Happy New Year!!!

Well, another year has passed and Patty and I are about as healthy as we can be! Patty got some amazing news just a week ago…

December 14, 2015 was Patty’s 5 year anniversary from her last Chemo. Five years! My how the time flies by. She just had an appointment with her Oncologist for her final check-up of the year. She has been seeing her every six months for the past couple of years. This was a big one for her since hitting the five-year mark post chemo gives her a greater chance of survival and being cancer free for many years to come. In addition, she was taking the medication Arimidex which lowers estrogen levels in post-menopausal women, which may slow the growth of certain types of breast tumors that need estrogen to grow in the body. Patty experienced a number of side effects to the medication such as tingling of the extremities, joint pain and, one of my personal favorites… hot flashes! Not just one or two a day, but we’re talking hot flashes anytime of the day, night or morning! I’ve been wanting to get her a super hero costume with a cape and call her The Hot Flash! Poor Patty… she is the only woman I’ve known that will turn the air conditioner on in the car when it’s 32 degrees outside! If things turned out well with her appointment there was a big hope that the doctor would take her off the Arimidex! So this was a big appointment for her… and us. I generally go to every appointment with her,but unfortunately she had to do this one on her own as I had “things” to deal with at work. As usual, about a week before her appointment Mr. Elephant in the room dropped by for his semi-annual visit as I could see patty starting to withdraw a little. If you look back in past posts I’ve described how she gets about a week before any appointment so I go into my routine of trying to keep her mind off of things… I go into “stupid mode!” I joke… laugh… just try to keep her entertained. It never works but why not try.

Her appointment with the Oncologist was December 23rd at 2:00 p.m. She gave blood samples the day before and had a bone density scan. So, December 23rd finally arrived and fortunately Patty was really busy with work so that kind of kept her mind off of things… Patty went to her appointment as scheduled, apprehensive as to what news the doctor would have for her…

December 23rd at about 2:30 my phone rang. I saw it was Patty when I answered it… Here’s how the conversation went:

Me: “Hi Honey… How’d it go???
Patty: “Yippee! Yahoo! Yippie! Wooo Hoo! Yea!!! Yippa Screma Dema!!!”
Me: “I’m taking it that it went well?”
Patty: “The doctor said I graduated!!! Yippee! Yahoo! Yippie! Wooo Hoo! Yea!!! Yippa Screma Dema!!!”
Me: “I’m so happy!!!”
Patty: “No more Arimidex! Yippee! Yahoo! Yippie! Wooo Hoo! Yea!!! Yippa Screma Dema!!!”
Me: “That’s great!
Patty: “Yippee! Yahoo! Yippie! Wooo Hoo! Yea!!! Yippa Screma Dema!!!”

That’s pretty much how it went! Not recommended, but she was driving and doing her happy dance at the same time in the car!

Yep… the doctor gave her a clean bill of health! She graduated! The doctor also took her off the Arimidex! No more hot flashes! No more air conditioner in the car when it’s freezing outside! No more needing to wear a wetsuit to bed! I know it all sounds selfish of me, but all I can say is: “Yippee! Yahoo! Yippie! Wooo Hoo! Yea!!! Yippa Screma Dema!!!”

We hope 2016 brings everything good to you!

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A year later…

First of all, I know its been about a month since my last post.  My goal at that time was to keep you up to date with posts as Patty and Nicole were walking the Komen 3-Day walk.  It turned out that I got pretty sick with what I thought was just a cold, but it turned out to be pneumonia which, to say the least… kicked my butt!  I’ve since recovered and am feeling pretty much back to myself but this past month has been rough.

Patty and Nicole completed the Komen 3-Day!  I will say, they had some tired and sore feet by the end of the weekend, but, the bottom line is that they put their minds and feet to the test and did it.  Unfortunately I wasn’t there except for the closing ceremonies, which, by the way, were pretty emotional!  Nicole blogged about their experience so I think I’ll just give you the link to her site so you can read about their  journey from her perspective… http://hipfitmom.com/

I do have a couple of pictures from day three of the walk to share…

Amazing how a shot of tequilla can relieve foot pain!

Thank you El Dorado County!

December 14th… a special day for Patty and me.  December 14, 2010 was the day Patty received her 6th and final chemotherapy infusion of her breast cancer treatment.  December 14, 2010 marked the end of one chapter of our lives and the beginning of a new one.

I took a few minutes this morning and read through old posts of this blog.   Wow, it brought back so many memories.  Patty was so sick just one year ago.  She had lost so much weight.  She had lost her hair, eyebrows and eyelashes.  She was so weak and fatigued… she’d even passed out several times.  I remember referring to those times as “Adventures in Chemo – the bathroom Chronicles!”   Twice she required medical attention and stitches from passing out.  It was a pretty scary time in our lives, but you know what?  We made it.  Not having ever faced a health issue like this, not knowing what day to day issues we’d face, I think we did pretty good as a team… mostly flying by the seat of our pants!  Even as scary as the whole experience was, and I mean it was scary, our love and respect for each other kept us going!  And that love and respect has grown 100 times over since then, if not more!  The other thing that kept us going was keeping our sense of humor… when dealing with breast cancer you can either laugh or cry and we found a combination of both worked for us!

