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.
Duluth Adds 2,200 Students: Move-In Day for UMD
The population in Duluth went up a couple of thousand on Thursday, as the freshman class at UMD moved into the dorms.
Incoming UWS Freshmen Carry the Comforts of Home
Incoming freshmen moved into their dorms at the University of Wisconsin Superior on Thursday. The new college students were carrying all of their belongings, including a lot of technology that hasn't always been so common on a college campus.
Getting Kids Ready to Go Back to School
Like it or not, the new school year is just around the corner. After three months of late nights, sleeping in, snacking, and tons of fun, transitioning back to the school year can be tough. Eyewitness News learned a few tips that can ease the change.
St. Paul Think Tank Releases Report on Minnesota School Spending
Minnesota 2020, a progressive St. Paul-based think tank, released a new report on Thursday. They gathered financial data from Minnesota schools from the previous 10 years, looking at spending in schools. They held a press conference on Thursday calling for a shift in focus from testing to "enriching courses."
Duluth-Superior Pride Weekend Kicks Off
The events will run from Thursday until Sunday with a fan favorite, Pride Festival in the Park, taking place on Saturday at Bayfront Festival Park. Many of these events and activities are free of charge and family friendly.