Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Home Now

The doc came in not much longer after my last post. He said Patty could stay another night or come home. She opted to come home. I agreed. We left about 11:30 and came straight home. I've got her propped up on the couch so she can sit up a little bit while resting. Kids come home around 3. Let the games begin!

Morning Update

Patty had a decent night. We were up at 2, 4, and 6 for her to use the restroom or have some meds. The doc has yet to show which means he probably will not come to release her until after his office hours are over. Patty was supposed to have an appointment at 10 in his office but that was before we knew she would spend the night. She seems to be doing a little better than last time but last time she was under for two surgical procedures instead of one and of course only had one surgical procedure this time.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Out of Surgery

Patty is out of surgery and is in the recovery room. They said she may be there for 45 minutes. The doc said that it appeared everything went well. It took a little longer than I expected. I'm still sitting in the surgery lounge. Just me and one other family. I've had a few visitors to keep me company. Jody Hudson, Janine Mingie, Melissa Clark, and Patty's sister, Becky, all came by and stayed a while. It definitely makes the time go by faster.

Surgery Update

Just got a call that things are going well and they should finish up in about 30 minutes. She will be spending the night in the hospital at St. Mary's North. The hard part, recovery, now begins!

Phase Two Begins

Patty just went back to Surgery for the beginning of Phase 2, reconstruction of the left side. They had a hard time finding a vein to start the IV getting it finally on the 10th time. They state the surgery should take 1.5 to 2.5 hours. We were supposed to start at 3 but they called us and told us to come in an hour later, 2p instead of 1p. They fast tracked her once she got her and took her back at about 3:28 p.m. I'll try to update as updates come in. Any prayers welcome.

Saturday, January 31, 2009

Saturday Update

Well we're one week post surgery. Patty is doing better today. Thursday night was pretty rough and not much sleep. She woke up at 1 and 4 in significant pain. Yesterday got better as the day went on and today has been even better. Hopefully the trend will continue. She still has the drain until at least next Thursday :(. They will also start filling the expander which stretches her skin for the implants. That will probably be a little painful as well. She will have to have them filled every week or two I believe. Thanks for the many prayers.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009


Sorry for the lack of recent updates. I haven't had time to post an update. I've been wore out trying to help Patty, work from home, and play Mr. Mom.

Patty had a setback day on Tuesday. I was starting to get worried about her. She couldn't sleep or rest all day and was absolutely miserable. Wednesday she slept all day almost. Today she has finally looked and acted better. I took her to the doctor today and he said the reconstruction looked good and removed one of the drains. The other will most likely remain for another week. She wasn't too excited about that. Hopefully tomorrow she will continue to improve.

Monday, January 26, 2009

Monday Morning

Patty is doing ok. She is still having trouble finding a comfortable position to rest in so she is constantly up and down. Her stomach feels a little better this morning but the drains are still giving her a hard time. She basically has a scar that goes from mid-back under arm to mid front, i.e. halfway around her body. She had to sleep on the couch again as she couldn't handle the bed. Maybe tonight will be better.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Sunday Morning Update

Last night was pretty uneventful. Patty slept better even if on the couch, her choice by the way, and was just up a once that I remember. She is still is really sore all over and in a lot of pain. It seems to come in phases. We got up around 7 and she took some meds and did a few laps around the inside of the house to help prevent any potential blood clots. She's been doing this ever time she gets up for something.

The kids will probably be coming home today so it will be "game on" at that point. Trying to keep them off of her is going to be the challenge!

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Home Now

We're home now and Patty is resting. She has had a few episodes of pain of which she's taken some pain medicine to try to help. She has two drains that she'll have for about a week that are a real pain for her. I'm trying to keep her active as she runs an increased risk of developing a blood clot from having two surgeries one of them being in the pelivs.

Going Home Today

Well, surprisingly it looks like we'll be going home today. The plastic surgeon came in and said everything looks as planned. He wants Patty to take a shower here so the nurses can show her how to replace the bandages. It appears she is going to have to take it easy for at least 10-14 days.

