The six of us have been in touch a lot during the past two weeks or so but mostly by text…little updates, cute memes, inspirational quotes, inside jokes….Patty is often at work or busy with family…her niece Sara, whose middle name is Patricia after this fabulous aunt of hers, recently graduated from high school…so there have been end-of-the-year dance recitals and grad parties to attend.  We all touch base when we want to share a hilarious picture that we took when we were together…when we want to make PV laugh…


Patty checks on me sometimes, and I check on her..  A few days ago I texted her a pic and she sent one back…


You’re pretty muchIMG_0140 always gonna get something like that from Patty or from Janey, her sister.  Jane is the queen of Snap Chat.    When it’s the perfect time for a dancing piece of toast wearing tighty-whiteys then that’s what you’re gonna get.

If I could figure out how to share the moving version of this with you I would do it…it’s epic.

We generously dose ourselves AND PATTY with laughter…and the medicine continues to benefit us all.

We girls got together recently for dinner as we neared this week’s trip to Washington, D.C. for Pancreatic Cancer Advocacy Day.  We were hoping for a six day trip but were waiting on some news from Patty’s medical team regarding whether Patty would be starting chemo (expected) and when.  Her report from her recent lung biopsy was expected imminently.

We met and planned our assault on Washington.

We toyed with staying in Cape May, NJ or Annapolis, Maryland as well…but in fact, a day or two later Patty let us know that she would be beginning chemo, and its start date would affect our trip.    We lopped off the sightseeing days at the start of the trip for her chemo appt and shortened our D.C. stay to just the Pancreatic Cancer Advocacy portion.

As we sat around the table at the restaurant she seemed down and tired…she was in pain and was waiting for the pain meds to make a bigger effort.


It was beautiful to see how she slowly recovered and warmed to the group and soon she was laughing and loving us in return.  She is always always our Patty…strong and resilient.

Yesterday Patty prepared to head to Moffitt Cancer Center for that treatment.  She called me to chat before she got picked up by Jane and Jean who were her chemo team that day,  and I chuckled as I saw her phone call come in on my phone…


That’s our girl in her indoor skydiving suit a few months ago JUST before stepping into the ” wind chamber”  for some free wheeling PATTY CAN-do-anything shenanigans…one of those precious memories we’ve built together over the past few years.

Jane and Jean picked up our girl and drove to Tampa for the expected chemo:


I wasn’t there, but there is no doubt in my mind that that last pic is of Patty and Janey making fun of Jean’s Healthy Kale Salad at lunch time.  No doubt in my mind.

And here is what happens when you are left too long in an exam room…

Patty had let me know that there was a possibility that she wouldn’t have chemo after all.  It was possible that because of the trip the doctors would feel that she shouldn’t start a new drug and then go immediately out of town.  In fact, that is what ended up happening.

As we spoke on the phone prior to her departure, I asked her how she felt about the new chemo.  She said she feels like she wants to get started (after a hiatus involving her recent  biopsy) but she’s also frustrated that she has to “keep doing this.”

She says she wonders “why” or “how” this all happened. Is she supposed to be learning something or to be teaching others?

She says she is amazed at the 80-year-olds she sees over at Moffitt Cancer Center still fighting and going to chemo, and she finds it inspiring…when people are backed into a corner they come out fighting…and she sees that over at Moffitt.

She is saddened seeing people arrive alone at chemo in a taxi.  She feels that who she surrounds herself with is important and she draws strength from her people.  Are those lone people fighting as hard or do they have some special inner strength?

I asked her what are some of the hardest things she faces, and she says it’s difficult contributing to society and the world and work and kids and family with interruptions (chemo) every other week and that it feels like someone is trying to break her or to test her.

When we spoke she said her neck pain was at a 6 out of 10.  Pain is a new problem for Patty.  In the past weeks she’s had more.

