Friday, November 3, 2017

What Is Going On!!

Although it is November 2, I am going to go back when everything started changing. I had a scan the first week of August, and it showed more growth than stability on the INCB054828 trial. At this point, Dr. Meric-Berstam and I decided it was time to exit that trial. The side effects had gotten worse, and the negatives were definitely starting to outweigh the positives. I was also running a low grade fever for about a week when all of the above happened, and after consulting with Dr. Javle, we agreed it was best to wait until the fever stopped before starting a new trial.

Life seemed to drag by each day, and as each day passed, my worry and anxiety was growing like a snowball being rolled downhill. I was off of any therapy to stop my cancer from growing, and I was beginning to feel alone and depressed. There were days I didn't shower for three days as I really thought I was dying, so why care about my appearances. I barely left the house. This is the first time I let depression get the best of me. Throughout the past (almost 7 years), I have never felt so alone and I just felt like it was "my time." I wasn't eating a lot, and I was starting to lose weight.

Throughout August and into September, the daily fevers never went away. I saw my local doctor, and after removing my port to eliminate it as a source of infection, I had an appointment with an infection disease doctor. He quickly determined there was nothing else to blame. The fevers were tumor fevers.

About the second week of September, Dr. Javle and I agreed it was time to get me on a new targeted therapy clinical trial for the FGFR mutation. This is my third FGFR trial.....and I needed a miracle to stop the cancer growing inside my body. On September 19, my daughter, Jennifer, and I traveled to Houston to start the TAS 120 trial at MD Anderson Cancer Center. Scans confirmed my cancer was doing a happy dance inside of me. I was not surprised it was growing. Testing to make sure I was eligible for the trial moved fast and swift....we didn't waste any time and I was approved within days. We were even able to visit the cholangiocarcinoma lab (along with several board members from The Cholangiocarcinoma Foundation) at MD Anderson and were honored to meet the lead researcher, Dr. Larry Kwong.

I started taking the drug for the TAS 120 trial on September 21, 2017. On September 24, my fevers were gone. Pat returned home from his hunting trip a few days later, and he was adamant that the trial was working, as I was a totally new person. Soon after, I was going for walks. I was having lunch with friends. I started watching grandchildren again. I went to the Covered Bridge Festival for the day.

After six weeks on the trial, I am back to painting and considering a fourth children's book. I am feeling like the old me and not worrying about when I am going to die. I am LIVING AGAIN!!

This trial has a lot fewer side effects and I am doing so well!! Drum roll please!!  After just six weeks on the TAS 120, my scan on October 30 shows that overall I had 40% reduction in the overall size of the cancer!  This news was the best news in about a year for me. My doctor stated I have had the best response of all of his patients on this trial. There were two other patients on this trial that had a scan the same day as me. We all had great responses! Dr. Javle had mentioned the TAS 120 a few times over the past several months while I was on the INCB trial. He stated we had a backup plan, and he really thought it would be a good fit for me when the time came. I am so glad he has always had a plan at just the right time. You see....this is the type of doctor I want in my corner. One who is always three steps ahead of me when it comes to my health and what will keep me alive with the best quality of life.

So, I WILL MARCH!

Over the past 7 years, I have thanked God so very many times for the life I have had since being diagnosed with this dreaded cancer. When I lay my head down each night, as I pray and thank God for all the memories that I have made with family and friends. I am so truly blessed with my family here in Illinois and the family I hold dear to my heart in Houston. When I was diagnosed, my outlook was not good. Not good at all, BUT I have never lost my faith. I know God is still right beside me every single day.

I am living every single day! My health and my mind are as good as it can be right now! I have lost about 15 pounds and am keeping my weight stable. I am eating normal again because I feel normal again! I am thinking about joining a gym again to get daily exercise. I went outside with Pat this morning and we walked 1 1/4 miles....it's a start!!
I appreciate all the people who have called or emailed me because I went so long in between this post and my last post back in July. People who called just to check on me are so appreciated in a cancer patient's life!!.

Be patient with me to post again, as I am too busy trying to stay alive and living each day to its fullest!! I promise it won't be another 3 months!!

Hugs!!
Patty



Sunday, July 2, 2017

Thankful No Matter What Happens!

