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!

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!

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…

 

 

Sorry for the delay!

Patty and our close friend, Becky, this past weekend.

Over the past 10 months, I’ve read several blogs from other husbands whose wives have been diagnosed with breast cancer.  Each blog had something in common… the moment their wife finished their “treatment phase” the blogs immediately stopped.  I was disappointed when they ended.  I wanted to know more.  More about how they were doing.  What was going on after treatment?  I told myself I wouldn’t do that with my blog.  I would continue after the “treatment” phase.  Now I understand why they stopped.  Once treatment ends, your life changes… dramatically!  It’s the “new normal.”   Things almost get back to the way they used to be.  To blog, it’s almost boring.  It’s just that our life seems like it’s been controlled with a remote… we went so long on the “pause” button and now someone has hit “fast forward X-4!”  It’s like we’re trying to make up for lost time!  So, on that note, I apologize for getting a little relaxed with the blogging.  I’ll do my best to keep this going.  We still have a lot ahead of us.  We’re not through with this just yet.

First and foremost, Patty is doing amazingly well!  I can remember many days when Patty was going through her treatment that I never thought I’d see her to the point where she is today!   She’s one tough woman!  My guess is that she has pretty much 100% of her energy back.  I can’t keep her down!  She watches Avery four days a week.  She tries to Jazzercise three times a week.  She takes long walks nearly everyday and she’s starting to train for the Susan Komen 3-Day walk in November.  It’s funny… I get home from work and I’m tired and just want to hang out at home.  Not Patty!  As she says, she is cooped up in the condo all day.  She wants to go out!

We’ve learned that human body is amazing!  Amazing in the sense of how it heals. As you are aware, the chemo really did a number on Patty.  I can’t think of words to accurately describe what I witnessed Patty go through!  Patty has told me that she didn’t realize how sick she was until she started feeling better.  I don’t recall if I mentioned this in any previous post, but her incision from the mastectomy in late July had never completely healed, mainly because of the chemo.  Here it is the end of February, six months since the mastectomy and 11 weeks since her last infusion and it’s finally nearly healed!  She meets with the reconstruction surgeon every couple of weeks now and he’s pretty happy with her progress.  He’s just waiting for the incision to completely heal so he can start the reconstruction process.  It shouldn’t be too long.  Now that she’s through the treatment phase, you can see changes in Patty every day.  Her eyelashes and eyebrows were the first to grow and now they’re nearly back to normal.  This was followed by the hair on her legs and then her head.  She’s got a great layer of growth going on her head.  It may not be long, but it’s thick!

We’re learning to deal with the “new normal” a little at a time.  We’re not even sure what the “new normal” is!  We do know that even though Patty has gotten a temporary clean bill of health, the threat of reoccurrence could happen at any time.  This is a fact that we’ll have to live with for the rest of our lives.  She’ll never be out of the woods completely.  We just hope and pray that it never comes back but in the meanwhile, make the best of today!  Speaking of the “new normal,” we were making plans the other night about things we’re doing or going to do in the future.  Patty stopped for a moment and said: “I’m not sure if I’m ready for normal.  I’m so used to taking things a day at a time, or even an hour at a time, that I really don’t know if I’m ready to go forward!”  I thought this was an unusual statement, but I realized that our life was on-hold for so long and on-hold under conditions where we weren’t sure what the future was or if there was even going to be a future that we had to take baby steps.  Going from baby steps to full strides had taken Patty a little back, but she’s fine now.  (At least that what she said!)

Patty told me that she still has moments when she gets scared.  Afraid that the cancer will return.  We’ve both heard that if the cancer does come back, it generally comes back with a vengeance.  She said “Whenever I get scared, I pray and it’s really helps.”  Patty’s relationship and closeness with God has grown over the past 10 months.  She has so much Faith!  Faith that God has a plan for her and for us.  Her faith is what has gotten her through this battle, not only during the difficult times, but throughout this fight.  My Faith is still a work in progress.  I guess it always will be but to be honest,  there are times that I feel guilty about that.  I’m trying…

Patty was recently asked to speak at the kickoff for the American Cancer Society Relay for Life at the end of March.  This is an honor for her to address other survivors and their loved ones about her experience with breast cancer and to motivate others to face the fight head on. I’m confident she’ll do an amazing job.  I’ll keep you posted on how this event goes.

