Wednesday, April 16, 2014

My Time Has Not Yet Come!!

It was Sunday about 2 as Pat and I were driving to Houston....and a calmness came over me that said...."It's going to be ok....IT'S.GOING.TO.BE.JUST.FINE.   I sat there a few minutes before I said Pat....(long pause) and he said" What honey" and I replied Everything's going to be ok.....he of course agreed and I said NO.... "EVERYTHING is going to be ok with my scans!!"  It took an even deeper calmness in my soul....Thank YOU, God!!
Monday comes.....I wait less then 5 minutes after blood work at 6:45 in the am, which is REALLY quick. The scan went fast and I thought....Hmmmm, they didn't find anything or they would have scanned longer (maybe...maybe not.....was it my imagination)?
Monday evening comes and we go to Holy Ghost Catholic Church to hear Father Byron Miller give a presentation/talk. Very good and so glad we went. Jesus said appr. 13 times in John's Gospel that "My Time has Not Yet Come"....and it resonated through my body as if God was saying that to me also.
Tuesday comes, THE DAY to get scan and blood results. I get all the temp, weight stuff out of the way and went right back to see the P.A. and then Dr. Javle. QUICKEST I have got back to the patient room....E.V.E.R.  God knows I am not patient even though I have learned over the last 3 years and 3's all on God's time...not Patty's "Hurry up and do it RIGHT NOW time!! :-)
The P.A. comes in and goes through every word of the report.....explains in deep detail what everything means and also compares it to the last scan I had. She said I am as stable as we can even think. The mass in the liver is lymph node involvement ANYWHERE except some inflamed due to my chronic sinusitis. EVERYTHING IN MY BODY WAS CALM............THANK YOU JESUS!! THANK YOU FATHER!!
Dr. Javle then came in to reiterate what the P.A. said, then said he was so happy with my stability....    He said Dr. Das, the radiation oncologist in Houston who mapped exactly where I was being radiated, was just talking to Dr. Javle about 2 patients with CC. One person who is not doing so well....and then....wellllllllllllll, there's ME.  Stable as any stable could be expected! I wanted to shout and cry at the same time with joy.
Pat and I headed to the movie cinema right after the visit to catch a movie. I saw God's Not Dead and Pat saw a comedy. Great super wonderful movie!! My movie of course got out first so I started walking outside in the crisp air to release some of the good energy that wanted me to just scream outloud that My God is So GREAT!!!!!....I wanted to jump up and down and shout THANK YOU GOD! and then what happens....ROAR by Katy Perry comes on. I am still walking, and I just smile. I felt like it was a God Wink and I so took it all in. I called my friend, Debbie Weiler so she could hear the song playing and revel in the moment with me.
I cannot explain the feeling I have inside of me.....Thanks to God, Thanks for leading me to Texas, Thanks for giving me more time on this earth, just Thank You Jesus......MY time has not yet come!!!
It is 4:41 am on Wednesday morning and we are headed on the road very soon with M. Burgener and will be home close after nightfall.
In the movie I saw,,,two men said several times "God is Good....ALL The Time. And the other man comes back and says "All the Time, God Is Good!!   How so very true!

This is a short post but full of hope, praises to our God, and Thanks to our God for my life. L.I.F.E!  It doesn't any better than this girls life....right here and NOW!

I can't post this without thanking the two Bed & Breakfast Inn's we stay at while in Houston. Thank you to David and Roselyn and Bruce and Deb.......for good food, good conversation, and the good price that we paid for the room!!  ;-)  We love and appreciate you all!!

I will write a little longer after getting home as Pat is chomping at the bit to get started.  Thank you all for the continued prayers and I hope to see most of you at The Relay where I will tell my story.

Love and hugs,

Saturday, April 12, 2014

Flowers, Fresh Grass, and Swingsets.....oh, and Easter Egg Hunts!!

