Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Dear Lord,,,

Tom and I met with my doctor yesterday to get results of the latest CT scan.

The results were not good. Not good at all. The scan showed growth that obviously just occurred over the past couple of months so it is painfully apparent that the chemotherapy has stopped working. I've had 9 months of stability and hope - and for that I'm thankful. But I'm devastated that it's ended. Devastated really isn't a strong enough word, but I don't know anything that can really express the despair that went through me.

Thankfully we do have some hope. There is another clinical trial that my doctor wants to try. It should be available in September. In the meantime, we'll continue investigating other options across Canada and the U.S. I'll also be starting the i.v. vitamin C which I wasn't able to do since I was on the clinical trial. I'll be trying anything I can that will help build my immune system - and I'll probably become one of those people who'll try anything if they say it'll help!

And, in a weird way, I'm looking forward to being off chemo for a while. I've been doing chemotherapy for 15 months now with only a few small breaks. So, I'm looking forward to gaining some strength back and to gaining some weight back.

So all I can do now is pray and ask for your prayers. I have been crying a lot, but mostly, right now, I think I'm in denial and in some depression. I am also really unable to talk about it right now and perhaps just need a few days to deal with it.

I was just re-reading the post I wrote the last time we got bad news and the Bible verse I wrote down back then was from Psalm 23: "Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for You are with me." Then, on Monday night, Kurtis and I were reading from a devotional book that he has - it's geared for boys age 6-9. We're not overly diligent about doing it, but that night we read about "God's Awesome Care". The verse was "The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not be in want" (Psalm 23:1) with the comment, "I am one of God's sheep". The reading discussed a boy who was worried about his track meet the next day with the Mother replying that God is like a shepherd to us and wants to help us in all we do. The discussion then talked about what worries have and how we can allow God to be our shepherd and how we can allow God to help us when we are afraid or nervous. It's amazing how God speaks to us and gives us what we need, even when we don't overtly ask for it. This verse and this devotional was exactly what I needed to hear to remind me that God is ALWAYS nearby and is taking care of us. And right now, I am going to work on letting God lead me like a sheep who doesn't know where to go.

Dear Lord,
Only You know how terrified we are right now. The future is so scary. I know that, if worst comes to worst, I will be healed in heaven and I will see You face-to-face in your glory...but Lord, I need to be healed here on earth. Lord, you know how often I, along with many others, have prayed for complete physical healing. I pray for that again. God, I ask that you heal me physically, fully and completely. I also ask for peace for me, Tom, my Dad, my sister and my dear friends and family. Help us to trust you wherever you may lead us. I know that, whatever happens, you are using my life to your glory.
Amen

P.S. I also ask that you keep Marissa in your prayers. She is also facing some uncertainty with respect to test results.

36 comments:

Anonymous said...

Dear Annette, I read Psalm 57 the other day and it really spoke to me about God's sovereignty and power. Even though my enemies of discouragement, hopelessness and despair circle around me, God's love and power envelope me. Then I read your blog... It seemed like my feet-on-solid-ground feeling was transformed into a sailboat being tossed about on stormy waves. I was clinging to the main mast pole. My body, perpendicular to the waves was being thrashed about by the howling wind. Yet, I WAS clinging to the main pole, God's promises. I pray, Annette, that you too, will cling, if only by a fingernail, to God's promises. That He never will leave you or forsake you, that He is all powerful and that He holds you, and Tom, and Kurtis, and Ryan and your loved ones in the palm of His hand. Upholding you in prayer, Love, Alice
PS How a prairie girl got a sailboat analogy is beyond me!!

Clare said...

Oh Annette, my heart goes out to you and your family. I think about you all the time and I hope and pray that this turns around again. You have so much life left here. I'm glad you can find solace in prayer and I'll offer mine up for you as well. Love Clare

Mendelt said...

Hi Annette,

Sucks that we're in this particular boat together eh? Oh how I have become to dislike reuslts. I dislike the uncertainty of it all and for a person like me, who likes to know what's going to happen next, this is truly a challenge. I don't do well with surprises! :) You are in my prayers and I wish you success with the next clinical trial they will put you on. God can do more than we ask of Him. And please Lord, do that soon!
Love Marisa

Lisa said...

Hugs, so many of them Annette as my heart is heavy reading your post. Your strength is inspirational and I know you will continue to see God's graces in your everyday life and the messages he is sending you and your precious family.

We will continue to pray the next trial is the answer and look forward to hearing about your off-chemo adventures. ;) Also wanted to share a few more verses a friend of mine sent out recently after she kicked this beast.

Philippians 4:6-7. Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

Isaiah 58:8 Your light shall break forth like the morning, your healing shall spring forth speedily, and your righteousness shall go before you; the glory of the Lord shall be your rear guard.

