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!

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!

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.

One step forward… two steps back!

As Benjamin Franklin said:   “Nothing is certain but death and taxes.”  Just when I’m getting comfortable with where Patty is in her recovery and certain that things are going great… something happens.  Another challenge!  Yesterday was no different!  I have to say this breast cancer ride with Patty has been just that!  A ride! 

Patty has been doing so well.  Everyday she makes progress in her recovery.  There are actually short times in my day when I look at her and forget what she’s been through… but then reality always brings it back.  She’s been through so much over the past 17 months… the early mis-diagnosis; the mastectomy; chemotherapy; hair loss; another surgery due to problems during early reconstruction; fainting spells; loss of appetite; reconstruction surgery… etc.  There were times early on in her diagnosis when I really didn’t know if she’d be with us 17 months later.  But here she is!  And I need to keep that in perspective!

 As you’re aware, Patty had her reconstruction surgery one month ago.  It was a long surgery and somewhat painful recovery.  She was strong and a trooper and hung in there and did what she needed to do with little complaint.  Two weeks ago the doctor started adding saline to her implant.  Patty was so happy and excited about the whole process.  For a woman, losing a breast is obviously very difficult.  Suddenly seeing a breast again after having the reconstruction surgery was an amazing thing for Patty.  

 Patty had an appointment with the doctor yesterday to have more saline added to her implant.  (Here’s where the title of this blog applies!)  Long story short, there is a one-way valve on her implant where the doctor inserts a needle to add the saline.  Apparently the implant had moved/shifted to a point where the doctor was not able to locate the valve!  So… what does this mean?  It means Patty is scheduled for an ultrasound this afternoon where the doctor will try to locate the valve.  Once located… Patty will have a “procedure” (which is another word for surgery) to move the implant back to where it’s supposed to be, to be able to continue to add saline.  

 Needless to say, Patty is extremely frustrated right now!  I don’t blame her.  I’ll admit, I’m frustrated also.  Patty has been going through this battle for 17 months now!  She’s tired of not feeling well all the time.  I know her… she’s strong and strong-willed!  She’ll get through this “bump.”  She will!  But I can’t blame her frustration.  

 We don’t know if she’ll have the “procedure” today or if it will be scheduled for a future date.  But for now… One step forward, two steps back!

Quick update…

I went to the hospital around 8 a.m. this morning.  As I approached Patty’s room I could hear Patty’s distinctive laugh.  I walked into her room and one would think there was a slumber party going on!  Patty and her roommate,Deborah, were both sitting up in their beds laughing about something.  They both had their breakfast trays in front of them were acting like long time friends.  It was pretty cute.

Patty is doing amazingly well!  She looks like she could come home today.  They’ve removed all the tubes etc from her and she was going to go for a walk around the hall later today.  Honestly, I’m shocked how well she’s doing!

The reconstruction surgeon came in this morning while I was there.  She took a look at her work and said everything has started healing perfectly!  Isn’t the power of prayer amazing!  This is exactly what Patty and I (and others) have been praying for  the past couple of weeks and God has listened!  We did get to take a peek at the newest addition to her body and it looks great!!!

So… the update is that Patty is recovering better than I (and she) expected!  We couldn’t be happier!

Reconstruction surgery was a success!!!

Patty at 5:30 this morning wearing the latest in hospital fashion!

7:31 p.m. – I just walked in the house after a long day at the hospital!  I figured the first thing I needed to do when I got home was let everyone know how today went.

Well… we got up at 4 a.m.   No… change that!  I got up at 4 a.m. and Patty rolled out of bed around 4:25.  OK… that’s more accurate!  We were out the door about 4:50 a.m. and at  the hospital around 5:20.  Patty checked-in and they took us back into the prep room shortly thereafter.  The last few of days I could see Patty was experiencing some anxiety over the surgery.  As I think I said in yesterdays post… “I don’t blame her”.  This is pretty major surgery!  Last night she was getting a little weepy over not being able to care for Avery for the next 8 weeks as well as being pretty limited with what she’ll be able to physically do.  Bottom line, she was just frightened.  But this morning, she was completely different.  She was a little tentative, but she was ready to take this next step head on!  She had a great attitude and was laughing and smiling.

