Saturday

August 15, 2009

Our last two weeks have definitely been filled with ups and downs. To realize the magnitude of our situation and then get past that and start doing something about it has taken every ounce of strength, mental and physical.

If I could get my blood to cooperate I think things might be a little easier. I just can't seem to get my counts up and that just drains me. The only thing that seems to be helping now is transfusion. Last week I spent the night in the hospital with Ward, who thought we'd make a date of it. He went to get us Schezuan Chicken from Maple Gardens. We thought we'd watch a movie since I was going to be there for 7-8 hours. We didn't count on how the pre-medication knocks me out. After I fell asleep Ward dozed off in the recliner. So much for a fun date, huh?

Dr. Gray has been working with me to get on a drug replacement program for the drug Avastin. Avastin has shown great promise in other cancers and is approved already for many different types--but not melanoma. Things didn't look so good for me to be accepted to the program, but this week because of a very understanding drug rep and a huge blessing from Heavenly Father I started the Avastin on Wednesday. (And hallelujah brother-- the side effects are nothing compared to what I've been on!)

Most of our time over the last two weeks has been spent wading through a ton of Alternative Medicine options. I say wading because it is so overwhelming. There is so much out there and much of it is literally wacko. I firmly believe that the mind has great power to heal. I also believe that if you believe in something enough it can heal you. We have investigated everything from Gurus waving medicine sticks to much more normal things like vitamins and herbs for healing. I've read until my brain wants to explode. We've talked to some very nice people and I've been very grateful for all the help offered. I've learned how helpful it can be, and I've also seen how expensive it can become. So, this is what we've decided.

I believe in modern medicine. So I am still letting Dr. Gray be a huge part of what I am doing. I am on Avastin. I am back on my diet, but not as strict as before (still no sugar and lots of whole foods). I am focusing on three areas of herbal supplements: Glyconutrients, Immunoboosters (I want to vomit every time I drink this stuff, but I'm still doing it) and AHCC (which is a very researched supplement derived from mushrooms. It has been widely used with cancer patients in Japan for over 30 years. There is a ton of research showing how beneficial it is--I am on board here). I'm also doing some detoxification and reflexology and I am looking into acupressure and acupuncture.

Most of all we're just getting on our knees and doing what we know really works. This week because of a loving friend, I was in contact with two very professional men--one works with clinical research at MD Anderson, the other is a Hematologist Oncologist at City of Hope in LA. Both of them did everything they could to help me find all options at their facilities. They both felt like I'd had very good care up to this point and both of them said that Avastin was probably an excellent option for me at this time. But they both also understand the reality of what we're facing.

I may be healed by herbs or Avastin or something else I haven't found yet. I have no doubt that if it is Heavenly Father's will, I will be healed. But even if I'm not, I have to admit that I feel at peace. The last month has been fraught with panic and frantic anguish, but now I feel differently. I trust Him. I look forward to asking WHY all of this had to happen. I'm not going to ask it now, because I know that He can see the whole picture and I know that whatever His will is, things will be okay. My girls will be okay because they have Ward. I know that Ward will be okay because he has them. And we all have each other--FOREVER--and that's what really matters.
I hope you all have a great few days.

19 comments:

Rip Curl Mom said...

Ann I am moved to tears every time I read your blog (maybe the prom one was the exception!) or think about you guys. I already love your little family so much and I am so grateful for the many lessons you have taught me. I know that we all have a part in this whole plan and I am so thankful for each day even when it is tough. I am thankful that Jamie and I are your visiting teachers and friends. You continue to be in my prayers. Much love, Kelly

njfroerer said...

Anne, thanks for being so amazing. You have no idea the impact you have made on my life. I am eternally grateful for you. I echo Kelly's words and I am so blessed to have you both in my life. Btw, we need to come and visit or go to the park. (PS--I knew we had a special bond because Mrs. Mike is my all time favorite book:)Thanks again for being you. You are are in our prayers.
Forever friends, Jamie

Becky said...

Anne, You are an inspiration to me and remind me of what is really important. We named our baby Ryleigh Anne. You are constantly in our prayers.
Love Becky
(jb-rhodesfamily.blogspot.com)

K.Booth said...

