Friday, December 20, 2013

December 20, 2013

Today was eventful….Mommy and Bennett woke up early and got ready, Daddy loaded the car with Build-a-Bears, and we took 50 up to the infusion room today :) Best thing in the world seeing those kiddos smile when they get a bear! ;) Bennett did wonderful getting accessed, and we had  a great time bowling with our friend Gavin! We even got to see Pearl Elizabeth on our way out! Only hiccup today was getting "deaccessed"…he wouldn't stop bleeding…and bled for almost 20 minutes… but once he stopped, we were able to go home. -Mommy

Sunday, December 15, 2013

December 13, 2013

We had our short chemo today at TCH West Campus. Bennett wanted to make sure that all the kiddos out there got bears as well, so we brought 50 over! He did great today, no tears! And, our ANC's are at 1500, which is GREAT! ;) All in all a great chemo day. Uncle Tanner & Aunt Laura came to visit also! ;) Wonderful day!

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Chilis Delivery

Tonight donated a dinner for us so that we wouldn't have to cook the night before his chemo. :) SUPER NICE! So wanted to give a big shout out to Chili's and say Thank you! Especially to Ms. Reyna and her son Liam who delivered it to us! You guys rock!

Bennett's Bears Delivery

We had an AMAZING delivery this year. Bennett's Bears has really taken off..and Mommy is a bit overwhelmed with it all…but in a good way. ;) We have collected over 800 bears this year….been on Channel 11 News as well as 104.1 KRBE radio sand featured in the Sunday edition of the Houston Chronicle; and had our story picked up by multiple affiliates in Austin, Dallas & San Antonio. Its growing so fast! I have applied this month to make it a non profit, got the EIN assigned…and it all should be done in the next 2 months! So excited for this new chapter of giving in our lives. After all that God has given us, its the least we can do. ;) So….wanted to share the pictures of our delivery at TCH this year. ;) Enjoy! For more info- 
Bennett's Bears Initial Interview
Delivering the Bears

Friday, December 6, 2013

December 6, 2013

We had a wonderful past week…mainly being Thanksgiving. Our wonderful friends Nece & Ray decided to bring us Thanksgiving since Bennett's ANC Counts were too low to be around others. Seriously one of the most awesome things I've seen in a while…we are so very thankful to have them in our lives. Great Friends. :) Bennett was picky on what he ate, but we got a little turkey & dressing down him ;)

We got up super early this morning to make it to chemo…arriving at TCH Main Campus by 7:30am. Daddy had to work, so Mommy & Bennett flew solo, got checked in, vitals taken, and then got accessed. As usual…no tears. Awesome boy. ;) ANC's 1250; Weight 14.7 kg; so happy we kept him at home trying to stay quarantined…if not, his low ANC's would have kept us from getting chemo this week. Our good friends Tracy McMickle & Michael Lasaine joined Mommy today to help out…and that was so wonderful! Bennett enjoyed playing trains and reading books with Tracy, and playing peek-a-boo with Michael. All in All, a great day. His appetite went away after the chemo began…probably won't pick back up til Monday or Tuesday…but so far, no vomiting…which is good. The next 2 nights he will crash in the "big bed" with Mommy…incase of vomiting. So Daddy is getting the boot. ;) With love of course. Until next week….  - Mommy Nester

Thursday, November 28, 2013

November 27, 2013

We had our 3 month MRI today. As always, Bennett was great. Mommy was home sick with a stomach virus, so Grandma and Daddy took him. :) He fell right asleep and didn't cry at all. The doctors called around 4pm to tell us that the tumor is the exact same as his last MRI. No changes. We were hoping that it may have shrunk, but we will take no growth any day. Mommy is finally feeling better, so she is able to see Bennett again. :) His ANC's are still low, so we had to have Thanksgiving Dinner at home alone, but The Smith Family were awesome…they brought Thanksgiving Dinner to us. Meant the world to us! It is eye opening seeing how generous and giving our friends can be during these difficult times.

On another note, one of Bennett's little friends from TCH, little Liam, passed away this week. He had a malignant Brain tumor and was Bennett's age. I held onto my baby boy so tight when I heard that. Praying hard that his mommy and family find a peace. For those of you who would like to donate to little Liam's family…go to: …picture of Liam below.

Monday, November 18, 2013

November 15, 2013

Chemo 17 today…easy as pie. We arrived at 8:30am and were out of there at 10am. Quickest appointment that we have ever had! Bloodwork and chemo were both a breeze. His ANC's dropped down to 960, so we will try to stay in the next couple of days to get it back up. We also had nurse Dana today, which he just loved! We have his MRI scheduled on the 27th to see how the chemo is working, keeping our fingers crossed!!! -Mommy

Friday, November 8, 2013

November 8, 2013

Chemo 16 today…I can't believe that he has been getting chemo for almost 6 months now…knowing him and seeing him, you wouldn't even know he is sick. Still has hair, energy and full of smiles, which I am grateful for each morning. Bennett's Great Grandpa Dick came down from our ranch in Centerville today to come to chemo with us, which Bennett loved! We arrived at 8:15, met him in the lobby and then walked on up to infusion. It was a slow Friday for them, so we were in and out in 2 hours!  His ANC count has dropped down to 1002, so for the next week we will have to try to stay away from crowds and sick people so that he doesn't get ill. We had no tears, lots of smiles, and Papa was very impressed with how well he handled it all. :) After we were done we ran down to the toy shop and Papa let him pick out a toy…straight way to a little boys heart ;) 

Earlier this week we went by the galleria to take a picture at the Build-a-Bear store to promote Bennett's Bears Donation Drive and Santa was there! So…of COURSE we got a picture! ;) Until next week- Mommy Nester

November 4, 2013

Today was a long day, we had to head down to main campus for his eye appt and EEG. But he handled both like a superhero! Vision came out perfect! Even most adults wouldn't be able to sit still for an EEG, but he did. :) I am SUPER proud to be his mommy. Results from EEG on November 14th, will keep everyone posted!

