No news is good news… at least that’s what they say!

Here's Patty on a hike this past weekend in the mountains above Palm Springs. She and her sister Kathy had a quick "girls getaway."

As they say… no news is good news.  How that applies to Patty… life is good!  Her hair is pushing the one inch mark.  It’s funny, but her hair is really coming back curly!  I joked with her the other day, but looking at the top of her head reminds me of a weather broadcast showing the high and low pressure systems.  Her hair is swirling in every direction.  It’s really cute when she gels it up.  As a friend from church said yesterday… “It looks so European!”  That’s my wife, always on top of fashion!  She just made an appointment with the hair dresser to throw some color on it next month so she’s been busy researching cuts and colors for short hair.  She wants to do something “fun!”

Patty is still having the neuropathy issues in her hands and feet, but yesterday she told me that she thinks it’s getting a little better.  The doctor said the neuropathy would peak around 5 to six months after her final chemo, and if what she said was true, she may be over the hump and on the road to recovery in that department.  We have noticed that her immune system still is not at 100%.  She’s had several colds over the past few months which is unusual for her.  Patty rarely gets sick, but we notice now when she gets a cold, it hangs on longer than normal.  She has one right now that’s been hanging on for over two weeks.

Reconstruction is right around the corner.  Patty’s reconstruction surgeon dropped a bomb on her about a month ago.  He announced he’s retiring.  This was really disappointing news.  Patty had developed a very close relationship with him over the past 10 months.  He was involved in the mastectomy and has treated her regularly every couple of weeks since then.  Now he’s retiring.  Now what?  It turns out that one of his associates in his office is taking over his practice.  We had met her before and really liked her.  Patty had an appointment with her last week for an exam and to discuss her options going forward.  As before, we both felt very comfortable and have confidence in her. She agreed with the previous surgeon that Patty is completely healed from the mastectomy and Patty could go forward with the reconstruction process whenever she felt she was ready.  Believe me… Patty’s ready to get this party started!  The surgeon discussed several options for the reconstruction.  Without going into details, she recommended one process that Patty felt comfortable with.  Patty wants to wait until after we get back from Kauai to have the surgery.  So, it’s officially scheduled.  Patty will have the surgery on Friday, July 29th.  This is so ironic.  July 29th of last year was the date of her mastectomy!  Exactly one year to the day!  How crazy is that?  The surgeon told us the procedure will take about six hours.  Patty will be in the hospital for at least three days and then be able to come home.  She’ll be down for a good three weeks following the surgery then we can expect another 4 to 5 weeks after that until she’s completely recovered.  I joked with the surgeon when she talked about Patty’s recovery time frame and made a comment: “She’ll still be able to wash dishes, vacuum and do laundry right?”   She gave me a look then said if she had to, she’d write a note for Patty that said “no housework!”  Damn!  Well, I tried!  She’ll have more procedures after that, but hopefully no more surgeries.  The surgeon said when everything is said and done, she can expect the process to take about one year from start to finish.  Patty is a little nervous, but she really wants to have this done.   I’m behind her 100%!

Earlier I mentioned our trip to Kauai.  We’re so excited!  We’re going for 8 days and leave in less than a month!  We can’t wait!  Patty had told me while going through chemo, one thing (amongst many) that kept her focused was our trip to Kauai.  We’ve been there a couple of times before and don’t really need to do the sightseeing.  The title for this trip should be “Relax and Enjoy!”  That’s exactly what we plan on doing.  Those white sandy beaches are just what the doctor ordered for both of us.  We rented a condo on the north shore overlooking Hideaways Beach.  I have a feeling we’ll be spending a lot of time there.  While in Kauai, we’ll be celebrating our 17th wedding anniversary as well as Patty’s 1 year “Cancerversary”.

Oh… I wanted to thank those people from El Dorado County again!  Lead by Becky the Queen Fundraiser, they raised another $238.00 for Patty’s Komen Walk in November!  Patty is now at $1,518.00 towards her goal of $2,300.00.  She’s 66%  of the way there!  Thank you so much!

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!