Oncologists – My Cancer Journey

Boy! Did I mess up with my understanding of what the radiation oncologist and medical oncologist does.

I met with the radiation oncologist first. This doctor let me know the difference between what he does and what the medical oncologist does. He called himself the clean up crew. He finishes up the cancer treatment after the medical oncologist.

He explained to me that I will see him for 6 weeks of treatment. I will have radiation treatments five days per week, Monday to Friday, for six weeks. Since two of my lymph nodes had been diseased, not only would the area where the tumor had been have radiation, but the lymph node area would also be treated for radiation.

I was told that the radiation could make me fatigued. Or not. He said that my skin would probably peel from the radiation. I would be given cream to apply prior to treatments and after. The entire procedure would take approximately 15 minutes. Set up usually would take approximately 15 minutes.

He told me that the medical oncologist would be looking after my chemotherapy and that I would be with her for the next five years. They would not start radiation treatments until one month after the chemotherapy would be completed. Since neither one of us knew what the plan was for chemotherapy, he said he would be in contact with the medical oncologist to know approximately when to expect my treatments to begin.

On to my next appointment.

I Have Cancer – Now What?

I go every year for my annual physical. When I turned 50, I scheduled first a mammogram, then a colonoscopy. Mammograms are a piece of cake compared to the vile, gooey stuff you have to drink in preparation for the colonoscopy. But these things need to be done in order to be certain of your health. Especially when all your relatives live overseas, your mother has dementia and no one knows anything about health histories.

For the last four years, every year irregularities have been found in my right breast so I have had to go back for a better look. They check things out, pat me on the head and say everything is fine.

Until this year. Except this time it was the left breast. I should have known. How is it that a person knows before the technician or doctor says anything? I should have known when the technician took more xrays and then took me right away for an ultrasound. And when the technician said that the radiologist would be coming in to take a look at the ultrasound and would give me my options, I wasn’t surprised.

The needle biopsy wasn’t bad at all. I was told I couldn’t take aspirin but I could take Valium. I told the technicians I wouldn’t be taking Valium because I would probably fall asleep and not get to the office for the procedure. The doctor who did the biopsy was very pleasant and the two women technicians were wonderful. It was done on a Friday and I was told that I would get a phone call with the results by Wednesday.

When my doctor called and left a message on Tuesday, I already knew it was cancer. My doctor told me it was treatable. Since I had asked during the biopsy, I had been told that my lymph nodes had been checked and they were fine. I feel very confident that this will be treated successfully. Now I am just waiting for an appointment with the oncologist.

I am very much in disbelief about this. I feel very healthy. I have been losing weight and watching my diet very carefully. This seems so silly. How can I have cancer when I feel good? I feel tired but getting up at 5:30 or 6am every morning and having the busy schedule I have would do that to a person.

I started looking up breast cancer on the internet and that was a really stupid thing to do. I stopped quickly. No sense in adding all the fear factors into this. And when my son suggested pot or cbd extract, I just rolled my eyes. My son has graduated from law school. I asked him if he wanted me thrown in jail so that I could be his first client? Ever the helpful mom, right? Sorry, I don’t think I want to be that helpful.

My doctor told me that I should hear something from the oncologist within a couple of days. It has been two days and I called to check in. I did not appreciate the whining in the voice of the receptionist when she told me they had three business days to get back to me. I felt like asking her how she would enjoy waiting three business days if she had been diagnosed with cancer. But that isn’t me because I am still in disbelief. I mean, really? How could I have cancer?

I have my faith in God. I have a plaque that states ” Lord help me to remember that nothing is going to happen to me today that you and I together can’t handle.” I could use your prayers.

At the Breaking Point

I think after all the decisions and events I have gone through since January, I seriously need time away. Let me think what has gone on in my life since the beginning of the year.

I have found this truly wonderful man who lived a fair distance from me. I made the decision to move closer to him as I was tired of the constant commute every weekend. It was also time to strike out on my own without my youngest daughter. But not only did I have to find a house for me, I needed to find a good barn for my horse.

The barn and then the house was found. Then this truly wonderful man decided to propose to me and move into this new house with me. Our wedding date was set for June 24th. Of this year. Wedding preparations. We decided to keep our wedding small but still, wedding preparations.

