The Day After the Service – from Mike – August 13, 2014

I had meant to post again after Anne passed away but I guess I needed to think about what to say. Sometimes telling too much is not good for anyone. Melody Ossello advised me just to say that she passed peacefully and without pain. Now after a few days and the visitation and service, I have better perspective.

Anne had made the decision to go to the Hospice facility. She told Debbie Youngman that she didn’t want me to remember her dying in our house and that I was her caregiver rather than husband. She was thinking of me at the end. The hardest part, which again brought a boatload of tears again this morning, was the morning just before the EMT’s came to take Anne to Hospice. She had told me “white”, which meant she wanted a pain pill. She was down to one or two word sentences at this point. I put the straw to her lips to drink some water with the pill and she didn’t even have the strength or ability to suck the water through the straw. I stood there for at least three minutes, encouraging her to get some water I didn’t want to break down in front of her but I did. I then took a wash cloth and wet it trying to get some water to her lips and tongue.

She got to Hospice around 11, and she was gone by 2:45. We were warned to contact friends who would want to see her before it was too late. She just slipped away without a sound, before any could arrive. She didn’t appear to be in any pain at the time. I guess most of us would hope to go the same way.

In addition to Debbie, our music/visitation minister Lee Young was also at Hospice at the time. She and I were discussing plans for the funeral service and Anne’s instructions. A couple of times Anne groaned or made a sound; I joked that she must be vetoing an idea. I was asked about how many family members to expect at the church and for a meal. I have a small family that is vasty scattered. I really did not expect anyone to come. Boy was I wrong. Family came from Raleigh, Charlotte, and Asheville NC; Blairsville and Atlanta, GA; Omaha; and Nashville, included a sister and her husband whom I had not seen in 18 years, and a brother in law who was recently diagnosed with terminal cancer. Several of my family members had never met each other. Long time friends traveled from KC, Charlotte and Dallas. I am blessed.

Our church and local friend families rallied around me and gave me unbelievable support. I have cried several times over this already, but former church members Chris & Carrie Barnette came back from Wilmington NC to sing in the choir. They said, “of course we would be here for you and Anne”, as if there was any question. I am blessed.

Visitation was long and tiring but it was also exhilarating. So many people came to pay their respect. Lee, Debi Jordan, and Sue Parrigin came to help arrange the various pictures and mementos of Anne’s life. A former co-worker of Anne’s came through the line sobbing. I don’t think he said a word. We hugged and he sobbed. Little Anne Ruth Moore brought a bouquet of flowers from her garden, and she sobbed in my arms. Old friends and co-workers, some of whom I hadn’t seen in years, came by. I am blessed.

The service was glorious. The choir with Holly Vaughn standing in the back singing “We Are Not Alone”, one of our all-time favorite hymns. The moments of remembrance. Dr. Jay’s sermon. Lee’s masterful coordination. She didn’t pull up the couch for a fireside chat but she pulled out all the stops. My brother Ted said it was as if the entire service was orchestrated, each segment of the program flowing into the next. Julie Pride’s piano playing, able to maintain composure while losing one of her best friends. Tears from the choir. The church committee that provided a quiet delicious meal for family and framily, and time for us to get together and remember Anne before planes had to be caught or the car gassed for a long trip home. I am blessed.

The morning after Anne died, I eventually opened the Bowling Green Daily News to look for the partial, incomplete obituary that would tell us that Anne died and more details would be forthcoming. What I found instead was a wonderful article that somehow was written within hours of her passing. I was bawling as the phone rang. I couldn’t understand who was calling; It was a brother in law in Raleigh, telling me they were coming. I was crying so hard he had to tell me again who he was. The reporter, Alyssa Harvey, was a friend of Anne’s and she wrote a wonderful tribute. For those outside of BG who have not seen it, simply google the following words and you will find it. At the bottom of the article is a link to an interview the newspaper did with Anne in March. They feature someone every week. Google something like: Bowling Green Daily News Anne Grubbs Legacy” or any part thereof and you will find the article. After finishing this post, I finally opened Tuesday’s newspaper, and of course, there was an editorial about Anne on the day of the memorial service. You can find it with the same google search.

Someone on here asked how to memorialize Anne. The BG Kiwanis Club has a scholarship fund; and also when Anne retired, her employer set up the Anne Grubbs Community Education Scholarship Fund at WKU. The address is College Heights Foundation, WKU, 1906 College Heights Blvd, Bowling Green, KY 42101-9977.

Thank you to everyone for reading this site and to those who have posted, and/or sent cards of support and sympathy. I will eventually read the posts on Facebook. Your love for Anne is so evident. We were blessed to know her..


By Chuck and Diana Neely — Aug 14, 2014 10:13am

The long lines at the Visitation, the filled church pews at the service, the articles in the paper and the long list of posts here all speak volumes of how Anne touched so many lives and how you are both loved by family and friends. Diana and I feel blessed to be part of your lives, to have so many happy memories of the times we shared with you both.
You are always – always – in our thoughts and prayers.

By Dawn Wesley — Aug 14, 2014 9:57am
The service sounds like it was absolutely beautiful. I am sorry I could not be there for it. Anne was a blessing to so many people! This reminds me of the passing of Ginny Miller a few years ago. I was fortunate to have been able to attend her funeral. Another great pillar in the community there in Bowling Green! Anne will be sorely missed. Her impact was great. Mike…I am so sorry for your loss. I will keep you in my prayers and thoughts.

By Voletta Havener — Aug 13, 2014 7:49pm
the Daily News did a great job. Everything at the funeral home was beautifully arranged.
Anne impacted so many lives in a lot of ways! She will be greatly missed! Prayers!

By Doug Wilcox — Aug 13, 2014 6:11pm
Mike, You and I have never met but Anne was one of my closest friends in our youth. I really appreciate you keeping us updated and the nice retelling of the service. After I reconnected with Anne on Facebook I got to know you through her. I am continuing to keep you in my prayers. God bless you and give you comfort and strength.

By Beth Bishop — Aug 13, 2014 5:54pm
Mike, I hope you are smiling through your tears from all the love and caring that your family and friends exhibit in their posts. I am so sorry I couldn’t be with you during this time, but know we will stay in touch with happiness in our hearts that Anne was a loving part of our lives. All my best to you. Beth

By Debbie Robb — Aug 13, 2014 2:36pm
Mike, it was a beautiful service and Art and I were blessed to be able to share in this time to memorialize Anne. It is always touching to hear stories of those you love, how much they meant to others and what an impact they may have had on their lives. She will continue to live on in our hearts, reminding us how to love others as she did. Keeping you in our prayers.
Debbie Robb (a.k.a. “Lorie”) 🙂

terry caturano

Last Online Aug 13, 2014 1:37pm
By terry caturano — Aug 13, 2014 1:37pm
Mike, thank you for sharing this. It is easy to see why Anne loved you so much! You filled her life with love! So glad you were surprised how many family and framily came from everywhere to cry with you and to remember and celebrate Anne.

By terry caturano — Aug 13, 2014 1:37pm

Mike, thank you for sharing this. It is easy to see why Anne loved you so much! You filled her life with love! So glad you were surprised how many family and framily came from everywhere to cry with you and to remember and celebrate Anne.

By beverly siegrist — Aug 13, 2014 12:05pm

Mike, Thank you so much for sharing. I share with your a poem that I like and I think Anne would also.

The Bustle in a House By Emily Dickinson
The Bustle in a House
The Morning after Death
Is solemnest of industries
Enacted opon Earth –
The Sweeping up the Heart
And putting Love away
We shall not want to use again
Until Eternity –

By Donna Workman — Aug 13, 2014 11:37am
Mike I am thankful that I knew you and Anne and so very glad that family and friends lifted you up and held on tight as you move into this phase of life….in my thoughts and prayers.

By judy whitson — Aug 13, 2014 11:22am
Mike, over the past few weeks, as Anne became unable to post and you took over, I have come to understand just why she got that sweet smile whenever your name was mentioned! My thanks for sharing with us when I know it had to be very difficult and painful for you. Now I know Anne is smiling at the support and love that friends and family are showing to her “Mike!” God be with you.

By Jessica Warren — Aug 13, 2014 11:12am
Mike, It was a beautiful service- a perfect mixture of laughter and tears and you could completely feel Anne’s love and influence in every part. I feel so blessed to have been one of Anne’s many friends and I will always cherish our lunches and chats. She was an amazing woman. Hugs and prayers continue to you…

By Linda McCray — Aug 13, 2014 10:25am
Mike thanks for generously sharing with us over these past weeks. Yes- we were all lucky to have known Anne! My prayers will continue for you in the coming weeks and months. God Bless you and keep you.

By Floyda Sullivan — Aug 13, 2014 10:06am
Mike thanks so much for sharing this. I cried all day of the Service because I could not be there to say my goodbyes. I needed to hear about the service so thank you for posting. I am so glad to hear that so many of your friends are taking care of you. Let them continue to love you and to look out for you. We all need friends like that. If I can ever do anything for you I would hope you would let me know. We have a bedroom in Florida for you anytime you would like to come down.

By Lucena Davis — Aug 13, 2014 9:56am
Thank you so much for your updates. As the previous others have said, it was a beautiful service. I was in the back of the church and was also going down memory lane. The memory that keeps repeating is when Anne asked me to pick up the coffee from Starbucks for the Stand for Children proclamation held at City Hall. Anne knew that I don’t like coffee or the smell of it, but because Anne asked, I of course picked it up. Well, Brent was with me and we had it in the back of my SUV, and guess what? Yes, it spilled over the back of my car! I had the smell of coffee in my car for weeks! When I arrived at City Hall and we brought the coffee in, Anne thanked me and I informed her of what had happened, and she started laughing, along with me, and then was apologizing. So that was our running joke for any proclamation that I was not picking up any coffee! As you know, Brent is at Camp Leguene in North Carolina, and he had been texting me daily asking how Anne was and wanting updates (so again, thank you for your updates). He was very upset when he learned of Anne’s passing, he actually stated “it was tough” when he was at duty that night. He wished that he could have been here to say good-bye, but he says that he will have an angel watching over him when he goes to combat. Anne was a very good friend and was always thinking of others. I was truly honored having her as a friend. Thank you for sharing Anne with us. I continue to say prayers for you.

By Barbara Mason — Aug 13, 2014 8:59am
Thanks for sharing. B

By Rhonda Bartley — Aug 13, 2014 8:48am
The service was wonderful, and at great tribute. I found myself mentally going down my own memory lane, as the heartfelt words from friends were spoken and read about their blessings of being counted as one of Anne’s circle of framily. Blessed we were to know her, to love her and to be loved by her. You are in my prayers and in my thoughts throughout the day. I know the coming days will be difficult for you, and I wish you peace and comfort. Love you.

By Jennifer Hicklin — Aug 13, 2014 8:37am
We are blessed to know you both. Shoot, now you’ve made me cry. Love you.

By Heather Phillips — last edited Aug 13, 2014 8:32am
Thank you for all the updates, Mike. I’m sure it isn’t easy for you to sit down and write them. They give us closure and more than that, they give us peace. Somehow knowing a little bit of the details is comforting to us. Your positive attitude and gratitude is so touching; I’m so glad you’ve had so much support and love. God bless.

By Jean Secrest — Aug 13, 2014 8:31am

Mike, I continue to pray for you throughout the day. I still cannot wrap my mind around the fact that she is no longer with us. I still cannot stop the tears when I think of her. God bless you Mike! We love Anne so much and will continue to miss her.

By Mary Scantland — Aug 13, 2014 8:25am
We were indeed! Prayers are still surrounding you, Mike, and your family and friends as well.

By Amy DeCesare — Aug 13, 2014 8:15am
It was a beautiful service for a beautiful person. Our thoughts and prayers remain with you Mike!
Jim and Amy

Thurs. Night Update from Mike – August 7, 2014

I just finished reading all of the posts to Anne since my Wed. update. Angela Mize (RNM) Williams Wright, and other spelling-Nazis, please ignore misspellings as I can not see through the tears that swelled and poured as I read your messages.

As of this evening Anne has made the decision to enter the local Hospice facility. I know she is doing this to help reduce the burden on me, not because she wants additional attention. I had talked her into staying at home longer, but realized that her level of medical care will be much greater there. So at her insistence, I made the call tonight. I expect she will be there sometime Friday. For those who do not live here, it is a beautiful relatively-new facility on the outskirts of town.

This afternoon, two young adults whom we have known since they were small children, stopped by to visit. Dominic Ossello and his sister Harmony Hendrick, spent time with Anne. Anne taught Harmony in kindergarten and Harmony now teaches fourth grade in the school where Anne last taught. Dominic has grown from a skinny little boy into a police captain. Each has a wonderful spouse and a beautiful little boy. I hadn’t paid attention as I wrote this, but the picture in the masthead of Anne’s page shows her with Harmony and her mother Melody, one of our bestest friends.

Thank you all for your kind thoughts and prayers. My father once said he didn’t know of anything on the Internet that would interest him. Well, this website in and of itself is enough to say that the Web is Wonderful, to be able to communicate and share positively with so many people. We so appreciate everything people have had to say and have done for us. I will never be able to repay you for your kindness; I feel so undeserving …all I can do is try to pay it forward. Mike.


By Terry and Carla — Aug 9, 2014 9:12am
Gods loving arms will carry you through this time. Words can’t express the sorrow but are hearts are filled with joy for the peace and end to suffering for Anne as she joins the chorus of angels in heaven. Her life, her love has touched us so, we are better for knowing her and we thank you for sharing her with us. Our prayers and love for you

By Harmony Hendrick — Aug 9, 2014 7:27am
Thank you so much for letting us visit. I loved every second of it and just wanted to freeze time forever. Please let us know if we can do anything. Love you very much!

By Voletta Havener — Aug 8, 2014 8:33pm
My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family thru this most difficult time. Ask God to carry you thru this time. She was a great lady who I loved talking to. She will be missed.

By Alecia Marcum — last edited Aug 8, 2014 7:49pm
Mike my heart is so heavy and the tears continue to flow down my face as I have learned about Anne . We loved her so much and my mind keeps playing all the wonderful times I had with her and what an honor it was to work with her the years that I did. She made such an impact on my life and I can see her beautiful smile right now as I type this and hear her laugh. I know you miss her so much and cannot even begin to imagine the heartache you are feeling. Please know how much we love you and love the wonderful memory we will cherish of Anne. Let us know if we can help you with anything.

By Melody Ossello — Aug 8, 2014 7:21pm
Beautiful post, Mike. I know the kids will always treasure the visit they had with you two yesterday. You both have meant more in their lives than you will ever know. The love and cherish you both and thank you for helping mold them into the wonderful adults, parents and friends that they are today. You are family to us and we will love you always. I do love the picture on Anne’s page. I will miss her forever!

By Dinah Isenberg — Aug 8, 2014 5:14pm
My heart is breaking for you Mike, I didn’t know you but I always could tell the deep love Anne has for you. Everyone’s life she touched loved her. Anne made a difference in this world she made it a better place. I know for sure angels exist because God just got a new one. I’m glad she’s not suffering anymore, just the people that’s left behind to miss her. Prayers for you.

By robyn minor — Aug 8, 2014 5:09pm
My thoughts and prayers are with you now Mike. Unfortunately many of us know what it is to lose a loved one to cancer, and we can all only pray and advocate that some day it is not nearly as many.

By Angela Wright — Aug 8, 2014 4:42pm
Mike. I just heard. I am so sorry.

By Angela Wright — Aug 8, 2014 4:01pm
Mike, I have been thinking about you and Anne all day. I woke up thinking about her–still thinking of you in her decision to go to The Hospice Center. I loved Anne’s mother–irascible ol’ Margaret– and so Anne is like a surrogate sister. I never spent much time with her but I know a lot about her and kept up with her. My heart breaks for her and for you. You have been a wonderful husband/partner. Love to you both.

By Connie Allen — Aug 8, 2014 3:33pm
Please tell Anne that I am overwhelmed to know that the legacy and love of our Natcher family has continued. God bless the wonderful Ossello family and their support for you both..

By Beth Bishop — Aug 8, 2014 3:05pm
Mike, I just came out of an all day meeting, and am sorry to hear of the transition happening so soon. Please give Annie my love, and I know you (and all Anne’s friends down there) are doing what is best for her. Give Sebastian and Lucy a big hug for me, and know you are all in my prayers and heart.

By Tonya Taylor — Aug 8, 2014 11:49am
What a lovely family the two of you have grown in our community. Thank you for letting me in on the fringes. Love to all.

By terry caturano — Aug 8, 2014 10:42am
My prayers are with you and Anne in this difficult decision. The posts from all your other friends express what is in my heart too.
Anne, I have admired you from the time I first got to know you at Community Education, and the better I got to know you, the more my admiration grew. Admiration became friendship and friendship became love. Anne, you have given so much to this community, to everyone who knows you, and to me. You have done everything you do in Christian sweetness, kindness and courage. I know you are very dear to the heart of our God, and that you are in His care. I thank God for Mike, your devoted husband and your incomparable friend. Love & prayers, Terry

By Lucena Davis — Aug 8, 2014 10:15am
Mike and Anne,
I read you latest update with tears in my eyes. My heart goes out to you, Mike. I know that Anne has made the right decision, and you are correct she will need more medical attention. Both of you have been in my prayers, and I even say small prayers throughout the day. You both are such special people, it has been an honor to become your friend.

By Floyda Sullivan — Aug 8, 2014 10:05am
Dear Mike and Anne….. oh how I wish I could be there for support and to hug my funny funny friend again. Mike you are such a jewel and a real blessing for Anne. On my next visit to the beach I will be having a celebration of life for my beach loving buddy. Wish you could join me. Love you both!!! XOXO to Anne.

By Karen Towell — Aug 8, 2014 10:00am
My prayers are with you.

By Jennifer Hicklin — Aug 8, 2014 9:39am
Love to you both.

By Debbie Robb — Aug 8, 2014 9:20am
MIke & Anne,
Harmony was one of Nate’s teachers at Natcher and he loved her. She and I have been texting on Facebook just this week when she saw his “first day of 10th grade” picture. She is a wonderful teacher and I’m sure Anne helped to instill some of those traits. 🙂

As heavy as our hearts are for what is coming next, I have to smile because heaven will be receiving one spunky and lovable angel. Praying for you both. Hugs and much love!

By Debi Wade Jordan — Aug 8, 2014 8:37am
What a gift it is to be so very, very loved by so many. Certainly you both are rich beyond measure in that category. I know our greatest wish is that there was something we could do to make a difference. Praying for peace.

By Mary Scantland — Aug 8, 2014 8:21am
Mike, based on my own experience, you will never meet nicer, kinder people than those at Hospice. It made the passing of my sister so much easier knowing what good care she received. May God grant you peace and comfort for Anne. I miss seeing her smiling face. Wrapping you in prayers and love!

By Linda McCray — Aug 8, 2014 8:19am
Mike I am sure this was a difficult decision for both of you. Your devotion for Anne and hers for you are what stands out for me and others! I continue to keep you both in my thoughts and prayers. I hope you and Anne can take some small comfort from the love and prayers that are being sent your way. So many people care, its an amazing tribute! May God surround you in his loving embrace.

By Mary Lou Kirby — Aug 8, 2014 7:59am
The Hospice house is a beautiful place, that offers compassionate support and care. I know how hard this must be for you, Mike and Anne. Prayers flow continuously for both of you. My heart is heavy but I offer praise to God for the blessings you both have given so many.

By robyn minor — Aug 8, 2014 7:32am
Mike and Anne know that you are in my thoughts and prayers and I hope you find the peace and comfort you need at this time.

By Rhonda Bartley — Aug 8, 2014 7:29am
Mike, I love you and Anne. Peace and God’s embracing love and grace to you, my friend. You know I am here for anything you need.

By Sonja Byrd — Aug 8, 2014 6:35am
Much love to you Mike, and Anne, and all her loved ones near and far. Peace to you all.

By Pat Scott — Aug 8, 2014 6:03am
Dear Mike, I know that this is a hard decision to accept. But Hospice will allow you to be just a loving husband and alleviate the stress of having to be a caretaker. My mother’s decision to go to Hospice was one of her last and best gifts she gave to her children and grandchildren. You and Anne are in our hearts and in our prayers…..Wishing God’s grace for both of you.

By myla thomas — Aug 8, 2014 4:41am
I know this is a difficult decision, but we all know what a wonderful place our local Hospice home is. It’s a blessing for the people there and their families. Ann is a wonderful woman, and we’ve all been blessed in one way or another for knowing her…Prayers for peace, comfort and understanding during this time. She’s gonna be an awesome angel…just hope everyone is good spellers in heaven!

By Meg Pennington — Aug 8, 2014 12:19am
Dearest Ladybug,
My heart is squeezing tears from my eyes…
You have been a vibrant beacon in my life…
Peace be upon you and Mike.
Seth sends smooches and squenches to Miss Anne..

By Alecia Marcum — Aug 7, 2014 11:20pm
Mike I am praying for Anne and please know how much I am thinking about her. I posted some pictures of Sarah from kindergarten graduation tonight on FB that I would have posted on here, but did not know if I could so put it on Facebook instead. I hope that Anne is able to see them and know how much she means to our family. I would love to see her, but in no way want to take away from her time with you and cause her more difficulty in breathing or pain. Please let her know that I am thinking about her and sending my love and prayers.

By patsy sloan — Aug 7, 2014 11:02pm
I’m reminded of a quote from Aeschylus:

He who learns must suffer. And even in our sleep pain that cannot forget falls drop by drop upon the heart, and in our own despair, against our will, comes wisdom to us by the awful grade of God

By B.Kaye Beckner — Aug 7, 2014 10:46pm
My heart is aching for you. My family has loved Anne for many years, since she loved on my little girl in the after school program at McNeill 20 years ago. I have enjoyed many community activities with her since. Prayers for you as she makes this final journey. God’s love surround you both.
Much love,

By Beth Schaeffer — Aug 7, 2014 10:35pm
Anne, you have touched sweet young minds and hearts for so very long. You are a mentor and an inspiration to me and have been of so very long. While I only know Mike through you, he and you (or you and he, grammar Nazi!) remind me what it means to marry your best friend and grow that relationship each and every day! Living the high life for one another, with one another, one blessed day at a time. Keeping you all in my thoughts and prayers! Love to you!!

By Sandy Stewart — Aug 7, 2014 10:32pm
Our continued prayers go with both of you. Praying for peace and comfort. Much love, Sandy

By Jean Secrest — Aug 7, 2014 10:18pm
Both of you continue to be in my thoughts and prayers! I pray for God’s loving merciful hands to be on both of you! God bless you both.

By Marta Woosley — Aug 7, 2014 10:10pm
The love you and Anne have for each other is abundant!! You show it your heartfelt posts to keep her friends and family updated. You are in my prayers as you go through these excruciating times. Love you both!!

By Betsy (Hirst) Sheppard — Aug 7, 2014 10:07pm
I knew if I had had more time to get to know Anne, she and I would have been good friends. She is a kindred spirit, I can tell. I have been very sad about this. I send all my best wishes and love to her and everyone around her. I am very glad that there is a good hospice here. Thank you so much for continuing to keep us posted. XOXOXOXO

By Miliska Knauft — Aug 7, 2014 10:06pm
Anne and Mike … Know that you both are in our hearts. Anything we can do, please let us know. The Lord is especially with you and will bring you peace and happiness.

Terry and Miliska

Wednesday Update from Mike – August 6, 2014

Well, as I fight the tears from reading posts on here, I am truly overwhelmed by the love that our friends have sent to Anne and me via this site, as well as other means such as cards, calls, flowers, food, and offers of support. We are truly blessed, just as all of us have been blessed to have orbited in Anne’s solar system. She is no longer reading so Debbie Youngman, Julie Pride and I have been reading posts to her from Caring Bridge and Facebook. I’m not sure she has heard everything but please know that your messages mean a lot to me as well. Somehow this group sharing seems to make all of us feel better?

It’s hard to believe how quickly things have changed here. The former Grammar Nazi now hardly has anything to say. I guess the effort of talking is just too much. She has eaten less in four days than I do in one meal. She is alert, can listen to us and TV, drifts in and out of sleep, but talking and eating take away from breathing. She mentioned tonight that she might have to go to the Hospice facility soon. We will see.

So many people have wanted to come see her or talk to her, but of course that takes her energy, so thank to all who have refrained; but also thanks to those who have come or called as well. Again, we are truly blessed. Your thoughts and prayers are all we need and expect.


By Doug Wilcox — Aug 7, 2014 9:37pm
Mike, Thanks so much for keeping us up to date. I have known Anne since grade school, and we all love her. But I know this must be unbearable for you. Please give our love and hugs to Anne. You both are in my prayers every day as you have been for a long time now. God bless.

By Beth Bishop — Aug 7, 2014 5:12pm
Anne, I’m leaving the office for the day, so no more computer. I mailed you some cartoons this morning, so hope they bring a smile and a soft chuckle. Yep, I said mailed…have to keep the Post Office in business, you know.
Love to you and your support team…you are all angels in my mind !! Beth

By terry caturano — Aug 7, 2014 10:27am
Mike, I am so sad to hear this news. I continue to pray for Anne and for you. May the strength and peace of the Lord be with you. With hope and love, Terry

By dawn raley — Aug 7, 2014 10:15am
Praying for you both! May God continue to give you the strength needed on this journey!

By Dawn Wesley — Aug 7, 2014 9:33am
My heart aches for you all. Certainly my many thoughts and prayers are with you as you continue on this difficult journey.

By Connie Allen — Aug 7, 2014 9:32am
May you find comfort in the love which surrounds you both.

By Barbara DeFebbo — Aug 7, 2014 9:26am
As stated earlier, the old man and I continue to pray daily for you both. You both have been bright stars in this world of ours. bd

By Lucena Davis — Aug 7, 2014 9:15am
Words cannot express the love and appreciation I have so Anne. Just know that I have her and Mike in my prayers. God’s loving and gracious arms are around you both. Love you both.

By Debi Wade Jordan — Aug 7, 2014 9:10am
Love you both. So glad Debbie was able to come. That has been a gift for her as well as for you all.

By Mary Scantland — Aug 7, 2014 8:40am
Wrapping both of you in prayer each day! May God’s peace envelop you both!

By Mary Lou Kirby — Aug 7, 2014 8:35am
Mike and Anne, lifting you up in prayer each and every day. Amazing what an impact you have made on so many. A life so well lived!! May you be enveloped in peace and love, Anne. And may the love and support of so many ease your pain, Mike. As you know, God is good and God’s love is surrounding you at all times. Thank you for allowing us to be with you in spirit at this time. Much love, Mary Lou

By Chuck and Diana Neely — Aug 7, 2014 8:35am
Anne and Mike;
We can’t be there in person but we are always there in spirit. You are always in our thoughts and prayers.
We love you both,

By Linda Leigh — Aug 7, 2014 8:25am
Anne….I still have my oven grate grabber that you painted and crafted so many years ago and I cherish it. Lifting you and Mike up in prayer each and every day and sending our love. Tim and Linda

By Karen Beck — Aug 7, 2014 8:24am
Prayers for you and Anne. I know how much my Dad loved her and he would wish her well also. Keep the faith.
Karen Bishop Beck

By Miliska Knauft — Aug 7, 2014 7:54am
Mike thanks for the update! Anne and Mike … We have you both in our prayers! Thinking of you all the time!

Terry and Miliska

By anne lewis — Aug 7, 2014 7:13am
Love to you both frOm an old Martinsville friend. Thinking of you and holding you close in prayer. Anne

By Tonya Taylor — Aug 7, 2014 6:33am
What a strong group of loving people! My love and prayers are with you all. Thank you for sharing Anne with us for so long.

By myla thomas — Aug 7, 2014 4:43am
You all know how special Anne is, I don’t need to tell you that..but knowing that Julie Pride is there with her makes me happy. Two very special ladies, sharing this time together…prayers continue for strength, comfort and peace.

By judy whitson — Aug 7, 2014 2:12am
Anne and Mike, I continue to pray for strength and the comfort that only God can give in these days. As I write, I check my punctuation, spelling, and grammar-just another of the many ways Anne has touched my life. Love and peace to you.

By Alecia Marcum — Aug 6, 2014 11:42pm
Thank you Mike for keeping us up to date as you can on Anne. You are in my thoughts and prayers. Anne has made such an impact on my life in so many ways. We started to work the same day and she was Sarah’s first kindergarten teacher. It is no mystery why Sarah is a kindergarten teacher today. She had a great beginning. Fabulous teacher and friend. My gingerbread trees in my dining room was inspired by Anne as she first created my love for gingerbread when she got everyone excited with her gingerbread hunt in school. Please tell her how much she has inspired me and helped me to believe in myself. I Love you my sweet friend. You are a Wonderful friend with a smile that brightens the room.

By Karen Hume — Aug 6, 2014 10:54pm
I feel very blessed to have you both as friends. You both are such strong and faithful people that share so much of yourselves and your love. I pray that that love and strength carries you through once again. You are in my thoughts and prayers.

By Floyda Sullivan — Aug 6, 2014 10:38pm
Mike… this is the hardest thing you will ever go through. It is never easy to watch. Thanks for letting us share in loving Anne. We all feel so helpless and wish there was something we could do for you as well as Anne. I pray for peace and strength for you both.

By Jane Cannon — Aug 6, 2014 10:34pm
Thanks for your updates Mike. You and Anne continue to be in our prayers

By LeAnn Yarbrough — Aug 6, 2014 10:22pm
Thanks Anne for being so caring. You made my days at Community Ed. fun and enjoyable. Thanks for always remembering my birthday. You always made me feel special. Praying for you both. Love always, LeAnn (Hollywood)

By Rachel Bryson — Aug 6, 2014 10:06pm
Mike and Anne you are in my thoughts and prayers. Hugs, love you guys!

By andee rudloff — Aug 6, 2014 10:01pm
Love to you all…I miss Anne on AM Kentucky and Midday…her leadership at Stand for Children, her wit…oh she always has such wisdom. Although she may be quiet, I’m sure she is planning her peace. Please let me or my family know if there is anything we can do. You will be in our thoughts and prayers.

By Jean Secrest — Aug 6, 2014 9:53pm
Praying for both of you! Love coming to both of you!

By Lisa Ryan — Aug 6, 2014 9:38pm
Praying for peace for you and Anne. Love you both.

By Linda McCray — Aug 6, 2014 9:29pm
I am praying for Anne’s comfort and an absence of suffering. She is an amazing person who is loved by so many! Blessings to you Mike- you have always been her ” knight in shining armor”! That’s what she told me many years ago. Still true!

By John & Lynne Peters — Aug 6, 2014 9:23pm
Thank you for the update. Our prayers are with you both.

By patsy sloan — Aug 6, 2014 9:21pm
I pray that Anne is aware of how much she is loved & admired – she is truly our “Hometown Hero!”

By Leslie Lloyd — Aug 6, 2014 9:18pm
Prayers for you both…..She is such a dear person and you have been a blessing in her life…..

By Debbie Underwood — Aug 6, 2014 9:09pm
Sending Love And Prayers to both of you! So very sorry Anne has gotten to this point. It is never easy, but always know so many people are praying for both of you! Love and Prayers 💓💓💓

By MaryLou Davis — Aug 6, 2014 9:00pm
Mike, try playing some soft, soothing classical/hymns for her. I know personally that this this is relaxing and helps sooth the mind and spirit and will aid you both in her journey. I am so glad we found each other again on Facebook after so many years and loved reading her posts. Tell her that I lover her and thank her for blessing my life. God bless you all.

By Janet Grider — Aug 6, 2014 8:50pm
Thinking of you both!!

By Jessica Warren — Aug 6, 2014 8:49pm
Prayers, lots of prayers and love coming to you both…

By Angela Wright — Aug 6, 2014 8:48pm
My heart drops every time I see an update. I am so sad about my fellow Grammar Nazi. Thank you for keeping us informed, Mike. Love to you both. Continued prayers going up.

By Cheryl Allen — Aug 6, 2014 8:47pm
Can’t find the words, but feel so much-love to you both

By Karen Helms Manley — Aug 6, 2014 8:33pm
Love to you both!

By Heather Phillips — Aug 6, 2014 8:30pm
Anne and Mike, Debbie and Julie, thank you from the bottom of our hearts for sharing your journey with all of us. Just as our messages and your sharing makes you feel better, keeping up with you all I think makes us feel better too–or at least CLOSER to you, like maybe we are walking behind you along your journey. You remain in our thoughts and prayers. We are praying so very hard. Anne is truly one-of-a-kind and has touched the lives of so many and improved our community so much. God bless you.

By Liz Kane — Aug 6, 2014 8:28pm
I am a friend of Anne’s from elementary and high school. In the past few years we have reconnected thru Facebook. From reading her posts,etc I can tell that Anne is truly an amazing woman. I don’t know you but can tell from what I’ve read that you are an amazing man. Just as you are lucky to have had Anne in your life, Anne is lucky to have had you in her life. Both of you are in my prayers.

Update from Mike – August 4, 2014

Well, since Mike is updating this, it probably means bad news. I’ll save you what’s gone on since mid-July, but Anne’s downward spiral sped up. She is now pretty much confined to bed and at times struggles for breath. It was a major effort to get to the doctor’s office last time (7/25). After trying four different types of chemo since Nov., Anne decided to stop treatments. It is clear that nothing was working. We signed up for Hospice services last week. Our friend Debbie is visiting from VA for a week. Two of Anne’s longest time friends (I didn’t call them OLDEST, one is my age), Peg in Charlotte and Beth in Baltimore, called, wanting to come visit even if for a couple of hours. It was heartbreaking to tell them that Anne doesn’t want them to see her this way, and the stress of them making expensive trips for a couple of hours didn’t seem beneficial to anyone. Talking and eating take away from breathing.

What can you do? Just what you have been doing. Praying ….although now it is to help ease her suffering and to help me accept what will come; and to send her messages either on here or by mail (1244 Park St, Bowling Green, KY 42101). She has not been on the laptop in a few days but I will read her the messages. Talking wears her out so I hate to discourage visits and phone calls. If you do call please keep the conversation short or you plan on doing most of the talking. Mornings are not good for her. She is more alert/active afternoons and evenings.

I am working part-time at the moment; very fortunate that my boss and staff have been very understanding and accommodating. Anne can be left alone at times but I know that will change. I have been making sure to plan to come home by 3:30 in case we do have anyone wanting to visit.

Please keep in your prayers other family members of ours who are also facing difficulties. My stepmother’s niece, Sandra Snyder and her family on the loss of her husband, Dan, to Parkinson’s. My brother in law Bill Bayley, who lost his parents and wife in the last 2 years and now has terminal cancer. And my brother Dennis, who is having surgery due to cancer.


By Diane Turk — Aug 8, 2014 8:49am
I’m so sorry. I’m praying for you all. Tell Anne that I miss her and love her. Just lost my sister Christmas Day. I pray that she has peace and no pain and that God gives you strength.

By Staci Simpson — Aug 6, 2014 9:14pm
Prayers from me for both Anne and Mike. One of the best things about joining Kiwanis was getting to know you. You are such a great person in everyway. I pray that God will provide peace and strength for you and Mike. Love and prayers to you!

By Jane Grabruck — Aug 6, 2014 8:34pm
Anne and Mike, I am so glad we got to talk a little last week. I pray for you every day. Cancer sucks
as we know. I love you.

By Andrea Dennis — Aug 6, 2014 7:39pm
Love and prayers to you both. I hope you know what an inspiration you have been to me and countless others

By Karen Holland — Aug 6, 2014 5:25pm
Shirley forwarded your email to me, Anne. Typical you to start off calling yourself a coward. That description could not be further from the truth. You and Mike are two of the strongest, bravest, most inspirational people that I have ever met. You’re both a living example of faith in our God. How else could you show such grace in your suffering. You have touched so many and you are loved by so many. Prayers and love. Karen

By Beth Bishop — Aug 6, 2014 5:02pm
Dearest Anne, just popping in to say hello, and Hi to Pat and Mike also. I’m with you in spirit and with loving thoughts and prayers. And like you asked, with a joke or two:
What do you call a chicken crossing the road? Poultry in motion!!
What do you call a short fortune-teller who has escaped from prison? A small medium at large!
A rubber band pistol was confiscated from algebra class… was a weapon of math disruption.
Love to you all, and God Bless! Beth

By Denise Houchins — last edited Aug 6, 2014 11:50am
Mike I am tears after reading this. Please tell Anne that I love her and am praying for her. Hugs and prayers to you, too. My favorite time with Anne will always be stepping out of Capitol Arts Theatre and gasping and pointing for Martina McBride’s When God Fearing Women Get the Blues. Anne, we are immortalized on film! : )

By myla thomas — Aug 6, 2014 11:25am
To the fun loving and crazy Virginian…from the equally will and crazy Alabama girl. Much love an prayers for you, I’m not sure if you know how many lives you’ve touched over the years. To this day; we all have an “Anne” story to share, and it always makes me smile. You always could bring a smile to me…thanks for doing that!

By Dinah Isenberg — Aug 5, 2014 7:48pm
Anne was the best kindergarten teacher my son Josh Hines could have ask for, she has stayed in touch all his life he is 32 now. God bless you for being there and making a difference in so many children’s lives, we love you!

