I did it! I finally did it!

DIGITAL_BOOK_THUMBNAIL

I finally did it!  This has been a Bucket List thing of mine for years.  I wrote and published a book!  Can you believe it!!!

Writing a blog as I went through the cancer journey with Patty was therapeutic!  As tough as the journey was, I looked forward to blogging our daily lives dealing with this mess.  I found blogging actually cleared my head of what was going on.  Get it out and prepare for the next day! I had planned on blogging for much longer than I did, but found as time passed and we settled into a somewhat life of normalcy, there just wasn’t much to blog about.  So, as a result, I stopped.  It really wasn’t a conscious decision.  It just kind of happened.

The blog had built a lot of momentum early on that I had thought to someday turn it into a book.  But, I’d ask myself, why turn it into a book when someone can just go online and read it.  It had to be more that just the blog.  So, I recalled Patty telling she had an ongoing journal as she went through the battle.  I thought “Wow… If I can get my hands on what she had written in her journal, I’m sure it would work if I intermixed her writings with mine.”  The problem is that a journal is like a diary.  What’s written is very personal.  I was hesitant to approach Patty because of that fact.  So, I put it off for a long time, but it was always in the back of my mind to ask.  I finally talked to her about it.  But, I put a spin on it that I thought I’d like to write a book from my blog and insert her writing into it.  I continued that I thought it would help others who read it who were possibly in the throws of cancer, to get a little insight into her side of the story.  She loved the idea!  She said “If you think it could help others, then let’s do it!”  That’s my wife!

So, I spent the next few years going through her journals and inserting parts into the blog/book.  Inserting her writing into the book was easy because she dated everything and so did I!  The hardest part was finding the time to work on it.  So it was an off-and-on project… more off than on.  But I did it!

I conquered a Bucket List item!

The book “My Wife Has Breast Cancer, Our Story” is published in ebook form for now.  So anyone with an electronic device can download it.  I’m working on the paperback now and hopefully it will be ready to go sometime next week… that is, if I can find the time!

My Wife Has Breast Cancer, Our Story is available through Amazon.com.  You can do an easy search on the website under the title or follow the following link:

https://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_noss?url=search-alias%3Daps&field-keywords=my+wife+has+breast+cancer

You can just copy and paste the link into your browser.

Now… I need to go tackle something else on my Bucket List… maybe that will be having my picture taken with a tiger on my lap in Thailand!

Just venting!

A mere 18 months ago, Patty and I were just this happy-go-lucky couple.  Life was perfect, at least that’s what we thought.  Sure we had many of the same issues and challenges as most couples have, but overall, life was great.  But you know what?  I think I can honestly say that now, life is better!

Looking back, my father had prostate cancer in his mid-60’s.  I’m ashamed to admit, but I was young and pretty self-absorbed at the time. I remember him having surgery and going through radiation treatments.  I do recall him very weak from the treatments and one day him telling me “Ed, if I would have known how these treatments made me feel, I would have never done it.”  He finished his treatments and went on to live a very long life of 94 years!  I never gave it a second thought that he could have died from the cancer.  “He’s my dad!  He’s going to live forever!”  I just went on with my life and never gave a second thought to what he and my mother were going through. Now knowing the challenges Patty and I have face the past 18 months, I look at what they went through much differently.  I wish I could apologize to them.

Other than my father, Patty and I had never been affected by cancer of any type.  We had never known someone outside the family who was diagnosed with it.  Patty’s family has no history of cancer.  We’ve never had a friend, or a friend of a friend, who had it.  Cancer just wasn’t in our world.  When we did hear of someone diagnosed with cancer, we’d look at each other and say “Oh.. that’s too bad.  I hope they’re going to be alright.”   And that was about it.  No further thought.  No idea of what that person was facing nor how the cancer affected them, their family, their friends.

Patty and I talked last night and counted the number of people we personally know who have some form of cancer…. TWELVE!  TWELVE people!  Twelve people we personally know who have cancer of various types and in various stages.  Twelve people who’s lives will change forever.  Some of those twelve will make it through the battle… others may not!   That just angers me!

I’m not sure where I’m going with today’s post.  I think I’m just venting.

Cancer is just so random.  Why it chooses one person and not another person is beyond me.  There are times I’ve thought “Why did it choose Patty?”  Was God trying to give us a wake-up call?  If he was… it worked!   Patty and I have face challenges and trials over the past 18 months that I could have never imagined facing.  These challenges were no more and no less than what any person diagnosed with cancer goes through.  Sure the types, stages, grades and treatments may vary, but the challenges, both emotional and physical, are similar.