Here’s our most recent challenge… As you know, we’ve been living in our little condo for over a year now.  Yep… 708 square feet!!!  The plan was to move into it from Northern California for a month or two then look for a larger home.  The home search was put on hold once Patty was diagnosed with breast cancer.  Now that she’s through the treatment phase and doing well, we’ve been looking for a new home.  We listed the condo for sale back in early January.  We finally had an offer last week, which we accepted and the condo is now officially in a 45 day escrow!  Yahoo!  I was having doubts that it would ever sell.  So now we’re under the gun to find a place to live.  We had actually put an offer on a great house, but… things didn’t work out due to some financing restrictions by the seller.  So we’re on the hunt again.  We must have looked at a dozed homes today to no avail.  Wow… I didn’t realize there were do many dumps in our price range!!!  We’re going out again with our agent in a couple of days.

My daughter’s (Kristi) due date was yesterday.  Yes… our third grandchild.  But, no such luck with this baby coming on time!  Kristi and her husband, Ryan, have been strong and haven’t found out what the sex of the baby is!  Since the baby is now officially late, my guess is it’s a boy.  (even though I’m hoping for a girl)   You know how lazy us boys can be.  Come on… hanging out in a warm comfy place.  Why would you want to leave?  So it’s a day by day thing now.   Believe me, there will be a picture posted on here once this child makes it’s presence known!

That’s it for now.  Again, I apologize for the delay in posting!

Susan G. Komen 3-Day Walk for the Cure – Patty can use your help!

As you’re well aware by now, in June 2010, Patty was diagnosed with breast cancer. To say it was devastating news to both of us is putting it lightly.  She had a mastectomy in July and then went through six rounds of chemotherapy, the last infusion was in mid-December 2010. Her battle isn’t over yet as she still has regular appointments with her oncologist, pulmonary specialist and reconstruction surgeon.  Needless to say, it’s been a rough year but with the help of our family and friends and other breast cancer survivors, she was able to get through treatment and is now looking forward to a healthy 2011.

Back in November, Patty had registered for the 2010 Susan G. Komen 5k Race for the Cure which was a warm-up to the 3-Day event.  She really looked forward to attending that event as a spectator, however having a chemo infusion just six days before, kept her from attending.  Patty made a promise at that time that once she was feeling good, she would register for the Komen 2011 3-Day so she could do her part to contribute to finding a cure for this terrible disease.  Patty has said “As a mother and grandmother I will do anything to prevent my daughters and granddaughters from getting breast cancer.”

Last years 3-Day was just amazing. These women walked 60 miles over a three-day period, most of the time in the pouring rain. The rain didn’t faze these warriors as they carried on with a purpose!  We watched the closing ceremonies on TV where there were thousands of women, gathered together, celebrating their victory!  Just amazing!

I can’t tell you how excited Patty is to participate in this event.  You know, there’s always room for others to join and walk it with her!!!  The more the merrier! 

As with every good cause, there’s always a catch. Patty must raise $2300.00 to participate in this event.  (Her personal goal is to raise $3000.00.)  This is where you come in!  Any donation of any amount will help her towards her goal.  We’re asking for your support as she takes this amazing journey in the fight to end breast cancer! As I had said, the Susan G. Komen 3-Day for the Cure® is a 60-mile walk over the course of three days.  Net proceeds from the 3-Day for the Cure are invested in breast cancer research and community programs.

Please click on the link below to make your donation:

http://www.the3day.org/site/TR?px=5775771&pg=personal&fr_id=1627&et=fuoM7lomxjPTD9JK6CkevA..&s_tafId=431818

The 3-Day isn’t  until November.  This gives Patty time to train for the walk as well as raise money.  I’ll keep you posted on her progress.

Thank you for your support!