The days have been passing by so seems as if I just got back from MD Anderson. Since my vacations, I have been busy watching grandchildren, playing at the park, riding my bike to town to see Amity (about 10 miles), going to an East Egg Hunt today to watch Braeda  at St. Joe's egg hunt, getting ready for The Relay, and STILL selling books for our Relay For Life team. PLEASE contact me or someone in my family to get a book. We do mail them so if you need one mailed, it's great with me!!
So, soon Pat and I will travel to Houston for scans and bloodwork. We will see Dr. Javle the next morning for the results. I have had different pains here and there...I had a Doppler test in my groin area due to some pain (they were looking for a blockage possibly or clots) but the only thing they found was a slightly enlarged lymph node. They also did a couple a couple x-rays on my hip/pelvis to make sure I didn't have a stress fracture causing the pain but it came back clear. The pain has I guess that is good. And maybe it is normal to have an ache here and there when you have had two different rounds of radiation plus several rounds of chemo.
I read a saying that really hits home..."You never really start living until you are dying"  Wow, how true that is. Or maybe it's the fact that you appreciate the small things in life that before were just another season.....another rainbow, another family dinner. To me, they are all way more meaningful than "before" this cancer journey.
I feel I am just going to Texas with positive thoughts and a calmness that no matter what the PET scan finds, I will be ok. God is with me and whatever happens....happens.   Prayers are encouraged and appreciated!!
Keep you posted after seeing Dr. Javle on Tuesday morning.


Friday, March 28, 2014

The adventures of a cancer patient......

     Well....first off, our Brunch with The Ladies was a huge success as was the Italian Beef Night. It's a booger to get the beef all prepped and tasty but it is always worth it. I had 300 children's books printed (that I wrote and illustrated) and I am almost sold out.....unless I have a few more printed before the next two fundraisers. We had great help with selling the books!  The two top sellers were Lisa Peters and Jennifer Brown....but a big shout out to Samantha Cummins and Chris Foust for delivering/selling ALOT of them in the evenings. All of our team has bought, sold, or helped get the word out about the children's book. IF you have not gotten one, we WILL make sure you get one.
     Talk about "Paying It Forward".....The Dip 60....a local band that plays whenever they can all come home and meet up to perform, just played at The Gypsy and boy did they do a great thing. They donated all money taken at the door along with a few large donations, and donated it to our Suntone Beach Survivors Relay For Life Team!!  How bout THAT!  This group has kind of grown up and moved apart...some with jobs out of town, some still in school...but they did this for us. WOW!  I am humbled beyond words and thank you does not even do it justice. I was still in Hawaii...or on a loooong flight home all Saturday night until Sunday morning or I would have been there right in the middle of it all!!  A huge hug to all of you who got out for this event, planned it, supported it by showing up, any and all of the above!!

     Coming up on April 5th is our Breakfast at the VFW. They have been so gracious to let us have it there and are helping to serve and cook along side some of our team. We should have a few books there for sale PLUS gift baskets from the Ladies Brunch that the consultants all donated (worth $75 each) and we are selling $1 chances on those raffle baskets.
We had the hog donated by one of the girls friends father....make sense?  We are blessed to have people with such generous hearts. I am not putting his name as I do not want a bunch of people calling this person asking for a pig. BUT we thank you!! So, along with biscuits & gravy, we will have pancakes and sausage patties (YES, I said fresh sausage patties and not links made from pig tails, ears and hooves BUT made from the pig that was donated). HMPH! Then, juice, milk, coffee, and for you early risers, I guess the bar would be open??? I dunno.....never been to the V that early EVER for a drink. ;-)   Breakfast is from 6-10ish.....we won't kick you out of you come at 5 til 10.
The meal is $6 or feel free to donate $60 or $6,000....we will take it!!