Then my oldest daughter got engaged. Wonderful! Fantastic. Except she announced that her wedding would be May 21. Of this year. Before my wedding. In Canada. Toronto, Ontario, Canada. She announced this to me after I had registered for a writer’s conference that was to begin May 21 and go until May 25.

Oh, and my son called to announce his graduations. Yes, two graduations. One on May 27 from his MBa program and the other one on June 11 from law school. I could only make one graduation, I told him. I asked him to ask his father which one he would be going to and I would go to the other one. Only my son called to let me know that his father would attend both. I picked May 27th.

I kept thinking, I will first concentrate on moving my horse to her new barn. That happened in April. Then concentrate on moving into the new house. That happened one week after I had my horse settled. Next I would concentrate on my daughter’s wedding and the travel to the wedding.

My daughter’s wedding was beautiful. It was rainy and cool that weekend but the wedding was beautiful and my daughter was gorgeous. My daughter and her husband are more or less settled, considering the fact that he is in South Sudan on a contract with Unicef until March of 2018. My daughter has chosen to stay in Canada for a while. We will see how long she can tolerate being apart from her new husband.

Next was the writer’s conference. Travelled there and back home in time to catch a flight to my son’s graduation. The graduation and time spent with my son and his wife was fantastic. We weren’t rushed or overwhelmed. Just spent time with my son and his wife.

Now I am back home and can finalize the details of my wedding. Air plane tickets have been purchased for my oldest daughter, my son and his wife. We have places for them all to stay and I am looking forward to the short time I can spend with them.

My fiancé and I are not going on a honeymoon right after our wedding. That can wait until later in the year. But July can’t come soon enough. If my youngest daughter announces her engagement, a wedding in the year 2020 sounds good to me.

Words of Encouragement

My son is busy studying for his bar exam. It isn’t until July but he, and his friends from law school, are all studying and have worried expressions.

I know my son will do well. This is his dream. This is his goal. He is studying eight hours every day. I have chosen to support him and send him words of encouragement every day. I do pity his wife who will have to be mindful of his stress and worry and fear. Fortunately, she has a full time job so she can stay out of the house nine to ten hours Monday through Friday. Hopefully, my son will take a breath and not study when his wife is home.

I will enjoy looking up quotes of encouragement for him. I will try to remember to include them on my Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest accounts. For all those students who are busy studying for whatever upcoming exam – I wish you well. Remember to eat well, get your sleep, exercise and let yourself take some time off to breathe. I wish you well.

Fresh Beginnings

 

This is my fiance, Bill. The love of my life. My new beginning. A fresh start. Someone I will spend the rest of my life with. The man I will grow old with – okay, so we are already old but I want to grow older with him.

I separated in August of 2013 from my first husband. Our divorce became final in August of 2016. I met Bill in September of 2016. After many rough online dating scams and really not wonderful dates, I found Bill. I have heard from a number of young people how successful they were with the online dating thing. But not me. It seemed like there was a target attached to my picture and I seemed to attract all the eastern European con artists who just wanted to love me, never meet me, empty my wallet and run for their coffee shops.

I met Bill through It’s Just Lunch. They interviewed me, asked me how far I was willing to drive. Being from Canada and making twice yearly drives up to Ontario, I told them a 2 to 3 hour drive was not a problem.

It’s Just Lunch makes arrangements for you to meet your date for either lunch or dinner. You meet and the two of you decide if you want to continue meeting or not. They made arrangements for me to meet Bill in Charlotte at Dean and DeLucca for lunch on a Saturday. At the time, I did not know that I was supplied with a picture of Bill, He was not supplied with a picture of me.

Unfortunately, I had been suffering with an inner ear infection and when Saturday rolled around, I just was not feeling well. I was still feeling dizzy and thought that making a 2 hour car drive was not something I was up to. I called the It’s Just Lunch office but no one is there on a Saturday. I called Dean and DeLucca and left a voice message. Apparently Bill never got the message.

I called It’s Just Lunch on Monday and apologized profusely. They asked me if I would still like to meet Bill. I said I would. They told me they would call him and see if he felt the same way and then would call back. They called back to say we would meet the following Saturday.

