Reflecting Back

When I first found out that I had cancer this past summer, everything progressed quickly.  Before I knew it I was waking up from surgery in the hospital immobilized, drugged up, and in pain.  I couldn’t even fathom that my wounds would heal and I would be able to walk again.  I also knew that I had a very aggressive cancer and didn’t know whether it would spread again, or how soon.  All I could think about is how I just wanted a chance to get out and ride the motorcycle I always wanted, and go camping and be out in the woods again.  Being the conservative person that I am, I had delayed a lot of things in my life to prepare for Shannon’s and my future.  This morning I was looking back on my blog at all that we have done these past two weeks and feel so fortunate that I have gotten the adventure that I asked for while in the hospital.

The picture below says it all, Mom and Shannon have been through the ringer lately.  Elisa treated them to exactly what they needed, a massage.  Thanks Elisa, they came back completely refreshed.

A Message, the Perfect Medicine

While the girls were getting massages, I had the awesome opportunity of joining Aaron and Kayla as Kayla attended her dance class.  I’m so impressed with Kayla!  In addition to her skills in class and on the stage, she is constantly creating dance shows at home that she choreographs for the family.  She is a great performer!  An added benefit of tonight’s dance class, it was parent/child night.  Aaron hit the floor with Kayla.  Aar, great participation but Kayla has some work to do with you!

For dinner tonight we took the recommendation of another comment, Manny’s Chophouse.  Ironically it is right down the street from Aaron and Elisa’s house.  Once again we joined the Melgarejo’s for an amazing dinner.  While we waited for our meals, Ashlyn and Kayla made a masterpiece out of the paper table cover.  It reminded me of the Buddhist sand art; so much work only to be destroyed.  After, the bottomless salad, and yeast rolls with cinnamon butter, I barely had room for my ribs.  Somehow I managed to force them down.  They were the best ribs I’ve ever had!  The way we’ve been eating, if the cancer doesn’t get me, the cholesterol surely will!!  This time, I thought the after dinner photo said it all.

Ashlyn - Which one is the drawing?

Kayla - So Many Talents


Day 15


About bhoefen

Going on a road trip.
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13 Responses to Reflecting Back

  1. Mike says:

    Don’t worry about all the eating, Brett. As Lynn & Karmen sat me down for an intervention (actually, they both just picked on me)–I’ve been packing on the Holiday pounds. I prefer to reflect on cultures where that’s a symbol of status 🙂
    You sure have quite the following on this website–I’m lucky it’s not on twitter cuz I don’t know how to use it (I don’t know how to use facebook either).

    • Michelle says:

      Mike, in many cultures if a man is “plump” it reflects highly on the wife and her cooking…. not sure Lynn will go for that since I am sure your diet is mostly peanut butter ice cream. 🙂 and in this case, your status is A.O.K!
      Bret, have to agree with Mike on your blog- its so awesome! And yes thank goodness you are not on Twitter!

  2. Jeff says:

    Bust-a-move, Aaron! Glad to see that the effects of watching ‘Breakin” 4 times a day throughout your childhood have not yet worn off. You guys should bust out the BMX bikes while you are together and see if the effects of watching ‘Rad’ 8 times a day are still in your system!

    Mike – you are not alone – I too haven’t a clue how to use Facebook or Twitter and that is OK. We should start a club or support group or something…

    • david says:

      i got an idea, we could blog about it! i wont touch twitter, absolutely zero interest in that.

      BTW, “RAD” was a great movie, and i think we should get together and watch it sometime, i never fell off my bike more in any single day than after watching that movie. so many bruises……

  3. Debbie says:

    Good morning Road Warriors! (from a very chilly Virginia where the temp is currently 15 degrees…brrr!)

    Bret? Perhaps the name of your blog should be “Ride AND EAT in a Good Direction”-I am certainly seeing a pattern now after two weeks. If is has some kind of spicy sauce on it (and or spicy cheese!)–that’s your kind of food. And I say, eat–drink-and be merry–for that is the stuff of life. And from your blogs, I say the Hoefens are merry indeed!

