Thursday, June 27, 2013

Let me share last week with you.

Thursday of last week was "The Beach Girls Day Out" and we had a fine day indeed (even if it wasn't a trip to the beach!  We (Sharon Jones, Mary Crites, Sheila Stoltz, Debbie Weiler and I)  headed to Salem, Il to meet my sister, Lisa. After grabbing coffee/Lattes? and taking a picture under the sign at the coffee shop, we moved on the The Rusty Nail which is a huge antique/primitive building full of good things! We all spent a wad there and then headed toward Fairview Heights where we shopped at Old Time Pottery. We had lunch at What A Lotta Creek and it was great food! We stopped at another antique store and I think we just about got kicked out...I found a set of drums and was playing Dinah Won't You Blow as I saw a lady out of the corner of my eye (it was the store owner people) and I very gently put the drum set to rest and scooted along.  We left at 8 that morning and I arrived back at Suntone Road at 8:30 that night. It was a long day but a good time even if we didn't get any sand between our toes! We have taken a trip to the beach in the past....Ft. Myers Beach, Gulf Shores....somewhere warm. But since I got the big C word, we just haven't made the trip. I am sharing a few pics of our day trip. Enjoy.

Moi, Lisa Syfert (my sister), Mary Crites, Sheila Stoltz (my sister in law), Debbie Weiler, Sharon Jones.

Now, I will move to the weekend. Some of you don't have Facebook so I have to re-share my pics from this most memorable weekend I won't soon forget! It was the 5K Evansville Color Blaze and we headed out at 8 am to Evansville. The race started at 11 but we didn't want to miss out on anything....pretty sure we didn't! I was so pumped after getting on my tu-tu. Along came the Kauble mobile with a car load and one handicapped momma. They parked beside us and then everything got even wilder. There was cornstarch colored powder flying everywhere. We were covered before the race even started. Then came water spraying people, hoses spraying water, and more colored cornstarch right after the water so it stuck to you really bad!  I was on a singing LOUD kick as I jumped around throwing chalk on any moving object. My song of the day was Louis Armstrong's What A Wonderful World. It has been a favorite of mine for a very long time.....God created a wonderful world for us but we sure have a way of making a mess of it. That's a story for another day.
When we lined up at 11 am (Amy Kirby, Jill Weiler, Debbie Weiler, Lisa Corcoran, and myself)....along with Dave and Logan Kauble and a couple other rug rats that came with the Kauble's. We also ran into the Amy Kincaid family from Olney. So we didn't feel totally like aliens.
I would say they ended up with about 1500 people in the 5K. We were in the second lot of people they released to run/walk. Like dogs in a horse race, we all paced ourselves as the first quarter mile was all uphill. I was thinking....boy, this is going to be a loooong journey. But, it was easier as we topped that hill and moved on to flatter ground. It was 90 degrees at 11 and HOT! There were sprinkler hoses to wet you down as you walked over them only to have a couple people with another box of colored cornstarch to throw all over you again. Atlast, I could see the finish line...and then my niece, Rachel Yockey came running up along side me. I forgot she said she might come down. It was a great end to finish with her. I was hot, thirsty and full of cornstarch rainbow colors all over my bald head. Then I had sweat coming off my head and it looked like a cracked earth up there....with hair growing for grass. We were all just pooped!!!  After two showers and a pool swim, we all pretty well got the dye off of us. Then came some much needed shopping and supper at Madeleine's where I treated myself to a Filet Mignon, Asparagus, and Mashed Russetts (potatoes). I also had the best French Onion Soup ever!! I think we were all in bed by 10 ish. The next day, I sang for the crew again with my Louis Armstrong song. We shopped a little more...made a Macy's stop after an IHOP breakfast. As we headed home, it started to sprinkle, then it just got worse the closer we got to home. It was a weekend FULL to the brim with laughter, hugs, and just downright good clean fun! I had to turn my head a couple of times as I could feel a tear coming in the corner of my eye. Just to stop and look at us...all full of energy, the vision of walking over the FINISH line....feeling so healthy when I knew I still had that big C word inside of me. I feel God is working through me in ways I sometimes don't even realize or understand. To feel so good most of the time and also know my prayers are answered every day...that there are so many people praying for me and it truly is why I am still here. I am just an ordinary person that finally woke up and realized I wanted God front and center in my life. I can't even describe the joy I feel inside of me...the peace I feel that calms my day and lets me sleep at night.  Here are a few pics from the Color Blaze:

This is me BEFORE the Color Blaze even started!!!

Jill Weiler, Amy Kirby, Moi, and Debbie Weiler

POOPED after The 5K Color Blaze in Evansville, Indiana

Lias Corcoran (Pat's sister) and Moi

Amy Kirby, Moi, and my niece Rachel Yockey at THE FINISH!!!!