By Jim DeCesare — last edited Aug 5, 2014 5:57pm
Hi Anne and Mike! Anne, you’re in our thoughts and prayers. We Love You Both!!! Here’s a blast from the past and my favorite country music video. Lovin’ the Church lady in the yellow dress!

By keri gies davidson — Aug 5, 2014 5:45pm
May you find peace and comfort in your memories and love. I remember Anne’s outrageous Halloween and Spelling Bee outfits. Prayers to you both.

By Cathy, Alan, Jane Embry and Chris Palmer — Aug 5, 2014 3:45pm
Prayers from all the Palmer family. Anne has shown all of us that one person’s love for a community can change lives every day. May she feel that love pouring back her way each day. Please know that we, like so many others, are lifting your entire family up in prayer and are ready at a moment’s notice to provide any help we can.

By Pam Eisert — Aug 5, 2014 3:33pm
Prayers are continuing to be said for for you both Anne and Mike and your family. Please tell Anne that she has always been such an inspiration to me. The kindness and love that she shows to everyone she meets is a true gift from God that we all should aspire too. (so hope I got that right, I know what a grammar nazi Anne is. Lol). My heart is breaking for you both. I know you both have dozens of people who are willing to jump in and help at any given time, but please know that Glenn and I part those folks as well! Love you much, Pam

By Patty de Rohan — Aug 5, 2014 12:49pm
Dearest Anne and Mike, we love you both and you are constantly in our thoughts and prayers. Anne, you are my oldest friend – I am sure we were playing together even before Peg was born when we were toddlers. You, Margaret and Mike have always been family to us. Oakdale Street bonds are strong ones. Margaret was a second mother to us, and that makes you a sister too. Please know that you have always been dearly loved by the Price family and are one of us. Much love, Patty

By Elaine Smith — Aug 5, 2014 11:31am
Prayers are continuing to be said for Anne and Mike and your family. Please tell Anne that I love her and that she has been such an inspiration to me. My heart is breaking for you both. If y’all need anything at all, please do not hesitate to ask.

By Terry and Carla — last edited Aug 5, 2014 11:10am
Anne and Mike,
Our prayer is that you feel the love of God from so many who care deeply for you both. As you know already… He is always with you and provides the strength and understanding during life’s journey. Trust in him and know you are loved and so dear to us and many others. May God’s peace fill your hearts, mind and body is our prayer.

By Jane Cannon — Aug 5, 2014 8:26am
Mike. You and Anne are in our thoughts and prayers. I do think of youall often. I’m sure you know that you can call on any of your church family and we will be there to help in any way that we can. Love you both. Jane

By Jessica McCray Dorris — last edited Aug 5, 2014 8:12am
Hi Mrs. Grubbs (After all these years it still seems a little unnatural calling my Kindergarten teacher by her first name),

I am probably going to mirror a lot of what people have already said but you are truly an inspiration to our community. You are a strong woman that has touched the lives of many. I speak from experience. You are in my thoughts and prayers. I’m sending you good thoughts.

Jessica (McCray) Dorris

By beverly siegrist — Aug 5, 2014 8:01am
Dearest Anne, I lift you and Mike up in my prayers. You are my forever example of grace and strength.

By Debbie Hills — Aug 5, 2014 7:56am
I will be praying for you both and asking God to shower you with comfort, peace and grace. Love and caring thoughts to you both.

By Cheryl Allen — Aug 5, 2014 7:29am
Mike, thank you for sharing. I know it wasn’t easy to write this-just like the long years haven’t been easy. You and Anne are loved by so many people. Share our love with each other and know that our prayers will certainly continue! Take care!

By Jennifer Bryant — Aug 4, 2014 10:53pm
Thinking of you Anne and your sweet, sweet spirit. Praying for you and your loved ones.

By Jacqueline Seaton — Aug 4, 2014 9:51pm
Mine and Greg’s prayers are with you both.

By Voletta Havener — Aug 4, 2014 9:16pm
Dear Anne & Mike: My prayers are with you thru this difficult time. May God Bless you both.
Anne thanks for all you did for me at Comm. Ed. you kept me in line!! LOL!!
Love, (((Hugs))), & Prayers to you and your family

By Margaret Weeks — Aug 4, 2014 8:24pm
Hi, Anne and Mike. We are praying for peace & comfort for you both. Love, Peg & Chuck

By patsy sloan — Aug 4, 2014 8:16pm
Loving thoughts & prayers for both of you. May God’s grace envelop you as you enter the next phase of your journey.

By Linda McCray — Aug 4, 2014 7:30pm
My prayers and healing thoughts go out to you both, Anne and Mike. Anne has been and continues to be a friend and inspiration to so many! I have said this to you before Anne and it bears repeating – I could not have picked a better kindergarden teacher for our Jessica if I had ordered out of a catalog! Your love , caring and patience with all your students gave such comfort and ease to their progress in school and life.I am forever grateful to you Anne
I pray for your comfort and send you my admiration and affection always. I also pray for Mike as this journey continues. May Gods grace and love surround you both.

By Melody Ossello — Aug 4, 2014 6:17pm
Sending prayers and love to you both! You have been one of life’s greatest blessings for my whole family. Thankful for you and love you both so much!

By Troy Warren — Aug 4, 2014 6:13pm
Prayers and Love for you and Mike.

By B.Kaye Beckner — Aug 4, 2014 5:59pm
My prayers for you both continue, that God will give you peace and comfort and joy in your days. Please know that you have been faithful witnesses to the goodness and love of The Lord through your struggles. To this day, some 20 years later, Meredith recalls with fondness her after school days at McNeill with “Miss Anne”.
Much love and blessings,

By Alecia Marcum — Aug 4, 2014 5:47pm
Praying for Anne and you as well Mike. Sending a great big hug your way. Praying for comfort and peace for you both. Love you both so much. Please let me know if I can do anything to help you at all.

By Barbara DeFebbo — Aug 4, 2014 3:40pm
Anne….Kevin and I lift you up in prayer dailey. All we can say is we are inspired by both you and Mike for your strenght and witness to those who know you. Lord Bless. K & B

By cheryl beckley — Aug 4, 2014 3:24pm
Please tell Ann that she is loved and had always been a blessing to her family, friends and students. You both
are in our thoughts and prayers.

By Donna Workman — Aug 4, 2014 3:19pm

Anne has such strength of spirit and I will pray for that to continue for both of you. You all have made a difficult walk seem like a beautiful journey of love and faith. I pray that everyday that you have will still be filled with the peace and devotion that has sustained you thus far. Words escape me as I search for a comforting word. You are both loved by many May Gods love surround you

By Tina Jennings — Aug 4, 2014 3:03pm
I sit all day at work at my desk and look at the angel Anne gave me and now I am sending an angel back to her. Mike please let her know that I, along with many others here at WBKO, are sending her all the prayers and hugs we can. I miss our gab sessions at events and miss her great sass and laugh. I’m so sorry to hear about the latest events but I am sure she still has her great whit about her and that is why I love her!

By Leslie Lloyd — Aug 4, 2014 3:01pm
Prayers and love headed your way

By Jane Townsend — Aug 4, 2014 2:24pm
My prayers for all of you……so sorry to hear that Anne is so ill. I will continue to pray during this very hard time. Thinking of you…..Jane Chittum Townsend

By Christina Robertson-Theis — Aug 4, 2014 2:17pm
Tell Anne I love her and I am sending all my love and positive energy your way. Peace to you both in this difficult time. The ripples of Anne’s actions will go on for generations. Thank you for being a strong, beautiful friend, Anne.

By Kathy Yarmey — Aug 4, 2014 2:04pm
We have not met and I have mentioned this to Anne on Facebook before, but wanted to say it again. I moved to Martinsville in 8th grade into a group of people that had been in school together since kindergarten and clicks were are hard and fast. Anne was one of only a few people that befriended me. She may not remember but I will never forget what a great friend she was. Please tell her thank you for me and I will keep her in my prayers.

By Janie Hurt — Aug 4, 2014 1:55pm
Mike, I have been praying for you and Anne daily and am so sorry to hear about her downward spiral. Please know I will continue to pray and will be glad to do anything I can for either of you.

By Doug Wilcox — Aug 4, 2014 1:19pm
I am continuing to keep you and Mike in my prayers, I cherish our long time friendship and am so thankful that through FB we were able to reconnect over the past few years, We all love you and pray for comfort for you. Sending lots pf HUGS,

By Marjorie Donnelly — Aug 4, 2014 1:14pm
Anne, Please know that your Thomas Heights buddies Sharon and Marjorie Richmond are both thinking of you and Mike and holding you close in our prayers. Sharon moved from Rehoboth Beach, DE to Greensboro, NC (where I live) in June after retiring from running her Bed and Breakfast. She is adjusting to this big life transition. Her birthday is tomorrow. Her daughter Catherine is coming this week to celebrate. Sending our love to you today, Marjorie

By Susie Sheffield — Aug 4, 2014 1:00pm
Anne, I so admire you, for your strength and faith . There is so much I’d love to say to you, but this is so very hard for me, so I will just leave it with an I love you so very , very much. Your friendship has meant a lot to me ! Mike PLEASE give her a hug and kiss from me. I will continue to keep you both and the family in my thought and prayers ! Much Love, Susie

By David Theis — Aug 4, 2014 12:51pm
Mike, I will make sure that our Kiwanis friends understand this and know to keep you and Anne in the forefront of their thoughts and prayers. Please tell her I love her and am so proud of her!

By Janet Grider — Aug 4, 2014 12:39pm
No words can express how sorry I am or how much I think of both of you! Praying for and thinking of you!

By Pat Scott — Aug 4, 2014 12:37pm
Anne and Mike…keeping both of you in prayer. God be with you. Love to you both.

By Betsy (Hirst) Sheppard — Aug 4, 2014 11:25am
Sending love and prayers to all. XOXO

By Connie Allen — Aug 4, 2014 11:22am
Many prayers, much love and hugs sent to you both.

By Marta Woosley — Aug 4, 2014 11:14am
Mike, you and Anne are in my prayers!!! If you need anything just let me know. Love you both!!

By Floyda Sullivan — Aug 4, 2014 11:10am
Mike I hate to hear this. She told me some of it last week but did not admit how bad she really is. Please please tell her I love her. She has been such a strong person through all of this. I pray that God will give you the strength to face the future and that he will not let her suffer for long. God bless both of you!

By Debbie Pryor — Aug 4, 2014 11:04am
Oh, Anne, I am so sorry. I wish I could be your hospice. If there is ANYTHING I can do for you and Mike, please let me know. My heart is so heavy I cannot even explain. My prayers are with you and Mike’s family. I love you, Anne, and I pray for comfort. Our journeys together in school will forever be in my heart. Hugs to you both.

By Liz Kane — Aug 4, 2014 10:48am
I am so sorry to hear this. I will continue to pray for her (and you). She is such a brave, strong woman. May Gid bless her and ease her suffering.

By Lucena Davis — Aug 4, 2014 10:42am
Anne and Mike,
You both are such very special people. Your friendships mean so much to me and my family. When I was with Brent in North Carolina last June, and when he was in Bowling Green for July 4 weekend, he asked about Anne and wanted her to know that she is special and he thinks about her. Ashleigh is always asking about Anne, Anne is such an inspiration to her! Praying for you both, your always in my heart.
Much love.

By Miliska Knauft — Aug 4, 2014 10:37am
Greetings, Mike and Anne!

The Lord is our hiding place, where we can go to receive strength to carry on. Through grace we have been saved. Place you trust in the Lord and he will remove all worries and fears. Please know that we continue to pray for both of you. Also know that we are here to help. Thoughts of “love” and “hugs” go out to you today and always!!!

Terry and Miliska

By Jerry wallace — Aug 4, 2014 10:32am
You both in our thoughts and prayers.
Anne is on Holy Spirit prayer list. Just tell her we love you both. Peace

By Amanda Peltz — Aug 4, 2014 10:01am
Anne, I love you so much. I told our infamous bus story just this past weekend to a new friend! Thinking about you often and praying for your peace and comfort. Mike, praying for you as well. Please let me know if you need anything. The Peltz’s are ready and willing to help you in any way we can.
Giant Hugs,

By Ted Davis — Aug 4, 2014 9:51am
Anne, Mike, Linda and I love the two of you so much and lift you both up in paryer constantly. In Hebrews it is written that “Faith is the Substance of things hoped for, the Evidence of things not seen.” There is a Heaven, and there is One God which I know that y’all have faith in….Ted & Linda

By Mary Lou Kirby — Aug 4, 2014 9:43am
Anne, Hugs and love. Mike gives great hugs, I know! Prayers for your comfort as you make your transition. Remember always, you have hundreds if not thousands of friends and loved ones surrounding you in spirit. You have your devoted husband Mike who I pray for also. You have fought the good fight, Anne. May you feel peace and love surround you. My heart holds you forever.

By Janette Boehman — Aug 4, 2014 9:40am
My prayers are being lifted up to give Ms. Anne the strength and peace to deal with what is to come. She is loved by many and will be in many thoughts and prayers. I’m here if there is anything I can help with.

By John Peters — Aug 4, 2014 9:16am
Anne, we love you girl. Get a hug from Mike from us. Our prayers are with you both.
John & Lynne

By Angela Wright — Aug 4, 2014 9:16am
Mike and Anne, I’ve been thinking about you and praying. Anne’s absence on Facebook has worried me. I’m sorry to get this update but she has fought a good fight. Praying harder now. Love to you both.

By Rhonda Bartley — Aug 4, 2014 9:16am
Mike, you have been such a rock, such a comfort for Anne and you are a wonderful husband. Anne is fortunate to have you in her life, as you are so blessed to have her. You have been on my mind and I want you to know that I have been praying for you both. I have sent Annie a message and an email early last week and will get one off to her later today to “check in”. She had told me Debbie was coming and I know that will be good for you both. May God’s grace, love and peace be upon you, my dear friends. I love you both. Please do not hesitate to call me at any time if you find a need.

By Laura Holderfield — Aug 4, 2014 9:13am
Anne, You’re such an inspiration to all who know you. And you’ve made such a positive impact on our community. Your sweet smile, optimistic attitude, openness to help others… a true jewel. Mike and Anne, My thoughts and prayers are with you now and always. XOXO

By Jessica Warren — Aug 4, 2014 9:13am
Mike- Please give Anne a hug for me. Praying for you both.

By Dee Mcneily — Aug 4, 2014 8:59am
I’m heartbroken for you, Mike. I’ve known Anne for such a short time but admire and love her spirit!! Peace and comfort to you both. Dee McNeily

By Karen Helms Manley — Aug 4, 2014 8:58am
You all are in my prayers. Please tell Anne hello for me & I love her!

By anne lewis — Aug 4, 2014 8:58am
Sending prayers and much love to you both. You two are amazing people….an inspiration to us all. Xoxo. Anne

By Lindsey McClain — Aug 4, 2014 8:55am
Prayers for comfort and peace for you both. Love you, Anne!

By MaryLou Davis — Aug 4, 2014 8:52am
Mike, I know that this was a difficult message for you to post and it was difficult to read it as well. You have been so good to Anne and I thank you for your love and care. You and Anne are in my prayers and I especially pray that our loving God will be merciful in her transition to her eternal home.
Love to all,
Mary Lou Atkins Davis
(a Martinsville friend)

By Beth Bishop — Aug 4, 2014 8:45am
Anne and Mike, you have walked many mountains and valleys together, hand-in-hand as a team. All the while, your friends and loved ones have been around you, even when you couldn’t see us. Please know we are all praying for you both, and remember the good times we’ve had together. RC and APhi just wouldn’t have been the same without you, Anne. I will always treasure our friendship and sisterhood.
Mike, my prayers will expand to cover your relatives too, who are undergoing their own struggles and trials with these vicious diseases. May God and your family/friends assist you as you travel this long road.
All my love! Beth (not the oldest, I’m thinking) in Baltimore

By Chuck and Diana Neely — Aug 4, 2014 8:30am
Anne & Mike;
You’re both constantly in our thoughts and daily in our prayers.
Love you both,

By Brenda Lemons — Aug 4, 2014 8:25am
For the past 2 weeks, I have strongly felt in my heart and soul that this was what was taking place. I have not been able to get you off of my mind, sweet Anne. I know that it was God’s signal to pray for you more than ever before. You are an amazing woman who has played an important role in my and my son’s life. I thank you for your many gifts that have made such a difference in the lives of so many people. You hold on tight to the happy times we had on the playground at dear ole Patrick Henry Elementary. For those memories of friendship for 50+ years, I am so grateful to God. Lots of huge, tight hugs to you and to Mike, who I have never met, but who has to be an amazing man to have caught a catch like you. I love you, dear, dear friend.

By Debbie Robb — Aug 4, 2014 8:24am
Mike, continuing to pray for you and Anne. She is such an inspiration to so many in our community and I hope she realizes just how many lives she has touched over the years. If I can provide some relief to come stay with Anne, bring food, run errands, wash clothes….just let me know. Will be glad to help however needed. Love you both.

By Mary Scantland — Aug 4, 2014 8:22am
Prayers are being said for both of you. I am praying for peace and strength for you. May you be blessed beyond measure.

By Jean Secrest — Aug 4, 2014 8:20am
Praying right now! God bless you both. I wish there were words to say right now but I don’t know what they are. Anne you are loved by all and you are the strongest, bravest, and most giving person that I know. Mike you are right there with Anne in your strength, bravery, and giving heart. As I type through my tears, I hope my grammar and punctuation both are hanging in there but right now that doesn’t seem too important.

Love and prayers for both of you.

By Amy DeCesare — Aug 4, 2014 8:04am
Praying for you both. Please tell Anne we love her. Thank you for the update.

July 14, 2014

I hated to put a downer entry on this month. I had been asked a couple of times when I was going to update, so I decided to go for it. Just know that if I don’t add another for a while then there isn’t anything to say. I don’t want to be a drag on anyone. Thanks, all.


By terry caturano — Jul 16, 2014 9:39am
You are never a drag–always a ray of sunshine. When the news isn’t cheerful, You are still a blessing. I pray you will have some happy news to share soon, but please don’t hesitate to say whatever is on your heart, express what we need to know to pray for you with real understanding. Ditto to what Debi said.

By Donna Workman — Jul 15, 2014 8:19pm
You are never a downer. We subscribe because we care and want to hear whatever you have to say. This is your place to vent……..however and whenever

By Tonya Taylor — Jul 15, 2014 12:33pm
I’m right down the street if you or mike need anything.

By Miliska Knauft — Jul 15, 2014 9:32am
Anne … I am in total agreement with everyone! Please feel free to comment about anything at any time. We are here to listen and support you, always!

By beverly siegrist — Jul 15, 2014 9:20am
Anne, your friends never feel that way. Know we send you love and warm wishes.

By Debi Wade Jordan — Jul 15, 2014 9:11am
My word, Anne. Do not apologize one bit for posting. We thirst for information about how you are doing. I know I am with a great multitude of people when I say we want to know how you are AND what we can do to make your day a little brighter! I doubt you realize how often you are spoken of fondly as we ask each other, “How’s Anne?” Love you immensely!

By Mary Scantland — Jul 15, 2014 8:22am
You, a drag, NEVER! Psalms 46:10 “Be still and know that I am God…”. Sometimes that’s what we all need to do! Love and prayers are with

By Cheryl Allen — Jul 15, 2014 8:12am

Please don’t hesitate to share the good, the bad and ugly. That’s how we know what to pray for! Sometimes, it’s good to just share and get it off your chest-it’s the least we can do to share your load. We’re cleaning up and out as well, and it is amazing what we’re finding, but boy is it a job! Take care and know that you and Mike are surrounded by love and prayers!

By Beth Bishop — Jul 15, 2014 7:38am
What a bummer!! OK, enough of the 70’s, sis.
I hope the new meds will kick in and get you back to movin’ and groovin’ like before. You are a rare “force of nature” and are in my prayers and thoughts daily. Think of cleaning out the craft room as an archeology project….you may find prior projects in there that will bring fond memories, and hopefully more things to keep your creative juices flowing!
Love to you all, and positive vibes coming to you from Baltimore!! Beth

By Betsy (Hirst) Sheppard — Jul 14, 2014 10:55pm
I totally understand. But hope there is some positive news soon too. I am happy to hear about how it is going, and hope it helps to have others read about it. Let me know if there is anything I can do to help. Seriously. XOXOXOXO

July 14, 2014

Happy July, all. Just checking in with some of the latest news.

It’s been kind of a rough month or six weeks. All of a sudden my breathing became worse and we realized the Haloven was not doing what we needed it to do with the fluid. After being drained a couple of times (actually 3 times in a month), I saw Dr. Smith and we changed to a new chemo, Gemzar. I just started the second round of it last Friday. It’s a three on, one off drug. I do it three Fridays, and then have a break the next Friday. Usually that’s when I see Dr. Smith. This month he will be gone that day so I’ll see him next Friday, along with treatment. We’ll check tumor markers and see what’s going on then. Meanwhile, I still have trouble with breathing, as compared to where I was. I am not driving right now, and not going up and down stairs like I was. In fact, I didn’t go down at all today. Just didn’t feel up to it. So, to keep Mike from making all these trips up and down, we are preparing the bathroom in Mom’s apartment and working on a place to put the bed down there. It can go in what was Mom’s living room. Unfortunately her bedroom seems to be occupied with craft, uh, er, “stuff.” I have gotten rid of some of it, but not nearly enough. If I am down there all the time I should be able to do that. Plus, I can come over to the den and sit with Mike to watch TV, and eat in the kitchen. That way he won’t be carting food up and down the steps, all 22 of them. (darn those 14 foot ceilings downstairs.) I admit I don’t look forward to moving downstairs by myself, but when I feel like going up I can. If I don’t, I have options. We will make the best of it.

I have still made it to church the last couple of weeks. Once I’m up, dressed, and going I seem to manage OK. It’s just tiring to get dressed, unfortunately. Probably more so today because of starting back on the chemo last Friday. Though the side effects aren’t too bad–a bit of nausea–I am very tired. Put that together with the breathing tiredness, and well, you know. We are still in hopes that this drug or the next will get me back to where I was. I miss driving and getting out to see people. Say a prayer that we get that going again.

Please continue to pray for our brother-in-law, Bill. He has had a really rough couple of months. His pain grew so bad that they did tests and found that his bladder cancer had metastasized and was on his spine. They did surgery and are now doing radiation to reduce the pain. He is living at his parents’ condo, as it is on one floor, unlike his house. (both parents had passed away last year.) Also keep a good friend, Evelyn Norton, in your thoughts and prayers. She was a friend of my mom’s, and her daughter and I went to school together. I know Dawn and her brothers and sister are moving El to assisted living, along with her husband. And El has breast cancer. It’s been rough going for them for a while now.

We appreciate everyone’s love and support. Friends have been so good to us, bringing goodies, dropping by with lunch, or a frozen salad when I felt like eating only cold foods. Or some wonderful homemade ice cream. yum. And my fur babies are trying to take care of me, too. They still hover, especially the cat here lately. Boy, is that unusual. He just looks at me like “what is wrong with you, Mom? Can I help?” It’s kind of sweet. WHen he’s not chewing on my long hose to the air machine or hunting down flowers to eat on them. He loves his flowers.

We love you all, and thank you all for prayers. Take care and enjoy your summer.



By Connie Allen — Jul 30, 2014 10:37pm
Love your spirit and positive attitude. Hang in there.

Big hug on its way to you.


By Brenda Lemons — Jul 16, 2014 11:04pm
Sending you lots of love, huge hugs and plenty of prayers.

By Margaret Weeks — Jul 15, 2014 7:37pm
Keep updating. Our thoughts and prayers are with you & Mike. You are the best. Love, Peg & Chuck

By Terry and Carla — Jul 15, 2014 5:58pm
prayers and love always…

By Barbara Mason — Jul 15, 2014 2:08pm
So sorry you are having such a rough go of it. I wish there was something I could do for you. Just know, if you ever get down this way, we would love for you to stay here. I will give you our bedroom downstairs. Love you, Barbara

By Chuck and Diana Neely — Jul 15, 2014 10:12am
You both are always in out thoughts and prayers.
Love you both,

By Debbie Robb — Jul 15, 2014 10:05am
Love you too Anne & Mike! Will make another frozen salad, bring a milkshake or another meal anytime you want. 🙂 Hang in there….praying this new med will kick the C’s behind. – Debbie Robb

By Miliska Knauft — Jul 15, 2014 9:30am
Anne and Mike … Thanks for the update! Please know that we continue to keep both of you in our thoughts and prayers! Apple butter is on the way!

Terry and Miliska

By Jennifer Hicklin — Jul 15, 2014 8:15am
Love you too!

By Mary Lou Kirby — Jul 15, 2014 7:57am
Both of you are in my prayers. Keep fighting the good fight! But rest in between, rounds, ok??? You are such an inspiration. Thoughts and positive energy sent your way.

By Amy DeCesare — Jul 15, 2014 7:31am
Keeping you both in our prayers! Hope this new drug works better. My mom keeps having to change drugs too. Next up for her is zeloda. I feel like your fur babies, wish I could help. Love you! Amy

By Rhonda Bartley — Jul 15, 2014 6:15am
Anne, I was so hoping the other meds would work, but perhaps that was just a stepping stone to a better one. My prayers for God’s grace and healing hands to be upon you, my dear friend. Know that I am thinking of you and Mike. Sending you love and hugs always!

By anne lewis — Jul 15, 2014 5:18am
Hoping that the new drug is the answer…hugs and prayers.

By judy whitson — Jul 14, 2014 10:40pm
You remain in my prayers. Love you!

By Janie Hurt — Jul 14, 2014 10:33pm
Anne, I continue to pray for you daily and these posts help so my prayers can be more specific. It might be help if I brought you and mike food as well! I love you girl. Continue to be strong.

By Floyda Sullivan — Jul 14, 2014 10:17pm
You and Mike are always in my prayers. I think about you so much and wish you felt like coming down for a visit in Florida. It is way to hot right now but come winter I hope you feel like coming down. You always have a place to stay!!!

By Marta Woosley — Jul 14, 2014 10:10pm
You and Mike are always in my prayers and will keep your friends in my prayers!! Love ya

By Betsy (Hirst) Sheppard — Jul 14, 2014 10:09pm
Thank you for letting us know how it is going. Moving downstairs may help a lot. I sure hope so. Please keep us posted about everything. I have been busy organizing and also getting rid of things here. It’s a slow job, but I am making progress. I send prayers and the best of wishes and hope that things will go better now and that you will feel much better very soon. XOXOXOXOXO

By patsy sloan — Jul 14, 2014 9:45pm
Anne I think of you & Mike so often. You mentioned ice cream – would you like some of my mother’s famous Texas vanilla ice cream? It rarely goes unappreciated

By Jean Secrest — Jul 14, 2014 9:44pm
God bless you, Anne! I am so sorry that things have been so rough for you. Praying that things will improve for you on this new med!

By Jerry wallace — Jul 14, 2014 9:40pm
Prayers are still coming for you and Mike. We’ll add your brother in law Bill.

Love, Jerry and Joanne

By Lynne Peters — Jul 14, 2014 9:28pm
Anne, I have never seen such a strong and positive person. We love you dearly and pray that this new drug helps and you feel better soon. Lynne and John

By B.Kaye Beckner — Jul 14, 2014 9:27pm
Anne, I continue to keep you in my thoughts and prayers for healing and relief. Your positive spirit is amazing and makes all the difference! I hope you are getting to see pictures on facebook of Meredith’s sweet baby girl. She is sure growing up too fast for this grandmother!

Surprise update – June 14, 2014

Well, it seems we have a little bit of a surprise this June. I had to have a second fluid draw in a two week period, which is unusual in this saga.

I realized I wasn’t feeling well, and finally said to Mike that I didn’t think the last chemo was doing what it should, since I seemed to be breathing worse instead of better. Finally, about 10 days out I realized it was really getting worse. I woke up in the night feeling like something was sitting on my chest, so I called Dr. Lanier’s office and made an appointment. After he listened to me and then did an x-ray, he said I was pretty full on the left side (same side we’ve been doing). The right side is still very low. Anyway, we went ahead and did another draw and got quite a bit off. His theory was that we didn’t get enough off last time. I had my doubts about that, but went with his theory. The next day I had a scheduled visit with Dr. Smith. I knew he would change the chemo and he did. As he said, we were watching this one carefully to see if it did anything (I’d had a couple of rounds and was getting ready for found four). Having to revisit pulmonology that quickly was all the sign we needed. I have been put on Gemzar now, as of yesterday. So, here we go again, folks. Everyone say a prayer for this drug. We will find the right one!

I am still kind of weak, because the last one left me feeling pretty bad for a while. I hope just it doesn’t take too long to get back up to feeling better. I had actually been able to go as much as half hour without the oxygen here in the house, but now I can’t go without it at all. We’ll see how we recoup that loss. I did get quick relief after he drained it this time. More so than ever before. It usually takes a little while to feel the results. This time I felt so crummy it was almost instant. A good thing. I hope I regain some energy. I had been pretty tired, trying to conserve energy for breathing, I guess.

This, too, shall pass. I’m counting on this one turning the corner and I’ll feel better again pretty soon. Sitting around gets old, lol.

That’s about all there is to add right now. It hasn’t been long since updating everyone, so there’s not a lot of ground to cover, is there? I did get an unexpected treat one evening. My friend at the library was trying to come up with a place to take Mary McDonough (Erin, on The Waltons) for dinner when she was in town for a speaking engagement. Our friend Pam entertained her at her house with a small dinner party and was kind enough to include us. Mike Grubbs was in heaven. He loved the show, especially since he lived in Charlottesville a couple of years while in school, which is near “Walton’s Mountain.” He knew people that had known the family. She was very interesting and a lot of fun to meet. We immediately got her book and read it, too. Fun to read about the back stage views of shooting a tv show.

Oh! We had a nice visit with our friends from Kansas as they came through town last weekend. I felt good enough to go out to dinner both evenings, and even made it through the tour at the Corvette Museum (thanks to Keith Ossello). I felt pretty good while they were here, so it was a nice time. Just long enough to enjoy seeing them. And while we are at it I’ll send up a prayer for Chuck and Diana, as he gets ready to face some medical challenges when they get back home.

Prayers for Jacquatta and Dale Summers. Dale has stopped his chemo, as it wasn’t really doing anything for him any more. He is enjoying his time with his family. And prayers for the gentleman next to me in the chemo room yesterday. He was pretty bad off, just doing comfort drugs. Continued prayers for brother-in-law Bill, and for Edna Cashman. And thanks to all the friends who have taken me out to lunch lately. I enjoyed being with you and spending time. We’ll do it again soon. It won’t be long.

Take care everyone. Love to all. Anne


By Linda Leigh — Jun 18, 2014 2:16pm
Thank you dear lady….think of you (especially in prayer) often and it’s good to hear the latest information. May you begin to feel better and have more energy very soon.

By terry caturano — Jun 17, 2014 1:30pm
I had a great trip to Africa, and loved every minute of it. Got home on Thursday June 12. I think you posted this update a few days ago, so I’m praying the good effects of the drawing off fluid and the new meds have begun to make an impact. Enjoyed the report about Walton’s Mountain. Our family are all fans of the Waltons. Praying for you and the folks you mentioned.

By Mari Medura — Jun 16, 2014 3:09pm
Praying for you in your continued fight and for Mike in his role as caregiver. My thoughts are always on you, even if I don’t communicate as often as I should. Love y’all. HUGS!!!!!!!

By Voletta Havener — Jun 16, 2014 9:54am
Anne you keep on keeping on lady! You are strong! Prayers!
Love ya!

By Cheryl Allen — Jun 16, 2014 8:05am
Thoughts and prayers are flowing……………..

By Alecia Marcum — Jun 14, 2014 11:32pm
Prayers for you my friend that you are going to feel better really soon. Love you!

By Amy DeCesare — Jun 14, 2014 10:34pm
I pray this new drug works better quickly! Keeping you in our prayers. Much love.
Amy and Jimmy and kids

By Betsy (Hirst) Sheppard — Jun 14, 2014 10:12pm
I saw a couple photos of Mary McDonough online when she was visiting the area. How awesome to be able to meet her. I really liked that show, The Waltons. She was also in an interview saying how close everyone on the show was to each other. Anyway, wow.. That is so great. And I hope this new chemo works a lot better. AND glad that you felt better right after they took fluid out. I feel lucky that I was able to join this page with you, as I have always liked you and consider you a special friend. I also hope that you will feel lots better soon, and can have renewed energy to do what you want to do. I will be thinking of you and your friends with medical challenges you have shared info. about here. I am also sending prayers and the best of wishes that things will improve this week.

By Doug Wilcox — Jun 14, 2014 7:06pm
: Anne I continue to include you and Mike in my prayers daily. I am praying now that this new medicine will do the trick. It is always a challenge at our age to maintain stamina. I know it is even harder for you, when you are saddled with these treatments. Know that I am always thinking of you guys and wishing only good news.

By Beth Bishop — Jun 14, 2014 1:24pm
Dearest Sis, I wish you lots of luck and drying out with the new drug. I think about you often and send up a prayer for y’all every night. Keep on kicking (but gently) and having your optomistic thoughts!! Love to all 4 of you from up north!

By Floyda Sullivan — Jun 14, 2014 12:15pm
Anne you are one of the most courageous people I know. You are a shining star for all of us to follow. You and Mike are always in my prayers. You know you both are always welcome to come and visit us in Florida. Gill and I both love to cook so we could fatten you up. (It certainly worked for me.) 🙂 Many many blessing to both of you. <3 By Mary Lou Kirby — Jun 14, 2014 12:02pm
Another blip on the radar screen I’m sure. Prayers for better success with the new chemo drug!

By Rhonda Bartley — Jun 14, 2014 11:14am
Hoping this new drug will be the one! and that you are feeling better very soon. Love to you, and the fam!

By Marilyn Weaver — Jun 14, 2014 11:09am
Wishing you well Anne and praying this new drug will help.

By John Peters — Jun 14, 2014 11:08am
Dear Anne, John and I have you and Mike in our thoughts and prayers. We will see Bill Sunday night. Love, Lynne

By Jean Secrest — Jun 14, 2014 10:52am
Still praying for you my friend!

By Jean Secrest — Jun 14, 2014 10:51am
Still praying for you my friend!

By patsy sloan — Jun 14, 2014 10:50am
Thanks for the update Anne. Praying for successful treatment.

June 1, 2014

There’s not a huge amount to add this month. I am still on the Haloven. we are going to give it another round or two to see if it will do its thing. Meanwhile I had a fluid draw last Thursday. The Friday before Memorial Day Dr. Smith ordered an x-ray, since he detected fluid when listening. They offered to draw it off that day, but it usually takes me a day or two (or more) to get over that so I decided to wait until my scheduled appointment with Dr. Lanier, the following Thursday. Glad I did, since Memorial Day weekend turned into a super busy one. I felt pretty good, other than the shortness of breath, so it turned out for the best.

This weekend hasn’t been quite so good. Probably because I not only had fluid drawn, but also had a treatment on Friday. I stayed in most of Saturday and all day Sunday. Thankfully Friday night wasn’t too bad. We had the opportunity to go to a small dinner party and meet Mary McDonough, the girl who played Erin Walton on the tv show The Waltons. She was in Bowling Green speaking at a Chamber of Commerce breakfast, on behalf of the library. Lisa happened to mention looking for a place to take her to dinner Friday and our friend Pam offered to cook for her. And then she thoughtfully included us as well. It was a great evening. I’m reading her book now, Lessons from the Mountain, about her life behind the scenes on the show. Quite interesting, since she literally grew up playing the character.

We have done a little work around the house lately. Well, mainly getting furniture updates. And donating old things to some charities. BRASS (the spouse abuse center) and Habitat’s ReStore have been the recipients of several old pieces of furniture, while we got a couple of pieces for the den to replace a very worn out couch and chair (had that chair since pre-marriage days!). We’re waiting on the upholsterer to collect some antique pieces and get them redone in a long overdue facelift. The parlor will be pretty empty ’til that furniture is back, but oh well.

Mike has the yard looking nice, as he plants his flowers. I’m not able to get out and help him this year. The humidity does me in pretty quickly, so I don’t stay out long at all. I hate that I don’t get to pay in the dirt a little, but I’m glad Mike is making it as gorgeous as always. This may be the year we also purge some of the “stuff” I usually put out all around the deck. It looks pretty good without all that stuff around, lol.

This Friday our friends from Kansas are passing through as they go to visit the Smokies. They’ll stop by on Friday and leave on Sunday. That will be a nice visit. It’s so good that the high school buddies have kept up with each other. I have been fortunate to get to do that a lot with Facebook. It’s funny how much fun the re-connecting has been. I keep up with what’s going on in Martinsville that way, too, which is nice.

We hope to get away for a weekend in the not too distant future. We have a weekend at a state park set aside and hope to just get away and enjoy some time chilling out. First Choice is so good to help out with extra tanks when we have a lot going on in a period of time. The tanks only last a couple of hours each, so you can burn through them pretty quickly. Especially in the heat and humidity. The portable electric tank is a lifesaver. You can plug it in while in the car, saving the tank. And then use it around the room, too. This does make you plan your days a lot.

Like I said, there’s not much to relate this month. I’ll try to get out and do a few things this week, since I have the week off from dr. visits. As well as get a little more work done in the craft room. I’ve made some sets of cards, and then some that we have been using, as well. Just a little sense of satisfaction, even if they aren’t super high quality. They are mine and I have accomplished a little. Guess I should be giving some of them away.

