Tuesday, September 20, 2016


September 22nd, I will have a new port placed in my upper chest. It took some doing to even get a surgeon to perform the procedure since the last port was maybe part of the blood clot problem I had and landed me in Prairie Heart in Springfield, Il for about 12 days. I am on blood thinners so we will stop them now and restart them a few days after the port is in. Then, we will check my ANTI X-A (a test to check the consistency of my blood). I can't remember if I am put all the way under for the port procedure but I know it was pretty quick. I will be sore for a few days and may have some restrictions....I will know more the day of surgery.
THEN.......next Wednesday, I will have my first dose of chemotherapy attached to my port and I will wear the pretty fanny pack that carries the chemo. It is like a 48 hour release of the chemo meds (Irinotecan, Leukovoran, and Xeloda). I will get this done every two weeks until I get another scan in December and I pray to our Father that the cancer is halted!  I get some pretty ugly side effects from the chemo (or most people do).  I have had the Irinotecan and Xeloda before but received it all in one day instead of spreading it over 48 hours. It knocked me off my can for several days before I could barely walk to the fridge for a glass of juice. But you steadily come out of it and feel great for a few days....and then, it is time to do it all again.
BUT, I am living. I will know when it is time to stop taking chemo when and IF it comes to the quality vs quantity of life. My dr in Houston says I am not going anywhere....to get that out of my head!  So....LETS MARCH!  Hup two...three...four!!!
Thank you for the cards, messages, and most of all...prayers! 
Love & Hugs;
Patty Corcoran

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

At a Loss For Words........

As I sit here at home, staring at this computer, I would like to whine and do the "sing and dance" about how I wish I could crawl under a rock and die. But I won't... yet.

My bloodwork was given to me by the radiology department during my scan, and I thought everything looked really good except one and it was one I don't remember seeing it before. It was grossly out of range. But, I remained optimistic that night and was ready for my scan results the next day. The clinical trial coordinator wouldn't give me any clues what my results were and said I would have to wait for the physician's assistant that was coming in next. SHE would not give me any clues and said Dr. Meric wanted to go over the scan results with me. I knew at this point, it wasn't good.

Dr. Meric said although the liver was stable, I had some new nodes in the lining of the stomach. I also had a few 2 cm nodes by my ovary that they had been watching and in two months they are 4 cm. It is enough growth to take me off the trial. She had another trial but I would have to travel to Texas every week. NOT.  Then, Dr. Javle wanted to see me so we met with him. He wants to do Irinotecan along with Leukovoren and Xeloda. He wants to put a port in, and I would have a pump for two days while all three drugs are slowly released. Then, I would travel back to Effingham and have the fanny pack that holds the chemo removed. I would do this every two weeks. My family is concerned with a port as that is what caused all the blood clots over 5 years ago. Jenn has a call in to Dr. Goswami (my dr at St. Johns/Prairie Heart Institute in Springfield, Illinois who removed all the hundreds of clots last time) to see what he thinks. Dr. Dy believes we will be fine as long as we keep a close eye on the consistency of my blood.
I do not look forward to chemo but these chemotherapy agents have worked in the past so I feel better than entering a trial again. Along with the chemo, can come low white counts which would add the Neulasta shot. Kim, the nurse at Crossroads said the side effects are not quite as bad since it is slowly released over 48 hours instead of pushing the drugs into my system in a few hours.
I am not going to lie, when you get nodules (that they are pretty sure are cancerous) in the peritoneal region, it is time to get out the gloves and give it my best shot.

I know this is a pretty serious post, but it is pretty serious right now. I've been in tight spots before and have came out on top, I am not about to throw in the towel now!! 

A huge thanks to David and Lynda Rands whom we stayed with in O'Fallon after a delayed flight and a midnight arrival to their house. They are great hosts and even better friends!!

Thank you all for your prayers and God is with me. ALWAYS!  I am still here.....there's a sharp curve ahead but I have taken a few of those in the past and survived. So....stay tuned for the next step in this land of Cancer at the Corcoran's!


Friday, September 9, 2016

Am I ready for this?

