Thursday, August 31, 2006

A Better Day

Patty had a better day today. Unfortunately, she was unable to get the drain out. Thankfully, she is going to get it out tomorrow. She's still extremely sore but getting better.

Tomorrow is the big day for Kendall. Tonight she was so excited about going to school. Patty is going to get to go in the morning to see her off on her big day. She's got her new backpack and is ready to go. Patty's aunt Rosalind came in tonight to watch the boys tomorrow morning and take Patty to get the her drains pulled out.

Tonight I was reading a book Robby McDaniel brought to Patty called "A Spiritual Journey Through Breast Cancer" by Judy Asti. I think I've enjoyed it as much or more than Patty. The author points out verses that drive home wisdom and comfort in my heart with the precision of a neurosurgeon. In my last post, I spoke of times where my faith is so strong that I almost feel guilty. Tonight I was reading the book and she was speaking of the same experience. She said it was at that moment that she understood what Paul meant in Philippians 4:6-7, "Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard you hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus." I had always glossed over the part about 'transcends all understanding' because I didn't really understand what he meant. I think I do now.

A Better Night of Rest

Patty slept much better last night. I could tell it in her voice. She's still struggling with the remaining drain and she wants it out yesterday. It is below the 24 hour amount for it to be removed but the surgeon, who is on vacation, told his nurse to not take it out to soon. Patty was going to call her today and see if there was anyway she could get it out. I wouldn't be surprised if she resorted to bribery, lol.. Her soreness persists and it is a constant reminder of the surgery. She told me last night it feels as if her arm has been sewn to her body. Combine that with the numbness of her upper arm and you can see why she is feeling pretty crappy. Is that a real word, crappy? I can't think of a better one at the time so it will have to work.

I got Katie off to school again. I asked how she enjoyed the first day and it didn't sound like it was that enjoyable. She said all they did was go over the rules and do drills. Hmmmm, they better do that rules thing a few times in Kendall's class. Penny came over today to help Patty with the boys and Kendall. She has been wonderful in helping us make arrangements. Micah Tripp is going to pick Katie up for us at school and take her to Laverne's where I can pick her up after work. Micah's son Alec is in the same class as Katie. Once again, I can't thank all of you enough who are pitching in during our time of need.

I was having a lull in my spirits this morning. Sometimes I continue to fall into the trap of thinking of the long road ahead and how tough it is going to be to walk that path. When I do that I get discouraged. But, after reading Isaiah 51:5 this morning a part of it stood out, " arm shall they trust." I can't continue to attempt to look ahead, prognosticate, or forecast the future no matter how much I want to do that. Isaiah says we should place our trust into God's arms. I have to put that into practice.

Many times, my faith is strong and I have not a doubt that this is going to be ok. When that happens, I almost feel guilty for feeling so comfortable with it. Part of me is curious as to what we will have learned on the other side of this. I have to say I never imagined the gamut of emotions that you experience when facing trials such as this and I can now understand what every patient and family feels that walks through our Cancer Center doors. I can see now where I never did before.

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Sleepless Night

We thought that after Patty had two of the drains removed she would be able to sleep much better. We were wrong. I think last night was probably her worse night of sleep yet. She was up several times throughout the night. She still couldn't lay on her right side because of the remaining drain so she tried to lay on her left but due to the soreness of the port-a-cath she couldn't rest there either. She says the port-a-cath is worse than the surgery and that it has made her whole neck, upper back, and shoulder sore even to the touch. Pray that this will clear soon.

Today Laverne's sister, Faye, has come up to stay with Patty and the kids. I took care of Katie this morning and got her off to her first day of third grade. Third grade, its hard to believe that the little girl that I held throughout her first night at home is now eight. One of the things I love about watching them grow is seeing their view of the world as it expands through their eyes and ears so fresh and new to them. Some of their questions about things they've never seen or heard before make me laugh. Some make me cringe but all the while it is refreshing to revisit or rethink something that may be stale to me but like the opening of a new flower to them.