Anne, Its Kel, That is good news you got on Avastin and are trying some alternative options. Glad hear that the side effects are better. I have heard amazing things about AHCC. Thanks for the great attitude and for sharing it with all of us. If there is one thing I know for sure that is the power that comes from prayer. What a blessing it is to be able to fall to your knees and know that God is real.
Love ya!

Tyler and Kelli said...

Anne, You don't know me, and I hope you won't be bothered that I've been following your blog. In fact, I would like to tell you what an inspiration you are to me. I was just diagnosed with Hodgkin's Lymphoma. I found your blog just a few weeks before I was diagnosed, and I truly believe you are the MAIN reason I can stay as positive as I am. I know that you have made me a stronger person, and I am so glad that I found you at just the right time. You are welcome to read my blog too if you'd like. I'm sure my trials will most likely seem so minor compared with what you're faced with right now. I just wanted you to know how much you've made a difference to me. I think of you often and remember you and your beautiful family in my prayers. Love, Kelli
tylerandkelli.blogspot.com

Nikki said...

Anne, you are amazing. I think I say that in every post, but I mean it. You are such a fighter and I love it. Thanks for posting again about your health. I know it's not fun for you, but I've been wondering how things are going. Sounds like things are looking up. I'll continue to pray for you.

gnkharvey said...

Anne,
You have such strength. Thank you for posting even when it's hard. We pray for you. I'm so glad that Heavenly Father has blessed you with peace despite all that you are facing. I love you,

Kaylauna

P.S. I loved your prom post. It brought back all of the craziness of Morgan. I think I too only danced one dance at the prom. Thanks for summing up all of the traditions so well.

outoftheloop said...

We just read your latest update on your blog and cried. You are amazing. You have such a positive attitude. We love you and your family. We pray for you.

Love, Brandon and Jeralyn

Josi said...

Thanks for the update--I'm glad you've looked into so many options and will pray that they do their best work! Love ya,

Penny said...

Love you Anne! Thank you for being such a positive force in all our lives. Please know that we are praying for you - so much!

John Petersen said...

Love you!

Karla said...

Anne, my heart goes out to you. My heart aches with you and finds joy in the things you post that are amusing. You are such a great writer and I sure appreciate your posting and keeping us informed of what is going on. I am so happy you are at least at peace. I will continue to pray for blessings for you and I want you to know that Mic never forgets you in her prayers. She always asks for you to get better quickly in every prayer she says in this house.

Ronda Hinrichsen said...

Thanks for keeping us posted. I think about and pray for you every day. Take care! Love ya.

Amie said...

Anne, you handle things with courage and grace and I am blessed by your example. Wish I could give you a hug in person. We're praying and, like you, we believe in miracles.

diana said...

Dearest Anne, you are my hero...always so positive and full of grace and dignity even when faced with unimaginable trial. You are a perfect example of what it means to put your faith and trust in Heavenly Father. Miss and love you!

diana

Brodi Ashton said...

Hi Anne- thank you for the update. I am so glad you got on the drug you wanted, and I am glad you are researching other supplementary options as well.

Your writing is just gorgeous.

Sending you love.

Jennie said...

Anne, you are one of the best people I know. I so appreciate what you share on your blog. I admire your amazing perspective and strength. I am blessed to know you. You and your family are in our prayers.

Scott and Kourt said...

Anne- you are so amazing. I am grateful for the courage that you have. I am not sure if it is righteous to desire to know why. I have i would like to understand why with the big picture. I have not lost my testimony about it I just can't wait to see it someday. I am grateful that you were excepted into the test study. Ididn't realize that you have been ona strict diet, I know that has helped. thank you for your sweet testimony of faith. We love you

Eric said...

Admist all you are dealing with I am glad that you are able to have peace. It is so much harder to deal with trials when you are frantic. Peace is a wonderful blessing! Thank you for sharing your testimony that forever is what really matters. I am so glad you are able to have Dr's you trust and have the treatment you feel you need. I love you and continue to pray for you.