I returned from Houston on Wednesday after a scan, blood work, and a visit with Dr. Meric-Bernstam. I am pleased so say that I am still mostly stable with only a small amount of growth. The QIAC Report-which is part of the clinical trial report after a scan showing measurements of each growth and shrinkage on places. Then it is all added together, divided, and the report gives you the percentage of growth or shrinkage overall). I had 2% shrinkage overall and sometimes it's the small things you have to appreciate in life. Especially in the cancer world!

Our return home was quite the experience as we were suppose to fly out Tuesday evening with a layover in Dallas before arriving in St. Louis. Our flight from Hobby Airport in Houston was to depart at 6:30, but the departing plane was 45 minutes late before arriving at the gate. After boarding, the pilot informed us we would need to fly down to San Antonio before our stop in Dallas/Ft. Worth due to weather. This meant additional time and we are already running late. So, as we arrived in Dallas/F.W., (about 4 people needing to catch the flight to St. Louis), we promptly ran to the gate and the plane we were to be on was already leaving. This was about 8:30 p.m. and I pretty much knew we were there for the night! And...we were! Since our delays were weather related, Southwest said it was not their fault but gave us a list of discounted hotels. I was tired, hungry, and ready to punch someone in the face. But, I remembered praying to God that morning that I knew we were coming in to St. Louis later than normal and wouldn't get home until 1 a.m. or so...and that if he could please direct us home safely, I would be so thankful. So, maybe he knew Pat needed rest and this was His way of getting us home safely...in His time, not ours!! God has given me one of the best husbands a person could ask for. Pat is always beside me no matter what. There to go grab supper, get meds, check on me when I feel sicker than usual, ask the doctors all the right questions. I am blessed with one great man as my husband!!

I am having several side effects from the trial drug such as very dry eyes which was attended to by the opthomologist at MD Anderson. The doctor states my vision is slightly worse but not enough to have my glasses updated. He also approved the eye drops and nighttime eye ointment that my local Pharmacist Brycen Short helped me choose. I knew they needed to be preservative free but there are several that have alcohol in them...which dry the eyes! I also had a sonogram of the eyes to make sure I had no fluid buildup behind the eyes which is somewhat common on this trial drug. No fluid! I also have dry skin, dry corners of my mouth, toenails that are cut back halfway as they are lifting from the bed-not to mention three that totally fell off. My fingernails have not fallen off but they don't look the best either. My feet are dry as are the tips of my fingers. My nose is very dry on the inside so I have the humidifier by my bed for bedtime. The inside of my mouth gets so dry at times that I might wake up in the middle of the night and my tongue is stuck to the roof of my mouth. I literally have to sneak my finger on top of my tongue the carefully pry it off, then gulp some water with my eyes half shut. Yip, these are just a few of the side effects of the INCB 054838-101 trial.
My labs look pretty good and were not a worry with Dr. Meric-Bernstam. My CA 19-9 is within range at 26.5. My liver enzymes are AST 34, ALT 49, and the Alk Phos was 308. The ALT and AST are within normal range but the Alk Phos is somewhat high. People with cholangio know what this all means or maybe a dr or nurse...so I am putting this out there for them more than anyone else. WBC is within range at 4.7 but platelets are dipping in the low range just barely at 127,000. My platelets fluctuate quite frequently so not too worrisome at this point. Phosphorus is 2.5 (for those on my trial this is especially informative). I am somewhat nauseous lately and I have lost about 5 pounds because of it. So, I have started drinking protein shakes with banana and peanut butter in them to halt the weight loss. I have to remind myself, anytime I have a scan means several hours without eating...and after a scan, I am usually nauseous due to the contrast I drink. Thus, causing some weight loss that I can usually make up within a weeks time.

