Thursday, April 23, 2015

Being protected....being thankful!

I flew to Houston on Monday with no problems at all...flying out of St. Louis. Roselyn was there to pick me up swiftly and we had a wonderful evening with grilled rack of lamb, green beans-fresh, rice, and pickles.  Dessert was lumquats (a cousin to Kumquats) and they are a bit tart and a bit sweet. Only 4 grams of phosphorus in each one. They were yummy!! The next morning, my alarm failed to go off at 6 and I was woke up at 6:22 by Roselyn. I had 38 minutes to shower and get presentable for a very long day at MD Anderson. I had lots of children's books stashed in my purse along with my computer. I had my food book in case I saw Vicki Davis for her to keep it for a week and read over it....and my schedule and plane ticket.  It took us about 20 minutes to find the Mays building at MD Anderson as it all looks different when you are used to going to a parking garage and entering the Cancer Center from there. I get to the infusion area to receive fluids and I then realized I had left my purse in Roselyn's van. I had no phone, no money, no children's books to sell, and no number to call Roselyn when I was done with everything at MD Anderson so she could pick me up and take me to the airport. I was FRANTIC. I was scared....I had messed up in a very big way. As I sat in my room being pumped full of saline, the nurse came in and saw the big raindrop sized tears in my eyes. She asked me what was wrong and the lump in my throat kept me from answering.  After I got a little composure back, I told her my situation. I asked her to see if she could get me a phone book. I prayed..I said the Lord's Prayer, I prayed again. I told God I needed His help and NOW!  The nurse came back only to tell me they didn't have a phone book. She said they would google his name as they have a home phone. She comes back only to say there are lots of people with their I told her his occupation and BOOM....she had their home phone number. I called 25 times and it was busy every time. The nurse came back in and saw I was still upset and she left. She went to the front desk and called the number and Roselyn answered. The whole time, I am realizing that although I have my airline ticket, my drivers license is in my wallet in her van. I felt like a mouse in a round barn looking for the corner! I WAS FRANTIC! I WAS STUPID! HOW COULD I BE SO RECKLESS!!  The nurse reappears, smiles at me with the big raindrop tears in my eyes, and says "Honey, I have talked with Mrs. M and she will be right here and bring your purse to you.  I cry harder.....realizing God had just made me realize I had to trust with all my heart and all would be ok. And it was. God is with me EVERY MINUTE of EVERY DAY! I have never went to my appointments alone but it was just a day of bloodwork and see Dr. Javle. No big deal...right?  I made a bloody mess....and that nurse didn't have to do everything she did to help solve the problem. But she did!!  God plants people in your life...the family I stayed with, the nurse who helped locate the family to retrieve my purse with all my important stuff in was all ok.......
As I laid in bed finishing the infusion, I thanked God for everything that was resolved that day. I thanked Him for getting me through THAT bump in my day......It was just a lot of stress too early in the morning.
I got my bloodwork done, then on to wait to see Dr. Javle. Ron, Dr. Javle's nurse came and sat down by me in the waiting room and asked what was wrong. I said nothing but he could see I was not myself. I stated it had been a hard day but I would be ok.  I had lost 4 pounds in two weeks....I was truly keeping count of every phosphate I put into my mouth! I was pretty sure my numbers would be good as I had walked a straight line as far as the phosphate diet. WRONG!  My phosphate was 7.....that means they took me off the trial the last week of cycle two. Some of my other numbers were a bit high also. With BIG puddles of tears, my doctor enters the room about this time. I told him I just didn't get it. I had been SO good. The gentle giant (Dr. Javle) convincingly tried to tell me it wasn't me that was the problem and he was sure I had followed the diet to a T.  That's why it's a clinical trial, they are trying to figure out the right dosage at a safe level.  I will go back to MD Anderson on May 4-7 for a CT scan and bloodwork -which went way back down last cycle and all my bloodwork looked super. I will be bumped down to the 75 mg of the clinical trial pill and see if that's the right "fit" for me. As Dr. Javle says, I am not defeated, I am doing what's best for my body by lowering the dosage and doing less harm to my organs. When I do return, I look for my bloodwork to be much better and my mind and body are ready to keep fighting. To keep thanking God for giving me the strength to "Get back up" whenever I felt so defeated that day. That devil was not going to ruin my day!!  I was picked up by Roselyn and taken to the airport. I ate a late lunch and waited for my flight back to St. Louis. I was never so happy to see my Buick pull up at the airport. On the 2 1/2 hour ride back to Suntone Beach, I thanked God many times over for being with me that day. For the nurse who went an extra mile to get my phone, wallet, and I.D. back into my possession. For a doctor who calmed me down and took the extra time to make sure I was ok before leaving.
As I sat in the airport eating my late lunch, I saw so many people rushing about to catch a plane to wherever their life was taking them. Again, I thanked God for allowing me to be entering my 5th year with this cancer. To be fighting for my life but feeling pretty darned good. I am blessed in SO many ways.
The next week and a half are filled with lots of Relay For Life events. We have our great Italian Beef Fundraiser at the VFW this Friday night from 4-8 and we will also have desserts available for a small price. I will be signing/selling books until we run out BUT we have more coming on Monday or Tuesday (next week) so we will get you one and FAST since the Relay is May 2nd. It's time to sell books FAST and deliver them, mail them, whatever it takes to get the books sold!!
I am feeling well and look forward to seeing lots of people in the next couple of weeks at Relay events. Please support our fundraisers in Richland County. Please pray for added patience in my life, for peace, calmness, and gratitude for the wonderful life I live. I am blessed and I thank God every night as I lay my head on my pillow and every morning I wake up for the new day ahead of me.
Yes, I am blessed........thank you God!
Feeling thankful,

