#HandstandUp2Cancer

Brax finished her last treatment for the 1st half of DI this Tuesday. She’s back on steroids this week and those throw her off a bit, but otherwise doing well. Her counts are starting to trend down which is expected and anticipated during this phase, so we have be careful around crowds and making sure we are washing hands and being extra cautious for the next few weeks. It’s a bummer to get knocked back down after feeling really good for so many weeks, but it’s all part of the end goal and we are in the home stretch. Thanks to everyone for the constant and continued love, prayers and support.

Brax getting her last treatment of Doxo on Tuesday (aka The Red Devil)
DONE!!

Also, TeamBrax is challenging everyone to a handstand, starting now until next Friday, 8/23. $1 will be donated for each social media LIKE up to $500. The top handstand will receive a $100 Fandango GC and UNRL Original Tee. There will also be Tee’s for 2nd & 3rd. The remaining $ will be donated to Brax’s new TB1Fund. More details on that to follow as we finalize it. We will be reaching out to anyone and everyone to help raise $$ to be used to support Brax’s causes at Masonic.

Here’s mine below.  Reply with yours on Twitter or DM Instagram!  Good luck!  #handstandchallenge #HandstandUp2Cancer 

UNRL Week

After coming off a pretty down week, Brax bounced back nicely and had a great 2nd week of DI.

She is feeling much better and is much happier over all.

She had her 2nd treatment on Tuesday, but due to her blood pressure and pulse being elevated, Melissa ordered an EKG to be safe before starting the Doxo. Some of the side effects of the drugs can be damage to the heart and they are overly cautious when it comes to this. Her previous scans of the heart have all come back good, so we had no real concerns, but Melissa had a cardiologist review the EKG before administering the Doxo. The cardiologist had no major concerns and based on the other drugs she’s taking, they said the rise in pulse and blood pressure is most likely due to her anti-nausea meds – Zofran.

Other than that small bump this week, everything else went really well. We have one more treatment this coming Tuesday, along with another round of steroids and then she will be be half way thru this last phase (the last week of this month is a recovery week).

On Friday, we had the chance to meet Michael Jordan and his team at UNRL. They are a local clothing company and are very involved with the local athletes and charities (Jason Zucker, Adam Thielen, JT Brown, and more). We went an toured their St. Paul HQ and sat down with them to discuss some ideas Brax has. Brax is working with the U of M to start her own fund to help raise money for the Masonic Children’s Hospital and she wants to partner with UNRL to help do t-shirts for donors….more on this to come once it launches as we will be reaching out to everyone to help support Brax’s Fund and her projects. It’s going to be exciting!

Brax sporting her new gear. Thanks UNRL!
Brax & Michael (Owner/CEO) outside of UNRL HQ. Thanks for everything on Friday.
Brax & Mackenzie. Thanks so much
The fam.

The whole team was fabulous and sent everyone home with a bunch of gear. Thanks again to Michael, Kelsey, Mackenzie and Crew. Check them out online – great company and great gear!

https://www.unrl.co

2nd Treatment & Special Guests

Brax went from feeling AWESOME last week to feeling pretty punk this week after starting Delayed Intensification. She’s doing much better than she was during Induction which is great, but it’s been hard for her to get knocked down like this again. In her true spirit she’s taking it one day at a time and as her friend Casey has told her the goal is to “WIN each day” and she’s doing just that.

She had her 2nd treatment Friday in the Clinic and it went well and she’s feeling pretty good as of today. She is now off until Tuesday and looking forward to a few days of nothing.

Also, the Gopher Women’s Gymnastics Coach reached out a bit ago to see if Brax would be OK with a couple of the girls stopping to see her during one of her clinic visits. So after treatment on Friday, Abbie and Lexi swung by to say hi and give Brax a little encouragement. Thanks again to Coach Hansen, Abbie and Lexi for making this happen.

Thanks so much to Lexi and Abbie stopping by to say hi! Was great to see you both! Go Gophers!!

