Sunday, November 29, 2015

A look back......

This evening, I was just grazing through all of the 282 posts and 133,234 page views from people all over the world. I have people from India, Germany, France, South Korea, Philippines, and the Ukraine.  It switches around and other countries are on the site as "My Audience" along with the United States (0f course).  As I look at all the different pictures of me....some look worse than others and some look better. (Cancer has a way of doing that). One thing that really hits me in the face is how blessed I am to be alive....STILL! 

Then, there are the people I have met in Texas, the friends I now have that have CC or have had CC but are cancer free right now. Or maybe had that transplant but have had a relapse. Then, there are the ones you get really close to...and that friend passes on. Those are the ones that mentally can just about bring you to your knees.....but you fight...because THAT is what every person who has this dreaded disease would want another patient to do...FIGHT. is intermingled in with fighting this disease. If you don't have might as well stick your head in the sand and lay down...and do NOTHING!  Faith allows me to sleep at night. Faith is what leaves me wanting to get up every morning.

I was scheduled to get biopsy results for the MATCH Program on Dec. 2.  But I got a call saying the results are not done (they were sent to Bethesda, Maryland to be processed) so now my results are scheduled to be done in the next 3 weeks so my NEW appointment is Dec 22. It's a FLY In and FLY OUT the same day kind of trip. It's a l-o-o-o-o-ng day that starts with our flight leaving at 6:35 a.m. out of St. Louis. We will be picked up and taken to MD Anderson for blood work and my results with Dr. Funda Meric. My husband researched Dr. Meric and she is top notch and on the A list for genetic researching and targeted therapies. The thing is....IF I do not have the right mutations/sequencing for the MATCH Program, I will not be eligible for MATCH. There are other trials at MD Anderson.......and I would give anything to get into an immunotherapy trial.  I am hoping I get into the MATCH Program to buy me time so they can tweak the Immunotherapy treatments.
The MATCH Program has a lot of words that you have to look up the meaning of what they are all about. My husband has started diving in to see if he better understands it. My daughter, Jennifer, is also flying down to hear what Dr. Meric has to say. I am praying (and fairly confident) she will be on her A game to ask the right questions to help make the next step for me THE RIGHT STEP!

So, it seems if I go on the 22 of December for this consult, it will be close to the first of the year before I might be living off and on in Texas for a couple of months........AGAIN!
I have an old classmate that has a camper that she and her husband has graciously offered to us if we do indeed stay in Texas for an extended stay. I won't mention any names until it becomes a little more official that I will be staying at Lakeside RV Resort. Pat and I have stayed there before but it will be much cheaper if we just have lot rent and utility bills.

I had lab work done last Wednesday and everything is calm. Platelets are good....liver tests are all within normal limits except my alk phosphate which has been above average for some time now. White count is good......ALL is good. So, even though it has been 6 weeks since I have had any treatment for my cancer, according to my blood work, things are calm. 

This is just a general update of where I am at in the world of cancer. I am 6 paintings painted into my third "Irene" children's book. The last page took me 10 hours to paint!! I plan to have it done before I leave for my appointment on Dec 22 (off to the printer anyway).

December 7th is our Suntone Beach Relay For Life Monical's Pizza night and 20% of all proceeds for the day go to our team. PLEASE tell them you want your order to count toward our fundraiser that day. It counts for carry~outs, deliveries, eat in......ALL DAY LONG!  They will have forms at Monical's Pizza all day and you can also print it off of Facebook if you are a friend of anyone on our team (probably starting tomorrow). Mention it at your workplace so everyone can order the lunch special....   Just order on December 7th....PLEASE!  and THANK YOU!!!!

I will post something when I am back from Houston....probably on the 23rd for an update since we fly in late. Pray....pray....and give thanks for....e.v.e.r.y   s.i.n.g.l.e   d.a.y!!!

Mrs. Patty Corcoran
4442 N Suntone Road
Olney, Illinois 62450

(P.S.   For all of you that want to send me a Christmas card....and maybe get one back!!) :-) 

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Just one more blessing on my cancer journey.

I arrived in Houston Monday evening and made a delivery to Linda Burgener about 7 p.m. We decided a Minchies (ice cream place) was on the "to-do" list for the evening. We ended up staying the night with Linda but left for early appointments at 7:45 at MD Anderson. I had the usual bloodwork, resting EKG (which I told them I didn't have a heart....but they found one). Saw clinical trial nurses, doctors, PA'S, and learned a wealth of information about the NCI MATCH Program. I was able to meet up with two patients who are good friends in the CC world. We like our pow wows any chance we can get. Ron (Dr. Javle's nurse) saw me while Pat went wandering and came to sit beside me in a chair and a half type chair/couch. He squeezed in right beside me and we laughed and talked about why I was there....people always stare a bit but I could care less. Ron makes my heart smile....he is more than a nurse at MDA....he is a friend!
Biopsy day was today and I was a little concerned since it was a little risky. I had to lay flat on my stomach and arms above my head and NO MOVING once they started CT scans. I have black marker drawings all over my back and an X. The heart monitor kept going off and they were very concerned why my heart rate was so low. I told them I was fairly active and it has been low for years due to being pretty athletic for a cancer patient (and a fat one at that). They said they would only be able to give me half the amount of light sedative to make me relax but at the same time keep me completely awake. Ummm, OK.   We proceeded and once I was given the sedative, the dr began inserting a needle to numb the 7 inches she was going to be sticking the needle. Only once did I say "Um...that hurts a little". She said I should be numbing up rather quickly and to just hang in there. Still wide awake, the heart monitor was becoming a nuisance beeping all the time but a nurse kept constant watch over my heart rate. The lowest it got was 39....but mostly stayed in the low 40's. It wasn't long and I heard the clicking so I knew she was gathering the biopsies needed for the MATCH Program. From the time I was waiting to be taken back for the biopsy to the time I was back in my room, was 45 minutes!  IN & OUT!  As they were rolling me into the surgery room, I told the little 5 foot Asian lady dr she wasn't strong enough to get through the layers of fat on my lower back to get to the lymph node. She informed me it didn't take strength, it took "finesse"....and she sure proved that today in the skill and ability she showed to get in and out as soon as possible.  We stopped at Olive Garden on the way home and had an early supper. Then back to the hotel to rest and watch a little tv. Things went great...and now it is about a 3 week waiting period to get the results back. Then, we attack that lymph node and hope nothing else pops up in the meantime since I have been off the BGJ 398 trial for a little over 3 weeks. We will start for home sometime tomorrow.
Another journey is on the horizon for me. Another cancer plan and hopefully one that will show promising results to stop the node from growing or spreading. Another journey that I will take with God beside me. Another journey I am thankful for with Him by my side!
Goodnight for now, time to sleep and let the healing begin where that needle went in 7 inches!!

Thanks for all the calls, texts, and messages!!