Granddaughters can be the best medicine!

As you may know, Patty was given a clean bill of health by her oncologist last week. That was huge news for us! Then she had an appointment with her reconstruction surgeon who removed her stitches from the last surgery. She had nothing but good things to say about Patty’s progress! The results of these two appointments just gave Patty such a great outlook on the future!

Kennedy
Avery

We have two local granddaughters, Avery and Kennedy, who live within 15 minutes to the south and east of us. This is so convenient for a quick granddaughter fix!  Kennedy will be 7 months old next week and Avery will be one year next Monday. Patty and I watched Kennedy for an evening this Past Sunday night. Patty had a pretty quiet day on Sunday to the point where she was a little bored, but she lit up once Kennedy was dropped off. Whatever aches, pains or worries she had suddenly disappeared! Kennedy is a very low-key, roll with the punches little girl. It seems like nothing bothers her. She was a little fussy early on, but overall she was just an angel!

Patty’s full time job is watching Avery three or four days during the week. She started watching Avery back in January, shortly after she finished her last chemotherapy infusion. She was loving it but had to stop in late July when she underwent her first reconstruction surgery. She’s really missed Avery over the past two and a half months, but started watching her again this week. She’s loving it! Avery keeps her busy during the day, which in turn, keeps her mind off anything cancer related!

These two babies are so different! Like I said, Kennedy is very mellow, low-key and rolls with the punches. Avery is a little more intense, ok a lot more intense, but is sweet as can be and also just rolls with the punches. Patty just loves the two of them! (by the way, we have a third granddaughter, Mia, who lives outside of Phoenix, Az, whom we love very much!) These little girls give Patty so much hope!

All I wanted to do is thank God for our granddaughters!  They’re amazing little girls and without knowing it, are helping so much in Patty’s recovery!

Komen 3-day fundraiser for team “Patty in Pink”

As you know, Patty is an avid Jazerciser (if there is such a word!)  Combine the excitement of Jazercise and a fundraiser for the Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure and you’ll probably see Patty doing a remake of Pink’s song “I’m coming up” (So you better get that party started!)

Patty and her daughter, Nicole, plan on participating in the Komen 3-day, 60 mile walk, in mid-November.  They’ve entered as a team with the name “Patty in Pink!”  In order to partake in the walk, each participant must raise $2300.00 prior to the event.  Patty, with the help of many close friends and family, is pretty close to her goal… Nicole is about half way there, but there’s no doubt that she will hit that goal (which I’ll explain with the purpose of this post shortly.)

I do need to take a second and thank the queen of fundraising, Becky H. and the staff at the El Dorado County Department of Child Support Services for fundraising and contributing a total of $652.00 towards Patty’s walk.  If you recall, last year, again with Becky’s leadership, the El Dorado County Department of Child Support Services contributed $638.00 in Patty’s name to Susan G. Komen. Thank you so much for your help!  This mean so much to Patty!

Fundraising is always a difficult thing  for anyone  to do (but Becky!)  How do we raise money?  I’m embarrassed to ask people for money!  Do we sell cupcakes?  What?  Do we need a special license?  Etc, etc, etc…  Then out of the blue, Linda, the owner of  Poway Jazzercise Fitness Center approached Patty and Nicole with the mother-lode idea…  Jazzercise!  Linda wanted to host a Jazzercise/Komen fundraising event.   That’s all it took.  Of course, Patty and Nicole could not turn down such a great idea.  Linda, Patty and Nicole have since run with the idea and now it’s turning into quite the event!

The event is scheduled for Saturday, October 15, 2011 at 6:00 p.m. starting with an hour “Blast and Burn” class.  I don’t know what a “Blast and Burn” class is, but it sounds like something I definitely don’t want to be close to!  The class is followed by “Happy Hour”.  (Again… after a “Blast and Burn” I don’t know if one can be happy.)  There have been a number of raffle donations so far, such as Ryka workout shoes, clothing, massage, manicure and wine.  Patty, Nicole and Linda are still looking for more raffle donations so if you have a business and can donate services or goods or know of someone who can donate something, please let us know!

As I said, the fundraising event is scheduled for Saturday, October 15th at 6:00 p.m.  Cost is $20 per person.  There is a lot of excitement from a number of people in anticipation of this event.  I guarantee it’s going to be a lot of fun (except for the Blast and Burn part) and all money collected is going to the Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure for breast cancer research.