     Next up is the BIG DAY....May 3. It's our Richland County Relay For Life......we will be busy entertaining at about 4:15 I believe. Our rendition of Roar by Katy Perry. I can't sing but by golly I can ROAR! I am also GUEST SPEAKER this year so ya'll stay home as I sweat and stutter up there on stage :-) ....... I'll do my best not to cry or tell too many political jokes....but those who know me KNOW that I will probably have one wise crack up my sleeve! This is a day to come out, get some good food, see OUR community and the survivors having another birthday, caretakers, cancer patients, and also honoring cancer patients who have been lost from this dreaded disease called CANCER...aka MONSTER!  Our team will be serving our famous Chicken & Noodles, Lemon & Orange Shakeups, Tea, and bags of candy for the kiddos....and grownups.  We are loud, proud, and happy to be a part of the Suntone Beach Survivor's Team!!!
     Vacations....well, you already heard about St. Thomas so I will move on to the vacation that we just returned from. We spent 10 days in Hawaii...and when I say we, I mean my husband Pat, my mother, two sista's, my brother and his wife, my nephew who just returned from Turkey with the Air Force (and now stationed in S. Carolina). We also have a nephew in the Air Force in Hawaii and a niece in the Navy in Hawaii. So it was ALMOST a family reunion. We swam, we ate, we fished, we ate, we shopped, we ate, we toured, we ate, we sat, we ate. You get the point.   It was beautiful and peaceful by the ocean.  There is no better feeling than sitting on a fishing boat and feeling the air blowing through your hair along with the mist of the ocean...or seeing a whale blowing mist into the a "God wink". Feeling the warmth of the sun falling gently upon your face....glistening across the water leading right up to the boats edge. No...there's no better feeling that is right there for all of us to enjoy. Not to mention the 302 pound Marlin the guys caught (I watched) on the private boat we chartered. We had mahi mahi for supper and also caught some tuna we gave to the captain.
     You know....I have thought about this a you really don't appreciate all the little things like the sun shining upon your face, the flowers blooming at every corner....or the smell  you get as you pass by them, or how about.. how it warms your heart when your grandchild asks to "hold my hand, Ja~Ja"......people get so caught up in life and the day to day chores that you don't stop and realize it could disappear in an the blink of an eye.  Ponder on that for a few minutes.....what's really important to you....are you always hustling and bustling and not truly enjoying all the beauties God has put before us.
     Oh was a rough one. This might get a little personal but I find quite a bit of humor in it. I recently (before we left for Hawaii) saw my new General Physician Dr. Devenicia for a routine  "HI, How are you, and lets get everything charted type of visit". He came in...did the 101 questions, told me how lucky I was to still be in great shape with this sort of cancer, and that I needed to get a mammo and all that stuff. He then stood, pulled out a fresh gown, and asked me to get undressed as he left and stated he'd be back in a few......HMMMM.  My cancer is in the bile ducts...the I take off my socks? Do I take off my bra?? My underwear??  .....SO...he comes back in and I firmly state "I DID NOT TAKE OFF MY UNDERWEAR!"  MY CANCER IS ABOVE THE WAIST AND SO I DIDN'T THINK YOU NEEDED TO LOOK DOWN THERE!  He laughed and said that is just fine. I just want to examine your abdomen and liver area. I told him I had some pain right under my breasts and that he might want to see if he felt anything. He thought maybe some cysts were felt and to make an apt with an OB/GYN and get a mammo bammo and all that shtuff. This all happened before Hawaii so I had that in the back of my mind the whole time....not telling anyone but Pat. We had a great visit and I already know I made the right decision in choosing him as my new dr.  I went for my mammo bammo today and after much breath holding...I was told there are no cysts and everything looks normal. WHEW! I see my oncologist on Friday so I will see if he has any insight on my sore bammos (boobs if you hadn't figured that out by now) :-)
Mid April, I will travel to Houston to see Dr. Javle after getting my PET scan and blood work. Please pray for stability and good bloodwork.
     As I sit here in this quiet house....everyone asleep...I thank God for Peace. Peace in my life right now (except for planning fundraisers, wedding shower, wedding, and Relay events)....Peace in my heart....the kind of peace you get from only one person, God.  A friend this week told me he prayed for me every day and every night. I told him I really appreciated that. I told him I pray morning, night, and sometimes in between. I pray for a lot of people and sometimes not for myself. Then after saying "Amen"...I will think...I didn't ask God to keep me close to Him...and to protect and guide me.....and I'll say Oh, By the way, God...don't forget about me.   He never forgets.......I believe even when I forget to pray for myself, that since I give thanks, then ask for prayers for sick people, people with family problems, people with marriage problems, all kinds of problems people might have, that God knows in my heart, I want everyone to be ok. To live in harmony and just appreciate your life and the life God gave YOU.  Happy Lenten Season!

