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Ann's Cancer Blog

I just don't know...

Sorry for not posting in awhile. I have not felt well, not my normal self.

Update: Rick has made major progress the last 2 weeks, getting stronger everyday. He still tires easily, which is expected. Today he walked the big block in our neighborhood, just shy of a mile. Yesterday he helped with the laundry, he is getting back to his old self. Praise God!

I on the other hand, don't know what's going on, perhaps depression, or just sick and tired of all the disruption cancer has caused in my life. It's been a strange month. I am scheduled to go back to MDA May 24-25. I have been very hesitant to make travel arrangements, hoping the United Airline incident would drive the rates down, so far not the case. I don't know what it is, but something kept me from proceeding. 

Being in accounting so many years, I always did our taxes as soon as we got the necessary documents, not this year. I kept putting it off, I knew something was not right, why was I so hesitant - that's just not me. I did them on the 16th, Mom's were fine, she got a refund, not much yet she did not have to pay.

Ours were a different story, Uncle Sam royally kicked our butts. I did them on 3 different online tax companies, just to make sure what I was seeing was correct, sure enough it was. Rick and I went into panic mode, what are we going to do? Heck if I know. Tried to sleep, don't know why I even bothered. I looked at everything we had and still came up short. I posted on my YouCaring page that we were in dire need, it did not have any response. 

After writing the post, I had to make some serious plans. I decided that the amount I had set aside for my trip to Houston would be enough and if it means not going for follow up, then so be it, my cancer has already caused so much financial hardship. I'm seriously considering not to continue treatment. We did not pay our mortgage or other bills. We have had our share of stress and the last thing we needed was the IRS. 

Monday, the 17th was round 5 chemo, I almost cancelled, then decided to go since I have not felt myself. Turns out, my platelets have been low, too low for chemo, so they sent me away. I took that as a sign, that it may not be meant for me to continue.

Today was round 5 chemo rescheduled from last week. Turns out my platelets last week were 66k and this week 68k, so no chemo. I asked why I was not given blood to bring it up, my nurse said that's what Dr. David said and hopefully it will be up next week. She also said she was going to fax my labs to Dr. Eng for her input then asked me if I had Dr. Eng's fax, ironically I had just requested it last week. It was a stormy day today, so I could not get a wifi connection. She came back and said she found it on MDA's website, I asked her for the number.

They also asked me to contact Dr. Eng and let her know they had faxed my info and what does she suggest, which I did, I left a v/m and should hear from them tomorrow. Once home, I verified the fax number I had from Dr. Eng’s office and it was not what she gave me, so I called them and told her to fax it again to the correct number.

I just don't know… Why my Dr. here is leery, I guess since she is following Dr. Eng’s recommendation and protecting her license.

I just don't know… Is this treatment plan worth all the sacrifices our household has made?

I just don't know… If I can take much more, this is not quality of life.


4 people threw a punch at your cancer.
7 people sent you a prayer.
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Ann, don't give up the fight. There is too much to lose.
I know I can say this from where I am sitting. At the moment the financial problems are causing you the biggest amount of stress, and stress doesn't help with healing. You have gone too far to just give up. Please don't.
I cannot add wise words to make you feel OK. There is still Ann somewhere inside you, try to find her again. Big hugs xxx
4 people like this comment
Thank you.
Dearest Ann -- things always look bleakest and overwhelming in the middle of the night. Please know that there are lots of us out here praying for you.
Don't know how extensive it is but I think the IRS has some hardship programs where you can make payments or you could not pay, wait for them to "find" you and then negotiate a payment plan -- this would give you some time. I will do some research and see what I can find and send to you.
I know this is a tough time and sometimes it feels like life is out to get you. Remember, God loves you and he has a plan. There are so many times when we don't understand those plans. In times like these, words just aren't enough .... I just want to reach through the computer and give you a hug!!