To this day, Bill reminds me of how I stood him up. He wandered Dean and DeLucca for an hour. He kept watching all the women who came into the cafeteria area. But a lot of them were with someone else or were just shopping. He couldn’t approach any of them as he didn’t know what I looked like. He told me no woman had ever stood him up. He had to meet the one and only woman who had dared to stand him up. I am pretty proud of that.

We both have hurtful pasts but we support each other. We laugh together and do silly things together. We enjoy the same type of music. We enjoy the same types of activities. We enjoy each other’s company. And we are head over heels in love with each other. We are building a new house together. We will be getting married on June 24th. That will be the happiest day of my life. Even at my age, one can find love. Real love. A lasting love. I want to spend the rest of my life with this man and I can hardly wait.

Writers Beach Weekend

This past weekend I drove to Topsail Beach in North Carolina where I joined eleven other female Christian writers for the weekend. Lisa Carter and Alice Wisler started this writers’ retreat three years ago. I have gone every year, so far, and this weekend has done more good for me as a writer than I can say.

Alice and Lisa have done a phenomenal job of organizing the weekend for Christian writers. Alice always leads the devotionals and Lisa has given us a wealth of information on writing, getting to an agent, publisher and the marketing aspects of our books. We have had so many interesting conversations about the whole book writing thing that has gripped us.

Not everyone has an agent. Not everyone has gone the traditional route of finding a publisher. There are a few self published authors. Discussions, this year, have been on the changing climate for writers. The market is changing and publishing houses are changing their ways. Change has had to happen due to the demand of the public – the readers of our material.

The best part of this yearly weekend is the sharing and the love and support that comes from each woman at this retreat. Prayer is a big part of all our lives. Just knowing this is a safe and secure place to retreat to is a welcome calm in the storms of our lives.

Lisa strongly recommended that every writer should attend at least one workshop every year. I agree. Workshops, retreats, conferences for writers are a necessary charge for our batteries. I attended the Blue Ridge Christian Writers Conference two years ago. I will attend again this year. The first year I attended, I felt my head would explode with all the information from the workshops. But it was a wonderful, safe and secure place to attend. I could not believe how published writers, agents, editors, publishing representatives and authors were willing to share their experiences, their ideas, their recommendations to be a successful author.

To anyone who is thinking of writing a book, I say go ahead and take the plunge. It is said that everyone has one good book in them. I am so grateful to Alice and Lisa for their support, love and guidance. Thank you Alice and Lisa. You are both a blessing to me.

 

Second Novel – You Are Mine

Excerpt from You Are Mine

“Hickory dickory dock. The mouse ran up the clock.” The long, slender fingers ran up Rebecca’s warm back. She was lying face down on a bed. She shivered as the fingers ran up her spine. Her eyes widened as she knew what would be coming next and she closed her eyes.

“The clock struck one, the mouse ran down. Hickory dickory dock.” The fingers slowly scratched down her spine and Rebecca flinched as the fingernails dug into her skin. She broke out into a sweat and squeezed her eyes shut. “No,” she thought. “no.”

Rebecca Collins pressed her hands to her temples and shook her head. Why was this memory interrupting her thoughts? She looked down at the keyboard of her laptop. She had been focused on her assignment. But this unwanted memory had invaded her attention. She raked her long, blonde hair with her fingers to the back of her head. She stretched her legs and arched her back while sitting in the patio chair. Her back was stiff and sore from being on her feet during her nursing shift at the clinic in Lahaina, Maui. She squinted up at the sun from under the protection of the patio umbrella, her eyes twitching with the effort.

After a few moments, she sighed and powered off her laptop. She brought a hand up to her glistening forehead then pushed herself out of the patio chair. She shook her head and whispered, “It’s too hot.”  Carefully Rebecca slid her feet into the leather sandals that were scattered under the patio table. ”

Rebecca thought she had left a frightening past behind, secure in a marriage with three wonderful children, living on Maui, Hawaii. Haunting memories still invaded her peace and security but she was able to push them away with the help from her loving husband, Dan.