Now look where we are… one year later.  Patty has come so far.  She has a head full of curly hair.  Her eyebrows and eyelashes are back and have been back for months.  She looks healthy and feels healthy!  She goes to Jazzercise a couple times a week and, as you know, she was able to walk 60 miles in the Komen 3-Day for the cure.  A year and a half ago, we didn’t even know if she’d be alive today.  But you know what?  She is and she’s doing great!

Patty had an appointment with her oncologist this past Monday.  Everything looks great and the oncologist had no issues where she is with her recovery!    Next appointment with her is in three months.  Patty goes back to see the reconstruction surgeon in mid-January for her next to last procedure.

Everything is just falling into place…

So, as I said, yesterday was a big day for Patty.  Sure, she’s still dealing with some issues from the chemotherapy.  But the bottom line is that she’s come so far and has a whole life ahead of her…

That’s my girl!!!

 

Komen 3-Day Walk – Day 1

The excitement for Patty in anticipation of the Komen 3-Day Walk grew as this last week passed.  It seemed to be our main topic of conversation.  Patty was a little nervous about walking 20 miles for three days in a row plus the possibility of rain in the forecast for Saturday and Sunday, however, I don’t think there is anything that would get in her and Nicole’s way to keep them from walking.

It’s funny, I work strange hours with my new job and a few days each week I don’t stumble in until around 3:00 a.m.  I always try to be as quiet as possible to not wake Patty… I’ll walk in the bedroom and whisper “I’m home honey.”  Generally I’ll hear a “grunt” from Patty acknowledging my presence and that’s about it.  Last night I walked in with my usual routine, whispered “I’m home honey” and she startled me with an alert voice asking “What time it?”  I told her it was 2:45 a.m. and she responded “Good… I have an hour and a half to go!”  4:15 a.m. couldn’t come soon enough for her!  Patty is not a morning person, but today, she was all about getting up and facing her walk.  She reminded me of when I was a kid and my parents announced they were taking my sister and me to Disneyland the following morning.  The excitement of the next day kept me awake all night!  Patty and Nicole needed to be at the walk starting point by 6:00 a.m. then participate in a community stretch followed by the opening ceremonies.  The walk officially started at 7:00 a.m.

I slept in until around 9 and Patty called minutes after I awoke.  She sounded so excited!  She just rambled about how awesome the event was and how happy she was that she and Nicole could participate together.  She said there was more energy then you could ever imagine, women and men walkers dressed in wild pink clothing, boas, hats… you name it.  She’s having the time of her life!  She said she didn’t think there would be an issue for her to complete the 20 miles today.  (We’ll see how she’s doing tonight!)

Unfortunately I’m not able to make it to the walk today as I’ve now come down with the cold that’s being passed around the family.  I’ll do my best to be there tomorrow!

Here’s a couple of pictures she texted me of their adventure…

I’m not going to even bother asking who this guy is!

I’ll keep you posted on their walk as I hear more!

“Putting on the Glitz” Komen Fundraiser!

Patty, Nicole and Linda (owner of Poway Jazzercise Fitness Center) hosted a “Putting on the Glitz” fundraising event to benefit  Susan G. Komen for the Cure this past Saturday at the Poway Jazzercise Fitness Center.  Unfortunately I had to work so I wasn’t able to attend but from what I heard, it was an evening filled with fun, sweat, friendship, tears, laughter, energy and best of all… money to donate to the cause!

Patty, Nicole and Linda worked hard over the past few weeks to pull this event together and their hard work proved to be successful as when all was said and done and the dollars were counted, they raised $2,340.00!   All together, team Patty in Pink has raised a grand total of $6,940.00!!  I think that’s quite an accomplishment to be proud of!

Since I was unable to attend the event and can’t really talk about it first hand, I’m letting Patty fill in the details…

This was such an inspiring fundraiser!!  The staff and teachers at Poway Jazzercise, along with many volunteers, put together an awesome spread of food.  We received so many wonderful raffle prizes, we had a table full of things to choose from.  At 6:00 p.m.  Linda, the owner and instructor along with my daughter, Nicole lead us in a Burn and Blast Jazzercise class.   The other instructors from Poway and Escondido got up on stage to help lead us.  There was so much energy in the room and so much love and support it brought tears to my eyes.  There were about 35 to 40 attendees, all dressed in their pink glitz.  The donations had already started coming in prior to the event and each women who attended donated a minimum of $20.00 for the class.  People were so generous.  After the class, we munched on healthy food, along with a lot of yummy treats and had the raffle drawing and a silent auction for Ryka shoes donated by Jazzercise.  It was a blast and I am definitely feeling the Burn and Blast today.  I am so humbled by all of the support Nicole and I received from the Poway/Escondido Jazzercisors.  There is a special camaraderie within the Jazzercise family and it was definitely reflected in this very special event. 