As usual I say thank you for all your prayers and thoughts. Keep up the prayer for the chemo treatment to do its thing. I have a feeling this little oxygen pack is my permanent companion, but if we can keep it somewhat steady that will be good. Remember my brother-in-law. He had to give up a trip to Italy this year. He was to do a good bit of hiking and now he has developed problems with walking. He has great difficulty with stairs and is trying to figure the cause. He just got over a bout with bladder cancer. Hopefully they can figure out what’s going on and he can move on from this. I will also list a former student of mine as she gets ready to deliver her 3rd baby. And has just discovered her oldest child has type 1 diabetes. The little one is just four years old, so this is rough going. Pray for the days to come for this young family. We lift up all those who need us and keep everyone close on our hearts.

Thank you to all. ‘Til next time, Anne and Mike


By Linda Leigh — Jun 2, 2014 9:58am
As always, I enjoy your updates even when the news is just everyday “stuff.” It was so good to run into you and Mike at Home Depot recently. Think of you so often and sincerely wish you good days.

By patsy sloan — Jun 2, 2014 9:36am
Prayers for you as always. Glad that Mikey has the yard work under control – he & Jay have green thumbs!

By Doug Wilcox — Jun 2, 2014 9:15am
Continuing to pray for you and Mike daily. You have overcome so much, you inspire me. Thanks for being a forever friend.

By Ted Davis — Jun 2, 2014 9:03am
Really enjoy reading your updates. Don’t get to see y’all enough.

By Beth Bishop — Jun 2, 2014 9:00am
Dear Anne, like others have said , thanks for your posting. As a non-Facebook moldie-oldie, I’m out-of-touch more than normal. I’m thinking and praying for both of you every day, and hope that the summer will improve along with you. What’s this about humidity? You’re inland….not here on the Chesapeake where the humidity is so thick we cut it with a knife and serve it to out-of-town guests as an appetizer!!
Love to you both! Beth

By Chuck and Diana Neely — Jun 2, 2014 8:52am
You and Mike are always in our thoughts and prayers.
Looking forward to seeing you soon.

By Mary Lou Kirby — Jun 2, 2014 8:06am
Thanks for keeping us posted, Anne! Pray for you daily. Enjoy the beauty of your surroundings. And kudos to you for that card making. I find that card making is great therapy for me. Immediate sense of satisfaction and it allows me to use some creativity. It’s become, for me, my best hobby. Stay strong. You have an army of prayer warriors behind you!

By Jessica Warren — Jun 2, 2014 8:03am
Hugs to you both!!!

By Miliska Knauft — Jun 2, 2014 7:52am
Hello, Anne (and Mike)!

Good to hear from you! Sounds like you are accomplishing a lot, even with your challenges. We continue to keep you both in our thoughts and prayers.

Wishing you the best always!
Terry and Miliska

By Floyda Sullivan — Jun 2, 2014 7:47am
Anne, you are always in my prayers and so is Mike

By Rhonda Bartley — Jun 2, 2014 6:37am
Always thinking of you and praying for you and Mike.

By beverly siegrist — Jun 2, 2014 6:29am
Anne, took a quick trip to the Garden Patch this weekend few butterfly attracting plants. Thought of you and sent a special prayer your way. You are an amazing woman.

By Debi Wade Jordan — Jun 2, 2014 2:37am
Thinking of you each and every day. Love you!

By Betsy (Hirst) Sheppard — Jun 1, 2014 10:45pm
Keep us posted! How neat to get to meet Mary McDonough. I saw a photo of her on Facebook when she was in BG. I’m glad you have fun plans for a weekend and friends visiting. Count on prayers from me for sure. Thanks for the updates on your brother-in-law and friends too. I’m crossing my fingers for some good news next posting. I will be praying and also thinking of you. XOXOXOXO

Catching Up – April 28, 2014

Morning, all. I wanted to do a quick update. There’s not too much to tell, but there have been some changes.

Since stopping in last time, I have been back to Dr. Lanier for another “drain.” This one did not produce quite as much fluid. He wanted to get it off before I became uncomfortable, though, which I appreciate. This one also went easier.

I have also changed to a new chemo drug, Haloven. While the other one was keeping everything level, Dr. Smith says we can do better. I’ll go with that. He and I would really like to wean off the oxygen by getting rid of the fluid in the lungs. So we keep searching for the right combination. I have had two injections of the new drug (you do the first two doses a week apart). Then we skipped a week and I go back this week for evaluation. I’ll have labs Friday morning and we’ll see what’s what. I also go back to Dr. Lanier for another x-ray and to see what’s happening with the fluid. I can’t give you any idea. It really seems about the same to me, so I’ll just have to wait and see what he says. I think, even if we start getting rid of the fluid, that it will be a slow process. So I may not notice it right away.
The good thing about this treatment is that it’s an injection instead of infusion. That means I am in and out in under an hour, instead of three. The bad thing–my hair appears to be coming out again. It had begun to come back in. But I think it’s getting ready to go again. Oh well. Small price to pay, right? Right. The prayer we ask for right now is that this is the right chemo for now. Though there are a lot of options, I’d like to find the right one before we go through too many. We need to get a handle on this thing.

Things are going well around the house. We have started getting things out in the yard ready for spring. Mike has been cleaning out flower beds (we haven’t bought anything yet. I still go with my mother’s wisdom: don’t plant until after Mother’s Day. The one year I did it before I lost everything to that one last freeze………). But I do have a lovely basket compliments of a dear friend. It will be my container garden this year. I hope we do go to Esli’s one weekend. I may not be able to walk around the greenhouses, but I can sit and visit while Mike does. I hate not to see David and Esli. That’s just part of the rite of spring.

I am working on cleaning out the craft room some more. Boxing up things I no longer do, work with, or use. I gave away an entire box of “wooden artifacts” as we call them. In other words, cut outs that I will not paint. Roosters (yes, Phil, roosters.), kitties, houses, pineapples, and more. Some of those things were cut out by Bland Aaron. That tells you how long I’ve had them, if you’ve known me long enough. They have moved four times, let’s put it that way. Meanwhile, I hung on to some Christmas trees that I can handle. I don’t do the detail work any more–my hands are too shaky. But I can handle certain things. And since my hands don’t like the small detail painting, I have taken my card-making again. That’s pretty satisfying. I enjoy the stamping and card-making process. I just have to focus enough to get a full set made at a time. And I do need to get back into the knitting. It doesn’t require steady hands, either. Time to focus. And to purge. I am still cleaning out and giving away. Look out Community Ed and schools. Here come some goodies in your direction. Not to mention Good Will.

Mike continues to stay incredibly busy at work. It’s budget time, plus all the normal things on his plate. But he makes time to do more and more with me. We have picked upholstery for the antique furniture that was Mom’s (in the parlor), and a new couch and recliner for the den. Time to get BRASS on alert to take the old couch and chairs. I hope someone can get some good use out of the couch. It has just never been real comfortable for me and I am not sure Mike has ever liked it. It’s not a good “lie down on me” couch. Essential for a den, right? Right.

I still ask for prayers for Bill Russell. He is a trooper and keeps all of our spirits up. Also, for the Summers family. Dale is going through treatments, and his father also has cancer. Jacquatta needs all our love and prayers right now. She is the backbone. Even though there are days I get “in a funk,” as I call it, I have more days when I am thankful for my blessings. I am able to get out on my own and go to lunch with friends, do a little shopping, return my air tanks on my own, etc. And I function well in the house. In fact, I have days where I out and out get bored and wish for tasks. I have tried to fill that void by being the person who makes phone calls when people are in need of things. I can still touch that volunteer need from home, and that is a “useful” feeling. I had days when I was pretty dependent on Mike for everything. Those days make me very grateful for what I have. Honestly, it is more than many others have in terms of being up and going. And I have been able to stay in touch with other friends via cell phone and notes. some of us are re-connecting and catching up on what’s been happening. As the saying about friends goes, we may have been apart for years, but when we start talking it’s like we never stopped seeing each other. We just pick up where we left off.

Before I sign off I want to thank the members of Volunteers in Action for a recent honor. I was honored to have the spirit of service award named for me at this year’s reception. How kind that was. I can’t tell you how touched I was. I kind of knew something was coming. Josh had told me I had to be at the reception. I really thought it had to do with all the founders of the organization, like Romanza and Cheryl Allen. A group thing. Surprise. That was quite an honor. And yes, I cried. What’s new? Right? Just call me Meyer the Crier. Honestly, thank you to everyone. It is one of the most meaningful things I have ever received. There are others out there that deserve it far more than I do.

OK, I will get off now and get back to cleaning up downstairs. It is supposed to storm and rain endlessly this week. A good time to stay home work inside, I guess. I don’t relish the idea of getting out and running in the rain with the oxygen tank, lol. that could be quite a sight. So I will hang out here.

Blessings to all. Hug your loved ones and tell them how much they mean to you.

Love, Anne and Mike


By terry caturano — May 1, 2014 7:35pm
Congratulations on your Volunteers in Action Spirit of Service award. You really do exemplify the spirit of service!!! I’m praying you will get a good report after your labs and x-rays, that the fluid has stopped forming!! Enjoy your spring ritual visit to the Greenhouse. It has been such a cool spring it seems your Mom’s advice about waiting till after Mother’s day to plant is right on target. Though it’s been cool, the trees have been lovely. My lilac wafts a sweet perfume through the back yard, and my irises are blooming. Blessings, love and prayers, Terry

By Brenda Lemons — Apr 29, 2014 8:39pm
I love being one of the old friends who just picked back up with you where we left off 30+ years ago and I love you!!! You are amazing!!

By Debi Wade Jordan — Apr 28, 2014 6:00pm
All in all, a very good report. We’ll take it!

By Beth Bishop — Apr 28, 2014 2:50pm
Hey there sis and Mike,
I saw the weather map and looks like rain is definitely in your forcast…just don’t have any of those nasty tornados, please!! Glad to hear there is progress on the fluid and oxygen process, and best wishes for discovering just the right mix of medications to get you pumping iron again!! 9 weeks ago today I was walking on the white sands of Siesta Key….I think about vacations based on the days of the week, just to keep the memories alive. I miss you lots, and will continue to pray for improvements for your and Mike, and for your stamina as you clean out those nooks and crannies of the house and craft room items.
Love to you both, Beth

By Chuck and Diana Neely — Apr 28, 2014 1:10pm
Hey guys – This sounds like very positive news! Getting away from the Oxygen will no doubt be a relief – I cannot imagine the patience you have.
We’re still hopeful that we can be in the BG area sometime this summer and are looking forward to seeing you both very much.
We think of you both every day, you are always in our prayers.
Love to you both,

By Betsy (Hirst) Sheppard — Apr 28, 2014 12:38pm
I am glad there is this site so we can keep caught up with everything. Congratulations on the honor from Volunteers in Action! That is great news. I know how hard it is to get rid of things, good luck with that too. I will keep my fingers crossed about your new chemo medication. I’m glad that this one has promise of doing more than just keeping things level. How neat that you make cards! I would like to do that some day too. Cards are so special when handmade. Well, off I go for now. Much to do, and I will be definitely thinking of you. Write again when you can. XOXOXOXOXOXO -Bets

By Jean Secrest — Apr 28, 2014 11:56am
Love to you my sweet friend! I continue to pray for you and think of you often!

By Mary Lou Kirby — Apr 28, 2014 11:29am
Hugs to you and Mike, Anne. The honor you received was well-deserved. I continue to pray for you and Mike and ask for God’s love and blessings to surround you.

By Rhonda Bartley — Apr 28, 2014 11:18am
Love you, Annie. Hope your Spring continues to hold promise. Let me know if you need anything!! Hugs to Mike too!

By Mary Scantland — Apr 28, 2014 11:14am
I absolutely know you are the most inspiring person I know. I love your spirit, Anne. Hang in there! I know good things are in store for you! Love you!

Spring is springing! – March 23, 2014

Getting around to an update. Not a lot has changed, though it seems things have happened. So let’s begin.

After two treatments of the newer chemo, I went back for a CT Scan and they found more fluid. (from last time)Dr. Lanier took it off and we kept going on this chemo again. I went back and was doing pretty well, no draining that time. Three weeks out I was beginning to accumulate again, so he took some off. He swears it was less. Couldn’t prove it by me. I looked, for the first time. Looked like an awful lot. Dr. Smith thought it was significant. The point was, he (Dr. L) wanted to get rid of it before it became a problem and I was “in trouble.” All of this into account, Dr. Smith couldn’t decide whether to continue the same chemo or change. So he did one more blood test–tumor markers. That’s usually reserved for bone only, but he thought he needed it. Well, for the first time in absolutely ages, the markers went down. So, I did another round of the same chemo. It went really well. No reaction to the meds this time, so they were able to give it at the same rate of speed and I was in and out quicker. The Benadryl didn’t even make me quite as drowsy. Yay! All in all I did not feel as icky this time as the previous. You do develop a tolerance as you go through the process. A good thing, for sure!

Meanwhile, I go back April 2 for another x-ray (yes, I glow in the dark) to check fluid. Dr. Lanier will see what needs to be done. I’m not sure. I can go without the O2 when I’m sitting still. Like at lunch today–I took it off while I ate,, and put it on to walk to the car. And I did OK. And a little bit around the house. On the other hand, I do feel wheezy at times. We won’t know if it’s accumulating until he takes a look. It’s pretty hard to judge. Then on the 9th I go back to Dr. Smith and he will determine where we go from here. Each visit is a little bit of a guessing game, but that’s OK. I still feel pretty good. Just get tired.

WHen I said a bit had happened, one thing is the continued nausea. I just don’t seem to be able to shake that. And it’s not just after treatment, so we can’t attribute it to the medicine. After talking over issues with Dr. Smith (including all out vomiting at times), he thinks my system is just messed up from all the medicines and things going on. So I am on with I call a “digestive aid” medicine. You take it four times a day–before meals and at bedtime (if I remember!). It’s not just something you take when you feel bad. It seems to be working. I’ve been on it for going on 2 weeks, and I have not been sick at all. Nauseous after the treatment, but I can deal with that. No more upset tummy. Hallelujah! My fear has been that it would hit me when out in public. Because once it strikes there is no stopping it. At all. This is a Godsend. Cross your fingers and send up a little prayer that it continues to do its thing. My system thanks you.

Another thing with this chemo: my hair is coming back. OK, not enough to ditch the cover ups. But it is coming back. I know: TMI. But I shaved my legs the other day. Woo hoo! I guess. That might have been a perk, not having to shave. tee hee. We’ll see if this is a continued trend or just short term.

We’re perking right along here at home. I’m getting some things done around the house soon. About to get some furniture re-upholstered. That is the scariest thing in the world to me. Picking fabric you have to live with for ages……………..wish me luck. And then the rug to go with the redo. Oy! It’ll happen and it will be good. This is mostly Granny’s furniture, by the way. And I am not doing it the way it “always has been.” That is another thing that makes it so scary, I guess. Next, finding a new yard/handyman type. Mike’s back has been acting up again. The herniated disc has reared its ugly head, so he is not allowed to dabble in the yard as before. Hopefully the gentleman who helps one of our neighbors can step in. He has done things for us before. Just been a couple of years. I’ll give him a buzz and see what happens.

The pets continue to be spoiled rotten having me home with them. The cat lives for our afternoon nap. He crawls up on my legs and stretches out full length for his nap and cuddle time. Crazy kitty. And Lucy just likes the company. (she’s not a cuddler.)

My mother-in-law had quite an experience at her retirement facility recently. It was invaded by the Noro Virus (like on the cruise ships). Everyone was quarantined in their apartments. Food was delivered to them and the entire facility was scrubbed clean. I guess they did their apartments, too. Poor thing. She was captive for what I think was about 10 days. Not totally sure.

Good news: we are expecting a great niece or nephew. Nephew Drew and his wife Lindsay are expecting. Exciting times! Especially since I am totally into baby shopping lately. Birthdays for a 1 year old, a 2 year old, and a baby shower have me ready to shop. Online,of course. I was recently interviewed by our local paper about online shopping. If it didn’t exist I’d be in a world of hurt. My days of cruising the mall are done. I now cruise the net. Or hit one store. Give me one store at a time. 🙂

Dr. Russell received a lifetime achievement award from Fountain Square Players. So deserving. He is doing well, all things considered. When you say your prayers, please add my friend Jaquatta Summers and her husband Dale. He has been diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. Also, my friend Debi’s niece. She has CP, and recently had a stint with a semi-catatonic state. No explanation found. the poor child goes through so much. Keep Leah in your prayers.

Like I said, I don’t have too much news. I’m just soooo happy that spring is here. I know everyone is. I was feeling pretty trapped this winter, with the severe cold temps. Enjoy the glorious weather and sunshine. April showers will come soon enough.

Love to everyone. And love to my church family for all the things they do for us every day. From prayers, to food, to books and suggestions of books. All is so appreciated.

More to come after the upcoming Dr. visits. And remember: God is good. All the time. All the time, God is good.


Brrrrr………….. Winter, go away! – January 24, 2014

Hey! Just a quick update this time (I promise this time).

I put some new pictures on the photo page. Dear friend Elizabeth Honeycutt and two of her granddaughters, Shirley (Rish) and James Henry Holland, our great niece Kasey (Dani’s granddaughter), and, of course, Lucy. And the figurine I had made for Mike for Christmas this year. I completely forgot to get pictures of Debbie Youngman while she was here visiting. Another time…………….

Quickly: the new chemo went OK. I had a reaction to it when they started it. Apparently I could not tolerate it going in as fast as it looked like I could. After what looked like an allergic reaction, they got it under control with Benadryl, some other pre med, and cutting the drip to 1/2 rate so it went into my system at a slower rate. That worked. Hallelujah. You hate to have to give up on something before really trying it to see if it works.

I’ve had few side effects from it. The usual slight bad taste, and some fatigue. But other than that I’m fine. In fact, I’ve been out for lunch a couple of times this week. Trying to stay kind of away from people. The flu really is running wild out there. Even a head cold would not be pleasant, so I’m keeping my distance. I’ll have the next treatment in 3 more weeks. Cross your fingers and say a prayer that this drug does its job more effectively.

The real reason I’m writing is to ask for prayers for our friend Betty Satterfield. She was diagnosed with bladder cancer, and after surgery is recovering at home. Her margins came back clear, so hopefully this will take care of it! Please keep her in your prayers as she continues to recover.

And Dr. Bill Russell needs everyone’s continued prayers. His lung disease has progressed to the point he is very uncomfortable. Pray for comfort and peace. He is one of the dearest men I know. Pray for his family as well. They’ve had more than their share this year. Strong as they are, they need all our prayers.

Thanks, everyone. Try to stay warm. I told someone, this 1890 house is full of character. But no insulation. Two degree weather is no fun when there are no sub floors, 🙂 We spend a lot of time upstairs. But enough complaining. We have shelter, food, and plenty of clothes to keep us warm and comfortable. Pray for those that must suffer this weather.

Love to everyone. Thank you for all you do–for everyone every day. Blessings.


Happy New Year, Everyone! – January 13, 2014

Hi all. I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas, Hanukah, whatever you celebrate at this time. Winter is so bleak otherwise, I think that’s why our happiest holidays come then. They bring hope and a new uplifting spirit to us. Think how dreary those gray days would be without all the happy music, decorations, and cheerful greetings.

Mike and I had a terrific holiday. As I’ve said before, to friends and on Facebook posts, it was relaxing and renewing. Debbie Youngman, my friend from teaching days in Martinsville, came out a couple of days prior to Christmas and spent the holiday with us. It is like having your sister with you. You don’t have to worry about cleaning up or fussing with how things look. Everyone just enjoys themselves. Before Christmas Day the three of us did a little last minute shopping, then made plans for church on Christmas Eve and a gathering at a friend’s house afterward. Christmas morning we went over to more friends’ home for Christmas breakfast (complete with a very happy two year old), came home and everyone went to their respective space for a good old afternoon nap. When we got up we put together Christmas dinner. Debbie had ordered little pork loins and specialty Mac and Cheese, and Mike picked up sweet potato casserole and had made an ambrosia. Plus Marty’s green beans from the Madrigal dinner–yum! We took our time, cleaned up, and then opened our gifts. What a nice relaxing time. And what a blessing to have Debbie to share it with.

Mike got back in the routine of work and Debbie and I thoroughly enjoyed sitting around, drinking coffee, watching all the good ol’ morning TV shows. Michael and Kelly, the View, The Chew, the Talk………….. lol. Then if we wanted to go out and do a few things we did. Otherwise we just chilled. Yep–totally relaxing.

Now, fast forward to January and Anne getting back in the routine. I did my 2nd treatment at the beginning of January. Last week I went back for Treatment #3. Dr. Smith was not pleased with lab results. The first treatment was showing promise of getting rid of the fluid in the lungs and making me feel better. The markers had even gone down a little. Well, not so with this one. Just to see a clearer picture of what was going on I had a CT scan last Friday. Yep–a good bit of fluid on the lung. So the taxotere had done all it could. Not every drug works for every patient, so Dr. Smith said we need to get right onto another drug, without wasting any time. I was really disappointed at first with the delivery of the news. And Dr. Smith was aware of that. But after a week to think about it, and the realization that even though I felt better at first, it wouldn’t last. This morning Mike and I went back to Dr. Smith to talk things over. Realizing the fluid was building up again, he sent me over to Dr. Lanier, the pulmonologist, for a decision on how to get rid of it. There are two methods. Do an in-office needle drain, or another procedure (which I will not even attempt to spell) that would be actual surgery and result in a week’s stay in the hospital. We don’t know how fast this fluid came up–it’s been three months since the first draw. The whole hospital procedure may not be needed, so we opted for the in-office procedure this time. We’ll keep a close eye on it to see if the other procedure becomes a necessity. Probably should have done that at first. But hindsight is 20/20. He drew it off this morning, so I’m home doing nothing that requires a lot of movement. While it really didn’t hurt much while he did it, afterwards I was plenty sore. I’ll be taking a good nap in a while. Sure not going to be moving around a lot. 😉

Wednesday I will start the new drug (No, I don’t remember its name offhand). From the paperwork the side effects appear to be much the same. At least I’ll know what to expect, right? Right.

With all this said, I have to say that over all I still feel pretty good. Yes, I nap a lot (even for me–the nap queen). But that’s probably normal with the chemo. But pain is not a huge issue–it’s been very controllable since we started this regimen. And I have cared enough and have felt like helping put away Christmas and getting things back in order. I even attempted helping with meals. Not my best idea, but more on that in a bit. I knew my breathing was slipping–I’d begun to wheeze again, and I was short of breath after moving around or walking even the shortest distance. After I had made considerable progress. I was even going up the stairs in one attempt. That was beginning to slip a bit. Hopefully the start of this new drug will stop the decline before it gets away from us. As Dr. Smith said, feeling good is a big part of the equation.

As I said, I had attempted cooking. I did a pot roast one day. However, I had to go without my O2 while I prepared it to go in. That led to being pretty uncomfortable for a couple of days. I can help with assembling things and getting it all together, but actually cooking (not just heating up) wasn’t going so well. I don’t even seem to have the concentration to get things together. That left Mike in charge again. And since he is doing virtually everything else I hated that. Along comes the knight in shining armor. Lee sent a timely text asking if we needed food again. (We had stopped during the holidays–plenty of food and not being here much.) We cut back on the schedule and the choir has stepped in to fill in gaps again. They are such a blessing to us. We don’t have lots of family to help out, so the choir is our family. The prayers and virtual hugs, along with those wonderful meals, have gotten us through some very rough spots. It means we don’t stand in the middle of the kitchen looking at each other blankly and finally opening another can of soup. 🙂 Thank you, friends. Thank you.

I don’t know if I’ve related the O2 story. Thad and First Choice got us the battery pack rechargeable O2 machine, that we keep downstairs. No more carrying Big Bertha up and down; she is in the sitting room where the hose reaches to the bed, the bathroom, and across the hall in the little bedroom, with ease. I can also take the battery pack in the car, in case we’re going to be out for any length of time. It is a little loud, though, so if we’re headed to church or any other situation where it calls for quiet, I take the tanks. Which First Choice delivers to your doorstep if you can’t get there to trade in. The Home Health businesses are a God send, folks. I can’t imagine what people did for things like this before these businesses existed. And they are so good to us, and so caring there. They are always checking to see if we need anything else, or if things are going well with what we have. They’re definitely an arm of your healthcare. Thanks, all.

Well, as usual I have gone on forever here. I get on a roll and, well, you know……… I can’t stop myself.

I am blessed to have a wonderful church family and circle of friends. You are all such a blessing to Mike and me. I know this support is a big part of why I feel as good as I do. The love seeps in and acts as good medicine. Remember all the people who need your prayers now. A lady I used to work with is going through a particularly rough time in life. I think she feels that nothing is going right for her, and with all that’s hit her I understand. Please sent prayers to Diane Turk. And Bill and Anna Russell continue to need your prayers every day. The son of one of Mike’s co-workers has been diagnosed with a rare lung cancer. Dallas Kendall needs all our prayers. My brother-in-law, Bill Bayley, needs prayers as he deals with bladder cancer. As well as the anniversary of the death of his wife last year. And my sister-in-law, Lynne, bears the brunt of much of the care of Mike’s step-mom, as well as her own private cares. She is a tower of strength to all of us in the family. We often forget that she is doing much of this on her own and she needs our support. She is bound to feel it weighing heavily on her, too. I think of her often. Send prayers her way. I know all of you know others that need our love and support, and I wish them all the best. And also, you. Every one of you who reads this, everyone that you meet on the street, has their own set of challenges. We may not see them. We may think that person could not have a care in the world. But everyone has something. Try to remember that as you go through your day and I will do my best to do the same.

The windbag is done now. 🙂 We love you all, and we cherish you all. Happy 2014 and blessings on everyone.

Anne and Mike (forgive any grammar errors! I tried to catch them, but even the Grammar Nazi, as I seem to have been dubbed, screws up! hee hee)

Christmas is a-coming! December 12, 2013

Christmas is getting closer and closer, isn’t it? I finally got my act together and went online and finished my shopping. Or all I hope to get done this year. 🙂

There isn’t too much new to report since last time. The side effects from the taxotere that had begun to set in on Friday continued to manifest throughout the weekend. Boy, did I find out what muscle aches were all about. It was like the flu only more intense. You didn’t want to touch or be touched by anyone. I even banned Lucy from the couch and sleeping with me. Now that is bad! Luckily it began to taper off by Monday or Tuesday. The fatigue–another story. That has taken quite a while to shake. I really began to good decent this week, 3rd week out. And guess what? the next treatment is next Monday. Wheee……

I have a feeling each treatment will be a little less hard on me. That is what happened last time. Your body starts to adjust to these weird things you are doing to it. That, plus the good effects of the medication begin to kick in and go after the tumor cells. I have felt quite a bit of relief in breathing. One or two days this week I managed to go up and down the stairs multiple times, without giving it too much thought. That is definitely new. And was one of the things Dr. Smith said should be an outcome. Honestly, if it helps the breathing, the muscle aches are worth it. I know that sounds odd, but not being able to walk across the room comfortably is a horrid feeling. Especially for someone who at one time could walk 3 or 4 miles. My legs still want to go as fast as always. I have to make my brain think: “Slow down, dimwit. Or you’ll pay for sure!” (a little humor is a good thing)

I mentioned before that Mike’s cousin in Nashville had lost his battle with a very rapid cancer. His memorial was to be Monday. After convincing Mike that I would be fine (I had plenty of food and juice on hand and I could go downstairs if I wanted soup or something else), he went on his way to the service. And then went to see VCU play Belmont. He had bought tickets for us a couple of months ago, and I really didn’t want him to miss the game. He needed the break. Yes, he went. But meanwhile he had communicated with Pam and over she came, with food, and sat and visited. It was good to see her. I was rested when she came, so I was feeling good and ready to visit with her. Then we ate when Mike got home, which he did before 7:00 that night. What a sweetheart. Both of them.

As I said, by Monday and Tuesday after the treatment I was feeling better. Mike and I made the trip down to Goodlettesville for the new hairdo. Just in time, I might add. By Friday things were happening. No, I didn’t go have it shaved. I had had it cut super short, so the process really didn’t take too long. And I’m too private about it to have it shaved. Just can’t make myself do it. I admire the ladies who can go without their wigs; I’m just not one of them. Anyhow, we visited our wig shop, ate lunch at Friday’s, and came back to BG to run a couple of errands. A full day. I did pay for it the next few days, but it was so good to get out and see people. I’m about ready to do it again. 🙂 Sure wish it would warm up, though. I dread toting the oxygen around while wearing full winter wear.

This weekend is our church’s cantata, so I hope to be there for that. I’ve missed the last couple of Sundays, and I really miss seeing everyone. The choir and church have been so helpful and so supportive. They, in addition to our other community of friends, have been our backbone. When you live so far from family it is important to build connections. And we are thankful to have such helpful ones. When the real effects of the taxotere set in, I realized we needed help with food. Mike was being overwhelmed with everything else that needed doing. He is still working, after all, plus running in circles doing my errands and taking care of me on a daily basis. There were a few days I didn’t come downstairs at all, so he was fixing things, bringing it up, going back and cleaning up……….We wouldn’t have that any other way, but I could see it was taking a real toll on him. So church kicked in and has fed us like royalty. There aren’t enough words to thank them and others who have helped. You all know who you are, and you rock!

Hopefully, if the weather isn’t bad, I can get out and visit the new Bed, Bath, and Beyond this weekend. See? I know I’m better. I’m thinking about shopping. A definite sign! To our friends who have come by and visited, thanks a ton. You’re keeping me in touch. To all those who have sent cards, thank you for your thoughtfulness. It is a daily reminder of how much you mean to us. And to others, well, until you are properly thanked, I want to say thanks tons for everything.

In about 10 days my friend Debbie Youngman will be here to spend Christmas. I look forward to seeing her and hearing more from home. It will be a quiet, family Christmas, just the three of us. Mike feel a little outnumbered, if we gang up on him (which we do every now and then, lol), but he loves it.

Please keep our brother-in-law Bill in mind. He did well with his surgery for bladder cancer, and is now entering the next phase of his journey.

And please send special prayers to Dr. Bill Russell and Anna. They have had an extraordinarily difficult time this fall, and need everyone’s love and support. Bill has been fighting his illness for years, and it’s finally taking a horrible toll on him. Anna has had to make some difficult decisions about treating her heart condition as well. And Karen, their daughter, suffered a house fire this fall. As I said, they have had it very rough. Some of the best people in the world.

Everyone out there fights their own battles, and everyone needs our love and prayers. I pray that everyone reading this has a wonderful Christmas with those they love. And I want to extend special prayers to the people in oncology at Graves Gilbert. They are such special nurses, getting all of us through this journey. And of course to Dr. Smith.Thank you, friends. You are our heroes.

Merry Christmas everyone. Stay well, and be happy.

Anne and Mike

Thanksgiving – November 29, 2013

Happy Day After Thanksgiving Day. (not Black Friday–it’s too pretty out there)

We have had a nice holiday and want to wish everyone a blessed time. Whether you are with your family and friends, or just spoke to them long distance, or even just thought of them, I hope your day has been pleasant. I’ve enjoyed reading posts on FB about the good family times–hectic, quiet, insane, peaceful. All funny; all entertaining. Thanks.

Quick update: Dr. Smith had warned that 4 or 5 days out would be crunch time. As I told a friend, he knows his business. We’ve hit the muscle aches and sore throats the last couple of days. Time to lay low, for sure. It’s not unbearable, by any means. Don’t let me imply that. Just very uncomfortable. I’m likely to hunker down on my couch upstairs and stay there. With my dog, of course. Poor Mikey. The DVR is downstairs. 🙂 I’ll shoo him away later, if he wants to catch up on things.

We have so much to be thankful for, despite circumstances. There so many good friends out there that have done so much for us. We truly appreciate all of you. First Choice got the battery pack oxygen in, so I have a little more freedom to move around (once the soreness goes away, for sure). We were treated to a wonderful dinner last night, by good friends. And if I’m up to it Saturday we’ll go to another friend’s house. I have to be very careful this time, though. This weekend is the highest risk of infection, so I may have to just stay in. We’ll see……. Let me add in here: the nurse practitioner has taken time to call me twice this week and check on me. Including yesterday, on Thanksgiving. They are very thorough and caring people.

I don’t really have a lot to say. I just wanted to check in and wish everyone a good day. As I just said on FB, thank heaven for the technology we have today. I have had so many messages on text, email, messaging, etc. I still feel connected to everyone and enjoy seeing everyone out there. Keep on posting!

Love to everyone. Go eat more turkey and take another nap. But stay away from the madness that is Black Friday. Some of those folks are insane! tee hee

quick update – November 25, 2013

For those not on Facebook, here is a quick update. I had my first treatment today. It went well. They were able to use the port for labs and administration (super yea, said the veins).

pre-meds are holding their own. I’ve had no nausea since treatment. I also had an iv dose of steroids, so I feel pretty good tonight. We’ll know how I tolerate it in the next few days. Just whisper a little prayer.

We were home by 12:40, in time for a nap (sort of–after steroids it was a strange – dream kind of nap). Mike even got to go into work for a while.

We continue to thank everyone. And I will reiterate here, those nurses are the most wonderful people. They are so caring and compassionate. But they also make everyone laugh and feel good while there. It’s a gift. A true gift.

We’ll keep you updated. Thanks.

Anne and Mike

prayer – November 21, 2013

As we walked in the door today from the pre-op procedure, the phone was ringing. It was news that Mike’s cousin Bobby,from Nashville, had passed away this morning. Please keep his family in your prayers. Even though it was expected, and he is at peace, you’re never “ready.” Love to all the family.

schedule – November 20, 2013

I realized I have not updated everyone on the final schedule. Tomorrow (Thursday) I see the surgeon for consult and pre-op. Then Friday I will have a port put in. Monday is D Day. I go in for labs that morning, see Dr. Smith, and then go to chemo. Let’s get the show on the road.

Today I went and got a super short haircut. See the profile pic up in the corner? That ain’t nothing! We did a pixie cut, in preparation for hair loss, if it happens. My ears are cold, lol. I’ll just be wearin’ me some big old ear rings for a while.

Things are marching along. Most of the time I feel pretty good. Today has been rough because I’m not breathing as well. That happened some over the weekend, too. Just as long as I’m not getting sick. Who knows? It could be another build up of fluid. We’ll see. But we have to start this process. One of the goals of the chemo is to get me breathing better. So cross your fingers.

That’s it for now. Everyone have a great day. Praise: JoEllen’s little girl finally got to come home from Vanderbilt. Keep praying for continued recovery for this child. She has endured a lot, and her brother and sister have, too. Her mom and dad are certainly great parents.

Place Anna and Bill Russell on your lists. They have had more than their share lately. Their son had to have bypass, their daughter’s house burned, and they are not feeling well. They need our support now.

Thank you all again for everything. We love you all!

Anne and Mike and the babies

A good read, compliments of Shirley Holland – November 19, 2013

I got this great email from Shirley, and thought it was worth a read. I know I should read it repeatedly!

Thank you all for the positive messages. We cherish them and love you all.

Conversation with God


Man: God, can I ask You a question?
God: Sure
Man: Promise You won’t get mad …
God: I promise
Man: Why did You let so much stuff happen to me today?
God: What do u mean?
Man: Well, I woke up late
God: Yes
Man: My car took forever to start
God: Okay
Man: at lunch they made my sandwich wrong & I had to wait
God: Hmm
Man: On the way home, my phone went DEAD, just as I picked up a call
God: All right
Man: And on top of it all, when I got home I just wanted to soak my feet in my new foot massager & relax. BUT itwouldn’t work!!! Nothing went right today! Why did You do that?

God: Let me see, the death angel was at your bed this morning & I had to send one of My Angels to battle him for your life. I let you sleep through that

Man (humbled): OH

GOD: Ididn’t let your car start because there was a drunk driver on your route that would have hit you if you were on the road.

Man: (ashamed)

God: The first person who made your sandwich today was sick & Ididn’t want you to catch what they have, I knew youcouldn’t afford to miss work.

Man (embarrassed): Okay

God: Your phone went dead because the person that was calling was going to give false witness about what you said on that call, Ididn’t even let you talk to them so you would be covered.

Man (softly): I see God

God: Oh and that foot massager, it had a shortage that was going to throw out all
of the power in your house tonight. I didn’t think you wanted to be in the dark.

Man:I’m Sorry God

God: Don’t be sorry, just learn to Trust Me…. in All things , the Good & the bad.

Man: I will trust You.

God: And don’t doubt that My plan for your day is Always Better than your plan.

Man: I won’t God. And let me just tell you God,
Thank You for Everything today.

God: You’re welcome child. It was just another day being your God and
looking after My Children…

I’m sorry to disturb you ! My name is God. You hardly have time for me. I love you and always bless you. I am always with you. I need you to spend 30 minutes of your time with Me today. Don’t pray. Just chat. Today I want this message across the world before midnight. Will you help?

Food! – November 18, 2013

Please don’t let me mislead you. I told a friend, when I mentioned food it was in response to someone asking how are you managing? We are doing well. With just two of us it’s pretty easy to make things last. I can take chicken and have a bunch of meals with different incarnations, right down to chicken salad from the leftovers. Or soup from a leftover roast. And fixing veggies means opening a can, lol. Or a steaming a freezer bag. We’re pretty low maintenance. Seriously, we are goodl.