Praying for you my friend.
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Thank you. I did look into the hardship plans and payment arrangements. They hit you with a penalty and you have to be certain you make the current year taxes due. The problem was my long term disabilty, it was not taxed. Now that I am on SSDI, it's subject to tax by the Feds, not state. To prevent this from happening this year, I will have Rick take extra out of his paycheck to cover it. I did not hear back from either dr today, got up ate some toast and went back to bed. It's just a funk that I have found myself in, it will pass. Thank you.
Thomas likes this comment
Ann, when it rains it pours. I'm so sorry you not only have all of your health worries, but the financial ones too. I cannot imagine your level of stress and anxiety. I do hope you and your doctor(s) will hear from Dr. Eng and get her take on all of this and I surely hope you will go ahead with plans to see her in late May. This is your shot at beating this disease, so please do not give up. I say all of this, of course, not standing in your shoes, but I hope you'll keep fighting. Please know that I am thinking of you and praying for you.

4 people like this comment
Thank you. I am just in a funk, it will pass. I haven't given up, I'm just tired. Thank you
Thomas, Smurf like this comment
Ann, I'm so sorry for all your troubles - you've had way too much thrown at you. Please don't give up - you have so much to live for. Thinking of you..,,
Ann, Thomas like this comment
Thank you. I know it's just a funk that I am in and it will pass. Thanks
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I understand financial stress. Ask God for peace, give your finances to God and ask Him to take care of it. Easier said than done - which I also understand.
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Thank you, that's exactly what I have done, turned it over to God. He has seen me through a lot in the past 2 years, he will get me through this. Thanks
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Dear Ann,
Of course it is worth it! Don't give in. There are changes coming up everyday in cancer. I am a lot older than you and my life is worth saving, even if no one else thinks it is! I have a LOT more to do, and I KNOW you do too!
I am so sorry for all the sacrifices.
Have you check into medical bankruptcy, to save as much of your life as you can.
No one has the right to steal someones life based on money preventing treatment!
It's been a tough year for you guys, but I think this year is going to be a turn around.
Could you write a story about your beautiful life and then now, all you and your husband have been going through, and how anyone can find themselves in this position. Then submit to a local tv station, and direct funds to your site.
You certainly need to share your story with our politicians, to demonstrate what devastation a turn in health can do.
The Caring bridge; from my vantage, has a of patients on it, and I am not sure it's the best site for money raising. Have you tried ""?
Your husband and your son need you now and the future! and Bear!
Love and hugs, Jean
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Thank you, especially for remembering Bear, my 100lb lap dog. I haven't given up, I am just tired. I have a fundraiser page on YouCaring, just like go fund me, but u liked the sound of it better and go fund me charges 5% plus processing fees, YouCaring only charges the processing fee. I wrote to my state elected officials, all they could say was that they are sorry and directed me to social security and the ACA marketplace, that's a waste of time. my ex-brother in law is good friends with several contacts in local media. He has shared my story with them, obviously it's not news worthy. I have exhausted every resourses out there. All of it is based on the poverty rate, and with SSDI I would not qualify, it's sad really. This is just a phase, I will get through it. Thanks
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Ann, I'm so sorry you have to go through this. I can honestly say that I know what you're going through. I'm at a point where I don't think I can work much more, except that I'm the one that carries the insurance for our family. My husband's insurance doesn't even compare to mine. I also do our taxes and didn't file until 4/18, the very last minute. I usually file in Feb. For the first time it showed that we owed money to both the IRS and state. I just checked the box that said we would mail a check. Even though I feel like I can't work, I don't know what we will do without my income. My husband said we need to look into Social Security Disability. I don't know the first thing about all of that.
Your treatment is worth it. You will find a way through all of this. Just don't give up hope.
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Thank you. I'm not giving up, I'm just tired, I am certain you can relate. I too am the one with the insurance.. That's been a blessing. Don't quit your job, go out on short term disabilty and after 12 weeks it goes to long term disabilty. You will continue as an active employee and will only have to pay your normal premium. I tried to go back to work and lasted less than a month. I then asked for an extended medical, so I am still an active employee and have insurance as long as I pay my premium. The disabilty company's will work with you and give you an attorney to file for SSDI at no cost to you, so it's worth it to them as they get any retro payment made. If you choose to quit, you will have access to your insurance via cobra and you will pay the full amount, usually companies pay a portion of the premium, when you terminate employment you lose their portion. Check into your benefits and see what disabilty they offer, then speak to you dr. Thank you.
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I am so sorry to hear of the mental and physical stress you have been under. Our family had a lot of financial issues during treatment. My husband filed Chapter 13 to keep us in our house and relieve financial pressure. He also filed an extension on our taxes and financial hardship. Contact a lawyer to help. Also, contact IRS and talk with a tax representative. If you are unable to, get your husband or son to help out with calls.
Stress does not help in your fight. Do not give up. Call out to MD Anderson to see if Dr Eng has received your paperwork and ask about having a blood transfusion. If you are low, you will feel to weak to handle any financial strain.
Prayers to you and your family for strength and wisdom.
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Thank you. We have been discussion filing to keep our house and relieve some stress, it cost an upfront fee of $800, so that's on the back burner. I paid IRS so they won't add to the stress. Altho it has created more, since we robbed Peter to pay Paul and Peter is broke. I did not hear from either Drs today, so I went back to bed. I sent an email to Dr Eng and her team and they are really good about getting back to me. I am just tired, am in a funk, it will pass. Thank you for the prayers, they are needed and have seen us this far. Thanks
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Ann, don't give up the fight! Financial worries are stressful, but there are avenues for help. Have you spoken to social worker at MDA? They have many programs you can sign up for for help lodging, travelling and probably ideas for funding. Reach out to them.
You remain in my prayers.
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Thank you. I have not spoke with the social worker at MDA. I have contacted many of the resources that's on their site, Joe's house is a great resource, yet most of the lodging is a 30 day minimum. I have tried the angel flights, in order to fly from here, I would have to have 3 different pilots and 3 different planes - small planes, I don't have the strength to climb in one, much less 3. I have not ruled that out, even though I am not fond of flying. I have a YouCaring funding page, that has been successful, yet it has slowed down. It's so hard for me to post it asking for help, it's worse that the pain from the cancer. Thank you so much for the ideas, I will contact the MDA social worker. Thanks
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also corporateangelnetwork (corporate jet travel for cancer patients.