DI & RTB

Brax had a very busy, but very good today.

She started Delayed Intensification (DI) today with a lumbar puncture and then up to the clinic for IV chemo – 2 different drugs today.

Before lumbar puncture and IT chemo this AM.
Up in the clinic waiting to start IV chemo – serious about the xBox…yikes!!

After treatments she came home to rest for a bit and then back to the U for the Gopher Football #RowTheBoat picnic. It was a great afternoon and great to see Coach Fleck, Heather, Casey, Goldy, the Team and the Axe!

Casey, Coach Fleck, Heather and the girls.
Casey & Brax.
The AXE!!
Family Axe!
Goldy & the gals!

Brax is pretty wiped out, but doing well. This two month phase is the last really intense part and then things start to scale back. We are getting close and things are going to well. We take every good day as a WIN! Below is Brax’s schedule for Delayed Intensification. There is a lot going on, but nothing she hasn’t done already. The goal is to keep her mentally strong, physically healthy and fly through DI.

#IGotThis

2 Weeks of NORMAL

Sorry for the delay in posts. We had our first really normal two weeks in a long time and were taking advantage of no (zero) appointments and hanging out with friends like summer should be.

Here are the highlights of the last 2 weeks:

Brax got her braces off right after wrapping up the last round of treatment. She decided to do this in case the next round of chemo gives her mouth sores. We are not anticipating that, but since the braces are not critical at this point, we figured why even worry about any potential issues. Her orthodontist will put them back on this winter if needed.

Brax has been able to spend some more time with the horses and is really enjoying this new found interest. It’s been another great distraction for her as well.

And she’s been able to hang out with teammates and even get some work in in the gym. Overall she’s feeling GREAT and doing GREAT!

Fast Track Pool Party – thanks to all the girls and Rehmans for hosting!
A bunch of the TCT girls went to the Twins Game on July 19th to see their own TCT alum Maggie Nichols throw out the first pitch. Congrats Maggie!
The gals at the game!
Enjoying some froyo!
Getting some gym time in. It been a long road, but Brax is continuing to work hard and build strength everyday. She’s a fighter!

We head back on Tuesday to start the next phase of treatment, which is called Delayed Intensification. The pro’s – we can finally see the light at the end of tunnel, she is doing great, and everything moving forward is outpatient (barring no unforeseen issues). The con’s – this is another very hard cycle of chemo. Brax’s counts are going to get knocked down again, but on the plus side, she is going into this round so much stronger than she was in January when diagnosed and handled it pretty well then, so we are hopeful she will tolerate it very well and continue to stay strong throughout.

Thanks again to everyone for all of the continued prayers and support! These next 2+ months of treatment will be her last really intense ones and then she can focus on recovering, getting counts back up and getting back to full time school and practice – goal is by end of the year.

She has some fun stuff planned with the Gopher Football and Gymnastic teams this week and we will be sure to update.

*** Interim Maintenance I – COMPLETE!! ***

Brax had another great week. Her last round of Interim Maintenance I wrapped up Saturday and this phase was VERY good. Brax felt good both in and out of the hospital this phase, which was nice for every one, especially her. She has about two weeks of NOTHING now and then will go back and start Delayed Intesification on July 30th, which is essentially Induction and Consolidation repeated. She will get hit pretty hard again, but she will be going into it this time so much stronger than she was in January. We anticipate it will knock her down, but we are hopeful not as bad. Everyday is one day closer to the end and we are all excited to get through August and September.

Below are some shots from this past week. We have no more scheduled inpatient stays now, so this could be her very last stay at the U. Of course a fever will always land us a 48hr stay, but we are hopeful she has spent her last night here.