Katie was really excited about school starting. I walked her in and made sure she got settled in for her first big day. Last night I took her to softball practice along with Grant and Kendall. While this is her first attempt at a sport, unless you include cheerleading as a sport, and while her skills may be behind the more experienced players she definitely loves being a part of the team. Especially the part where they put their hands together at the end of practice and shout their team name, PINK PANTHERS! Carmen, Patty's former neighbor and Mom's good friend, came up and helped Patty with Brett. She has been a great help as well throughout this ordeal in more ways than one. One of the many that have offered their help and support.

Different Psalms continue to pop out to me almost everyday. I have read most if not all of these at one time or another. But sometimes their meaning doesn't resonate until your in a situation similar to the Psalmist. In Psalm 27, verse 14, David says "Wait on Jehovah, be strong and take heart and wait on the Lord." Its hard to wait for answers to prayers that seem to us to need immediate attention. Believe me, I know. But in discussing this verse, Charles Spurgeon, says we should "...wait in prayer, ...wait with simplicity of soul, ...wait in faith, and ...wait in quiet patience." Sound advice but hard to do. If you want to read more of his commentary on this verse click HERE.

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Two Down, One to Go & Path Report / Treatment Update

Patty went to the have her drains checked today. Fortunately they pulled two of them. Unfortunately, they left one and it probably will not come out until next week. She said it was very painful to have them pulled out. Much worse than she expected. Her exact words were "it felt like someone was stabbing me but the knife was coming out rather than going in." Ouch! It makes me hurt just thinking about it. Its not been as big a relief as we thought it would but she may be able to sleep on one side tonight, we hope.

I got the final amended path report of Patty's surgery today. Originally, it showed two out of seven lymph nodes were positive. This was not surprising as we already knew one was positive for sure. I was actually surprised there wasn't more after speaking with the surgeon after surgery. What was surprising also was that they only found seven total lymph nodes. In this type of surgery they usually want a minimum of ten nodes. I asked the surgeon about this and he said he was surprised there wasn't more sampled as well. He then requested the pathologists to review the tissue again and indeed they found six more that were negative for a total of two out of thirteen positive lymph nodes.

We originally thought Patty would not have to have radiation treatments if she had one-three positive nodes because the literature (medical speak here) demonstrated it was only needed with four or more positive nodes. But, new clinical studies have shown better local recurrence control even in patients with one-three positive nodes. Thus, Patty will indeed have radiation treatments. This will consist of six-seven weeks of treatment following the three months of chemotherapy. The Herceptin infusions will start the same time as regular chemotherapy and will continue weekly for fifty-two weeks. Click Here for Got that? Yea, me too. Clear as mud. So now, will she not only be the love of my life, my lovely wife, the mother of our children, but a patient as well. This gets weirder everyday.

I've had many encouraging notes and emails from many of you. I thank you. It is encouraging to know that anything I write can help others slow down and admire the important things in life. We did a Bible study many years ago by Henry Blackaby called "Experiencing God." One of the best studies I've ever done. One of the things he asks you to do during the study is to look for where God is working and join in. Well, I don't think I could get any closer.

Monday, August 28, 2006

Pains, Drains, and Kindergaten

I couldn't think of anything that rhymed with automobiles that related to the story thus Kindergarten.

Patty had another good day yesterday. She was able to take a nap and get some rest. Laverne graciously came over and helped with the kids. One of Patty's drains is leaking so she is probably going to have to go have them checked sometime today. They will probably pull at least two of them. We're not sure about the third one. Patty will be much relieved if indeed they do. She slept ok last night but you can just tell that she is not resting well. She's also having a lot of soreness and pain still from the port-a-cath and surgery incisions. This will probably last for a while. She told me last night that this is the longest time she has never been out of the house (6 days). I concur.

