Wow! I apologize, but the last time I posted was July 18, 2012! Nearly a year ago! Sorry about that…
Ok… so what you’ve missed over the past year (in Reader’s Digest form) was:

• I had successful back surgery for the herniated disk.
• Patty’s been busy watching our granddaughter, Avery, during the day.
• Patty started volunteering at Palomar Hospital.
• We decided to take advantage of me working for Hyatt Hotels by taking quick one or two night trips to: Indian Wells/Palm Springs, Santa Barbara, Huntington Beach, a stay-cation at the Park Hyatt Aviara in Carlsbad and the Andaz West Hollywood. We try to get away at least once a month.
• I was named Manager of the Year for our hotel and as a result, they sent me and Patty on an all-expense paid trip for one week to Aruba!
• Patty, while still watching Avery, got a part time job doing court research on the computer from home.
• We went to the Lodi ZinFest with friends in May.
• We’ve hosted many, many, many family barbecues at our house.
• I’m still playing my guitar as a stress reliever.
• Etc, etc, etc…

So see, life is pretty normal at our house. But I can say, not a day goes by where that “Elephant in the room” (cancer) isn’t present! His presence isn’t remotely like it was in the beginning, but he’s still around! The thought of reoccurrence never leaves… for both of us. Don’t get me wrong, we don’t dwell on the possibility of it coming back, but it’s always there in the back of your mind. I think only those who have been through the battle may understand. It never goes away! And for Patty, she believes every little ache and pain that pops up could be an indication that Mr. Cancer is back. Again, I think this is completely natural for anyone who has been through it.

So the purpose of today’s post is to discuss… today! Patty had her six month checkup this morning with her oncologist. She has a “love/hate” relationship with her. Patty absolutely loves her, respects her, trusts her and honestly looks at her as her Guardian Angel… the woman who saved her life! But on the other hand, she hates to see her. Seeing her means blood work and more tests. With blood work and more tests come stress, anxiety and the “what if it’s back” syndrome! Patty is a smart woman and she knows when it comes to cancer, as much as you want to bury your head in the sand, you just can’t. As much as you want to postpone your checkup, you just can’t! As much as you want to forget about everything and go on as if nothing has happened, you just can’t. The anxiety generally kicks in about a month before her appointment. Not much, but knowing Patty as I do, I can tell when she’s not on her game and there’s some kind of underlying thing going on that I’m not privy to. But, I’ve learned, all I have to do is take a look on the calendar and I can easily figure out what’s bothering her. As the days pass and the appointment gets closer, the stress and anxiety of the “test” results gets greater. I’ve learned that my job is to just keep her as busy as I possibly can to keep her mind off of things!

This morning, we got up and poor Patty was just beside herself. She was very quiet and the “Elephant” was definitely with us. He was in the bedroom as we dressed… in the kitchen as we had a cup of coffee… in the car during the ride to the doctors… in the waiting room with us and he sat on the chair next to me in the examining room! Finally the doctor came in. She just has this way about her that is confident yet comforting. Bottom line… all the blood work came back in normal range!!! There’s no indication that cancer is even considering a reoccurrence at this time!!! The best news ever! When the doctor gave Patty a bill of clean health, I looked at the chair next to me and the elephant was gone!

So, chalk up another visit to the oncologist! Another positive visit, Patty is very healthy and things will be great for another five months until the anticipation of the next visit raises its ugly head!

Until then, Patty is a three year breast cancer survivor!!!