I asked her about our trip to Washington and what she expects.  We’ll be hearing survivors of Pancreatic Cancer speak; we’ll be talking to lawmakers who make decisions about how our research dollars may be spent; we’ll be interacting with caregivers and family members.  She said it will “fuel my fire.”

“I hope to be inspired and to hang in there.  I need things to keep me going.  I’m looking forward,” she said.

I told her that I’m eager for the time with just the six of us together.  We rub her back and neck and make her laugh.  We take her focus away from what hurts and what worries…we giggle and make fun of each other…we share our lives and stories and update each other.

She told me yesterday that she feels selfish wanting her “life back” sometimes…and I couldn’t believe it…”Of course you do, my friend,”  I responded.   “How could you possibly feel selfish about wanting your life back?  ”  I asked. “Anybody would.”

And I heard this fabulous human, our Patty, say “because I know there are others worse off than me…”


PATTY CAN amaze you.





We leave Sunday to head to Washington D.C. to meet lawmakers and help put a human face on the third most deadly cancer in the U.S…..it’s soon to be the second most deadly cancer.  Funding is needed for research.  A cure is needed TODAY.




written by David Hodges/Christina Perry
performed by The Piano Guys
Heart beats fast
Colors and promises
How to be brave
How can I love when I’m afraid to fall
But watching you stand alone
All of my doubt, suddenly goes away somehow
One step closer
I have died everyday, waiting for you
Darling, don’t be afraid, I have loved you for a thousand years
I’ll love you for a thousand more
Time stands still
Beauty in all she is
I will be brave
I will not let anything, take away
What’s standing in front of me
Every breath, every hour has come to this
One step closer
I have died everyday, waiting for you
Darling, don’t be afraid, I have loved you for a thousand years
I’ll love you for a thousand more
And all along I believed, I would find you
Time has brought your heart to me, I have loved you for a thousand years
I’ll love you for a thousand more
One step closer
One step closer
I have died everyday, waiting for you
Darling, don’t be afraid, I have loved you for a thousand years
I’ll love you for a thousand more
And all along I believed, I would find you
Time has brought your heart to me, I have loved you for a thousand years
I’ll love you for a thousand more

11 Comments Add yours

  1. Ann says:

    So look forward to these posts from my friend the writer. Add hugs for Patty from someone she doesn’t know but who thinks of her and prays for her often. Bob voyage!


    1. I’ll make sure patty gets those hugs! Thanks so much, Ann!


    2. Jane says:

      You’re so right, Ann. Julie has found her hidden talent. Thanks for your support of Patty!


  2. Jane says:

    Julie, thank you always for putting our thoughts and feelings into words…. oh and thanks for publicizing the snap 🙄.


  3. dannette1 says:

    Thank you for the post. When I see a new one I grab tissues before I start reading it because, well, you know, I also know I will laugh out loud. Many times I have to stop reading it, walk away and mentally prepare for what the next sentence may bring. Thank you from the people who live thousands of miles away as you help bring our Patty into our homes. Please tell Jane that Texans are NOT weird.


    1. Haha! Can’t wait to ask Janey about that! Glad to have you along for the ride dannette1!


  4. jguch says:

    Thank you Julie for sharing your beautiful gift of words with all of us! I love how you capture our Patty and her incredible heart and soul as well as our shenanigans!! 😘💜😘


  5. Mama Betty says:

    Thank you so much, Julie, for capturing moments and feelings as Patty continues her fight. Her journey has certainly been enriched by her “Sixty Sixtahs”. As her mom, I am blessed to have you all by her side, love you all💕
    Hit DC hard, let them know you’re all there and why😘


    1. Don’t worry Mama B…we’re gonna make an impression, you can count on US! xoxo


  6. Marilyn B Phillips says:

    Safe travels as you all begin your next journey! Looking forward to your posts on all the shenanigans! Patty continues to amaze and inspire!


    1. She amazes us too, MArilyn! Thanks for joining us!


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