Grandpa Jim

In Loving Memory Of
 *** December 24, 1942 - June 29, 2008 ***

TRIBUTE TO DAD *** from Amy & Jill

U Tube video tribute to Jim

June 29, 2009 * You left us one year year ago today Jim. We miss your roaring laughter, spirited conversation and helping hands.
We miss your incredible joy and unconditional love. Jim - You never spoke an unkind word about anyone.
We miss
you Grandpa Jim. We love you.
Jim is pictured at one of his favorite bluegrass concerts, the Salt River Bluegrass Festival, 1 year from his diagnosis.
 Jim is surrounded by his bluegrass/tractor show friends and family who he loved very much.
Pictured right brother Tom - 2nd row from left - friends Judy, Sharon & Gary - back row Big Dave & his parents.
Photo Credit Judy Dennison * Thank you for sharing this wonderful photo Judy!

Thank you Ami Romanelli for Uncle Jim's beautiful collage!

 May 2, 2009 --- This must be our Nationals rainbow! Last year while at Nationals, Stacey took a photo of a rainbow
over Dad's house while she was here doing chores and sent it to me via phone. Amy

South Dakota Trip

The Line

Amy & Jill



Loving father to Amy & Jill * Father-In-Law to Shane & Al
Doting Grandfather to Zac, Matt, Austen & Shayna
Beloved brother to Tom & Bob * Brother-In Law to Ellen
Favorite Uncle to Aaron, Cyrus, Rachel & Chelsea
Extra Special Great Uncle to Evan & Hudsyn
Kindred Tractor Show & Bluegrass Festival Nephew to Uncle Stan
Best Friend & EBAY Travel Planner to Big Dave
Tractor Show & Bluegrass Festival Family to Sharon & Gary Russell
An inspiration to all who knew him & loved him.
VIT * Very Important Thornapple!

Grandpa Jim's nursing staff joins him for spin around his doctor's parking lot on June 26, 2008.
Please keep Grandpa Jim in your prayers.

Grandpa Jim's Rainbow!
A magnificent rainbow appeared over Grandpa Jim's "line" on the evening of Saturday
June 28th, 2008. The MOTA Trials Club, working on sections for our Observed Trials in July,
reported a huge double rainbow at the kennel/farm in Vermontville Saturday evening also!
Jim loved to help out with our Observed Trials events so we are confident he shared his
 rainbow with family and friends in Fowlerville and Vermontville! 

Please give Reno a hug & kiss for me and I will see you at the Rainbow Bridge.
Love you, Amy x0x0

Fun at Amy's house on Father's Day with Grandpa Jim! **** June 15th, 2008
Left - Yoshi's (Yoshihiro Yamaji) first time ever on a pony!  Thank you Erica Escalada for giving Yoshi an assist.
Yoshi visited the Thornapples to breed his Aussie Ruby to Drew.

Erica Escalada & Darling!
  Erica gave up summer at home in West Palm Beach to spend it with us in Michigan!

L-R Evan * Erica Escalada * Shayna * Matt Cain


Dear Amy, Jill and Ellen,
I just visited your web site and found a very shocking article.
Is it true that Grandpa Jim has passed away? I just could not
believe it. I prayed and believed in his recovering from sickness
so it is very hard to accept. When I met Grandpa Jim on 15th last
month, he was looking good to me. He shook my hands strongly
when I asked him when I was leaving. I was surprised by the
strength of his hands which was even stronger than me. I will
never forget about that. Now in Japan, I feel honored for having
been able to spend time with  him. Please let me grieve for him
with you all, though I met him only once that time.
Yoshihiro Yamaji

a flower from Amy's garden!

A perfect ending to a perfect Father's Day *** Beautiful clouds over Grandpa Jim's farm!
Clouds burst from behind Amy's house at Grandpa Jim's Father's Day celebration June 15th, 2008!