I took the girls to school open house last night. The school they attend doesn't start until Aug 30 for Katie and Sept 1 for Kendall. Kendall got to meet her kindergarten teacher, Ms. Addis. For once, she was at a loss for words, lol... Her class will have 14 boys out of a total of 20 students. That should be interesting. It was sad that Patty didn't get to go. I hope and pray that she is able to go when Kendall starts her first day of kindergarten on Friday.

I'm beginning to learn that through this you have to forgo the "what if" scenarios are you will drive yourself insane. You truly have to just think one day at a time which, is tough to do and I still am struggling with that. I've been reading selected Psalms as of late. For some reason they keep popping up in things I read or in encouragement from others. It is comforting to read and relate to David's thoughts and prayers through his suffering.

Laverne came back over today to help with the kids again. I can't express enough how wonderful it is to have others helping us out. We couldn't do it without everyone's help and prayers.

I have to be honest it is tough to get out of bed in the morning. I wake up and do a quick reality check,

'did this really happen?,....yes, it did. Sigh.... aaggghhh, I don't want to get up and face it again today. I just want to sleep until its over.'

I'm sure that is a common sequence others go through for many problems. As the day goes on though it gets better as you realize that you are not in this alone.

As you can tell, the site here has become just not a condition update for Patty but also a window into our walk along this path with me as the narrator. Many of the thoughts here are mine and not Patty's. I think she may put some thoughts here when she is ready. But until that time, I'll continue to update the best I can. I hope everyone is ok with that. I don't know why we're going though this but we hope that God will use us to help others see things a little differently or help others through a similar trial, but most of all draw others to Him.

Back to Work for Now

Patty was still sleeping when I left this morning. I could tell she was uncomfortable in the position she was resting. Hopefully, the drains can come out sometime this week and she can begin to sleep better. She had a better day yesterday and begin to seem a little like her old self a few times. She was much more conversational than the last several days. I'm sure though there will be many up and down days.

Laverne came over early to spend the day with her and help with the kids so I could go to work. I wonder what we would do without our friends and church family. Work won't really be an outlet for me since I work in the Cancer field. I wonder how that will be over the next year. It could be great as I gain a perspective I previously never had that can be used to help others. Still, its hard to realize and swallow that our lives are changed forever. Forever. F-O-R-E-V-E-R. It still hasn't sunk in all the way. Sometimes, I catch myself still wondering if this is just a bad dream. One day you think you're normal. The next day your not. I have read often that bad times will eventually come and when they do be thankful for them because this is when God teaches us the most. Knowing that, it still is a challenge to see and practice it when you're in the valley. We're trying.

Sunday, August 27, 2006

Everybody's Home

Katie and Kendall got home last night around 9:45 pm. My cousin and his wife, which the girls refer to as Uncle Chuck and Aunt Beth, drove them all the way into Knoxville. We can't thank them enough for taking the girls on down to the beach. They had a great time and a bunch of funny stories to tell us about the girls. You'll have to ask us about the story of Kendall and the snake. I won't embarrass her here on the internet. One story I can tell you is when they went to a restaurant that was a little fancier than they thought. They said the waiters placed linen napkins in everyone's lap. It wasn't long before Kendall, in her ever so loud voice, announced to the room that she "dropped her cloth". Later, when the waiter hand ground black pepper for them, Kendall yelled out that there were bugs on the table!

While they were here last night, Chuck, ever the videographer, couldn't resist breaking out some of the video he took while they were down there which was great. For those of you who know Chuck, I'm sure you're getting a good laugh here. It was great to see the girls having a great time. We tried to get them to stay overnight since it was so late but they wanted to get back home to Nashville.

The girls brought us back some unique souvenirs. While they were at the beach they went to a place called "Fired Up." You can pick out your own clay sculpture, coffee mug, etc. and paint your own picture on it or just simply a color you like. They will then fire it in a kiln and put a clear top coat on it and you come back later and pick it up. Kendall made me a surfboard and Patty a princess. Katie made me a coffee mug with a beach scene on it and Patty a flip flop picture frame. They also put their name and year on the bottom. Beth also jumped in and made us a matching mug with a painting of the girls walking on the beach for us.

