Updated: 04/24/2014 9:28 AM
Created: 04/22/2014 11:19 AM WDIO.com
Cancer, the 'c-word' with the power to stop you in your tracks. The journey is different for everyone, but the physical consequences can have devastating emotional ramifications.
"It is hard and I don't care how tough you are. It is hard," Pattie Thompson said.
Thompson has been in and out doctor's offices and surgeries since last fall fighting cancer. After a lumpectomy in November and a double mastectomy in January, she started chemotherapy this March.
"I'm on a 21-day cycle. And in that 21 days, you get one day, practically, that you feel good," she said.
Life has tested her before, and now she takes Eyewitness News along on her latest journey.
There is so much to think about when fighting cancer and when going through chemotherapy, hair loss is another big thing to add to that list.
"I don't have a lot of hair and it's a big deal," Thompson said. "It's a big deal for most women I think."
Lynn Aho is a wig specialist at La Peinado in Superior and a cancer survivor herself. She says women, in particular, struggle with the loss of hair during chemotherapy because it takes away a feeling of self.
"We don't realize it sometimes, but it's part of our identity," Aho said. "Half of your identity is gone and the emotions go with it."
Thompson could feel that loss of identity coming on before she even started chemo treatment. So, she took inspiration from a very familiar song, "Let It Go" from the Disney movie "Frozen."
"I'm sobbing through the whole thing watching and I'm thinking, there's so many meanings to this little song," Thompson said.
The meaning for her? To let go of what she can't control and take back what cancer strips away. The first step, shaving off her hair before the chemo takes it from her.
"So, I'm sitting there plotting. This is a life changing event. Alright, it must be a party."
By surrounding herself with family and friends Pattie is finding strength to kick cancer to the curb.
Join Pattie on her journey to let go, Tonight on Eyewitness News at Five.
Sheriff: Man Attacked Homeowner before Fatal Shooting
Koochiching County Sheriff Brian Jespersen says a son who shot and killed an intruder was defending himself and his mother, who had been attacked by the man.
Appeals Court Upholds 'Last Place' Injunctions
The Minnesota Court of Appeals has upheld the injunctions that shut down a Duluth head shop that openly sold synthetic drugs. In an opinion Monday, a three-judge appeals panel said a lower court's permanent injunctions against the Last Place on Earth were justified.
Search for Missing Hurley Man May Be Over
Ironwood officials said that the search for a missing Hurley man may be over after a vehicle was found submerged in 10 feet of water. The Public Safety Department posted to their Facebook page that the vehicle was found in Ironwood in the caves near Alfred Wright Boulevard.
Dunkin' Donuts to Open 7 Restaurants in Duluth Area
Seven Dunkin' Donuts restaurants are coming to the Duluth area, with the first location expected to open in spring of 2015. Rumors about Dunkin' Donuts coming to Duluth began to swirl last month when the company announced plans to return to Minnesota.
How Can Kids Avoid the Summer Brain Drain?
Kids this summer are swimming at the beach, playing in on the playground, and hanging out with friends among other things. However, after three months of fun, will they suffer from the summer brain drain?