The Tractor Show & Bluegrass Festival Gang joined Aaron at the Rose City Michigan Observed Trials in October 2007!
From left to right:
Tom Brandenburg * brother to Jim & husband of Ellen
Aaron Brandenburg * nephew of Jim & son of Tom & Ellen
Big Dave Tennant * BEST friend!
Uncle Stan Cole * Jim & Tom's uncle * great Uncle to Aaron
Grandpa Jim * Loving friend and family member to all!

Jim Brandenburg *** God's Garden
od looked around his garden and he found an empty place,
He then looked down upon this earth and saw his tired face.
He put his arms around him and lifted him to rest.
God's Garden must be beautiful, He always takes the best.
He knew that he was suffering, He knew that he was in pain.
He knew that he would never get well on earth again.
He saw that the road was getting rough and the hills were hard to climb,
So he closed his weary eyelids and whispered
It broke your hearts to lose him, but he didn't go alone,
For parts of you went with him the day God called him home.
All our Love Duncan, Janet & Natasha * Strathaven Aussies * South Africa


Jim's memory blue spruce


June 15, 2008

JUNE 29, 2008
Grandpa Jim needs a new type of prayer today.  I am saddened to say we can no longer pray for him to heal and be cured from his cancer. 
He needs prayers of peace, happiness and eternity.  We need to pray he does not suffer from pain.  Grandpa Jim, my Dad, he is a fighter;
he stood strong and took whatever was thrown at him in life all in stride, never once complaining along the way.  A teacher of 38 years Ė imagine
 the impact he has made on so many lives.  He is a loving father, a caring brother, a great friend, the best Grandpa to 4 grandchildren who adore him. 
Jim Brandenburg a mentor too many and a huge inspiration to all!

After a long battle with Glioblastoma Multiform, Grade Four, first diagnosed August 18, 2006, it has come to the decision that further treatment
was not making sense anymore, since his quality of life was declining.  June 24, 2008 was the last time Dad received radiation treatment at the
Woodland Cancer Center in Brighton, Michigan.  Dad is home with family and is currently under the guided advice of St. Joseph Hospice for care and comfort. 

 The following will be a recap of what has transpired since our last update of March 29, 2008.  Dad did have a wonderful trip with my sister  Jill
 and her family (please see Jillís memory of their trip)!  When they returned from their vacation, the Thornapple crew was packing up to head
 out for Nationals in Colorado.  Dad was fortunate enough to enjoy another week with his grandchildren Zac & Matt and daughter, Jill and son-in-law Al.
  Dad was still undergoing his chemo treatments of Avastin & Irinotecan, both given by IV once every 2 weeks.  As Dad continued to receive these
treatments, it became apparent it was much more difficult for him to deal with the side effects of diarrhea.  He was very miserable and uncomfortable,
not wanting to leave the house for fear of having an embarrassing episode in public.  It was not uncommon for Dad to have episodes 8 to 10 times daily,
which in turn developed other issues such as hemorrhoids, dehydration, and lack of energy, low potassium levels and not wanting to eat.  Unfortunately,
there arenít any ďmiracleĒ medications to help with the severe diarrhea, which was caused mainly from the chemo, Irinotecan.  Imodium was recommended
and  used but only provide minor comfort.  Slowly we were watching Dadís physical strength weaken.  His once hearty appetite began to diminish.

Despite the uncomfortable side effects of treatment, Dadís outlook and perseverance to beat this tumor was strong.  He continued with the chemo
treatments until May 8, 2008.  A follow-up MRI was done and to our disappointment we learned the tumor was back and growing rapidly. Being the
3rd reoccurrence, we knew the process to be had.  An appointment was immediately scheduled with Henry Ford in Detroit, Michigan to find out if any new
Clinical Trials were being conducted and to also present Dadís case to their tumor board for review.  Their results came back stating no New Clinical Trial were
available at this time.  The MRI showed progression of the tumor in a new area, stemming from the tentacles of the original tumor and growing forward along
 the left side of his head all the way to just above his left optical nerve.  The area originally treated appeared to be stable, with no new growth.  The tumor board
agreed that the Avastin did seem to be doing some good and recommended to continue treatment with Avastin only, but to cancel further treatment with
Irinotecan and to pursue radiation on the new area.  We agreed this will be our next plan of action.

