Friday, March 30, 2018


today did not go as we planned.

i got a message from beth early this afternoon and all it said was "i got the call already. it's cancer."

that is where the FUCK CANCER comes in.

so it seems that her rectal cancer has gone metastatic and moved to her lungs.

let me have her tell you in her own words what she was feeling this afternoon:

"My oncologist already called.  It’s cancer.  Similar patterns to my rectal cancer.  So metastatic rectal cancer.    

I am glad my mom was here for the call.  It was an awful call to take.  

We didn’t talk too long.   They need to test the tumor to see if I am a candidate for immunotherapy.  Please pray that I am because that is the only was it is curable.  

My doctor told me since I have been feeling good to just focus on that.   

That’s all I have to say for now.  I am numb.  

Thanks for your love, support and prayers."

so now our next step is to send all of our mojo, prayers, love and whatever kind of special sauce you have to beth so that we get the results that she is a candidate for immunotherapy. send everything you have into the universe for that to be what she hears when she meets with her oncologist on april 10th.

i don't have any other words either because i too am numb.

i did not think that this was the news we would get.

i am so angry and so sad. i just want to wrap her up in bubble wrap, protect her from this, and make it all go away.

i don't have much more to say tonight because there are really no words that can convey what i feel either.

so send the love.

i am going to be asking you to send the love to another young cancer warrior, details to come on that very soon. this time there is a teenager that needs some love, and i think that we are the right ones to give it to her.

love you beth, you have an army behind you when you feel ready to pick up the gloves.


Thursday, March 29, 2018

beth's day

"screw your courage to the sticking place"
(william shakespeare)

well, per usual, all of your love/mojo/prayers/dances worked their magic.

beth's biopsy went as well as it could have except for the team running late to get started.

here is how it went in her own words:

"Well we started off behind this morning.   They team was running late. The IV didn’t want to cooperate. So I have 2 bruises at my elbow and the IV is down at my wrist which I don’t love because that spot hurts. 
  So we started about an hour late.    But after that things went smoothly.  They do a lot to set up with the CT scan prior to the procedure.   But the procedure only took about 20 minutes.   They said everything went smoothly and I did good breaths for them. I have to hold my breath when they are inserting the needle.  I didn’t feel a thing.  
     I just got my X-ray and everything was clean.   So I’ll get to go home by 3 which is great.  I am a bit sleepy but feel ok.  
I am glad this part went smoothly.  I have to keep it low key this weekend, no heavy lifting.     Mom heads home tomorrow night.  Lars and i will spend Easter with friends.  
  And now i wait.  Wait for the results.   These may end up being the most important results I will ever get. 
Thank you for your love, support and prayers. "

she had her gloves up and now she keeps them up until we hear the results - and then according to my plan, she hears the knockout bell and gets to put her gloves down while cancer leaves the ring with a lot of bruises and cuts.

keep the love coming.

you all are magic.

remember that about yourself. all the time.

i remember that about you everyday.


Wednesday, March 28, 2018

mojo/love/prayers/everything you've got - send it beth's way on thursday and until we get results

"you're gonna be happy," said life,
"but first i'll make you strong."

on thursday morning beth goes in for her lung biopsy.

so we need to send her everything we have for things to go as well as these things can tomorrow and for good results (which she doesn't expect tomorrow but will come soon).

beth asked me the other night what a lung biopsy felt like. you would think that i would know the answer to that question.

i told her i didn't know because my tumors were always big enough that we went straight to surgery.

so that was one of the million reasons i have hope that this biopsy will turn out negative.

they don't know. it could be anything. they need to test to know more.

it could be just a random spot on her lung that has decided to make a move but is totally harmless but wants to be a huge pain in her life at the moment.

that is my bet by the way. i told beth that i am super smart about these lung things, clearly i have been around the block a few times with my lungs.

also, thanks to all of you that volunteered to send beth happy mail this week - you all rock. but i already knew that, and you did too, right? if not, it is official - you rock (give yourself a high five now from me).

thank you for all of the love, prayers, mojo, special dances - whatever you do to bring  good karma, make it happen tomorrow and keep it coming until we get good results.

because though no one knows what it is like to be beth, we are all in this together.

right? right. (insert hand fist emoji here)

where she fights, i fight - and therefore, i know you fight too.

gloves up.

here she goes - and i have no doubt in this round cancer is about to get its ass (rightfully) kicked by her one more time. i am pretty sure cancer has already headed out of seattle and will be nowhere to be found in that biopsy, i think it already took a greyhound south to warmer and dryer weather in the dessert where it can't touch anyone. it is hanging out with the cactuses and snakes where it belongs, hopefully getting a lot of bites. that include venom.

you've got an army behind you beth, and we've got you - for tomorrow and all the days after to come.

that i know for sure.

without a doubt.