I got up this morning and got all the kids ready to go to church. Kix, Captain Crunch, and oatmeal were the foods of choice this morning. I thought we would let Patty sleep late and give her more time to rest without all the normal little footsteps running throughout the house.

Scott Sparks sermon was great today. He discussed how as a church "We Are All In This Together." Matter of fact he made us repeat that several times. I think he was trying to drive the point home. He used Paul's writings in 1 Cor 12 where Paul uses the analogy of our own bodies describing there are many parts but, one body. Likewise in the church, everyone has a role that allows the church body to function as God intended. The message really hit home for me as our church family has helped us out tremendously throughout this trying time. From helping watch the kids, lending an ear, prayers, to providing meals they have been there in our time of need. By the way, if you get a chance to eat Angie Anders's mashed potatoes or Penny Sparks's chicken & rice or anything Ben or Tracy cooks, jump at it.

Patty? oh yeah, I guess everyone wants an update on her, lol... She feels a little better today. When we left she got up and read a book of the Bible, washed and fixed her hair, and put some make-up on beautiful face. When we got home, I was surprised to see her hair and make-up fixed. I asked how she did it and she said she toughed it out. I could tell she felt better because she was trying to clean up around the house. I have to keep telling her I'll do it. She is still extremely sore and the drains still don't allow her to sleep in a comfortable position. The girls wanted to see the drains which she had under her shirt so she showed them to them and they were a little grossed out I think. We explained that they would come out soon and they seemed ok. Kendall wanted to see where her surgery was and Patty told them when she healed she would. Katie said that "now you will look like us" which made Patty smile and agree.

Yesterday was not so great but today is much better. God is in control.

Saturday, August 26, 2006

The Girls Come Home Today

We spoke with the girls last night and they are excited about coming home. They should be home late in the evening. I'm going to drive down to Chattanooga to pick them up. We are excited about them being home as well but we're also fearful of their reaction to Patty's physical and emotional condition.

She is sleeping but not what I would call restful sleep. With drains on both of her sides she has to lay on her back and she has never slept like that before now. As far as our spirits, it seems like the last couple of days have not been as good as the days leading up to the surgery and immediately after. This is the hardest situation I've ever had to face. At times it is overwhelming.

Please pray for our spiritual strength, parenting, and hope.

Friday, August 25, 2006

Grant is Home

Tracy brought Grant home this afternoon. I think he senses something is going on. Some of it maybe that he has spent three nights away from us for the first time ever. Another might be seeing Mommy lying down and not feeling well. Beth is going to bring Brett home this evening. We're really going to have to stay on our toes and make sure they don't pull one of Patty's drains out.

Patty has been real sleepy today and kind of dizzy. She doesn't feel as well as she did yesterday. She hasn't ate much either. I think her spirits may be down a little bit. I have been trying to boost them up. Yesterday, she took a bath and took off her bandages. Then LeeAnn came by and fixed her hair up for her. She felt much better after that.

The girls come home tomorrow. It will be interesting to see how we cope with everyone here and Patty not feeling well. Hopefully the girls don't become too anxious about everything that happening.

We heard about the path report from the surgeon's nurse so we haven't been able to discuss it with him yet.

Please pray for the kids and that Patty would begin to feel better. Thanks to all of you who have called, stopped by,

Waiting on the Path Report

We hope to hear the from the path report today from Patty's surgery. We're praying that there weren't any more additional positive lymph nodes although there may be. How many lymph nodes will determine if Patty will have to have radiation therapy treatments.

Grant and Brett are going to come home today and that will be hard with Patty not moving around well and trying to keep them from jumping on her. We're afraid they may accidently pull out her drains. Pray that they are well behaved! The girls come home tomorrow night so pray as well for them that they are not too upset with Mommy being sick.

Thursday, August 24, 2006

Website Visits and the Writer

It is amazing to see how many people are visiting the website to check on Patty. In one day we've had over 175 visitors to the site. That is so encouraging to Patty and I. Of those visits there have been over 450 visits to different pages on the site. How incredible. Patty loves the messages from each of you as well.

