Introduction: DIY for the "Health" of It.

I am 74 years old and have had triple negative breast cancer. Was only given maybe 3 years to live. That was 16 years ago. Then 8 years ago, I had open heart surgery. I was born with only one coronary artery (you should have 4). I have been a DIYer for 50 some years and my doctor told me that it is because of my hard working ethics, my blood found a new route to my heart, otherwise I would have died in my twenties. I have always loved to redo a piece of junk and turn it into a treasure. I love to create and come up with the most unheard of ideas. It is my passion. I do my own carpentry, porcelain tile work, window coverings and my own landscaping. I am happy for every year I add to my age. Thanks Hometalk for this great outlet for my creativity.
t diy for the health of it
Great to get old.
  73 answers
  • Cori Widen Cori Widen on Jan 04, 2017
    Wow, Patty, this is so inspiring! Thank you so much for sharing; we are so happy that you're a part of this community :)

  • Tova Pearl Tova Pearl on Jan 04, 2017
    Wow - What an incredible, inspiring story! so nice to meet you!

  • Yaron Yaron on Jan 04, 2017
    Patty you are a remarkable person. Thanks for sharing your story and insights.

  • Sandra Crosbie Sandra Crosbie on Jan 05, 2017
    Wow!! You are one amazing lady. Well done and keep up the hard work, " it has worked for you so far " I applaud your strength. I hope 2017 will be a fantastic creative year for you. You are such an inspirational person.

  • Jpy11082745 Jpy11082745 on Jan 05, 2017
    You are a treasure yorself god bless you.

  • Lil11984871 Lil11984871 on Jan 05, 2017
     How inspiring

  • Hillela G. Hillela G. on Jan 05, 2017
    You're an inspiration to us all, thank you Patty!

  • Melissa V Melissa V on Jan 05, 2017
    Hey Patty, I have to say you look beautiful! I am also a Pink Ribbon member and I, too, have always found gardening, cooking, and now back to crafts and paints through Hometalk really helps keep the mind and body moving! Thanks for sharing your special story with us!

    • Patty S Patty S on Jan 05, 2017
      Thanks Melissa, Praise be to God that you too are a survivor.

  • Dl.5660408 Dl.5660408 on Jan 05, 2017
    Thanks for sharing your story, it's really an encouragement.

  • Heike C O'Day Heike C O'Day on Jan 05, 2017
    Sweet! Love it when doctor's prognosis' are wrong in this way! God is great!
    Thank you for sharing Patty!
    Greetings from Central Wisconsin!

  • Melissa V Melissa V on Jan 05, 2017
    Dear Patty, Yes, every day, as we face the next challenges put before us. 😊

  • Janie Janie on Jan 05, 2017
    Thanks so much for the share.

  • Congrats on your wonderful turn about with your health. Thank you so much for sharing. It gives inspiration to others.

  • Pat Pat on Jan 05, 2017
    Hi, Patty, I was thrilled with your post.....I thought I was the only "older person" on this site! My mother had breast cancer and later died of pancreatic cancer. I found a lump in my right breast several years after mother had her right breast removed. I went to her doctor for a biopsy and when the results came back the doctor sat me down for a discussion. It was almost funny, since I found that lump, I had been reading all I could find about the mind, body connection. Everything from Jesus' teaching to the Power of Positive Thinking with a little of Unity Church writings thrown in. When I sat down with the doctor, before he could say anything, I blurted out "I have a perfect body, there is no cancer in me, and I will never have cancer." This wise older Rangoon-trained doctor looked at me, (I felt SO silly) and calmly said, "yes, you are right, and very wise. You have no cancer." I was 38 then, and I'm now 78, and very involved with DIY projects and I'm just starting to write a book for older women. I lost everything when the Florida real estate crash occurred, along with two devastating hurricanes in a 3 week period. I now live in SW Virginia, and I am so delighted with this web site. Thank you again, Patty. My e-mail is, and I'd love to hear from you. Pat

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    • Nan5449037 Nan5449037 on Jan 06, 2017
      I'm a Unity person from 1970 to 2000 (when the wonderful ministers retired). It doesn't leave you though!

  • Danielle Odin Danielle Odin on Jan 05, 2017
    You deserve a Hip, HIP, HOORAY! You go girl. Have another great year.