So, after arriving home Wednesday afternoon, I felt good until Thursday about noon. I just had no energy. Friday came and I just didn't feel so hot. I finally checked my temperature at 4 p.m. and I had a 100.8 fever which came down with 400mg of Ibuprophen. Saturday was no better with a slight belly ache and just no energy. At 3 pm, I took my temp and it was already at 99.9.  Not an alarming fever but when you have cancer, every little thing is of concern. Today, I felt pretty good and actually picked up the house, cleaned the bathroom, mopped the kitchen, cleaned off the counter tops, and vacuumed some areas. I still have not been outside since Thursday afternoon....maybe tomorrow.
Whether I caught a bug at MD Anderson or in the airport, that's what I am chalking it up as. It's not quite 4 and if the fever starts again, I might call my local doctor tomorrow.
When I come down with these small bugs or whatever they might be, it scares me. It makes me wonder that even though the doctors think I am doing alright, is this the beginning of the end. I HAVE lived longer than what most people can even dream with CC. And, I am blessed. I do not know the plans God has for me, but He is right beside me every single day. I am thankful...so very thankful.

Before leaving for Houston, my sister-in-law Sheila Stoltz, my cousin Amelia Lydle and I took a girls trip to Siesta Keys, Florida for a week. The beach always make things better...or atleast for the week. I enjoyed good company, good food, good spirits-kidding, and a little shopping. Our weather was spot on even though there was the tropical storm Cindy lurking in other parts of Florida and Gulf Shores. The day we flew home, there was a BIG whale that washed up on shore. I didn't see it but I sure hope it was back in the water with help from shore patrol & rescue. I am thankful I was able to go on this trip, and it makes me realize I still have a lot of living to do. Pat and I have no plans for a trip anytime soon...except those trips to good old Houston! But, I truly believe I wouldn't be alive without my doctors at MD Anderson and most of all, God!

An update on the CURE article! Pictures have been taken, the article has been approved by all parties involved, and the magazine about cholangiocarcinoma and an interview with a couple of doctors (none being mine which is a little disappointing) and myself are complete. The magazine with this article will be in a SPECIAL EDITION of CURE magazine that will come out in Mid-August. You will be able to read it online or try getting your hands on a magazine somewhere. I have about 10 magazines come my way for family from the staff at CURE. I know the photographer took well over 200 photos of me at my home, and although I approved the article, I have no idea what the finished product will look like. Maybe I can add the link to the article once it is out here on my blog. I was disappointed I couldn't mention my doctors or have a family photo. Nope, it's all about the patient and making people aware of the rare cancer and its symptoms!


Have a GREAT July 4th!! Be safe!

Hugs,
Patty





Tuesday, June 13, 2017

What's new?

It has been two months since my last post.....and I am ok...still marching in this fight against cancer! I have been so very busy traveling back and forth to Houston every three weeks for dr visits and scans on the INCB 054828 trial. I am on Cycle 8 of this targeted therapy trial for the FGFR2 gene mutation.
I want to thank all the people who messaged me or e-mailed me to see how I was doing since I seem to have a hard time updating lately. I am just so busy living....I can't hardly apologize when I am just having too much fun living life!!

I wanted to mention some of the side effects from my trial. My fingernails are "lifting" and my toenails are ready to fall off (actually two already have). This is a side effect for this trial drug and also the BGJ398 trial that I was on a while back. My left eye is somewhat blurry which is also a common side effect not to mention dry skin, dry eyes, dry mouth....you get the picture. I also have mouth sores by the time I start week two on the trial drug. My mouth gets super sensitive to spices, acid based foods or fruits, anything acidic. I cannot use toothpaste by week two on the trial drug...so I use baking soda for that second week. I also have a mouth swish and swallow drink to use to help keep your mouth healthy. It's all manageable to a certain extent besides food starts to not have much taste. I just go through the motions and eat so I stay at a healthy weight. I will have a vision appointment at my next visit to MD Anderson to see how bad this drug has effected my eyes. Hopefully they will not kick me out of the trial as long as it is not at a stage 3, which is like a high alert and might result in calling the drug company to see if they will let me stay in the trial. We'll cross that bridge when we get there!!

I will also have a scan on my next visit on June 26th & 27th. I don't have any idea what the scan will show. In the past, my scan results have been mixed and have been for several scans. There has been slight growth (a few millimeters) and also some shrinkage so it is putting the breaks on my cancer. Although I have great trial doctors that I see at each visit, they just are not the same as Dr. Milind Javle. He has been a compass for me on this journey with his knowledge and caring attitude. I truly do not believe I would be alive without his expertise on cholangiocarcinoma. He is the best in the U.S according to many people including me.