Morning Update

Patty was up several times throughout the night because she is so uncomfortable in the bed. She would rest for about an hour and a half and then have to sit up in a chair which would then last for the same duration and then she would get back in the bed. She is doing a little better this morning.

The GYN doc came in and thought she was doing well and so they were going to pull her catheter and disconnect her from the IV fluids. We're still waiting on the plastic surgeon to come in and see her. She is still having considerable pain from this part requiring some heavy pain meds.

Thanks for all the prayers.

Friday, January 23, 2009

Latest Update

Patty woke up and her back was hurting her pretty bad so we worked her into a position where she could sit up. I then got her to stand up and walk to the end of the bed but then she started getting nauseous so sat back down and then got back up into the bed. She is really having an issue with the bed and her back because she can't really use her right arm to push down to move and get settled. She's resting now and hopefully she will drift off.

In Room

We made it up to the room at about 1:30. She is still pretty much out of it. She looks a little pale but everything seems well at this point. Evidently she had some nausea in the recovery room but seems to be abated right now. The only thing she has said is "Sore". Yea, I bet! She's been cut and stitched from on the front, back, and inside from neck to pelvis. Pray that she doesn't develop any blood clots and the muscle spasms are not bad nor the pain. I'll keep you updated as we go.

Surgery Complete

Patty is out of surgery and in recovery. I'm still in the lobby and haven't seen her yet. Hopefully, I will get to go back soon. The docs said that everything appeared to go well. Now the "real" fun begins!

First Part Done

The first part of Patty's surgery is done and they are moving on to the reconstruction. They finished the first part a little after 10. The physician said that it went well and was pretty routine. Evidently she had a large cyst on one of her ovaries but that it looked normal. Hopefully, they will finish around 12.

The Journey Continues...

Well here we are again sitting in the surgery lounge. Patty is having a hysterectomy today and the first part of her reconstruction. The hysterectomy is to help improve her chances at staying disease free. Her original cancer was estrogen positive which means estrogen fuels its growth. Thus by removing estrogen from her body by the hysterectomy there will not be any fuel for this type of tumor. The reconstruction speaks for itself.

We got here at St. Mary's North at 5:35 a.m. They started surgery at 8:00. From what the docs say it will take anywhere from 4-6 hours. I'm sitting in the surgery lounge on the 2nd floor waiting it out. You can email me at if you have any questions. Please be lifting Patty up in prayer!

Monday, October 20, 2008

We're Still Here!

I want to apologize to all of you who have faithfully visited the site for updates on Patty and our family. Not posting is a good thing because that means that for the most part things are going well. Not posting also is a bad thing because it means I don't have the time to post. I love to write but this year my work has zapped every ounce of energy outside my allotment for my family that I have thus I can't find the time or energy to post.

It's been an exciting summer. We've been camping 5 times anywhere from Maggie Valley to Grandfather Mountain. We went to Disney World in early June. A belated gift for Patty that I had wanted to give her in December when she finished completely all of her treatments. Grant started kindergarten this year so we now have 3 in school and Patty just has Brett at home.

It looks like Patty is going to have a couple of follow-up surgeries this fall or winter. We're not sure yet when it will happen as we're waiting on some insurance issues. She is still have moderate issues with her lymphedema and her feet are really painful when she gets up from sitting or lying down. Both side effects from the breast cancer treatments.

I'm hoping to return to Haiti the week after Thanksgiving to serve at the girls orphanage our church now takes care of.

I hope to be posting more in the coming weeks and months.

God Bless

Friday, April 04, 2008

Still Here!

We're all still here and Patty is doing ok. I haven't updated much as of late due to the increase in work demands. Since the merger of our health system with another my workload has about doubled but I still only have x amount of hours in the day to devote to it.

Patty went to the Thyroid doctor lately and everything seemed ok on that front. She still has the elbow pain which is most likely tendinitis. Her recent heart scan was ok as well. Her white count was a little low on her last visit so she is going to have to have that checked again soon I believe. The lymphedema is still there but in check for the most part.