To learn more about CAN visit their website:
United may have a program for medical patients.
You have done an amazing research job on all of these financial and logistical issues ' how you do it under the influence of heavy duty chemo is unbelievable and a tribute to your great spirit and will!
Sleep is essential..try to pamper yourself
Ann likes this comment
Ann, instant message me regarding your taxes. My husband is a tax attorney and he may be able to help you. ❤
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Thank you so much for the kind offer. It's too late, IRS and state has already been paid and funds have been taken from my account. I had to do what was right and keep them from hounding us, next year should not be an issue, SSDI is not taxed by the state, so when a rick returns to work, I will get him to take extra from each check to cover current and future years. Again, thank you so much for your kind offer.
Thomas likes this comment
Ann - please message Mariel and get some tax advice. I am a CPA but NOT a tax accountant and I thought that if you paid for Long term disability with after tax dollars, then when you use, it will not be taxable. Some of your comments about them not taking taxes out of your LTD make me scratch my head and wonder if a filing error was made (on-line services are great for "normal" situations, not so good for things out of the ordinary. If a mistake was made, you can file an amendment and get a refund. I think it is probably worth a conversation with a tax professional.
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You are correct, if I paid the ltd myself, I would have been able to claim it. Unfortunately my employer pays for the coverage 100%. I had the option when on std to have it taxed, thinking this was just going to be short term, I did not. When it went to LTD I did not think about it, as I was pretty sick at the time, the error was on my part :-( Thanks for the advice!
Well yuck ... I was grasping at any potential straw ... hate this!!!!
I think that's why I'm so tired. I have looked at things from every angle trying to find a way. I did get a reply to my email to MDA. DR Eng is out of the country, and her assistant said to contact my Onc here to contact her, as my issue needs to be addressed provider to provider. Of course, I called and read them the email and gave them the contact info. SMH, my provider here should know all of that. I have not heard back from them. I just don't know...
UGH ... I am praying for you, wish I could do more but I guess God is trying to teach me that sometimes, I really do need to let go, he's got this. Lots and lots of hugs!!! sorry you're going through this but there's some fantastic advise here from other people. Don't give up the fight. I'm not sure if you're on disability, but I believe you would qualify. Hugs...Lisa
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Thank you. Yes there is fantastic advice here. I was approved for SSDI in January, it's less than the 60% of my salary that I was drawing on long term disabilty. I can't complain, it's something, it pays for our insurance, water, lights and that's about it. I'm not giving up, I am just tired and in a funk, it will pass. Thank you
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Ann, please keep on keeping on. You are such an inspiration to so many of us, me in particular. These rough patches absolutely suck and they can drain your spirit, but you have strong faith and a strong will. With Rick on the mend, that is something to celebrate. I wish I could say or do something that would help or fix this, but please know that I care about you. Prayers and hugs to you!
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Bless you Kim, that is so sweet of you. I do have a lot to be grateful for. I'm not a quitter, I'm just tired. You are so right the rough patches have drained my spirit. That does not happen often, that's just not me, I know I am in a funk, I'm just tired - could be due to low platelets, it will pass. Thank you, I care about you as well. Thanks for the prayers, they work,
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So much good information here. Don't give up! The darkest hour is right before the dawn. Praying for you Ann!
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Thank you, my mom always says that. I'm not giving up, I'm just tired. Thank you
Thomas likes this comment