News – November 17, 2013

Well, great. I just typed 3/4 of a new update and it disappeared. Just like that. sigh……………….. Let me start over.

This is a somewhat difficult entry. Let me just jump right in and get right to it.

The 2nd week of October we went back to Siesta Key. This replaced our trip to the Grand Canyon that fell through when the federal shut down took place. We stopped in Atlanta on the way, and while walking around Olympic Park, I became so winded that we had to just stop so I could get my breath. Our room at the condo was 2nd floor this time, so going up and down stairs continued to be a chore the week we were gone. Honestly, I had had other breathing issues this summer, prior to changing blood pressure meds. But they seemed to clear up with the new medication. Oh well……………. Anyhow, I knew that I had an appointment with Dr. Smith Monday when we got back, and a check up with Dr. Reed on Wednesday. I figured we’d address the issues then.

Dr. Smith immediately scheduled another CT. (we have been watching lungs for awhile because of some little spots. And breast cancer typically goes to the lung.) Dr. Reed heard a rattling and followed up by adding a CTA on top of the CT. The tests showed considerable fluid on the lung, so Dr. Reed got me in to see Dr. Lanier, a pulmonologist. He studied the x rays and drew off fluid (that was fun…………no, it could have been worse. Just uncomfortable.), then ordered oxygen–24/7. And more tests. We were trying to see if it could be heart problems. No such luck (that’s fixable). The fluid took us more and more in the direction of the cancer. Yes, the tumor markers were going down with the oral chemo. But markers are only a part of the story of this disease. Finally had a bronchoscope and biopsy of lung tissue last week, which confirmed our fears. There is a malignant tumor in the lung. Dr. Lanier turned me over to Dr. Smith, and we will go from there.

Unfortunately our appointment was very late Friday afternoon, and Dr. Lanier’s schedule had gotten way off. We were over an hour late seeing him, which threw us off in seeing Dr. Smith. That meant we were rushed trying to ask and answer questions about things. (We had to get to home health to get more O2 tanks for the weekend.) Here’s what we do know as of now…..

Dr. Smith’s office is contacting my surgeon from 10 years ago. He will put in a port asap, and I will then begin chemo immediately. Like within a day or two. As Dr. Smith says, we have to take the gloves off and get at this as fast and as hard as possible. I believe the drug is taxotiere (sp?). I haven’t read up on it yet. We do know it’s a very strong drug. I am not allowed to travel, and I can’t be around anyone with so much as a sniffle.I won’t be “doing lunch” very much for a while, girls. Guess you’ll have to come here, Just as long as there are no sniffles, that is. We do not know how long each session will be, or how many sessions. I have a feeling the number of sessions will be dependent on how I respond to the drug. If I’m not responding, well, there’s no point in continuing that one, I guess. I’ll be checked continually, for anemia and infection.

We have had a little time to get our heads wrapped around things. I have to say, I really, in my heart, knew the outcome. I had actually had a couple of dreams this fall that were leading me down that path. Preparing me, I guess. Not the first time I’ve done things like that. I dreamt about the man who gave me away in my wedding, 5 days before he passed away. We were out of the country, and I knew we had to be home soon after that dream. Weird, huh? And there have been of other times. God leading toward preparation.

Anyway, we have a plan and we will proceed from there. I have already started thinking about things I can do here in the house to occupy myself. I bought a box of books at the library sale plus what I have on my Nook. And some beading I’ve been wanting to do, plus my knitting. We have been coping with the tiredness ever since I started on the oxygen (draining the fluid really “drained” me physically, and it is something that doesn’t go away). If I cook I try to do enough of a main course that will last more than one meal. Then all we have to do is fix some veggies. And by “we” I mean Mike. He is Super Man. He carts these O2 tanks around, helping me get them ready for the day ahead so I have enough to get me where I need to be. The tanks only last about 3 hours, so you have to plan things out. For home use there is Big Bertha Blue. It’s a big machine that creates its own O2. Trouble is, we have a 2 story house. So it has to be carted up and down steps. I am in hopes of getting a battery pack machine so that doesn’t have to happen. We’ll have one up and one down. Mike can’t continue to take this thing up and down the stairs. His back and herniated disc will give out. He has been doing a lot of the shopping for incidentals, too. Like I said, he is Super Man. I’d be lost without him.

I’m doing OK. We do need prayers that the chemo drug yields results. I’m not sure what options there are if I don’t respond to it. So give it all you have there. But whatever happens, will happen. We will take it one day at a time and put one foot in front of the other.

I have to give some wonderful news. I attended the christening of Jude Mateo Hendrick today. Harmony and Ed’s darling boy. It was a joyous occasion, with children everywhere: sweet little Riley and all the Bocas. How joyful. And next weekend (hopefully I will get to go) is Walker T.’s 2nd birthday. That sweet boy of Tracy and Brian Eppolito (nephew of Pam and Duncan McKenzie) brings us so many smiles. Life really is good.

Prayers needed: my friend JoEllen’s little girl has been in and out of Vandy for 7 weeks with a problem in her intestines. Please pray for her. She has terrible pain associated with it. Debi Jordan’s nephew and his fiancé were in a horrible car wreck, leaving them both hospitalized and needed long term care and healing. Pray for Bart and Missy. Mike’s cousin Bobby is in the final stages of a vicious and aggressive cancer that came out of nowhere. They have told him he will not face the pain his daughter did when she died of cancer several years ago, but it is tough to know he may be suffering. Pray for Bobby’s good rest and healing. Pray also for Bill Bayley, our brother-in-law. Dani, his wife, passed away in February, from a brain tumor. He now has bladder cancer and has undergone treatment and surgery. Pray for complete recovery. Remember the people of the Philippines, the people who were struck by today’s storms, and all who have unnamed requests. And thank you all for everything you do for us and all prayers you send. We remain blessed by you all. And we love you all.

Blessings to all, Anne, Mike, and the fur babies (Sebastian and Lucy the nurse dog)

Happy Autumn – October 5, 2013

Hi, All. Just a quick update this weekend. I had my 3 week check up last Monday. It went very well. My blood work all registered great last week–liver panels, anemia, etc. I am responding and handling the new drug so well that Dr. Smith wants to up the dosage. He said this is unusual–he usually has to do a weaker dose, since people don’t tolerate the drug so well. I’m one of the lucky ones. My only side effects are fatigue (I can doze off at the drop of a hat!) and really horrible fingernails. The nails are so soft they break and split really easily. No more prying the tops off of things, or opening jewelry clasps with fingernails. Oh well. if that’s the worst it gets I can definitely live with that, for sure. So, after vacation, I will increase my dosage to 7 pills a day.

Now then. Speaking of vacation, our trip to the Grand Canyon is off for the fall. Because of the government shut down, all the parks we were due to visit are shut down. We could continue on the trip, and do a mystery tour. No thanks.(They had to do something for people who were already there, particularly foreign tourists who traveled so far and didn’t have the option of cancelling.) We opted to postpone the trip until the spring. So my friend Debbie and the two of us will try again in April. As Mike said, the only bad thing is that I’m doing really well right now. Everyone pray that is still true in April. I know it will be, but I could use a little boost from all you guys.

Since the trip was due to be two weeks long, Mike will probably continue to work this week and we will take a trip the next week. Mike would really like to get away, I’m sure. We may even head to Siesta Key. Our usual place has a few vacancies. And Tropical Storm Karen seems to have calmed down. We’ll see what happens this week and take it from there. Meanwhile, I can put away the clothes I had already pulled aside to pack for the trip. Won’t be needing long pants and layered clothing in Florida.

That’s about it for now. I would like to ask for prayers for an unspoken need. We have a dear friend who is going through a bad patch right now. I can’t say what or who now. Please just lift him up. It’s one of those things where you say this just shouldn’t happen to him. It’s not fair. Well, no, it isn’t. But we just need to have faith that it will work out.

Everyone have a great fall. If you’re on fall break, please be careful and get home safely. Love to everyone. And thank you to all for support, prayers, and love.

Anne and Mike

September 18, 2013

Whatdid I say at the end of the last update? That I would check in more often?sigh………. Sorry about that. Sometimes you have to be in the mood, and well, it’s been an interesting summer, so I guess I haven’t been. Here goes:

I looked back and saw the date was June 28. Otherwise known as the beginning ofthe temporary downhill slide. (July was not my favorite month.) July 1 we went to a play, and I knew I felt a bit nauseated. Well, later that night some kind of stomach bug hit and lasted forever. I could not get straight. So late Sunday night Mike took me to the ER. We both thought they’d give me fluids and send us home. Nope. The Nurse Practitioner decided I was having a heart attack. Let me explain: my meds increase my heart rate, so I think that’s where she got that. Needless to say, that led to test after test after test. All I wanted to do was lie down and stop hiccoughing, heaving, and feeling sick. Oh well. I was finally admitted at 6:00 a.m. (poor Mike had been sitting in a straight chair all night while we waited for a bed). After all the tests, a visit from Dr. Smith and a cardiologist, it was determined I did NOT have a heart attack. I was just suffering from a bad stomach virus or even slight food poisoning. Came home Tuesday and finally got to sleep. It’s true, you don’t get any sleep in the hospital. At 4:30 a.m. they came in and asked if I could stand up to get my weight. Seriously. 4:30 a.m. Like that couldn’t wait ‘til morning.

Thiswas the week we were supposed to be meeting Mike’s high school friend in Louisville. Oops. That was out of the question now. Mike’s friend and his wife came down to BG for a short visit. Making the best of a bad situation. And I started the saga of eating baked potatoes for most of the month. The only thing that tasted good.

Wednesday of that week I began my new meds. I am now on an oral chemo. The regimen is two weeks on, one week off. I am tolerating it very well. Although starting it that soon after being so sick probably wasn’t the best idea. I ended up very anemic that first trip back for blood work. After 3 weeks of Procrit I came back up to speed and have been able to quit the Procrit for now. We’ll see if it holds. I feel like it will, since I really feel well. I’ve been extremely fortunate in my reaction to the drug. I have not had a lot of mouth sores (some, not horrid) and I have not had the typical reaction of a bad rash on hands and feet. My fingernails are so soft they bend, and I get fatigued at times. And a slight nausea at times. I can handle it.

Meanwhile, I am doing well with the lymphedema in my arm. I finished my physical therapy and got my own pump to use on my arm. The pump comes with a sleeve that massages the arm. That really does a lot to relieve the fluids that collect in the arm. It can be a little bit of a pain. You use it twice a day, morning and night. An hour each time. Night usage isn’t bad, but in the morning it seems to eat up the time that could be used elsewhere. (worst part of morning usage is that the humming of the machine and the massage makes me sleepy. I tend to dose off instead of reading. Lol) But the results are worth it. I can wear my rings again, which makes me REALLY happy.

Mid-July we did get to go to Banner Elk, Boone, and Blowing Rock to see Debbie and Edith. I did well—only one slight bout of car sickness (the nausea lingered for a month after that whatever it was earlier in the month) in the mountains. That was pretty darned good. We shopped ’til we dropped, ate out (yes, lots of baked potatoes and salads), and just caught up. A good time was had by all.

Onthe way home we went to Cary to see Mike’s step-mom. Just before we left on thetrip we learned that she had fallen and broken her wrist, so it was good we had planned to visit. It was a good visit with her, and with Bill, Mike’s brother-in-law. Lynne was out of town and we missed seeing her. But we did catch up with Ethel.

Now the other thing that made July a not great month: on the way home we stopped in Asheville to spend the night. I woke up about 1:30 a.m. with a very swollen tongue. I had bitten it earlier in the night, so thought that was the cause. In retrospect I probably bit my tongue because it was huge. And I do mean huge. It got to the point that I could not close my mouth. Finally, around 2:30 I woke Mike. He got me ice and we sat up a while, trying to figure out what to do. At some point it hit me: take a Benadryl. Ok, swollen tongue makes for difficult swallowing, but I got it down. It began to work, slowly but surely. Thank heaven, because if it had gotten any bigger I’m pretty sure it would have meant a trip to the ER. Mike researched Urgent Cares and we were there when they opened the doors (me with a towel in front of my mouth to cover the ugly tongue thing). Result: blood pressure meds. Apparently, even though I have been on Lisinopril forever (at least 15 years), it can cause a sudden onset allergic reaction. They gave me a shot of Benadryl in one hip and a steroid in the other. And a prescription for steroids. I was dozing off before we got out of the parking lot! This incident relates back to the swollen face earlier in the spring. Maybe it wasn’t the Metropolol, or maybe the combination of that and the Lisinopril worked together to set off the reactions. We ditched that medicine and I called Dr. Reed as soon as we got home. My blood pressure was excellent, so we stopped meds for a while. Mistake. It slowly crept back up, causing huge swollen feet and a hard time breathing. New meds for blood pressure (with many assurances from Dr. Reed and the pharmacist that it’s a different class of drug and I should not have this reaction again), and I’m good. I also lost another 10 pounds. Yep. It’s a diuretic. Worked like a charm. Some folks have worried about the weight. Dr. Smith’s comment was just: don’t lose any more. I haven’t. In fact, I’ve gained a few pounds. It’s all good.

That,friends, was our July. Thank heaven August came along and things startedgetting better. It took several weeks to really feel well again. You know how it is after you’ve been sick with the flu or other somewhat debilitating illness. It takes a while to really, really feel good again. I decided we were going to write off the month of July this year, other than the visit to NC. And as I told a friend, the weird thing about both issues is that they really didn’t have anything to do with cancer. Life goes on and stuff happens.

The super news came week before last. I see Dr. Smith every 3 weeks since beginning this medicine, so he can monitor side effects, blood counts, etc. This time he did a full work up. For the first time in well over a year, the tumor markers moved down instead of up. And since I’ve been feeling better I have been able to cut pain meds in half. He said that’s a direct result of the markers reversing. I rarely take break through meds for extra pain, and not as much nausea medicine. As Dr. Smith said, we had cause to celebrate that day. And I did. I stopped on the way home for an Orange Julius. Yum. The new medicine is obviously working. All good news with the upcoming trips.

The last few weeks have been great. Mike’s birthday came and went, with a quiet celebration at The Bistro with good friends, then again at Buckhead with our theatre buddies. (It was a biggie this year, so we had to make a somewhat big deal of it.) We made a trip down to Portland with the Ossellos to the grape stomping at Sumner Crest, and got to hear a great band. I’ve continued to round things up for the church bazaar, coming up in November. Some painting, some knitting, and some gramma’s attic goodies are headed their way soon. I’ve been able to get out and go to lunch with friends again (I was beginning to get cabin fever here). And now we’re beginning to make plans for our “camping” trip (we are in a cabin—no sleeping bags for this chick) and then our trip to the Grand Canyon. I’m looking forward to both. One of the great things about both trips is that we will be with dear friends. Sharing experiences always makes things better.

I am so blessed. After a somewhat rough go the last few months, I am feeling so much better. Bowling Green recently lost a dear friend, Carol Smock. What a wonderful and classy lady. Anyone who knew her is better for having been her friend. Just as I’m so blessed to have all of you in my life. What a great support system. And group of prayer warriors. Mike and I thank you.

I’ll check in after the trip out west. Maybe I’ll have some great pics to post.

Love to all,


continued……………….. sigh – June 28, 2013

Sorry. my little notebook sometimes gets a wild hair and deletes entire paragraphs. The keyboard is super sensitive. I seem to have deleted a paragraph and posted just by passing over the button. One more time.

Early June brought my regular 3 month check up with Dr. Smith. I had a PET scan, routine now to check progress. The results were about the same. I am blessed that it still has not gotten to the organs. The tiny spots on my lung that I have mentioned in earlier posts have not changed, and he is certain they aren’t cancer. Probably good old histoplasmosis. (I have no idea how to spell that and it’s not in the dictionary on my computer. Sorry) This is very common in our region. Blackbirds, folks. Blackbirds. This said, my skeleton is pretty much covered, with hot spots here and there. OK, we can deal with it by starting the new meds. He checked progress on pain (bone pain is always a concern). At the time of the visit it was about the same. Low dose hydrocodone controlled it with dosages as needed. Fine. Well, about 5 days after seeing him I started having a twinge in my right side. I’m 62. Who doesn’t have twinges, right? But soon the twinge became a pain. Still having my appendix, I went back to my primary physician. Multiple tests later all she saw was a spot on one of my right ribs. The advice was to increase pill dosage. I’d been doing that. In fact, I had been up to twice my dosage (I know when to quit–so I wasn’t worried about overdosing). Needless to say I had to call Dr. Smith first thing Monday morning. He was with a patient in the hospital so I saw his nurse practitioner. She was so thorough and patient. She explained all my test results from the previous week, and then asked questions that helped pinpoint the pain. After consulting with Dr. Smith (who was rather surprised and distressed at how quickly this had happened) they changed my pain medicine. I have several hot spots, as I said, and the one on the rib had flared up. I cannot do any more radiation, as it will be harmful to bone marrow, so the only alternative was the upgrade in medicine. Low, low dose morphine. I am taking it for a week and keeping a journal of how often and when I take it. From there they work out a time release dose to be taken twice a day, with something to handle any “break through” pain. But they don’t expect that to occur for a good while.

The reason I go into this is to explain the psychological effects you go through. When I heard the word chemo, and then had to upgrade to morphine it took a toll on the mind. These are words I’ve gone 5 years without hearing, and I admit you’re never quite ready for that. Cancer is not only a physical illness, but very much a psychological journey. After a week to adjust, I have settled down a bit and realized that I’m still holding my own in so many ways. I’m so blessed that any of this type of progress has taken 5 years. And it can go quite a bit longer with proper care. That being said, we’re back to one step at a time.

Now for the last “when it rains it pours” thing that’s hit this month. When I had my original surgery they removed lymph nodes in my left arm. That always leaves patients at risk for a condition known as lymphedema–a swelling of the limb because there is nothing there to fight the infection. It’s been 10 years. I thought I was doing well. Still being careful not to carry heavy things on that shoulder, get a needle stick, or work with thorny plants. Low and behold I got a scratch (from my charm bracelet of all things) that became infected. Next thing we knew my arm was twice its normal size. I have a friend who is a physical therapist. She advised me how to get a compression sleeve (which Dr. Reed has prescribed). It was helping the arm, but then my hand became infected and swelled very painfully. So I got Dr. Reed to write an order for PT and we began that on Monday. Why do I even bring this up? Well, after the massage on the arm to move any remaining poison over to lymph nodes on the other side of the body, the arm is wrapped in multiple layers of bandage. Yep. You got the picture now. It looks like I got in a fight and lost. Yesterday at a local restaurant I noticed a gentleman looking at it. When we got closer together in line he smiled and asked if I’d given up my karate career. Good tension breaker. He was caring and concerned, but not afraid of it. That’s a good approach. The sympathy looks are sometimes hard to take. I’d rather joke about it. Keeps you from crying, lol. We’ll do 2 weeks of therapy and see where we need to go from there. It has been caught early, so hopefully we can bring things down to a reasonable size. No more charm bracelet on that arm, though. That’s for sure. I wanted everyone to know what the bandage was all about, though. Maybe I should have kept it quiet and listened to see what the rumors would be. I had a bad day years ago during treatments and the rumors started. I actually got cards expressing sympathy for my set back. All of a sudden folks were writing the obituary. Let’s nip it in the bud!

OK, I see clearly by the length of this post I need to be sure and post more regularly. This has to be the longest update ever. Epic proportions. Sorry.

Let me close by saying how blessed I feel by all the prayers of friends. They are felt and appreciated. Mike and I feel the love and support every day. Mike is my earthly rock, for sure. Pushing me when I need a push, lending a hand up when I need that. He deserves all the pats on the back you can give him. Another thing–he catches the crap when I do have a bad day. I don’t know why we take things out on the ones we love. We just do. Caregivers are our heroes.

Please send prayers to our family in NC, who are dealing with many trials of their own. Including the death of Mike’s step-sister this winter. Her brain cancer returned last fall and moved rapidly. She fought hard, but it was just too much. Send her mother, husband, and children special prayers. They are needed.

Love to our family in Tennessee. Though we don’t see you often, Bob and Bev, we think of you often. And to my extended adopted family from home–the Prices, Debbie Y., Ruth R., and all the dear friends I’ve connected with on FB, love and good thoughts. Please pray for my good friend Doug. He fights with diabetes every day and recently lost his leg below the knee. I don’t dare whine about a swollen arm. He is so strong as he fights this battle.

We continue our adventures. I mentioned we went to NY to see VCU play in the Atlantic 10 conference. Wonderful trip, even if it was colder than you know what up there! Brrrr…………… This summer we will see a childhood friend of Mike’s (they are traveling to Louisville and we’ll get together so the guys can catch up). Then return to Banner Elk to be with dear friends I taught with in Martinsville. In the fall we go camping (yes, camping. but I have a bed!) with great friends and their extended families. I expect long nights in front of the campfire and watching the kids play. And then the biggie. In October Mike, Debbie Youngman and I will go to the Grand Canyon. How exciting! This was a trip that my mother took and talked about all her life. I am so excited to see this wonder. A beautiful creation of God’s that I know will reinforce His wonders. And to those of you that know me well and my notorious fear of heights: It’s pretty big. I’m fairly certain I can stand far back and still see what I need to see. Just kidding.

Let me close with love to my church support group. What would we do without you guys? I ask for special prayers for our adopted granddaughter at church. She continues to struggle and try to overcome all the adversity she has faced in her short life. At times she has had to face the realization that she wasn’t wanted. Until she was taken in by Julie and Charley. Please life her up and send her love. It will be felt and it will help.

Prayers for all of you that have unspoken prayer needs. and again, love to you all for the support. Go out and give someone a hug today. Or just a smile. and just maybe someone will do the same for you when you need it.

I will do updates more often. No more novelettes.

Love, Anne


The spring monsoons have ended, and Kentucky heat and humidity are here! Welcome summer. We always welcome summer with a special celebration here, since it’s also our anniversary. This year marks #27. And they said it wouldn’t last. Oh wait. That was my mother. JUST KIDDING!

It’s time for an update. I never know quite how to start this, especially when I’ve gone so long since the last entry. Let’s just dive in.

Since February we’ve been moving right along with those new medications, the Afinitor and Exemestane. Otherwise known as my platinum plan, since the Afinitor is roughly $300 per pill. And I hear that could be considered one of the cheaper drugs. Wow!

Afinitor carries a list of side effects about as long as my arm. Luckily they don’t all hit you at once, but they do come on a little at a time. We’ve experienced a loss of taste (coffee doesn’t taste as good any more–awful) and appetite. That’s not a terrible thing, since all other drugs I’ve taken have made me constantly hungry. Since starting it in December I’ve lost about 20 pounds. This is a good thing when you have bone disease. Less stress on the skeleton. And I only mention it because I’ve had a few people express concern. But the weight loss has been gradual. Twenty pounds in six months is not bad. Other things include fatigue, acne (wtheck), toothache and a few mouth sores, rash on arms, calves, and tops if feet, and lovely swollen ankles and feet. As I said, it didn’t hit all at once, thankfully. It sort of like, new month, new side effect. We flew home to NC for my sister-in-law’s memorial service in February, and then to NY in March for the VCU basketball tournament. Result: severely swollen feet. We ruled out blood clots or any other causes. So I wore compression stockings for a good while, which helped tremendously. Not setting any fashion trends, but you do what you gotta do. If not, it can be extremely uncomfortable, even painful.

Another side effect can be increased heart rate, and we noticed a pattern of this as time went on. My heart rate was always at least in the 90’s, and sometimes in the mid to low 100’s. My primary physician wanted to address this, so she started me on Metropolol (sp?). Friends, that was the most frightening experience ever. I had a severe reaction. It began with a slight swelling where the aforementioned toothache is. I put in a call to my dentist, in case it was an abscess–he was out of town that day. When I heard back from him he immediately thought it might be a reaction. Around 1:00 I went to Urgent Care. Dr. Fraser was very thorough in her exam and did some detective work. We tossed those meds and started the wait to see if it got better. While Dr. Fraser was out of the room it apparently continued to swell. When she came back she looked shocked and said “you are worse!” I had driven myself, so she couldn’t do the Benadryl injection. I was sent home with strict instructions to take 2 Benadryl when I got home and take a Zyrtec. And call 911 if I became distressed–YIKES. She also called in an antibiotic, in case there was an abscess. Boy, did I sleep that afternoon. But when I woke up, I swear I could rival any monster from Steven King. My face was completely round (they call it moon face). Eventually my lips swelled to the point that they were inside out. It’s called angioedema, and is about the worst thing I’ve ever had, both physically and psychologically. It took the better part of the weekend to clear up. But there was an odd benefit to the antibiotic–the rash on my arms, legs, and feet went away. They were apparently a type of infection brought on by the Afinitor. hm…………….

Early June brought

February 25, 2013

I am so sorry. I think I misled everyone. When I said bye bye curly hair, that means it has straightened out. The previous medicine caused the curls, big time. First time I’d ever had all those curls. I looked like my grandmother. 🙂 But when I changed to the new pills, it began to relax within a couple of weeks. Last week when I got it cut, the curls that were left pretty much hit the floor. I’m back to my old self, save a few waves in the back. I’m having to learn to set my hair all over again. I’d gotten pretty lazy, just letting it dry and curl, lol.

Sorry to startle everyone. No, I’m not losing my hair. It’s just “different.” In fact, I saw a friend I used to work with yesterday after church. She never did recognize me. Pretty funny. I’m beginning to think I could go undercover if my look keeps changing. OK, I am done with updates now. I promise!

February 21, 2013

Wow! It’s been forever since I’ve updated, hasn’t it? Sorry about that. There hasn’t been too much to report, so I’ve just stayed quiet. But here’s a quick update.

In December Dr. Smith told me it seemed that the medicine I was on wasn’t really doing anything to stop the progress of the tumors. It is still on the bone, according to the PET Scan, but it is progressing and the markers continue to rise. So we talked it over and made a switch. He does a lot of research, and his recommendation is a drug called Afinitor, combined with Exemestane (an aromatase inhibitor). Afinitor is used for numerous other cancers, including pancreatic, so it’s pretty strong. I began it in December and at my January check up talked about side effects. I have noticed some, but I can live with them for sure. Let’s just say there are notable digestive issues at times. And at least once a day a wave of nausea. But it’s not terrible. I’ve also had a bit of a rash. But we’re not sure if that’s the drug or the cold weather. 🙂 My labs have been OK with the new drug. So we soldier on. I’ll have a more thorough check up in March and we’ll see what’s happening. All in all, I feel well. (oh yeah, did I mention I retired at the end of October? hee hee) I do notice some fatigue, but I am doing well.

Now, let me say, this one took some discussion. Afinitor is an extremely pricey drug. And I’m on new insurance now–Humana through my state retirement. Thankfully my copay is $25 for the Afinitor and $11 for the Exemestane. Because together the cost of the drugs is $8500. I told them I’m on the platinum plan. wow! That was a shocker for sure. Grateful and thankful is all I can say. I am truly blessed.

All this said, I have noticed one change from the last drug. I am noticeably less nervous and irritable. I had not realized how the previous medicine was affecting me until I went off it. Wow! My hands no longer shake uncontrollably, and my mood is better. To everyone whose head I tried to bite off, I sincerely apologize. Really!!!!!!!!!

One reason I haven’t updated is I couldn’t find words to talk about my sister-in-law, Dana. She suffered a recurrence of her brain cancer last fall. After a 3 year remission it came back in a very aggressive form. She lost the battle recently. Much too young. She’ll be missed by so many, but we are all better for having her in our lives. Keep her husband Bill, and children/children-in-law in your prayers.

Mike and I are traveling to the Atlantic 10 conference in Brooklyn in a few weeks. A dream of his is to see his Rams play in this conference. They are fun to watch. And the fact that it’s in Brooklyn is quite a perk. We will have time for a little sight-seeing while there. Can’t wait! I’ve been to NYC in college. But they kept us under lock and key. Imagine that!

Stay well everyone. Prayers to all my friends who continue their fights. And thanks to all our wonderful supporters. We couldn’t keep this battle going without you guys!

Love to all. Anne and Mike (and Lucy and Sebastian)

Another Jordan Crossed – September 17, 2012

Hello Friends. It’s been a while, I know. There hasn’t been much news this summer. Mike and I have traveled some. We went to Chicago to a wedding, and stopped at Nashville, IN, on the way home. Fun and crafts. Whee!!!!!! We also met some friends from Martinsville in NC, near Grandfather Mountain. What a nice visit. We stayed in Linville, but managed to get around to Boone and Banner Elk, too. It was a great trip.

Why did I title this entry Another Jordan Crossed?This summer Mike and I started discussing some options for the future. I will be eligible for Soc. Sec. early retirement the end of October, and I have my 20 years with the state. Sooooooooooo, I have put in to retire at the end of October this year. I am feeling well, and I want to capitalize on that. This is exciting, but also a little frightening. Gosh, I’ve always worked. Even when I had time off from school in the summer I knew I was going back in the fall, or had classes to take during the summer. It’s a little odd to think I’ll be leaving my job and not going back to my own office. But at the same time, I have so much I want to do at home. I want to paint some more, and do as many crafts as I can. I have a room full of supplies. Time to get back to it! It’s always been my sanctuary: painting and crafting. I really do miss it since I haven’t had the time to do more than just dabble. AND, this will be in time for the holidays, so who knows what Christmas will bring this year?!

I had my 3 month check up with Dr. Smith last week. The labs came back today, and while the tumor markers are up, the progress has slowed. He said we’re doing OK for now. I will go back again in 3 months (continuing on the Megastrole for now). But I will also have a CT on my chest, to check up on the tiny spots in the lungs that he saw this past summer. Just keeping an eye on them………… I won’t pretend that doesn’t make me nervous, because we know the disease will continue to progress, but we are managing well and hanging in there. You know the saying: One step at a time; one foot in front of the other!

A dear friend of mine, Lynn Hulsey, has put me in touch with a friend of hers that has been battling cancer for years. One day this summer, when I was feeling particularly sorry for myself, I read her Caring Bridge entry. She was facing more surgery, and had to deal with so much more than I do on a daily basis. Well, that just smacked me in the face and made me realize how fortunate I am. Yes, I do have pain. But I can take medication and get through that easily. There is so much more that I do not have to deal with, like others who are fighting cancer. Yep–reading her journal smacked me into reality and said SNAP OUT OF IT! And besides, her attitude is so wonderful, she inspires me to keep on kickin’, too. 🙂

That’s all there is today. I’ll keep you posted on any news from the docs (I see Dr. Reed for my check up this week–checking on the nasty thyroid), and also on how I’m dealing with retirement. Yep, we’ll be crossing Jordan for sure. It’s time to move on and face another phase of life and another challenge. I am looking forward to it and intend to embrace it. See you all around town! (Meanwhile, fall break is coming and Siesta Key is calling us back. Wheeeeee!)


June 14, 2012

I know I have already been on today, but I just read my Upper Room. Again, it struck a chord. I recently “popped off” at someone, and was immediately sorry. It took quite a while to get past it. And while the remark can never come back, we can go forward. It’s all anyone can do. Thank you, Lord, for helping us admit when we are wrong.

While running through the house, my son crashed into the kitchen counter, causing a large glass of chocolate milk to spill. He was immediately remorseful and hurried to clean up the spill as fast as he could. After he finished cleaning up the final drops of milk and I thought about his response to the situation, I was impressed. Instead of complaining that the glass had been too close to the edge of the counter or coming up with some other excuse, he took responsibility for his actions. I was pleased.

The Upper Room, June 14, 2012

We all make mistakes. I hope that when I make a mistake I can respond the way my son did. When I say something offensive or do something that hurts another person, do I try to cover it up, ignore it, or blame someone else? Or do I immediately take responsibility for my actions and seek to make things right? I wonder if God feels as I did when I saw how my son responded to the mess in our kitchen.

Wouldn’t it be great to know that God is pleased with us because of the way we react to a mistake? I hope that the next time I “spill milk” I will respond as my son did and clean up my mess quickly.

Jay Wollenburg (Ohio, USA)

Thought for the Day: God is always willing to help us clean up the messes we make.

Prayer: Dear heavenly Father, we pray that you will help us stay close to you and always admit our mistakes. Amen.

Change – June 12, 2012

Here’s the update on the PET Scan. I’ll start by saying, it’s good news. I want to get that out of the way from the start!

Mike and I met at Dr. Smith’s office this afternoon (Tuesday), to get the results from last week’s PET Scan. I know you won’t be surprised to know I was late. Some was due to traffic, some was due to facing down someone trying to cheat their way into a parking place at the clinic. I’m older, I can stare harder, and I have more insurance. It was a tension relieving moment, to say the least.

As I had said, the tumor markers have continued to rise over the last 5 visits. Rather significantly, it seemed. Though it seems the numbers are read differently, sort of like earthquake numbers. Just because the number seems to be double, it doesn’t mean there are twice as many cells. Whatever. I leave that to the Dr. :-). But since the rise was again significant, Dr. Smith ordered the PET scan, 2nd in 10 months. He needed to reassure himself, as well as us. (He actually said today that as the disease progresses he doesn’t know who will feel worse with the news–him or us. I don’t know how he does it day after day. What a man!)

We went in with trepidation today, anticipating any kind of result, but at the same time knowing that we have had 5 relatively easy years with this recurrence. So we were ready for whatever the news was, and while I don’t want to say I’m comfortable with anything, I am at peace with it.

ANYWAY, the scan did not show significant changes in the cancer on the bone. Yes, it is breast cancer on the bone, not bone cancer. It has spread to most of the skeleton. But as long as it stays on the bone, we can manage it very well. Well, with the aid of little white pills. Sorry–truth can be a little hard at times.

The scan did show teeny tiny spots in the lower nodes of the lungs. But they could be ANYTHING. As a matter of fact, he said many people in this area of the country have them, usually resultant of histoplasmosis. I swear, I thought he was going to say smoke or 2nd hand smoke. What a surprise, even though I do recall hearing at some point that this was a common disease in KY/TN. The only way to see if the spots are cancerous or something else is to do a needle biopsy, and we all agreed that was definitely not necessary. (well, I’m not so sure about Mike, though he did get smacked on the leg when he jokingly said OK) Especially me! I’m good with waiting to see what happens. They apparently were there last year when we did a PET scan, but the radiologist thought they were so tiny they weren’t worth reporting. I won’t tell you what Dr. Smith said, lol. something about radiologists admitting when they have seen things before and maybe should have reported them. I do love that man. AND, I have complete faith in him.

We are continuing the same medicine and routine. No need to change to chemo now (it would be a pill first–and it can last for quite a while, quote unquote). Big plus: even though this medicine is an appetite stimulant, I have not gained any weight at all. Even lost one pound. As Mike says, I try to monitor it carefully. Protein shakes, nabs, and then splurge on special occasions. Like tonight when we went out to celebrate. Yea, El Maz!

Dr. Smith’s parting words were: go and celebrate. Take a long weekend and enjoy yourselves. Now that Mike is feeling a little better, and we have our results here, we are actually trying to think of a long weekend somewhere. We do need some time away, for sure.

Thanks to everyone for prayers. Prayer does work. We love everyone, and know we owe so much to all the support of friends.

Please pray for little Davis Lowe, who is waiting for a heart transplant at Vandy. He is so tiny, and is fighting so hard. We wish him and his family the best. Also pray for Pauletta Hatcher, wife of Adam Hatcher. She was recently diagnosed with breast cancer (a very young mother), and needs all our prayers and good thoughts. Love to Adam and Pauletta and their girls. And so many others who need our thoughts for so many reasons. (Fred and Ann Pfisterer, Shirley, Amy’s Mom, Adam, Carla, friends with family struggles)

I’m going to close with this thought. Every day I hear from someone “You look wonderful.” sometimes I think OK, I am good with that. Sometimes I can see in the person’s eyes that they see the changes and how I feel that day. All of us who go through these battles (whatever they may be) can feel that we have days that aren’t so great, and we don’t look so great or move very well. The sentiments are sweet, and much appreciated. But please know that you needn’t feel obligated to say things like that. Just be your normal selves with us. We don’t have to hear we look great. Just like your other friends don’t have to hear that they look well. Just be yourself. Your support is all that’s needed. And your care. Here is my Upper Room for today. The theme is Those Who Fear Change. It’s OK to change. And it’s normal. 🙂

Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.

– Hebrews 13:8

How many times have you been told, )“You haven’t changed a bit!” when you know full well that you have? In fact, you may have changed a lot. How can anyone from birth to now not change? Even though we may feel young at heart, we grow older. Whether from inside or outside forces, we change. Celebrate the changes, and rejoice in the Lord.

June 10, 2012

OK, confession time. I tried to update last Wednesday, but being so tech savvy, I hit the wrong button and lost the entire post. So now I’m trying to catch up and do it again.

This is a quick update on Grubbs’ Manor and its gimpy residents. Mike seems to be doing better. He’s doing physical therapy, and he feels better. His comment: it no long longer feels like walking on nails, just rocks. hmmmm…. Anyway, the therapist said it could be the therapy is working, or he is losing feeling due to nerve damage. They’ll evaluate after he’s finished this course, we guess. Not sure how the follow up will go, but I’m sure they’ll tell us at some point. 🙂

A quick report on the Meniere’s attacks: they have subsided. Hallelujah! I have quit all salt intake again (unless it’s cooked in, and then I avoid it as much as possible), and by golly it worked. I must admit, I had gotten careless and was eating chips and fries more than I should have been. Thinking: I haven’t had an attack in years. It must have passed. No, I hadn’t had an attack in years because I followed the rules. Duh. Anyway, after about a month of meclizine therapy and lots of allergy medicine, it seems to be gone. I was able to cancel the appointment with the ENT. Shew! Check that off the list.