Sunday, April 12, 2015

Alot going on in the next two weeks!

It's Sunday, I have made a Whole Foods run, packed my bags, and will go to Deb & Bruce Schonert's for a sweet treat later this evening. Tomorrow, I have an appointment in the Mays building with a hematologist doctor about my blood clotting and basically someone that knows how important it is to thread the fine needle of keeping my blood not to thick and not too thin (I check in for paperwork at 7:30 and appointment is at 8 am). I will then head for the Land of Lincoln!!   I look forward to being home, selling lots of Italian Beef, my children's book, and having a GREAT day the at the Relay for Life on May 2nd. 

I will fly (solo) back down to Texas on April 20th and have appointments the morning of the 21st and fly back to Illinois the afternoon of the 21st. Fast trip!!  And I will be treated to some time with the Morris family in Houston who will pick me up from the airport, spend the evening/night with them, and also get me to my appointments, then back to the airport. Whew!! Where would I be without all of my Houston friends!!

Then my next trip to Texas will be May 4-6 or so. This SHOULD be when I get my first scan although it's not made it's way on my appointment list yet. So, basically the day after the Relay, I will leave at 4 in the morning and head for Houston. I pray this trial will show me stable or maybe change for the good.

I have met new CC patients in the past 5 weeks....Jeff Shackman, Tabytha Armstong, Matthew and MaryAnne Hassan, Sarah and Andy Macias, Ally Gruenner, Vicki Davis (who lives by the ocean!! :-)).  MaryAnne Hassan had appr. 24% shrinkage after being on this clinical trial 2 months. WOWZER!  That is amazing results for CC!! I could spend days with almost every person I met to share information and connect.  I also met Danna Grisso......but we have met before....she is such a kind person.  4 of the above people are on the same trial as that's 5 of the 55 supposedly allowed on this trial led by Dr. Javle.  A clinical trial is way more involved than I realized but it does taper down on visits over by June, I should only be going once a month. WHEW~!