  Dad received an Avastin only treatment on May 30, 2008.  The following day we met with Dadís radiologist at St. Joseph in Ann Arbor, Michigan to begin
preparation of the radiation treatments.  He suggested a 5 week period of treatments to be received everyday Monday Ė Friday at the Woodland Cancer Center
 in Brighton, Michigan.  He also referred us to meet with the brain surgeon to discuss if further operation was an option.  We left his office and immediately went
to see the brain surgeon.  After a long wait in his office, the surgeon appeared through the doorway Ė shook all our hands and said Hi.  He then said Ė I guess I
should look at your chart and MRI report first and left the room.  I chuckled and said to Dad, ďIt doesnít take a brain surgeon to figure that out!Ē  We all had a
great laugh and Dad loved to tell the joke as days went by (goes to show us what a great outlook on life Dad has had through all of this!).  The surgeon did finally
return and proceeded to tell us further surgery would not be recommended.

June 12th marked the first day of Dadís new radiation treatments and chemo treatment with Avastin only every other week.  St. Joseph also scheduled their home
 health care personnel to come to the house for nurse visits, therapy exercises and a health care aide to help with Dad.  The following week, Dad received a complete
week of radiation.  The evening of June 20, 2008 Dad lost most of his strength.  It became very difficult for him to even sit up in bed.  He was no longer able to use
his walker and it became apparent he wonít be leaving his bed without great difficulty.  My sister, Jill and I worried over the weekend what we will do about his
scheduled radiation treatments the next week.  Monday morning we received a call from the Woodland Cancer Center telling us the doors in the radiation department
were inoperable and they would not be able to treat Dad that day.  Tuesday (June 24th) when Dad woke he was determined he would be going to radiation that day. 
Shane (my husband) got him in the vehicle for us and at the cancer center; it took Jill, I and 2 nurses to get him out of the vehicle and into a wheelchair.  Dadís radiologist
observed the treatment and the difficulties Dad was having, he told us that radiation was not making sense to do anymore and it was doing more damage than good and
recommended stopping such treatment.  Dad did not respond much, but his actions said it all.  He became very fidgety in the wheelchair, wanting to stand up, moving his legs
 & arms and basically trying to leave the room.  We quickly got him back into the vehicle and he instantly seemed more comfortable in his familiar place.  He received no
treatments on Wednesday, June 25th.  Thursday Dadís next Avastin chemo treatment was scheduled, along with a check up appointment with his Oncologist.  During this
appointment, his doctor noted the troubles he was recently having and noted Dadís weakness.  He too indicated that further treatment was not in his best interest and
cancelled all further chemo treatments.   On this day, we drove Dad to his last trip to the Woodland Cancer Center in his 1967 Tempest convertible.  The staff from the
Woodland Center who helped Dad along the way made their way out to the parking lot to admire Dadís cool cruiser and posed for a beautiful photo and said their good-byes.
  On the way home we made the most of the beautiful day and Dadís last cruise in one of his favorite cars.  It will be a day never forgotten, yet one that will always be cherished. 

 I love you Daddy!!  I pray when your time comes you will be filled with happiness and be surrounded by loved ones who have already crossed. 
Please give Reno a hug & kiss for me and I will see you again at the rainbow bridge.   Love you, Amy  xoxo


