Monday, February 8, 2016

Where Will I End Up Next ?!

Boy, it seems like I have not posted in a very long time. Since getting home from Texas, Pat and I were home for a week, then headed to Salt Lake City for the 10th Annual Cholangiocarcinoma Conference. WOW! Just....WOW!  It was not only a beautiful city surrounded by mountains but it is just a beautiful city. I knew a lot of the cholangiocarcinoma patients from Facebook and a PRIVATE Warriors Facebook page so it was like a big family reunion ....only you had to put the faces with the names. Each day passed too quickly and my mind hurt from all the super intense sessions that included doctors, researchers, patients, and caregivers. I have an even deeper appreciation for the CC Foundation and the people who keep it running not to mention finding doctors and researchers who are looking for cutting edge treatments and hopefully a cure someday sooner than later!!
I enjoyed each day...Tuesday, the first evening started with pizza at a nearby pizza restaurant and then back to the hotel to talk some more. On Wednesday, I got up and met Danny VanBrenk from the Netherlands for a walk around a small part of the city. There was about an inch of new fallen snow and it was just beyond beautiful with the mountains surrounding the entire city.  Our first sessions of the day started at 12.  We had doctors who answered questions, talked about new treatments, we networked with our experiences, heard success stories from people who are cancer free. It was a great day! Thursday started at 8 a.m. and it was so informative....I am so thankful Pat and I were able to attend. It was an honor to be there. The day didn't end until approximately 7 and Pat and I were wiped out! Friday started early again and it was also so very full of information. That evening, 9 of us went for supper at The New Yorker. It was a pleasure to have Dr. Javle join us and it was 11:15 before we left to go back to the hotel. Along with Pat and I were two ladies from Houston, two from Ohio, one from Oregon, and one from the Netherlands. We landed ourselves in a private dining room with one round table....we could all have a discussion and everyone felt a part of it. It was one of the nicest times I have endured just discussing cancer but also just talking about life.
Saturday came too soon and it was to the airport we go by 10. As we were going through security, I saw one of the men at the conference. He wasn't a patient and I just figured he was a doctor. Close....more of a researcher. We spoke briefly as I waited for Pat to get through security. He asked us to join him for lunch and we gladly accepted. His name was Patrick Foley from Wyoming. What a nice lunch before realizing it was time to get to our gate......they were loading and it worked out perfectly!
Pat and I returned home late Saturday night around 10:30 p.m. This is the last week we will be in Illinois for awhile. I spent Sunday with my sister, Sarah. I ask for prayers for her as she continues to heal from a criminal assault which has landed her in the Carle Hospital in Champaign for a couple of weeks, plus surgery, and now intense therapy at Helia Healthcare in Olney. I am praying really, really hard for myself and the bad thoughts I have against the crazy girl who did this to Sarah. I have always had a hard time understanding crazy....but I pray no one else is harmed from this demonic person.

I have a pretty busy week ahead of me. Today was spent cleaning, painting a bit, and picking up a grandchild from preschool. Not to mention the security cameras we had installed to alert the police if there is a break-in.

Sunday, Pat and I will make the trip to Houston with a gypsy looking car packed full of clothes and things we will need while in Houston for almost 6 weeks. I will receive IMRT for 28 treatments to the aortocaval lymph node that is lighting up and now approximately 3 1/2 cm.  Dr. Javle has been keeping a close eye on it and it has just increased little by little over the past nine months or so. So....its time to cook it. Pray for good aiming, good results, and few to no side effects.  Pat and I are staying in a 30 foot camper that has been donated for us to use for the six weeks we are in Houston. Jackie (Muhs) Ley and her husband will take it down to the Lakeview R.V. Resort and park it for us. WOW, just WOW!  How giving of her to do this for me as it has probably been my high school days since I have actually saw Jackie. Just one more family put in our path on this journey called cancer. This RV park has a pool, a hot tub, walking path, pond, exercise room, etc. This is the same campground we stayed in a couple years ago when I received radiation. It's about a 15 minute drive on a good traffic day....and my radiation appointments seem to be around 2, so if we can get in and out pretty quick, we can beat the crazy Houstonians and their reckless driving. (Please remember, I am from a town of appr. 10, 000). We have driving manners where I come from......most of the time!