Until one night when her past came rushing to the forefront. A man who did not want her to forget. A man who was not going to let Rebecca and her oldest son, Benjamin, go. Michael Philips is the man from Rebecca’s past and he is obsessed with Rebecca and Benjamin. Michael is willing to do anything to bring the three of them together. But Rebecca and Benjamin want no part of his plans.

Three lives that are intertwined from the past. Five innocent lives that are a part of an evil and devious man’s ideas. How far will Michael Philips really go to bring them together? Find out the steps Dan takes to protect his family.

My First Novel – The Goblet

Excerpt from The Goblet – “An object in the sand, not far from her foot, caught her attention. Sarah was not sure what aroused her suspicions, but she leaned over and brushed off the sand from the object. She pulled at it and saw that it was a goblet. It was a very ordinary, wooden goblet, which seemed to be delicate. She raised her eyebrows at it and gasped it gently by the stem. Instantly a warmth spread into her hand and glowed slowly up her arm.”

While on a family trip to Israel, Sarah hasn’t discovered just any goblet; she has come into possession of something not of this world. Something of Jesus’s very own.

The trip had been rocky so far. Sarah’s husband, Bill, was distant as ever, and her son, Alex, is disagreeable as usual. Once Sarah gets the goblet, though, everything starts to change. All of a sudden, Alex is enthusiastic about family events. Sarah soon comes to learn that this is no coincidence.

Life starts to change back home as well. Sarah and her children go to church the first Sunday at home – which is a feat in itself – only to discover that Sarah’s singing voice is inspiring everyone. The church goers all around her turn and are moved by Sarah’s angelic voice, and she joins the church band.

Everything is going right for Sarah. Well, almost everything. Her children are making better decisions, the church band is really taking off, but her husband still isn’t living up to his obligations. In fact, Sarah discovers evil forces are at work in him, and he is trying to steal the goblet.

On a last minute trip back to Israel, can Sarah save the precious relic before Bill does the unthinkable? Find out in The Goblet.

The Goblet by Sylvia Patzold is available on Amazon.

 

I Have Moved

Well, hello!

As you can see I have changed my website to a WordPress site. But this has not been an easy change. It has been highly frustrating to say the least.

I am not all that tech savvy but I do know a few things. When I took out my domain name of sylviapatzold.com, I had purchased it with a company (I really can’t remember who it was). After hunting around for a free website host, it took me a while to settle with Ignite Builder. I built my website and kind of just sat back and let things settle.

I have another blog and a website with GoDaddy. GoDaddy has been extremely helpful and I thought I would make my life easier by including my author’s page with GoDaddy and just change it into a blog with WordPress. And so my frustration begins.

I was told by GoDaddy that my domain name was with register.com. GoDaddy told me to change the nameserver and they gave me the instructions on how to do all of that. Except when I got to register.com, I had no idea how to log in since I did not remember signing up with them. So I called their customer service. I told them I wanted to redirect my domain name to GoDaddy. Mistake. They then told me that my domain name was with their international division and my call was redirected to them only to be told that weebly.com was hosting my domain name.

I logged into my account with weebly.com only I could not find my domain name of sylviapatzold.com. So I emailed their customer service (which was not easy to find). I made the mistake of telling them that I wanted to redirect my domain name to GoDaddy. I was told that customer service could not do it, that I would have to do it. Starting to get a little frustrated.

I had to email weebly.com again to tell them I could not find sylviapatzold.com on my account. They emailed me back with the email address that had access to sylviapatzold.com. I had to email weebly.com to ask them for a password since I did not have that information. Getting more frustrated.

When I finally received all the information to be able to log into the account, that I did not know I had, I could not access the domain name to make the changes. Getting a little tight around the lips now.

Again, I emailed weebly.com to ask them how to change the nameserver on my domain name. I received another email saying they could not do it, that I would have to log into my account to make the changes. I thanked them very much for their non service, by now being not so gentle with my keypad, logged into my account, and finally was able to make the changes to the nameserver.

I received a number of customer satisfaction surveys from weebly. Since I couldn’t figure out how to give them negative scores, I went ahead with the extremely dissatisfied. My recommendation? Keep track of who is hosting your domain name and DO NOT use weebly.com.