God Bless....Lisa

Michelle said...

oh Annette, I don't even word adequate enough to say how sorry I am that you received this news. You've been through so much and I was really hoping/praying for some good news from your latest scan. I'm sorry to hear it instead showed some growth.
Please know you contine to be in my prayers.

Just a little bit of something extra said...

Oh Annette...I will keep you and your family in my thoughts.

(((((Hugs)))))))

luvmypeanut said...

Annette, you know that I love you like a sister (seems like Ryan and Alex are more like brothers than long distance aquaintences and we have never met) and I am praying for you and your family.

You have such and strength and resolve and I am drawing that from you now - when you should be leaning on me. I am adding you to my prayer chain, they are pretty powerful women if I do say so myself!

I am always here for you - no matter what you need please ask!

Mauzy said...

oh no Annette...a deep pain just went through my whole body.

I am calling you right now....love you,

Tara Marie said...

My dearest Annette.....

I am sitting here with tears in my eyes. I have been praying so hard that the chemo would work magic on your cancer. I am now going to pray that the new trials will be the key to this battle for you.

You are truly an amazing woman...so full of love and kindness.

When I made that long trip to Indiana, and people would look at my like I was crazy for driving so far for such a short time, I would say to them "You don't understand....I'm going to visit with my sisters". The closeness in friendship we developed because of our sweet little ones is one of the greatest gifts in my life. I look upon you, Kerri, Shannon and Jan [the friends who gathered that winter weekend as well as those who I have not met IRL as of yet] as sisters....as kindred souls.

I pray that your journey will find the cure.......that you feel well and are rested. I have faith in the vitamin C treatments....and I ask GOD to deliver to you the right treatment as you move in this new direction.

I love you so very much.

Nicole said...

Annette I can't wait to hug you and to be with you again. I am so sorry for this horrible news. You know you have our family's daily prayers. Much, much love to you and I'll see you tomorrow! HUGS HUGS HUGS

Shannon said...

I will be praying for you. God does give miraculous healings. I pray that He does make a miracle of you and your life. God bless you!

Kei said...

Annette, my eyes are filled with tears and my heart aches with your news. You are in my thoughts and prayers daily but tonight we shall say an extrra prayer. Love & hugs,
Kei & Family

Kris said...

Annette, While I am scared for you and the pit in my belly is huge and my heart is heavy, I have decided to look at this clinical study or new treatment that you will start in the near future as the possibility of more hope. I think a rest from chemo will feel good and I will think nothing other than the most positive thoughts for you.

I love you!
Kris

Laura Q said...

Annette, We will surely keep you and your precious family in our thoughts and prayers.

Miss Magic said...

Dear Annette, Tom, Ryan, and Kurtis,

I still here with no words -- only images -- of your beautiful family filled with love and joy. Of the gorgeous and confident woman and met wearing a flowing scarf, and her adoring husband.

Of boys in my imagination giggling as they ski down a hill for the first time, and my own little girl, sitting on Annette's lap and looking perfectly at home in the arms of a mother who simply understands.

I see a family filled with love that transcends time and space, and raise my own fist in anger at the cancer which dares to deny it.

I know that you will continue to rail against this disease, yet have faith in the love of your family-- knowing that it is not bound to this earth.

With love and strength, Carol

Betsy said...

Annette,

I am so sad to hear this news. I will pray with my entire heart and soul for your healing.

I don't know the circumstances, but I am so,so glad that Nic will be with you soon...she will bring you love directly from Him.

Tomorrow, Dakotah is going on a Retreat of 500 teenagers from all over Canada who gather to worship and pray. (see my blog)

I am going to be one of the people who do the 72 hour vigil during the time she is there...there are people praying continuously during that time.

I will add your name, and a little bit about you to the devotionals that the kids will be doing on Saturday night...so please know there will be 500 vibrant teens praying for you then.

All my love,

Betsy

Lisa Lily's mom said...

Annette - I have been thinking of you so much lately, actually was going to check out your blog last night, but my computer was running so slow.... I am sorry to hear of your latest news - I pray for you daily! And after reading the update on the T21 board tonight - me and God had a BIG talk! I can't begin to imagine all that you and Tom and your family are feeling right now - my heart is so heavy for you all. You have been such an amazing inspiration to me and meeting you in IRL was like a dream come true - I believe we will meet again! I just want you to know that I am on your side and praying and doing all I can.... Remember I am close to Karmanos and U of M - if I can be of any help in finding anything out about clinical trials - I am research goddess!!!!

Sending lots of hugs and love your way Annette - you and your family so deserve the world!

We love you!

Love,

Lisa and Lily

Paulette said...

wow Annette I am so sorry, I read your blog all the time. I didn't expect this today and I certainly know it must be a blow to you.
4 of my favorite blogs I visit they are all battling cancer, I cant believe how hard this is.
I do know that God is a God of Miracles and my prayer for you is for healing. I will pray for your family, and a peace for you.