Over spring break Dad was able to cruise on one of Carnivalís Fun Ships.
Last year Al, Zac, Matt, Dad and I went to the Gulf Shores on the coast of Alabama.  When Dad was first diagnosed with the brain tumor, my immediate
thought was we didnít have much time left to spend together.  I wanted to make each and every minute count.   Dad should attend to all of the things he
hadnít yet experienced.  I asked him if there were any areas of the States that an ď
eBay car tripĒ hadnít taken him.  He told us New Orleans and the Pan Handle.
  Lucky for all of us, we had the opportunity to revisit the same trip again this year.  If you know my father, nostalgia is very important to him.  My husband, Al
remembered how much money we spent on food the year before (if you know my father, meals are very important to him too!) and suggested spending half
our trip on a cruise to Mexico.  It was the perfect plan!  Dad could eat all sorts of foods he had never tasted before, Al could worship the sun and relax, Zac and Matt
 could use their own Sign & Sail cards and be carefree teenage boys.  I could read a good book and spend special time with my family.   The trip was great!  The Holiday
 left its homeport of Mobile, Alabama for a 5 day excursion.  Dad had the time of his life.  He spent most of it eating or anticipating his next exquisite meal! 
Chocolate Melting Cake was his favorite dessert and our waiter made sure that one or two helpings were always at our table waiting for him.  We played on the
 beaches of Cozumel and Progresso, shopped for lots of souvenirs, played bingo, attend comedy shows, and sipped Coronas in the bright sunshine.   And then we
did it all over again at the Gulf Shores.

Making memories and being together has helped all of us travel through this journey of uncertainty.  It is not how long you lived your life but how well you
lived it.  What a wake up call for me.  We say it isnít fair and it isnít but maybe God chooses paths to help others.  My sons, niece, and nephew are losing their favorite
grandfather too soon and at such young ages.  Perhaps this experience will help them guide their lives by remembering to make wise choices using morals and good
 characters instead of gaining possessions. With that as their future, I know the perfect role model for all of them. I love you dad!

Grandpa Jim & Uncle Louie enjoy a sunny May day on Amy's deck. Uncle Louis is 90 years young!

GRANDPA JIM enjoys a beautiful MAY DAY ATV ride with Shayna taking the wheel!

March 29, 2008 It's  been sometime since you have been updated on Grandpa Jim's prognosis. Just to catch you up a December, 2007
we found out his tumor was progressing at a pretty significant rate. Until then he was very fortunate to keep it stabilized using a chemo pill
called Temodar and an alternative medication called Cantron (he was on those for about 1 year), with little to no side effects. We have
learned that cancer is very tricky and over time it can make itself immune to the was time for us to look for our next options.
We did a lot of research through Duke University...the internet....met with doctors at Henry Ford...met with the brain surgeons again....had
numerous  appointments with the radiologist....and consulted with the oncologist. At this stage, surgery was not an option - far too risky for
serious side effects and causing permanent damage. Radiation was also risky...possible, but risky. We considered the new CyberKnife
- a precise machine designed to pin-point tumors by radiation. It produces many laser beams, with the idea of having the beams cross each other
 at the precise location of the tumor, where it will receive a higher dose of radiation. (I'm sure medical personnel won't like my description!)
With the location of Dad's brain tumor, he would run the possible risk of permanent nerve damage and loss of sight.

When we researched re-occurring glioblastoma multiforme, grade four on the internet & through Duke University...there were a significant
number of clinical trials (not FDA approved) being done with a huge number of success rates with a product called "Avastin". This is administered
 by I.V. The Avastin's intent is to starve the tumor by cutting off it's food source - red blood vessels. In addition to this treatment, patients receive
"Irinotecan", which work on the white blood cells. Side effects to watch for are: high blood pressure, protein in urine; diarrhea, blood clots,
low blood counts, wound healing, bleeding. We were impressed on the research and success rate of most of the reports we read.

We scheduled a meeting with Henry Ford in Detroit in January, 2008. We weren't surprised when they suggested a product called "Avastin"!
They too had many patients who have been treated with the above medications and found tumors have shrunk to half by the 4th treatment.
They discussed with us the possible side effects and what to watch for and recommended Dad start this treatment as soon as possible. We were
all the agreement with the plan of action! The good news is the FDA just approved the medication and it would be covered by Dad's insurance
 (although we would have opted for this treatment - this was just a HUGE bonus!). We were instructed to stop all former treatments immediately -
no more Temodar, no more Cantron, no more wellness pills.

