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!!!

Champagne anyone?

 

Here’s Patty the other night just “macking” on the largest piece of bread pudding I’ve ever seen!  Her taster is definitely on the mend!

 

Patty and I are settling into our state of “new normal!”  Patty is slowly getting stronger and stronger each day.  She still get’s tired by the end of the day.  Her attitude has been so awesome since getting the good news the other day regarding her “cancer free” CAT Scan.  She’s so optimistic now.  I love it!  Her taster is slowly getting close to normal.  The fuzz on her head is still pretty slow to produce some real hair, but we know it’ll come in soon.  Poor thing, she lost the last eyelash holdout this morning.  She tried getting some fake eyelashes the other day, but it looked pretty weird!  We’ll just have to be patient. 

The big question was the other night when we celebrated the CAT Scan results.  I ran to the store to pick up dinner and grabbed a bottle of Patty’s favorite champagne… Gloria Ferrar Sonoma Brut.  I had it nice and chilled in the fridge.  I pulled it out around 6 that evening and showed it to her and asked: “Well, do you think you’re ready to try some?”  She lit up and said she’d try it, but no promises.  I poured both of us a glass.  She commented on how pretty the bubbles were but was a little afraid to taste it.  But you know Patty… she took a sip… I watched in anticipation of her reaction… She lit up and said: “Oh how I’ve missed that!  It taste wonderful!!!”  Patty loved it!  She was careful since she hasn’t had anything to drink since June of 2010!  She had two glasses and enjoyed every sip!

Patty has a couple of doctor appointments this week but nothing to earth shattering.  She has a mammogram, an appointment with the reconstruction surgeon and an appointment with our general practitioner.  Like I said, nothing too earth shattering.

So, since we had the great results the other day, we’ve notice that the “Elephant in the room” has gone away!  It’s a good feeling to not have him around! 

Life is good!

Follow-up doctor appointments

 

Here’s Patty and her sisters, Kathy and Dottie, this past weekend in Coronado. 

(ok, not really, it was taken last May in Maui)

We got a couple of doctor appointments out of  the way today.  This morning we met with Patty’s reconstruction surgeon.  Overall, everything is looking “ok” but not quite up to par where he had hoped she’d be.  Things just take a long time to heal when you’re going through chemo.  One would think that having surgery back in late July, things would be perfect by now.  But the TAC that Patty had is one of the strongest chemo’s they’ve got, so things take a little longer to heal.  But, he was hopeful that everything would be good in about a month now that she has no more infusions.  It’s all about waiting for the poison to get completely out of her system.  It’s been four weeks since her last infusion so they figure it takes a good two months before it’s gone.

This afternoon we met with Patty’s oncologist.  According to her, everything is on track.  She had a blood test yesterday which revealed her white cell count to be on the low side but the oncologist didn’t seem concerned about that.  The doctor put Patty on Tamoxifen which is a hormone therapy that blocks cancer cell growth.  It’s all about beating any kind of reoccurrence!  So, she’ll take the Tamoxifen daily for two years then most likely change to a different and newer hormone therapy for a couple more years after that.  It’s all good!  Patty will go back and see her in a month to see where’s she’s at.

The big test comes up next Tuesday… the dreaded CAT Scan.  Patty’s oncologist said she wasn’t concerned about it, but then again, she’s not the one going through it!  As I said in an earlier post, Patty’s experiencing some anxiety over it and I don’t blame her in the least.  It’ll be good to just get it done and find out that things are great!  She’ll have the scan on Tuesday (the 18th) and get the results on Thursday (the 20th).  Please pray that the results of the scan snow no signs of cancer anywhere in her body. 

Overall, Patty has been doing pretty good.  The low white cell count now explains why she has had two colds in the past month, the most recent come on this past weekend.  But, she’s on the mend.  Her hair is slowly sprouting up at the rate of  a trillionth of an inch every-other-day! 

Patty’s sister Kathy and her husband, John, came to town this past Sunday.  They stayed at Lowes in Coronado and invited us to stay Sunday night, so we did.  Even though Patty was battling her cold, we had a really good time and it’s always great to see Kathy and John.  The timing was good as Patty’s brother, Jim,was also in town.  This was the first time in six years that all the Marron siblings have been together!  Family is always good for Patty!

Our little condo is officially listed for sale as of today.  We had about 15 realtors view our condo this morning while we were at the doctors.  I think I had mentioned earlier that we had put off selling the condo until we knew exactly what was going on with Patty.  But now that things are definitely looking up, it’s time to sell and get into something with some room!  Wish us luck!

So, bottom line, things are looking pretty good but, then again, things are still pending!  That’s the frustrating part!

Oh, by the way, a little bird told me that there were some complaints that I haven’t been adding pictures to my last few posts… I won’t name any names about who complained other than they start with “N” and “P” and are from Prescott, Az.  Leave it to the “zonies!”  I promise you’ll be seeing more pictures in the future.  🙂