I am a little apprehensive about radiation this time. I am mapped up like a road map. My grandson, Madden, looks at it and says "OWEE".  The other night, he kept lifting my shirt up to see my stomach where all the marking are and three new dot tattoos. He said "OWEE" every time he lifted my became a game to him although he was very serious about it. Maybe he is trying to warn me???  I pray for a smooth ride on this journey with radiation. That we zap that lymph node and I get to take another break from treatments. I ask God that he holds me up if the radiation makes me weak. When I received my first bout of radiation in 2012, it left me almost limp. It was everything I could do to get dressed by week 3 of the radiation. Then after going home to Illinois, it was another month before I started feeling somewhat normal. My second bout of radiation was 15 days but I received radiation twice a day. It was way less taxing on me and I enjoyed the time in Texas. Since this bout of radiation sounds more like the first round of radiation, I am telling myself I will eat one way or another. My first bout left me with no appetite and they threatened a feeding tube if I lost any more weight. So, I choked down food every day to keep from getting that tube. My mom, my sister Sarah, and several of my daughters came down to help cook and be with me.   This time, everyone has health problems or is having a Pat is going to have to be a healthy master chef and keep on me to eat IF I would have some bad effects from the radiation.  At this point, it is a wait and see, day by day type of plan.
Once in Houston, I will try to update as long as I feel up to it. If you remember the first time I received radiation, I waited each day for the mail and walked up to the "main office" where the mail was kept to see if I had any mail. It was the only exercise I did. It was my link to feel free to send a card or picture.
I am expecting grandbaby #7 to arrive while I am in Houston, and if it is at all possible, I will make a quick flight home to see that precious little baby!!
Pat and I will most likely attend Holy Ghost Catholic Church while in Texas. I ask you to keep my entire family in your prayers. From my mom, to my sister, to Pat, my daughter Samantha and Chris as they prepare to become parents very soon, Leslie's husband, Rhett who has ripped/tore his knee up pretty bad (and will have surgery next Tuesday after the swelling goes down), and last but not least ME! 
Life is good!  I will take this radiation like a champ! I have a new grandbaby that will be waiting on me when I get home! I have my family who I want to be with....and even a few friends to have coffee or lunch with. The RMH Chemo Food Program is going smoothly and we are booked into May. If you or your business, church, or your friends would like to sponsor a lunch for the chemo patients, message me on Facebook or feel free to call me at 618-843-5367. The cost for lunch for ALL the chemo patients is just $30. It has been reduced but the quality/quantity of the food has not! Dr. Timothy and Darlene Garrett donate breakfast on Wednesdays so you are just sponsoring lunch. Be sure if you are donating to "LIKE" the RMH Facebook page to see your day of food donation with a thank you sign. You may also add In memory of____ or In Honor of___ to the sign. 
Pay It Forward!! 

I feel I have rattled on long enough. Not to mention my blue Siamese is looking at me right now and purring. He is just waiting to be woobered. Steely Dan is his name and he is so patient to sit and wait this entire post so I will turn my attention to him!!

I have thanked God so many times this past week for the beautiful scenery, the beautiful souls I have met, and the good physical health I am in to experience life every second of every day!!

If I have quoted this once, I have quoted it a thousand times. But it never gets old.....
God is good ALL the time!  ALL the time, God is good!!

God Bless~~

Patty Corcoran


  1. So looking forward to meeting you while we are in Houston next time! You mentioned mail... What will your snail mail address be?

    Sending all our good thoughts, well wishes, hugs, and prayers to you!


  2. So looking forward to meeting you while we are in Houston next time! You mentioned mail... What will your snail mail address be?

    Sending all our good thoughts, well wishes, hugs, and prayers to you!


  3. Thinking of you and praying. Enjoyed reading your post. Salt Lake sounded fantastic.

  4. Thinking of you and praying. Enjoyed reading your post. Salt Lake sounded fantastic.

  5. Hi Patty! Loved reading your latest entries....I am praying for you and Pat and all of your family. You are such an inspiration and God is using you Thru this blog! Will be checking in on you .... Hugs, Carolynn Coyne