The staff at Scripps Green was amazing and really kept Patty at ease.  We met with the surgery nurse and the anesthesiologist around 6:30 and were pretty much ready to go for the 7:00 a.m. surgery.  The only person missing was the reconstruction surgeon!  Waiting is always hard in these circumstances.  You know how that goes… you’re there and just want to get this over-with!  7 a.m. rolled around and no surgeon… 7:20… no surgeon.  Now I think the waiting was getting to Patty as she told me that she was starting to get a little scared.  7:30… no surgeon.  Finally around 7:40 a.m. the surgeon waltzed in.  Thank God!  I could see the tension leave Patty’s body when she walked in.  The surgeon marked Patty up with a purple marker to indicate to her where she’d be making the incisions for the procedure.  She spoke with us for a few minutes and said she was ready to go and she’d find me in the waiting room when she was done.  She said the procedure will take around 4 1/2 to 6 hours.  Phew… I knew it’d be a long morning.  She left and within a minute another nurse came in and walked off with Patty.

I went over to the cafeteria and got breakfast.  I looked at my watch and saw it was only 8 a.m.  I thought “Oh man… Patty won’t be out until probably 1 or 2 o’clock.  So I had breakfast, read the paper, read a few chapters in a book I’m reading, watched people come in and out of the waiting room (by the way, waiting rooms are a great place to people watch!) and watched a little TV.  I noticed it was around noon and I was now reading some pamphlet on hospital services (as I’ve now read everything else) when the surgeon came in.  I glanced up and was surprised to see her.  I said: “Are you already done?”  She replied that she was and continued by saying that everything went great!  She had a big smile on her face and said it was a perfect surgery… no issues, no problems, no nothing!  Everything went as planned.  In fact she said: “I think this is one of the best one’s I’ve ever done!”  She said Patty did great and was awake in the recovery room!  Wow!  Not even four hours!  That was awesome!  I wasn’t able to see Patty in the recovery room, but that was ok.  I met up with her once she was transferred to her room about an hour later.

I have to say, Patty looks great!  So far she’s experiencing little pain.  She not drugged up other than taking a Vicodin every few hours.  She is doing so well!  I’m so proud of her!  She’s a stud!  Hopefully she’ll be doing just as well, or better, tomorrow.

Patty has to stay in the hospital until at least Monday.  Quite honestly, she’s was ready to come home tonight!  But, we have to do what the doctor tells her to do.

I could tell Patty was feeling pretty good this evening when she asked: “Are you going to make a dump run this weekend?”

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!

Life is getting better every day!

As much as I try to be diligent about keeping current on this blog, I’m finding that lately it’s been difficult.  I could make excuse after excuse, but that’s all they’d be… excuses.

Life has been absolutely great for me and Patty.  We’re still settling into the new house.  We have half the boxes in the garage unpacked and tomorrow I’m attacking the rest.  We can fit one car in the garage as it is, but the goal is to get both in!  It my sound stupid, but I’m really excited to clean the garage!

Patty is recovering more and more every day.  She still has the problem with the neuropathy in her feet.  She got in to see the neurologist last week and it was a good and bad news prognosis.  The good news is that eventually the neuropathy will diminish.  Notice I used two italicized words in that sentence… “Eventually” because there’s no telling how long it will take and “diminish” because it may not completely go away.  I guess that was the bad news.   The neurologist did say, speaking in general terms, the neuropathy “peaks” around six months after the final chemotherapy infusion.  Patty will hit the six month mark on the 14th of this month.  We’re just hoping things start getting better soon.  Patty said it can get painful at times.  As with this entire journey, patience is a good character trait!

Patty saw the reconstruction surgeon again this week.  She got the best news ever!  Her incision from the mastectomy from last July has finally healed!!!  It took nearly 10 months, but the surgeon was very pleased that it’s finally healed!  He said they can start the reconstruction process anytime she’s ready.  We’ve planned our trip to Kauai in late June so she wants to wait until after our trip to start the reconstruction process.  She doesn’t want anything to interfere with our trip!  I totally agree!  The reconstruction will require a few surgeries and the surgeon said he expects the process to be completed by the end of the year.

As I said in the last post, Patty has decided to go “au natural” and no longer wear her wig.  She looks awesome!  She was cute the other day.  I got home from work and Patty was on the sofa, reading.  I looked at her and she had put some gell on her hair and it was all spiked up.  It looked great!!!  Real sassy!  So here you go… Patty’s new look!  This picture was taken last weekend with our granddaughter, Mia.

Speaking of our granddaughter, Mia, we had a driving trip to Phoenix this past weekend to visit Patty’s son, Nate, his wife Julie and Mia.  Nicole, Joey and Avery also drove out. The drive from San Diego to Phoenix is very doable, about six hours.  The trip was two-fold… one to celebrate Nate’s birthday, and two, for Patty to have both her kids together for a few days.  We had a low-key, but fun weekend.  I have to say that Patty was in complete Heaven all weekend.