I did have a 3 month check up with Dr. Smith a couple of weeks ago, and yes, the markers continue to rise. I was not surprised, again. He asked why I said that, and I couldn’t explain it. I can just tell a slight difference in how I feel. (Though actually, I am still feeling pretty good overall.) Anyhow, he ordered at PET Scan to evaluate the progress. We’ll get the results soon.

I was surprised when I went to the Medical Center for the scan. They have a new machine. Not the long tunnel of the past. It’s much more open, and a short little tunnel. The tech said it made everyone really happy not to go in the tunnel. OK, I get that. But I always just take a little pill and doze off while in there. This one is very uncomfortable. I had to hold my arms over my head for 25 to 30 minutes, not moving. If I’d been thinking I would have said “uh, not a plan.” Did anyone out there every accuse me of thinking? I didn’t think so. But it was a new experience so I didn’t say a word. Let me tell you, after you’ve had surgery on one arm/side of your chest wall, holding that arm over your head becomes extremely uncomfortable after 10 minutes, much less 30. Holy smoke! By the time she came to get me I couldn’t put it back down, lol. And it was sore for days. And I do believe the bed was harder than the old one. Nursed that for about 3 days, too. 🙂 I know, whine, whine, whine. I’ll just have to remember to say “gotta strap the arm down” next time. (advice to anyone going through this!) Meanwhile, all you good people out there get busy and invent a softer slab for all of us who get shot in those machines to lie on! Thank you in advance.

Like I said, we’ll get the results this week. So far Dr. Smith has said that even though the markers have risen, as long as I feel OK, we will stick with the same drug. That could change if the cancer is invading a different location, but it will be what it is.

I want to close with a quote that a friend posted on Facebook this week. It was her inspirational quote of the day, and it really struck a chord. Good for everyone:

I will not die an unlived life. I will not live in fear of failing or catching fire. I choose to inhabit my days, to allow my living to open me, to make me less afraid, more accessible, to loosen my heart until it becomes a wing, a torch, a promise. I choose to risk my significance; to live so that which comes to me as seed goes to the next as blossom and that which comes to me as blossom, goes on as fruit.

Great quote, huh? Thank you, Vicki Counts. Everyone have a wonderful week. I will post the results later. And also Mike’s news when we get it.

We love you all. Blessings and prayers to those who need them.

April 22, 2012

Just a quick update today. I was talking to a friend last week, and with concern he said he heard I’d been having a lot of trouble and struggling a lot lately. Well, technically, yes. Let me set it straight: it’s not the cancer. In fact, I’ve been saying cancer schmancer a lot lately. The face is I’ve had a recurrence of Meniere’s Disease, which is extreme vertigo. I had it several years ago and unfortunately it’s come back with a vengeance. Probably partly my fault, I have been careless watching my salt intake, plus some stressful situations and letting myself get too tired at times. Salt is a major culprit in this thing, and I think stress is also a major contributor. Anyway, I’ve had about 7 attacks in the last couple of months. It does knock you flat for a day, at least, but it’s just something I have to deal with. The last attacks have been less severe (in other words, not sick to my stomach), but I still have to just lie down and cover my eyes until it passes. Yep, I’m the life of the party! I’m going to an Ear Nose Throat dr. soon. Calling to make an appointment tomorrow. It could be allergies, since it’s been an extremely bad spring. Whatever, this, too, shall pass. I just hope it doesn’t hit when I’m behind the wheel. Seriously.

Otherwise, I’m doing well. Mike, however, has hurt his back somehow. The dr. tried prednisone, and it did no good. Next is an x-ray to see what’s going on in there. Pinched nerve, bulging disc; those are a couple of the possibilities he faces. He really hobbles, and I feel so, so bad for him. He is in a lot of pain and discomfort. But true to form his biggest concern? The dog hasn’t had a walk in 2 weeks. priorities………………. Loves his baby. Just pray it can be corrected fairly easily. He is truly miserable.

Well, as I said, this is a quick check in. I just really wanted to let everyone know the truth of what’s going on. I’m sure the frequent absences have caused questions lately. 🙂

Meanwhile, congratulations to all the volunteers honored during National Volunteer Week, especially my “sister,” Felicia Bland. 🙂 Last week was a very special week for everyone.

Prayers to my friend Liz Lyon, who begins a new round of chemo, and prayers to the Lowes, whose baby needs a heart transplant. And prayers for Adam, Courtney and our church family in tough times.

Isaiah 40:28-31 Have you not known? Have you not heard? The LORD is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth. He does not faint or grow weary; his understanding is unsearchable. He gives power to the faint, and to him who has no might he increases strength. Even youths shall faint and be weary,and young men shall fall exhausted; but they who wait for the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint.

Crossing Jordan–One More Time – March 9, 2012

Time for an update. I know, it’s been 5 months. Kind of long overdue, I guess.

Well, we are crossing another Jordan. I had kept it under my hat, but Mike has told so many people I think I’d better go ahead and update everyone before it takes on a life of its own.

I had my 3 month check up Feb. 20, with a full lab work up. This time wasn’t so great. It seems the markers have risen dramatically over the last few months. Meaning the new medicine only worked for a brief period. So we have had to move on to yet another pill to try to inhibit the hormones that feed the tumors. It’s the next to the last of the options, so hopefully it will continue to work for a good while.

I will admit, I was not completely surprised. I’ve had a big change in energy levels and fatigue. Yes, I still overall feel pretty good, but the fatigue is a bit overwhelming at times. And while I’m at it I may as wel just go ahead and apologize. The fatigue does make me extremely edgy at times. Pretty sure I’ve overreacted in situations several times. I hate it, but, like when doing the chemo thing, you know something bad is coming, but you really can’t stop it coming out. Sorry, folks. It is what it is. AND, it’s my biggest clue. And as a fellow patient says: we know our own warning signals pretty well, so we listen to our bodies.

There will not be another scan for a while. Probably over the summer. At this point, since we dealing with bone disease, it would not show dramatic changes or lend more information. The markers aren’t that drastic yet. Instead we’ll take this medicine for 3 months and then do another lab work up. That will allow the meds time to start working and try to do their thing. Meanwhile, we just keep plugging along. God has a plan, and I’m working my way through this plan to see what he wants me to do. I do know this, I’m not done yet with whatever messages I have to give or friends I have to be with. So there! Take that, Mr. C. (Did I mention that I gave up Cancer for lent this year? Oh, all right. I really gave up cookies, but it’s worth a shot, right? And who gave up cookies during Girl Scout cookie season anyway? This truly is a sacrifice this year.)

On a funny note, the new medicine is sometimes used as an appetite stimulant for certain patients who are victims of a variety of conditions. It was either that or a male hormone to counteract the estrogen. Hmmmmm……….let’s see. new clothes (the previous meds were already causing weight gain, so what the heck). Or a goatee. GREAT options. But as Dr. Reed said, the testosterone could be fun. I think she meant it would be like steroids–look out world. We all know the end result of steroids: bad ass Anne! lol

OK, we’re updated. I have to admit this wasn’t news either of us wanted to hear. But we’ve adjusted and moved on. I told a very few people when we first heard (including spiritual partners and helpers) and that helped me get myself ready to let others know. I have dealt really well with this brute since it returned 4 1/2 years ago (really 5, but it wasn’t diagnosed til summer). My body has fought it hard and helped me stay strong. And it will again. I’ve made up my mind not to let trivial or unimportant things get me down any more, but rather to concentrate on having the best summer ever.

One big thing: I may be battling this disease, but I am still incredibly blessed. I have thought so much about the tornado victims this week. We all take so much for granted every day. It’s impossible to imagine what having nowhere to go would be like. Prayers go up every day. (There is a fundraiser at CHaney’s Dairy on April 6 for West Liberty victims. Please try to attend if you can.) Let me ask for prayers for some family members that are facing a crisis as well. It’s a crisis that has caused a good deal of pain, and I keep them in my prayers every day. Also, pray for my dear friend Lynn’s friends Teresa and Alison. We all have one of the best supporters in the world: Lynn. When I’m down, I call her and end up wondering why I was feeling so mopey in the first place. Laughter is the best medicine. Laughter and a tad of gossip thrown in on the side, hee hee.

Thanks everyone. God bless you all, and think positive thoughts. I am.

Love to all. Anne

The oops in life – October 20, 2011

OK, I got an activity notice for my page, so I glanced at it and happened to look through the last journal entry. I made it on my laptop, and it was skipping keys as I typed. Apparently I didn’t fix all the spelling errors, which is driving me crazy now.

I have to apologize. Don’t we run a spelling bee or something over here? Let’s just call it the oops in life and move on………………………………….

October 16, 2011

This has been a couple of the more interesting weeks I’ve had in a very long time. Last week, Fall Break for Warren Co. and Bowling Green Schools, was Siesta Key time. It’s the 6th time Mike and I have visited the little island off the coast of Sarasota. It’s quiet, peaceful, and beautiful. It’s what my Mom used to call a family beach. You see families with small children, a few school agers, and then the empty-nesters (that means the old folks like us, lol). I love watching toddlers play at the beach, running on tip toe up to the water’s edge and then giggle with glee. I remember all the good times at Myrtle Beach with the Prices, Mom, Dad, and yes, the dogs. Fun times!

Anyhow, this year we were blessed to have Melody and Keith Ossello join us for a few days. It was homecoming for Melody, who spent a lot of her childhood there. Her Grandma and Grandpa had one of the precious little hotels we love so much. It was so much fun to share that time with them. And another couple from Warren County. We all enjoyed the island so much. I told Mike: it feels like home there, we’ve been so often. It’s a comfortable feeling.

OK, back to reality. It is an 800 mile trip. We take two days driving it, but it’s still taxing on ye old back and hips. I spent the time taking pictures ot the windows of the car, to document the trip. Eventualy I’ll get them posted on Facebook. One neat thing: the motel in McDonough, GA, where we stay has furnishings made by American of Martinsville. Yes, I still check motel furniture to see where it’s made. It’s an old habit, but one I’ll never give up. It’s fun to see that piece of home. And yes I did take a picture of the name staped in the drawer. Stay tuned for the details.

OK, now on to the week back home. There was a lot scheduled at work, so I knew it would be somewhat intense. I had a big week in Kiwanis–my first meeting as President. That means making a speech. Yikes! I have had it in my mind for a while. But it was time to get it down on paper. OK, Monday night I got my act together and got most of it done; just the refining touches. Meanwhile Tuesday night was the night we had to make our United Way pitch to employees. Lucky me I got to talk after watching the DVD of clients (success stories). Well, if you know me you know I’m a crier. And the new medicine intensifies it. You got it: I cried. Wednesday I did my speech at Kiwanis: I cried again. For heaven’s sake!

Thursday I had a computer problem: files were lost to a series of unfortunate events (to quote Lemony Snicket). They’re pretty much gone, no hope of recovery. sigh…………….OK, I held it together. Then had my mammogram–whoo hoo. Then went to the announcement of this year’s Athena winner. You got it: when they called Tamara Vogler’s name and she cried, I had to help her. sigh……………….again.

Friday, we had a class at the office. Another series of unfortunate events. Another sigh………….BUT, it was also my birthday. So I had a wonderful birthday lunch with dear friends. Know what? The day took a beautiful turn. In fact, the week took a turn. Nothing like the comfort of friends. And for dinner, we went out with more friends. More comfort. It ended up being a beautiful birthday.

NOW, to wrap up the week. Several weeks ago a friend at church asked if I would do a stewardship moment. I wasn’t certain of the week, since we were to be gone two Sundays. Of course, didn’t think of it again while gone. Thankfully Elizabeth mentioned it Friday at lunch. With guidance from Lee on the topic, it came back to me and I got my act togetr,researched it a little and then did my thing at church this morning. It’s a three week series on Crossing Your Jordan.Mine was Crossing Jordan in the present. I’m going to include it today as part of this post. Let me warn you: yes, I did cry AGAIN. What a week, tee hee. And apparentl I set off a chain reaction. Ah, me, as was said in Steel Magnolias: I can’t let anyone cry alone. And apparently I’m taking people with me as I go.

Blessings to all. And pray for friends with unspoken needs. God is good. All the time. Love to all


SUNDAY, OCTOBER 16, 2011, State Street United Methodist Church

Crossing My Jordan. It’s an interesting turn of phrase. Everyone faces those crossings in their lives. How we face it, or the support we have to help us over it, is what makes each of us unique and blessed. I’ve come to realize one thing: it is not something anyone should attempt alone. Crossing Jordan is definitely a group effort.

I found a blog on the internet that sums up my feelings in many ways. Forgive me if I don’t give proper credit to the author: I did not save the link, and I can’t get back to it. (says a lot about my computer skills, huh?) The author of the blog stated: I cannot say that cancer was a totally negative experience. It served as a teacher, and I have been its student not once, but twice. This personal wake-up call from God is the greatest learning experience of my life.

The Crossing that I face now seems obvious. Most of you know that I have breast cancer. It is something I wake up with every morning, carry with me throughout the day (as those of you who see me with my pillows and/or heating pads can attest to), and go to bed with at night (again with heating pad and BIG pillows). But you know what: this not my first River Jordan, and I don’t expect it to be my last. The obvious thing is that it forces a reckoning with faith. And being at State Street is the group effort that makes that reckoning possible.

I read an article by Cheryl Truman, in the Lexington Herald Leader, that gave particular insight. In her words, what is it about this journey?

For some, it’s a simple question: What kind of God gives such suffering to his servants? For others, it’s another kind of quandary: How can I come to terms with the beauty and generosity of others in this awful experience?

I have never thought “Why me?” When asked about that my answer has always been, “Why not me?” That sounds odd to many, but what I mean is, I’m no more special to God than any of you in this room. He did not look down from Heaven and say “I don’t like the way she’s acting today. I think I’ll punish her.” The prophet Isaiah said God will be with you when you walk through the waters and the fire. He did NOT qualify it by saying “if” hard times come, because they assuredly will, whether by cancer, ms, having to make changes to your lifestyle to help someone in need, or the loss of a loved one or economic hard times. We must all make changes; we must all face our Jordan. How we do and who we do it with it is what counts.

I feel I am taking a journey, and that journey has led me through some interesting places, with so many wonderful and kind people. I have found a support group in the church that goes beyond words. I know that any time I need something, all I have to do is pick up the phone or send a text. I carry with me every day a prayer sent to my phone. It’s a great source of comfort. I know I can trust in God, and trust in the family of State Street to surround both Mike and me in times of need. We have had to learn to give ourselves up to the will of God, and we know that we will be OK in that. And the reason we are OK is because of the comfort of the church family and friends around us.

To paraphrase Rev. Nancy Jo Kemper, former head of the Kentucky Council of Churches, “In the midst of your struggle, there’s a power that can sustain you, if you just open yourself to it.” Kemper has a favorite quotation from Rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel: “Prayer is arrival at the border. The dominion is thine.”

It sounds odd to say, but if I had never had breast cancer, I never would have experienced all the great revelations in faith I have, nor would I have met the heroes that work with patients every day. I am proud to say that I call many of them friends. Facing these struggles is not just about survival, but about how you choose to spend your days, however many those days are, and possibly how you will cope with a body that you feel has betrayed you and let you down.

Let me close by asking you: As you sit out there today, what is your Jordan? I joked and told Lee that this week cancer wasn’t my Jordan: a failed computer, a class that went wrong, a situation over which I have no control; those were my Jordans this week. For a while, those things seemed insurmountable and almost got the best of me. We all face things that make us step back. But then I remembered, the important things were at home waiting for me. And at church waiting for me. And then, I had a birthday, and the overwhelming good wishes and friendships that came with that day made me realize, facing Jordan is doable, when you have the right people beside you and you keep the right attitude. Put your trust in God. Love your friends. Support your church family.

Crossing Jordan is a group effort, and we will all do it together.

Thank you to all the people who helped me find the right words, with their posts online. And to all the people who guide me and give me my faith.

August 30, 2011

Hi, Friends. It’s time for an update. Past time, actually. So here goes.

I had a 3 month check up two weeks ago. The one where the take LOTS of blood, and check all kinds of things, including tumor markers. I went in for my visit with Dr. Smith and he had said things were looking good and my condition was stable. I feel about the same–taking more pain pills, but thata’s to be expected with bone only disease. A little more tired, but, who isn’t? Overall, considering everything, feeling OK. Let’s do our next visit in three months. That was Monday, and I was due for my shots on Friday. By Wednesday I had 3 messages from Dr. Smith, one on each phone. The markers had gone up significantly and he was ordering a pet scan. The reason for the multiple messages was to stop me so I wouldn’t go in for shots–no need at that point. He wanted the scan so he could “see what was going on.”

Well, truth be told, it was unnerving. Not so much that the markers were up. They have been floating upward ever since the return of the cancer. It’s a normal course of the disease. The concern was the tone of his voice. I haven’t heard him sound so concerned or serious in a good while. That, coupled with some other events of the previous week, made for a rather tense weekend for Mike and Anne. The scan was scheduled for Tuesday morning. Monday after work I got the message that the insurance company had not authorized the test yet, and that I could always sign a waiver that I’d be responsible for payment. Well, some of you may remember–we went down that road with the first PET Scan. I figured I’d just get up, go to work, and then go straight to Dr. Smith’s office and we’d figure out plan from there. Which I did. Well, sort of. I got up and went to work–a regular interview with one of the radio stations for work. I got word about 8:40, after doing the radio interview, that the test was authorized, get to the hospital pronto. I did, they started the IV, and then said: have you eaten? Well, duh. I didn’t think there was going to be a test, so, yep. 6:30 that morning I had a protein shake. Which contains sugar. which would make the scan worthless. IV pulled out; Anne sent home to sleep off the pre-med that I take before crawling into the warm and fuzzy (note the sarcasm) little tube called a PET Scan (yes, that would be a valium–I do NOT like that machine). Made it to work for a couple of hours, but since I was not functioning well mentally, I went on back home. 7:30 Wednesday morning we started all over again. Mike dropped me off (I got fussed at for driving after taking meds) and we did the test. Again, home to sleep it off. This time it took a good while longer, since I’d had it two days in a row. Guess I’d make a lousy drinker–I get knocked sideways by the pills pretty easily. Anyhow, they assured us they’d have the test results by Friday’s appointment. In fact, the tech said she would put a rush order on it. Which she did.

Friday I went to the Chamber Coffee Hour and heard Coach Herman Boone, of Remember the Titans fame, and then to work. Met Mike at home and off to the clinic we went. Both of us trying to make light of the day. Yeah, right. I got checked in (BP was great–my pulse, however was like 120. Can you say exciteable?) Dr. Smith opened the door, saw Mike there, and didn’t even cross the threshhold before saying “It’s good news.” Smart man! REALLY smart man.

OK, after all this lead in, here’s the final word: yes, the markers have risen. Fairly dramatically. Hence his concern. It was the biggest jump in the three years since the return. The PET Scan showed that it is continuing to spread on the bone. But we had discovered that last year with the PET Bone Scan. While he did not go into total detail of everywhere it exists, he did say it’s throughout the bones. It does concentrate mainly in the trunk area, and I know it’s in my shoulder and skull. He told me that to help explain arm pain and headaches. The rest he said I should just take it easy and be careful. But don’t worry about every spot. It does no good. Again–smart, smart man. BUT, it is not in the organs. A very, very good thing. We discussed treatment options, the number of hormone therapy protocols there still are to try, and made a joint decision. There are 3 more therapies, before resorting to chemo. Two are aromatase inhibitors–cousins to the Aromasin I took several years ago. The third is something totally different. We are going with one of the aromatase inhibitors for the time being. Why, you might ask, are we going there? Guess what? Drug #3 is actually used to help cancer patients increase their appetites and gain weight. You know, the ones that need that. Everybody, stop laughing. It is not that funny! I’m still trying to get rid of the 15 pounds I’ve put on since I first started chemo. Though I lost 12 pounds last year, gained from the initial Faslodex therapy, I still have 10 from that and 5 from just plain liking food! So we’re going to try this first. See, I still have a sense of humor. All three of us got a good laugh over that one. When he said weight gain I just about lost it, laughing out loud. Besides, after picking up the prescription, the only thing we have to worry about is that the first side effect (listed in bold print) is anxiety. HA! Look out world. This could be interesting for everyone. (Especially Mike–everyone take pity.)

OK, I’ve given you the facts. Now, the feelings. It took me a long time to make this entry. It was hard to put into words all the feelings we went through last week. Like I said, it had been a particularly rough week anyway. A friend just lost her husband to cancer two weeks ago, and there are lots of emotions and complicated feelings there. Couple that with some other things going on personally, it had set us up for being extremely emotional anyway. We made the decision not to say anything to many folks (or at least I did), until we knew what was happening. I think it was probably the right decision. It gave me time to prepare myself for dealing with answers. It also gave me time to get back to the feeling of peace with my feelings, my situation, and my faith. You see, it’s easy to have that faith when things are going along all right. But once you get that phone call that rattles you, it takes a while to come back to a feeling of peace. I know I’m in God’s arms; I know there is a plan. I also know I have the love and support of friends and family. I just have to adapt. We all do.

That’s about it for now. I’m sure you’re all thinking it’s enough for sure. I’ve rattled on with this blog. The final word on treatment: no more shots in the hiney (yip, yip, yea), still taking Xgeva injections to strengthen bones, calcium to keep going, and vitamins to pep me up. Just a pill a day. AND, I go back to him in three months for another blood test. Because in the end, I’m still in stable condition. After going into the treatment room for my Xgeva injection, i appreciate that more and more. I am so blessed to still be doing so well. Friends, I have been blessed with this matastasis that after 3 years I am still doing this well. I know how fortunate I am to have had all this time and to still be doing this well. And I need to make the most of every minute. Love and blessings to you all.

Anne and Mike

July 23, 2011

Another round of shots down. Ow, ow, ow. As she did the shots (which go in very slowly because the medicine is thick and it takes a long time to  push), she ask if she was hurting me. Then said, oh you wouldn’t tell me if I was. Honestly, though, it doesn’t really hurt going in. It’s the next day, hee hee. But, hey, feeling the ouchies is good. It means I’m still trucking, right? RIGHT!
The real reason to enter this today is the funny surprise we got this week. Thursday night, after our nasty storm that blew down trees all over town, Mike went walking when it cooled down. When he got home, a surprise was waiting at the front door. A purple toilet. Yep. Purple. It is one of the traveling toilets from American Cancer Society, as a fundraiser to “Flush Cancer.” I knew exactly who it came from (thanks, Stephanie, et al). I had been Shreved. Funny, funny. When I get the pictures on the computer I’ll post them.
We did our part. Paid to have it removed, paid to have our pictures made, and paid insurance so it won’t come back. AND, sent it to the next caring citizen, aka victim. The choices were many. But, where did it go? Well, I’d taken a  picture with the phone and showed it to the girls in oncology. They immediately asked if I’d thought of sending it to Dr. Smith. I had, but, well, was reluctant. With a little encouragement, I got over that quickly. It left Park Street and headed out to his house. I know he has a good sense of humor. Let’s just hope his wife does, too. I haven’t met her. :0> We’ll find out soon enough, I’m sure.
Anyway, folks, if a purple toilet ends up in your front yard, send it on with a smile. It’s a cheap little trip ($20.00), and it goes to a good cause. And I must admit, the laughter was good. In fact, I might have to call Mr. Duncan and send it to a few other generous folks.
One last quick note: my prayers and good wishes go with my nurse Mashell. Her husband is fighting a battle of his own, and they are moving to be near family. God bless and God speed. I will miss you terribly.
Night all. Fear the toilet………………….
Anne and Mike

July 13, 2011

I started my day with my Upper Room devotional, and it was so appropriate I thought I’d share:

WHEN I was asked to lead a Bible study on the Book of Romans, I immediately thought that I didn’t have enough knowledge or experience. But after a few weeks of study, lots of prayer, and some help from my pastor, I began to see that I could lead the study and make it worthwhile and interesting for the people who attended. Like me, many of us when confronted with a task or asked to be in charge of a project lament that we do not have enough — enough help, enough money, enough time, or enough talent.

The reaction of the disciples must have been similar when Jesus told them to feed the huge crowd of followers with only seven loaves of bread and a few small fish. I can see them looking at each other, maybe rolling their eyes, and saying under their breath, “This will never be enough to feed all these people.” Then when thousands had eaten their fill and the leftovers were gathered up, the disciples must have been astonished. However, they also must have realized that this was simply another example of the unlimited power of their Lord.

Sometimes we forget to consider this power. If we ask Christ for help in working for the kingdom, help is sure to come; with God anything is possible. Instead of being discouraged when we think we don’t have “enough,” we can decide to be open to the miraculous power of the Holy Spirit.

John R. Jackson (Delaware, USA)

Dear Lord, strengthen our trust in your power to help us work for you, even when we feel overwhelmed. Amen.

Thought for the Day
God makes the impossible possible.

I guess we all have days when things seem impossible, and tasks seem to be getting away from us. I’ve had a few of those lately, and have been reluctant to put a post on here because I didn’t want to seem negative, or make my friends feel like I was “down.”


Let me start by saying I am tolerating the new treatments quite well. I’ve had several now, and after that first month, where it was so sore I have adapted and don’t seem to feel them as much as I used to. And my pain levels are better. That could be warmer weather or the treatments. Or I’m just at a good place. Whatever–it’s good! We did take a trip to Gatlinburg, and traveling is not always great. I definitely need some help to get through long periods in the car (or big special events, like Thunderfest!), but otherwise I’m doing well.

Speaking of Thunderfest (the Kiwanis Fireworks event for those non-Bowling Greeners), an eye opening experience took place. A young man who was working as a “roadie” with the sound tech tripped and fell on the hill. He hurt his ankle and had to have it wrapped. Let me start by saying, he is down on his luck and has had some bad experiences in his history. But sitting and talking to him while he tried to work through the fact he had put himself out of work (and he has no money), I learned a lot about “there but by the grace of God go I.” We talked about his favorite novel, his experiences from childhood, and of course, the fact he had nowhere to go now. A bad accident had thrown his life into a bad path. It could happen to any one of us. His parents are deceased, so he has no support system. Why do I bring it up? Well, it stays on my mind. I can see a glimmer of hope in him. Yet, when I spoke to the authority figures at the event about where he could go, all I got was the jaded view of the public. They didn’t see a person; they saw a, well, I don’t know how to say it.

Yes, I understand he’s done a lot of it to himself. But I also know that we shouldn’t completely throw people away. I give kudos to the Kiwanians who wrapped his foot (some of the authorities wouldn’t take the time), talked to him, got him a drink, and saw that–down on his luck or not–he needed a helping hand.


Why do I take time to write about it? Because we should never lose our sense of compassion. We all get the sweet little internet stories and shed a tear. But how often do we get to try to make a difference? And did I make any impact by talking to him? I can only hope so. Maybe showing a little faith and understanding will help him look for the right path.


Back to me. I am, as I said, doing well. I sometimes have to remind folks that just because you have cancer it doesn’t mean every move is about cancer. We have lives to live. Yes, I need my time to recuperate. But I have cancer; I am NOT cancer. And that is true of all of us fighting any kind of disease or issue, be it MS, Fibromyalgia, heart disease, substance abuse. Sort of like my young man. He has issues. At the heart of it, he is not those issues.


May everyone have a wonderful day. I just needed to say some things today. They were weighing on my mind, and sharing with my friends and receiving your prayers is what takes us through days. Please add Caleb to your prayers. He is struggling, and needs prayer warriors on his side. While you’re at it, add the authority figures who have seen so much “stuff” that they’ve lost touch with the people behind the problems. They face so much bad in the world. It has to be hard.


Stay cool everyone! We love you all.


Anne and Mike

April 25, 2011

Wow, it’s been forever since I’ve updated. Sorry. I didn’t realize it had been so long until Julie reminded me. Spring is what I call “special event season” at work, and I guess I just got busy and forgot to blog!


Things are still going well. I’ve been back at work full time since the last entry. It has taken a while to recover energy and stamina, I will admit. We’ve taken to calling February’s illness the “great incident of 2011.” Especially since no real cause was ever pinpointed. Flu, fatigue, being run down, whatever, it has passed. It left many lessons in its wake: listen when your body says STOP being one of the main ones. Any of the warning signs experienced during that illness bring me to an abrupt standstill. Nobody (and I mean NOBODY) is in any rush to do that again! Another lesson: avoid stress and concentrate on the important things.

Meanwhile, I had a check up with Dr. Smith last week. I am doing OK. However, the tumor markers are still inching up. SO, he has taken me off Tamoxifen and we’re going to the double dose of Faslodex. His words: “You still look good. We want to make a change before you DON’T look good. Good way to put into perspective. But I have to admit, I was a bit bummed by that. The Tamoxifen has very few side effects, so I didn’t mind taking it. But obviously it’s not working. Hey, maybe that’s why there are few side effects.

For those that don’t know, the Faslodex is also a hormone blocking treatment. It is delivered by injection. Intramuscular. In the hip. And yes, a double dose means in both hips. I took the single dose for 18 months prior to the Tamoxifen. New research shows the double dose to have more effect in some cases. (that’s the great thing about Dr. Smith–he is always keeping up with research and looking for new options.) That’s the good news. The bad news: OUCH! :0} Seriously. The injections can cause baseball sized knots in the muscle for a few days. Well, OK, maybe they’re golf balls. Whatever……….lol. Try finding a comfy position to sleep in when you’ve got that on both sides, lol. The soreness can also radiate down the leg, if the injection touches a nerve. Thank heaven for the pain meds. SO Friday night after the shot I slept sitting up, pretty much. And Saturday night, well, with the storms I didn’t even worry about it. I just sat on my heating pad and watched Shane Holinde tell us about tornadoes, lightning strikes, and flash floods (thanks, Shane, for keeping us safe). But the soreness passes after 2 or 3 days. By Monday I still have the bruise and the knots, but the pain is pretty much on its way out. All in all, totally bearable if it does its job.

Easter was a wonderful holiday. The choir did a beautiful job for Palm Sunday and again on Easter. Then we spent a wonderful afternoon with friends. Though Mike and I have had nasty colds all week, we thoroughly enjoyed Easter Sunday with Elizabeth Honeycutt and friends. How blessed we are. And we are blessed to have other “framily” around us, too, like Shreves, Prides, Walkers, and Coles. Plus I spoke got to talk to my “sister” Debbie today. Made the day special.

I am still trying to put my priorities in order more now. It’s amazing how other people’s drama and emergencies don’t seem so important any longer. If you know me you’ll fall over at this one: recently in a meeting someone made sort of an underhanded snide remark–pretty sure they thought I didn’t catch it. I let it pass instead of shooting back. What good would it do? And how important was it? Not important at all. Certainly not life changing. Maybe that’s God’s influence giving me more peace than I used to have. I hope so. Who knows: Maybe if I refuse to fall into the trap of pettiness then maybe that pettiness will just dissolve. We can only hope, right?

Another really cool thing: I’ve been blessed to find “house help,” as Jan Karon calls it in her books. My neighbor Carla told me about her wonderful housekeeper. Not only is Julia a blessing because she helps so much around the house, she is a blessing because she is so sweet and kind. I think God has put her in my life for a reason.

Please send prayers to our dear friends the Russells. Bill has been diagnosed with 4 or 5 heart blockages today and is in ICU tonight. Please pray for him and for Anna. He is such a dear, dear friend. And such a good man. All the best to the whole family.

Spring is promising wonderful times with friends. As soon as the nasties (this stupid cold) passes I plan to take Emily and Sydney to The Paintin’ Place for some girl time. Who knew teenagers could breathe so much life into the old girl?

I will try to do a better job of updating in the coming weeks. I value everyone’s best wishes and prayers. Now, everyone go hug someone special. Be sure to tell your family how much your love them, every day. And your friends, too. Every minute of every day.

Until next time, Love and blessings, Anne

March 14, 2011

Things are going well. Today was my first full day at work in a while. Last week I was fortunate to have a class scheduled on Saturday, which meant I could shorten my regular days a little and still make it through the week. This weekend I told Mike that I felt I’d hit the “every other day is a normal day” stage, and would soon go to every third day. What an upgrade over a few weeks ago. Thanks to everyone for all the good wishes, cards, and prayers the last month. Tomorrow marks exactly a month from my first visit to Dr. Smith and the downhill spiral of something. (anybody get the name of that truck that hit me?) I have figured out some triggers that set things off — certain ways of bending, lifting, etc., that cause my spine to be off center. At least now I know a lot of what to avoid. And the shoulder is much better. Sore, but not so bad. I quit sleeping in the sling after a week, and just have to remember not to grab and pull doors and drawers with that arm for a while. :0} And, hey, I can predict the weather with another little cracked bone. Goes with the cracked ankle from 30 years ago!

All of this has made me think of something from many years ago. A dear friend of my mother’s, Gladys Haynes, used to talk about her daughter and how she would get ready for a date. When we were growing up, round neck blouses and cardigans were the thing to wear. Well, Anne (yep, that’s her name, too) used to just iron the part of the blouse that showed. After all, no one was going to see the rest. It made our mothers laugh to think about it. One day recently i was pressing a blouse and thought of that story. It came to me that Anne was teaching us a pretty useful message. She was tending to the important things, and the not-so-important things (the part of the blouse you couldn’t see) could take care of themselves. It’s all about priorities, isn’t it? Sometimes you just have to let things go and take care of what’s important! And it fits with this story that another dear friend of mine from childhood sent me recently. Thanks to Peg Price Weeks for this insightful true story:


In Washington , DC , at a Metro Station, on a cold January morning in 2007, this man with a violin played six Bach pieces for about 45 minutes.  During that time, approximately 2,000 people went through the station, most of them on their way to work.  After about 3 minutes, a middle-aged man noticed that there was a musician playing.  He slowed his pace and stopped for a few seconds, and then he hurried on to meet his schedule.

About 4 minutes later:

The violinist received his first dollar.  A woman threw money in the hat and, without stopping, continued to walk.

At 6 minutes:

A young man leaned against the wall to listen to him, then looked at his watch and started to walk again.

At 10 minutes:

A 3-year old boy stopped, but his mother tugged him along hurriedly.  The kid stopped to look at the violinist again, but the mother pushed hard and the child continued to walk, turning his head the whole time.  This action was repeated by several other children, but every parent – without exception – forced their children to move on quickly.

At 45 minutes:

The musician played continuously.  Only 6 people stopped and listened for a short while.  About 20 gave money but continued to walk at their normal pace.  The man collected a total of $32.
After 1 hour:

He finished playing and silence took over.  No one noticed and no one applauded.  There was no recognition at all.

No one knew this, but the violinist was Joshua Bell, one of the greatest musicians in the world.  He played one of the most intricate pieces ever written, with a violin worth $3.5 million dollars.  Two days before, Joshua Bell sold-out a theater in Boston where the seats averaged $100 each to sit and listen to him play the same music.

This is a true story.  Joshua Bell, playing incognito in the D.C Metro Station, was organized by the Washington Post as part of a social experiment about perception, taste and people’s priorities.

This experiment raised several questions:

      *In a common-place environment, at an inappropriate hour, do we perceive beauty?

*If so, do we stop to appreciate it?

*Do we recognize talent in an unexpected context?

One possible conclusion reached from this experiment could be this:

If we do not have a moment to stop and listen to one of the best musicians in the world, playing some of the finest music ever written, with one of the most beautiful instruments ever made.

How many other things are we missing as we rush through life?

Enjoy life NOW ………… it has an expiration date!

Blesssings to all. Take care of yourselves, and send prayers to the people of Japan right now.

Anne & Mike

March 2, 2011

Evening, Friends. I told a dear friend that I would try and do an update tonight, since it’s been a while. AND, I felt like the last few were a little incoherent. I was more out of it than I realized for a while. (that’s my excuse, and I’m sticking to it)

I stayed home all last week, with tlc from Mike and the pets. (seriously, they follow me around watching me now) By the end of the week I did have enough sense to realize I’d probably better stick with part time this week. Sunday was to be my test run: up for church, out to lunch with the gang, and then running a couple of errands. All was going well. Until the errands. Somehow I twisted myself rather awkwardly and heard a very loud pop in my right shoulder, and felt immediate pain. Oh crap! That’s not good ;0/. We came home, I put ice on it and tried to pretend it would go away. Kinda like when I tore the ligament in my ankle a few years back. WELL, it seemed to get worse by evening. Wouldn’t you know it? Mike was preparing a steak dinner, and I come in and say I think we need to go get an x-ray. Poor man. He was salivating over that steak, too. Anyhow, off we go to Urgent Care. You know they make you hold 10 lb bags of sand which they x-ray? OMG. Yes, I said it–OMG. The dr. said it was something with the AC Joint, which I have now located by checking the internet. I’d heard of it, but couldn’t tell you what it was for or what it did. Gave me a sling and anti-inflammatories and home we went. And I missed work Monday. So much for the test run on Sunday.
Luckily, I had a six month check up scheduled with Dr. Reed, so I could do follow up with her. The anti-inflammatories and continued icing have really helped. Then Urgent Care called to say it may have a fracture. Good thing I was scheduled for Dr. Reed. We decided not to do any further scans or tests, just to  monitor it and do some exercises. Where it is, there isn’t much to be done anyway. It will heal itself.

