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 Dead in Rural Hermantown Home Fire
Authorities report a man's body was found after a fire in a home in northeastern Minnesota. The St. Louis County sheriff's office says volunteer firefighters were called to the blaze in Solway Township on Thursday. Heavy flames were visible through the roof of the one-story house.
State of Steel: Leaders Press Congress About Imports
Leaders from the steel industry testified on Thursday in front of the Congressional Steel Caucus. Their message was clear: We need help.
Douglas Co. Restaurant Inspection to be Published Online
Douglas County will make restaurant health inspections visible online to consumers beginning April 1st. The website will be accessible through a link on the county's home page, and it will not cost consumers a fee to view the details. All of the previous health inspections for the past 3 years will be available to look through.
Iditarod Crowds Run With the Reindeer in Annual Tradition
For the thousands of spectators waiting for the Iditarod start, there's no better way to kill time than to run with some reindeer.
Grand Rapids Man Charged After Allegedly Stabbing Brother
Authorities say a Grand Rapids man is facing a 2nd degree attempted murder charge after he allegedly stabbed a family member Wednesday morning.