain and cold! The street is quite, no O'Neill boys on their bikes! We hope you are all going to settle in smoothly in the States. We pray for you a lot.
    To keep Brian "busy" I can suggest books on tape! They are available from the library.
    Sorry for my mistakes in english, you should hear me on mondays after a weekend of speaking only dutch!
    All the best and God Bless, Monika & Family.

  12. Brian & Angie,

    We are going to miss you up here in the great white north. (I got to wonder if it is going to snow tonight). We do look forward to seeing you guys when we visit Peoria and when we move back.

    You know if you get homesick for Alberta, you always will have a place to stay as long as we are here. Sam would love a sleep-over with the boys.

    Way to go Brian on your progress and I was happy to read that Angie got in some exercise. It is important for both of you to keep strong emotionally, spiritally and physically.

    Good luck with the cyberknife. I hope it kicks some _________!!!

    Stay strong!

    Lisa and The Gang

  13. Dear Brian & Angie,

    You are amazing! Keep up the good fight!

    Debra Winter

  14. Hello guys!
    Here I was trying not to bore you by writing too much or too many times thinking you didn't have time to read all these comments and then I find out that you look forward to it.
    Just want to thank you for keeping us posted so well on what is going on with you guys. You are on our minds often and it is good to keep up without bothering you with phone calls etc.

    You guys are a wonderful example of love and faith. You are two of the strongest people I know so I know you will make it through this in the end. We're praying for you and thinking of you often.

    Bless you guys,
    Ken and CIndy

  15. Hey guys! glad to hear that things are improving everyday. Angie - I am very impressed with your medical knowledge. You sound like a medical student. As always you are in my thoughts and prayers. Congrats on 10 years - wow we are getting old! Wait you turned 35 first!
    miss you guys,

  16. Angie and Brian

    I continue to pray for you everyday.

    I can relate to the feelings of wanting to do something besides sit in a hospital bed all day. As for hospital food, think about all the great food you can have when you leave next week :).

    I am so happy to hear Brian continues to make strides each day. Keep your spirits up. A positive attitude makes all the difference.

    Everyone here in MO looks forward to seeing you both soon.


  17. Dear Brian and Angie,
    I love reading your frequent updates and am happy to hear that you are doing so well Brian. I know that you will keep up the hard work and continue to improve. Please let Jan know that she too is in my thoughts and prayers and say hello to Ed. You are all awesome!!
    Love and prayers

  18. Hey Brian
    checking in with you

  19. Brian...or as I often call you....O'NEILL... I got that from the original Stargate movie....the Lady who had found the gate called the young Daniel O'Neill by his last name and I liked the way it I like you.

    As you can imagine there is no shortage of work at Finning, we are into Round 11 with Anglo-Peace River Coal and are quoting a number of machines to Adnanac Moly which is in Northern B.C. Myself, I have been in Fort Mac the most of the last 3 weeks....there is no end to the help that they need. Golf courses are open so work will have to slow down. NOT......

    We are having the Nillson's, Von Schuckman's, Colquhoun's and Brent Davis over tonite for Mexican snacks and drinks....we will drink a toast to you me friend and imagine that you are with us.

    I can't begin to tell you how I trying to understand what you are going through and have in the past makes me believe that you have enormous strength, will and character that is second to none. What you have been able to accomplish and how you do it tells me that you will overcome this test that God has given you. Brian, understand, God tests only the really good ones.

    You have incredible family support... you most definitely have....the web notes are great to be able to follow your progress.

    O' take care.

    All the best....your friend Randy

    Randy McDonald, Spruce Grove, AB
    1-780-930-4831 work
    1-780-717-4831 cell
    1-780-962-2135 home

  20. Brian and Angie,

    We are thinking and praying for you all so much that it's just become part of our day. I can't wait to hear about how the cyberknife is going. We also pray Jan is getting better too.

    The Creator of all creation has a plan and we will keep believing. We will not flinch or waver, we will continue to pray that his strength, peace, comfort and healing power are with you. We love you all so much.


    Corey and Janell

  21. Brian, Angie, Gavin and Grant

    We wanted to let you know that we are thinking about all of you and keeping positive thoughts for Brian's upcoming treatment. We are already missing the four you. We keep waiting for the garage door to open and those smiling faces to come out and play. It sure isn't the same without you guys here. God Bless,

    Joe, Beth, Sara and Adam

  22. Brian, Angie, Grant, & Gavin:

    It has been so long since we've spoken to you. We loved getting your Christmas card and seeing the similarities between your boys and our girls.

    Jason Hudson sent us your blog, we are so sorry to hear this news. You are a fighter, keep up the fight!!! You are in our thoughts and prayers. God Bless You.

    All our love and prayers,

    Mike & Valerie Marino and girls

  23. Hey Angie and Brian,
    Whatever your reasons for blogging work for me. This way I can hear how fun it is for you to clean up puke etc.... What a thrill! Actually it will be nice to keep updated on you guys. I don't talk to your mom and dad enough these days to hear all the news and updates.

    Meanwhile...Have a great Thanksgiving! Life has changed from all those dinners at "Grandma's house". Now I'm the one that has to do all the cooking. At least the PACKERS are playing football this Thanksgiving. If I have to watch a game it may as well be for a team I support. (See what happens when you marry into a family from Green Bay?)

    Keep the Faith!