This could have been caused by a weakness in the bone, from the cancer. We don’t know. I don’t recall him mentioning a spot on the right shoulder (there is one on the left), but there could be a tiny one there. Anyway, it is probably another signal that I just need to be a little more careful. And it’s also a signal that the new bone strengthening drug Dr. Smith has started me on is well-timed. I had my first dose last Friday. Not a bad treatment at all. (Of course, it is also probably a result of 20 years of carting heavy book bags while teaching. Don’t carry those things on your shoulder, folks! Seriously………..)

I have returned to work part time. Did 5 hours Tuesday and about 4.5 or 5 today. I realize that’s about all I can handle right now. Now as much because I’m still sick, but because I’m still washed out after being down so long. I think I’ll be a good girl for a while yet. As I said to Julie last week, I had just let myself get run down and the “whatever the heck that was” knocked me sideways. No extra duties for a while, and getting a little better at the word no. It’s amazing how priorities change, and how some things just aren’t as important as they used to be. I feel like I need to remind myself that it’s tTime to ditch the drama and just enjoy! And concentrate on the important things.

Every day is such a gift, isn’t it? I don’t really have “words of wisdom or inspiration” tonight. This is truly just an update. And honestly, while Sunday didn’t end so well, it really was a great day. We spent time with friends–some of the most important people in our lives, saw a friend’s beautiful new home, and heard a wonderful message at church that morning. I really am on the road to recovery. This shoulder injury is just that: an injury. It is nothing like the pain and weakness I felt from the back thing, whether it was an illness or an injury. This is inconvenient, but not horrible.

The message today I guess is, remember what’s important. Don’t let the stupid and crazy stuff get to you (I am talking to myself as much as anyone), and spend your energy on the important things. AND, take care of yourselves. You have to take care of yourself, or you’re no good to anyone.

Special hugs to Leslie Priest as she returns home, and best wishes to Aaron Neel in his quest for a bone marrow donor. And special thanks to all the good friends in our lives. We love you all.

Now, off to the next adventure. I’ll check back in with everyone in a week or two.

Love and Blessings, Anne & Mike

February 22, 2011

OK, back to bright colors today. We are on the road to kicking this thing!

We did the MRI Sunday morning. Guess what–they don’t turn the machine on until you get there. Guess they’ve been stood up before. Anyway, it takes at least 1/2 hour to warm up. Meanwhile, at 8:00 I went for labwork (got there at 7:00, remember). I was fine; I’d brought my book. Mike was dozing off and on while playing Sudoku. He was also hungry–didn’t eat before going. The little girl at the desk brought him a banana and oatmeal cream pie, and there was coffee in the lobby. She was really, really sweet. Hats off, Medical Center, on customer service! Finally went back to begin the MRI. It was FREEZING in there. So they gave me two of those wonderful heated blankets they have at the Medical Center (I want those things at home!). The little girl running the machine said she’d come get it in a few  minutes, because I would get hot. Ha! She didn’t know me well. Every time she asked if she could have it I said absolutely not. Dear sweet little innocent thing, not all of us over 50 are hot all the time. She was funny…………

Anyhow, they did two pictures. Did one scan, and then injected dye and did another. I felt like I’d been on a battle field after it was over. Gees that machine is loud. But I was determined to be a good patient (channeled Susan Shreve for that). It wasn’t too bad. Except laying on that hard slab made for a looonnng day the rest of the day. Ow! ;+}

Went to work Monday for a little over 3 hours. It nearly did me in. Hard to get back in focus, after all the medicine and just being alone for so long, plus the backache. The normal roadblocks–class needing to be moved, client having trouble registering, etc.–were almost more than I could take. I thought I was going to burst into tears at any minute, over the simplest of things. Mike’s words when he picked me up: You look washed out. And that’s how I felt. Like a limp dishrag.

This morning we went to Dr. Smith and got the test results. Yes, I was nervous. I know we had just had a scan and it was OK, but in the back of your mind you can’t help it. And Dr. Smith was somewhat solemn about the whole thing. The MRI showed exactly what we knew–I HAVE CANCER. lol. But it’s still the same as on the bone scans. No changes. And no compression of the spine, a danger with cancer in the back. All we can figure, since there’s nothing showing anywhere, is that stumbling and jerking to catch myself set off a chain reaction of sorts. I certainly learned a lesson from it all. I will take it easy and walk a little more purposefully. I’ve always walked somewhat quickly and taken steps kind of quickly. No more. Now I’ll use the caution I need to. Well,hope so anyway.

I plan to stay home most of the week, just to get going again. I am staying up a little longer each time I get up. Meanwhile I did bring some things home to work on, to keep in the game. Plus, I can read a lot. And I seem to be napping a good bit. I hadn’t been sleeping well at all, while the back was really bad. I’m now playing catch up. A good thing.

This has been another of those experiences that makes me feel so blessed. So many good friends stepped in to help last week with work and here at home. Notes of support and calls have meant the world to us both. Pep talks from friends have been invaluable. Debbie Youngman–here is a special shout out to you. Thanks for special words of wisdom today before I went to the doctor. They helped!

This has been one of the most emotional experiences of the whole cancer ordeal. The last two weeks I’ve had to learn to accept what I can’t change, not always an easy concept for me. It’s humbling to be so seemingly powerless and helpless. Perhaps that’s part of the plan. I needed a little reminder that I’m not in charge. God is, and He is taking the time to slow me down, and I think it’s time for me to listen.

I plan to continue to recuperate at home this week, and go back to Dr. Smith in a month for a check up. Sooner if need be. But the pain is easing. Just trying to regain energy and strength now. Thank you all for thoughts and prayers. It is appreciated.

Love Always, and Blessings, Anne

February 19, 2011

Spell-a-Bration is in the can for 2011. Yea! The Community Education staff rocked it out and got it done. I hated to miss it, but just couldn’t have done it this year. Would have been more of a hindrance than help, that’s for sure.

Friday’s visit to Dr. Smith went OK. Mike and I went over at 11:00. Dr. Smith is as confused by this as we are. Given the recent scan results (little or no change), and lab results (again, little or no change), we are still trying to figure out what’s causing the severe back pain. I did begin to feel achy and almost fluish Thursday evening. Though I don’t think I’ve had much, if any, fever. And I DID have my flu shot! However, I know flu and other viruses can manifest themselves in many ways. A good friend had it a couple of weeks ago and she said she just HURT. Sounds right to me. Anyway, we still don’t know if this really is an injury, or an illness or infection. And even without the rash, I am still reminded of how shingles can affect oncology patients. The pain would fit………….we’ll see.

Well, Dr. Smith has to go out of town next week, so he wants me to have an MRI asap. The machine is down at Graves Gilbert, so his nurse called Medical Center. By golly, in their world asap means asap. I go Sunday morning at 7:00 a.m. (yawn) That does NOT mean it’s an emergency. It means he will have time to get the results before he leaves town mid-week. I love my doctor. He is a force to be reckoned with, and he gets things done. 🙂

Meanwhile, there wasn’t anything else to replace the steroids. So, I’ve just taken pain meds for the last couple of days. Maintenance! Bed rest is helping some. It is definitely not as bad as Tuesday when I couldn’t bend at all or open a drawer without grimacing. It’s just left me very weak (again like flu or virus) and wimpy. Lots of time in bed with the laptop, remote, and magazine. And napping off and on.

Now back to the spelling bee. I have to tell everyone that I have such wonderful friends and such a terrific support system. Friends jumped in to help, from everywhere. And Julie Pride (complete with entire family) went to the bee and did a play-by-play text thing all night. I knew when the words entered, when the teams entered, who missed what word, who wore what, and on and on. As fast as she could type, I was kept up to speed. Not as good as seeing everyone’s smiling face, but definitely good. So cool! And her family worked like Trojans. THANKS, Prides. And thanks to all our friends. I am constantly reminded how fortunate we are to have people who are so giving and so caring. You are a blessing in our lives. One that washes over my being like a sunny day. THANK YOU.

I’ve been sitting up for about 3 hours, which must mean naptime. ;-} Yep, weak as a kitten for a while. I know this has been rambling and disjointed. Partly due to being tired. Partly due to constant medication. This, too, shall pass.

We will keep you all posted. Meanwhile, thank you all again. And everyone go hug someone and love someone. You never know whose day you are brightening with the slightest gesture.


February 18, 2011

Well, not a good sign. I typed an entry and then lost it before I could proof and post. Things that make you go hmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm……………………….

We are back to square one at Grubbs manor today. Or is that Minus One? Stopped the steroid therapy yesterday–cold turkey. Whoo! That’s always fun. The concensus now (from pharmacist) is that there is no way the synthroid and dexadron could interact. None. Whatever. I still think, even if not the medication itself, the throid condition is in play. It’s the difference from the last time I took this stuff. And I did see evidence of that research online (I know–bad girl. They hate it when we think and do our own research.)
But it’s all moot, really. What it adds up to is we’re starting over.

By last night, since I had to stop the meds, the pain was returniing. I worked (or was there) for a few hours yesterday, trying to wrap up some details. by the time I left I could barely move. SO, I went ahead and called in for another appointment. I was supposed to call them Monday to report any changes. No need to wait now. I’ll go in this morning and we’ll start over.

The hardest part is missing today at work. It’s a big day, where everyone contributes their part. I know everyone has it under control–including the pieces I’ve dropped this week. But I can’t help feeling guilty. Seriously, the guys have got it. And the wonderful people at Holiday Inn are taking superb control of us. Not to mention all the great volunteers. But I may have to knock myself in the head so I don’t think about it tonight.

Oh man. Just realized I’ll be missing a rocking silent auction. I can’t believe it! Everyone go buy something great. There are some wonderful packages–from pottery to food to balloon rides and more. WOW! Hate that. I am dangerous at a silent auction…………

Hey! Laura and Chris just gave us a terrific plug on AM KY! THANKS GUYS.

I’ll keep everyone posted. Thanks for all the support and love. (Pam, thanks for dinner. Mike was thrilled! He may move into the carriage house.)

Seriously, we appreciate everyone’s support. Have a great day.

Love and blessings, Anne

February 17, 2011

I feel like bright colors this morning. The day has dawned better. Thanks for listening, everyone.

You’ll notice I’m not using a red font. But the monitor looks red–the reflection from my face. I’m still really pink (I always look good with sun on my cheeks), and somewhat itchy. But it will get better.

It is a combination of the synthroid and the steroid. Since I’d taken the steroid before, we all got careless. I ALWAY ask at the pharmacy about drug interactions–didn’t this time. Dr. Smith always looks when prescribing. He didn’t (the waiting room was stacked 10 deep–I suspect that played a big part. Plus they had a runner in the hall :-} That guy was LEAVING). And I usually read the pamphlet. Took the meds, left the pamphlet on my desk, and that was that. Thank heaven for google. I know dr.’s worst nightmare. But I figured it out, and took no more steroids this morning. Started Benadryl last night. Hey, what’s one more pill, right?

I spoke with head nurse this a.m., Betsy Manship. She said STOP meds; START Benadryl. Done. Done. Done. Dr. Smith is off today, for a well deserved rest (he’s probably at a conference, he’s always working). So she’ll check with other doc to see if there is an alternative medicine for the back. But she is not aware of anything. So, I may end up on bed rest next week. Meanwhile, and this is my new catch phrase, I got in two megadoses before turning into Big Red of Hilltopper fame. Sad part: the medicine was actually relieving the pain some. So I hate that I can’t finish it. Oh well……………Back to square one.

Thank you all for prayers. I went right to sleep last night, from the Benadryl and after a good cry. Woke up from Steroids at 1:30 and finished projects I’d started yesterday afternoon. Got them emailed in to the office. Yippee. Then went back to sleep at 3:00 and slept til 7:30. I suspect I’ll do the same flippy floppy thing today, as I start more Benadryl. Zombie city.

We have things more under control on the Bee. Or maybe I’m just seeing a brighter side this morning. But everyone please keep the staff lifted up. Everyone has had a rough week (or two), and everyone is pulling together so well. We are going to make this a great event for our sponsors and teams. They are our champions! And it will go off all right with or without me. I’m a little cog in the wheel. Just hard not to feel like I’m letting people down a little. You all now how that is. It’s what we do.

Thanks to all my wonderful friends out there. You rock our world! We can’t thank you enough for prayers and support, both physical and spiritual.

OK, off to the office for a short while, and a couple of last errands for Bee. (Have to do a face to face for food at El Maz–language issues.) Then back to my  home “office.” aka the bed in the computer room, with the ironing board desk (a good use for it), my phones, my remote, and my Coke Zero. AND (how can we forget) my heating pad. One of them. And my faithful companion, Lucy. The cat says I wiggle too much. He doesn’t stay. silly cat.

Love and blessings all. Thank you.


February 16, 2011

OK, taking Elizabeth’s advice and complaining. I seem to be having an allergic reaction to the steroids. So, back to the dr. tomorrow. I’m worried about getting to the bee Friday night. It may not happen. Depends on what happens tomorrow, I guess.

I’m having a little pity party tonight, so I am asking everyone to send good vibes. Not just to me–to my loyal co-workers. It’s been a year of adverse situations for the Bee. Not the teams–they rock. Not the facility–they rock. Just stuff all over the board that’s affected us and it. Send the Community Ed team your good thoughts and wishes.

All will be well after a while. I’m just bummed right now. THANKS to all my friends for picking up the slack and holding us together.

That’s enough of the pity party. Some days are like that-whining and tears. But sending out a message makes it better. Love to all our friends.

Anne and Mike


February 15, 2007

Winter seems to be moving away. Yea! Love it, love it, love it. It did leave some casualties in its wake. In addition to Mike, it seems a friend at church (also walking her dog) went down on the ice. She broke bones! Ice, ice, go away!


Me–also a slight casualty. Just not so obvious. While out and about last Friday, I caught my foot on a step. In an attempt not to go down on the ice, I jerked backward and grabbed the railing. Doesn’t seem like it would do much, I know. But by the time I got back to my destination, I was telling people I’d hurt myself by sstubbing my toe. (toe bone’s connected to the back bone, etc.) I figured it would pass.


WRONG. It got worse through the weekend. (Julie Pride commented that it’s ironic you can hurt yourself by trying to not hurt yourself. amen to that.) By Sunday night I couldn’t bend, turn, etc. So Monday I went ahead and called Dr. Smith to make an appointment. He checked me first for shingles (seems that can be a problem). Then after examining my back, and since I just had a scan, he deduced I had jarred my spine. Causing, as he said, an “event.” (Is that like Stand for Children Day or Spell-a-Bration are events, hee hee) I told him I HAD to get through Friday night’s spelling bee at Comm. Ed. I got the “what the heck do you want me to do about that” look. But after talking, he decided to try the steroids like I took when we first encountered the recurrence two years ago. It will reduce the inflammation, and hopefully the pain. If not, we may do an MRI to see if there is something else going on. Meanwhile, pain medicine, heating pad (he asked if I used them–you’re all laughing at that one I know. I have them in every room, and one at work), and steroids. And Friday night at the bee, I’ll be the one sitting in the corner, on my pillow and heating pad. Pointing–you go here, you go there.

I have to  hand it to Amy DeCesare. We were together in the green room at WBKO. She has that mother’s eye. She immediately knew something wasn’t right. Reminded me of my mother’s intuition–and Rhonda’s. Some people you can’t hide anything from!

I love my co-workers and friends at Community Ed and those volunteering at the Bee. Everyone is jumping in and helping do MY jobs and make life easier. My poor boss, Debi, has issues, too. Her Dad just had heart surgery. She’s working herself to death. SO, the rest of the guys–all six of them–are jumping in and taking over. I love you guys!

OK, let’s get this out of the way. I’m going to go ahead and apologize up front for the roid rage. Anyone remember the fun we had last time I was on these? (Of course–it was for two weeks.) Not only do they tend to have me on the ceiling after a couple of days, they also make me VERY edgy. That’s a polite way of saying super angry. Mike has already had a good dose of that. I went nuts on him last night from the pain. I remember doing that before, too. Folks, I am NOT a good patient. AND I APOLOGIZE. I hate it. I really hate it. You are all so good to me. If I yell at you, just walk away and come back later.

OK, let’s all cross our fingers for reduced inflammation and level headedness the next few days. Meanwhile, I will work on my laptop from home much of Wednesday, sitting on the heating pad. Just trying to get under control.

Continued prayers to Mary Scantland and her sister, Leslie Priest, Johnny Douglas, Liz Lyons, and a dear friend in Kiwanis. Also, prayers for Bonnie Myer and the passing of her mother and Elizabeth on the passing of Phyllis.

Love you all. And remember, God is still good. All the time.

Blessings and peace, Anne

(think good thoughts for Mike. He’s stuck with me.)

February 10, 2011

Winter is staying with us in Bowling Green. Counting tomorrow, city schools will have missed 7 days, and I’ve lost count on the county. A record year. After school and Enrichment at Community Ed have really hit the skids this year.

It’s also been a record year for Nine Hearths with repairs. I may have mentioned the water heater going out, and we ended up replacing both of them. We also re-did the mud room because the roof was leaking and causing major damage. It looks really great, by the way. Then Mike’s car has had tons of repairs. Well, the saga continues: the blower motor went out on the furnace last week. Better last week than this week with zero degrees! AND, someone hit my car at Kroger and kept on going. It’s minor, but still has to be fixed. Annoying, really.

OK, why mention all of this? Well, we sat down and decided to look at it this way. These are lessons in thankfulness: we have a roof that needs fixing; we have a car that has to be repaired; we have heat in this cold weather; we have a hot water heater that needs replacing. In other words, we are blessed to have a good home, good jobs, and everything we need to be happy. I admit, it was hard to look at it that way at first. But it’s the way we should look at it. We have so much to be thankful for.

One thing that moves on, snow or no snow, is Community Ed’s fund raiser, Spell-a-Bration. Next Friday we’ll have our 6th adult spelling bee. Twenty-five teams this year. WOW! It’s been a little challenging, getting everything together with the snow, but it’s happening. Also, some of us at work have had some challenges this year, with home and family issues. But it continues to amaze me how so much can be accomplished by a small group of dedicated people. I love Community Education.

This week with all the ice and snow, Mike took a tumble while walking Lucy. His words: “I have more sympathy for you with your back.” hmmmm. one way to look at it. We’re really fortunate that he didn’t hurt himself really badly. He landed flat on his back in the street, and was extremely sore for several days. Shew! Thank you, Lord, for watching over us on that one.

As far as how I feel lately, I am doing well. There have been a couple of rough days, but overall my pain is being managed. I am learning to pace myself better. (yep, that took some adjusting) I have just learned to pull back and not try to go and do so much. Well, ok, maybe I learned that the hard way, lol. If I don’t pace myself everyone pays the price. Those are the nights of tears and frustration. Tears because I’ve just worn myself out and frustration because I don’t have control of the situation. I’m learning better how to say no, which isn’t always easy. Some people have a hard time hearing it. But it’s a matter of picking and choosing. And I really like curling up and staying home with Mikey and the pups. And I dislike having to take lots of pain medicine–it can really make me edgy. And then those closest to me pay the price. (Sorry about that, folks. Just slap me and keep going!) Cutting back on going and going all the time means fewer meds, which is a good thing.

But sometimes you do things you don’t really want to do, and the outcome surprises you. Yesterday I thought I didn’t really want to go to Kiwanis. I was tired and had a lot to do, plus not feeling the best. The laughter shared with friends made the trip worthwhile.

Another thing hard for me is asking for help, especially with my job. When I do have to ask I find myself becoming curt and defensive, making excuses. That’s something that just has to be overcome. After all these years of being an independent person it’s hard to have to ask folks to do things. Debi, my boss, has had to “smack me around” about that one. She’s taken over and said I need to just stop doing some things. I have to admit, it has made a big difference. Thank you for the wisdom there.

I don’t really have anything important to add to the journal tonight. I just want to try to do a better job of staying in touch with everyone.  As always, we value the support and prayers of our friends. We have such a great support system and network of friends. That’s one type of help it’s easy to accept. 🙂

Remember to hug your family and friends as often as you can, and do all the good you can. AND, remember to laugh a lot. Laughter and smiles are truly the best medicine.

Everyone stay warm and safe. Til later, Anne

February 1, 2011

I can’t answer each of you individually (Facebook spoils a person). But again, let me say thank you. And to continue the backpack analogy. Today is a pebble day. Sometimes it’s paper, sometimes it’s boulders. Today, pebbles. And in between the pebbles, loads of love.

Thanks to all.

January 31, 2011

Well, I’m baaaaaack! Krazee Monday–catching up with registrations and other Friday accumulations on my desk made this day fly by. Then, as I got ready to leave, around 4:45, the cell phone rang. I saw it was Graves Gilbert and took off down the hall to a quiet space to answer the call–not knowing exactly what I’d hear.

It was Dr. Smith. After a brief chat, he got right to it: GOOD NEWS. This scan showed virtually no change from last July’s. He said it’s miniscule. So, we are, as he says, “staying the course.” I will continue to take Tamoxifen for the time being (again–very few side effects! yippee). We’ll do another tumor marker test in 3 months (they were almost unchanged, too), and another scan in 6 months. I went back toward my dear co-workers who were standing in the hall chatting, with every intention of telling them the good news immediately. I was afraid I would get choked up, so I had to wait until we were on the way out the door. Emotion got the better of me, along with some relief.

Thank you again for prayers, hugs, and good thoughts. I felt them all weekend long, and they brought great peace. I think it did me good to reflect a lot this weekend and take some time to think about feelings that have been building up for a while. As I said yesterday–battle fatigue. It’s probably one of the biggest hazards.

Keep Mary Scantland and her sister in your prayers. Her sister has gone into Hospice. Also, Elizabeth, Liz, Leslie, and Aaron. And anyone who is affected by this disease. I don’t know why I’m so lucky to be doing so well, except that I have special things yet to do. I pray that I find that purpose and do what I’m supposed to be doing.

Another good evening with friends, by the way. Betty, thank you for a lovely evening, with good conversation. Your hospitality was wonderful. Shared laughter always makes the day better.

God is good. All the time. Even when we don’t realize it. All the time. God is good.

Love to all.

Anne and Mike

January 30, 2011

Another day, another outlook. A fresh one! The sunshine has helped us both feel much better this weekend. I guess last week what I had was a bad case of battle fatigue. It happens, and when it does faith and friends kick in. We thank you all for the beautiful words and love.

I use this page to journal my thoughts and feelings, and to reflect on what is happening to me and others who make this journey. When I share what’s going on, I hope it helps others express their feelings, or helps family and caregivers understand what’s going on. I can’t tell you all how much you mean to us. I am NOT a remarkable person. Any strength I have comes from you. Honestly. And as I said in the last post, talking to Dr. Smith about other treatment options (if we have to switch) was reassuring in many ways. There’s news about Faslodex, the shot I used to do. They have discovered that double doses of it do lots of good. Just a little joke–Faslodex is a shot in the backside. It’s intramuscular, so it is painful. He asked if I could stand shots in each hip every month. OK, I think these hips can handle it! Thank you hormone therapy and reduced activity, for the extra weight. Oh yeah–I’d lost 6 lbs. last week. Celebrate the little things!!!!!!!!!

The sunshine has been a super blessing this weekend. Mike has been able to take Lucy to the Dog Park both days (if you know him you know this is his idea of heaven; a boy and his dog :-} ). Saturday was made for brunch at Waffle House (pecan waffle therapy, hee hee) and a trip to Sam’s. Followed by a trip to Hobby Lobby for photo storage boxes. Last week I finally took the plunge and went into the blanket chest that my mother kept newspaper clippings and papers in. TREASURE! Under the clippings I found photos that I thought she had thrown away. She went through these pictures at a time in my life when I was not feeling well and didn’t pay close attention when she wanted to talk to me about them. And she was having some confusion at that point. But as we learned, she was never as confused as some people thought. Her medicine did some strange things to her reasoning, but I swear, her memory was better than mine is now. (Chemo brain, plus hormone therapy. Topped by not good memory from day 1 = bad news!) Anyway, I found pictures of me with my grandfather (precious, because he passed away when I was 4); pictures of Mom and her childhood and college friends; pictures of grandparents’ families; and even a picture of my dad when he was about 10 or 12 (a real rarity). What a treasure. So, now I get to go through them, try to identify them (many had fallen from scrapbook pages and the writing was gone–that’s what she threw away). And, I can send duplicates to friends and family far away. It should be a real treasure for Mike to see, too. He’s not seen that many pictures of my grandmother. Especially the ones of her with Mom as a baby. Talk about that warm fuzzy feeling.

Saturday night was spent with friends watching Western’s men win game #4 in a row. They seem to be getting themselves together. It’s so good to see them playing together, as a team. They look like they’re enjoying themselves, and getting results in the bargain. It was a great night. Way to go, guys! And the company was delightful. Thanks, Lou, for sharing your home and your hospitality.

Today we had a wonderful message at church, on mercy. Pastor Paul made me feel so good inside. Let me say one very important thing about this whole mess: I am at peace with the situation. I’ve never really had the “why me” philosophy. I mean, I’m certainly no better than anyone, and I could never say why me over anyone else. So the way I cope is to grow closer to God and friends, and come to peace.

And though I’m on choir hiatus until after the spelling bee (imagine that–staying super busy the next 3 weeks), I enjoyed the music and was able to be with wonderful friends. We receive so much strength from our Sunday group. What a wonderful group of people.

I just wanted to get on and thank everyone again for all the good thoughts after Friday’s little rant. And don’t be too hard on the radiologist. Who among us hasn’t made a mistake? I make more than my share. As I told someone after thinking about it–they are incredibly busy at the clinic. Flu season, plus the snow forced everyone to cancel appointments and reschedule all at once. I can certainly wait a couple more days while they catch up.

Here’s to another good week for everyone. I know it’s going to get cold–but no more snow for a while. (Hey, I bought new boots yesterday–I’m good with a little more cold weather so I can show them off.) But the snow can stop. Like for about 10 months. I think we’re good for this year.

I’m rambling. I promise I’ll post when we get the results.

Love and blessings to all. Continued prayers for Aaron and Danette Neel, Leslie Priest, and now for Liz Lyons. And special blessings to Elizabeth.


January 28, 2011

Well, here we are a week after the bone scan and blood tests, and I’m doing the promised update. And that’s where the story begins. Yep, another story. We sat down and Dr. Smith started off with the usual hellos, how are yous, etc., etc. Then we got down to business. He said it appeared that this scan was somewhat worse than the last one and he went to pull it up to show us. (All this was sent to him by the radiologist, understand.) WELL, the radiologist had compared last week’s scan to the 2008 scan–the first one. Not the 2010 scan, which was 6 months ago. Everyone simultaneously said that’s why it looks worse. We knew that! In other words–we have to wait until he can pin down the radiologist and go over that one for a good comparison. sigh……………..Pretty frustrating. Oh, and the lab didn’t sent back the tumor markers. They did them (Tiffany called to doublecheck), they just didn’t send it over with the rest of the results. Thinking I had a cloud hanging over my head today.

The visit was not a total loss, though. We had a good talk about future treatments, a newer hormone therapy treatment option out there (there are updates in treatment all the time), what type of chemo I would go on if and when needed, and the course of events. We also got to see the scan and see where the spots are on the skeleton. Pretty much where I thought. The back, (we all knew that), left shoulder (explains pain in left arm); skull (which he said is not problematic on the whole–just some soreness, which I have when I lie on it wrong); and pelvis. Wouldn’t you know the lower back and pelvis are on the right side and the shoulder spot is on the left? Makes finding a comfortable sleeping spot challenging at times. Heating pads are still good. They do ease the soreness. When he asked about pain, which is a big indicator of things, I told him the severity is not worse. However it’s more persistent. And certain chairs are definitely uncomfortable. I take more meds than I used to–even though it’s still relatively low dose. I also reminded him that the pain is worse in cold weather. So hopefully — if spring ever comes — it will be better.

OK, so no real results to share today. If there are no significant changes I might remain on the tamoxifen for a while.

The waiting can be the hardest thing to do. I have determined that this whole thing is as hard mentally as it is physically. It wears on the attitude and stamina as much as the pain does. If you know someone going through any kind of chronic illness, please remember that. It’s hard to express what that means. It’s something that’s always with the person, like carrying an extra backpack around all the time. You can’t put it down, you can’t leave it anywhere. You have to hang onto it. And sometimes it makes you cranky that you can’t put it down or store it somewhere for a while. Unfortunately that’s when the people closest to you feel the anger for having to carry that burden. You know it’s not their fault, but you  have to lash out at someone. Good friends make that burden easier to bear. And all of us dealing with chronic illness appreciate the patience and understanding. Remember we don’t mean it. Well, ok, most of the time. (sorry, had to sneak in a little humor).

Well, we wait some more. We should have news next week. I know, you’ve heard that before. But this time we really should have something. Meanwhile, thank you for continued prayers and support. While I felt pretty “crappy” when I left the doctor’s office, I feel pretty good tonight. It’s all a matter of time and perspective. Oh yeah–and talking to some good friends who gave comfort.

Love and good thoughts to all. And everyone enjoy the nice weather this weekend. I think it may be a snow-free weekend for a change!

January 19, 2011

Ah, friends, the saga of the old house continues. Thought I’d give everyone a quick, quick update on the house. Yes, we’ve had to re-do the mud room and some major repairs on Mike’s car. Then, last Friday, the day we’d been dreading ever since we moved into 9 Hearths came: the water heater went out. Why did we dread it? It’s under the house, in the cellar, back behind the stairs, over the ductwork for the central heat and air. Oh yeah, and there are two of them. They were installed in 1985, so it was bound to happen. We’re replacing them both. Today the plumber comes and removes the old ones (bless their hearts!). Then he has to excavate the hole because the new heaters are 2 inches bigger, and apparently the hole was just big enough. Then lay rock as a level foundation, the install the new ones. You know how everyone says plumbers make a fortune? I believe they deserve it.

I want to thank everyone for saying I’m an inspiration. But let me tell you, friends. You inspire us every day. I couldn’t do a bit of what I do without support and prayers. I’m not the inspiration. My friends, other cancer patients, family—there’s the inspiration.

Everyone have a wonderful day. Personally, I’m looking forward to a long hot shower tonight, lol!

Love to all, Anne

Words of wisdom from one of my inspiring friends, Karen Holland:


1.  Drink plenty of water.
2.  Eat breakfast like a  king, lunch like a prince and dinner like a  beggar.
3.  Eat more  foods that grow on trees and plants and eat less  food that is manufactured in plants..
4   Live with the 3 E’s —  Energy, Enthusiasm and Empathy
5.  Make time to pray.
6.  Play more games
7.  Read more books than you did in  2010.
8.. Sit  in silence for at least 10 minutes each day.
9.  Sleep for 7 hours.
10. Take a 10-30 minutes walk  daily. And while you walk, smile.

11. Don’t compare your  life to others. You have no idea what their  journey is all about.

12. Don’t  have negative thoughts or things you cannot  control. Instead invest your energy in the  positive present moment.
13. Don’t over do. Keep your limits.
14. Don’t take yourself so seriously.  No one else does. (AMEN, AMEN, AMEN)
15. Don’t  waste your precious energy on gossip.
16. Dream more while you are awake
17. Envy is a waste of time.  You already have all you need..
18. Forget issues of the past. Don’t remind  your partner with His/her mistakes of the past.  That will ruin your present happiness.


19. Life is too short to waste time  hating anyone. Don’t hate others.
20. Make peace with your past so it won’t  spoil the present.
21. No one  is in charge of your happiness except you.
22. Realize that life is a  school and you are here to learn.  Problems  are simply part of the curriculum that appear  and fade away like algebra class but the lessons  you learn will last a lifetime.


23. Smile and laugh more.
24. You don’t have to win every argument.  Agree to disagree…


25. Call your family often.
26. Each day give something good to others.
27. Forgive everyone for everything..
28. Spend time w/ people over the age of 70 & under the age of  6.
29. Try to make at least three people smile each day.
30. What other  people think of you is none of your business.
31. Your job won’t take care of  you when you are sick. Your friends will. Stay  in touch.


32. Do the right thing!
33. Get rid of anything that isn’t useful, beautiful or joyful.
34. GOD heals everything.
35. However good or bad a situation is,  it will change..
36. No matter  how you feel, get up, dress up and show up.
37. The best is yet to come..
38. When you awake alive in the  morning, thank GOD for it.
39. Your Inner most is always happy. So, be  happy.

January 11, 2011

I haven’t been on in quite some time, and friends are telling me to update, update, update. There hasn’t been a lot to say lately, since I haven’t had any scans, and I’ve let it get away from me. But here’s a little news from Grubbs Manor, aka 9 Hearths.

Christmas this year was spent at home. It was an absolutly wonderful holiday. Though we missed seeing Mike’s family and our friends in Martinsville, staying home was very nice. I made the decision early in December that I really couldn’t take the long car trip, with short turn around time. It really takes a toll on my back and energy levels to be in the car for long stretches. SO, we promised the family we’d make a trip in the spring, when we could stay longer and recover from travel a little better. Of course, our doors are always open and we would love to have folks come see us. Just give me a couple of days to find the guest bed, lol.

I have felt pretty well this fall. Yes, I do still tire and do have bone pain. I’ve learned to take the meds as needed, instead of being little miss toughy. It makes all the difference. And hey, I’m 60. I’m entitled to every nap, right? Taking Fridays off has been a blessing. Unfortunately I seem to spend most of my Fridays either at this, that, or the other dr.’s office, doing business, going for special insurance visits, blah, blah, blah. But at least I have those Fridays to do that, and then rest on the weekend.

Mike and I participated in the church Madrigal Dinner again this year. A really rewarding experience. It was a dream of Susan Shreve’s, so it’s very special to everyone involved. And the money goes toward the church food ministry. It’s truly a labor of love. And we have found so many friends with the experience. As Will Pride says: “framily”

We’ve had to have an extraordinary amount of work done around the house this year. The mud room began to really need re-doing (ceiling dangerously close to falling), which led to some roofing work. (thanks to the bad roofing  job done by he who shall remain nameless in print–ask me in person) Larry Schaum and Charlie Taylor fixed us up, though. We’re good to go–just broke. Oh yeah–Mike had major car repairs twice last fall, too. sigh………………

There has been more snow in Bowling Green this winter season than I can remember in years. Christmas Eve brought the most beautiful snow. The church doors opened and it looked like the last scene from White Christmas. WOW! The only bad part for me about snow is: cold weather makes these bones hurt like crazy, and I CAN’T FEEL MY STUPID FEET. The taxol left my toes numb, so I tend to stay home when it looks the least bit slick outside. Not that I was EVER graceful. I don’t need any added help when it comes to slipping and sliding :-}.

The holidays brought us some sad news, too. Elizabeth Honeycutt’s daughter Phyllis passed away New Year’s day. Even though Mike and I never met Phyllis, she touched  our lives, as much as Elizabeth and the rest of the family. She will be missed by all of us.

We had company from home–our dear friend Debbie Youngman came for a few days after Christmas and spent New Year’s with us. WONDERFUL. We visited Opryland Hotel, shopped ourselves silly, had soup for the neighbors and friends on New Year’s Day, and just had a great time.

I’m due for my next scan next Friday (Jan. 21). It’s a bone scan this time. We’ll keep everyone posted on the results. We hope the tamoxifen is working, but we know that whatever it shows, we have everyone’s love and support. We are so blessed to have all of you in our lives. Thank you for your prayers and your support.

Have a blessed 2011, everyone. Love and blessings, Anne & Mike

October 27, 2010

Good evening, all. It’s time for an update. It’s been quite a while, and I want to bring everyone up to date.

The Tamoxifen is still doing OK, with few side effects. (Yea!) I see Dr. Smith next week and we’ll see what he has to say after checking blood work. Other than a heck of a cold that seemed to hang on for ages, I’ve done well. I am still on Synthroid. After two months, Dr. Reed tested the thyroid again and found it to still be low. So we upped the dosage. It is kicking in (after the cold leaves my system) and the energy is returning.

Mike and I spent a week at Siesta Key during Fall Break. It’s a small fishing village/island off the coast of Sarasota, and a little piece of heaven. This year we stayed right on the beach–walk out the door and into the sand. Cool! Imagine seeing the gulf the minute you wake up and right before going to bed. The only bad thing–it’s a 16 hour trip. That takes a toll on both of us, and mostly on my back. Mike has to do all the driving (driving is not a good thing for the back–it’s my right hip that hurts and moving it for gas and brakes is not great), so I know he gets tired. He’s a good driver, though. Saved us from a couple of close calls with crazy drivers out there. And we take two days going, two days coming. This is our special time, and we’re already making plans to go back next year with friends–who grew up there, believe it or not.

When we came back I attended a Chamber function, where I’d been  nominated for an women’s award. Never dreamt I’d have receive it–you wouldn’t believe the wonderful women who were in the category with me, and it’s really about business women and opening doors for women in business. Well, it was on my birthday, and I was blessed to receive it. Yes, I cried. Buckets. And shook like crazy. Dear Debi, my boss, said “quit shaking!” And I said I CAN’T! It was so overwhelming. This is not my award, folks. It belongs to all the people I work with that make it possible to go to work and do good things. When I decided it was time to move on from teaching, I never in this world dreamt I would meet all these people and have the opportunity to work with people who show such compassion and care for the community. I’m just trying to keep up–honestly.

