Patty is officially a “Cancer Survivor!”

 

Patty had another doctors appointment yesterday.  This appointment was for her Oncologist to review the results of the CT Scan from last month… review the results of her mammogram from last week and go over her blood work from yesterday.  The results of these three tests were HUGE in the big picture of Patty’s recovery. 

Patty was a little on edge in anticipation of the test results.  All we’ve been praying for is good news.  We (or at least I) were somewhat confident that the appointment would be on a positive note, but one never knows as there have been some setbacks over the months. 

I went in to work this morning with plans of taking off at noon to take her to the 2:35 p.m. appointment.  I left work shortly before noon, pulling onto our street around 12:40.  As I drove down the street I saw Patty walking our dog Molly.  I looked at her and thought: “Man, she really looks good!  You’d never know what she’s been through the past 10 months!”  She had a spring in her step and that big smile on her face!

We left for the doctor’s office a little before two o’clock.  I could feel that darned elephant in the room had joined us for the drive.  By the time we found a place to park and walk up to the office, we were right on time.  They called us in right away.  As usual, the nurse weighed Patty before taking us to the examining room and I think we were both shocked that she hadn’t gained a pound!  I don’t understand how she could not have gained a pound with all the food she’s been packing away.  Go figure!

Our oncologist came in shortly thereafter.  Poor thing had some kind of virus so she didn’t get too close to Patty.  But… she couldn’t have been happier with Patty’s progress!  She said the mammogram of her right breast looked great!  As we already knew, the results of the CT Scan were perfect!  Most important for this appointment… the tumor  markers were normal!!!  Tumor markers are a screening that’s done either through blood  or through a urine sample.  Tumor markers are substances produced by tumor cells or by other cells of the body in response to cancer.  Normal markers mean no cancer cells!!!  Bottom line… Patty is now officially cancer free!!!

This is such huge news for Patty!!!  The oncologist said she doesn’t need to see Patty for another three months.  At that time, she won’t have to do any blood work or anything prior to the appointment.  The doctor just wants to see her and she where she’s at.  Awesome!  The next test Patty has is not until June when the pulmonary specialist wants to do a chest x-ray.  This means Patty can just focus on her recovery for the next four months and not work about anything else!  

On our drive home yesterday, Patty said: “I feel different!  I officially feel like a cancer survivor!!”  

 Guess what… that darned elephant moved out and rented a place down the street.  We know he’ll pop in for unexpected visits in the future, but for now it’s a great feeling to see him take residency somewhere else!!!

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Susan G. Komen 3-Day Walk for the Cure – Patty can use your help!

As you’re well aware by now, in June 2010, Patty was diagnosed with breast cancer. To say it was devastating news to both of us is putting it lightly.  She had a mastectomy in July and then went through six rounds of chemotherapy, the last infusion was in mid-December 2010. Her battle isn’t over yet as she still has regular appointments with her oncologist, pulmonary specialist and reconstruction surgeon.  Needless to say, it’s been a rough year but with the help of our family and friends and other breast cancer survivors, she was able to get through treatment and is now looking forward to a healthy 2011.

Back in November, Patty had registered for the 2010 Susan G. Komen 5k Race for the Cure which was a warm-up to the 3-Day event.  She really looked forward to attending that event as a spectator, however having a chemo infusion just six days before, kept her from attending.  Patty made a promise at that time that once she was feeling good, she would register for the Komen 2011 3-Day so she could do her part to contribute to finding a cure for this terrible disease.  Patty has said “As a mother and grandmother I will do anything to prevent my daughters and granddaughters from getting breast cancer.”

Last years 3-Day was just amazing. These women walked 60 miles over a three-day period, most of the time in the pouring rain. The rain didn’t faze these warriors as they carried on with a purpose!  We watched the closing ceremonies on TV where there were thousands of women, gathered together, celebrating their victory!  Just amazing!