Sunday, March 25, 2018

beth + a request for happy mail this week for her

"magic love"

"all we ever ask for is a little magic and a whole lot of love, but to us they are one in the same"

(j. iron ward)

we did not get the news we all hoped for on friday for beth.

a spot on her lung has grown and she will head in for a biopsy on thursday morning and when she gets the results we will know whether it is cancer or not. 

i know it won't be - she has just moved into a condo she remodeled, she is dating an awesome man, she has a ton of things to look forward to this year - she deserves a solid and good year.

she doesn't deserve to go through this.

here is how she feels tonight in her own words:

"I still don't know what to say.   I can't even believe this is a possibility.   That there could be cancer in my lungs.   I thought I would have this year, I honestly didn't believe a biopsy would happen this year.  That one spot seemed to grow a lot to me based on previous growth.  And no other spots grew and no new ones so I also find that interesting.  I really didn't expect my doctor to walk in and tell me they were going to biopsy.  I knew when he walked in he didn't have good news to share.  He doesn't do small talk when we are waiting for scan results, but I could just tell when he walked in.  We all cried.
    The biopsy is scheduled for Thursday.  I go in at 7 am for labs, check in for a CT assisted biopsy at 8 am. I will be under conscious sedation and the procedure should last an hour.  Then I stay at the hospital for 4 hours to recover before they send me home, as long as all looks good and something weird didn't happen to my lungs.  It will take 2-3 days before I get the results.  I told the doctor to just call me with the results before my appointment.
    The follow up appointment isn't scheduled yet.  I am supposed to be in Portland the 3rd and 4th for work. I decided to keep the trip.  I will know the news and an extra day or two before my appointment with my oncologist won't make a difference.  But I hate that I will likely hear the news in Portland when I am not surrounded by my closest circle.
   I did ok this weekend.  I am really tired.  I was able to focus some on the condo.  We got a lot done.  I did see my brother, niece and nephew.  I felt a little bit like a hollow shell.  I was there but not fully present.  I did volunteer this morning at SCCA House.  My mom came with me for the first time and I am glad she got to experience.   I am glad I went but it was also hard.  Everyone has their story there,  And all are different.  But it was hard for me to think about getting sick again. And treatment.   I had many good things planned for this year and I don't want anything to take away from them.   But I had moments of sadness and fear too this weekend, and confusion on top of sometimes just denial.
  My doctor told me if it is cancer, and he has to believe it is until proven otherwise, he would then do another test to determine if it was curable or not.   Then he would look at surgical options, of course chemo and clinical trials.  It sounds like I could start right away on chemo if the biopsy is positive.   That is all he told us about first steps, nothing else to tell me now until we know more.
  I am really sad.  I didn't expect this for my life, not that anyone does.  I ate some things I liked this weekend in case I do have to go on chemo and I start hating food again.  I finally felt like I could look forward and plan things ahead that I enjoy and now I feel like that is taken away from me again.  That makes me angry.  I also wonder if my busy life the past few months did indeed make things worst for me.  So many thoughts floating through my head.
  My mom switched her flight to stay through the biopsy which is helpful.
 I thank you all for your ongoing love, support and prayers.  Here's hoping it's something else besides cancer."

so i would like to inundate beth with happy mail this week. since they are just getting moved in and settled, this campaign will just be cards/postcards/post-it notes, however you might want to communicate via good ol' snail mail. if you would like to send beth a little love this week, i would appreciate it and i know that she would too.

you know the drill. email me, text me, message me, send smoke signals, trip me, hire a goodyear blimp with a sign - whatever it takes to get my attention and i will get her address to you asap.

there are a million words that describe how i felt when i got the news on friday. many of which beth writes above. sad. angry. afraid. and as i always am, i am so pissed someone that ilove is going through another episode of having to deal with even the possibility of cancer.

i am so damn sick and tired of it. for all of us.

the cures can't come fast enough.

but until they do, we can send some love.

i hope you will join me.

anywhere i fight, beth has always fought right along with me.

now it is time to get in the ring and fight with her.

gloves up.