All I can do is add my voice to all these comments, Ann. Please don't give up. Find a way. Big hugs xxx :*)
Ann likes this comment
Thank you. I will find a way. I just have to snap out of this funk, it will pass. Thank you.
Thomas likes this comment
So many others have offered encouragement, suggestions and words similar to what I would say. I'm adding my "voice" in this conversation. Hang in there, our dear friend, we are praying for you.
so sorry to hear that you are struggling. It is no wonder you are questioning things with so much going on around you. There are always going to be good days and bad days. You are so strong and have already been through so much. You will get through this too! It is okay to be sad, depressed, angry and worried, you wouldn't be human if you didn't, but I hope you will soon get some relief from these major stresses. You are not alone and there are a lot of people who care about you. Hugs to you!
So sorry to hear about the stuff on your plate right now, Ann. This stupid disease is overwhelming in so many ways - physically, financially, emotionally and mentally. It's so hard to stay "in the game" all the time. The funks come out of the blue, and sometimes take a while to subside. You sound like a normally-upbeat person so the funks are new for you. Also the low platelets and lack of sleep are dragging you down. So... let's try to concentrate on the positive... I'm glad you began your post by mentioning that your husband is healing now, and getting back to normal. Seems like he is very supportive. I know you tire easily, but maybe you can join your husband for a short part of his walk? The fresh air will help. Have they decided to give you some blood for the platelet issue? And... sometimes you just gotta take something to help with sleep. The body must rest. As for the finances and tax issues.... the expenses related to cancer treatment are criminal! There are two young guys in my GI Support group who are overwhelmed with that part. The 50-something one said that bankruptcy was the answer for his family. I don't know much about it, but there is one kind where you can exclude your house from the process. He continues to get infusions every 2 weeks for recurrent colon cancer. The other one, 39 years old, said that he is considering bankruptcy too. He's said he will be paying his 20% of the $1.2 million surgical procedure he had in Dec 2015. Both of these guys have decided NOT to worry about the money. Hope you find a way to ease your funk! It would be SO GREAT to meet you in person on May 5th! We can hug in person! Sending good vibes. And please continue to send updates. It's therapeutic. Plus we care about you.
I love you Ann.. and I am praying for you.. hugs Sabina
Hi Ann, just want you to know that you're not alone and there are people like me who care about you. Don't stop now and just take one day at a time to get back to Houston, so glad your husband is starting to feel better. Please keep reaching out to us with your feelings as we are praying and listening.
Ann, you are the strongest person I know, and my heart breaks that you are going through this added stress. With all the medical items, is it possible that you could have itemized the medical stuff for a refund? I know I mark down every little trip to pick up a prescription, all the mileage to everywhere, everything paid out of pocket, etc. We got a refund the year I had treatment. Just a thought.
Medical bankruptcy is a necessity that many others have used when it all gets too much. Just saying. It is so hard for us who have pride, but I am also very angry that the US does everything it can not to give it's citizens health care like all the other civilized countries. I am abroad now, and keep talking to people about their care. So do what you need to feel better emotionally. Praying for you and Rick. XX
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You are strong. Hang in there!! Thinking good thoughts and praying for you!
This thread makes me LOVE this blog. Where else could we all find such support, about aNyThiNG!! Even tax issues. Hoodathunk. Ann, I'm so sorry you are in a frustrating funk at the moment. The mental part of this disease can be so brutal. And you just want to throw up your hands when dealing with the myriad of doctors and appointments. I am so sorry you have to deal with all of this mess at once.
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NO is NEVER the final answer

