We just returned after a weekend in California spent with dear online friends we were meeting in person for the first time. We stayed at Shankari and Rajesh‘s beautiful home. From there, the four of us went to Santa Rosa to meet our beloved Briana.

The months since the return of her breast cancer in April have been dark, daunting times for Bri and her loved ones. The cancer has metastasized to her lungs, her lymph nodes, spine and several areas in her bones.

Cancer debilitates the body and wounds the soul. It has destroyed her appetite, sapped her strength, beat her down and punched and kicked her some more. For the past few months, her world has been a haze of tests, scans, diagnoses and doctors’ appointments. Her husband Marc and her loving parents-in-law Cynthe and Bill have tried to stay on top of assorted crises – major and minor – that the severe illness of a loved one brings in its wake. Yet, they graciously invited Shankari, Rajesh and the two of us over for what turned out to be a wonderful, memorable afternoon.

Just when Bri thinks she has a minor respite from one health crisis, another surfaces. The protracted rounds of chemotherapy weakened her lungs and she has continuously grappled with pneumonia, bronchial infections, a racing heart and bouts of painful breathing. This was made worse by the poor air quality from the wildfires in northern California this summer. Now, she gets breathing support from an oxygen tank.

Her neck is in a cast because of the hairline compression fractures caused to her spine after the cancer metastasized to her bones.

This is a disease whose onslaught on one’s physical and psychological resources is enduring and relentless. No one deserves this. Grasping through the fog for those rare moments when she can take an easy breath or enjoy a meal with her family, Bri remains her serene, beautiful, gracious self. In her, one sees no trace of bitterness – just calm, dogged resolve.

I’ve got dreams in hidden places and extra smiles for when I’m blue. ~ Author Unknown

She expressed her gratitude to well-wishers – friends and strangers – from around the world who gave their time, energy and monetary contributions to make the fundraiser for her treatment a huge success. The outpourings of love and concern she has received over the past few months have encouraged her to fight cancer with all she’s got. She hopes to regain enough energy to be able to post on her site soon.

Please send positive, healing thoughts her way. Stay strong, stay gorgeous, Bri. We love you.

- the Jugalbandits

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64 Comments

  1. Rosa says:

    In thoughts with you. I’m sending my positive vibes in your direction.

    All the best,

    Rosa

  2. Maryann says:

    I’m saying my prayers and sending Bri a big hug :)

  3. Padmaja says:

    Thanks Bee n Jai for giving an update and Bri, So glad to see you smile and you in our prayers as always!!!

  4. Cynthia says:

    She and her family are forever in my thoughts and prayers.

  5. mallugirl says:

    it takes a lot of courage to smile so earnestly while fighting such a destructive disease, She sure is an inspiration to all of us. She definitely is in my prayers.

  6. Sharmila says:

    Thank you for the update on Bri. I have been visiting quietly just for some news about her. And thanks for the snaps … she looks so shining and positive.
    Praying for her.

  7. rachel says:

    Great that you could meet her and update us.

    My wishes are with Bri and her family.

  8. I am sending Bri all the healing thoughts and prayers that I have in me. She has such an amazing spirit and my heart goes out to her and her family! I echo everyone that said she is lucky to have such good friends as you! I am so glad that you guys got together! Bloggy friends are the best!

  9. Thank you for the update and I am sending Bri BIG GIGANTIC MASSIVE Good thoughts!

  10. Lori says:

    Beautiful pictures, beautiful people. All my good thoughts going your way.

  11. Jeanne says:

    What an incredbile person Bri is – she really does look serene, like an island of calm in the centre of a medical storm. I wish her and her family strength and love, and a huge hug. And one for you guys too for being so generally fabulous and keeping us updated.

  12. nimi says:

    Sending lots of love and prayers to Bri.And best wishes through – http://arogyam.wordpress.com/people-around/hope-of-yellow/ .
    I got to know about her through your fundraiser. she is really a strong person,face lit with her smile even at this moment is inspiring!
    May the God give her all the strength to move on and heal her for the good human she is.
    Thanks Jai n Bee for the update. I was wondering how will I get to know about how she is doing and today reading this and actually seeing her eased me , for she appears calm and strong.

  13. Thank you so much for this update. My heart goes out to Bri, her husband, and her family.

  14. Miri says:

    Thanks for posting this and making this so much more real…she has an indomitable spirit, I hope she can overcome this.



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