April 1, 2009

I tried to be “normal” today—whatever that is. I took MaLeah to preschool, then Maiya and I went to find me a dress (I’m in desperate need of a new one). We picked McCady up from school and then headed to Huntsville for kindergarten round-up for MaLeah. I spent some time at my friend’s beautiful new home, just enjoying the tour and talking with her.
I tried really hard not to think about yesterday and the truth about my cancer. Raggi or Dr. Ragini Kuchicara (sp?) was very straight forward. I’d been talking to the study coordinator I had been working with—and the new one she passed me off to. Raggi walked in and said, “Hi Anne. So, the Altor (the study drug) isn’t working. The good news is the brain MRI is clear—there’s no cancer in your brain. But, the tumors have grown considerably and they've spread to your liver.”
I don’t know what my mom was thinking at my side, but I was glad she’d insisted on coming. They took us into the room where they view the scans and showed me everything. And Dr. Gonzales came in to discuss the films. I still don’t know what I think. On one hand I just try remember my friend Bill. He’s had melanoma in his liver and lung and brain and every other imaginable location. He’s a fighter—and I want to be like him. I’m grateful to have him. On the other hand I don’t know how to grasp it. I just thought it would be more of the same—not spread etc.
Anyway, I feel very comfortable with Dr. Gonzales as my doctor. I told him about my migraines and told him my theory that I have migraines when my tumors are growing. (You know because my medical degree is so current and everything). He didn’t agree with me, and told me that he’d never heard anything like that before. So I don’t know why I have migraines all the time—my brain’s clear—thank goodness. They said that the extreme pain in my chest is most likely because the tumor in the right lung has grown so much and it’s right in the plura. The tumors around my heart have pretty much imbedded themselves around the aorta and the tumor they radiated in August is now looking like it’s growing. There are several spots on my liver and one bigger one to the side of my liver. For right now that’s all.
So I’ll be taking a chemo pill that will hopefully stabilize things—or hopefully freeze them. Dr. Gonzales said we needed to “buy time” until a certain treatment he knows about, but hasn’t been approved yet can be presented and then hopefully I can try that. He has other ideas, but for right now we're going to try to slow it down.
I don’t know a lot of things, but one thing I know for sure is that my trust is in my Heavenly Father. I know he’s in charge of things. I know he has a plan for me and that he loves me. I feel so grateful that he has blessed me with such beautiful daughters and a good husband. I feel his guidance and direction as I choose what I do with every minute of every day. I know that my Savior, Jesus Christ lives. I’m so grateful that he provided a way for me to live with Him and my Father in Heaven and my family forever. And I’m going to do everything I can to be a better person, and worthy enough to be with them. I am grateful for the inspiration of the Holy Ghost and the comfort he gives me through all of this mess.
Thanks for your thoughts and prayers. I’m so grateful for my support system. I love you all.


Jamica said...

I think I'm past the point where words could express how I feel... and tears don't ever seem to do much good, but currently that's all I've got and sometimes a good cry is really what you need. THANK YOU for sharing your testimony, Anne. You strengthen me with your faith in our Savior. Many, many of our family's thoughts and prayers belong to your family. And just remember what Bryan always says, "God doesn't care what doctors know." You are so strong! I love you!

Josi said...

You're one of the best, most guileless people I know, Anne, I don't know how you could be improved. Thank you for sharing your testimony, and your life. Keep fighting . . . I'm so sorry :-( It's not fair.

Ronda Hinrichsen said...

Thank you for letting us know. Thank you for everything you are. Thank you for bringing beauty to everything around you. We love you. We aren't giving up.

Brodi Ashton said...

Anne- You continue to inspire me with your courage, grace and dignity.

"The acceptance of the reality that we are in the Lord's hands is only a recognition that we have never really been anywhere else." -Neal Maxwell.

My family sought refuge in these words during my dad's trials.

Love, Brodi

p.s. "Someday, all you'll have to light the way will be a single ray of hope, and that will be enough." Kobi Yamada.

Holly said...

There is something cruel in this being April Fool's Day and yet there is no joke in your words. It's all real. And so hard to comprehend. But as I sit here, sobering as it is, I am overcome with gratitude for your strength and faith. We can't see the vision our Father in Heaven has for us, and so most of us muddle through, with our limited perspective asking why. But not you, Anne. You see His hand, and you take it, trusting fully, knowing He will lead you along. Because you are His. And His awareness and love for you and Ward and your sweet girls is eternal and binding.

My continued prayers...oh how I wish you could feel a hearfelt and long hug across the miles. I love you.

Holly said...

That is a beautiful quote by Neal A. Maxwell. Thanks for sharing it with us, Brodi.

Lasting Memories by Marjean said...

Oh My Sweet Anne,

I don't even know what to say! My heart is so full and I want you to know that I love you and I pray for you every single day. I also know that our Heavenly Father lives and loves us and that He has a plan for each of us. Thank you for your sweet testimony. I know that you are being given strength through the atonement of our Savior, Jesus Christ and I also know that you are a fighter. I wish I could make everything right-more than anything, I wish I could take cancer away from everyone I care about and even those I have never met, but for some reason, it's here and we get to deal with it the best we can. I love you! I hope to talk to you soon but I don't want to intrude on your family time right now. Keep your chin up (you always do).

Sending my love and many prayers!


John Petersen said...

Anne, I don't know what to write either. Just want you to know we love you and pray for you. You are the closest thing I know to a Christ like person. I'm not saying that just because of all this. I would have said that 10 years ago. I love you. John

Lois said...

Anne, You are such a strong person. I am so sorry you are having to go through all of this to teach us to be better each day. We love you and wonder about you every day. Thanks for sharing. Love, Aunt Lois Petersen

Karla said...

Anne, you are special. I pray all the time that you will be blessed with more time. I can't help but think what a blessing it is that you have such an amazing husband that will clean and babysit at the same time and that you have such wonderful neighbors. I know how well your girls play with Charlotte's girls and what an amazing thing that they are all so close in age. It is wonderful how Heavenly Father provides a way to survive our challenges. I am thankful you are still here and am grateful that you are sharing the joys and tears of the whole painful ordeal of dealing with cancer. Love ya!

Sarajane said...

You are an inspiration, thank you for sharing your joys, fears and thoughts with us. I am lucky to know you and have you as an example in my life. You are such an amazing wife, mother, friend and although I can't imagine what you must feel everyday I am motivated by your attitude towards life and the things that are important to you.
sending happy moments of joy your way.

Karla said...

I think you're an angel.Thank you for sharing your life, your love and testimony so willingly. You're a beautiful, strong person. I just want to be with you but I know your family time is so precious. You have a special place in my heart. I love you.

DC Roses said...

We love you and your family. Thank you for your testimony. What a good reminder for all of us.

-Paul & Rebecca Rose

Stephanie and Justin said...

Anne I just have to tell you that you are such and inspiration to me. Words cannot describe what you mean to me as a cousin. I don't know what to say to you right now. Our thoughts and prayers are always with you. I am so glad that I found your blog so that I can keep in touch with you. I love you!

Scott and Kourt said...

Anne-you are such an inspiration. Thank you for your beatiful testimony. I felt your strenght as I was reading. Scott and i love you very much. WE hope that Dr. Gonzales will be able to help you and that the treatment he is thinking about will be approved soon. We love you and thanks for being so wonderful.