Friday, November 8, 2019

Change of Plans - Nov 2019

We were planning on tent camping in Florida for 6+ weeks this winter (Dec-Jan).  We even bought a few supplies including a tent and screened in canopy.  My USAF training told me we wanted to do an “Operational Test and Evaluation”, so I  set it up in the back yard to check it out.
We made reservations at Pinellas County Campground at Fort DeSoto and at Key West for some tent camping.  And we accumulated some supplies and equipment for our next adventure.

Meanwhile we have been also fixing up the house with one project after another and throughly enjoying it.  And watching Pam’s amazing garden grow and product a never ending supply of jalapeños, and some kale, swiss chard, mustard greens, carrots, lettuce, and collard greens.

And we’ve enjoyed some house guests recently and always have fun with the boys.  It is such a delight to see them and spend time with them.  It is really great to be able to drop by their place or have Kelly and Jon and the boys swing by for dinner or dessert or hang out time.

And we’ve been catching up on doctors appointments and such.  One that we’ve been “getting around to” finally, was Pam’s yearly isn mammogram test.  She got it scheduled for October 18 and things have been happening pretty quickly since then...

Rather than belabor the point -- testing (subsequent ultrasound then biopsy) confirmed she has breast cancer.  Stage 1, estrogen positive, HER2 negative, invasive, ductal carcinoma.

Ugh.  OK -- With that news though we have plenty of good news from the testing and are very encouraged by our hope of a successful outcome.

Here’s how we got here and where we are at the moment.

  • Mammogram/results - Oct 18/21
  • Ultrasound/results - Oct 23/24
  • Biopsy/results - Oct 28/Nov 1
  • Appointment with the surgeon - Nov 6
  • Genetic Testing Appointment - Nov 7
  • MRI appointment scheduled for - Nov 14
  • Surgery date scheduled for - Nov 18

After surgery (lumpectomy and probable radiation), it will be sent off for further testing.  There are a number of treatments possible with different chemo and depending on the risks, % and likelihood of re-occurrence, they may proceed with some kind of chemo.  

If that occurs (and with the possible loss of hair) Pam adamantly let it be known she will not be wearing a wig.  🙂

How is Pam doing? She’s doing well and handling it all admirably.  Kind of makes her head spin with the news and all the followup with the doctors and such.  But she is positive her faith is strong.  Still - this could kill you and something that will weigh on her I’m sure.

It’s a little weird being the object of other people’s concern, or sympathies (or whatever you call it).  Sometimes it is very uncomfortable “being out there” but we have to remember to let other people help us even if we may not think we need it.  It that makes any sense?

Our overall take is that God is merciful to us. Pam’s life/our life is in his hands. We don’t want to be over dramatic about this -- but this is serious stuff.

At the same time we are quick to remember so many people who have suffered greatly and for a long time with this disease.  In that way it is far different for us.

We have much to be thankful for:

  • Detected early
  • Small (6mm)
  • Slow growing 
  • Stage 1 
  • Not in her lympnodes or spread anywhere else
  • Great care/top notch doctors and nurses
  • We are not on the road RVing somewhere 
  • We are settled into a home base
  • Have an excellent small 100 church (people or so) that is wonderful
  • Surrounded by a supportive and helpful group of Christian friends
  • Our daughter Kelly is right here and a big help
  • Prognosis is very good.  
  • There are many treatment options vs “being a mystery or something they have never seen before...”  
I wanted to let our larger “family” of friends and acquaintance know what’s happening (with Pam’s concurrence) since many of you would like to know.  Feel free to reach out and ask anything you like.

In summary, more camping adventures to Florida can wait.  We cancelled our reservations at Fort Desoto and Key West. We need to be here this winter and take care of this.  We have a terrific network of family, friends, neighbors, and church folks.

Thanks for joining us on the Roadrunner(less) Chronicles


  1. This very same kind of breast cancer happened to my best friend early this year. Same treatment, lumpectomy, radiation, no chemo. She is cancer free. So I am thinking positive with you for Pam. Thanks for letting us know. And tent camping in Florida?!! Cant wait to hear about that sometime in the future when all this is behind yiu.

    1. Love it. We know there are lots of stories of healing and recovery and plan on being among them. Glad your friend is doing well. Yes - the tent camping can wait. 🙂

  2. Thanks for sharing. Will definetly put Pam and you on our prayer list. I pray that this adventure will be shortlived and followed with glowing results.

  3. Lots of kind thoughts, healing and prayers coming your way. With your surrounding family and community support oh, you guys got this!

  4. Lots of positive thoughts and prayers from the "other" Pam & Randy. We know Pam will overcome all!

    1. Yes! Thanks so much. We are encouraged by all your wonderful comments. Hope you two are doing well.

  5. We are putting Pam and you on our prayer list. God is the great healer; John is walking proof of his healing and mercy. I have a close friend who just became cancer free recently with a similar diagnosis and had a lumpectomy and radiation. You all are in our thoughts.

    1. We thank you. Good stories. We aim to add more to those kind...

  6. You and Pam have been added to my prayer list. It's amazing what the docs can do now when fighting cancer. Stay strong in the Lord.

  7. We will have all your family in our thoughts and prayers. Love that you are sharing and willing to let others in to help. We truly believe, life is a journey to be shared. If we pay attention, we usually wind up where we are suppose to be. So good that you are near family and friends who can offer the support you will need. Pam is growing those amazing vegetables for a reason...just the stuff to help her regain good health after treatment:o))

    1. Thank you too - you have followed our journey from the start and we appreciate it.

  8. Praying for you Randy and Pam! We love you both so much; thanks for sharing.

  9. Pam, good for you ditching that wig. I hated every second of it and felt so conspicuous even though everybody said it was great. The weather will be perfect for pretty stocking caps. But, I'm betting on radiation only!!! I wish you both the best!

    1. Thank you - we appreciate it. She’s thinking of a nice scarf and such 🙂

  10. Oh, I am so sorry to hear this news. Prayers for both of you, Randy and Pam.

  11. We'll be keeping both Pam and yourself as a caregiver in our prayers for a quick, complete and speedy recovery. Once you can breath easier then you can think of Florida.

    It's about time.

  12. Thank you for sharing. We are both thinking of Pam.

  13. I was just able to get on
    facebook again after not having it for quite some time. We will be lifting both of you up in prayer. Just wanted you to know that we are thinking of you. What is your mailing address now? This is Rita Patterson

  14. Dear Pam and Randy,
    Truly sorry to hear this news. I will definitely be praying as you walk this path. Praising the Lord for technology right now, which allows wide dissemination across the country so that we can join you in prayer.

    Thanks for sharing.

    Love you!

  15. Pam and Randy - Oh my - just saw you face-to-face on Sunday and had no idea. So sad you have to walk through this trial. Glad you are receiving fast treatment and will be covered in prayer for the journey. In His love, Gary and Page Roest

  16. See. ..things happen just as they are supposed to, and you guys are exactly where you need to be at this moment in time. God's plan is always perfect!

    Prayers for a continued great report.

  17. So sorry to hear the news, but thank goodness for early detection. Wishing Pam a speedy recovery post-surgery. Our thoughts are with both of you.

  18. Hearing the word "cancer" is always tough, no matter the situation. Your life changes in an instant. It really sounds like you caught it early however, so the prognosis is excellent. Hopefully the treatment will be seamless, and the healing fast.


  19. Thinking of you and your family Randy! Praying for your comfort and healing!