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In Loving Memory
Patty Rae was an amazing person with a huge heart and a gentle spirit. She showed us what strength really looks like. It's not about muscle, it's about character, about grace and about compassion. It's about being hopeful in spite of hopeless surroundings and giving when you're most worthy of receiving. She taught us how to smile in the darkest of days and how to grateful amidst disappointments. The way she lived provides us the courage to face a life without her. She inspires us everyday to do better and to be better, to love deeply and to be kind above all else. So though life will never be the same we can look to her to guide our way.
The Rae of Hope memorial fund was established to help replace some of the goodness we lost on November 29, 2016.
Patty Rae was an inspiration to all who knew her.
In 1998 Patty Rae was diagnosed with breast cancer. She had a lumpectomy and some radiation and was in remission for many years. In 2008 some lumps in her back sent her back to the surgeon and unfortunately back to an oncologist. It was stage IV breast cancer that metastasized to her bones and her lungs. The diagnosis had us off to Sloan Kettering in NYC where they advised a hormone treatment therapy because her cancer was so highly estrogen-receptor-positive. She responded well to the treatment but had some painful side effects to her bones and her joints. The following years she was monitored and her treatment altered as needed. The cancer in her bones continued to slowly worsen with time, but the spots in her lungs were stable. Eventually the cancer ended up spreading to her liver and had us looking once again for an alternative to harsh chemotherapy. We found an excellent doctor at Cancer Treatment Centers in Chicago. He started her on another hormone treatment drug that she responded well to. She continued to work full-time and lived life to the fullest. If you didn't know she had cancer you would have never guessed. She never complained and had a positive and optimistic attitude. That attitude along with the right combination of medicine held the cancer at bay for a few years. In November 2014, everything changed. The doctors think that possibly the cancer medicine she was taking contributed to a severe case of shingles in her head, complicated by a secondary bacterial infection that blew her face up unrecognizably. She spent agonizing months in pain and 11 long and scary days in the hospital. The doctors, at first (and maybe still), weren't sure what was wrong with her. They hit her hard with broad spectrum antibiotics and an array of tests and tests and more tests. Honestly, we were unsure if she'd be coming home. She fought hard and made it back. When they finally released her, she was not well, only well enough to be managed at home with round-the-clock care and more meds than any one person should ever be in need of. Unfortunately, due to the infections and the possibility that the cancer meds contributed, she was without any cancer treatment for a few months. Couple that, with the stress her body went through to fight the infections and it's no wonder that the cancer had, as she put it, "stepped up to the plate."
Needless to say, she was not able to return to work. After 28 years at the same job, she couldn't even enjoy a retirement party. It's sad that cancer robbed that from her.
December 2014 was her last scan in the right direction. The cancer progressed and we had exhausted the chemo options. It along with some radiation was only making her more sick. We discovered Believe Big and their efforts to promote alternative cancer treatments like MistleToe therapy. In April of 2016, Patty Rae flew out to Colorado with her husband Ron. The people at the Namaste facility in Durango were wonderful. The trip definitely had it's share of ups and downs. She was not feeling very good by this point, so the trip alone was difficult. We believe the MistleToe did extend her life, however, it was not as successful as we had wished. She was already so weak and fragile from the effects of the chemo...Patty Rae died on November 29, 2016.