Brax checking out on Saturday AM. Our last scheduled inpatient stay of her whole treatment.
Brax & Bry doing artwork in the Endzone.
Brax shooting the daily morning news on Thursday with Shannon from Child Family Life in the Zucker Studio. The space is very cool.
….and what it looks like on TV. This is broadcast throughout the hospital in all the rooms.
Friday was Yoga and they asked Brax to help lead the session
Saturday morning celebrating with one of Brax’s Nursing Assitants, Emma. Brax and Emma really hit it off from Day 1 and became good buddies #EmmaRocks. Also, Emma shared some BIG news with us on Saturday as well…..she was accepted to nursing school at the U and will start this fall. CONGRATS!!
One more box checked and one more real intense one to go.

Thanks again to everyone for all the prayers and support. These past 5-6 months have gone very fast and very good, all considering.

Brax is doing great and has the right mindset and support to continue kicking cancer’s butt.

#WeGotThis

#GolfThatMatters | #3MOpen

Brax felt great again this week and was very busy again.

The big part of this week was the 3M Open PGA event. 3M chose the U of M Masonic Children’s Hospital as one their three big charity partners and asked Brax to shoot a media ad with Kyle & Jason. She had a blast! Check out the photo’s and videos below and on the Fun Stuff page.

Brax inside the 3M Social Hub.
Brax & Bry doing the morning news segment for ZTV that broadcasts to all the rooms at the U of M Masonic Children’s Hospital.
The social media ad 3M shot during the ProAM day of the 3M Open.
Part of the shoot.
Brax, Bry and Kyle all riding in the back seat of the Polaris car.
Brax, Kyle, Bry and Jason enjoying some ice cream after the shoot.
Jason, Brax, Bry and Kyle.
Thanks 3M!
Thanks again Kyle!
Thanks again Jason!
Thanks for sharing UNRL!
Kyle’s good friend and former Irish teammate, Braxston Cave. We need to get a shot of both Brax’s.

Thanks Braxston!

Braxston’s Instagram
Braxston’s Twitter

3rd of 4 Treatments Complete – Interim Maint I

Brax sailed thru the 3rd treatment of this phase, which included both an IT treatment and another 24HR IV treatment. There were no set backs and she was able to get out on Friday, June 28th as anticipated. She has her final treatment of this phase starting July 9th and then we will, unfortunately and fortunately, “reboot” the whole process. Fortunate that we can now see the light at the end of the tunnel, but unfortunate that she is going to get knocked down pretty good again. But, with as well as everything has gone and knowing we are only a few months away from being done with the really intense treatments, all of Team Brax is focused on the finish line.

Thanks to everyone for the continued prayers and support throughout this process. Until you actually have to deal with something like this first hand you will never truly know how much it means in so many different ways. Thanks again!

Brax hanging out in Kyle’s Endzone posing with jersey’s from two of her good friends 🙂
Brax getting a little exercise in the Endzone.
Brax and her new friend Megan! These two just met recently and really hit off. Megan is just wrapping up her treatment and we couldn’t be happier for her! You rock!!
Thanks to coach Kim for a trip to the farm. Brax had a blast riding the horses!

Champions for Children

Brax had an awesome day today. She was asked to come and share her story and hit the opening shot for the U of M Champions for Children Celebrity Golf Classic. This fundraiser is hosted by Kyle Rudolph & Jason Zucker. Both of these guys, besides being great hometown athletes, are great contributors to U of M Children’s Hospital and community.

Check out the news clips and photos below from today’s event. Very fun! Thanks again to the U of M, Kyle, Jason and everyone who came out to support the cause today.

Brax heads back in tomorrow morning for the 3rd of 4 treatments in this phase. She is doing incredible right now and says she’s feeling 90-100%. She should have another good 3-4 weeks before Delayed Intensification starts, so we are taking advantage of everything while she is feeling this good.

Kyle Rudolph – TE, MN Vikings
Kyle’s Twitter
Kyle’s Instagram
Jason Zucker – LW, MN Wild
Jason’s Twitter
Jason’s Instagram
KARE11 News Clip
KSTP News Clip
Jason Zucker (MN Wild), Kyle Rudolph (MN Vikings) and the fam.
Jason, Bry, Brax and Kyle
Brax & Craig Dahl (President, CEO and chairman of TCF Bank)