Thursday, February 9, 2012

A year + 2 days

We are both really amazed it has been (over) a year since Patrick's surgery. I can still remember the day very clearly. In fact, I can remember every day after that very clearly. What a challenging time it was! I'm happy to be closer to the 'look at me, I'm cancer free!' party, but in the other areas of life, I wouldn't mind putting on the breaks. A PET scan in December (with negative results!), visiting Dr. D every three months, and what to do about the obnoxious hairs on Patrick's tongue are where we are at on our journey.

Life is either a daring adventure or nothing.
~ Helen Keller

So, we'll continue on this daring adventure trying to remember to tighten the seat belt sometimes and to let up on the reigns at others.

Thoughts and prays for others on the journey.

Monday, December 12, 2011


There really isn't a way to describe how we feel other than thankful. We continue to be thankful that we caught the cancer when we did. We continue to be thankful that Patrick did not have to endure radiation or chemotherapy. We continue to be thankful that he has fully recovered from surgery with a few minor set-backs. And now, we are thankful that his recent PET scan results came back negative! It was the best Christmas gift we received. Patrick has had two appointments with Dr. D over the past few months. His last one revealed the PET scan results. He is on a three month schedule and will return to see Dr. D in March.

For those on the journey, I'd like to share about what has been going on over the last few months. Patrick has had a few alarming things happen such as a small bump just up from the original lesion, sharp shooting pains down his neck, and deep crack between his tongue and reconstructed site that caused concern. Thankfully, after a few days the bump went away, the crevasse was nothing to be alarmed about and the sharp pains were caused by the lack of lymph nodes in his neck filtering out a cold virus.

This journey is not over, in fact, I don't think it will ever fully be over. There will always be moments when small bumps or pain cause concern. Hopefully, they will become fewer and far between. Either way, it doesn't change that we are thankful.

Friday, September 16, 2011

Updates and 5K

Hello all! Just a short update from here. Patrick has been seeing Dr. D. He suggested having a debulking procedure done on his tongue to get rid of extra skin and scar tissue. Also, Patrick will have a PET scan the first part of December. As of right now, things are looking great! He still suffers from numbness and pain in all areas, but we are thankful that is all we're dealing with.

M finished her radiation therapy and is hoping to get back to work soon. The last part of her treatment really took the umph out of her. She's a trooper and doesn't complain much!

My best friend's mom is responding well to treatment. Chemotheraphy has decreased the size of her tumor, but causes her to be in pain. She had an adverse reaction to the second dose. A recent scan showed that her tumor has shrunk significantly already. I was so happy to hear that news!

Lastly, I'm participating in the Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure 5K on Sunday. If you are able, I'd love your support!
Click here to link to my donation page.

Thoughts and prayers to those fighting the fight.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Hello again....

It's been far too long since I have written an update. I apologize. Life has been happening. We are busy here at our home, but do not think that means we have forgotten our journey or about the other journeys we are following. I think about them on a daily basis.

C is in the last two weeks of his chemo and radiation therapy. He goes every single weekday to receive treatment and sometimes on the weekends too. He just finished his third round of chemo. His wife S, mentioned the regimen has been very difficult for him. The nausea and fatigue have really compounded. Add in dry mouth, blisters, and a sore throat and you get a glimpse of what he is experiencing. I'm really hoping time passes quickly for C and that he can be on the other side of this hurdle looking back at the great challenge he overcame.

M is doing well, considering. She is in her third week of treatment and has started to experience a few negative side effects. Pain, fatigue, food tasting horrible..... She isn't having any fun sitting either. She wants to get up and go. My sister and I visited her a few times right after she was home from surgery, and if she's up for it, we're thinking a game day would be good.

I'm going to ask you praying folk to help me out once again. My best friend, college roommate, and just an all around great gal called me a few days ago to let me know her mother was diagnosed with lung cancer. Things are not looking good. It really saddens me to think about what they are going through. Please keep them in your thoughts and prayers.

Cancer is becoming a far too common word in my world!

Monday, June 27, 2011

A Long Awaited Update

I called C & S a few weeks ago, then again last week. Each time I left a message. After not hearing back from them I sent an email on Saturday. I was so happy to hear S's voice when she returned the called last night. I think she is amazing. Regardless of their situation, she is positive and in good spirits. I'm not sure I would have the same attitude. A few weeks after surgery, C noticed some swelling in his neck. He then had a PET scan and they did a needle biopsy. The results came pack positive. They waited for the oncologist to make the decision of whether or not it would be in C's best interested to continue on with Chemo and Radiation or if the cancer had spread far too much for treatments to be effective. Cut to this week... C has been in radiation. He has had one dose of Chemo and will have another this week. The chemo side effects are horrendous. Nausea. vomiting. C has a PEG tube inserting directly into his stomach. He receives a shake-type meal through the tube. From the sounds of it, the past two days have been better than the several before. We are going to go visit them soon.

M is doing well. My older sister (the nurse) and I visited her right after she got home and a few more times since then. She is doing very well. She has been up and around, is weaning off of pain meds, and trying to be more adventurous in her eating. Another week or so and she will find out if she needs radiation. Dr. D. consults with a tumor board to help him decide if further treatment is necessary. The team of surgeons, doctors and oncologists meet and review cases. M's case is up for review during their next meeting.

Please keep these people in your thoughts and prayers.

Monday, June 6, 2011

Updates all around

I have not heard from C and S. I don't want to be a bother, so I'll wait a while longer before I give them a call. Either they are gearing up for radiation and chemo or they are making a new plan. Both paths in the journey require some ability to focus, so I want to give them some space.

M is doing very well. She was moved from the ICU yesterday afternoon. Her current focus is to try and get up and move, walk, sit up and be awake more each day. It sounds like things are progressing smoothly. I hope to go visit her at some point. For now, it sounds like she is not wanting visitors.

On the home front......
Patrick will have a PET scan in a few weeks. We have been given no reason to be concerned, but it seems there is a little bit of nervousness before each scan (at least on my part).

Thoughts and prayers for all are appreciated.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Pray with me...

I spoke with S tonight. Things are not going as well as we'd like. After surgery C had a fever which meant his body was fighting an infection. The fever has passed which is good, but now he's fighting another battle. Two lymph nodes came back positive from the post-surgery biopsy which meant C will have both Chemotherapy and radiation. C and S have been meeting with oncologists and dentists to prepare him for these therapies. In the meantime, C noticed another spot which was also biopsied. It too came back positive with another two nodes affected. A CT scan today confirmed the findings. C will have a PET scan tomorrow. The PET scan will be a deciding factor for C. If the cancer has metastasized to other parts of the body, treatments will be foregone as they would be unsuccessful. Please pray the cancer has not metastasized. Please keep C and S and their two children in your thoughts as tomorrow comes.

Patrick and I met with another soldier on Sunday. We tried our best to explain the ins and outs of what our journey was like in hopes to help prepare M for her upcoming surgery. My heart is a little sad knowing what she is about to endure. I've been thinking a lot about her and pray everything goes smoothly tomorrow. Please pray too.