When I started this blog back in early August, I titled it “What a Ride.” When you set up a blog one question they ask is “what’s the title of this blog?” It’s hard to come up with a title on-the-spot, but “What a Ride” was first to come to mind so I went with it. The second reason I used it was because What A Ride has the acronym of WAR! Since we were in the midst of a battle of some sort, it just seemed too easy and so appropriate!
As I said in my first blog, I had wished that I started “blogging” when Patty was first diagnosed, but there was so much going on at the time, blogging was the last thing on my mind. So I had to play catchup for the previous 3 1/2 months in my first post. I’m sure I left some things out, but I did my best to try to remember the highlights, or lowlights!
So here we are… this nightmare started in late April 2010 and here it is December. In one sense, the time just flew by, but in other respects, it took forever. This past weekend was very quiet for both of us. Patty was far from feeling even 80% so we stayed pretty close to home. Since we had “quiet time” without any “Adventures in Chemo” going on, I took some time and read my entire blog, from start to present time. I’m really glad I’ve been doing this because I found there was so much I had forgotten. Let me recap the last 8 months in bullet form:
- Patty found the “lump” in late April
- June 22nd – the biopsy confirmed she had breast cancer
- June 23rd – we met with the crackpot surgeon who was totally rude
- June 27th – Patty had the notorious PET Scan
- The “Black Cloud” accompanied by the “Elephant in the room” keep hanging around!
- June 28th – We booted the rude surgeon and changed care providers to Scripps
- July 2nd – Patty had her first appointment at Scripps
- July 2nd – We were given the devastating news that the results of the PET scan showed that the cancer had spread to Patty’s chest wall. We were told the cancer was incurable and surgery was NOT an option!
- July 2nd – Our nurse practitioner from Heaven told us that she was not sold that the cancer had spread and she needed proof that it had, otherwise, her experience tells her that the cancer was localized in Patty’s breast.
- July 22nd through July 14th – Patty went through countless tests.
- July 14th – The Pulmonary Specialist confirmed the cancer had NOT spread and the doctors were going to “treat for cure!”
- July 14th – Patty did a “Happy Dance” on the outside deck of the Beach House Restaurant scaring most of the patrons on the deck! Moments later the patrons are giving Patty words of encouragement and congratulating her for only having breast cancer!
- The “Elephant in the room” pokes his ugly head out.
- July 29th – Patty had the mastectomy.
- July 29th through August 5th – back in “waiting game” for the lymph node results.
- July 31 – Patty’s sister, Kathy, came out from Az to help out! (What a huge help she was!)
- August 5th – One in twelve lymph nodes biopsied were positive for cancer.
- August 5th – Patty did another “Happy Dance!”
- August 10th – Faith, Family & Friends!
- August 11th – “Hey cancer! You picked the wrong broad!”
- August 11th – I learned of the “Secret order of Women!”
- August 14th – Patty spoke at the National City Relay for Life event! She was amazing!
- The “Elephant in the room” is still here!
- August 16th through 27th – Countless blood tests, ultra-sound, biopsy, chest x-rays, PET Scan, CT Scan, Marker scans, Bone scan, Heart scan etc…
- August 31st – with all the test finally completed where the doctors literally know every inch of Patty’s body, Patty declared: “ok I’m ready to kick this cancer’s ass!” (that’s my girl!)
- Sept 1st – Patty’s first chemo
- Sept 8th – Patty took some control of the situation and shaved her head before the chemo took her hair!
- Sept 22nd – Patty’s 2nd chemo infusion
- Oct 1st – We learned Patty will NOT need Radiation therapy after chemo! HUGE NEWS!
- The side effects from the chemo were a little tougher on Patty than before.
- October 3rd – Avery Nicole Cox, our newest granddaughter, was born!
- October 12th – Chemo infusion #3 is done!
- October 18th – Patty had a 2nd surgery related to the reconstruction.
- October 16th – We learned what Adventures in Chemo are! Patty passed out in the bathroom, lodging herself against the closed bathroom door! Kinda tough to open when she’s passed out against it!
- November 3rd – Chemo #4 done!
- The chemo side effects are really getting tough for Patty, but only two more to go!
- November 6th – We learned that Patty’s office in Placerville held a “Pink Party Day” to raise money for the Susan Komen Race for the Cure. The money was donated in Patty’s name!!!
- November 6th – Adventures in Chemo have returned as Patty passed out in the middle of the night while returning from the bathroom, striking her head on the nightstand. We spent nearly 7 hours in the middle of the night at the emergency room!
- The side effects from the chemo keep intensifying!
- November 23rd – chemo #5 is done!!!
- November 26th – Adventures in Chemo return!
So here we are… One week away from Chemo#6! Can you believe it??? Number 6!!! The last one… final… finito… done… over… no more! The side effects keep getting stronger with each infusion. They really knock her for a loop! I will admit, there were a couple of times from this last infusion that I really debated in my mind whether or not to take her to the hospital. She was sooooo weak!
This last chemo is somewhat of a Catch 22 for Patty. In one sense, she’s looking forward to having her last one. In another sense, she’s dreading having to go through the side effects again, even knowing it’s the last time! I’ll take all the necessary precautions to avoid another episode of Adventures in Chemo even if that means removing the bathroom door again! She’ll have the last infusion on Tuesday, Dec 14th. The side effects will be tough for the first week and then she’ll start getting stronger. Unfortunately my guess is that she’ll be pretty fatigued on Christmas Day as that’s only 11 days after the infusion. She should be feeling pretty good by New Years. My guess is that her taster should be around by then and she’ll be able to bring in the new year with a glass of champagne! Plus, we’ll also be able to celebrate Patty’s new sprouts of hair growing in around that time also!!!
There you have it! What a Ride it’s been! Just one more to go!