    I can just hear Shannon now as she got her massage with her trademark “ooooph” noises she makes when she’s happy.

    Travel safely today to Boston–I’m afraid you guys are going to have a bumpy ride with all this wind and cold weather. And I know we will all be checking in to see what the Docs say.

    We love you–keep it in the road! And as always–my heart travels with you every mile you cross(on the road AND up in the air).



  4. Aunt Bo says:

    I agree with all of the above…I have gained weight just reading about the great food. I love BBQ and you have mentioned that a lot. Today, I feel we are a very long way from any BBQ here in Rochester.
    Aaron..I have such fond memories of all of Katie’s dancing recitals and classes and costumes and impromptu dances. I never had to join in though…that would not have been a pretty site.
    Bret, good luck tomorrow. Bad weather up prepared!

  5. Aaron says:

    Thanks for the spotlight on my incredible dance moves. If anybody is looking for holiday party entertainment, I can travel! 🙂 Thanks for being there with a camera ready to catch my most embarrassing moments over the past couple weeks!

    After I dropped you off at the airport, I made it back to the hotel without wrecking your car! I did decide that this would be a perfect opportunity for Elisa, the girls, and I to go on a very long car trip though! I’ll try to have it back by the time you fly back down!

    Have a great time in Hull! That is one of our fondest vacation memories! Boston Lobster Dinner with George and Christine, Ashlyn and Kayla playing in the sand, Elisa holding up the live lobsters for a perfect photo! George and Christine are AMAZING hosts!!!

  6. Ashley says:


    Looks like you have been having a great time on your journey! It also looks like you have some funny/lively friends and family; the pictures and video cracked me up – and I don’t even know them! Safe travels to Boston – looking forward to hearing what the docs have to say and the plan you come up with for kicking CCS in the backside!

  7. Uncle Lee and Aunt Sharon says:

    Thinking of you all LOTS today and praying for some good answers. Hope the flight is smooth and you don’t freeze when you get off the plane! It is BRRRRR cold !!!!!!!!

    Bret, your comment about all you have done in the past two weeks really stuck with us – it doesn’t seem possible that it’s only been two weeks that you’ve been on your adventure because you have done so much, traveled so far and experienced so many special moments already and yes, eaten so much great food! 🙂 We too feel like we’ve packed on some pounds too just by the mere delectable description of all your yummy food stories!

    So glad the girls were able to go for a massage – nice idea, Elisa. And Aarie, quite the dance moves – we’ll definitely let you know if we hear of anyone looking for holiday entertainment…but I think Kayla should join you! 🙂 Would love to see a video sometime of her dancing. I remember Michelle’s dance recitals too when she was little and how special they always were. Special times!

    We hope you get to see Christine and George while you’re in Boston. As always, all our love and thoughts travel with you. We’ll anxiously await hearing how things go. Stay warm and keep hope in your heart always. LOVE YOU!

    • Mike says:

      Notice how there’s no mention of memories about their only son? The one who stayed close to them in western NY??? I always knew Michelle was the favorite.

      • Michelle says:

        So its true- I am the favorite!!! YIPPEE!!! Thanks Mom!
        Sorry Mike, if its any consulation you are my favorite brother. 🙂 I guess all those times I started crying for no reason and blaming you when I was younger just to get you in trouble had an influence on mom. Oh the good old days- can you just hear mom and dad yelling “Mike stay away from your sister” and of course me with a big smile on my face.

  8. Uncle Kevin & Aunt Judy says:

    Dear Bret, I was able to look at your blog last night for the first time at the Schnauble party. It was so good to be brought up-to-date on my special loved ones–even recent pictures. Enjoyment is written on each of your faces. My thoughts of all of you begin when the alarm goes off. Every one in your family and among your friends will say the same… I send you all much love and ask you to eat lots of vegetables with those good looking meals!
    With love, Grandma Auble

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