Before my next visit to Houston, I will be going to Siesta Keys, Florida with my sister-in-law Sheila Stoltz and my cousin Amelia Lydle for a week vacation. I am sure there will be relaxation, eating, reading, and walking on the beach most days.
There have been even more friends who had cholangiocarcinoma that have passed recently. One in particular was diagnosed the same month and same year as me. It really hit home for me and scares the hair off of your head! OK....just my head!!  Each friends who passes from this dreadful cancer is a true warrior and I just want to put my head in the sand like it never even happened.....but I know I have to face it and try to stay as positive minded as I can for my own health. It's just hard every single time and it never gets easier.

I have also been in contact with CURE magazine that is all about cancer, research, articles about rare cancers and not so rare cancers. They contacted me and wanted to do an article on cholangiocarcinoma and a patient with CC. I agreed and the lady writing the article actually read my blog over a weekend and could pretty much write the article with everything she acquired from the blog. She did interview me over the phone also. Tonight, (June 13th) I had a photographer from Effingham come to my house to get a few pictures taken for Cure magazine and the article that will be published sometime in the near future. Most people have not heard of CURE magazine unless you have had to deal with cancer or a family member has. I have been receiving it for several years and after reading the magazine several times, I usually mail them to cancer patients because many of the articles are a wealth of information. I have always loved their magazine and was honored when they wanted to include me in a piece on cholangiocarcinoma. I will update when the article is actually available or I have a few copies.

So....as you can see, I truly have been busy. My step daughter Kate just left today after flying in to visit for several days. She brought her boyfriend and it truly was a nice visit and long overdue. We spent time with her sisters and all the nieces and nephews. Joe's Pizza was one of the first foods Kate wanted from 'home' so Joe's it was!! Pat and I hope to get out to visit Kate and see Massachusetts and Connecticut by the end of summer. It's just a wait and see game to decide when Pat and I actually do have time to travel somewhere besides Houston, Texas. BUT, as long as I am still going, I AM ALIVE!!

That's it for now folks!! Stay tuned!!

My daughter Leslie came over before my CURE photo shoot to do my makeup. She did a great job and I am so thankful my daughters are always there for me!!  Leslie took this picture of me but it looks pretty good to me!!
Image may contain: 1 person, smiling, eyeglasses and closeup


Hugs!!
Patty Corcoran



Monday, April 10, 2017

SO much to be thankful for!

Greetings! I just started cycle 5 of INCB054828. I had a scan last week in Houston at MD Anderson. I had results of the scan and bloodwork on Friday, April 6th. My scan shows shrinkage in some areas and slight growth in other areas. Although Dr. Subbiah states it is stable disease, I am just not feeling so sure about it. But I do believe it is slowing the cancer cells down a lot. The places that had growth were just a few mm, so I feel it is better to have smoldering cancer rather than an all out forest fire. I am uneasy that there is ANY growth but sometimes you have to pick your battles.  I will scan in a few more cycles and if there is still growth, I will go off of the trial and back to the drawing boards with Dr. Javle. I mean, I have had pretty much all chemo cocktails and three separate trials.....I have had three separate rounds with IMRT radiation.
On a positive note, the PA that we saw before seeing Dr. Subbiah said my bloodwork was so good it should be pinned up on the fridge for everyone to see! It doesn't mean I can sit back and relax....no, there is no resting for a cancer patient!  I will march~~

I have lived, I have loved, and I will keep marching for every single day on this earth. Days where I pick up grandchildren and spend the day together....we play in the creek and make bubble art on canvas for their walls at home....and lots of trips to get an ice cream cone. I am so very thankful for every single day....more so when you have cancer. Ask any cancer survivor and they will back me up when I say you never start living until you are touched with cancer. It is like opening up the curtains in the morning. You have a choice whether you see sunshine and are ready to start the day strong OR you can open the curtain to a day filled with clouds and crawl back in bed. There is No day on my schedule of life for 'cloudy days'!

I will march, I will march, and I will MARCH some more!!!

Since coming back from the Cholangiocarcinoma Conference the first week of February, there have been several cholangiocarcinoma patients who have passed. Young men and women....and some who are older. It just scares the ants out of your pants!!!!  I pray for their families, friends, and for all cancer patients. You just never know when it might be 'your turn' AND it sure makes you thank God for every single day FULL of sunshine!!

