Saturday

July 17, 2009

A Day in Denver

Thursday I went to Denver for scans and appointments. I am so happy that I asked my mother-in-law Gaye to come with me. We had a wonderful time talking about everything under the sun on our flight out. I’m not sure waiting for me during all the scans was that fun, but she didn’t complain.

Thursday night we had dinner with Bill & Karen Frey. Bill is the poster child for Melanoma. He’s been fighting it for 9 years and he has the most positive attitude of anyone I’ve ever met.

This morning Gaye and I took a driving tour of Denver. She said I made her love Denver (I did take her to the Spicy Pickle—and that’s something to love), but that was before our meeting with Dr. Gonzales. I don’t know if it was a holiday at the Melanoma Clinic, but there was nobody there but Dr. Gonzales. He kindly reviewed the scans with me and although I should be used to it, I hate seeing the growth.

I actually had a soft tissue tumor in my back reduce in size, and the lymph nodes around my heart have remained stable, but the big stupid tumor in my lung grew 4 cm and it looks like it’s a huge mass connecting to my liver. Several spots in my liver are much bigger. So, I’m off the carbotaxill chemo and moving on. I think I wouldn’t be so grouchy about it if I hadn’t just lost all my hair for nothing. Ward says I didn’t lose it for nothing, maybe it slowed the growth—imagine how big it could’ve grown!

So, even though I qualify for the study at UCLA (unless they exclude me because of the thyroid cancer--we're still waiting on that), it has closed. They are opening it back up in three places, Denver, UCLA and Harvard. That’s great, but it won’t open for a couple of months. So I’m going to do another phase one study drug. Monday I will get more details and Wednesday I’ll be back in Denver.

I don’t know how somebody could deal with this without faith. I think that’s what keeps me going. I had three things happen this week (ironically all in restaurants!) that really made a difference to me.

While Gaye and I were at the Spicy Pickle a man about 40 approached me and said, “Good luck with your recovery.” I thanked him and he mentioned that his wife was in the rehab center because she had a sever brain abnormality. We talked for a couple of minutes, his softness and his care about me, a total stranger, showed me that there are plenty of people out there with things harder than I’m dealing with. I appreciated his courage to speak to me.

Second, Thursday night a lady approached me at Ruby Tuesdays. She said, “How are you doing with your treatment?” I told her I’d find out on Friday. She asked me my name and then said, “I will pray for you tonight.”

Today Ward and I had some important things to do in town (like get a new phone since I left mine in the rental car in Colorado and they don’t want to walk out and check the car). The girls were being so good, so we decided to take them to lunch. We chose Texas Roadhouse because my counts were up and I haven’t had bread in 8 weeks—I wanted one of their rolls. We ordered and ate and had a really good lunch. When the waitress approached to give us our bill she said, “An anonymous person has already paid for your meal. They said it’s their good deed for the day.” I was embarrassed because sometimes I feel like it’s so evident that we’re dealing with stuff, but so grateful that someone would think outside themselves and see another family trying to make things seem normal when they aren’t.

There are so many good things and good people in this world. There’s so much to be grateful for and so many opportunities to step outside ourselves to lift somebody else. I’m grateful for friends and strangers and a loving Father in Heaven who has let me experience these acts of goodness. It makes everything okay . . . and worth it.

13 comments:

Brodi Ashton said...

Thank goodness for the little tender mercies made possible through the kindness of strangers.

Josi said...

What neat people--I've never approached anyone like that, never even considered it. I would assume they would be embarassed, but maybe I need to get over myself. Inspiring stuff. Good luck with this next drug study. In our prayers, as always.

Di said...

Give me a call if you can. I miss you. I laughed so hard at your previous post about MaLeah jumping off the bike at full speed. You should read "Vera rides a bike" by Vera Rosenbaum. We love the Vera books. I love you, and I will talk to you soon.

K.Booth said...

Anne, You are incredible!! It is your light and beauty that draws people to you and makes them want to be better and do good deeds!! Let us know if you need help with the kids, the "treehouse" at my mom's is officially "unlocked"....*(that is until Tanner finds the key again) and we would love to have those cute girls over again.

Nathan said...

We have kept your name in the Taipei Taiwan temple for the last year. We just got home, and Evan has asked to play with Macady nonstop every day. I will be calling you! We have much to catch up on!

Sarah Buma said...

I love you.

Lasting Memories by Marjean said...

I loved loved loved seeing you and your sweet family yesterday. I wish I would have spent more time visiting with you and before I knew it you were gone. Thank you for your restaurant stories. I am always amazed at how kind some people are-those who reach beyond themselves to brighten your day. It makes me want to be a better servant of mankind. I love you Anne! You are an inspiration to me. Keep your chin up. We are praying that the first round trial will hold things up for the clinical trial in Denver to begin.

Sending much love and many prayers your way!

Marjean

Karla said...

I'm so glad that you were around some caring people. I don't get to see you any more but I still care and am so grateful for the updates. We love and miss you here!

njfroerer said...

Anne--I feel like I am the luckiest person to know you. I had a great time last week visiting and letting the kiddos play. Your posts are so inspiring. Are you ready for more bread or would you like some chocolate? I am ready whenever you are:) Love ya--Jamie

Scott and Kourt said...

What inspiring stories. I hope that I will be like that to others. You are wonderful We love you.

Ronda Hinrichsen said...

Sarah's comment was exactly what I thought when I read your post. We love you, Anne. Hang in there.

Andrea said...

This is your cousin, Andrea. I just want you to know how much I love you, and pray for you all the time. I am a quiet visitor to your blog and just felt compelled to shout out to you and let you know you're in my prayers.

Nikki said...

Anne, I am so thankful for you. I will have more courage to reach out to others because of what happened to you. Thank you for sharing your life with us. Thank you for letting us now how it feels to be in your situation. I love you Anne.