Why do I always get the CAUTION tape?  I was just playing around!!!!

All Purdy....before the race started.

We earned every bit of that cornstarch dust!!!  It was truly the best time!!!

OH MY.......Now I see why I got the caution tape!!!!

  Back row: Jill Weiler and Amy Kirby
  Front Row: Patty Corcoran, Linda Burgener (our coach) and Debbie Weiler.


It is Thursday evening, and I have 1/2 of a day left at a place I also consider home. My workplace. Time is ticking as I leave my job Friday at noon. As Mark Allen (a local tv anchorman who is retiring the same day I am) is bittersweet. Packing boxes of memories into boxes at my office this week has tugged a little at my heartstrings.....I will miss my job with all my heart but I will love the sweet moments with my husband, my mother, sisters and brothers, my children and grandchildren. My friends who ARE my family.....I look forward to spending time with all of you.....and with most importantly, God.
As I  read my Bible almost every night, I soak it all in and then as I pray, I thank God for all he has done, gave up, and gave to us all here on earth. I thank God for all of you who read my blog and pray for me, I thank Him for allowing me to stay so stable and to share my cancer story and that God is the reason I am still here....I still have a lot to share of this journey I am on.
I plan to bike to town more often....maybe on Thursdays to meet with the prayer group at Ophelia's.....they are not Catholic like me, but God loves us all...and we all love the same God, so I don't think God will mind at all if I devote some time to pray with some great Christian ladies! I will close for now as I could ramble on and on. If I haven't said it before, I will now. I love you all, my brothers and sisters. There it is...I put it out there on the line for everyone to see. Oh, WhAt A wOnDeRfUl WoRlD!!!!!!

Hugs and Love to you all,


Friday, June 14, 2013

Floating along.......

It has been an extra hard time emotionally for me over the past few weeks as another CC patient had complications with a surgery and passed away June 9th. This family is the All American family with so much love, hope, faith, and inspiration that you could ever dream of. They were all right there for each other through it all. My prayers will continue to go out for this family.  I truly believe Lauren didn't die, she moved to a place where there is no pain, no sin, no enemies. Just God's I know Lauren is in good hands. It still doesn't make it easy for her family so everyone please pray for her family to have peace in their heart knowing Lauren is with God in His kingdom.  Even though I haven't actually met this family, we Facebook back and forth a lot and are always reading each others blog and giving encouraging words. I feel like I have known them for a long time....and I hope to meet them real soon!!

My first grandson (my only grandson so far) turns one today. He is so easy going, so loving, and just a happy little fellow. Tomorrow we will celebrate his Birthday with food, cake, and gifts!!

At chemo on Monday, my dr pushed on my tummy and I had a spot on the left side that was a tad bit tender...then, throughout the last few days, it has still been there. So Thursday, I went to Effingham and got a CT scan of the abdomen and pelvis. I was worried about it spreading to my me paranoid but when you have cancer, you are paranoid (or I am) even if my nose itches. I called and talked to the nurse and she said the report states all was clear except for a couple cysts in my spleen but they have been there every since I started this cancer journey. I am relieved all sounds ok. I will get a PET scan in about 3 1/2 weeks at MD Anderson, so we will have a better picture then. The nurse said I had a CT scan two years ago in June and the tumor has actually shrank 2 cm. according to their findings compared to the scan this week. I'll take that!!

Pat and I, along with Samantha, Chris, Jennifer, Amy & Braeda had lunch at the park today. I like those informal days when you can come dressed as you please and just enjoy each other's company.
We will hopefully have more picnic lunches in July after I resign June 30.

Jenn, Amy, and Braeda went to Chicago with their Grandma Cummins to visit their Uncle Chris, Aunt Teri, and kids. They also went to shop at IKEA. Jenn came home with a baby bed, dresser, I am not sure what all she got but I think the baby's room is about set!  I always wondered after I found out I had cancer if I would be alive to see her and Bart have a child. Well, Jenn is into her 6th month of pregnancy and I believe God is going to grant me the great honor of meeting my next grandchild.

I was in a 5K last Saturday and plan to go to Evansville for a 5K Color Blaze next weekend (June22). Jill Weiler, Amy Kirby, Debbie Weiler and I plan to be the people to meet with our great attitudes and loud cheering!!! And LOTSA chalk!!  Linda Burgener will be with us cheering us on from the sidelines!!  Yeah Linda!  I thank God for giving me the energy, the health, and the will to walk in this. All proceeds benefit The Ronald McDonald House. I will post pics but please no comments if they are bad....many surprises to come in those photo's. That I AM SURE OF!! Stay posted!! We are  spending the night and having a girls night dressing up for supper (like important people do....phewy). We  are eating at a place called Madeline's in Evansville. A big thank you to Pat Foust for helping with our outfitting for the know she is famous for making as I said, stay tuned for pictures.  :-))

So, as I try to wrap up this post, know that I am floating a butterfly trying to take in everything possible as far as life experiences with friends and family. Most (not all) butterflies die each year as we enter winter. They flutter, they fly, they are more than beautiful to watch all summer....floating from one flower to the next...full of life and color. Then they die. I hope as I flutter and float along in this cancer journey, I keep flying from one memory to the next. That death is still very far away from me. I thank the Almighty God above for everything and everyone in my all have been brought to me as I have floated along for a reason.