Wow, where do I begin? I have covered a lot of territory since I left home Tuesday: Sugar Hill, Ga. to Atlanta, Ga. to Houston, Tx. Then rinse and repeat, lol. I would not change a moment of the entire adventure for anything in the world, well… there may be just one that I would like to have the opportunity to do over…

My drive Tuesday was perfect, no traffic jams, no stop and go, smooth sailing all the way. Kathlee can relate, that does not happen often when traveling I-20/I-285/I-85. Everything on our quest was timed perfect, we were on time every time. Having Shawn with me was a blessing, he lived in Houston 8-10 years or so ago and has been in Sugar Hill 8 years, so traffic was nothing to him. I am so proud of my son. I can honestly say we raised a fine upstanding, good looking young man, a true southern gentleman like his father. Who is Rick, as it is referred to these days, he is my baby’s daddy, lol. I have never used that term before, yet have heard it so many times. I am old school, we refer to Shawn as our son.

I recommend to anyone traveling by air, utilize the wheelchair, it is the way to go. I was pleased with the service and only had one little snag in Atlanta. My attendant a nice young lady, who may have been in training, took us right to the front of the line at the security gate. She gave my purse to Shawn and came back for my shoes. I walked through the scanner, moved out of the way and stood there waiting for Shawn. The TSA lady that let me through, turned around and said why are you standing there? Me: I am waiting for my son and wheelchair… Her: why are you barefoot? Me: because the lady with the wheelchair took them. Her: she wasn't supposed to do that. Then the wheelchair attendant told Shawn, I don't know why I had her take her shoes off, so she proceeded  to hand them to me. The TSA lady said NO! Put them on the belt, which she did and I was finally reunited with my son, purse and shoes. The attendant was so apologetic, I was ok and laughed it off. 

That should have raised a flag, but didn't, because we made it through. We finally make it to the gate and she parks me upfront, took my ticket and they scanned it. I gave her a tip, she was so embarrassed about what happened, I assured her no harm done. We have about 10 mins b4 boarding, Shawn went to get us a drink, he's so sweet he bought me a memory foam neck pillow, which he swears by- it's very comfy. While I am waiting, a gentleman for United was going to take me into the plane, I told him not yet, my son will be here in a moment and I don't want him to think he lost me before takeoff. 5 mins later the gentleman tries again, then I saw Shawn and they wheeled me to the door of the plane. I was wow’d by the whole process.