  • B. Enne B. Enne on Jan 05, 2017
    S*U*P*E*R*W*O*M*A*N*!!!!!!!!!! πŸ‘Έ You are a definite role model and inspiration! You are proof that positivity is half the battle. Wishing you a happy, healthy and creative New Year!

  • Kathi Davis Kathi Davis on Jan 05, 2017
    Congratulations Patty on all you have come through..I'm 78,soon to be 79 in march,and i'm also a breast cancer survivor of 8 years,just had another 6 month check up yesterday,with good results.Thank You LORD !!

    I also stay busy ,and do crafting,sewing,quilting and gardening.This past spring dh and i re-did our back yard,removed all the grass that had died because of our water shortage (drought).We did all the work ourselves with the exception of hauling the rocks from the driveway to the backyard,and for that we hire a teenager .

    Our yard is posted on here at Hometalk somewhere.

    We just last month did a remodel on the main rooms of our house and while we didn't do all the work ourselves,we did do a lot of it,my son and gs helped with all of it,and we hired someone to come remove the popcorn from the ceilings,and sand down the walls after we scraped all the texture off.We did everything else,and i did ALL the shopping for the floors,paint,curtains etc.We started at the end of Oct.and finished at the end of Dec.
    Now i'm weeding out my sewing/craft/computer room and getting rid of lots of stuff.
    The secret to our lives is to keep moving,have a good attitude about life,and keep looking ahead.

  • Paula Hodges Paula Hodges on Jan 06, 2017
    over 10 years ago I was told I had ovarian cancer and about a year to "get my life in order". I decided then and there that medicine can only take you so far. I have a bundle of issues but continue to live each day to the best of my ability. I admit I have bad days. but I am still here and still doing some of what makes life good. God Bless cancer survivors.. God Bless us Everyone.

    • Patty S Patty S on Jan 06, 2017
      The biggest challenge in life is "Life". Faith, positive attitude and love prevail.

  • Lin15723318 Lin15723318 on Jan 06, 2017
    Dear Patti,
    Thank you for sharing, God Bless, and i wish you many more years of DIY

    Linda , Sevenoaks England

  • Lynne Lynne on Jan 06, 2017
    Hi Patty,
    You are an inspiration to us all. I am recovering from DCIS which was caught so early that surgery and radiation took care of it (so far). I didn't have to have chemo. I tell everyone to get their mammograms on a regular basis and I mean, I TELL EVERYONE! God's blessings on you. Thank you for sharing. I know it's hard.

  • Patty S Patty S on Jan 06, 2017
    God bless you Lynne. I had my mammograms on a regular bases, but it never showed my tumor because I had dense breast tissue. I knew I felt a lump, but it didn't show up until they did an ultra sound. My tumor was so large that they said it had been there for 8 years. It was triple negative. Some how even with that diagnosis, I am leading a wonderful life.
    I say, if you have no fat tissue in your breasts (which a mammogram can see through) then you have dense tissue, insist on an ultra sound.

  • Pat Pat on Jan 06, 2017
    Patty, it is SOO cold where you live!! Do you get to go somewhere warmer during the winter? I never thought about it that way before, but yes, the fight for life is our biggest conquest. And like you, I want to make each day productive in some way. Right now I live in Appalachia, but am hoping to move soon to a sunnier climate!

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    • Rebecca Rebecca on Jan 07, 2017
      Patty, one look at your picture and I could see you're one determined lady and now a true inspiration for me! I'm also a WI girl and amazed at our tenacity and "pluck" to ride out the winters here...or perhaps a little stubborn  I joined the Ovarian cancer group in July 2015 and am doing well, but I have to agree that days are better when you're experiencing that DIY "high" of creating or producing something. You've made my day much happier and richer. I'll be watching for new things from you with anticipation

  • Kathy Lovenburg Kathy Lovenburg on Jan 06, 2017
    W O W!! You really are a DIY die hard!! (Sorry for the bad pun 😜) You are amazing!!

  • Gaylyne Ayres Gaylyne Ayres on Jan 06, 2017
    You are beautiful inside and out!!!!

