Friday, October 7, 2011

Celebrate Brenda's Life

Throughout the planning process for Brenda's service, we keep asking ourselves "What would Brenda want?" The two of us never openly discussed her memorial service because if it was up to Brenda, there would be no service - she didn't like being in the spotlight!

With that in mind, we have planned her service for next Friday afternoon, so that it would be easier for people travelling or taking off from work - we will call it a compromise, on her behalf. The service is to be held on Friday, October 14th, at 1:00pm at Crossroads Church, located on the southwest corner of Hi-Way #2 and 32nd Street.

Additional details can be found on the following link to her page on Parkland Funeral Home's website:

In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the 2012 Ride to Conquer Cancer, which I will be participating in again at:

Or at Amanda Lindhout's foundation, which she also felt very strongly about, at:

Brenda Marie Odovichuc
April 4, 1977 – October 5,2011

Brenda Marie Odovichuc of Red Deer, passed away peacefully on October 5, 2011, at the age of 34 years with her loving husband Carman at her side. After a courageous 3 year battle with breast cancer, she is now dancing in Heaven with her Saviour. She will be welcomed by her Granny Bendfeld, her friend Travis, her dog Rudy, and other grandparents, aunts and uncles, and friends. Brenda was born on April 4, 1977, the third of four girls, to George and Joyce Odovichuc, in Camrose, where she grew up playing with friends on her street, competing in volleyball throughout her school years, socializing with friends, and making the most out of life. Brenda met her soulmate, Carman, at the age of 16 and almost eight years later they eloped (in true Brenda form) and celebrated 11 years of marriage. She enjoyed travelling, camping, walking her dogs, singing, dancing, playing games, and hanging out with friends. She liked helping others, which led her to become a certified financial planner, organizing Operation Christmas Child, selling Caring Hands jewelry from Uganda, and campaigning for Tykerb coverage in Alberta. Brenda became friends with everyone she met. She had a twinkle in her eye and a tinkle in her laugh that sucked you in and held you tight. If there was a cause or a need, she was there to fight for it or help out. She has touched and inspired so many people during her life and especially the past few years with her journey. She will be lovingly missed by her husband, Carman Wilson of Red Deer, her parents, George and Joyce Odovichuc of Camrose, sisters Kari Mykitiuk, Jodi (Jason) Hilmoe, Tara Odovichuc; nieces and nephews, and numerous other extended family members. “Though he brings grief, he will show compassion, so great is His unfailing love” Lamentations 3:32. A Celebration of Brenda’s Life will take place on Friday, October 14, 2011 at 1:00 p.m. at CrossRoads Church – 38105 Range Road 275, Red Deer County, Alberta (S.W. corner of Hwy. #2 and 32nd Street) with Pastor Dan Cochrane officiating. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the 2012 Ride to Conquer Cancer “Brenda’s Bravehearts” or to Amanda Lindhout’s organization, the Global Enrichment Foundation – Condolences may be sent or viewed at Arrangements in care of Dustin Goddu, Funeral Director at Parkland Funeral Home and Crematorium, 6287 – 67 A Street (Taylor Drive), Red Deer. 403.340.4040

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

My Dear Brenda

Today, October the 5th at 11:45 am, I had to say goodbye to the woman I fell in love with over 18 years ago. I was naive to think that after walking by her side as she battled this disease the past three years, the outcome would be easier to accept. How wrong I was - I am so deeply overcome by sadness and grief, it is indescribable, and I miss her so much already!

It is so very hard to watch someone you care for so much, suffer such a painful experience. Her little body was so full of cancer and so weak from fighting - she struggled for every last breath the last few days and for those around her, we felt so helpless. Her sister Tara comforted her with some Beatles music in her final moments and for some reason she found the most comfort and her breathing relaxed with the song "Hey Jude". I was able to kiss her and hold her and tell her I love her, as she left us very quietly and peacefully. I take comfort knowing she is now free from pain and suffering and that God is now holding her in His arms and kissing her softly.

