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.
1,000-foot Laker Freed After Being Stuck near Bayfront Park
A laker ran aground near Bayfront Park in Duluth. Right before 4 p.m., the 1,000-foot laker got stuck right near shore. The laker was finally freed, with the help of two tug boats, at around 7 p.m.
Judge Rejects Minn. Plan for Disability Reforms
A federal judge has rejected a state plan to reduce the segregation of people with disabilities, saying it was too vague and lacked measurable goals.
A Special Feat for a Very Special Athlete: Superior Man Earns Black Belt
Brandon Moe has been training in Karate Taekwondo since he was a little boy. Saturday, he went for his first degree black belt, a proud moment for his mother who said complications at his birth didn't guarantee he'd be here today.
"Walk a Mile in Our Shoes" Raises Money for Steps Center
We all know that getting enough exercise is an important factor in staying healthy, but on Saturday, the annual "Walk a Mile In Our Shoes" event also raised thousands of dollars for the Steps Center.
Winds Keep Hot Air Balloons Down... Again.
Kites and hot air balloons were in Bayfront Festival Park on Saturday, but unfortunately, that wind grounded the balloons for a second year in a row. They're hoping to try for another balloon launch on Sunday.