      Keep you posted after the Houston trip....oh....I am up to 97,212 hits on my blog. Thanks to everyone who keeps me in their thoughts and prayers.

Patty Corcoran

Monday, March 10, 2014

Just an update....or maybe just a few words.....

Happy Spring, right? Well....for a few days from where I sit atleast. The birds are chirping, the trees are sprouting, I have daffodils sprouted with buds, and another spring bulb that has sprouted....either an allium or hyacinth.

I saw Dr. Dy approximately a week or so ago, and I wanted all my bloodwork printed off....he seemed like he didn't want to give it to me and told me everything was perfect. White count is up, platelets are raising, all is good. I asked what the Alk Phosphatase was and he stated it wasn't back yet.....hmmmmmmmmmmmm.  So, the next day I called and asked them to fax it to me. Nothing was out of sorts in the tests.....the alk phos is staying about the same as the last couple of years (about the same as it has been all along)  but my dr says not to pay much attention to it as it isn't nearly bad enough to worry about at this point. He thinks I will go back to Houston and things will be stable. He also says I look too good for things to be bad. He states I am beautiful with my new hair coming in...and I responded kiddingly with "Don't be hitting on me just because my husband isn't with me today." We had a good laugh and he told me kiddingly to get out of his office and LIVE!.....He bought one of my children's books as did the lab tech. Ba-da-bing!

Speaking of the children's book....Irene and the Crooked Little House. I read it to the 1st Graders in Mrs. Horstmeyer's class last week at St. Joe. The Olney Daily Mail took our was a really good experience and the kids had really great questions to ask me. It was just an enjoyable morning. Our books are selling like hotcakes but they always do at first. I was at a local bakery last Friday and Janet David asked if I had them (I had some in the car). I went and grabbed one for her and the next thing I know....I had sold 9!! I also donated some pictures to the St. Joe Art Auction and they didn't do half bad.

Our Italian Beef Fundraiser is this coming Wednesday from 4-8 at The Gypsy (where else ;-) .  We will have carry outs available and plenty of meat this year so we WILL NOT run out. The beef costs  really gave us a big "spanking" this year so please feel free to tip those good looking waitresses well (they are giving all tips to our Relay team-as usual). A HUGE shout out to my friend Bob (the cook at the Sr. Center) for asking for donations to help buy a lot of the extra stuff!!  Thank you ALL!!  I also received checks to help with buying stuff from other friends and friends of my children....WOW.....just WOW! I am beyond blessed with generous people stepping up to help pull this fundraiser off in a few days!! I am a little stressed about it but everything always falls into place....and it will this week....we just need lots of people to get out and support us!!

A new GP!! General Physician!  Dr. Houston has left to live an adventure in Saudi Arabia (to teach) so I have been wondering where I would find someone with the qualities I was looking for in a dr. One who knows I don't call unless there are RED FLAGS in the pupils of my eyes. After talking to Dr. Dy and telling him I knew of the doctor I wanted but he wasn't accepting new patients. Well, come to find out, Dr. Dy is friends with the doctor I wanted, so he made a call and I see him this coming Wednesday. It's one of those "setting up status, filling out MORE paperwork, and just knowing if I need something, he will be there" kind of visit. I'll keep you posted once I have met him!!