OK, I said it was my birthday. Number SIXTY. Yep–60. And proud of it. I know how dearly blessed I am to see this age. None of my grandmother’s family lived past 59. Most died in mid-fifties. And under the circumstances that makes me doubly blessed. I just hope that I can help let people know that, no matter your circumstance, don’t ever quit. Just keep putting one foot in front of the other and keep going. Life is a blessing.

This has taken a funky turn, hasn’t it? What’s my message: smile. hug. love your family. cherish your friends. evaluate your priorities. examine your mission. These are things I’m doing a lot of lately. Life is precious, and we shouldn’t waste it in the trivial.
I’ve become very reflective this week. (I have to write a SPEECH for this award  luncheon–that’ll get you going.) Honestly, some days it’s pretty hard to get moving. The bones are not always happy campers in the mornings, and it would be really easy to just roll over and say “I’m not going today. I have cancer, you know.” But I can’t. There are too many people who support me, who give me care, who show love. There are people who have become so dear to me, that have endured huge loss and kept going as inspirations for others (Carol and Rick).

Before closing this entry, I want to send prayers to Jules Jernigan, who is undergoing surgery tomorrow. And to Craig Lesser, husband of Mike’s cousin, who is undergoing surgery soon. As always, special prayers for Leslie, Dani, and Aaron. You are all warriors and inspirations. And special thoughts and prayers to my fellow warrior, Phyllis.

Thank you all for being our dear friends. We do cherish you all.

Anne & Mike (and the four-legged family, Lucy and Sebastian, lol)

September 1, 2010

Well, we got the results of the mammogram today–it was good. shew! Check off one more thing off the list.

I continue to adjust to the medications, and still feel better. One thing that I have to realize is, just because I feel better still doesn’t mean I can run all over and drive all day. This old dog doesn’t learn new tricks all that well! In other words, it was a little bit of a long weekend for the back. That didn’t stop us, though, from visiting Sumner Crest with Melody and Keith. Fun times watching Skip Bond–and giving a certain drummer a hard time when the sound system wasn’t working. I love text messaging, lol. It’s amazing how fun times are magnified now.

It would seem that the metabolism continues to improve, along with focus and memory. The biggest challenge has been trying to figure out WHEN to take pills. Some have to be first thing in the morning, with 8 oz. of water, and at least an hour before food. And then it’s 4 hours before I can take OTC stuff. Since sticking to schedules has never been my strong suit, this has been interesting. I’m working on it. And the side effects that go with all the meds are evening out.
Mike and I have been doing things around the house-having work done in the yard and soon on the porch. A kind of “nesting” you might say. We give thanks every day for our lives. Somehow we have settled into a comfortable routine that brings us closer together. It really is true that the sky is bluer and the sun shines brighter when your priorities change. And time with friends is more sweeter.

I’m not saying that it isn’t hard. It is. Every day the knowledge of the disease is there, along with doubts and concerns. But we know we have the best of medical care and the best of friends. As well as the greatest church support. That is what makes the journey easier and the footsteps lighter.

There’s really nothing big to report. I  just wanted to check in and tell everyone to  have a wonderful holiday weekend. Stay safe, and enjoy the simple things. Live, Love, Laugh! And give your lives to God.


August 23, 20101

It’s been five weeks since the last Faslodex shot, and there is continued improvement in the way I feel. AND, I began the Synthroid one week ago. I do feel a difference in energy levels. I can actually make it four days before folding, lol! And this is making a huge difference in my emotional stability and outlook. I feel much more positive and calm. No more wanting to cry every day.

I’m having a few side effects, but I think it’s more of a combination effect than any one medication. I’m experiencing a weird metalllic taste at times (similar to chemo of the past). But since that didn’t start with the tamoxifen I’m pretty certain it has to do with combining the two medications, and also possibly the low dose bp med. And oddly enough, the taste occurs only with certain foods–certain breads, and last night–corn! odd. Poor Mikey: I threw out his blueberry streusel bread that I got at the Cracker Barrel when I went with Pam, because I thought it had gone bad. Turns out it was ME. Thank heaven there were only two pieces left. Croissants are bad, too. I think it’s a starch-related thing. OH! AND (boo hoo, boo hoo) sometimes chocolate. :0( Hey, at least it hasn’t affected coffee.
{{{:0}}}}}}}}} I can keep my Starbucks card and my McDonald’s cup. Shew!

The way I look at it, this could be a blessing in disguise. Breads are my decided weakness. AND, they are the things I craved while on chemo, and again on the faslodex. So this could be God’s hand say OK, enough’s enough! We’re going to take charge of this metabolism thing and get you back on the right road.

This journey continues, and I continue to reflect on it. One thing I have learned is that any journey, no matter what it entails or where it leads us, can be taken, as long as it’s taken with support. We are surrounded by love and support from friends and church. I know I don’t officially have “family”, but I do have  FAMILY. Mike’s family surrounds us with love, and all of our church family has brought us closer to peace every day. In fact, I am very much at peace with this whole thing. I’m sure that’s one reason I feel so much better.

Today’s Upper Room devotional caught my eye and made me think of my purpose on this earth and with my family. Permit me to share:

CATHERINE Booth was the wife of General William Booth, founder of the Salvation Army. Reportedly, in the course of rearing her large family, Catherine would often tell her children: “Now remember, you are not here in this world for yourselves. You have been sent — for God and for others. The world is waiting for you.” Consequently, they grew up with a very clear picture of their Christian calling and took an active part in Christian ministry.

God has a specific purpose for each of us as we follow in the footsteps of Jesus, who declared that he came not to be served but to serve. Christ Jesus is our perfect example — giving himself in obedience to God for the sake of others, both in his life and in his death. The apostle Paul’s prayer was that the Christians of ancient Philippi would continue increasing in love, knowledge, and insight as they passed on the good news of Christ. Paul was confident that their obedience to the Lord’s call would bring a rich harvest.

God has entrusted us with the role of passing on the gospel to a waiting world in our day. What a privilege and responsibility!

Hazel V. Thompson (Somerset, England)

Our minister has done a series on the teachings of Paul this summer, and it has spoken to me. I think some of Mike’s and my calling is to help others who are taking this journey. I hope it’s one we do by example–I’m not great at  “counseling.” Mike and I just continue to go day by day, doing our best, and telling others that they can do it, too. I have so many great examples that I’m following. My examples of dignity and courage: Susan & Rick, Rick & Linda, Wendy & Gene. They taught us so much. Others are taking this journey with us, too. I know they have helped us as well. Thank you all. I hope I can pass on some of their courage and dignity.

Love you all. Mike and Anne
Love to Dani, Carole, Leslie, and Aaron. One more Step, One more Push, One more Prayer. ONE MORE VICTORY–IN GOD.

August 19, 2010

Good evening, dear friends. This has been the best week the Grubbs’ have had in a while. I think we’ve both relaxed quite a bit this week. We are moving forward now, after the catch in our throats.

Some of the reasons: of course the good results from the CT and the X-Ray. Next, we bought a new mattress. I realize that sounds funny, but I can’t begin to tell everyone the difference that has made in bone pain. I actually rest at night. I still wake up some during the night, but not for hours on end. WOW. What a difference that makes.

Then this past Monday I had my semi-annual check up with Dr. Reed. I let her know that, even though there seemed to be nothing with the cancer causing it, I was extremely fatigued. She did a thorough job of questioning, making sure I wasn’t suffering from depression (cancer-related, I’m sure) and other maladies.  I told her that I didn’t think I was tired because I was depressed, but instead I was depressed because I was TIRED. Most nights I felt like crying, because I was so wiped. And then suddenly we realized my thyroid had not been tested in quite some time, if ever. So, another trip to the lab. AND, it is “moderately” low. I began medications this week. After reading the symptoms, I can’t believe I hadn’t thought to mention it to my dr.’s before. The extreme reaction to temperatures, MEMORY LOSS, lethargy, fatigue, occasional anxiety, and–this was an eye opener–fingers turning white with no apparent reason. I blamed it on cold temperatures some, and once or twice thought I’d hit a nerve on my hand, deadening the finger temporarily. It would go away relatively quickly, so I ignored it. Lesson learned. I’ve had that off and on for years, and had no idea why.

ALSO, scratchy voice. I’ve been blaming that on the bad case of mono that attacked my vocal cords several years ago. Plus Faslodex causes sore throats. WELL, Surprise! The throat thing has been bothering me more and more. Sometimes at the end of the day it gets so scratchy people can’t hear what I say. I didn’t even think to mention that to Dr. Reed. I will make sure to tell her about that when I go back. After all, that’s where the thyroid gland is–around the vocal cords.

I hope we’ve figure this out. I’ll take the medication
for two months and be re-tested. I am so hoping this will handle these symptoms. Wouldn’t that be great for everyone?  Husband? Co-workers? Friends??????????

I aleady feel a difference, now that I’ve started the tamoxifen. All I can say is, the side effects of the Faslodex must have been stronger than I realized. I haven’t had a shot in about 6 weeks, and my head is clearer. That’s a hard thing to explain. The past several months have been so hard, dealing with the fatigue and lack of concentration. I, like the doctors, was thinking everything was due to the big C word. As Dr. Reed said, we tend to forget that cancer patients’ bodies are still dealing with all the normal things that go with life. I am guilty of not passing along all the feelings I had, thinking they were just parts of the disease. Plus, it makes you feel like Wendy Whiner for sure. Thank goodness for a general practitioner who is willing to engage in conversation and find the truth.

I have to give thanks to my co-workers for putting up with all of this for the last several months. I can look back and know that I’ve had some real issues from all this stuff. These dear folks have picked me up and carried me on their backs, and I can’t thank them enough.

Mike had his wellness exam this week, and it seemed to go well. His dr. told him that the polyp removed during his colonoscopy was a slow-growing pre-cancerous growth, so he was a good boy getting things taken care of. He does have some ear problems, that can be fixed up with a visit to the ENT. That’s good–that way there’ll only be on one deaf person in the house! And he’s been told to take Vitamin D, just like me. So at least we can share that bottle of pills. Wonder if he wants some of my calcium?

Tomorrow is my first Friday off with no dr. visit. (of course, I did have one last Monday, but it wasn’t so bad). There’s a box of old family letters just waiting for my attention. Time to go through and clean out some closets.  I’ve made a list of things to do, a little at a time. There’s a lot to catch up on, things that have gone undone totally for two years, as well as the regular things that catch up on all of us.

Next Thursday is Mike’s birthday. Everybody send him good wishes. Cards are good, too, hehe.  Bless his heart, he deserves the moon! Maybe I’ll give him a new set of sheets for the new mattress, lol. OK, maybe not. I have ideas, but of course can’t post them here for him to hear about or see. This I do know. I am NOT going to buy him the composter he wants. He can buy his own trash making gizmo. ;0}

We are so blessed. Thank you again for your prayers. We take every day as it comes, know it’s a gift, and cherish all the good times with all of our good friends.

Love to Dani, Leslie, Phyllis, Aaron, and now Carole. You are resting on my heart and in my prayers. And Rick–you are our hero and our role model, you know.  We’re thinking of you right now, with Susan’s anniversary coming. And love to our church family. Your support is invaluable.

Love to everyone, Anne

August 13, 2010

Before I begin my report about myself, I have to give a report on some things that have been on my mind and heart this week. This week’s program at Kiwanis was Riley Miller, a beautiful 16 year old young lady who has worked with Alex’s Lemonade Stand here in BG for the last several years. Riley lost 2 little brothers to childhood cancer, and together with her parents, she started the local Alex’s Lemonade Stand. I am so inspired by this family. Her parents endured so much heartache, and yet have turned their tragedy into a story of incredible triumph and inspiration. Now they have 3 beautiful children, yet they continue their mission of eradicating childhood cancer. What wonderful people, role models for adults and youth everywhere.

NOW for the “rest of the story.” Today was report day. Mike and I dutifully reported back to the clinic for the results of the CT Scan and the chest X-Ray. All week I had been telling myself that if the news was bad, Dr. Smith would have called me and said “get yourself in here. We need to talk.” OK, that’s the rational Anne. Of course, we all know the little voice inside (the one we should rarely listen to) was going, but, um……………………… have an appointment. He may wait.

OK, little voice, take this: kapow! Dr. Smith walked in smiling. First good thing. Then he went on to say the chest x-ray was perfect. There is a little spot on the lower right lobe of the liver. But it was there 2 years ago, too, and there is no change. They don’t even know that it has anything at all to do with the cancer. It could be scar, it could be fatty tissue (hmmmm, imagine THAT, skinny friends), it could be nothing. Anyway, it is a good report. SO, we advance with the tamoxifin treatments, and I’ll go back in 3 months for a check up with him. Meanwhile I have a wellness check up and mammogram with Dr. Reed in the next couple of weeks.

The side effects of tamoxifen can be uterine cancer (not an issue in my case :-}), hot flashes, and blood clots. OK, I have the hot flashes with faslodex, didn’t have them previousy with tamoxifen. Maybe they’ll go away??? One can hope. The sudden power surges are absolutely NO fun for me or anyone observing.

I will have to keep the legs more active. Which may be easier, because the faslodex caused fatigue. I may walk a lot slower than I used to due to the back pain, but I will be walking more. It’s part of the treatment plan.

We feel better tonight, back on the “management” plan. I’ve had lots of time for reflection the last several weeks. It’s been a good thing. I’ve re-evaluated some priorities, and I let “things” go easier. Drama is hardly the issue it once was. I love my friends, and I know how important you all are.

While we feel better, I have to admit it’s been an extreme roller coaster ride, emotionally. There are some things I should probably do, and a convention I should probably attend. I’m going to take a break for a while. I know my compatriots in Kiwanis will do a great job representing us there, and other folks will handle things well. I received a card from church that said sometimes you just need to sit back and do nothing for a while. Well, I think we might do that. Just breathing deeply for a while………..

While I’m at it, I have to continue to give kudos to the caregivers. My caregiver–Mike–has also had a very hard couple of weeks. What would we do without these compassionate friends, family members, and health care workers? It’s easy to condemn the system, but the workers are all doing the best they can. I admire their work every day.

My wish for everyone is that you see what’s important in your lives. Live for your loved ones and let the little things take care of themselves. Don’t forget to love the ones you’re with! Cherish the moments. And share the good times with your friends.

Blessings to you all. Good wishes to Phyllis, Leslie, Aaron.

Anne & Mike

August 6, 2010

OK, folks. The saga continues. X-Ray and CT Scan complete! We’ll get the results next Friday (I spend all my days off with my BFF’s at GGC these days, lol). Seriously, it wasn’t too bad. The stuff they make you drink isn’t too awful (how’s that for a disclaimer). I couldn’t tell if it was coconut or orange. But the tech and I decided rum wouldn’t helped. Especially while she was searching for a vein. Just a different anesthetic, right?

By the way, I couldn’t do my yearly mammogram today. I’m 15 days short of a year, so the insurance wouldn’t clear it. sigh………….. Where is the common sense? It’s not like women do those things for the fun of it. . . . .

Thanks for all the good wishes and prayers. I felt them with me while I was there. We appreciate the good wishes and thoughts more than you know.

Now, I’m off to drink yet another glass of water. Igotta wash that dye right outa my veins!

Everyone have a wonderful weekend! Love to all. Anne

August 1, 2010

Well, another update. We finally got the PET Bone scan Friday, July 23. Dr. Smith called Wednesday with results. sigh……………It wasn’t great, but it wasn’t devastating. I’ll do my best to relate the sequence of events.

Let me preface by saying Dr. Smith and I both expected there to be more spots on the scan. That is the natural progression of the disease. However, when Dr. Smith called his comment was “it’s worse, and we need to talk face to face. We need to discuss what treatment options we’re going to follow.” Well, that’ll scare the bee jeebers out of you! I made the appointment for that Friday, called Mike to make sure he could go with me, and then waited for the news. I told a few key people what was going on, and then waited some more. (important side note–waiting is ALWAYS the hardest part)

I went on a wing and a prayer Friday morning and got my hair done (!), hoping I wasn’t doing something in vain. That’s a joke, everyone. a pitiful one, but a joke. ANYHOW, after an extremely cheery lunch and lots of laughs with a friend, I made my way to Graves Gilbert.

Dr. Smith came in and told us how surprised he was that the spots were as widespread as they were, since I don’t seem to have more symptoms. So we needed to really consider what we’re going to do about treatment. Then he said, the spots, though many, are small. And not symptomatic. And, though they’re only a tiny piece, the tumor markers actually have gone down. So after talking about things, we’re going to switch off the Faslodex and go back to Tamoxifen. I did 2 years of Tamoxifen 7 years ago, then switched to the Aromatase inhibitor treatment. Tamoxifen seemed to work OK, and had limited side effects for me, so that’s the option we chose. Besides, the Aromatase side effects were very painful, so I really didn’t want to do it if possible.

He did mention chemotherapy, but said he felt that was too radical at this stage. That’s OK by me, I have to say. I guess that’s a future option, but we don’t want to exhaust everything too soon in the game.

As I said, he was surprised by the test results, and mentioned that he and the radiologist had studied it a lot. It’s a very sensitive test, and picks up everything (a good thing). Mike and I did mention chest x-ray and any other scans, so he scheduled a CT Scan for Friday the 6th. And a chest x-ray. I’ll go back the next Friday (the 13th, whoopee) to get the results.

I guess you see a pattern here. I’m not working Fridays any more, so I’m scheduling my appointments for Fridays when possible.

I’ve had a lot of time to reflect on things the last couple of weeks. I’m still feeling good, and strong. It just makes me realize how important all of you are in our lives. The initial scare reminded us of 2 years ago, but we weathered that and came out stronger, and we’ll do it again.

The crazy thing about cancer is the unpredictable nature of it. Tuesday morning last week I actually woke up feeling better than I had in months. By that afternoon I was grabbing the pill bottle. something had triggered the pain problems. Then yesterday I didn’t have to take any pain meds at all, and very limited today. These things, coupled with the prayers everyone sends our way, are what give us good feelings.

We’re taking things one step at a time. As I say, it is what it is, and we will make the best of it. I’m blessed to have such a wonderful life, and I’m dancing in the rain!

Everyone add a friend in Kiwanis to your prayers: Danette Neel’s husband is going through a bad time right now with lymphoma. They are so young, and have a little one. He needs everyone’s thoughts and prayers. Also Phyllis Medlin, Elizabeth Honeycutt’s daughter, And continued prayers to Leslie Priest; and our sister, Dani. Also, pray for the caretakers–Dr. Smith and his staff, my good friends in radiology who are so caring and treat every patient with such dignity, and on and on. These are wonderful people who answer a calling.

Thank you, everyone. We love you all. I’ll post again in a couple of weeks when the results come in.

Meanwhile, everyone go out and do good. Send a card to someone at the hospital, drop off magazines at the nursing home, smile at someone who looks like they need cheering up. Remember, we all have some type of weight on our us. If everyone shoulders it together, it’s so much lighter. I know. You make our load like a feather!

Love to all, Anne

July 20, 2010

Time for another update. It’s been a while, and I’ve been really bad about staying in touch.

First, thank you all for all the prayers for myself and my sister-in-law Dani. She is doing well! The prayers have meant a lot to her.

I finished my Zometa treatments in February, and have continued on with the Faslodex. I am still responding to treatments, so we’re going to continue on with that line of treatment.

One of the first things I seemed to notice after stopping the Zometa (and it may be psychological, or it may be I’m getting older) was an increase in fatigue. In the past I could go all week with little sleep and catch up on the weekend. No more. Now if I don’t get enough rest at night it seems I’m just wiped out for several days. So we’ve come up with a plan for fewer hours. More on that in a minute.

At my last visit with  Dr. Smith I had an elevated tumor marker count, which he says is unreliable as an indicator, and he told me the count wasn’t up THAT much, so don’t be alarmed. However, I started to notice an increase in pain. Not so much increased levels as it became increasingly persistent and harder to kick. That meant an increase in the number of pain meds I was taking. Not my favorite thing to do, as most of you know. It tends to make me talk and feel out of control and become REALLY emotional. Yep, tears. OK, we all know I don’t need any help in that department. But you do what you gotta do.

I went for my regular appointment with Dr. Smith last week. Made Mike go with me, because I was nervous. I had been scheduled for a PET scan (first in 2 years). The insurance company didn’t think it was necessary, so we didn’t get it. Of course that becomes an emotional issue. As Barb Higdon says, that really affects your psyche. But Dr. Smith got creative and ordered at PET Bone scan, and I’m on for this week. Dr. Smith wants it as a baseline. AND, the tumor markers are down lower than they were in February. Interesting.

I’ve also hit on a better formula for pain management, I think. Instead of a whole pain pill (whacko time!), I seem to do fine most of the time on half a pill plus an Aleve. Yea!!!!! That is making a huge difference in lifestyle and the way I feel.

Now, on to the reduced hours issue. As I said I realized that having to go out to multiple meetings and go to classes was becoming more and more difficult. I’d be so wiped out the day after going out that I was having trouble focusing and stumbling aimlessly. After much thought and prayer, Mike and I decided I should reduce hours at work to 30 hours a week (basically 4 day weeks). With  Dr. Smith’s blessing and encouragement, we presented the plan at work and starting July 1 I began a reduced work load. I’m in hopes that the extra day of rest will help so much as I try to maintain the house, keep working, and have a life, too. Who knows? I may actually get my housework done! Last Friday I caught up on ironing that had been sitting for 2 months. WOW!
We’ll see how it goes this fall as classes start. I know I have
tremendous support at work, though. I’ll just have to get my priorities in order.

I continue to be grateful for Mike’s support each and every day. He takes care of all the insurance forms, dr. bills, all the nasty stuff, plus, he’s incredibly supportive of the new work schedule. Every day is a good day. Thank you to everyone for your kind thoughts and wishes.

Please continue prayers to Elizabeth Honeycutt and her daughter Phyllis, Dani, my sister-in-law, and to Leslie Priest. And continue to be thankful for the wonderful people at the cancer unit of the Medical Center and to Dr. Steve Smith. He’s our rock!

One more push, one more prayer, one more step, one more victory.

April 10, 2010

Dear Friends, I know I’ve done a lot of entries lately, but we’ve had a lot on our plates lately. I know there is so much prayer support with my friends, that I want to pass along other friends who need your thoughts right now.

First, my good friend from Martinsville, Wendy Weigel, has had ovarian cancer for several years. She has been getting progressively weaker this past month, and this week it got really bad. She passed away last night. She was able to be home the whole time, and it came quickly and a little unexpectedly. But she had been suffering quietly for a good while. I suspect it’s been worse than she’d let on to us for a good while. Please pray for her family. And also for our good friend, Debbie. She is suffering so much right now, as Wendy was her dearest friend there in Martinsville. She will miss her companionship so much. I just wish I could be there with her today. Let’s all send her prayers. (Ironically, Wendy is one of several of us that worked together that have had cancer over the last few years. It gives you pause for thought.)

Second, Mike’s sister in Cary, Dani, had a seizure last weekend. After many tests, they have found lesions on the left side of her brain. The neurologist says the shape of the lesions suggests malignancy, but they will have to be biopsied to know for sure. According to other tests it seems to be contained to that area, not anywhere else. The surgery will be next Friday. Pray for peace and calm for her right now, and for strength for the family. Fortunately we were going to be in the area at the end of the month for Frances Price’s memorial service, so had planned to spend some time with the family. This will give us a chance to visit and learn more, and to be with Mike’s mom, Ethel.

This seems to have been in the stars, for us to be going home at this particular time. Unfortunately Debbie will be in KY while we’re in VA, so we won’t see her. BUt she’ll be here in June. We can toast Wendy then.

I also have a good friend who lost her job this week, quite unexpectedly. Can’t say much right now, but I want to send some positive energy and thoughts her way. 🙂

Thanks for all good thoughts. We love you all.

OK, I can’t resist this, and I hope it doesn’t seem out of place. Don’t forget to add some laughter to your day. (Dear Wendy taught me that laughter is so special, and I know she’s smiling on us all right now.) We saw DATE NIGHT last night. We both needed a good laugh (Mike’s had a particularly rough week, which I can’t get into). But it was so funny in at least one scene that I was crying. Be sure to laugh and smile. The world IS still beautiful. And God is good.


April 8, 2010

Praying for a friend who’s waiting on some test results today. And this came across my desk. Let’s all soar today! Love to all…………

No one can make you serve customers well….that’s because great service is a choice.

Harvey Mackay, tells a wonderful story about a cab driver that proved this point.

He was waiting in line for a ride at the airport. When a cab pulled up, the first thing Harvey noticed was that the taxi was polished to a bright shine. Smartly dressed in a white shirt, black tie, and freshly pressed black slacks, the cab driver jumped out and rounded the car to open the back passenger door for Harvey

He handed my friend a laminated card and said: ‘I’m Wally, your driver. While I’m loading your bags in the trunk I’d like you to read my mission statement.’

Taken aback, Harvey read the card. It said: Wally’s Mission Statement: To get my customers to their destination in the quickest, safest and cheapest way possible in a friendly environment….

This blew Harvey away. Especially when he noticed that the inside of the cab matched the outside. Spotlessly clean!

As he slid behind the wheel, Wally said, ‘Would you like a cup of coffee? I have a thermos of regular and one of decaf.’ My friend said jokingly, ‘No, I’d prefer a soft drink.’ Wally smiled and said, ‘No problem. I have a cooler up front with regular and Diet Coke, water and orange juice..’ Almost stuttering, Harvey said, ‘I’ll take a Diet Coke.’

Handing him his drink, Wally said, ‘If you’d like something to read, I have The Wall Street Journal, Time, Sports Illustrated and USA Today..’

As they were pulling away, Wally handed my friend another laminated card, ‘These are the stations I get and the music they play, if you’d like to listen to the radio.’

And as if that weren’t enough, Wally told Harvey that he had the air conditioning on and asked if the temperature was comfortable for him. Then he advised Harvey of the best route to his destination for that time of day. He also let him know that he’d be happy to chat and tell him about some of the sights or, if Harvey preferred, to leave him with his own thoughts…

‘Tell me, Wally,’ my amazed friend asked the driver, ‘have you always served customers like this?’

Wally smiled into the rear view mirror. ‘No, not always. In fact, it’s only been in the last two years. My first five years driving, I spent most of my time complaining like all the rest of the cabbies do. Then I heard the personal growth guru, Wayne Dyer, on the radio one day.

He had just written a book called You’ll See It When You Believe It. Dyer said that if you get up in the morning expecting to have a bad day, you’ll rarely disappoint yourself. He said, ‘Stop complaining! Differentiate yourself from your competition. Don’t be a duck. Be an eagle. Ducks quack and complain. Eagles soar above the crowd.’

‘That hit me right between the eyes,’ said Wally. ‘Dyer was really talking about me. I was always quacking and complaining, so I decided to change my attitude and become an eagle. I looked around at the other cabs and their drivers. The cabs were dirty, the drivers were unfriendly, and the customers were unhappy. So I decided to make some changes. I put in a few at a time. When my customers responded well, I did more.’

‘I take it that has paid off for you,’ Harvey said.

‘It sure has,’ Wally replied. ‘My first year as an eagle, I doubled my income from the previous year. This year I’ll probably quadruple it. You were lucky to get me today. I don’t sit at cabstands anymore. My customers call me for appointments on my cell phone or leave a message on my answering machine. If I can’t pick them up myself, I get a reliable cabbie friend to do it and I take a piece of the action.’

Wally was phenomenal. He was running a limo service out of a Yellow Cab. I’ve probably told that story to more than fifty cab drivers over the years, and only two took the idea and ran with it. Whenever I go to their cities, I give them a call. The rest of the drivers quacked like ducks and told me all the reasons they couldn’t do any of what I was suggesting.

Wally the Cab Driver made a different choice. He decided to stop quacking like ducks and start soaring like eagles.

How about us? Smile, and the whole world smiles with you….
The ball is in our hands!

A man reaps what he sows. Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up… let us do good to all people.

Have a nice day, unless you already have other plans.

SORROW looks back, WORRY looks around, and FAITH looks UP… BECAUSE OF MY FATHER’S LOVE, I AM CHANGED!!!

“Life isn’t about waiting for the storm to pass. It’s about learning to dance in the rain.”

April 4, 2010

Happy Spring, everyone. I thought it was time to get rid of the snowflakes on the website!

Today is Easter, a good time to connect with everyone and reflect on our blessings. It’s been a good day, and a beautiful day. Full of promise.

Winter was a little hectic. After the spelling bee at work (our major fundraiser), it was a little hard to get my energy back, but I really felt really good all through the process. Even made it through getting the spring class brochure together. Then came an old teaching plague–strep throat. Boy, I had forgotten how nasty that stuff was. And this year it took a really big toll on the energy level. I guess that was to be expected. Not just because of cancer–heck I’m a LOT older than the last time I had this stuff. (hehe) But hey, that’s a good thing, right? I’m OLDER! (I’ve quit complaining about birthdays, guys! Remember that the next time you hear me whine about gray hair.) Anyway, a big old shot and lots of antibiotics later I finally shook it. Though I’m not sure my throat’s recovered. It’s kind of like when I had mono–the throat stuff lasted months then and seems to be doing the same now. But I’m vowing to not to let it creep back in on me, by taking it easy.

We’ve entered what we call “special events season” at Community Education. Mike says Feb. to June he hardly sees me.

Well, this year he will. I’ve cut back a lot of extra activities outside of the required work stuff. The worst part is feeling guilty for not doing things and feeling like you let people down when you have to drop out of things for a while. I hate that feeling; I know how hard it is when I have projects and people have to bail out for a while. I think that’s the hardest part of all this–not being able to live up to old expectations. Guilt can often be as bad as being sick. I just have to listen to the body and soul sometimes. Mike is good at reminding me when to back off and take it easy. He should be–he catches the brunt of the emotions. (aka major AND minor meltdowns)

If I could say anything to those of you who are support systems for those of us who depend on you, it’s just be patient. Sometimes what’s going on affects more than the body. It gets to the emotions. It’s just part of the process and the whole deal. Those are the things I struggle with, I know. And those are the things that don’t show–that we the patients don’t let show. That’s when my wonderful support system steps up and says take it easy. I know everyone else out there does the same for someone in their life. At church this morning Paul told us that all of us have someone depending on us. How true, how true. I know I depend on the kindness of all of my friends and co-workers to get me through the days.

I know I don’t always show how grateful I am. PLEASE know that it doesn’t mean I’m not thankful for each and every one of you every day. I count my blessings every night before I go to sleep and every morning when I get up. I am so blessed to be living and coping with cancer so well. Even on days when I don’t feel well, I’m blessed to be able to put one foot in front of the other and just march on. So many others don’t have that ability. My strength comes from my faith, and my friends. You are so special to us.

Now that I’ve rambled on endlessly I want to say to all of you: please enjoy the spring. Enjoy the rest of Easter week with your family and friends. Go out, do good, love your neighbors, love your friends. Someone out there is depending on each one of us for something important. Most of all they’re depending on us for love. We can all do that.


February 2, 2010

Just a quick update on things right now. The last month last been good. I’ve had 17 of the Zometa treatments (that’s the bone strengthener), and have just one more to go. I will continue the Faslodex indefinitely (that’s the cancer treatment). I’m tolerating them well, and they seem to be working. My latest tumor marker came back unchanged since October. Can we get a big amen?! I told the nurse that called to go hug Dr. Smith for me. THAT got a good chuckle out of her! I’d like to have seen her deliver that message, lol.

My visit with Dr. Smith went well last week. Again, we had a long talk about taking the right amount of medication when I need it. I need to follow his directions and take pills when needed–I’m just a little (!?) stubborn and hate to take them. But I’m learning to go with the flow. Just be aware, if you’re near me. Sometimes they make me hyper-emotional. Like I need anything to encourage that! again–can we get an amen?

Work is going well. While I’ve had a cold recently, I feel better than I have in a good while so I feel like I’m accomplishing more. We’re working hard on our annual fundraiser, with everyone chipping in and going at it hot and heavy.

It’s snowed a couple of times here, causing schools to be closed more than normal in BG. The last one gave Mike and I a good excuse to stay in for the weekend and catch up on house work and rest. Good for him, too, as he bears the brunt of most of the physical work around the house. That and the stress of his job take a heavy toll on him. He is one good man.

We lost our good friend Frances Price last week. She’ll be missed by all the Martinsville/Oakdale crowd. Love goes out to Pat & Peg.

That’s all for now. Just wanted to share the good results of the blood tests. We continue to thank everyone for their prayers every day. You make this journey much easier.

Anne & Mike

January 4, 2010

HAPPY NEW YEAR! We’re entering a new decade. Mike and I just realized this is our 4th decade in Bowling Green. Wow! And we still can’t retire. Hmmmm……… What’s up with THAT? Just kidding!

The fall has continued to be good. Community Education got into our new digs the end of September, and we’re are settling in nicely now. There are still little things to be done here and there (the final “punch list”), but we are settling in.

It hasn’t been the greatest of years for our staff, it seems. Rhonda has been very sick, but hopefully is on the mend now (gall bladder). It’s really given her fits–so think of her. And we all need to think of Debi as she assumes care of a relative. Big changes in family dynamics. Send her love and prayers.

Also, at church we lost our dear friend Susan Shreve. Susan, you are missed. We thank you for being part of our lives. Love to Rick and the kids.

I’ve continued to do well. Well, up until November. I don’t think I did well with my shot that month. I don’t know if it hit a nerve in my hip, or what. And of course it was on THE side. Anyway, it was a rough month, pain-wise. Plus, as the weather gets colder the back is not a happy camper. I’ve finally learned to suck it up and take the pill when I need it. My sweet nurse Melissa gave me a little talking to, and I’m doing as told. It just makes me sleepy at really inconvenient times, so I’m not a fan of taking too many pills. But oh well…….whine, whine, whine. BUT the December treatment went much, much better. Hardly sore at all. The soreness in December was from doing too much decorating, shopping, partying, driving………….oops. I guess it was from too much fun, huh?

Church did a Madrigal Dinner in December. Rick Shreve and Julie Pride put it together. It went well, especially for the first year and all the many, many pieces that had to fit together to make it work. Kudos to Rick, Julie, and their production team. Thanks for letting me be part of it. It was a highlight of my year.

This brings me to the “weeding my garden” portion of my life. As of December 31 I am off 2 boards that I have served on for several years. It’s really kind of weird. But after the way I got worn out from activities in December, it’s a good thing. I’ll miss them, but I’ll still volunteer when needed.

We had a good visit with family at Christmas. We went to Cary, NC, via Asheville. Saw lots of snow and ice, and MANY power trucks. Many people were without power during this holiday season. We were blessed to miss that storm. Anyway, we took 2 days going and 2 days coming home to break up the trip. And my dear friend Elizabeth Honeycutt had given me a heated massager for the car. It made the trip a lot easier! THANKS E1!

There was one scare of a different kind this fall. Anthem and my clinic were at odds over payments and coverage issues, and the clinic had to finally threaten to ditch Anthem coverage. Until you’re in a lifetime relationship with your medical team you don’t know what an impact that will make on you. Honest to goodness, I told someone leaving Steve Smith and his staff was akin to getting a divorce! I was not a very nice person to be around while that was going on. But it was a scary time. They have reached an agreement and extended the contract for 2 more years. Shew! Health care is a scary, scary thing……………………………..Think of people with no options……………………………..

We were late getting the house decorated, so it will stay up until at least the first weekend in January. Gonna enjoy these lights and trees. It’s nice to relax and enjoy. Even if the downstairs is freezing and we stay wrapped up. (It’s only 15 degrees–brrrrrrr–and this old house is COLD.)

Well, just wanted to check in with everyone. It’s been four months–way too long. Love you all, and hope everyone had a wonderful holiday. Mike, Lucy, Sebastian (sorry–couldn’t exclude the kids, er, I mean pets) and I wish you all the very best for this year. Love your family, enjoy your friends, get out and enjoy the world. Every day is a gift. and you are all my gift.

Until later, Anne

OH! I almost forgot. I’ve discovered Facebook this year. If you’re on Facebook and we’re not connected, search for Anne Blane Grubbs. I’d love to hear from you!

August 15, 2009

Thanks for all the wonderful comments. Yes, Mike is the best caregiver in the world. THANKS, Bobby, for pointing that out.
I have my annual mammogram in 2 weeks and then a follow up with Dr. Reed. We’ll keep everyone posted.
Top 10 things I love:

  1. concerts in the park
  2. my new car (it’s so much fun!)
  3. Caring Bridge–making it easy to keep up
  4. Facebook!!!! What a great way to touch base with friends far away…..and across town!
  5. Lucy–the dog that knows she’s human andSebastian–the cat that thinks he’s a dog
  6. Community Education’s new home
  7. State Street Methodist Church
  8. My wonderful caregivers at Graves Gilbert Clinic
  9. Kiwanis, its mission and hard workers; and all my civic group supporters
  10. MIKE

Did I mention my new car? hehe If I didn’t, let me mention it again.

Please pray for our friends the Shreves. We love them and treasure knowing them.