There were a couple weeks when Dad was taking nothing to prevent the tumor from progressing and we were scheduling and making plans to start
his new treatment. During that time - Dad's physical strength, alertness, memory, etc.. seemed to be declining. One evening he took a bad fall in his
bathroom  and had a very difficult time getting himself back on his feet. The bad news is he never called for help and I did not know he was in trouble!
Somehow he managed to get to his feet and back to bed. In the morning he came upstairs and looked completely terrible! I was shocked to see him
 in the condition he was in...shirt 1/2 off, pant bottoms inside out, drool coming out of his mouth, left side of his face drooping, a strange scary look
 in his eyes I have never seen. I immediately called his doctor's office to report this - during my call Dad informed me of his fall (he suddenly thought
he better tell me about it!). They told me to get him to the hospital ASAP!

In the ER their first thought was a stroke. They immediately set him up for a cat scan. The cat scan didn't show anything new. They scheduled an MRI
which showed some swelling on the brain. He spent 2 nights in the hospital and they were able to get him back under control with a steroid called
Decadron (helps to reduce swelling). As days went by, he also experienced some other minor issues, but with re-evaluating some of his current
medications (high blood pressure, cholesterol, seizure, etc..) they took him off a bunch and he was about back to his normal self.

He started his new chemo IV treatments the end of January. The first treatment he had to learn how much his body could handle.He did ok, but did
have the side effect of constipation - which after treating turned into diarrhea. He had a couple very uncomfortable weeks - poor guy! By the next
couple chemo treatments they were able to reduce it by some and he has been handling it perfectly. He received his 4th chemo treatment on March 13th...
this past Monday, March 24th he had his first MRI since the rapid growth and starting on the Avastin....and just like the doctors & reports said...we met
with his oncologist Thursday and they found Dad's tumor has SHRUNK by HALF, if not more!!!! Although we were lead to believe this would happen,
it was so wonderful to hear it!

The plan of action will remain in place. They will continue to monitor his blood and all his symptoms and he will continue to receive treatment every 2 weeks.
This will go on for as long as it continues to work. Dad's oncologist just told us he met with another oncologist who has had a patient on this exact treatment
for 2 years now and his tumor is nearly gone.

With all the great news Dad received - he is on his way to Alabama with my sister and her family and catching a boat for a nice cruise for 3 days in Mexico
 (can't remember all their stops!)...then back to Alabama for another few days in a condo to sight-see, play, relax and most importantly ENJOY LIFE!!!!!!!!!!!!

Hugs to all and my Dad thanks each and everyone of you for all your support, prayers and well wishes. We love you!!! Amy & Dad

February 2008 *** Please keep Grandpa Jim in your prayers!
Jim is experiencing a bump in the road.  He has started a new
experimental chemo that has produced outstanding results in patients with
 Jim's cancer. Jim & his family are very positive about his new treatment.
A pretty Michigan snowstorm gave Amy the opportunity to snap photos of
Grandpa Jim's prize possession, his collection of antique cars, boats, dozers,
dump trucks, semi trucks & yes, even old boats! Jim's family affectionately
calls it "THE LINE!" 

Grandpa Jim's LINE and other photos

Grandpa Jim's Line :)))

John Deere Green! (and white!) ** Nothing runs like a Deere! :))

Aaron Brandenburg enjoys the EBay trips with his Uncle Jim!
You never know what town you might travel through!

Grandpa Jim LOVES EBay! His passion is buying old cars
trucks, tractors, boats ... you name it! He has it! The best part of the
purchase is the cross country trip to pick up his prizes. Whether it is brother,
Tom, nephew Aaron, best friends, Gary & Sharon Russell, someone always
accompanies him on his EBay Adventure! Jim, the EBay song on U Tube was
written for you! :))) We love to share Grandpa Jim's EBay adventures!


Brandenburg family, BEST friends, Sharon & Gary Russell, joined Aaron & Jim
on a trip to pick up their new trucks purchased on EBay in 2005!
 They took a side trip through the Badlands.


Jim's prize Ebay purchase!  Sharon lends a hand!
Loading the new baby and securing Big Red!

Gary won't be left out!  He & Sharon came home with a beautiful new EBay purchase too!
Checking out Gary's engine!