As I sat waiting for a blood draw in the research lab this past week at MD Anderson, a lady who had been sitting across from me a bit, said "Patty?"  I kind of sat there and wondered if she was truly talking to me. I spoke up finally and said "Yes?"  It was a lady from Alabama and her husband has CC. He was there getting a blood draw also. I messaged back and forth with her in the past as her husband is on Lovenox like me and I wanted to make sure she knew to get his blood checked for consistency so there was no cerebral hemhorrage like I had. It is always comforting to have a network of cholangiocarcinoma friends out there. Pat and I also had supper with Cathy & Paul Dalton while in Houston. We met Cathy a couple of years ago in Houston and she is a CC patient. Cathy is a great gal who also has her big girl pants on fighting like a girl!!

I am feeling about 90% ok. I was at RMH with a red sore place on my lower leg on about April 2. It was hot to the touch and I had been running a fever the weekend before going to have it looked at. Never a high fever but 100.7 or less. I was told I had cellulitis and was put on an antibiotic for 10 days. My leg is all better and I am so glad I had it looked at. It is one of those things that just doesn't go away on its own. I am so happy that I had it looked at BEFORE going to Houston or it would have really turned into something ugly!!

 

I will share a quick story before logging off. I hear people stating that early screening and detection is KEY to catching cancer early. Well...let me tell you something. I was all about my yearly mammo's and pap smears. I wanted a sticker to wear on that yearly date....just like an I VOTED sticker!  It wasn't until I was at Mayo Clinic that they looked at my last two yearly blood results that Dr. Kristen Mahan ordered. My liver enzymes were elevated for two whole years and I was never alerted that it was high. It was never huge out of range but enough that something should have been done. So, the Mayo dr's knew I probably had CC for atleast two years if not three before diagnosis.  I had been to heart drs, did stress tests, many EKG's, and everything kept coming back ok. I was more active than the average 'Joe' with going to the gym atleast 5 days a week not to mention my long bike rides, walking, 5K's, and even playing volleyball weekly. There might have been times I had a slight ache in my back but I always attributed it to exercising and maybe pulling a muscle.
IF you have/had cancer, IF you catch it early, you are one lucky person to find it early.....but there are some people who truly tried to live healthy and just got struck with the big C word anyway....and way too late.  You can bet your bottom dollar that I get a copy of my blood results each and every time I have a blood draw. Dr. Subbiah stated to me back in January for me to not worry about my bloodwork as it can fluctuate so much AND it was his job to keep an eye on my labs.... but I beg your pardon!! Maybe if I would have been wiser or more adamant to get my results 7 years ago, I wouldn't be fighting this beast STILL. But, we can only look forward and to see many more sunny days and making memories in my lifetime!

In closing, enjoy this Season of LIFE. The real meaning of Easter....what does it mean to you?  To me? It's knowing that Easter is the oldest Christian holiday and the most important day of the church year. Easter celebrates and commemorates the central event of the Christian faith: the resurrection of Jesus Christ three days after his death. As I sit here letting this run through my mind, I am always thankful and amazed at just how AMAZING our God truly is. 
Yes, there will be colored eggs sprawled about as my family gathers to celebrate at the "Cummins-Zuber Ranch" but we will also take a minute to give thanks to our Almighty God and to celebrate each and every day on this earth.

God bless you all who read my blog! Celebrate LIFE every day!!

God bless~~
Patty Corcoran





Sunday, February 26, 2017

STILL MARCHING!

First off, I want to apologize for not posting an update sooner. I AM still marching in the trial and had a good report from my scan a little over a week ago. I had 8% shrinkage according to Dr.Subbiah who is the doctor over this trial at MD Anderson. We somehow got out of the last appointment without getting a copy of the scan report but when it finally got on the "my mdanderson website" I noticed a couple places of concern noted on the scan which I was a little OR ALOT worried about.
I decided to call in my favorite doctor, Dr. Javle to take a look. He was also a little concerned so he asked for a re-read of my scan. Although there are a couple of places that are concerning, there was shrinkage so I will continue cautiously. The diarrhea has stopped and I also had a different pill to help me sleep at night. THIS has been a huge adjustment but I am adjusting although my body is saying "WHAT HAPPENED"?  A girl needs her beauty sleep....!