Thanks for all the good wishes. Love to all, Anne & Mike

August 12, 2009

Just stopping by to let everyone know that it’s been a great summer at the Grubbs household, much different than last year. The last visit with Dr. Smith was last week, and we talked about “it’s been a year!” The tumor markers, though up a tiny bit, are still well in the normal range. It is normal for them to creep up–this is a lifelong thing–so he’s still pleased. I will continue on the current treatment regimen for another 6 months, and then we’ll re-evaluate. It does reach a maximum benefit point, so we don’t want to overdo it. There are other options for future treatments. We talked about what’s to come, and that was a good talk. We’re both encourage at the outlook right now. It was good to see him smile. I wasn’t ready to talk about those things last summer. Heck. I probably wouldn’t have remembered it if we did. I really don’t remember a lot of last summer ;-). Probably a blessing.

My energy is really good most of the time, I walk 110% better (still not running any laps, but it’s OK!), and I take very few pain pills. In fact, Aleve is about all I take any more, unless there’s a really big day of walking (like Stand for Children Day). Even the heating pads are on hiatus most of the time right now. Now, if I can ditch the weight I’ve gained on the hormone treatment …… another story! In short, folks, I have learned to pace myself and pull back from activities. We call it “weeding my garden.” Some things just have gone by the wayside. It is what it is.

Our office moves to its new location in a few weeks. So, Community Education is packing, packing, packing. I do solemnly swear not to lift the boxes. (I’ve had a little bit of swelling in my left arm, so I’m being especially cautious.) Come see us at our new building on Westen. Finally, we’re getting a “forever home.”

On the home front–finally a new vehicle!!!!!!!!! The old burgundy Cutlass has gone out to pasture–not clunkerville. Just out to pasture. Hopefully some teenager will enjoy it, warts and all. AND, for those that remember that vacuum cleaner sagas of last summer (steroids and broken down vacuums don’t mix well), we got a new Oreck. Whoa! It works, and it’s lightweight. Life is good. Doesn’t take much, does it?

Seriously, though. Life IS good. We are thankful for all our friends, all your prayers, and all the support. Mike and I could never do this without you. You’re our lifeline and we treasure you.

Love to all, Anne

July 2, 2009

Good morning, all. It’s been a while, hasn’t it?
I want to check in with everyone to celebrate a new “birthday.” One year ago today I got the news that the MRI was showing ugly things, and the process started. Well, I consider this my new birthday, because with love, support, prayers, and good care, I’m still here with you all.

It was a roller coaster of emotions when we first got the diagnosis. I honestly did not think I would be here today to share thoughts with you all.

While that was traumatic, I also reached a sense of peace in myself. I know I am loved, I know that God is good–all the time. The news may not have been great, but God is there to take care of you whatever that news may be, and to see you through it.

It’s been quite a year, hasn’t it? We’ve lost a wonderful friend, Ron Grabruck; we’ve prayed for our friends Wendy and Gene Weigel who are both suffering from cancer while trying to maintain their lives and their children; we’ve thought daily about our friends Rick and Susan Shreve. We’ve celebrated birthdays with dear friends (Elizabeth and Bill), and rejoiced at the birth of some precious new babies in the Birk and Womack households. And we’ve come to realize how precious each and every day is. Every day is a miracle. This year I’ve re-connected with high school friends and teaching friends from Martinsville, via Facebook. The memories it has brought back are dear and wonderful. But I’ve also learned how precious the present is. I have such wonderful friends, and I love you all.

A dear friend from Virginia has been here to visit twice, and I’ve been able to show off the great life we live here in Bowling Green. Mike and I are closer all the time. He has been my strength this year, always there for me, without complaint. And it’s not like his plate isn’t full–it is. He works non-stop, but always makes time to go and do with me. I am so thankful to have him in my life. Everything that I am able to do is because of his support.

Anyway, I just wanted to check in and let everyone know that we’re marking this day as the day we started counting over again. I feel good and can say that this treatment is keeping things at bay and “managed.” We’ll take every day as it comes and pray for continued success. Meanwhile, we’re marching ahead with our lives as usual. I’ve accepted a position with Kiwanis, one that comes to fulfillment in three years. And I’ll continue a couple of other outside activities in moderation. Now, folks, that’s what we call thinking positively. Life on the edge! Life is good.

Everyone have a happy 4th of July. We’re off to spend time with Mike’s friend from high school days. Time and fellowship with friends–that’s what it’s all about.

Love to all, Anne

from the Upper Room daily devotional:

I love fireworks. I wait in the dark. BANG! A splatter of gold sparks fills the sky. They take my breath away. My face hurts from smiling. My ears ring from the noise. When the show is over, I picture in my mind the flashes of brilliance, and a twinkle of joy lingers.

When we do a good deed, it flashes a spark of pleasure in someone’s day. We shine God’s love into the lives of others. Good deeds are fleeting, though their memory lingers in the mind.

The flash of fireworks affects all those who see it. Love sparkles in the same way: we all feel the joy. Some “fireworks” are small and personal; opening the door for another and being courteous are like handheld sparklers. Some fireworks, such as publicly giving big donations to charity, get a lot of attention. The volunteer showing up every week to help is like fireworks that go on, explosion after explosion. When the annual fireworks show is over, planning begins for the next year.

We can each plan and be part of an explosion of good deeds. Today and every day, God can use us to shine the brilliance of love into the world.

Lisa Bogart (California, USA)

February 16, 2009

Time for the update from last week’s dr.’s appointment. It went well–yeah! only 2 sticks to get the IV in, always a victory!!!!!!!! (I’m a hard stick, remember.) Anyhow, it wasn’t bad at all and did NOT hurt. She was good, good, good.

Dr. Smith and I agreed we would wait til June to do a bone scan. As it stands now there is no new discomfort, and I feel good. So there would be no difference in treatment plans and we thought it would be best to wait. This was the month that they ran a full blood panel, and I received a phone call the next day or so from his office. The nurse left a message to say that my “tumor markers are normal, and that is great.” Of course I had to call and say ok explain it to the dummy. I know it’s great, but what does it mean, lol.

Angela explained that it means the treatment has the cancer under control and is working right now. That’s a good thing, folks. The cancer is still there, but it’s sitting still for now, so we’re cautiously optimistic that it will stay that way for a good while to come.

I’m still in the stages of re-discovering that I have to pace myself. Dr. Smith and I talked about that, too. I can do whatever I feel like; he says just listen to my body and don’t overdo. So that’s exactly what I’m trying to do. It means making some choices and eliminating some meetings and extra activities, but that’s OK. That way I can save up strength to do the things we really want to do.

I’ve been given a gift, and I know it means I have things left that I need to do. Things for others. I’m thinking about what I can do to help others who aren’t as fortunate as I am. I am so lucky to be able to get the treatments that help me. So many others can’t afford these treatments, and that does bother me. I feel like we need to do something about that. Advocate, talk, build awareness, something. I’ll work on that.

The Spelling Bee is this Friday night, so Community Education is running crazy right now. It’ll be good to get it done, but it is a great event. Cross your fingers that we can make it a terrific night for everyone involved.

Thanks for all the prayers. I’ve learned a lot about my beliefs this past year. I’ve learned that I believe that God is there to help us through the bad times and the good. He doesn’t “give” someone a disease or “start” a war or “make” people evil. But He is there to help us cope with the hand we’re dealt. This has brought me a lot of peace this last 6 months. I wish you all the same peace.

Love to all, Anne

February 10, 2009

Just checking in with everyone to say hi. I realized that folks have been seeing the news about the storms in KY and wondering how close we are. Well, about 30 miles it turns out. Bowling Green was very fortunate to avoid the brunt of the storm’s fury. Just to the north of us it was a virtual disaster zone, with trees and limbs everywhere. BG has a good tree trimming program, so the city fared better than the county. We just had to put up with the 2 degree weather, brrrrr…… But at least we could fight it off with heat and lights.

I’m feeling well. Tomorrow is my monthly check up with Dr. Smith. While I still get tired quicker than I used to (hey, who doesn’t?), I feel good. We are going and doing all the time. We went to see Wicked a couple of weeks ago–I highly recommend it–and went to 2 WKU ball games this weekend. Tomorrow there’s a great blue grass group that’ll be singing at church, so we’re going to hit that. And then at the end of March we’ll go to Riverdance. Like I said, going and doing all the time.

Work is really busy right now, with class schedules and Spell-a-Bration drawing close. Looks like it will be great this year. I’m blessed to have such a good place to work and such good people to work with. This is happening because everyone works TOGETHER. I could never still be doing this without those guys!

That’s all for now. More after the dr. visit. For now, pray for our friends Jane & Ron, Susan & Rick, Gene & Wendy. They need us more than ever.

Love to everyone, Anne & Mike

January 22, 2009

Good news: the bathroom renovation is done!

Bad news: I used the shower for the first time yesterday and the tub leaked. If I ever see that first contractor again there could be a 911 call involved! Oh well. . .. But Mike is handling it–calmly as usual. Good thing we’re complete opposites on the Meyers Briggs profile, because my 100% emotional reaction would be a bad thing!

Things are perking along. Work is busy, busy, busy. It’s that bee thing, you know, with our adult spelling bee fundraiser. But I think we’re on track more or less. The troops are rallying.

Folks at church are taking care of us, thanks to a pesky little choir director who shall remain nameless (LOVE YOU, GIRL!) One night a week there will be a wonderful home cooked meal. Boy, is my hubby a happy man. No more tv dinners or happy meals! We are so blessed to have such a wonderful church family. The gesture means as much if not more than the food, actually. Makes us feel “wrapped in a blanket of love!”

Back to the salt mines, aka spelling word definitions. Everyone have a great day. I’ll check in after next month’s dr. visit.


January 5, 2009

Happy New Year everyone! It’s been over a month, so I figured I’d let everyone know how we’re doing.

Mike and I had a nice holiday. We did finally get the house somewhat decorated. Actually, Mike did most of it. He brought down the tree, decorated it, and went up and down the stairs to the attic repeatedly. What a sweetheart. I had gotten pretty tired for some reason, and spent a lot of couch time in the evenings in early December, so he just took over and did it. Gotta love that man!

We traveled to VA and NC to see friends and family over Christmas. It was good to spend time with them. Christmas with Debbie Youngman was great! Then we dropped in on Gae Saville, a lifelong friend of my mother’s, and had a wonderful visit and trip down memory lane. Mike hadn’t spent time with her before, so he learned a lot more about us, lol. (hmm–is that really good?) Then on to NC where we had a great visit with family. Though many of them were sick during the time. They were taking turns with a stomach virus, which, thankfully, we were spared. Shew! Dodged that bullet!!!!!! It was a tiring trip for ol “crip” here. 1500 miles–6 days gone, 5 on the road somewhere. As we said–we packed pills and pillows, both of which got their share of use. We were good to go. 😉

I’m doing well. There is soreness and limping from time to time, though it’s hard to say what triggers it. It can be anything from sitting in the wrong chair to a hard sneeze that causes a spasm. But it is manageable. AND I’m trying to make an effort to manage my energy better–getting the proper amount of sleep (that is the hardest part–I’m a night owl by nature). And my resolution is to get back into a REGULAR exercise routine. I’m walking better, so I need to get going with that! This is our “special event” season at work. Spell-a-bration is coming up and I am behind the eight ball. I got way behind schedule with everything that was going on last fall and the mental toll it took on me, so now I’m running to catch up. Anyone wanta join a spelling team, lol? Then comes Volunteers in Action and Stand for Children Day. Oi! Just another day in non-profit land, folks. Come on down!

We are spending time with friends and family and enjoying every minute. Funny how your priorities and perspectives change when life throws you these curves. But ithey are good changes. I realize every day how much all of you mean to me. If I don’t say it when I see you–please believe it–we love you all. Friends and a wonderful church family are what keeps us going.

Speaking of friends–everyone please keep our friend Ron in your prayers. He goes to Vanderbilt this week for tests, then starts his chemo that will preceded the stem cell transplant. We need it all to go well!!!!!!!!!!!!! Think hard and pray hard. He and Jane will be there for about 4 months total.

Also keep our friends Gene and Wendy Weigel in your prayers. They’re a couple of friends from VA. Both of them have cancer and are in treatment. I can’t believe how upbeat they are under the circumstances. Gene’s on a feeding tube (his cancer is in the tongue), and Wendy has ovarian cancer. They’ve both been really sick, but are doing better for the time being. Keep them in mind.

And I have to say keep Susan Shreve in mind. She’s my own personal hero.

I’m going to close with a prayer that has meant a lot to both Mike and me. Terry Caturano did it in calligraphy for me a few years ago and we gave it to our pastor at the time (he used it as his benediction). Since that time I’ve shared it with many friends. It’s certainly helped keep Mike and I focused here lately. Thanks to Mike Powers for helping us discover it.

Do not pray for easy lives. But rather pray to be strong men and women, boys and girls. Do not pray for a task equal to your power, but rather pray for power equal to your task. Then the doing of the work will be no miracle. But you will be the miracle, and you will be constantly amazed at what you can do and become. By the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ at work within you. To him be all glory and honor, dominion and majesty. Both now and forever. Amen.

Amen? Amen! Happy 2009, everyone. Love you all.


p.s. the end of the bathroom renovation is in sight. Poor Charley (our contractor/carpenter) keeps threatening to bring his sleeping bag and move in, he’s spent so much time addressing “money pit” issues. But it will be gorgeous when done. I knew everyone was just dying for an update on the saga, hehe.

November 21, 2008

Old Irish Toast

May those that love us, love us.
And those that don’t love us,
May God turn their hearts.
And if He doesn’t turn their hearts,
May He turn their ankles
So we will know them by their limping.

Thanks to Lee for this cute card she sent me last week. She said she hoped I could understand the humor. Boy, do I! Mike and I both laughed quite a bit at the verse and its appropriateness. The limping comes and goes, but the humor is forever.

Things are good. Just wanted to share some humor with you all. Also, we want too wish everyone a blessed holiday. Cherish your family and friends. Thanksgiving is my favorite–for all the obvious reasons.

Love to all, Anne

November 7, 2008

Folks, I am a bad journalist as of late! SORRY!

There’s not too much news. I did my regular visit in October, and it went well. Though I had not drunk enough water beforehand and they had a bit of a hard time hitting a vein for the injection. Ouch! And I know better. This week I’ll be sucking down water like crazy ;-). Anyhow, Dr. Smith said it’s going well and I don’t have to see him in November, just come in for my IV and my shot. I’ll see him again in December. I’ll probably have another scan of some sort in January. Not sure of the timing yet, but that’s what I gathered.

Pain management has gone well this month, too. I’ve learned to gauge things a little better and get to any pain before it gets to me. It’s a learning curve, but it’s going well. I’m learning when to slow down and when to rest.

We did lots of Halloween activities this year-first dressing as Cheeseburgers in a Pair-o-Dice (get it, Jimmy Buffet: Cheeseburgers in Paradise). Then the office dressed up for the Chamber Coffee Hour and I went as a Yellow Brick Road, accompanied by all the “characters” from OZ–in other words, office cohorts. We won 2nd prize. Yea! Fun, fun, fun.

My girlfriend Debbie is here from VA, and we’re doing our best to boost Bowling Green’s economy. We’re hitting Christmas open houses everywhere we can in 2 days. Ah, brings back sweet memories of home, lol! We are the shopping queens. And, our cat has taken a total shine to her–loves her totally. Let’s hope she doesn’t slip him in the suitcase, hehe.

Again, it’s going well. Keep the prayers coming. I know that’s what makes every day bearable and wonderful all at the same time. Life is good–God is good. All the time!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Love to all, Anne

(Next time: the continuing bathroom saga–we’re on track and moving right along!)

October 19, 2008

Not a lot of news, but wanted to update.

Last week had 2 milestones. The first was a birthday ;0). OK, they used to be somewhat dreaded, but now birthdays are a welcome occurance, lol. Mike and I were goofing around and saying this birthday wasn’t any kind of “big one”–you know, no zeroes or fives at the end. Then we thought better of it and decided they’re ALL big ones. SO, here’s to many more.

The other one was the monthly dr. visit. Another treatment series down. And I’m on an “every other month” routine visit with Dr. Smith. I still do the injection and shot next month, but don’t have to see him again til December. YEA! (no offense to Dr. Smith).

Mike was gone Thurs.-Sunday last week at a conference. Missed him, but Lucy, Sebastian and I did fine. I worked some Saturday, visiting classes and at Halloween Fest, so I was too busy to miss him a lot (yeah, right!) It’s my favorite time of year out there. We went up to Bardstown last weekend for the fall craft show, along with friends. It was a great fall day, even though it was hot out. What a great way to celebrate life.

Everyone have a great week. Mike and I love you all.

(Best wishes to Emily Weeks on her marriage! Sorry we couldn’t be there!)

Anne & Mike

October 10, 2008

Hey, everyone, remember the Grubbs? 🙂 I know, I know. It’s been a while, but we’ve been busy, busy, and I just haven’t had a lot to report lately. Thought I should check in with everyone and let you know how it’s going.

It’s up and down with the back pain, but thankfully lately it’s mostly “up!” I had a pretty rough week 3 weeks ago, but we think it’s because I totally overdid it on the weekend. Let’s see, first there was the football game, walking from the Chestnut lot like we’ve always done, and then climbing WAY up in Smith Stadium for our seats. Then the next day we had a big choir event at church. Which meant standing up and sitting down over and over–bad move, it seems. I think I knew better than to do the up/down thing, but did it anyhow. Anyhow, the events combined made for a long week and more meds than usual. But I must say, I learned my lesson and next time (tomorrow!) we’ll get to the game much earlier and make the ascent into the stands a slower and more gradual process. Not to mention, I wouldn’t have missed either event. The game was terrific. And the choir special was very, very moving. Good job, friends. Lee pulled out all the stops with this one.

Things have gotten gradually better, until this week I’ve taken little or no pain medicine (other than Aleve and Tylenol). YEA! I am growing addicted to my little heat packs, though. I’ve heard the phrase “Have heating pad, will travel” more than once lately. Some folks have lots of fans–I have lots of heating pads. Some claim to fame, huh?

The bathroom renovation came to a grinding halt this week. Our fix-it guy has some major family problems (parent in the hospital), and his carpentry skills just went awry. So, painfully and awkwardly, we called in someone we had used before on other projects (thought he was retired or would’ve called him in the first place). We had to let the other one go (OI–that was awful. Mike was great and was very tactful). Now, here we go again. Thankfully the plumbing and wiring seem to be OK. It’s just the finish work–you know, walls, floor, tile, etc–that have to be completely redone. But the new guy has great artistic sense and vision. I think he can guide us where we lack experience. I’m just glad to move on. There have been some pretty rough days during the summer when I would have stayed home with my heating pad and a cup of tea, but couldn’t. Hey, what he cost us in money he saved me in sick days. Looking for something positive here ;-).

I’m excited to say that one of my best friends in the world is coming to visit the first of November. We taught together in Martinsville, and I’m so glad she’ll be able to take some time and come visit. Yippee!

Better run. I need to start making a list of materials so I can construct our Halloween costumes tomorrow. The concept is in the brain–now to put it together. We’ll see. I’m in it to win it this year. Can’t top last year’s costume (The Garden “ho”, for those that don’t know), but I’m going to give it my best.

Love to everybody. I have to tell you–when I feel down I just go back and re-read my cards or my guestbook here and it really is a spirit lifter. I am so blessed to have so many caring people in my life. Thanks to all for everything and blessings to everyone.

Anne & Mike

September 16, 2008

Just stopping in to say that “no news is good news.” The last couple of weeks have been pretty much back to normal life. Well, except for the renovations to the house, but that’s another story, deserving of its own book. Or stand up comedy routine, I’m not sure which………

We went to a great concert last weekend, at Shaker Town. What a beautiful night it turned out to be, and what a fun time to be out with friends. It was glorious. And then lunch with “the church group” on Sunday. And a great shower that afternoon and a chance to see friends. Life is good, isn’t it? We appreciate everything a lot more now.

I continue to feel pretty good most of the time. Life is definitely different. When you see me walking at the Mall I won’t be racing or “on a mission” like I used to be. But, hey, I’m moving and getting around without the limp. I’ve started trying to walk at least a mile every day or so. Yesterday I did 2! WHEEE!!! Driving is and always will be an issue, I think, as the right leg is the one that’s affected. But I have picked up a few tricks to cope with it.

I go back this week for my “treatment”–the monthly IV and shot. Time to REALLY start drinking water to plump up those veins, boys and girls. Shouldn’t be too bad, though. The folks at GGC are so nice and caring. They really try not to hurt you. And I really try not to punch them (JUST KIDDING!).

I will try to post notices every couple of weeks, unless something unforeseen comes along. Meanwhile, I have to leave you with some new song lyrics that a friend told me about. They are both humorous and true! Don’t we all know folks like this? Thanks, Manon!!!!

Meanwhile, before I forget, everyone continue to pray for our friend Ron, who is getting closer to his stem cell transplant. And for our friends in VA, Gene & Wendy. They have both been recently diagnosed with cancer, his in the tongue and hers in the stomach, ovaries, etc. Thanks, all.

And now:

Legacy Five Lyrics

“Legacy Five The Right Side Of The Dirt lyrics”

Verse 1
I’ve got a friend or two, they’re always complaining
The sun’s too hot and, would you look, it’s still raining
The Lord’s never willing, the creek is gonna rise
Nothing ever pleases, nothing satisfies
The sky’s always falling, so I thought I’d tell them all a little news
Jesus still saves, heaven’s still real, the Bible’s still true and God can still heal
When you wake up in the morning, no matter how it hurts
Be glad you’re still alive and on the right side of the dirt
Verse 2
God can bring a smile in troubled conditions
He can bring a song when you’re locked up in prison
No matter what the trouble you might be going through
God is still your Father, His promises are true
Just think about the good things, He’s made an overcomer out of you
Until He comes to takes us, remember what it’s worth
To live your lives in victory on the right side of the dirt
On the right side of the dirt (living on the right side)
Living on the right side of the dirt

Ain’t it the truth, folks, ain’t it the truth? Have a wonderful day and week. Keep looking up and thanking God for all we’ve got! God is good, all the time!

September 2, 2008

Back to reality! Mike and I had a restful week at Myrtle Beach last week. Time to relax, read, EAT, talk (seems we hadn’t had time to really talk to each other in a long time), and regroup. The weather was pretty good. It rained Monday, which gave us time to rest up from the drive and go out and buy the necessary chairs and umbrella, and the rest of the week was nice. Myrtle Beach has changed tons since I was there last–lots more high rises. I did recognize some of the old motels, but not many. But it’s still a great place to go.

I actually walked a lot on the beach. I’ve decided I need a prescription that says I have to go to a beach and walk in the sand! I’ll take that up with Dr. Smith the next time I see him. I managed to do quite a bit of walking while there. It’s amazing what salt air and naps will do for you! lol I also went out in the water a couple of times, once it calmed down. I was afraid of the waves, a little. Afraid if I went down I’d never get back up :-), but Mike held on tight.

The drive was taxing on my back, but I did OK. Dr. Smith had given me something new to take and it worked quite well. Of course, I slept well, too, but it was worth it.

We saw Becky Buckman, who used to work with Mike. She lives outside Charleston now and we all met in Georgetown for dinner on Thursday. It was a nice visit.

Back to reality for both of us today. We both went back to work and faced the music of having been gone; you know how it is–pick up the pieces of what you need to have been doing, return the emails and phone calls, etc. Not too bad, just “stuff.”

The pets were immensely glad to have us home. The cat sneezed constantly when we brought him home–stress we guess. But he’s fine now–and he slept right on top of us the first night. Lucy just wagged her tail non-stop. Gotta love them–they’re our babies!

It’s good to be home with friends. We missed everyone. We’ll keep you posted if there are any new developments. Otherwise, thanks for everything. Love to everyone.


August 22, 2008

Well, all the doctor’s appointments are done for now (yippee). The routine “stuff” all checked out OK–cholesterol, triglycerides, etc., were all good, and Dr. Reed sent me on my way to come back in 6 months for a check up. Dr. Haase (my surgeon) released me to Dr. Smith, as did Dr. McGahan, the radiation oncologist. This way, folks, I’ll only have 1 doctor following the care and I won’t spend all my time trying to keep up with who I see when ;-).

I’ve started the Zometa, which is the bone builder, and will do it once a month along with the Faslodex (the new hormone therapy). We just watch everything closely. As Dr. Smith says, most bone disease is caught because it’s symptom-related. So, while it doesn’t go away, we hope it lies dormant. That’s the goal–keep it in check. Most of the pain is gone–relatively speaking. I can walk pretty far now (yippee, I can walk the Mall!), mostly without limping. Certain chairs hurt, but I went and bought a lumbar support cushion that will hopefully help with that. Still not doing so well when driving, but we’re hoping that will resolve itself in a while.

We’re taking a few days off, to regroup and rest from all that’s been going on. Mike’s 99 year old Aunt Linda is in the hospital and slipping away. She could go any time, and probably will in the next week. She’s led a wonderful life, though, and we’re hoping she’s not suffering at all. Mike and I also have friends from home, a couple we knew, that have both been diagnosed with cancer in the last month or so. He has mouth cancer, and she has stomach cancer (origin unknown). So we’re keeping them in our thoughts and prayers. Big sigh…………………………………. Getting older isn’t for sissies, is it, guys?

The bathroom remodel trudges onward. After some glitches in design we think we’re back on track. We’ll finish it one of these days ;-). Hopefully before the holidays, lol.

I’ll be back in touch when I can. I’ll be away from the computer for a few days, just reading lots of good books and soaking up some good ol’ SC sunshine. Everyone have a restful week!

Thanks for all the prayers. We love you all! Anne

August 14, 2008

Good news: my routine mammogram was Monday, and the report came back normal. Shew! Icky news: one of the radiation spots has turned kind of ugly. Right under my waistband, so hard to deal with. I just slap on a big bandage and hope it doesn’t curl up during the day. So if you see me scratching, it’s not bad manners, it’s an icky burn healing up. lol!

August 13, 2008

No real significant news right now, just thought I’d pop in to say a continued thanks to everyone for the good wishes.

I can report that I take fewer and fewer of the “little white pills” nowadays. I’ve started keeping a journal of how much, if any, medication I take each day. As the dosage gets smaller, I get happier. While it’s always “there” and I can always feel it, it is much easier to deal with when not taking medication all the time. The problem nowadays is what type of seating places have. As I carried my little pillow out of Kiwanis today (they have the horrible folding chairs that my back despises!) someone said I should get a little fold up pillow. Got me thinking–I think I’ll try a stadium seat. At least it will have handles and I can carry it around easier. And, hey, it’s not a pillow! 😉 I mean, I have plenty of natural padding, it’s just the angle of the chairs that gets me! (wonder if insurance would pay for THAT?!)

Tonight is the play at church. Mike has worked long and hard learning lines, practicing his part, etc. It’ll be great to see it come together tonight. “Sammy the Shotgun” will get his starring role. YEA!

The bathroom renovation saga continues. As a leak developed from the old pipes around the old toilet, down crashed a tile in the kitchen ceiling directly below. Well, the cat just couldn’t contain his curiosity. How in the world a cat with no claws managed to jump 5 feet from the kitchen counter up into that ceiling is beyond us, but I guess there’s a lot to be said for determination. The only problem–he crashed through a DIFFERENT ceiling tile on the other side of the kitchen. Thankfully nothing was broken. But it did put the fear of God into that cat–at least for the time being. Life is never dull at Grubbs Manor, or as we lovingly call it, The Money Pit. Other than that, we HOPE this will be finished by the time we get to go on vacation in 2 weeks. Who knows? Old house, old plumbing, old problems. Every time he says: Come here. Let me show you something, then we know we’re in trouble! lol

That’s all for now. The marathon run of doctor visits will come next week, not this week as earlier reported. So we should have more news then.

Thanks again for all the cards, prayers, and well-wishes. We could not do this without everyone’s support.


August 8, 2008

No significant developments this week. Anne has all of her doctor visits next week. She had some back pain early in the week; woke up extra early Wed. a.m. (3:00) and had to do an AMKY tv spot that a.m., so she ended up taking the afternoon off to get some rest. She walked around the main part of the mall Thurs. at lunch. For those enjoying “The Vacuum Saga”… the contractor started on the guest bathroom Thurs. and when he was done for the day, located “The Vacuum” and used it to clean the 22 steps… so, as long as we can keep him working in the house, maybe the vacuum will survive. Mike

August 4, 2008

Today’s color is pink because I’m beginning to be “in the pink” again! I hesitate to say too much–I might jinx it–but yesterday was some kind of turning point in the pain. Suddenly I was able to get by with 1/2 a pain pill and then go back to the Aleve. YIPPEE! That makes such a difference in functioning normally again. PLUS, my stomach stays upset on the prescription stuff, so maybe, just maybe, this will come to an end. WHEE!!!

OK, it’s time to ‘fess up. When I came off the steroids there was a major melt down. Again, involving that stupid vacuum cleaner. Seems to be broken or in need of major tune up. So when it didn’t work, I pitched a hissie (Yep–I’m Southern!). In fact, I think I pitched the vacuum (steroids will do that for you, lol). The irony here? I am NOT a good housekeeper, so having a fit over a vacuum cleaner is about as out of character as it gets. 🙂 Mike said he knew we’d hit a turning point this weekend when I calmly set the thing aside for him to deal with when he got home from police testing Sat. morning, instead of throwing it at him. Yep, we’re doing better at our house. The dog isn’t scared of me any more, lol! Face it folks. You have to find the humor wherever you can. And I was pretty silly, I’m sure.

Sorry, that’s not much news, but it seems tremendous to us. Everyone have a great day. We love all the notes, and thank you all again.


August 2, 2008

Not alot of new news. Anne is sleeping somewhat better. Still has some pain, got a different medication with fewer side effects than the steroids. It will be mid-Aug. before she sees doctors again and finds out what, if anything, comes next. Sitting in certain positions for a length of time is still painful. Thanks again for all of the kind words of encouragement. Mike

July 29, 2008

YEA! #10 is over. And according to Dr. McGahan the pain is a normal result of becoming more active in the last week or so. So I guess moving more normally, turning, walking, etc., has been the culprit. He gave me something that will make it easier to function at work, and still conquer the pain. Yippee!

It will take 4 to 6 weeks to actually see the results of the radiation, and I go back for a re-check in 3 weeks. That’s my big dr. week: Dr. Reed, Dr. Haase, Dr. McGahan, Dr. Smith. Those guys are gonna be really sick of me by then, lol!

I told everybody at the radiology unit how much I loved them, and hoped I wouldn’t see them again, hehe. Of course, they said the same.

On the house renovation side: we ran into trouble getting sinks for the new bathroom. Mike drove to Franklin to get the ones we liked. Turns out Lowe’s down there had the full units. Not that they’d send them up here! NO. But he took matters into his own hands and went after them. What a good man, Charlie Brown! Gotta love him, haven’t you?

That’s enough for one day. I’m much relieved tonight. Thanks for all the pats on the back, Folks! We love you all.

AND, Ron is doing better tonight. Shew! Thanks for the prayers.


July 29, 2008

Today is the last treatment! Hurray! It’s a relief, and also a little bit scary. What comes next? We don’t really know yet, but we’ll take that one day at a time.

I am sleeping better, but some of the pain has returned. Probably because I’m not taking the steroids any more (now there’s a trade-off!) So, we’ve been doing pain pills the last couple of days. Something to talk to the dr. about today.

Meanwhile, I’ve received so many touching messages from people in the last 2 days, I’ve been truly and deeply touched. You are all making me cry (happy tears!) with your kind messages.

Please keep our friend Ron in your prayers right now. He’s had a really rough weekend. He caught an infection, and with a low white cell count, ended up in the hospital in isolation. He’s better, but still needs everyone’s strength behind him. Gotta get him down to Vandy to get that transplant in the works!!!!!!!

Everyone take care of yourselves and your loved ones. Make every day count. I know I’ve learned to do that more and more.

Love to all, Anne

July 26, 2008

Anne slept until 6:30 Sat. a.m. Yeah! That is an accomplishment, if you have been following the journal. We went to Concert in the Park Fri. night for a couple of hours, got to visit with some friends while there. She had a low energy day today. Thanks again for all of the kind thoughts, well wishes, prayers, cards, etc. Mike

July 25, 2008

After today, Anne will only have two radiation treatments left. We haven’t been told what to expect after that; I would assume periodic MRI’s to see whether the tumors have shrunk and to keep things under control. She still has trouble sleeping, but last night it appeared to be due to a sinus headache. Thurs. a.m. she made it til 5:00 a.m.; that’s almost a full night! She missed work one day this week due to being tired and run down, but otherwise has generally been there except for the radiation treatments. Thanks again for all the love and support; we both appreciate it, and I know everyone is helping her keep her spirits up.

On the positive side, we have finished the patio/deck project; we can once again go out the back door without stepping into a drain and we don’t find Lucy lying in the dirt. Due to the layout, we had a brick patio in 3 drop down levels along the back of the house. We had a deck built over the two lower levels that is now level with the third. Next week the contractor starts on a complete gutting of the guest bathroom …. ugh! Mike

July 22, 2008

Anne will be halfway through the radiation treatments as of today, assuming 10 is still the magic number. She seemed to sleep well Sunday night, but somehow twisted her back over night Monday so hurting some today. We so much appreciate all the kind posts and thoughts, even the derogatory comments about “Saint Mike”. Oh, and Cheryl A., while you saw us walking in the mall Sunday, we weren’t “walking”, we were getting from the front door to the Hallmark store to make a specific purchase…. and it was slow going, I can tell you! But hopefully, someday soon, Anne will be back to exercise walking like she was doing before the pain set in. Mike

July 21, 2008

What a difference a weekend makes! Coming off of the steroids has helped me return to sleep, which is a great thing. I’ve decided I am married to a saint–he’s stood by and watched the meltdowns and felt the undeserved wrath of “sleepless Anne.” A friend told me long ago that I didn’t do tired well. She’d run screaming from the building if she’d seen the last week or two! 🙂

Anyway, there’s not much of an update past that, except to say that I think the radiation is helping the pain. I can feel a big difference, and I can move around easier. I can’t say enough good things about the care I’ve received at The Medical Center Radiation Oncology unit. They are the most compassionate people! And Dr. Smith’s office is, as always, great. The shots in the hiney are bearable, because they try so hard not to hurt you. They’re so kind and caring. If you have to meet someone in this situation, you want it to be people like this. They’re truly wonderful.

I’ll close today with one of Mike’s and my favorite poems. It was the theme from Star Trek Enterprise a few years ago, and I fell in love with it. This is the chorus, and you can see why it means a lot. Mike had Terry Caturano do the entire song in calligraphy, and I keep it in my office so I can see it and be inspired by it.

Everyone, thanks again, and keep on keepin’ on!! Love, Anne

Cause I’ve got faith of the heart.
I’m going where my heart will take me.
I’ve got faith to believe. I can do anything.
I’ve got strength of the soul. And no one’s gonna bend or break me.
I can reach any star.
I’ve got faith.
I’ve got faith, faith of the heart.

July 19, 2008

Hi. Friday was the third day of radiation treatment, and second shot of Faslodex. She shouldn’t have to have another shot for another month, when she will again get two as a boost to get it working. Anne woke up about 3:00 a.m. Fri. so was pretty wasted by the time she went in for treatments. She tried to nap at lunch time but there is road construction around the corner and the jackhammer was not helping. After the treatments she drank a Sunkist and then felt nauseated, so took something for that. Too tired and achey to get out Fri. night but she slept while I was working backstage on “Crazy for You” at downtown theater. She stopped taking the steroids, so maybe she will get back into a decent sleep pattern. Thanks again for all of the kind words of encouragement and prayers. They DO help. Sorry it has to take something like this to put people in touch with each other and remind us all how much we care about our friends. Mike

July 17, 2008

Day 2 of radiation. We’re on the way. Tomorrow I get my 2nd Faslodex shot. We’re doing a fast-load, to get it into my system quickly and start the preventive measures. PROACTIVE is the name of the game.

The steroid medication has greatly relieved the pain, but has taken a serious toll on the nerves and the mood. But thankfully Dr. McGahan has said I can stop taking them tomorrow. I’m looking forward to sleeping this weekend. I’m sure everyone else is, too. Though up and active, I’ve not accomplished any focused goals. Hard to concentrate when you’ve slept 3 hours. 🙂

What’s helped the most the last few weeks is the support. I still have a precious card on my dresser: ONE MORE STEP, ONE MORE PUSH, ONE MORE PRAYER, ONE MORE VICTORY. It’s been there for 4 1/2 years, and will remain there forever. It’s become a mantra and a belief system. I know you are all encouraging us with those thoughts. Trust me, the last couple of months, while this was invading and getting worse, have relied on those thoughts. Together, we can get through this.

Thank you to all for the kindness, the thoughts, and the prayers. We treasure you all. And I treasure Mike most of all.


July 16, 2008

More good news. Anne will start radiation today (Wed. 16th) (ok, that news isn’t so great) but right now, will only have to have 10 treatments, which means she could be done by the end of July! This is a piece of cake for her, considering she did 30+ before while ALSO doing chemo and recovering from surgeries. Thanks for those kind thoughts and well-wishes. You are getting her through this! Mike

P. S. Also good news for our friend Ron. He has been approved for treatment at Vanderbilt (Nashville – 55 miles away). Initially Humana was telling them he would have to go to a hospital no closer than Atlanta or Indianapolis!