I’ll keep you posted on how things progress.

Anxiety free… again!

Here’s how things went after Patty’s appointment with the oncologist: 

“Good morning Lord!  It’s me again!  Thank you for everything you do for me and Patty everyday!  Thank you for Patty being clean of cancer.  Everything came back clear and there are no indications of cancer in her body!  Thank you again for everything you do for us everyday!  In the Lords Name I pray!  Amen!” 

Patty and I fought horrible traffic on the way to the oncologists this morning and made it to her 9 a.m. appointment.  We arrived straight up at 9 a.m.  (the 20 minute drive took us an hour!)  Needless to say, Patty was really stressed by the upcoming appointment as well as traffic.  It was pretty evident when the nurse took Patty’s blood pressure and it was off the charts!   

Waiting is always the worst.  We sat in the examining room for a good half hour before the oncologist came in.  She’s a wonderful woman that we respect very much!  Wonderful or not, it’s pretty clear that Patty doesn’t like to see her!  She sat on her stool, read through some papers, looked at Patty and said:  “Everything is great!  Your blood-work looks just fine!  Your chest x-ray from two months ago is clear!  I’m very optimistic that you’re going to be fine!  I couldn’t be happier for you!”  That’s all she needed to say!  Patty was so relieved.  (Of course I was also)  The oncologist examined Patty and we chatted about things other than cancer and she left. 

I haven’t seen Patty do the “Happy Dance” in a long time, but when the oncologist left the room, Patty sprung off the exam table and broke out in her “happy dance!”  It was too cute! 

Patty doesn’t need to see her oncologist for another three months so we should be anxiety free for a while!   

Life is good!

Cancer testing never ends!

This is how my morning started:

“Good morning Lord.  It’s me, Ed.  Lord, as you know, Patty has an appointment with her oncologist this morning.  She’s feeling pretty anxious.  She’s nervous that her blood-work will come back showing the cancer has returned.  Lord, I pray to you that your Holy Spirit is within Patty’s heart and you give her comfort and a big hug so she knows that you’re with her.  I pray to you that her test come back clear of any cancer.  Thank you for everything you do for us everyday!  In the Lords Name I pray!  Amen.”

That pretty much says what’s going on this morning.  Patty has an appointment with her oncologist.  The last one was back in June.  That appointment was pretty low-key.  The oncologist just wanted to see Patty and do a quick check and see how she was doing.  Today’s appointment is much more in-depth.  Patty had to give a blood sample yesterday which will be scanned. analyzed and whatever else they do to determine if Patty is cancer free.  I know they will check for “tumor markers” which are substances found in the body (blood or urine) when cancer is present. I’m not sure what the other tests will be done.

Patty’s been doing so well.  Her chest x-ray back in July was clear and so far all the doctors who have seen her are very happy with her progress.  I’m sure things will turn out fine but I won’t take any chances… that why my morning started out with a prayer.

I’ll keep you posted on the news.

Post surgery update

Wow!  What a day yesterday was!

We got to the hospital around 12:15 for the 1:30 surgery.  Patty was feeling pretty anxious on the drive which was evident by not one word being said.  I tried to get her to talk, but she just wasn’t in the mood.  I totally understand and would probably be the same if it were me!  We checked in with the admitting person in the surgical center and had a short wait before they called her back to get into the “gown”.  After seeing Patty in her “gown” I realized that someone could make a killing in the hospital gown business if they designed one that actually looked good!  But, a green gown with the hospital issue purple socks just wasn’t doing it for me.  Anyway, back to yesterday.  We had a good hour to kill in the pre-surgery room waiting for 1:30.  Tick……….. Tick…………. Tick!  Time dragged.  Finally the anesthesiologist came in.  What a nice man!  Very thorough in explaining his role during the surgery.  His demeanor was very calming to Patty.  The surgical nurse came in as the anesthesiologist left.  She also had this calming effect on Patty.  Wow!  Two for two!  As she left, Patty’s surgeon came in.  Three for three!  It was a good start to surgery.  The surgeon told me she’d come into the waiting room when she was finished and anticipated the surgery to go between and hour and an hour and a half.   They were ready!  I gave Patty a kiss and off she went, looking pretty hip, I must say, in her hospital gown!  They took Patty back for surgery around 1:40.