I can’t tell you how excited Patty is to participate in this event.  You know, there’s always room for others to join and walk it with her!!!  The more the merrier! 

As with every good cause, there’s always a catch. Patty must raise $2300.00 to participate in this event.  (Her personal goal is to raise $3000.00.)  This is where you come in!  Any donation of any amount will help her towards her goal.  We’re asking for your support as she takes this amazing journey in the fight to end breast cancer! As I had said, the Susan G. Komen 3-Day for the Cure® is a 60-mile walk over the course of three days.  Net proceeds from the 3-Day for the Cure are invested in breast cancer research and community programs.

Please click on the link below to make your donation:

http://www.the3day.org/site/TR?px=5775771&pg=personal&fr_id=1627&et=fuoM7lomxjPTD9JK6CkevA..&s_tafId=431818

The 3-Day isn’t  until November.  This gives Patty time to train for the walk as well as raise money.  I’ll keep you posted on her progress.

Thank you for your support!

Post chemo side effects!

“HAIR!  HAIR!”   That’s what I heard coming from the bathroom the other morning.  “HAIR!”  Patty had just gotten out of the shower and was drying off when she discovered the newest crop of hair on her legs!  (Unfortunately, not too much sprouting on her head.)  I do have to say this new crop looked pretty good!  Patty hasn’t had to shave her legs ever since the beginning of chemo back in early September but the way this new hair is coming in, she’ll need to pull the ol Gillette Venus triple edge razor out from retirement in no time at all.  She also has a whole gaggle of eyelashes coming in! 

Today marks seven weeks since her final chemo.  I’m watching  my wife get back to her old self.  Her taster is nearly 100%… I said “nearly” because there’s still a few things that have that, as she’d describe, “wallpaper taste and consistency.”  She’s so funny to watch when it comes to food.  Patty really appreciates food and how good things taste!  I guess I’d feel the same if food went from wonderful to crap overnight!  I’ve never seen anyone consume so much food and not gain a pound!  She’s requesting food that I haven’t prepared in years!  She’ll say in such a sweet voice… “Ed… can  you make pasta carbonara tonight for dinner?”  Or “Sweetie… I’m really in the mood for Orange Chicken!”  What?  So, those of you who know me know that I know my way around the kitchen.  It’s a good thing.  I’m reconnecting with my culinary skills that I lost for the past six months.  It’s kind of fun.  Then we (more like she) ALWAYS has to have some kind of dessert.  Her taster is telling her to have sweets like Ben and Jerry’s Vanilla Heath Bar Crunch or Peanut Butter Cup!  We were at the store earlier and we finished picking up daily necessities… she looked at me and said with so much enthusiasm:  “We need cookies for dessert!!!”  So, there they were, the White Chocolate Chip Macadamia Nut cookies!  The soft kind that you can’t pass up!  And now it’s close to Girl Scout Cookie time… I can only imagine how many boxes she’ll be buying!!! She’s killing me!  She doesn’t gain a pound and me on the other hand… lets put it this way, I got dressed for work yesterday morning and discovered my pants were a little “snug!”  I’m suffering from post chemo side effects!!!  That’s not good.  So if you haven’t seen me in a while and notice I may be getting a little wider in the middle… be nice!  It’s her fault!

I really think the best thing for Patty right now is taking care of Avery during the day.  Her day is filled up with this little bundle of joy.  She keeps Patty busy, but doesn’t tie her down.  Those two have turned into a team.  Patty still does her running around, to the store or Jazzercise, and Avery is right with her.  Avery also keeps Patty’s mind busy on good things. 

So, like I said earlier, today is officially 7 weeks since her last chemo.  I watch her get stronger everyday.  She’s still not 100% and we’ve realized that it’s going to take quite a while to get there.  I do notice that she’s losing the “chemo” look.  That’s the look where she just looked ill.  She’s getting her color back and is beginning to look like my “pre-cancer” wife.

Life is getting better day by day, other than my pants feeling a little snug!