I have to give a big shout, hug, smooch, and THANK YOU to our host family (Linda Burgener and her dog, Blondie Kate). I went to school with Linda and she snatched us right up when she found out we were coming to Houston. We picked a bad time to come as all hotels were booked from the Houston Rodeo so the drive to MD Anderson is the only thing not so good about staying with Linda. We had a blast at Linda's and the pool was a perk, for sure!  Linda also liked us being there as she could travel and be gone for 3-4 days and know that we wouldn't cook her Mexican Chihuahua dog....for the most part! :-)

In closing, I just ask you to support our upcoming fundraiser's and come out to the Relay on May 2. I was on a Relay team when my children went to St. Joe Catholic School....then it kind of fizzled for some reason I don't remember.  But I actually Paid It Forward BEFORE I got cancer.......and now, I feel it is even more important to raise money.  The American Cancer Society is getting ready or may have already started to build a hotel in Houston by the Texas Medical Center. Guess what you have to pay to stay there? NOTHING!  There are several hotels owned by the American Cancer Society that are free to cancer patients and their family........did you know they will pay for your stay if you have an extended stay and need help paying for our hotel expense...all you pay is $12 per day or nothing if you cannot afford to pay. So....for all of you people who think this money just goes to pay people's salary....they do way more than that! I actually called and received this info because I wanted to know what did some of the money go towards. SO....all of you cancer patients, even if it's just for a couple of days, if you need help with your hotel stay, the ACS would prefer if you could call atleast two weeks in advance and they will get you a hotel with a shuttle to take back and forth to your medical center. How about that!  No...I have not utilized this because I have friends in Texas and I will leave that opening for someone who really needs help and does not have friends in the town they may have to travel to for cancer treatments.

I will close for now.....I am thankful for all the messages, cards, people who came to our multi vendor party, my family in Illinois and my family in Houston. I am thankful God is center stage in my life. I believe He puts people in our life for a reason. All the people who are donating to the RMH program....I am SO BLESSED that I could go on and on.

God is good....ALL the time. ALL the time, God is good~~

Patty Corcoran

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Back in Texas....and it's a good day!!

Pat and I traveled home with Linda Burgener (who we are staying with in Tomball, Texas) before Easter and started home Easter afternoon. Linda's mom, Margaret also traveled to Texas with us and is staying with Bruce and Deb Schonert. It was two days of traveling but we arrived safely back in Tomball Monday afternoon. Tuesday morning was an early one that had us leaving the apartment at 6:50 for an 8:30 bloodwork appointment. Traffic was horrific!!!  We pulled into the parking garage at 8:33. It doesn't matter if you are late for just get there as soon as you can and they get you in pretty quick half of the time. ;-)  Then on to see a new CC fighter..Tabytha Armstrong and also there was Jeff Shuckman. We had a nice visit...and exchanged stories....  there are a couple of other CC patients here this week I hope to meet also.
Then I was off to see Dr. Javle at 10:30. I was called back within 10 minutes (record time since MD stands for MOST of the DAY Anderson.  My labwork is great. Phosphorus Serum was 4 which is a good number to start at when starting Cycle 2 tomorrow. Cycle two will take a month and then I get my first scan to see how wonderful this drug is working inside my body.  I will travel home about Monday, after I see an internal medicine dr (specializing in hematology) who will keep an eye on my blood thinner levels. Then I am back here in two weeks for bloodwork ...then back home for two weeks. This goes on for 3 months then down to once a month in Texas.
I made an apple pie today and plan to have a piece before I start taking my clinical trial pills tomorrow. Back to a more strict food plan for the next 3 weeks.
So many people stated how lucky I am over the Easter weekend....NO, I am BLESSED! I saw so many good friends when I was home....all my children and grandchildren. My mom had a really bad cold so I did not see her so that was a bummer but I am going to be home and she will be better so I can see her soon! 
We are sticking in an extra Italian Beef fundraiser at the VFW the last Friday in April. I hope we can have a full house and run out of food!!  My book should be here ANY day and I will have a book signing somewhere.....and be delivering and selling books like crazy!!  Please support our fundraisers if possible and remember our booth at the Relay For Life on May 2nd. Yes, I will be there!!
I am going to end this post by just asking each and every one of you to be thankful for every day!  Your life might not be going as you have always planned it.....but neither has mine. Make the best of every day....don't judge when YOU don't want to be judged. Quit whining over the small stuff and give thanks to God for the good things in your life!

God is Good ALL the time!!