Monday, March 28, 2016

Time For a Short Rest....

   As Pat and I closed in on our trip back from Houston, the odometer said we'd driven 971 miles when out of the corner of my eye I saw a big  BIG dear dart into my side of the front headlight. One leg flew past as the rest of the dear thugged, clunked, kerplammed against my side of the car. So.....Pat stops to see if there is any damage that makes the car undrivable (I am saying "No! Don't stop. It's drivable...we're 10 minutes from my bed....the bed I hadn't seen for 6 weeks. KEEP DRIVING!").  No...we have to stop. OF COARSE we do, officer!  It was drivable and I called in the report to the sheriff's office....telling them I'd be in the next morning to finish up paperwork. It was past 11 p.m. and Pat and I were both exhausted.  We ended up being so high on adrenaline that we unpacked the whole car that night, then we were in bed by  midnight.
   So, the six weeks of radiation wasn't too bad. I rested about 4-5 days if even for a couple hours. The last 5 days of radiation seemed to be the most taxing on me. I would a lot of those 5 days, have treatment at 8:20 and I was back to our nest and I was back in bed by 9:30 am. I usually slept a couple hours and was good for the rest of the day.  After I rang the bell on day 28 of radiation, we left for Illinois and I made it about an hour before I fell asleep for two hours. Since being home, I haven't napped much but today (Monday after Easter) I was up at 6:00 and back to bed at 9 a.m. and slept until 11:37 a.m.  I have felt pretty good the rest of the day. The radiation oncologist said it would take about a month for my body to start feeling better. I just need to take it easy and rest, eat well, and rest SOME MORE! 
   I had a book signing on Saturday and sold several books and lots of kids who wanted to see the lady that "makes" the Irene book. There are books to buy at Wild Imaginations on Rt. 130 or from any of my girls or me. Our Relay is April 30th this year so we really need to get serious about selling lots of books!
   What's next? I go back on May 9 & 10 for a couple of scans. One is a bone density scan to check for osteoporosis (since I have had 3 separate radiation treatment to areas of my body) and we want to take as good a care of this  body as we can with everything else going on. I will also have bloodwork and a CT scan of my chest and also one of the abdomen to thigh area. Time to see if the zapping that aortocaval lymph node is a success. I truly believe it did and I hopefully can rest easy for a bit. There is something about cholangiocarcinoma that some people never understand. You can get rid of the cancer...have it all removed, and it's back in a year. OR, you can have a transplant and struggle, get better, then the cancer comes back. ME? My doctor says I am chronic at this point. I just refuse to give up. It's not in me. So, we conquer one battle only to see something else come up 6, 9, or 15 months later. My dr always has a plan and it has worked for me. New treatments are coming so fast if, IF I can just hold on.
   In a few weeks, when it warms up just a bit more here in southern Illinois, I plan to walk with my grandchildren down our Suntone driveway. Point out the signs of life. The signs of new hope. That even though God died for all of our sins, He is RISEN and alive in all of us. The "little's" understand way more than you think. We stop at the creek and look for signs of little fish, little frogs, flowers, trees flowering. L.I.F.E.  Don't ever...e.v.e.r. take it for granted. That is what I guess I am trying to instill in these small grandchildren of mine. Appreciate the most simple things in life....sometimes they are the things that cost nothing but opening up the heart and the mind to let the love shine in!
   As I have stated before, life is all about TIME. A time to heal and a time to pray. I pray everyday that it is a time to heal for not only me but for so many family members and friends who are struggling with life right now. I pray daily for the homeless, the poor, the unemployed, the mentally ill, the list is sometimes so long I fall asleep before I say Amen. Sometimes on those oh so very tired nights....I just pray "Lord, please help our entire country!"
   So, as I end this post, I am recovering just fine. I have a new grandson (this blesses me with 7 grandchildren total!) that I would love to cuddle with every day. Until I go back to Houston in 6 weeks, I will rest, play, sleep, and LIVE.

Always Thankful~~
Patty Corcoran

Saturday, March 12, 2016



   As I sit here in the computer room of the "mobile home rustic" campground (Pat's words for our Lakeside RV Resort), it is silent. The only thing I hear is the tick...tick...tick of the clock on the wall. Pat's computer blew up about a week ago, post in over a week. I have my tablet but for some reason I am unable to post with it.
   The last two weeks have just flown by and mostly with good days. I had two days where I had some symptoms/pain but it was minimal at best. But then my husband jokes..."I'm pretty hard to kill".  I have surprised the dr's with my lack of "bad side effects" with high doses of radiation and the only answer I have is "I guess I really am hard to kill!  And I have an awesome God who directs me on this journey....THAT is  HUGE in the war on cancer and LIFE!  I believe it helps that they are just radiating an aortocaval lymph node.....not like the big mass that they radiated the very first time (although this last bout of radiation has more GY's cooking the lymph node than what I got for the original tumor).  8 days of radiation left plus the weekends.
   We went to the famous Houston Rodeo last night with Linda Burgener and had a good time. You know your old when you leave the concert at 11 because you're all worn out! And then it takes half an hour to find your car because you can't remember where you parked it......a mile or so away. It was humorous....or we made it that way. Sometimes...all you can do is laugh!
   I met a man in the radiation area this week who had been a chef his entire life (probably close to 50+) and he had contracted the HPV virus as a teenager from some girl and it laid dormant in his body for 30+ years and then caused cancer to activate on his tonsil. He had the tonsil removed and was cancer free for awhile before the he came home from work early one day because the whole side of his throat/neck was swollen up the size of a softball. Yip....cancer in all the lymph nodes in his neck. So he was getting his last dose of radiation in hopes to kill it off (I think he must of had surgery, then the radiation). I had no idea that men could get the HPV I want to put this out there for awareness. All you families with is just as important for you to inform your sons about this (just as much as it is for the girls but to also get the shot). I am not sure if boys/young men should get the vaccine but definitely worth checking into.
   I saw Dr. Javle this week and before I saw him, another dr following him around commented on how healthy I looked. Dr. Link was his name and he said I needed to be on the healthy side of the clinic according to my labs. Maybe someday........but for now...I keep marching, fighting, and praying to God to guide me on this journey.
   I want to thank all the people who have sent cards/packages of goodies/money to help us with our time down here in Houston. Every single card is like a ray of sunshine!
   I am super excited my third children's book is back from the printers. If you would like one, please try to come to my book signing the Saturday before Easter from 9-1 at Roll With It Bakery. The front cover does NOT do it justice as the inside pics are way better! The book is hardback just like last year's. The cost is $25 (same as last year) and it is tax deductible if you make the check out to The American Cancer Society or The Cholangiocarcinoma Foundation. Message Jennifer Cummins Zuber, Amy Rusk, or I if you would like to pick one up in Olney..... sum things up, I am feeling pretty good for a cancer patient!  I thank God every day and I thank Him for all of you!
   I promise to post next weekend and I hope to see many of you at the book signing. We do have a few books left over from last year if you need to grab one.
God Bless~~
Patty Corcoran