For those of you who don't know me, the writer, my name is Scott. Patty and I have been married now for 12 great years. We dated for 4 years before that. Patty took me on as a project while we were in xray school together. If it wasn't for her and another close friend of mine, Kevin, I never would have made it through. My parents were in a middle of a divorce, I was broke and in more ways then one. Many of times did I eat air sandwiches (two pieces of bread together) occasionally, I would even have some BBQ sauce to put in the middle. Back then I had hair and would have to blow it dry with a candle since we didn't pay the light bill. I think Patty bought me lunch for a year our last year of school. Patty continued to take care of me and 4 children were added to that. She's done an incredible job. Its going to be hard for her to now be the one supported.

Now, I manage of couple of cancer centers in our city. A very rewarding job that I love. The people that I work with our unbelievable. Not only as associates but as caring individuals to our patients and to me as well. They have been great throughout this ordeal. Working in the Oncology field as long as I have, you never expect to be on the other side of the fence. Now that I am, I'm gaining a better perspective on cancer care.

Patty's asleep now and resting well.

Good Morning

Patty slept a little better last night without any interruptions. She still doesn't feel completely rested as she has to sleep on her back due to the drains. She is used to sleeping on her side and she can't move too much due to the drains and the soreness. Her right arm was really hurting her when she got up this morning so she took some medicine to help ease it off.

She is still extremely sore. Not just in her chest and arms but her neck and head as well due to the positions they had her in during surgery. She is eating good. She had one of her favorites last night, a baked potato and salad, and ate most of it. Laverne called this morning and asked if she wanted any breakfast and Patty said she did.

We talked to the girls this morning and they are doing well. They were excited to get to talk to Mommy and hear her voice. I think that eased their minds as to how she was doing. The house they're staying in has a crow's nest to look out over the area. Kendall keeps telling them she's going up to the "bird's nest" to check on the weather.

Hopefully, she will get some more rest today and gain back some energy. We continue to appreciate everyone's prayers.

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Food Network

I can tell Patty is coming around a little bit. She had me turn on the Food Network. That's a good sign. Another is she is drinking a cappuccino.

She is still really, really sore. I hope she gets a good night's sleep tonight. Its hard for her to sleep on her side with the drains and she is not real good at sleeping on her back.

Her spirits seem a little better. Thanks for the prayers and thoughts.

Patty's Home

Patty's home and resting comfortably. We got here around 3:15. They had removed her IV's and told her if she wanted to go she could. She felt she could rest better at home especially with her own personal nurse, me. lol...

I've got her setup with pillows, remotes, books, and most of all a large Jamocha shake. Luckily, the hospital has a pharmacy for employees in the hospital so we were able to get her prescriptions before we left and so we didn't have to stop on the way home.

We saw a moving moment on the way home. As we passed by Christenberry Elementary, school was letting out. There stood Mike Bates waiting on Bailey to walk her home. They didn't see us. She came out and they started walking together, Dad and daughter. I'm sure they were discussing her day at school. I relish those moments but they are easy to miss in our busy lives. I noticed things like that before but in the last three weeks I notice them more often and with more clarity.

My neighbor is mowing the yard and honestly I don't like it. Please don't take that last statement the wrong way, I'm gracious as ever but, I'm still struggling with accepting everyone's goodness. It makes me feel weak. Men don't like feeling weak. This is another of the things that God is working on with me and Patty.

In our weakness His strength is displayed.

I'll update how she is doing this evening.

Comments to Blog and Phone

Anyone should now be able to add comments to the blog without having to register. Sorry if there was any confusion about this. I think it would be great for Patty to go back and read any comments of encouragement, prayer, thoughts, etc.

Also my cell phone is dead so for most of the day I will be using Patty's cell phone. I'm not going to post it here but the number is the same as mine but one less digit on the last number. 5 instead of 6.