What is the deal with cancer research?  There are billions of dollar that go into research and yet no cure.  I hear rumor the researchers are close in some respects, but still so far from beating it!  Researchers etc. have made a lot of headway regarding breast cancer treatment as treatment is now leaps-and-bounds from where it was even ten years ago.  Maybe researchers will accidentally come across something that will cure cancer.  Kind of like how they accidentally discovered Viagra.  In that case, researchers were testing a cardiovascular drug known for lowering blood pressure.  They found the drug did lower blood pressure however had a significant side-effect on the male volunteers… presto chango… Viagra was discovered!  Maybe something like that can happen for a cure for cancer.

Well, thank you for letting me vent!  I’m done!

Team Patty in Pink hit’s the road this Friday morning for the Komen 3-Day walk.  Patty and Nicole have been squeezing in their training walks as often as possible, but it hasn’t been as often as they’d like due to weather, work, travel, sickness, etc.  They did do a 12 mile walk about a week ago.  I can tell you, Patty is pretty excited for the walk.  Knowing her, she’ll do just fine.  Stay tuned… I’ll be doing more posts about the walk this weekend.

I started this post saying that life is better now than pre-cancer.  It really is!  I didn’t think it was possible, but Patty and I have grown so much closer.  We have so much respect for each other.  We enjoy our time together so much.  She’s my best friend.

Patty still gets very frightened about cancer.   The subject seems to always be lurking around the corner or hovering around like a dark cloud.  I was telling someone just today that people often thing that when the treatment is over and you’re cancer free you just continue on with life like nothing has happened.  Not true.  It’s something we’ll just have to live with…

“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!

 

Komen 3-day fundraiser for team “Patty in Pink”

As you know, Patty is an avid Jazerciser (if there is such a word!)  Combine the excitement of Jazercise and a fundraiser for the Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure and you’ll probably see Patty doing a remake of Pink’s song “I’m coming up” (So you better get that party started!)

Patty and her daughter, Nicole, plan on participating in the Komen 3-day, 60 mile walk, in mid-November.  They’ve entered as a team with the name “Patty in Pink!”  In order to partake in the walk, each participant must raise $2300.00 prior to the event.  Patty, with the help of many close friends and family, is pretty close to her goal… Nicole is about half way there, but there’s no doubt that she will hit that goal (which I’ll explain with the purpose of this post shortly.)

I do need to take a second and thank the queen of fundraising, Becky H. and the staff at the El Dorado County Department of Child Support Services for fundraising and contributing a total of $652.00 towards Patty’s walk.  If you recall, last year, again with Becky’s leadership, the El Dorado County Department of Child Support Services contributed $638.00 in Patty’s name to Susan G. Komen. Thank you so much for your help!  This mean so much to Patty!

Fundraising is always a difficult thing  for anyone  to do (but Becky!)  How do we raise money?  I’m embarrassed to ask people for money!  Do we sell cupcakes?  What?  Do we need a special license?  Etc, etc, etc…  Then out of the blue, Linda, the owner of  Poway Jazzercise Fitness Center approached Patty and Nicole with the mother-lode idea…  Jazzercise!  Linda wanted to host a Jazzercise/Komen fundraising event.   That’s all it took.  Of course, Patty and Nicole could not turn down such a great idea.  Linda, Patty and Nicole have since run with the idea and now it’s turning into quite the event!

The event is scheduled for Saturday, October 15, 2011 at 6:00 p.m. starting with an hour “Blast and Burn” class.  I don’t know what a “Blast and Burn” class is, but it sounds like something I definitely don’t want to be close to!  The class is followed by “Happy Hour”.  (Again… after a “Blast and Burn” I don’t know if one can be happy.)  There have been a number of raffle donations so far, such as Ryka workout shoes, clothing, massage, manicure and wine.  Patty, Nicole and Linda are still looking for more raffle donations so if you have a business and can donate services or goods or know of someone who can donate something, please let us know!

As I said, the fundraising event is scheduled for Saturday, October 15th at 6:00 p.m.  Cost is $20 per person.  There is a lot of excitement from a number of people in anticipation of this event.  I guarantee it’s going to be a lot of fun (except for the Blast and Burn part) and all money collected is going to the Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure for breast cancer research.

I’ll keep you posted on how things progress.