First off, I have to tell you a quick story that happened as Pat and I were at the Atlanta, Georgia Airport as we were traveling to St. Lucia. I noticed this man looking at me and he kind of looked familiar but I blew it off....after all, no one knows me this far from home.  After about 20 minutes, This man stands up and starts walking my way.....I'm thinking ......well, I won't even tell you what I was thinking. He came up to me and said, "Are you Patty?" I paused.......and then said "yes" very slowly wondering who this man truly was. He stated his name was Lanny Andrews (and at THAT MOMENT) I knew exactly who he was. His wife had cholangiocarcinoma and sadly passed about 3 1/2 years ago. Cindy Andrews was a caring, sweet, and kind friend that I met due to this terrible disease called cholangiocarcinoma. But to think about this....sitting in an airport that he could recognize me...was crazy!  Lanny still reads my blog....still keeps up on me...and that is how he recognized me. So, Thanks Lanny! Thanks for having the courage for coming over to see if it was me. Hope you had a great trip in Jamaica!! Here is a pic of Lanny & I at the airport . We had a red eye flight...so sorry about the "just got out of bed look."
Pat and I finally planted our feet on St. Lucia and was swiftly driven about an hour away to the Sandals Resort. It was the most amazing resort I have ever stayed at. Absolutely pristine from the rooms....to the pool...to the beach...to the food...to the never letting your glass get empty...they were always there. I was a pretty cheap date drinking glasses of ice, ice water, and virgin strawberry daiquiri's,  and virgin pina colada's. Pat snorkeled every day and I snorkeled one....We also kayaked hard and fast around the large cove we were in. This was probably my second favorite trip so far that we have taken by ourselves. I picked out a few pics to share before ending with an update on my trial.

 Pat and I before entering the Japanese Restaurant.
A Sandals Sailboat

 No....this isn't Pat and I! :-)
 This wall separated Sandals from the beach. We had plenty of openings to go to the beach but the pool was right behind where this picture was taken.
 The "other" side of the cove our resort is in. I think there were some hotels and Bed and Breakfasts along here.
 The building sticking out is a Japanese Restaurant that we ate at on the Sandals Resort. It was fantastic!!
 These colorful houses are part of the Sandal's Resort. Again, this is where Pat and I snorkeled.
 They say there are NO sharks because the water is too warm. How about THAT!  :-)
 Pat and Pat-ty
This was taken from our balcony. We snorkeled along the left side of the picture clear out to the edge of rock.

 This beautiful tree is like a gigantic Mimosa tree.....There were the pink blooms all over although you might not be able to see them in this picture.

I have been taking the clinical trial pills every day and still the worst side effects are abdominal cramps that usually happen right before "a big explosion" is about to happen. Needless to say I am a anti diarrheal junkie on an almost daily basis.

I travel back to MD Anderson in Houston on Sunday evening with bloodwork starting at 6:30 on Monday morning. I have the CT scan prep starting later that morning.  Tuesday morning, I meet with a specialist of some kind to look at all the meds I take and if I am taking two together that should not be taken together. I have never had this done before but with all the "scoots"....it can't be a bad idea.  Then.......I will get the CT scan and bloodwork results when I see Dr. Meric at noon. If all is well, we will wait the dreaded three hours for new drugs and fly out that evening.

What do I think the scan will show...good or bad. I don't have a clue. I know I am living life to the fullest. I babysit my youngest grandson two days a week, I am always on a journey each day. I have been painting some ocean animals and have a few more to finish before handing them over to a friend named Sam.  WHATEVER the scan shows, we will take it in stride. I am in no pain, I feel mostly energetic, and I am just not sure what it will show. Stability would be wonderful....shrinkage is an added bonus. I prayed last night for God to take control of my life. I asked Him to do what He believes is the right thing to happen in my life...and to guide me on this journey.
Sometimes, you really do not realize how many people are dying from cancer until you are closely related to someone or have cancer yourself.  Why is that?  Why is it that most Relay for Life teams have members with cancer patients on them?

As the air starts to get cool and crisp, the hickory nuts and acorns start to fall, campfires start to happen more often this time of year, enjoy this special time of year. Enjoy the fall foliage as it will be on the ground in no time!  Enjoy every day and give thanks to our amazing God for the view He gives us every day.

I will post maybe Tuesday with a report from the dr...maybe not until Wednesday evening. It all depends on when I have access to the internet.

Happy Fall Y'all!!

Patty Corcoran