Running with the Big Dogs on the way home!

PUMPKIN CARVING FUN with Shayna & Austen ** Halloween 2007

Wheatland Music Festival

Jim & Tom snooze take a Wheatland snooze before dinner!

Our very dear friend Jane Faussett pictured next to Jim.

Grandpa Jim (right) & Uncle Tom (left) give Austen a lesson on riding his new motorcycle.

Success!  Austen has excellent teachers!

Dad (Grandpa Jim) asked me to post the following: To all the super people of the Thornapple Family:
Thank you so much for your support and encouragement over the past year. The progress that I have made
would not of happened without the strong support of my wonderful family and the kind thoughts and prayers
of hundreds of people that did not know me personally, but took time from their busy lives to include me in their
thoughts and prayers.  I will be forever grateful!! Thank you, Jim Brandenburg (Grandpa Jim)

Update from Amy! (posted to the Yahoo Thornapple Family List August 15, 2007)
This Saturday will mark the ONE YEAR day of receiving that dreadful call about my Dad being in the hospital with a brain tumor
(Glioblastoma, Grade 4). I am over the moon to report the news we received yesterday! Last week he had another MRI and yesterday
was our appointment to discuss the results, this is what they found: Minimal change to slight DECREASE in size of the irregular rimenhancing
mass in right occipital lobe. The main component shows 1-2 mm DECREASE in size, and an additional projection into the splenium of the corpus
collosum ALSO shows slight DECREASE in size. The doctor & nurses seem to have the same response each time we walk into the,
you look great! Dad's energy level is fine...he continues to do the things he wants to do (his project this summer has been restoring an old "Woody" boat)!
 He took a nice vacation to Alabama with my sister and her family...lots of trips Up North hanging out with his grandkids, bluegrass festivals with his
friends/family...last week we took him to Henry Ford Museum (lots of history and old cars) was a great time had by all! Also happy to report
 that his weight/appetite has shown no changes! Muscle tone is super. He is certainly an amazing man ... a great inspiration to others! He continues
with the traditional Chemo treatment "Temodar", pill form he takes at home every 21 days for 5 days in a row. In addition, he started
with a natural remedy called "Cantron"...along with other nutritional pills to boost his system. He feels the combination of both treatments is working
and he plans to continue this treatment and is looking forward to the day it is gone!  You can email Jim at if you need some
inspiration or would like to discuss his cancer/treatments...or to just send him some Best Wishes! I know he would be happy to tell his story.
Thank you again for your continued support and keeping my Dad in your prayers...they are working!!
Each day in our lives is a blessing!!!!  Amy

July 29, 2007 *** We celebrate our 30th year together at the Salt River Bluegrass Festival with Jim.
Pictured right is Jim's brother & Ellen's hubby, Tom. Pictured left is Jim & Tom's Uncle Stan.
Below, Jim serves up some of his delicious steaks assisted by his right hand BBQ man and best friend, Dave Tenant.


DELICIOUS AS USUAL!  Thank you Jim & Dave for the incredible steaks!

June 10, 2007 *** bi-monthly MRI shows no change!!!!

March 27, 2007 * Grandpa Jim Update!

Hi everyone! It's been a long time since I've given an update on my Dad. He continues to have the same great attitude he has had since we learned of his brain tumor.
As you know he had surgery in August, 2006 to remove as much of the tumor as they could. Then in October he went thru 6 weeks of Radiation and Chemo treatment.
The next plan of action was to continue with chemo treatment at a higher dose for another 6 months. The chemo treatment he has been receiving is in the form of a pill, called
 Temodar. He takes 400 mg a day for 5 days in a row, then he has 23 days off. A large side effect to Temodar is nausea, they prescribed an anti-nausea pill called Kytril..
which has worked wonderfully. He only takes 1 Kytril pill about 1/2 hour before he takes his Temodar and he has had No side effects to either pill throughout all his treatment.