November 1, 2013

Well, its been almost a month since we posted last, in that time we have a lot going on. Bennett had blood work each Friday and we got to dress up as "Doctor Nester" for Halloween and get yummy goodies from our neighbors. We have had to stay in most of October due to his ANC counts dropping so low. Today was the first chemo that they let us have chemo out at the West Campus TCH, which was a super nice change. That facility is small, uncrowded and intimate, allowing him to get a lot of attention from his nurse. :) Gammy usually escorts us to chemo, but she wasn't feeling well today, so Grandpa came instead. We arrived at 8:30, checked in, got vitals, and by 10am they had started chemo. His ANC numbers had bumped up to 1490, which was a big relief, because if they drop below 1000, they won't allow us to do chemo and bump us back a week. He mostly played in bed all day and was very good despite having to stay in one place hooked up to a machine all day. we also had a visitor today, Cameron, one of Mommy & Daddy's friends stopped by to visit and bring Bennett some toys. Super nice of him! We did have one hiccup today. Bennett started experiencing what the doctors have labeled as "partial complex seizures." They are full body tremors lasting about 3-4 seconds. Today he had around 20 of them. Since he started having these, right after chemo we were taken down to radiology and had a CT Scan to make sure that nothing was seriously wrong or blocked, which thank goodness they weren't. 

Our oncologist stated that if he was still having the seizures the next morning to take him to the hospital, so we did. We spent 12 hours in the ER, visited with countless doctors and neurosurgeons, and finally were given the answer that he has a form of situational epilepsy that is being triggered by his tumor. They really couldn't explain it, only treat it. So they prescribed him a seizure medication. Thankfully it worked, his seizures stopped. So for the next few years, he will continue to take the meds. We are hoping this won't be a life long diagnosis, but only time will tell. We have to venture to the hospital again on Tuesday for an EEG and ophthalmology appt. Until then… -Mommy Nester

Saturday, October 26, 2013

Bennett's Bears 2013

When Bennett was diagnosed with brain cancer, we spent the days leading up to Christmas in the Children's ICU unit and were literally blown away by the number of donations and gifts that were given to Bennett while he was recovering from his surgery. One gift that Bennett got was a Build-a-Bear, which he loved. I decided then and there that if we ever got out of the hospital and made it to the next holiday season, that we would give back to the families and children that had to be in the hospital at Christmas just like we did. At that moment, Bennett's Bears was born. In 2012 we collected and donated over 250 Build-a-Bears to the children at Texas Children's Hospital, and this year we hope to top that. If anyone would like to donate to this wonderful cause simply go online to and design and bear by December 1, 2013.

Stipulations: Must be a Build-a-Bear; and we only accept Bears or Build-a-Bear Gift Cards (which can be found at most Walgreens or CVS locations

Donation Address: 4506 Green Forest Pass; Houston, Texas 77084

Thank you to everyone who donates this year! Love, Brande, Brande & Bennett

Friday, October 11, 2013

Bennett's 3 Year Old Pics

We had a nice friend Mr. Rigsby from swing by Bennett's Favorite playground and capture a couple of shots before his hair starts to fall out...Thought we should share. :) Thank you so much for getting these memories for us! ;) -Mommy & Daddy

October 4, 2013

We woke up bright and early today to tackle chemo 14. We arrived at TCH West Campus, check in, took vitals and then proceeded to play with the trains table...our FAVORITE thing to do over there. :) We had nurse Ashely help us do chemo today and of course Bennett handled it like a champ! ANC this week looks to be a little low 490, something to swatch, so they recommend that we keep him away from other kids right now...

Update...10/11/2013 went in this morning for our blood counts...ANC is lower still, down to 360. Waiting on the doctor to make a call. Mainly this means that his bloodcounts are so low, that if he becomes infected, his body would not be able to fight off the infection, which we don't want. Will try to keep everyone updated. -Mommy Nester

Friday, September 27, 2013

September 27, 2013

Well, had chemo 13 today over at TCH West Campus. We arrived around 8:30am and were taken right back for vitals and access. We EVEN had a visitor join us today. Mrs. Nadine Bourtos came by to be there with us today for treatment and brought little man donut holes (super big win for her) and a new car game! Thank you so much for coming lady! :) its nice to have someone to talk to while we wait...
He was accessed at 9, no tears of course and even helped the nurse fill up his blood vials for counts. Super big helper today. We got chemo (Vincristine) at about 9:45 and were out of there by 10am. Easy visit and completed with wonderful company. Now Mommy and Bennett are back home for a day of playing and relaxation. Little man is taking this all like a champ.