  • Linda29kay Linda29kay on Jan 07, 2017
    You have given me hope!! My husband had a thyroidectomy due to a rare form of cancer. It has metastisized to his lung. He is a positive person. Very busy and active. We have hope!! You will remain in my thoughts! Bless you!!

  • Patty S Patty S on Jan 07, 2017
    Blessings to you and your hubby. I will include him in my prayers.

  • Debbie Clay Debbie Clay on Jan 07, 2017
    You're a blessing!

  • Lynn Robinson Lynn Robinson on Jan 07, 2017
    Your testimony is sooooooo powerful & has inspired me to push to reclaim my life. I loved crafts, upholstery, repurposed stuff & even made my own outfits. My health took a wrong turn & blah... . Thank you for your story & God bless you in every area of your life!

  • Patty S Patty S on Jan 07, 2017
    Thank you Debbie.

  • Emmawilliams1 Emmawilliams1 on Jan 07, 2017
    Patti, I am 78 and no one can believe it...I too, am a cervical and uterine cancer survivor since 1981..I am thankful for each new day..I lost my husband 9 years ago, the love of my life, but like you, do so much of my own projects and repairs. Love it and don't have to depend on someone or wait..You also, look like a friend of mine from Paris, France. same hairdo and pretty smile and the jean and vest pic, did a double take. Let's just keep up our positive attitude and pass it on..God bless and unfortunately, I do not go to Wi....HAPPY NEW YEAR!

  • Ann Ann on Jan 07, 2017
    What a great photo and life story. Keep on going strong!

  • Rose Rose on Jan 07, 2017
    Beautiful and positive story.

  • Diane Diane on Jan 07, 2017
    i am also a BC survivor. Gods blessing to you!

  • Sharon Dietz Sharon Dietz on Jan 07, 2017
    Praising God's Grace that you are still with us. You are a beautiful person and I look forward to "seeing" your work. Continued blessings!

  • TinaLouise TinaLouise on Jan 07, 2017
    Patty, love your attitude!!! Keep up the spirit, you inspire us all!

  • Jac10482484 Jac10482484 on Jan 08, 2017
    God has blessed you with enthusiasm for life that He knew you would project to others. Work is an ethic that seems to have gone by the wayside, so glad you encourage to keep busy. You keep your spirits high! βœπŸ’—

  • Anna Anna on Jan 08, 2017
    WOW!! madam you look fabulous for your age and health issues. Whatever you are doing keep up the great job.

  • Patty S Patty S on Jan 08, 2017
    Thank you.

  • Kig3047281 Kig3047281 on Jan 08, 2017
    Wow.....your spirit shines so bright . Thanks for sharing!

  • Diane Diane on Jan 08, 2017
    8 yrs this April. Also ovarian survivor, that will be 13 yrs, April also.

  • Kathryn Freedman Kathryn Freedman on Jan 08, 2017
    Patty it is evident that you are as beautiful inside as you as outside. You are an inspiration to those of us that have received a diagnosis such as yours as well as an inspiration to folks as we mature to continue to be young, free and creative in Spirit. Thanks for sharing your DIY projects and I look forward to you sharing more. Smile everyday it permeates our bodies and minds and it is contagious.
    Kathryn from WA

    • Patty S Patty S on Jan 09, 2017
      Thank you Kathryn, I am always smiling, I lead a very happy life.

  • Charlotte Charlotte on Jan 08, 2017

  • Dpbeee2 Dpbeee2 on Jan 08, 2017
    May the good Lord bless you with many more years of happy DIYing!! From a fellow BC survivor and DIYer.

  • M. M. on Jan 08, 2017
    Miracles happen every day. How wonderful for you. May your energy continue and the creativity flow!

  • Deane Deane on Jan 09, 2017
    Wow, lady!! You are amazing & gorgeous!! I want to be like you!!

  • Lisa Coffey Lisa Coffey on Jan 09, 2017
    May your energy continue and the creativity flow!

  • Sandra Jones Flint Sandra Jones Flint on Jan 09, 2017
    God bless u my sister I am also a 13 yr survivoral Is BC to God be the glory I pray his protection over our lives everyday

    • Patty S Patty S on Jan 09, 2017
      Thank you dear one, so happy to have another sister of survival.