Mid Morning

Patty is up and is out of the fog you have when you undergo anesthesia. She says she feels like she's been run over by a truck. She has three drains of which two will remain for a week and another for a little longer. They're very cumbersome for her to move around. She finally got up and went to the restroom just a bit ago. This was the first time she has been out of the bed since before surgery. She was a little dizzy but did well. She became a little upset, as you would expect, upon the realization of the surgery. But, she fixed her hair a little and felt better.

Please pray for her emotional state at this time. Also continue to pray for the girls. They're really concerned about Mommy and are asking a lot of questions to my family they are with on vacation. Grant is with Tracy & Ben and is doing really well and Brett is doing well with Darrell & Beth. We can't thank them enough for taking care of our beautiful boys. Before we came to the hospital we tried to explain to Grant about the surgery but it went way over his head and he just wanted to get to Isaiah's :).

Yesterday, after I came and sat down when Patty went back to surgery I saw one of our old neighbors and great friends, Betty and Sherman Brown. They are a couple in their seventies that adopted me and Patty when were first married and moved in next door to them. We spent many a late night enjoying their company and humor on their back porch. Splendid times indeed. They moved away about the time Kendall was born and we stayed in touch but, in the past couple of years with further additions to our family and another move for them we had not maintained contact. We had heard that Betty had breast cancer and was under treatment but they had moved again and we didn't have any contact info. So when she walked into the surgery lobby it was a great surprise. If it wasn't ironic enough to see them, she was having surgery yesterday as well to complete her treatment course! Thus, it was great to sit down for a few hours and "chew the fat" with some old friends who we now had something more in common.

I just wanted everyone to know we couldn't imagine going through this without the strength God has given us, our church family, our friends, and the many other fellow believers that are praying for us throughout our area and the country. While we don't desire to face this trial there are many things God is showing to me and Patty. One of them he has demonstrated to me and Patty is how many people we've built relationships throughout the years. As they hear of our situation, many of them have touched base with us with their voices of genuine love and concern, and most of all prayers. God is teaching us through this and we're trying to listen.

Praise God and Thanks to ALL of you.

Morning Update

We didn't get much rest last night. Patty got sick around 4 am and then the doctor came in at about 5:15 and then nurses came in at 6 and 7. Patty is up now and talking. She just got through eating breakfast and seems to be doing well with that. She is real sore and her arm has been hurting. We probably won't know if she if going to go home until later in the day.

Thanks to all of you for your prayers and thoughts.

Tuesday, August 22, 2006


Patty got in her room about 6:45. She was real sleepy and dozed in and out for a while. She has awoken and is talking and feeling as good as could be expected. She's been drinking some water but isn't hungry as of yet. The doctor will be by in the morning and if all is well she will come home tomorrow afternoon.

Patty is Out of Surgery

Patty came out of surgery at about 5:30. The surgeon said everything went well. It took a total of about 4 hours. She is in recovery now and will be going to her room soon. If she is doing well in the morning she will be coming home tomorrow.

Its been a long day but we thank each and everyone of you for your thoughts, prayers, visits, and calls. We have definitely felt God's strength from them. Please continue to pray that she will recover and heal well. Please pray for the kids as well.

Surgery is Underway

They started Patty's surgery around 1. It looks like it is going to take 4-5 hours. She'll probably be in recovery for a while after that. They have already placed her port-a-cath (a small device placed under the skin to give medication so she doesn't have to have her arm stuck all the time) and was beginning the rest of the surgery. I'll update as things progress.

Keep praying for her and the kids. God is Good, all the time.

Off to the Hospital

We're on our way to the hospital. Surgery is scheduled tentatively around noon. Please continue to pray for us and the girls. We think they are a little concerned about Mommy's surgery today. I'll update here on Patty's condition asap.

Monday, August 21, 2006

A Plan is Set

So finally we have a plan. Surgery is scheduled for Tuesday at ~ 1:00 at St. Mary's. We're not sure how long the surgery will be. Patty will be in the hospital for one night it appears. We're almost reaching the point of drive thru surgery!