This event was so successful, I have a feeling this may be a yearly event!

Kristi, Patty and Nicole

Patty saying her "thanks" to everyone

Burn and Blast!

Nicole and Linda leading a classPatty thanking everyone for their support

More Burn and Blast!Keep going ladies!

Patty’s modeling debut!

Patty in her "evening wear" just after making her debut on the catwalk!

Patty made her modeling debut this morning for a Komen fundraiser at the Poway Stein Mart.  It was a small affair, but featured breast cancers survivors as models.

Patty had to be at the store by 10:00 a.m. to prep for the “show”.  The show was to start at 11:00 a.m.  She showed up right on time and I met her there later.  I wasn’t sure where they were holding the fashion show but I figured they’d most likely have it somewhere in the woman’s department.  As I strolled through women’s purses, underwear and bras, I heard laughter from a far corner of the store.  Those of you who know Patty, know she has a very distinctive laugh so I easily found her by walking in the direction of that contagious laugh!   As I got closer to the dressing room I heard Patty saying to someone: “You know, it’s really difficult wearing a jacket when you’re having a hot flash!  (That’s my girl… tell it like it is!)

The first look was “Evening Wear”.   Patty wore a  gorgeous blue dress with some pretty hot silver shoes.  I have to apologize, but being a guy I don’t quite have the words to accurately describe her outfit.  I all can say is that she looked pretty hot!  They strolled the “catwalk”, up and back in front of onlookers.  Once everyone did their stroll, they then walked the interior perimeter of the of the store showing people their ensemble.   Then they returned to the dressing room for a quick change into their “casual look”.

(again, please remember I’m a guy!)  Patty’s casual look consisted of a pair of dress jeans, button down blouse, leather jacket and high-heeled boots.  Again… pretty hot!  She looked great!  As before, the did their walk on the catwalk then paraded throughout the store.

The entire event took about a half hour and it was fun just the same.  The store gave Patty a discount on clothes for her participation.  She ended up buying the blue evening dress.  (good choice)

Overall, this little event was fun.  Patty had a good time… she received a good discount on clothes, and more importantly… it kept her mind busy!

Tonight is the Komen fundraiser that Patty, Nicole and Linda are hosting at Poway Jazzercise Fitness Center.  It should be a really run event!  (pictures to come!)

Here’s a few more pictures of Patty’s modeling debut…

 

 

Keeping busy is good!

You’d never know that Patty was retired!  She seems busier than me and I have a full-time job!  That’s such a great sign that she’s progressing in her recovery and looking forward to what each and every day brings!

You may know that October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month.  There are so many breast cancer related events going on.  Stein Mart has guaranteed to donate $100,000.00 to Susan Komen for the Cure and Patty is going to be part of the fundraising efforts this Saturday by participating in a fashion show at our local Stein Mart in Poway.  All the “models” are breast cancer survivors!  She’s pretty excited to participate in this event and today she meets with the organizers to get fitted with her “outfits!”  Pretty cool!  My wife, the model!  I’ll make sure to get some pictures for you to see.

This Saturday evening is the Komen Fundraiser that Patty, Nicole and the owner of Poway Jazzercise and Fitness Center have organized.  Patty and Nicole have already made their goal of $2300.00 each to participate in the Komen 3-day walk in November so the money raise from this event is icing on the cake!  Every penny helps!   It’s going to be quite the event.  As I said in an earlier post, the event starts at 6:00 p.m. with an hour Blast and Burn jazzercise class followed by an hour of pink champagne, raffle prizes and a silent auction.  They’ve already had quite a few RSVP’s and are hoping to pack the event with close to 50 people!  I won’t be able to attend (it’s a good thing since I don’t want to “Blast and Burn”) but Patty’s promised to take a lot of pictures that I can post.

Patty met with her reconstruction surgeon yesterday.  Everything is looking good!  It’s healing well and, to me, looks great!  She doesn’t need to see her for another month.  Most likely the surgeon will schedule the final procedure and Patty should be done by Christmas!  What a great Christmas present!

Patty being busy is the best thing for her!  She still has moment where the cancer scare is a reality.  She still has moments where she gets very frightened that the cancer will come back.  I don’t think those feelings will every go away.  So things like watching Avery during the week, going to bible study, participating in the Stein Mart fashion show and organizing the Komen fundraiser keep her on her toes and, most important, keep her mind focused on life!

 

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!