  • Peggy Peggy on Jan 09, 2017
    I was feeling a little blue today and then I found your post and instantly had to smile. You are so beautiful inside and out......thank You Peggy

  • J'sflowersalwaysdie J'sflowersalwaysdie on Jan 09, 2017
    Bless you, dear lady. Many continued years of good health, and ideas!!!

  • Deane Deane on Jan 09, 2017
    You're welcome!! I do a lot of DIY repairs for my kids & myself, if at all possible. I still love doing it myself, even at 67+ years old. Sure beats paying huge amounts for these so called professionals!!

  • Connie.cullivan Connie.cullivan on Jan 09, 2017
    You are an inspiration! I'm going to stretch myself further to do some more of the manual tasks you have accomplished. To say you are a model is an are as beautiful as any model and obviously, blessed with a beautiful soul as well.

  • Nan5844891 Nan5844891 on Jan 09, 2017
    What an inspiration you are. May 2017 be a very happy year for you and all you love.

  • Patty S Patty S on Jan 09, 2017
    Thank you

  • Patricia Patricia on Jan 09, 2017
    God Bless you sister, I know what you went through. I don't mean to one up you. At 74 I too was diagnosed with Triple Negative that's 5 years ago. Had a lumpectomy and three months of Chemo. I just got back from the Doctor an hour ago and I am Cancer free too. I also had Duadenal Cancer 10 years ago. Had the Whipple procedure done (disconnected the stomach, small intestines, gall bladder liver and pancreas. Then put everything back together) Later this year I will be Thyroid cancer free also after surgery and 3 months of X-ray treatments . I had DNA testing to see if there was any more cancer threats, all negative. I just want others to know that Cancer is not always a death threat. Catch it soon enough and you have a very good chance of making a good recovery. Be a good patient and it will pay off.

    • Patty S Patty S on Jan 10, 2017
      My hats off to you dear one. So glad you are with us today. I had a B-lateral mastectomy and my doctor says that it was the best I could do for myself, it saved my life.

  • Jeannie Carle Jeannie Carle on Jan 09, 2017
    God bless you, pretty lady - rock on!

  • Punxxi Punxxi on Jan 09, 2017
    Most ladies won't know what triple negative BC is unless they have it. As far as I know, it is the worst form of breast ca you can have. I had a convo with my doc 2 years ago, I had a lump so I went in, had a lumpectomy and the 1st gland removed. The doc says the good news is it is stage 1, the bad news is it is triple negative, so you have to have chemo before radiation. So far, so good!

  • Punxxi Punxxi on Jan 10, 2017
    And you as well!!!

  • Patricia Patricia on Jan 10, 2017
    Glad you are here too. I was lucky my lesion was so tiny. I had told everyone that if I needed a mastectomy it would be "so long Lefty". I always say they will have to take me kicking and screaming. I hope we can inspire others to not give up. With a family and friends who care so much, how could we do otherwise?

    • See 1 previous
    • Patricia Patricia on Jan 17, 2017
      Maybe we can meet someday and compare stories. I get to Mesa several times a year to visit my son and his family. I also spent time there at MD Anderson for my Thyroid cancer.

      Wanted to say you look great too.

  • Mike Williamson Mike Williamson on Jan 12, 2017
    All my best to you Patty. Continued good health to you. Where do I find your carpentry work? That's my hobby too. Mike

    • Patty S Patty S on Jan 12, 2017
      Look on my Hometalk page. Especially my post called "I am proud of my kitchen. I did all of the tile work and refacing of cabinetry myself.

  • Mike Williamson Mike Williamson on Jan 12, 2017
    I'll do that. Where do I find that post?

    • Patty S Patty S on Jan 12, 2017
      On the Hometalk sight. Go to Hometalk and enter "I am Proud of my Kitchen" were it says "Search DIY ideas here". Just scroll up on this post and you will see it.

  • Mike Williamson Mike Williamson on Jan 12, 2017
    Thank you!

  • Mike Williamson Mike Williamson on Jan 13, 2017
    I did check out your kitchen. Nice, very nice!

  • Donna Deal Ethridge Donna Deal Ethridge on Jan 13, 2017
    I'm happy for you

  • Sue Peet Sue Peet on Jan 16, 2017
    You are an amazing lady, to have experience what you have gone through and still keep going. Good for you!