I experienced a “real moment” while at Nate’s.  Nate’s house is set up in the Great Room style with the living room, kitchen dining room all in one.  I was in the kitchen and I looked over and saw Patty on the couch.  She was laughing with that contagious laugh she has.  She had one granddaughter on each side of her and they were flanked by Nicole and Nate.  Patty had such a huge smile on her face, I could tell that at that very moment,  life couldn’t get any better for her.  Suddenly I realized how fortunate we have been.  Honestly, I had no idea a year ago if Patty would even be with us at this time and now look at her!  She’s full of life and feeling so good!  I snuck out of the house for a moment and had a quick talk with God and thanked him for Patty’s health and how well she’s doing.  She’s doing so well!!!

Mother’s Day is Sunday.  I mentioned in the last post that Major League Baseball is honoring cancer patients and survivors on Sunday.  Susan Komen for the Cure has contacted a number of breast cancer survivors to be honored at the Padres vs. Diamondbacks baseball game Sunday.  Patty gets to go onto the field with other survivors to be honored before the game.  At the last-minute, Komen asked that “co-survivors” (aka ME) can accompany the survivors onto the field.  We’re really looking forward to this event!  I’ll make sure to take pictures!

One last thing before I end this post… I wanted to thank those of you who have been faithfully following our ride!  A couple of week ago I made  the “5000 hit’s” club on this blog.  I know that 5000 isn’t a huge number, but for me, I would have never guessed that many people would be following our lives.  When I started this blog, my intent was to keep our friends up to date on Patty’s progress.  It’s still my intent, but I’ve learned that I’m also touching people who have been diagnosed with breast cancer and are following us for information as well as support.  This blog has gone well beyond my wildest dreams.  I follow the origin of hits to this blog and I’m getting people following us worldwide!  I’ve seen return hits from the U.K., Canada, Algiers, Africa, Brazil, Argentina to name a few.  Of course there’s many many hits from throughout the United States.    From some towns I’ve never heard of.  It’s pretty amazing!

Thank you!

A visit with the reconstruction surgeon…

Well, as I’ve said before, Patty is really doing well.  She’s got her energy back, her strength back and pretty much all her hair back… well… sorta.

She had an appointment with the reconstruction surgeon this past Wednesday.  If you recall, that darned incision hadn’t completely healed since July!!!  We were hoping she’d meet with the reconstruction surgeon this time and he’d say that she’s all healed and now they can start with the reconstruction.  Well, that didn’t quiet happen.  This time the surgeon said that she is “over healed!”  Go figure.  We don’t really know what that means other than we have to wait another month and see how things are doing.  Pretty disappointing since it’s warming up down here and I know Patty would really like to get in the pool!  I guess she has to be satisfied with cold showers to cool off for the time being!

I can say that this news isn’t getting her down in the least!  We have too much going on to, as she says:  “Sweat the small stuff!”

We need to take it one day at a time!

Last night I leaned over and gave Patty a kiss on top of her shiny head and it hit me… “She’s really dealing with cancer!”  Please don’t get me wrong, we’ve been living this for the past six months, but last night was different.  It really hit me… hard!  The reality of all this came over me like a ton of bricks!  I felt bad for her and very frustrated for both of us.  I really want to fix this and make this go away for her, but I can’t.  I think I may have been running on auto-pilot for the past six months.  Having many years behind me in law enforcement, maybe my past training had taken over… whatever the problem is, handle it!  Don’t let the emotional part get in the way!  Just handle it!  

We were delivered some very frustrating news yesterday.  Without getting into specifics, Patty’s having some complications from the surgery.  (Don’t worry, there’s no more cancer)  The doctor feels they need to go back in to correct this problem.  So, surgery is scheduled for this coming Monday, Oct. 18th.  Surgery is at 1:00 p.m. and should take about an hour.  They say she’ll come home that same day.  

I’m really concerned about this procedure.  Patty just had chemo this past Tuesday.  If you remember my last post, I talked about how we’ve pretty much figured out how she’ll be feeling on a day-to-day basis over the next couple of weeks.  Well, my guess is she’ll probably be really fatigued come Monday!  Plus, they say that between day 7 through 14 following chemo, her white cells will be at their lowest and this is a time when she’s the most susceptible to infection.  My question is… How will all that affect her recovery from the surgery?  Another question I have is…  Will this procedure delay her next chemo treatment?  That’s the last thing we want!  We’re on a schedule and really don’t want any delays!  Patty put a call in to her Oncologist late yesterday to ask those specific questions.  She hasn’t gotten back to us yet.  

My hope is all this will be behind us come June 22, 2011 (Patty’s 1 year cancerversary).  Our life will be somewhat back to normal and we’ll look back at all this and say “Man, that was really messed up!”  (I do have another phrase for “messed up” but it’s probably not appropriate to put it in this post!)