IF you are needing one of my books, you can go to Roll With It Bakery and pick one up. I am still taking a few around and I know a lot will pick them up at our Italian Beef Night. ONCE our fundraiser is over, I will mark people off the list and then start calling the ones that requested a book long ago, and start getting books to those people. IF you are not contacted, please fell free to call or catch one of the girls OR go to Roll With It.

For all of the Cholangiocarcinoma people who read the blog, I am doing great!!  I feel good, people say I look good, and I just am taking it and running with it. In about an hour, I want to take a walk and get some fresh air in my lungs. Pat and I feel from some remarks made by my dr in Houston, that IF cancer would pop up in another organ, it might be the lungs...or one lung. So, they told me the signs to be aware of IF it might go to my lungs. I will see today as I walk briskly, if I am short of breath. I have had some sinus drainage but NO COUGH (another sign it might be traveling to my lungs). I am thinking positive and you know what.....IF it happens, it happens. God has always been there, and we will catch it fast enough to stomp on it like a grass fire!!

Wedding dress shopping is over and chandelier hunting is over!!! Two biggies we were stressing over for Samantha's wedding. Amy is due with a little boy on April 30.....   I had the pleasure of keeping Amity (Jenn & Bart's little girl) ALL NIGHT this past weekend. I mean, I couldn't believe I was qualified to keep Amity (5 mo. old) all night but it went as smooth as peanut butter! AND, they got to let loose and enjoy their self for a night at the art auction!! They are just really protective and want to spend every minute with her.

That's about it for now. I am doing well, I have a short, SHORT pixie hair style....gray in color which is new but who really cares over such little things! I feel great....but when I get a little pain here or kind of makes me stop and think...could that be something growing that shouldn't be?

In life, there are NO guarantees!  I must march on to the beat of the drum that I am always referring to. I thank God for every day, every minute, every second that I can put one foot in front of the other.

In closing, I want to address something very quickly. I have been addressed by someone who asked why I helped raise money for the American Cancer Society as they thought "not THAT much money went to research". My only response was...I feel if we find a cure for one cancer, it will hopefully be a domino effect and one day find a cure for bile duct cancer (cholangiocarcinoma). I mean...we have to start somewhere...Only appr. 2% of money goes for research for bile duct cancer (probably because there are only 2,000 diagnosed each year. It is so rare so why spend lots of money on us when there are more common cancers who get the bulk of money for research. Maybe at our own Relay in May, I will ask someone to explain to me where all the money goes....if there is a brochure to show it all in print? I have never made it a secret that a small portion of what our team raises each year, goes to The Cholangiocarcinoma Foundation. I am proud to say my dr is one of the doctors involved in the Foundation. When I need to research a drug, or side effects, or a new clinical trial....the Cholangiocarcinoma Foundation is where I look to....that is ALL they talk about. To go to The ACS website, you will not find a lot about bile duct cancer.  I feel God is telling me to do more. To do something local after my talk with this friend. So, In April, I will start looking for people/businesses to do something or for ideas to make my idea a reality for cancer patients in my hometown. Something so small for businesses but something SO BIG for a cancer patient. Keep you posted!!

Spring blessings to all of you!!

Patty Corcoran

Monday, February 17, 2014

What a Wonderful World...........

I had a new comment on the last post asking why I hadn't posted in February yet....... I have been a little busy feeling life...vacationing in St. Thomas for 10 days (Pat's son lives there) and we had the best time ever seeing sights, snorkeling ALOT, eating ALOT.....just having the time of our life!

I'll back up to my visit with my local oncology dr. He was super excited with my report from MD Anderson and the low CA 19-9 level. AND that I don't need any treatment until the CA-A 19-9 starts creeping up and that will indicate something is going on in my innards. I go back to visit the local oncologist at the end of the month just as a checkup unless something needs seen about before then.