    This country has so many creative people which can always make me smile. I'm so happy that I found this website so I can meet some of them.

    I need to get off my fanny this year and get going, so I can be around for many years to come. Have so many ideas in my head just need to stop thinking about them and start creating.

  • Patty S Patty S on Jan 17, 2017
    You go girl, there is so much satisfaction in doing it yourself.

  • Norma Moyer Norma Moyer on Jan 18, 2017
    I am also 74, had breast cancer 14 years ago, and just keep on going. I too do every kind of home project from laying floors to laying pavers around our new deck. The ability to just keep going plus a well developed sense of humor are the two vital elements to surviving anything. You are beautiful, strong and an inspiration. Your story made my day. My sincere best wishes and gratitude for sharing. Norma

    • Patty S Patty S on Jan 19, 2017
      A fellow survivor, congratulations!! Yes, a positive attitude and a sense of humor go a long way when you are faced with life threatening illnesses.

  • Mike Williamson Mike Williamson on Feb 19, 2017
    Hi Patty. How have you been?

  • Patty S Patty S on Feb 20, 2017
    I am great, thanks.

  • Candy Walsh Candy Walsh on Feb 21, 2017
    Patty~You are truly an amazing woman and such an inspiration to me! Looking at your beautiful picture and your glowing smile, I would've never guessed you'd conquered all of those battles, but I'm so glad you did! God obviously had and still has great plans for you! I haven't had quite the extent of what you've been thru, but I've been sick in a different way, I started 11 years ago with endometriosis and here 11 surgeries (one just 2 weeks ago) I am with 4 Autoimmune Diseases which of course all cause chronic pain. I had to go on disability retirement at a young age and found myself lost with nothing to do. After a few years I got interested in DIYing and have been doing it ever since~it's such a stress reliever for me and it makes me happy. I haven't been able to do anything since before Christmas and I'm itching to get back to it!
    There are so many wonderful and thoughtful people here on Hometalk~I get inspired daily.
    Thank you for sharing your story and I'm SO glad that everything has turned out well for you. I'll say a prayer for your continued health and happiness!

    • Patty S Patty S on Feb 23, 2017
      Thank you Candy. It is so amazing to belong to such a wonderful sight and meet others and share our experiences. I am praying for you to ease your pain. I am glad you found DIY to be your strong hold in the fight to be pain free.

  • Annie Doherty Annie Doherty on Feb 22, 2017
    Patty you are amazing and proof that Positive Mental Attitude, strength and belief in your self goes and long, long way. Also your refusal to accept the limitations imposed by your illness, keeping busy and focused with your many projects has kept you young at heart. Way to go and thank you and the other ladies who shared their journeys. It is never easy when you have a chronic illness. I found joining this site has helped me so much, with so many wonderful people and so much inspiration you cannot help to be inspired. Very best wishes Patty :)

    • Patty S Patty S on Feb 23, 2017
      Thank you Annie, it is people like you that keep me going.

  • Patty S Patty S on Feb 23, 2017
    Thank you for your kind words and I am saying a prayer for you as well. Sounds like you have your own world of health problems. I am amazed at the way "side affects" from medications continue to create even more pain. I too, have an autoimmune disease from my meds.. Amioderone has caused my autoimmune system to attack my mucus membranes, dry eye, etc. It is Sjogren's disease. The worst part is that it is damaging my eyes. Holes in m y retinae and calasing of my cornea. This may take my eyesight, but I keep on going on. I just want to continue my DIY happy world. I love the Hometalk people and have met many people like you and the way we inspire each other is what it is all about. I am glad you found a way to find happiness in DIY. Have you posted anything that you have done?

  • Candy Walsh Candy Walsh on Feb 23, 2017
    Thank you too Patty~and I feel blessed to belong to this awesome family of amazingly talented and kind people as well. All of the folks at Hometalk have always been so kind to me, I'm so happy to have found this site. I can't wait to start something new that I can post!
    Thank you so much for your prayers :)
    Hugs and blessings to you!

  • Mike Williamson Mike Williamson on May 27, 2017
    Hi Patty. We haven't talked for a while. How are you doing?