I will back up to last Friday when I had an appointment to see the nurse practitioner, Clover. Before they called me back to get all my vitals, Dr. Subbiah came out to talk with us. He states he had my scan re-read 3 times by different radiologists plus he measured the shrinkage himself. He states the trial drug is working...to be patient. At this point I realize Dr. Subbiah knows I asked Dr. Javle to look at the scan and also other doctors. It's ok, this is my life and I need to be on the defense if I am not 100% confident about the trial. Once I was with Clover for my visit, I received a copy of my bloodwork. It all showed a significant decrease in my liver enzymes, my LDH, and my Alk Phosphatase. This is a GOOD sign that maybe the trial is really working. I had only been on the trial two cycles before my scan so I need to give it another 3 cycles to see results 100%. So....I WILL MARCH!

I have an appointment this Friday, the 3rd of March with bloodwork and a visit with whoever decides to see me. If my bloodwork is good, I will continue and start cycle 4 in a week from the 3rd(the next Friday). I am on the drug two weeks...then off a week. That is 1 cycle. After the appointment on the 3rd, Pat and I will start off for Illinois. We will be there until March 12 and on the 12th, we will fly to Houston for appointments on the 13th.  We are also in the process of seeing if I can have weekly blood draws in my hometown and fax the results to Dr. Subbiah. This would mean I would go down every three weeks instead of weekly visits. I pray this is approved so I can be at HOME more and less in an RV Resort in Texas!

We had a beautiful day Saturday going to a Big Top Vintage Market in Old Town Spring, Texas with Linda Burgener and Margaret Burgener. The temp was perfect and the food was good at a nearby restaurant.

Monday evening, Pat and I are meeting a very nice lady we met at the Cholangiocarcinoma Conference last month. Her name is Patti and she lives here in Houston. She seems very delightful and she is meeting us at an Italian restaurant where my nurse, Ron and his wife might catch up with us for dessert. Ron suggested the restaurant so it better be good! To say I am excited would be an understatement as socialization is definitely lacking on most days when Pat and I just walk in our campground for exercise.

I think that about sums up everything for an update. There have been quite a few patients with CC that have passed lately. It scares a person and makes you realize even more that every day is a blessing. I pray that advancements with CC is soon on the horizon and pray it happens before my "light" goes off. I can only say it is a true miracle I am still on this earth. God has granted me more time with my family and friends. I can only give thanks and praise to Him.....as I know most days I am not worthy. But I am blessed and I do give thanks to our great Father. For without Him, I am nothing!

God bless and enjoy your day.....everyday!

Hugs,
Patty





Sunday, February 5, 2017

I AM AMAZED!

Since my last post, I have started my second cycle of my trial. Side effects are a little worse as far as diarrhea...even waking me up in the middle of two nights so far. The only other side effect is I had one mouth sore but it was caught early by Clover, the nurse practitioner I saw. I received a script for the "magic mouthwash" that numbs your entire mouth but within four days the sore was gone.   Dr. Subbiah who is over his clinical trial told me about a new mouthwash (new to me) and I ordered and received it. You use it every day whether you have a sore or not as it also aids in protecting your throat and stomach from getting sores. You cannot get it at a store so I am hoping to start it today and it will keep all sores away. If any chemo patient is interested in the name.....message me for it. Other than that, I am feeling great. I just hope and pray that it is a good indication that the clinical drug is working.

As a lot of you know, I attended and was a patient speaker at the Annual Cholangiocarcinoma Foundation Conference in Salt Lake City. It was 3 days long but so much support, learning, and meeting fellow warriors. There were doctors, researchers, biologists, drug and medical research representatives from all over the world including Malaysia, Thailand, Taiwan, Austria and Australia....and one man from Milan.  There were many, many doctors from major cancer centers in the United States. OF COURSE MY DOCTOR WAS THERE WITH HIS NURSE RON!  They actually came in to Salt Lake on Tuesday night or Wednesday morning so they could hear two of his patients speak and tell their story. Come to think of it, we were the two that received standing ovations. I wonder how much Dr. Javle had to pay for that to happen...HAH!  I will post my speech on here in a couple weeks when it is on the Cholangiocarcinoma.org website.