So, back to the trip....We left Indianapolis Airport on February 4 as the snow was coming down so hard you could not see ANYTHING from inside the windows of the airport EXCEPT white! Our flight to Miami was the last flight out for the night as they closed the airport down. We slushed and slid a bit down the runway and I prayed like no other to keep us safe. I mean, what's the chance of me dying on an airplane compared to getting a RARE....very RARE cancer.  My luck just sucks!
They de-iced the plane for 45 minutes with us on board before trucking down the runway....first time I was in tears going down the runway......   I asked myself how I could mentally be so strong when it comes with this cancer when I am such a chicken with flying. Don't get me wrong....I love the idea of getting on a plane that takes two hours to get somewhere which usually takes 16 hours in a car. AND, it's not possible to drive to St. Thomas anyway.

We landed to 85 degree weather and it was paradise from that day until we landed back at Indianapolis and it was snowing hard as we landed. There was more snow on the runway....but...we survived!

While in St. Thomas, we snorkeled every minute we had the chance. We bought our own snorkel gear and it was the most beautiful thing I have seen in a very long time. So peaceful....flippering along with just you and the underwater beauty was unimaginable until you actually see it for yourself. Yellow fish, blue fish, white fish, turtles, little fish and ONE big fish....I kinda thought it was a shark and started heading back to shore like a person running on water...only to find out it was a tarpon fish. But I had the time of my life and every time I would see something I thought was the most beautiful thing I had ever seen, it was replaced with another. We really do live in a wonderful world. We even ferried over to St. John's about 5 different days to eat supper or listen to Tom's roommate who is a musician.

For the CC patients out there....I am feeling beyond great. I would snorkel up to an hour at a time (no life vests) and then I'd rest a bit and go back out again. The only medication I take is Lovenox which is a blood thinner but I also take something to help me sleep at night. I know that lurking around the corner could be a bad scan or bad report the next time I go to Houston....but I just have to live each day to the fullest so there are NO regrets. I thanked God so many times while on vacation for giving me good health, great energy, and a normalcy I have not had in a long time. I DO want to make sure everyone out there understand that I DO still have is just taking a vacation or a "nap" right now. When or where it might pop, only one person knows. I do not want to give the impression that I am cancer CA-19-9 is just very low right now. Meaning it is very inactive. I think my last post gave some people the impression I was cancer free. NOT!  It means I get a break from the chemo, radiation, and not nearly as many dr visits.....for hopefully a long time. But I am also kind of risking that it will travel to other parts of my body. We will just keep doing scans every 3 months and when it starts to wake up...we will attack it as we have in the past.

We have such a busy summer planned. Hawaii next month....then our Relay For Life for the American Cancer Society in May. My book is being printed as we speak and I should have them at our "Brunch with the Girls" on this coming Saturday (Feb. 22)!!! We did not send out invitations but you are all welcome to stop by anytime between 9-12. For those of you who may not be aware of it, I have written and painted a children's book. All proceeds will go to our Suntone Beach Survivors Relay  for Life Team (which all proceeds go to The American Cancer Society).  The books are $20 and can be purchased by me or any of my girls. I have the opportunity to have 3 book signings if needed to get them sold. March 12 is our FAMOUS Italian Beef Night from 4-8 with carry outs available.  Then on April 5th from 6-10 am, we will have a breakfast fundraiser at the Olney VFW
with biscuits and gravy, sausage, pancakes, and drinks. I will keep you posted on more events in May as time gets closer.

In closing this post, I want you all to realize what a wonderful world we live in. YES, it would be better if we could find a cure for cancer. And we God's timing...not ours!  I thank God daily and time over time for my health. I thank Him for the prayers and people who Pay It Forward everyday. God is good....ALL the time.

Blessings to each and every one of you!!


Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Tickled pink!!