Thursday, March 22, 2018

for beth

beth goes in tomorrow for her scan results. please send her all of your prayers, mojo, and love. kick it all up a notch at 1pm pst when she gets results.

thank you.


Monday, March 19, 2018


so this is what it looks like when you get good news.

the tumor has changed slightly but not grown, stayed stable.

so i get to stay in the study. 


of course i would have loved to see some shrinkage, but i will take stable over growth any day of the week.

so we are considering today a win in this long fight with cancer.

anywhere i fight, you fight.

and we are going to keep on fighting.

gloves up!


Sunday, March 18, 2018

scan day + results day for me/for lisa/for jennifer and michael/for beth/for the patterson clan

"the wounds have changed me.
i am so soft with scars 
my skin 
breathes and beats stars.
(nayyirah waheed)

friday was scan day.

we checked in at 7am and i was in the machine a little bit after 8.

this picture was taken by the technician right before i started to vomit from the contrast they injected into my iv for the scan. i held it as long as i could (which was like 5 seconds but felt like forever) but i didn't make it far enough out of the machine so we had to retake the scan. ugh. it was a miserable morning.

but then i soldiered on to a day full of work and decisions since i will be out all day tomorrow (monday) for results.

we will go in at 7am for bloodwork and we meet with the doctor at 7:45 to get the results. i am not going to lie. i am scared shitless of what he is going to tell us. if the tumors shrink, i stay in the trial. if the tumors grow slightly, they may let me stay in the trial if the tumors  have not grown larger than the trial allows. if they have grown larger, they may make a decision to let me stay in for one more round to say if i have latent effects and the drugs are taking their own sweet time to make the tumors shrink. it is like waiting and not knowing what you life is going to look like after tomorrow morning, until someone else tells you what it will look like. one word: excruciating. make that two words: fucking excruciating.

i can't explain in words how nerve wracking it is. but those last two words above probably give you a fair idea.

by the time some of you read this tomorrow, we will already know the results. i will post an update on here tomorrow as soon as i am able to.

so, send me everything you have for tomorrow morning because i am going to need it. prayers, mojo, good vibes, special dances - whatever it is you do, do it big time tomorrow morning. we need it.

but there are also others that need everything you can give them.

my friend lisa that we are currently doing the happy mail campaign for her has her last day of radiation tomorrow. yes to that! but, the side effects have been brutal and so we need to send her all we have for the healing to start and the pain to end. so send her what you've got as she faces the road of recovery (which i know she will kick ass at).

my friend jennifer (who we have also done happy mail campaigns for) has to start cancer treatments again at the end of april. so let's start sending her and her husband michael (one of my best friends and favorite men on this planet  - actually, all planets) all the mojo we have so that it starts to works its magic in this month before she starts treatments.

my friend beth (who we have also done happy mail campaigns for - anyone noticing a trend here?;) goes in for her scans this week and gets results on friday. so as it has been for us before, it is a big week for both of us. i will let beth tell you how she is feeling in her own words, it is her own story after all:

"Sorry this journal entry will be a bit garbled as I sit on plane.

I feel like these days I am always on the verge of crying if I am not already crying.  The stress and emotions of everything going on in my life are weighing heavily on me.
My scans are a little over a week away.  And I feel the pressure of wondering if my life craziness over the past few months will negatively effect the results. I know it is not a healthy thought but it is one I can't seem to shake.   But I also know at this point there is nothing I can do to alter the results.   But my feelings around my scans are never logical.  How can they be with the weight of the results and what it could mean for my future.
   The move and renovations of the new condo are exhausting as well and are contributing to my highly emotional state these days.   But the end is near.   We are in the final week of renovations and I will move in this Saturday.  While I am really excited to move into the new place I spent the weekend packing up my life from my current condo.  I have been living there almost 15 years and it I feel like I grew up there in my adulthood.  Most of my Seattle life has been there.That condo saw a lot over the time I lived there, including my diagnosis and treatment.   
  I do look forward to starting a new chapter in a new home.
    My mom flies in on Tuesday for the scans.  She will also help me set up the new place.  I always appreciate her help.   Lars will be joining us for the scan results for his first time, which is a big deal to both of us.  We have talked about it but I do often wonder how it is to meet me now after such a life changing event that still very much hangs over me.  And my brother may be able to join as well.  I am lucky to have so many so many wonderful people in my life.
  A couple weeks ago I was at my monthly volunteering at SCCA house and I found out that a few of the other volunteers are there for the same reason I am, they were treated for cancer.  We all showed off our port scars and started talking a bit about our stories.  I was definitely the youngest, but I was glad to share with them our commonality.   And volunteering there still means as much to me as the first day.
   I got to see Alli for a little bit last week.  She is having a tough go of it.  Her scans are this Friday with results next Monday.   I want more than anything for her to hear the news of not only no growth but the spots are shrinking.  She has started to have to think and plan for things no one at our age should have to do.  The weight of cancer on us is hard to describe.
  So I thank you for your love, support and prayers for both me and Alli.  I hope to be sharing good news for both of us next week!"