Katie, our oldest, is getting Baptized this coming Sunday. It is really exciting and comforting to know that she is saved and wants to do this. Below is a recent pic of Patty and Katie for all of you who are still here reading! Oh, yea, Katie has had all of her hair cut off at her own request. Almost a foot!

Saturday, March 08, 2008

Latest Update

I apologize again for the lack of updates. I guess its a sign we're reaching a mild form on normalcy if that is possible with 4 kids.

Patty's elbow is still bothering her. She'll probably have another bone scan in the next month or two to see if there is anything going on there. She had a B-12 shot on Thursday which has kept her blood counts high since her chemo finished. She has a MUGA scan scheduled for next week to check to see if all the chemo has had any lasting effect on her heart. She also has an ultrasound of her thyroid scheduled next week as well to make sure her thyroid is functioning as it should. Monday will be 19 months since this whole ordeal started. Seems like a lifetime. Please pray that her tests will be negative and that her elbow pain will improve.

Monday, February 18, 2008


Patty's elbow x-ray was normal but the pain persists. It most likely is some type of muscle or tendon issue.

We took a retreat this weekend with my cousin and his wife. This required us to spread the kids out among three close friends of ours. It was a great time except for the fact that it went by way too quickly.

With Patty's lymphedema appearing to be under control we'll probably start to look into her reconstruction options.

Thursday, February 07, 2008

Check Up Today

Patty has a check up today with her Medical Oncologist (chemo doctor). She has been having a quite a bit of pain in her elbow of which I'm sure he is going to want to do tests on to see what is going on. It could be related to the lymphedema or something else. I will let you know after the check up. Until then pray that her elbow pain will improve. Outside of that she has been feeling pretty good and her hand and arm have had some improvement.

Tuesday, February 05, 2008

Haiti - Day 1 - Leaving the Airport

Once we exited the airport doors I immediately knew that we were indeed in a 3rd world country. People everywhere grabbing at our luggage, shouting, disagreeing. Since I had never experienced an environment where people were shouting in a language I couldn't understand, it was a little disconcerting. I became further concerned when a guy grabbed the cart of luggage I was pushing that had my carry-on on it. I think he was just trying to get us out of there but at this point my trust level was running a little low. Finally, they got us to an area where our transportation was and begin loading our luggage into the truck. Confusion still reigned as we waited for Bryan and Pastor Juste's people to tell who was riding in which vehicle. Some were on the back of the luggage truck, some in a van (referrred to as the MiniBus), some in a SUV, and me, Mark Johnston, and Luke the missionary in a very small SUV pulling up the rear.

As we exited the airport lot it was now dark and I noticed two things, no lights and people freakin' everywhere! Truly, I'm not sure I can accurately describe it. Ladies walking with huge baskets on their heads, rubble everywhere, trucks (called tap-taps) were packed like sardines with people packed in the back some hanging off with one arm. They would be known as taxis in our world. Although nothing like we've every seen. Many of them are unbelievably decorated in colorful pictograms, flashing lights, and images from Jesus to women posing on Mercedes.

The car horn appears to be the Haiti national anthem as it is used early and often. There are seemingly no driving laws as its every man for himself. People are sitting out in the front of their shanties or business by candlelight selling what appears to be some type of fried meat. It looks like its been there a while. Huge vats of what appeared to be chicken or pork. My recurring thought was I hope the car doesn't stop.

Luke, a full-time missionary in Haiti had joined us at the airport for the trip and he was sitting in the back in between me and Mark Johnston. Our driver Rico is Pastor Juste's son. Our front seat passenger, thankfully, is a full blown member of the Haiti Elite National Police. He was decked out with your usual assortment of grenades, hand guns, and automatic rifles. I was very thankful he was riding in our car especially once the car did stop. He would get out and people would move out of the way and immediately the traffic would clear.

(to be continued in the next post)