Last week he went in for his 5th MRI. A week after each MRI we go to his MD to review the MRI results and do a physical check up. Each time they are very impressed with his
 strength his weight has been good (we laugh about that each time, because they worry about weight loss - that is something we don't worry about with Dad - he likes to eat!), all his blood
 work has come back normal, everything has been going very well. Each time the MRI has come back stable, which is what they hope for - they do not want to see any new growth.

Today - was our appointment to review his MRI results from last week. We are thrilled to announce the tumor remains stable and also - that the internal volume has decreased
somewhat and the fluid spaces are a little smaller!!!!! This is the FIRST time we heard a report such as this. I received an actual print of the MRI results, this is the exact wording:

FINDINGS: A large, irregular, contrast-enhancing mass is again demonstrated in the right occipital lobe, also extending into
 portions of the right posterior temporal and inferior parietal lobes and along the posterior corpus callosum to slightly cross the
 midline. In comparison with the most recent MR images of 1/23/07, the lesion has approximately the same configuration,
but the internal volume has decreased somewhat, so that the margins are less convex and the internal non-enhancing
 fluid spaces are a little smaller. No entirely new lesion has appeared elsewhere in the brain. The diffusely abnormal T2
 signals in the bilateral cerebral white matter are likely in part to represent vasogenic edema, but a substantial portion
of the signal change is more likely attributable to previous radiation treatment. The cerebral ventricular size and midline
 position remain normal. The mass does continue to distort the posterior portion of the body of right lateral ventricle.

After speaking with the doctor, we agreed to continue with the Temodar treatments (this week will be his last of the 6 month treatment). He told us most of the studies of Temodar
patients have been up until 6 months, although he's certain more studies will be coming (maybe Dad will be part of them - he certainly would make a positive and hopeful statement to
other cancer patients!). We all agreed that since Dad has been doing so well on the treatment and has had no side effects and as long as they continue to monitor him - we will continue with
treatments on a 28 day period.

Dad has also been looking into alternative medications to take along with his traditional Temodar treatment. His brother, Tom & him have gone to a seminar where they learned
 about many different medications. Dad wants to try a product called Cantron. He has heard many success stories from other cancer patients who were on Cantron. Dad said today
he wants to order it and give it a try - he's counting on the next few MRI's showing the tumor gone!

His wonderful attitude has played a huge roll in his healing process and for all his friends and family who encourag and support him everyday. Let's not forget about those who
FEED him - he loves his breakfast, lunch & dinner dates!! I know he thanks and appreciates each and everyone of you for all your love and prayers!!!

I thank you too!!! Let's keep the prayer chain going!!   Amy (Daddy's little girl)

We would love to hear from anyone with experience using a holistic approach to cancer like Jim's ... and with Cantron.

December 24, 2006 .... HAPPY BIRTHDAY, JIM!!!!! 

Loving father to Amy & Jill * Grandpa to Shayna, Austen, Zak & Matt
Brother to Tom & Bob * Uncle to Aaron, Cyrus, Rachel & Chelsea
Great Uncle to Evan & Hudsyn! * Nephew to Uncle Stan 
Good Friend to Gary & Sharon Russell and Big Dave!
Wishing you many Happy Returns, Jim!  We love you!
You are VIT - Very Important Thornapple


Our Good friends, Gary & Sharon Russell (& Sam) threw a Birthday Bash for Jim!
Pictured left to right (1st photo) - Uncle Bob (Jim's brother), Cyrus, Jim & Evan, Tom (Jim's brother) & Aaron
 3 generations of Brandenburgs!

Hudsyn & Evan enjoy the party!  (2nd photo)

August 21, 2006
Hi Thornapple Family!  I need your help, my Dad is in need of all the prayers he can get!
 I sure hope we aren't wearing out our prayer list, seems like it keeps growing.
Last Friday, my Dad was diagnosed with a brain tumor. They are pretty certain
it is cancerous. We are all shocked about this news. The doctors are pretty confident
 that they can remove it & they even mentioned cure it, so we are all VERY hopeful!
My Dad's spirits are amazing. He said this is not his time to go and he will fight with all
his might. He said he has way too much stuff on his "To Do List" that needs to be done!
 I know some of you have met him and know what an awesome, kind person he is. He is the type
of person who would take the shirt off his back and give it to someone in need.
 He is the best Dad, Grandpa and Friend in the world - we need him here with us still!!!
His surgery is scheduled for tomorrow at 7:30 am. Please keep him in your prayers!!!!!!!!!!!
Thank you all so much!  Amy