We found our seats and made ourselves comfortable. This plane was United’s new plane, smaller yet more leg room and only 2 seats on each side. We put on our neck pillows and chilled. We had a rookie pilot, it was a very bumpy flight and there was turbulence, it was ok, we made our flight and all was well. Shawn fell asleep,  I watched and wondered why someone would pay more for 1st class, I could not justify the cost, like I said I'm old school. About 30 mins outside of Houston Shawn woke up and I told him I was going to the restroom.

Oh I forgot to mention my hat, a nice white straw hat with a wide brim on the front, a little bigger than a baseball cap. I'm not one to ever have worn hats, especially now because my head sweats. This is a nice hat that got a lot of compliments, I got my $5 out of it. 

Anyway, I am going to the restroom,  I stood up and hit my head on the overhead, I couldn't see it because of the hat, I shrugged it off and moved into the aisle, next thing I know – bam bam bam – down I went hard. So hard every eye on the plane was on me. I looked at Shawn who just woke up and is trying to get his seatbelt off, I shrugged my shoulders and out my hands up like oh well, and just relaxed into my new position. Next thing I know, there are hands all over me, people helping me up. An older gentleman behind me had me under my arms and I could not find my feet, I finally found them, lol and planted my foot so I could raise up. By this time I know my face is red, my pride had been humiliated, all along I am trying to figure out what the heck happened??? And I have to pee, now more than ever. The flight attendants escorted me to the bathroom. When I turned around the entire plane was looking at me and I knew I had to say something, me being me said “now that I have everyone's attention, I just want to say be careful when wearing a hat with a wide brim on an airplane” took the hat and threw it my seat. Everyone chuckled and were so kind. I get into the restroom and all I want t do besides pee is CRY, but the attendants were outside and they would hear me, so don't do it, don't do it, I didn't, when I was done, they escorted me back to my seat. 

At my seat is the hat, oh what am I going to do, I can't wear it, no telling what will happen. Then it hit me, I grabbed the hat put it on backwards and the passengers started clapping. Shawn was like mom are you ok, I said yeah, but my pride is shattered and I want to cry but I'm not going to, he put his arm around me and held me, no tears, I refused to let them see me sweat. I told Shawn that I have no clue what happened, it was like my legs just gave out. He then informed me that it was not my legs, it was the rookie pilot, as I got up, the pilot was turning as he was ascending, the plane was at a 90 degree angle as we were climbing, so when I stood up straight, I was not upright, I did not have my balance. I said oh honey I love you, thank you for trying to make me feel better, I know it was me. The man behind me sat forward and said ma'am, your son is right, the plane was almost sideways when you got up. Oh I wanted to cry, but didn't. I thanked the man a dozen times I know.

Finally, we are in Houston, I can't wait to get off the plane. We waited for everyone to get off before us, just n case. We make it outside of the plane, after everyone who walked by us asked if I was ok. There is my wheelchair YAY! Not so quick, there is a younger lady with a pair of cowboy boots on who needed a wheelchair and all we heard was are you Ms Folk? This is for Ms Folk, over and over. I speak up and say I am Ms Folk, the lady is still in the chair, so me being me, said I'm ok, I can walk. They told the woman they had sent for another wheelchair that this was Ms Folks she refused to get up. Then the new me came and I went to it, I just wanted off the plane. In addition to the wheelchair waiting for me, the passengers who had connecting flights, had lined up waiting to get their luggage, so they are all looking at me and the booted wheelchair lady. The attendant would not allow her to have my wheelchair, even tho I was going to take the other. Finally she got up and I was taken out of the plane. My new wheelchair attendant was an older lady who loved her job, she flew me through the airport, Shawn walks fast he looked up and he had to run to catch us. She wasted no time, got me out there door, I have never been so glad to see pavement. From there things fell right into place, and as Shawn said so did you Mom. Moral of that story is the wheelchair at the airport is very effective for getting where you need to be, to be on the safe side, do not, I repeat, do not wear a brimmed hat that interferes with your view.