 Peace be with all of you as you enjoy the summer.

Patty Corcoran

Monday, June 3, 2013

Does It Really Matter What Day Of The Week It Is?

As I sit here at almost 5:15 p.m., I sit with a heavy, worried heart. A fellow Cholangiocarcinoma patient is fighting for her life after having her tumor removed from her liver. She is appr. 27 years old. Her mother, Pam Kunklier, writes a blog to keep everyone up to par on her daughter's (Lauren) health status. I have been following the blog for about a year and have posted back and forth with Pam. They live in Uniontown, Ohio....but it seems I have known them a lifetime.  When you have this rare cancer, you kinda all pull together and you are a family.  The Cholangiocarcinoma Foundation lets you talk to a lot of people (through their blog) and you can learn about their "walk" through this monstrosity of a disease (and share your story). Please keep this wonderful family in your prayers.

I had chemo Monday and every once in a while, I jokingly ask Dr. Dy if I will be around for another year. He said "oh yes...of course"  I said..."No, really..I want to know"   His response was..."I don't lie...I will tell you if I think you are going in the wrong direction health wise....I do think you will be here in a year. OK....made me feel better but does he know.   Lab wise, physically, he might think I will be but he is not God and he doesn't have the date stamper for my foot!  I thank God so many times in a day for letting me be apart of this wonderful place he has made....and that I ask for more time with my family if it is in his plan. If it is not, I will see them later in a better place.   I have seen a lot of rainbows posted on Facebook makes me smile and thank God for each one of them.

I am on the countdown status of resigning from my job on the last Friday of June. Gonna have to tighten the old belt financially but Pat does a great job of budgeting. I could sell my liver but...oh well...who'd want it and even though I have a monster inside my liver....I still need it right now.   This is kind of a boring post but just wanted to let you know I am stable....chemo is going fine although it took  5 needle pokes before getting a good vein for chemo. Not including the 2 sticks for blood.
Every month, I give myself 66 shots, and no, that doesn't include all the chemo sticks. But you know what, I am living. I am going to walk in a 5K June 22 in Evansville, Indiana (minus Michelle clutz :-)). Hugs to you, Michelle as you continue to recover.

I thank God for my family, friends, and even people I don't know who pray for me. I don't want to wait until I am on my deathbed before I tell everyone I appreciate them and I love all of my friends and family. I have heard talk people think I am quitting my job due to my cancer getting they know something I don't?  All is calm....and I go to MD Anderson in July (9-11) for tests and to see Dr. Javle.  I do this every 3 let's all pray for more stability for a looong time.
Pat and I babysat Leslie's two kids Saturday from about 7:30 am to 10:30 p.m. as she had a wedding she had to do hair for (she used to be a cosmetologist). Then she went to the wedding and we had them a little longer....they left Sunday for church and Pat and I were exhausted. Today, I watched Braeda so Amy & Rylan could mow....just an hour or so. Then came home and am dog sitting for Jenn and Bart. The pay is memories.

One more thing, as I was getting out of my car at work this am at about 8:02......there was a young girl with a backpack sitting in the parking lot along the curb. I smiled and started to walk towards my workplace when something told me to turn around and see if she needed anything.
As I walked up to her, she kinda looked the other way as if to hide from me. I asked if she needed something...if she needed me to go get her some food for breakfast...she said no, she was working at The Salvation Army (I am assuming juvenile hours she has to work for doing something wrong). I told her they didn't open for another hour and if she needed a warm spot-to go inside where I work and I'd even get her some coffee or chocolate milk. She turned me down. She couldn't have been over 17. I pray working the hours at the SA helps her realize there is more to life than making BAD decisions and to find better ways to donate back to the community BECAUSE SHE WANTS TO and not because she is in trouble.

As I close, one thing I know for sure...God is there. He is in my heart, he is in every rainbow, every good deed you might do. My heart overflows with faith....and the fact that I will never die, I will move on to the best place a person could ever be. Yes, I still ask for more good time on this earth to be with my family but if I start to head in the wrong direction....let me run to God with his arms open for me. Let it happen swiftly and without pain for me....and for my family. Because, let us remember, God is great....ALL THE TIME no matter what day of the week it is!!

Hugs and prayers for Lauren!!!!