Wheatland Music Festival

 Today, August 23, 2006, Amy's Daddy, Shayna, Austen, Zak & Matt's Grandpa, Ellen's husband's (Tom) Brother,
Aaron, Cyrus, Rachel & Chelsea's Uncle, Jim Brandenburg, is having major surgery to remove a tumor that is pressing
on his optic nerve on the back portion of his brain.  Jim Brandenburg is a major contributor to Thornapple Aussies.
Living next door to Amy & Family, Jim cares for our Aussies and Amy's horses each and every weekend we are
at dog shows.  Jim built Amy's house ... bales Amy's hay from his own hay field ... and is Mr. Handyman
around the farm.  Jim's life is devoted to family, friends, old cars & boats & bluegrass music. Jim is also the
Thornapple Grill Chef!  Jim cooks a MEAN PORK TENDERLOIN!  Visitors from far & wide have enjoyed Jim's
delicious barbecue pork loin!  Jim is doing the grilling for the local October shows. Everyone is invited!!!!
The surgeon told Jim on Sunday that he is not going for a remission, but he is going for a CURE! 
Erin Swain of Inverness Australian Shepherds will be Jim's Nurse Anesthetist this morning.
Erin tells us that Jim has the best surgeon.  We KNOW he has the BEST Nurse Anesthetist!!!!!
Thank you for keeping Grandpa Jim in your thoughts and prayers!

4:30 pm - August 23 *******
Jim's surgery went well.  He is in ICU Recovery.  We were able to chat with him for a few minutes.
His vitals are normal - his spirits are good.  His ICU nurse kicked us out because we got a bit
rowdy causing his blood pressure to rise.  We were able to chat with Erin Swain.  She said
Jim is doing so well, she wouldn't be surprised if he goes home in a couple of days.

Jim needs lots of happy thoughts and prayers sent his way.  His tumor was diagnosed as a malignancy.
The doctor took as much of the tumor as he could.  Jim has his work cut out for him ... and is prepared
to give this his all. 

August 25 *******
Jim has moved from Surgical ICU to his own room.  Jim continues to progress.  He is a bit bored
so the kids brought him his laptop and some reading material.  Jim can now get back online
to track his Ebay Watched List!  The Oncologist visited Jim yesterday.  They discussed chemo therapy
and radiation therapy.  Jim's hospital stay will be 4 - 7 days.

August 28 *******
Jim was able to go home with family on Saturday, just 3 days after surgery! 
Jim is resting comfortably at Amy's house, enjoying quiet time with family.
 Jim is doing amazingly well just 5 days after surgery.

August 29 *******
Jim continues to do well.  He enjoyed sitting outside with the kids today,
watching them play ball with the dogs.  Amy is busy lining up visiting
nurses, occupational therapy and radiation therapy. 
Tom visited Jim this evening.  They shared a nice visit catching up on the latest.
We imagine they had time for a little Ebay shopping!

September 15 *******
Jim started radiation & chemo therapy today.  His chemo is administered
in pill form.  He felt no nausea from the pill and no discomfort from the radiation.
Jim is doing very well.  He accompanied friends and family to the Wheatland
Music Festival the 2nd weekend in September. This is Jim's 28th year
attending Wheatland.  This past weekend, Jim enjoyed dinner out
with retired teacher friends.  Jim is planning his annual hay ride!

November 1 *******
Jim has completed his chemo therapy & radiation therapy.
Jim continues to amaze his doctors and family with his positive attitude
and his strength.  He continues to do well, enjoying activities with friends and family!

Updates to be continued!

Evan loves visiting his Great Uncle Jim!

Grandpa Jim!  L-R Shayna, Matt, Zak, Austen!