Dr. Eng is truly the gold standard in anal cancer. Shawn and I knew the moment she entered the room is was good news, she was beaming with excitement. She cut to the chase, you are responding and the CTScan shows significant shrinking of the spot in the lung, it is referred to on the report as the metastatic disease in lung is now cystic, have not looked that up to see the true meaning, other than it’s a good thing. The spots in the liver have never been called metastatic by MDA, they had a major significance of shrinkage! She cut my dose a tad, to help with the fatigue and neuropathy in my hands and wrote an RX for Lyrica for the neuropathy. She said  when I return in May that she will then place me on a maintenance dosage, we did not discuss that, due to the excitement. 

Her concern was that my platelets have been low and that my dr has NOT been sending her updates, she thanked me for bringing my flow sheet showing my numbers. I told her I have chemo Monday and will address with Dr. David sending updates, as Dr Eng would have addressed the platelets and the neuropathy. That will not be a problem, I feel Dr. David is overly cautious since she is following someone else's recommendations, Drs these days are so concerned about protecting their license. I truly feel when she sees that's I'm  having a great response to the treatment, she will become more proactive. I want attention brought AC and I am going to get her on board. 

Yesterday, I was so excited and still am with the good news. Part of my objective in this quest is to find HOPE for other AC’ers who have been told by the standards, there is nothing more that they can do. Today, may have been the day that someone like me had their first visit with Dr. Eng as I did in December with NO hope and left her office knowing there are options. She can't discuss the stats of the trial since it is active. Today, she can speak freely about me, not by name, but that this patient had great results and is responding to this regimen. That alone, is worth all the agony, depression, frustration, headaches with insurance, work, loss of hair and the hours chained to the toilet, if just one person will have HOPE and that will lead to more and eventually a cure.  I am grateful for the great news. For me, I put others before me, I will give you the shirt off my back or my last depends if needed. Knowing I helped someone is the ultimate reward to me, it's priceless.

So much was accomplished in my short stay. I have one regret, that I was so looking forward to, my airplane escapade and such a tight schedule did not allow me to meet and have a short visit with Linda. I was so looking forward to it. I know our God is an awesome God and he is working miracles in our lives everyday. He knows how much that means to me and he will see that we meet, if not in Texas, then somewhere between North Augusta, SC and Florida. With God all things are possible. I for one believe, so I know it will happen, in Gods time.

Catching up on BFAC posts, reading that we had good news for a change is such an inspiration and gives us all HOPE. Jean sharing that she is looking at being CURED, is an answer to so many prayers. It's also a reward for Jean taking the time to reach out to all of us, and share her experiences which are always insightful and so full of compassion. We all are AC’ers and we all were led here, together we stand. I love  “SAVING URANUS” I so want to bring attention to AC to spare many from this steadily rising cancer. I will do whatever I can to bring attention. As I said in my reply to Jean, I'm not a hat person (now you know why) yet I will be happy to cover my bald head with a Farah Faucett wig – anything – even show my butt if needed. 

I left Houston with excitement and a purpose. Now that Jean has such a promising future, I am showing progress, and so many others of us are NED, we are the living proof that there is HOPE and options available. Together we can be the voice of Anal Cancer.

I'm grateful for so many things, BFAC has been my saving grace, the recommendation of Dr Eng, your caring, thoughts, prayers, advice, encouragement when I am in that dark place, the cards, the generosity of reaching in your pocket to help me get to Houston, the gold hearted friend who sent me her wig, when I put it on, it's identical to my hairdo prior to shaving it off, it's so convincing, my husband thought he was seeing things, I walked thru the house with it on, noticed he noticed, then took it off. He was convinced what he saw was my hair.. I went back and put it on,  he was blown away, it is perfect color and cut, just like it was made just for me. Instead it belonged to a very special dear friend that I have met here. I will not mention anyone's names, out of respect of their privacy. Each of you, know who you are, you are many. I believe God has a plan for each of us, and that everything happens for a reason. God led me to this blog, from the moment I was diagnosed and handed it over to God, he has led me every step of the way I will continue to follow. 