Three months of intensive chemotherapy will follow as well as a year of another chemo drug that is injected once a week for 52 weeks. Thus, the treatment journey will begin on Tuesday. We appreciate everyone's prayers. They're working! Patty and I have received much strength and encouragement I believe from everyone's prayers and God's Word.

I'll update here as often as possible to let you know how she is doing. Hopefully, when she is able she may share here as well.

More Bad News or Some Good News?

We saw the Medical Oncologist on Thursday. Once again we were a little encouraged that a plan for treatment was finally coming together but, the thing that would determine whether we would be going for a cure or managing an ultimately terminal disease was next, the PET scan.

That morning, Patty said she wanted everyone to pray for her when the she was receiving the scan. Thus we called all we could that morning. Scott Sparks, our pastor joined us for the scan. I was a nervous wreck but after praying that morning, God had given me encouragement and a peace that no matter what the result would be it would be ok.

As I watched the scan appear on the screen, my heart sunk as I saw the initial images. Fortunately, I was unaware that these were unprocessed images and didn't reflect the actual scan results. But after review it didn't appear there were any metastatic sites besides the lymph nodes. Praise God! Still I was cautious until we had the official results from the Radiologist. That came later that day. Good news. God's mercy had fallen upon us.

Diagnosis and Staging Continued

We went for the ultrasound on Tuesday. By this point we had been praying earnestly for some good news. In addition, our church, friends, and family had also begin to bath us in prayer.

The Radiologist saw only one node but that would be one node too many. She wanted to biopsy it. I wasn't sure. It was deep in the axilla. Patty said to go ahead and do it. They basically stuck a huge needle in her axilla and biopsied the node, 5 times. Ouch!, it was painful for me to watch, more painful for Patty to feel. She was strong.

The next day the news came again and it wasn't good. We were becoming weary and deflated. Patty had also been experiencing some rib pain. We were concerned. In addition, the surgeon wanted her to go ahead and see an Medical Oncologist (chemo doctor) before we scheduled surgery. Patty and I had begun to fear the worst, had the cancer spread? We had the doctors to schedule a PET scan to determine if this was true.

How Good or Bad Is It?

The next two days were a blur. I was able to get Patty an appointment the next day with an Oncologic Surgeon. We were actually encouraged after that appointment. We had a tentative plan. Since there were two lesions they would have to do a masectomy but, there was a new technique that would allow her to have an easy reconstruction. Patty had also decided to have the other side done as well to alleviate future concerns. The doctor also wanted to do a MRI to check the unaffected side.

We were able to get the MRI done that day as well. Unfortunately, the next day we received unexpected bad news. The MRI demonstrated there were some thickened or enlarged lymph nodes on the affected side. Again, devastating news.

The doctor wanted to ultrasound her axilla (armpit) and if a node was seen biopsy it. Thus, we had to wait through the weekend to have that done. In the meantime, on Monday we saw the plastic surgeon. We were encouraged again but were unprepared for Tuesday's results.


Patty's mom, Kaky, died of from breast cancer in 1992 at the age of 46. Patty was 22. Patty has had several breast biopsies throughout her life. Her first at age 15. We believe she has had six or seven total.

This all begin in January with a screening mammogram. She was called back for extra views and then they advised her to return in six months. We thought about it for a week or two and decided to go ahead and biopsy what they saw. This happened in March. The biopsy came back benign. At that time, they saw another small spot that looked like a lymph node and said they weren't concerned and to just return in September.

On August 4, Patty found a lump that concerned her. After returning from a weekend trip, we made an appointment for the next day. They performed a mammogram and an area showed up that looked suspicious. It was suspicious on ultrasound as well. They decided to go ahead and biopsy it and another small spot that they thought would be benign. They told us they were almost positive it was cancer. That night was terrible. The pathology report came back the next day at 10:30 am. The worse had come true, both spots were cancer. Devastating news.