Tuesday, May 8, 2012

(Scary Title Warning): I have Brain Cancer

Apparently I'm a bad blogger? Anyone surprised? No. Good. Moving on. Lots to catch up on:

Weekend of April 7th: best weekend of my life. I got married to a great guy. The day was, in a word, perfect. Family, friends, weather, hair, dress, health, flowers, food, dessert, everything: perfect. I couldn't have been happier if I had planned it. Oh wait I did plan it.  Scratch that.

My mom even made it to the wedding. It was a big effort on her part and I'm so happy she pushed through the pain to be there with me. It just wouldn't have been the same without her we all knew that.

Ok Monday April 9th: honeymoon in the galapagos. Pretty close to perfect. I had some pain here and there and some problems snorkeling later in the week. Truth be told, Eric had some problems snorkeling too so I'm not ready to blame cancer just yet. We made some new friends and I'm proud to say I only cried a little bit when we said good bye at the ghetto Galapagos airport.

Wedding photos from the professional here:
Jessica Banov took one of my favorite photo collections of the day, which can be found here:
Kodak gallery of wedding photos
And Eric and I will spare you the 3000 photos we took on the honeymoon and just give you the highlights from our 3 hour cruise (just kidding it was 10 days):
Eric & Patti's photos from the Galapagos

Ok now to the not so great news:
April 30th: NIH trial. My sister came back for it. Awesome help. Day one was a lot of information about the trial, which turns out felt like it was going to be an ordeal and have minimal success rate. There was more cancer than before in my lungs - not a huge shock because I hadn't been on treatment for a month, but still not great news.

Day two, I woke up with a massive headache and even more anxiety. With much tears and prodding from my family, I got my first dose of new chemo and the trial chemo which came in pill form. Tuesday night: Lisa left (boo) and my headache got worse. High fever and nausea. After more prodding from the family, it was back up to NIH. This time two days of testing resulted in even less good news:

I have brain cancer, or brain metastasis or whatever they're calling it. 4 lesions. 3 small and treatable with radiation. One larger (3.2 by 2.9 cm - think ping pong ball size) that will have to be treated by surgery. NIH doesn't do radiation. So they kicked me out of the study. Will now be pursuing treatment at Georgetown Hospital. I've gotten a pretty good vibe from my doctors there - one oncologist, one radiologist, and one neurologist. Two of which are a little Doogie Howser, but have been very knowledgeable and have been  reassuring. I trust them.

Without going into much detail here, because I don't have the time or brain capacity apparently, I should be ok. Side effects should be minimal - to quote the doctor less than 7% chance. Surgery is scheduled for Monday the 14th at 11am. All goes well I'll be out of the hospital by Friday. Radiation following healing about 2 to 3 weeks after that. 3 to 8 doses of radiation for a few weeks then back on chemo. I'll be in NY this upcoming weekend so all your New Yorkers get your visits in early.

My thank you cards aren't done from the wedding yet. (Actually, they're barely started. This isn't how I planned to start my new married life. FYI) I just wanted to say thank you to everyone who's made me as strong as I am today. Thank you to everyone who celebrated near and far with us. Thank you to my family for carrying me through when I'm not strong enough. Thank you to my wonderful husband who didn't even flinch when I said I'd have a 4 to 6 inch scar on my head. Thank you for reading and listening. Thank you for being a part of my journey. The journey's not done yet, so don't stop reading, but just wanted to get that out of the way.

Hugs & Love,

P.S Rachel, I still miss you.


  1. Hi Patti...so sorry to hear about this new development. I and my church will conrinue prayers for you and Eric and your family. BE STRONG!

    Joy Mislevy

  2. Didn't we warn you about modeling plutonium hats? Geez.

    Researches at Yale found a connection between brain cancer and work environment. The No. 1 most dangerous job for developing brain cancer? Plutonium hat model.
    - Jimmy Fallon

    Much love and hugs, COUSIN. XOXO

  3. Your new picture is the BEST picture ever. Seriously. It looks like a magazine cover!

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