so please also send her everything you have got, i know that those scans are going to show her tumors have stayed the same or shrunk and she will get another 6 months before scans. but as always, i like having your good vibes as extra insurance too.

one of my very best and oldest (i have loved that guy for more than half my life, lucky me)friends josh - who might be one of the humans on this planet that i have shared the most laughs with - lost his grandma last week and they laid her to rest on saturday. so please send a lot of love to him and his family in wisconsin and his mom and stepdad in hawaii as they can now carry her only in their hearts and no longer in their hands.

as is evident from the above, cancer and grieving continue to be rampant for those i love. so i do the best i can in sending them love, and all of the extra mojo you send is so special to me as well. it is a great feeling to know that so many that read these words also send their love to those i love. i haven't yet been able to find a way to wrap them all up in bubble wrap and have them continue on with their daily lives, so your thoughts and love are probably even better than the bubble wrap even if i could figure it out.

so thanks for all you do to spread the love.

tomorrow is a really big day.

but i will carry you all with me.

anywhere i fight, you fight.

and tomorrow we find out early on what kind of fight we are still in for.

here we go.

as my big brother always says to me...

gloves up.


Sunday, March 11, 2018

60 awesome women raising $ for fred hutchinson cancer research with dice

"a strong woman looks a challenge in the eye and gives it a wink"
(gina carey)

on saturday night over 60 women gathered to play bunco, bid on silent auctions, buy raffle tickets, and put in for a 50/50 drawing to raise funds for our 2018 shore walk team.

in three hours, these women collectively raised almost $2700 for our team.

how awesome is that?

i know.

so damn awesome.

this event is put on my sister-in-law kim and her family and they do an incredible (understatement) job.

you all know kim from me sharing her story of her fight with breast cancer here on the blog.

but here we are together, still fighting.

hers says "losing is not an option" and mine says "fuck cancer".

both seem more than appropriate if you ask me.

it is amazing, but never surprising, what women can do when they come together for an important cause.

anywhere we fight, you fight.

scans next up for me on friday, results on monday.

these feel like the most important ones we have ever had. i can feel the weight of them bearing down on me and the scanxiety is in full effect.

so it is time to start sending me all the prayers, mojo, and good vibes you have.

thank you.


Monday, March 5, 2018

treatment day + Lisa

treatment day and it was a long one.

checked in at 9:45 and had bloodwork.

then we met with my psychologist.

then we met with our palliative care support guide.

then we met with my doctors.

then i got to see lisa right as she was heading out from her radiation.

so say hello to lisa. for all of those that are sending her happy mail, prayers, good vibes, mojo, good thoughts - now you know who you are sending them to;)  

i of course wish that we were meeting up at some place other than scca but it was good to see her nonetheless - patients must stick together, that i know for sure.

we then grabbed something to eat quick and headed to infusion.

i am not going to lie. it was a tear filled day through those appointments.

that, coupled with the fact that i am on a run of nightmare filled nights again, made me crash out by the time we got to infusion. i was supposed to have my counselor appointment but i could not keep my eyes open so we had to reschedule that. i pretty much slept the entire time. i was so damn tired. the fatigue and lack of good sleep and just typical life is kicking me in the ass. 

then sometime after 5 we headed home.

i have scans coming up on the 16th and then results on the 19th.

this will be (is already) a nerve wracking month, i also know that for sure.

thanks for all of the continued love and support.

we appreciate it.

anywhere i fight, you fight. xoxo