AZ Chapmen said...

I hope you recover I 'll be thinking of you HUGS

Katrina said...

Annette, you will continue to be in our thoughts and prayers. I wish I had some words of wisdom for you but I don't think I can top any of the words our Heavenly Father has revealed to us in His Book. Many hugs to you, my friend.

Katrina

Amy & Emma said...

Annette, you have our love, support and prayers. Your fight against this terrible disease has been nothing short of heroic, and I have faith that you will beat it. The battle has been long and hard for you, but faith and love will carry you through until the war is won. We love you so much...

Amy & Emma

Anonymous said...

Annette,
As the sabbath comes in to the holy city of Jerusalem this evening, I will be thinking of you, Tom, Kurtis and Ryan and praying for a complete recovery for you. You are so wise and full of faith to place yourself into the hands of God. I am so sorry that you and your family are facing this difficult trial, but glad for you that you have such a huge community of support, and only wish that we could be there to offer our hugs and shoulders and chocolatey ice cream in person. Have a wonderful time with the gals this weekend; I'm sure that will be invaluable medicine.
Debbie, Binny's Mom

Christina said...

We will pray for you Annette

Anonymous said...

I'm a friend of a friend...and lifting you in prayer for courage, for strength, for love, and for laughter.

Joshua 1:9 ...Be strong and courageous. Do not be terrified; do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go."

mum2brady said...

Annette - I am so sorry that you got this news. I can't believe it :( You are in my thoughts and prayers, and I have faith and hope that the new clinical trial drugs will work for you. You are an amazing person and an amazing inspiration. My heart is heavy at thinking of all you've been through. Sending lots of love and prayers your way!

Anonymous said...

Annette,
My heart is heavy. I am so sorry you have to continue to deal with this beast. You are ALWAYS in my prayers! I will pray harder and more fervently for you!

Love,
Stephanie & Katie

Anonymous said...

Annette,
May God send his angels to watch over you and Tom, Kurtis and Ryan.

I'm sending you prayers and love

MLI Lisa M

Contact: Carey, lawrencetopekads@aol.com said...

You don't know me, but I was linked to your blog from someone on the Trisomy 21 board. May God bless you! I admire your strength, please know you are in my prayers.

Tina said...

Annette, I am sorry to hear about your news. We will continue to keep you in our thoughts and our hearts and pray that God will work in his wonderful ways.

Anonymous said...

Dear Annette,
We admire your strength and courage!! We will continue to keep you and your family in our thoughts and prayer!

Anonymous said...

All of you are definitely in our prayers...every day! We hope so much that either of these treatments helps you...your faith is truly inspiring and an everyday reminder of the Power of God...We are thinking of you! Jen & John

Anonymous said...

Dear Annette,

My heart is heavy with this news. I will be praying for healing and strength and courage for you. You are a strong person, mother, wife and friend! Much love and hugs!
Shawn

Anonymous said...

Annette

You and your family have been and will continue to be in our prayers.

Best wishes always and forever

Lyn VL said...

Dear Annette, Tom and boys,
You are always in our thoughts and prayers.

The prayer of a person living right with God is something powerful to be reckoned with.
~James 5:16

Anonymous said...

Annette, you are much loved and held in prayer by many.

LBF

Nicole said...

Annette, as your journey continues to show others what love of the Lord truly should look like, I am humbled to be your friend. You are so beautiful inside and out and I love you more than words can say.
I think of one of my favorite songs, by Casting Crowns.

Praise You in This Storm
words by Mark Hall/music by Mark Hall and Bernie Herms

I was sure by now,God, that You would have reached down
and wiped our tears away,
stepped in and saved the day.
But once again, I say amen
and it's still raining
as the thunder rolls
I barely hear You whisper through the rain,
"I'm with you"
and as Your mercy falls
I raise my hands and praise
the God who gives and takes away.

Chorus:
And I'll praise you in this storm
and I will lift my hands
for You are who You are
no matter where I am
and every tear I've cried
You hold in your hand
You never left my side
and though my heart is torn
I will praise You in this storm

I remember when I stumbled in the wind
You heard my cry to You
and raised me up again
my strength is almost gone how can I carry on
if I can't find You
and as the thunder rolls
I barely hear You whisper through the rain
"I'm with you"
and as Your mercy falls
I raise my hands and praise
the God who gives and takes away

Chorus

I lift my eyes unto the hills
where does my help come from?
My help comes from the Lord, the maker of heaven and earth
I lift my eyes unto the hills
where does my help come from?
My help comes from the Lord, the maker of heaven and earth

Chorus

You are truly making many reflect on life and on the Lord and for that reason I nominated you for the bloggers reflection award. You can get the photo from my blog to display, YOU of all people deserve this one.

I love you!