Brenda Marie Odovichuc was an amazing person and I am so lucky to have shared a part of her life. She became friends with everyone she met. She had a twinkle in her eye and a tinkle in her laugh that sucked you in and held you tight. If there was a cause or a need, she was there to fight for it or help out. She has touched so many people during her life and especially the past few years with her journey. She leaves a huge hole in my heart, as well as many others.

Goodbye, my love...


P.S. Once arrangements have been made to celebrate Brenda's life, I will post them here on her blog.

Friday, September 23, 2011

Brenda's Condition

Brenda's last blog in August mentioned that she was still waiting for word on the phase 1 trial that she was to go on. We finally got a call a few weeks ago to come and meet with the trial doctor and have preliminary tests and scans completed to provide baseline information and to confirm that Brenda was capable of proceeding with the trial. Unfortunately, the test results confirmed that the cancer in her brain had grown and new spots had materialized and all other areas in her body were also out of control (liver, lungs, bones, etc.)

The last few weeks have been very difficult, to say the least. The trial drug was to be our last option for treatment and last hope for Brenda's future. We have since had to accept that God has a different plan for Brenda and that her future is with Him and not here with us.

Her condition has worsened considerably over the last couple of weeks and especially the last few days. She is still at home, but is now on oxygen, because of the cancer in her lungs and the large amount of fluid that has built up around her lungs and heart. She is not in pain, which we are very thankful for, and the discomfort that she experiences, we are able to control by medication.

Our plan is to keep her at home and so we have spent the past couple of days getting home care equipment installed and home care support setup. She is most comfortable here, in her own bed, with her family and especially her special nurse, Charlee (our dog).

We are so thankful for the friends and family we have - the endless prayers and support have made this journey so much easier and we are at peace with what is to come - she has fought a very courageous battle the past three years and has impacted a lot of people in many different ways. I am so very proud of her and honoured to have spent the last 18 years with her, as her friend and husband.


Sunday, August 28, 2011

Trial - making headway

On thursday I got the results from my blood test (to make sure my levels are fit for the trial). My hemoglobin was extremly low so I was asked to go th the Red Deer ER for a blood transfusion. We got there at 3pm and did not get home until 5am. This week the tests continue up in Edmonton. I am worrieed something else will come up _ it is making me anxious.

I will let you know how the rest os the tests go.

Monday, July 4, 2011


I am waiting to get into a trial study. I have tried just about everything on the product shelf that I can so the next option is to be a step above a lab rat - and I am happy to do so. Carman and I continue to pray that God would provide the treatment that I need.

In the meantime all we can do is patiently wait. Which is not easy to do. I have anxiety about the whole thing, but I have read a lot of great stories of people who have had amazing success with trial drugs, so we still have to hope.

Love is in the Air

I have another sister and her name is Janet. Josh picked a very beautiful bride and I loved going to Kelowna for their wedding. We stayed at our friend Fred's mom and dad's house (which is my dream house) and they spoiled me with great food, constant tea, and a backyard to relax in. I read Nicki Sixx's book the Heroin Diaries which was well written and very revealing - I recommend it if you were ever a Motley Crue fan.


A couple of weekends ago we were out camping and my leg was really starting to bother me. To the point that on Monday morning I could not weight bear at all on my left side. I maneuvered myself into the bathtub which probably wasn't smart. I have a totally new appreciation for what some people have to struggle with just to maintain personal hygiene.

Turns out a large bone tumor right above me knee (in my femur) finally had enough and wanted to make itself known. My left hip has also been bothering me for awhile, but some tumors in there also wanted to join the pain party. I was very concerned that I would be missing my baby brother Josh's wedding on Thursday (to clarify Josh is Carman's baby brother). But the oncologist said they no longer do 5 treatments for bone pain, but just one. That made me so happy that I wouldn't have to miss out on the wedding.

The day after radiation I already had relief and was walking without a limp.