I made a quick run to the grocery store to pick up things for Patty’s dinner.  Coming out of surgery, I figured since Patty hadn’t eaten since 7:00 the previous night, she would like something tasty but not spicy.  So… grill cheese sandwiches and tomato soup was the menu.  I got back to the hospital around 2:30.  I guessed they’d finish with the surgery around 3:30.  So, there I sat in the waiting room with a pile of Sunset magazines they provided.  I read through about four of them and looked at the clock… 3:35 p.m.  Ahh, they should be finishing up anytime.  Five minutes passed and…  and… and… the power went out!  Thank goodness I don’t freak too easily, but knowing my wife was in surgery and now no power?  I do know that hospitals have emergency power for just this reason so I was pretty calm, but still!  The surgery nurse came out to see me at 3:55 p.m.  She said she just wanted to ease my mind that everything was fine, the had backup power, and they’d be finishing up with Patty’s surgery in 10 to 15 minutes.  Phew!  The surgeon came out at 4:05 saying she was done and Patty did great!  She said she was able to make the necessary repairs, nip and tuck here and there, and was able to put a new implant in which was the same size as the other breast!  That’s great news!  That means no more surgeries… hopefully.

I’d never seen Patty, or anyone for that fact, minutes after surgery.  Wow… Patty talked to me with no clue what she was saying or to whom she was saying it to!  Wow!  He first thing out of her mouth, in a very slurred speech, was:  “God was with me the whole time!”  Patty came “out of the influence” within a half hour and was ready to go home and eat!  (That’s a good sign)

It seemed like everyone wanted to leave the hospital at the same time we were leaving.  The four story parking structure was backed up for four floor!  It dawned on me since the power was out the signal lights on the street weren’t working!  Needless to say, our fifteen minute drive home was much much longer!  I listened to the car radio and learned that the entire San Diego County was without power and San Diego Gas & Electric had no idea what caused the blackout, where the outage initiated and when power would be restored.  Of all days for the power to be out… it’s 99 degrees outside… my wife just had surgery…. no power means no air conditioner….  and we have an electric stove!  Things weren’t looking all that good for the night.  But, with some ingenuity, we’d make it work.

Patty was in a lot of pain as we drove home but I had her take more meds when we arrived at our house.  They kicked in around 6:30 p.m. and she was fine.  I’ve learned that it’s all about pain management!

Last night was kind of nice.  We had candlelight.  I literally made grilled cheese sandwiches on the grill!  (by the way, I’ve never made them that way before and I’ll never do them any other way in the future!)  I have a battery-powered radio so we tuned into a station that was giving updates on the outage.  We had a good night.  Patty went to bed around 8:30 and I followed around 10:30.  No power when I went to bed but it was restored at 4:00 a.m.

Patty woke up this morning around 6 a.m.  She was in a great mood and wanted to talk talk talk!  Me?  I had my head buried in a pillow trying to pretend I was sound asleep.  Meanwhile Mrs. Gabby started carrying on about everything under the sun.  I had to give up on sleep when I realized that she had pretty much slept most of the day before and she was done with sleep.  She did say one thing that caught my attention.  She said:  “Today is the first day in I can’t remember how long that I feel positive!  Positive about going forward.” You don’t know how glad I was to hear her make that statement!

So, bottom line… Patty is doing great (as long as she takes her pain meds)  We admired her new breast this morning when she took a shower.  Wow!  It’s taking shape and now they’re both the same size!  I’m pretty impressed!

 

Surgery Day!

Well… here we go again!  Surgery Day!  This is getting all too common lately.  I guess it could be worse as this is only Patty’s fourth cancer related surgery.  We should feel fortunate as there’s women out there who have had many more surgeries throughout their journey with breast cancer.

Patty’s surgery is scheduled for 1:30 this afternoon.  There’s always going to be some anxiety associated with surgery and this surgery is no different.  It’s pushing 11:00 a.m. right now and Patty’s trying to keep as busy as possible to pass the time.  Waiting is always the hardest part pre-surgery.  Her surgery last month was scheduled for 7:00 a.m. which was good.  The wait was still draining, but at least it was early in the morning.  This time you can literally hear the clock ticking away, second by second… tick, tick, tick!  I’m finding those “ticks” get louder as the waiting continues.

This surgery is scheduled to last between an hour and an hour and a half.  I’ve already prayed that things go as well or better than anticipated and that Patty’s recovery is quick with little or no pain!  Hey… it doesn’t hurt to ask!

I’ll keep you posted on how things turn out.