Well....our trip started off Sunday morning at 5:45 am. The windows were frosted over and as we started defrosting....the wipers made a big heart on my side of the windshield. It's called a  God~wink per Mindy Browning. It just made me tell myself....breathe, it will all be ok no matter WHAT the results are!!! We traveled all day until about 6:45 and stopped for the night at Livingston, Tx. Just about an hour and forty minutes from MD Anderson.  The next day started with getting into MD Anderson pretty easy and blood work was immediately drawn. Then on to the PET scan. We were done by 1 and went for lunch at Olive Garden (Thanks Amy and Rylan for the gift card that we didn't use during radiation).  We arrived at Roselyn and David Morris's house for the evening and had a wonderful supper (as usual) and they turned on the a/c so we could build a fire. Pat and I found this a little funny  but it was nice visiting with wine and conversation. OK...OK...on to the drumroll!!!!!!!!!!
Tuesday came and after French Toast, fresh fruit, sausage links and bacon, we were on our way to our visit with the famous Dr. Javle. We had quite a talk with his nurse about postage sized dumps, zip code sized dumps and "your own reality tv show" sized dumps. It was quite a talk and I won't go into details. The nurse assistant was in next and did the little "Are you having any is your appetite...blah, blah, blah!  THEN, Dr. Javle comes in. The gentle giant asked how I was doing....and then told me that the radiation had worked had did the job! The PET results state: The previous noted focal increased FDG-avidity near dome of the liver is RESOLVED! I have some pulmonary nodules that I have had since 2011, and they are noted to be likely benign. There are a few scattered nodular opacities noted in the lungs but they have been stable since prior examination and are not FDG avid. SO, the dr states I am to go home and LIVE. I have felt SO good and had the energy that I had before the cancer. I don't have to have radiation, chemo or ANYTHING! I return to Texas in 3 months for a scan. As we were finishing the visit....Dr. Javle stated that he was going to New Dehli, India next month for a multi disciplinary cancer conference. He had a man from India call him recently and asked if he would see his mother who was diagnosed with Cholangiocarcinoma. Dr. Javle told the man that he just didn't know if it was possible, he didn't have an office to do a dr visit in, but in the end, he agreed to see the woman. Then Dr. Javle asked....."How did you get my name"....the man stated "From Patty's blog!" ......Dr.Javle said "Patty's blog"????  The man then stated...."Patty, your patient from Illinois". It hit him that the man meant he told me I am now known internationally for my blog.....which is at almost 93,000 hits. It made me feel really good to know I helped someone get Dr. Javle to look at them. Just WOW! How bout that!!! 
So, we ended the visit with "Everything is going great"! My CA 19-9 went from 18.6 (3 months ago)to 10.2. The normal limits for this number is from 0.0 to 35.0.     I am a freaking 10.2!
This is the lowest my cancer marker has been. When I first started this journey (it will be 3 years this February) my CA 19-9 was over 10.2.   I will never get tired of saying that!
Don't get me wrong.....I still have cancer cells....but they are VERY inactive right now and that explains the break in any treatments whatsoever. Pray and pray again that I remain stable when I return in 3 months.....until then...I plan to live it up.
Pat and I are going to St. Thomas next month to see his son (my stepson) Tom for about 10 days.. Then in March we will go to Hawaii. So fun will be in my plans along with thanking God for my great team of doctors. For all the prayers sent my way on a daily basis. And to top it off, I'm getting hair!!!'s ugly salt/pepper in color....but ask me if I care! I can actually part it....kind of.
We are having a slumber party tonight (Tuesday) at the Schonert's in Texas and then starting home early Wednesday with Deb's mom,  Margaret.
I thank everyone for prayers, inviting us in their home on this trip to Texas, all the cards, calls, texts, and for just stopping in the middle of your busy day to think of me!!


Tuesday, January 7, 2014

The Drum Roll Starts............

Happy New Year to ALL of you!

 I am sad this week as two CC friends (from Facebook) have died from this horrible disease....May God's peace be with them forever more.