Something very exciting for me was several doctors are talking about the FGFR2 mutation which I have. A lot of studies are being conducted in the lab for this mutation and it gives me so much hope and anticipation that a drug that works for this mutation is on the horizon!

Pat and I walked about 2 1/2 miles this morning. Super Bowl is later today and the traffic is nuts. It was nuts last night when we got off the plane at Hobby with lots of people going to the football game on Sunday. This is the only day Pat and I act like football fans just so he can eat his melted cheese/chorizo/ and some pico d'gallo served with nacho chips and I get cucumber sticks, carrots sticks, and green pepper strips. I might even splurge with  a little blue cheese dressing for a dip. He'll probably have a beer and I will keep drinking water. We're really exciting people in the trailer park! ;-)

I want to mention a fundraiser that is going on the whole month of February. Charming Charlie is donating 10% of all sales all over the United States in the month of February to the Cholangiocarcinoma Foundation. Just take a picture of the coupon at the end of the blog and they will make sure it is applied. How amazing is that!  If you don't know what Charming Charlie is....it is a store with every accessory you could think of for women and older girls. It is very reasonable and even have some really cute purses...even some sweaters. If you have one in your area, please consider supporting this fundraiser where you end up with some really cute stuff!!

As I stood up at that podium and was telling my story with cancer, it made me realize how blessed I truly am. As I pray morning and night (and lots of times in between), I pray God keeps leading me on this cancer/life journey. I know I can't do it alone....and I am blessed with the CCF and my own family and friends. I am so grateful to have God right beside me every step of the way. I am not perfect and I ask for God to forgive me daily. I am at peace with my life and I know that no matter what or where life leads me, my amazing God is there to catch me if I would ever fall. I am not afraid of dying although I do tell God I still have a lot of life to live if it is his will. I am at peace because I know God truly is right beside me.  I AM BLESSED!!

Until next time......God keep close to you!

Hugs,
Patty Corcoran
Dr. Javle's nurse and more importantly, our friend-Ron Harris.

                                                             GO SHOPPING!!!!!!!!
                                 Speaking at the Cholangiocarcinoma Foundation  AnnualConference 2017


Sunday, January 22, 2017

Anything Happens in Houston!

Yes, anything happens in Houston!  We had some younger guys and girls move into the "park model" mobile home behind us and I just had an uneasy feeling about them. They paid for a weeks stay but left rather fast one afternoon. The following day, when management couldn't get anyone to answer the door, they entered and found suspicious looking and most likely drugs of several kinds. The group left so fast, they left a drivers license behind of one girl. Smart move.....not!

We also had a pretty good storm one evening with golf ball sized hail and it sure played a number on my car!  I woke up last night to a storm and when I was doing laundry this morning, another guy said it woke him up and it was pea sized hail. That'll be enough of that stuff!!  HMPH!

I have just a few days left on the clinical trial pill before getting a week off. My phosphorus level is at 6.6 and if it gets to 7, I will go on a drug to lower my phosphorus level. I feel great! Pat and I have been walking several days when possible and then there is all the walking from the Mays building to the Main building that does the body good if you have a good pace. I have about 3 pretty long days this week at MD Anderson for the trial. It starts tomorrow at 8 am and we will be there ATLEAST 8 hours.  Same thing for Tuesday.

The main reason for the more than usual long days is because they are accommodating me so I can attend the Cholangiocarcinoma Conference from Feb1-3....but we will fly there on the 31st and fly back to Houston on the 4th. I actually get to speak and it will be live streamed on the CCF website. I believe I speak at 3 p.m.

I want to thank everyone for the birthday wishes on Facebook, the cards I received, the Edible Bouquet from Chris and Samantha.

I am so blessed with my family, friends, and all the prayer lists I am on throughout the U.S. I am blessed with God's peace and I have a calmness in my heart that only God could put there. I have hope and am excited because I truly believe this trial drug is working inside my body.

In two days, I get that week off of the drug. That is one cycle. Only two more cycles, then we will scan to hear great news!!

Hugs & God Bless!!
Patty Corcoran