Well....the drum roll begins as one week from today I will be awakening with silence and prayer harder and stronger than most days as this is the day I see Dr. Javle at MD Anderson to get the results of my PET scan/blood work. Although I know it is all in Gods hands, there are the what ifs of:
1. What if this is when I am told there is nothing else they can do for me....
2. What if things have grown....but there are still tools in the toolbox. Not a worst case scenario but not the best either.
3. STABILITY....NO GROWTH....those would be close to the dream words. These are the words I ask God to bless me with every day....several times....along with thanks that I have been so healthy THIS long.
4. NECROTIC.....that is the best thing that they could say and that would mean I would not have to do chemo for another 3 months. Yes, I have been on vacation with no chemo since September 30. I had the radiation with a chemo pill but when the radiation was over, the pill stopped, too.
5. Next month will be my 3 year anniversary since my diagnosis. This is atleast 2 years longer than most unresectable/non transplantable patients live.

Now, I will address the above scenarios in a few simple but powerful words.
                                        IT'S ALL IN GODS HANDS!! 

Yes, I am human and to tell you I don't shed a tear about losing my family and this comfortable life that I have, I would be lying. I also just figure every day wasted on pity is a day wasted....period. So I choose to pray instead. You don't think I have made it almost 3....3 years on my you?  No, it had everything to do with God.....and all the prayer warriors out there to help God know I am needed here on this earth for just a bit longer. HE is hearing all of you....loud and clear.
I refuse to be on the edge of my seat with worry. It is what it is......and God has a plan. My faith tells me to trust Him no matter what.....when and if I start to turn down the road of death, God is still there. "Do not be afraid, for I am right beside you".....words I will always hear in my ear from that one day at Mayo Clinic.

So.....when I say I am not worrying about dying anytime this month....or the next 8-10 months. We have made some plans to live life in the here and NOW!!! Pat has decided we are taking a see his son in St.Thomas (U.S. Virgin Islands) in February. Then in March, my mom, both of my sisters, my brother and his wife plus their son who is returning from Turkey (he is in the US Air Force), Pat and I are all going to Hawaii for 10 days. We have rented a house 30 feet from the ocean in Oahu. Once there, my brothers daughter is living over there (she is in the Navy) and she might be getting married if her fiancĂ© can get back from where he is just getting stationed in S. Carolina. We also have another nephew over there with his wife (and he is in the US Air Force also). So.....we have lots of people to visit, show us around the island, just lay back and watch the beauty God has made for us to enjoy. August, my immediate family will travel to Destin to the same house we rented last year. So....I guess you could say I plan on being here until August if God has it in his plan. I most importantly have a new grandson due in May, I speak at  The Walk & Roll of Richland County in May, and then I have a daughter getting married in August who would like me to walk her down the isle.

How do I feel? jaundice....I was going to the gym and exercising 3 miles on the elliptical just under 39 minutes.....with a resistance of 8. Then we got this ice and snow up to your "shabboggins" and I am not traveling under the road the -30 to -40 (wind chill)degree weather. So I have not been to the gym for about a week. IF anyone has a GOOD elliptical they want to get rid of or sell reasonably....please let me know. I feel pretty darn good to be frank. Not losing much weight.....but trying.....some. But going without chemo for over 3 months scares the dickens out of me....this means the cancer cells from the tumor that were waking up....could travel to other places in my body.  This is where I entirely just say...."Well.....God....What are we going to do? Direct my doctor to guide me away from these ugly cells for a long time." 

I am back at working on my children's storybook to sell for our Relay team.  Two more pages to sketch and then I can start painting. I would love to have it painted and to the printers by the end of the week....but that's a loooong stretch. Goals.....

My goal is to take one day at a time. Give thanks where thanks is needed. Enjoy the days even if I am just sipping a latte and watching the wildlife outside. And that no matter what results I get next week, I know God is in charge of this journey called life. I praise Him and thank Him everyday for my high quality of life.

May you all stay safe in the area...and just stay home unless you are like... out of toilet paper or something important. It is just not worth getting out in these conditions.

Be safe and may God Bless You ALL!!