I do not have the experience that many of you have, yet I have taken so much from your lives. I may not have much to offer in return, except for HOPE. I am always available to help anyone in anyway possible. If nothing else, my life I always try to see the good instead of the bad, if sharing some of my wild and crazy aspects of my life brings a smile to your face or makes you laugh, then I have given all of myself to bring positivity and unconditional love to each of you as you have done for me.

Sorry for such a long post, I just wanted to share so others will find HOPE to ease the tensions of kicking AC in the butt.

Thank you all from the bottom of my heart for welcoming me into the BFAC family. Each of you remain in my thoughts and prayers.

 I hope that my spirituality does not offend anyone, we all have our own beliefs and I respect that.

God bless you all – let's keep the good news coming.

Let's put on our thinking caps and work as a team, to stop AC in its tracks. SAVING URANUS! Is a great way to have our voices heard.






4 people threw a punch at your cancer.
5 people sent you a prayer.
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WOW. I am going to have to read this again...and again..meantime, a bunch of hugs for you!!!
Ann likes this comment
Thank you!
Gosh, what a rollercoaster of emotions we had, reading your post ... but always, an underlying joy that you are responding to treatment, yay! *high paws* Yes, we agree - the hope that you and others (like Jean) are spreading. You are an inspiration! Hugs xx :*)
Ann likes this comment
Thank you! It has been a rough ride, I'll just grab on tight and ride it out.
Thomas likes this comment
Ann, you have been in my thoughts and how awesome it is to read this post! Despite the hiccups on the trip, how wonderful to hear that your treatment is working! I'm so glad Dr. Eng was able to give you good news and boost your confidence even more. You are really kicking cancer's butt! You are an inspiration to me, for sure!

Now, you may know that some of us Georgia gals met Mary last Saturday. How we wish you could have joined us. When I read in your post that your son lives in Sugar Hill, my first thought was we must meet! Sugar Hill is just a few miles from me--like 10 or 12--right down the road! Please let me know when you will be visiting your son again and provided you have time, we can meet up. Linda lives in this area too, so I'm sure she'd love to tag along. Even if it's at Dunkin Donuts in Sugar Hill on Hwy. 20 for a quick cup of coffee and a cruller, that's okay with me. :)

You stay strong, my friend. I know you can beat this disease! You have so many cheerleaders here and we are all pulling for you! Big hugs!
Count me in on that cup of coffee and donut!!!
Smurf, Ann like this comment
That is a great idea. I know that I will be heading there the end if May to head back to Houston. As soon as I have my schedule in place and flight booked, I will schedule in some me time with the Georgia Gals. Technically being I live on a border state, we are from Georgialina, that would make me a Georgialinian, lol. Sorry I missed the last get together, I so want to be st the next one. You all looked as you had a blast.
Smurf likes this comment
That is fantastic, Ann! I will keep my schedule clear the last part of May and I SO look forward to meeting you! We'll try to get the two Linda's and Kathee there!
I just found out I will be coming back on May 21 to 24 for a CT scan and appointments. This will be to see for the first time if the tumor responded to treatment and is gone I HOPE. Will you be returning then too? I hope so, and we can try to meet again!
I will be there the 24th for labs/scan and 25th for dr appt. I have to confirm flight times, as the appt on 24th is at 8am and scan 8:45, the ade appt at 2. So iI ha e to figure out how to get it in one nights stay like last time. Funds are depleted and I have to be very frugal, yet don't want to stay at last place, because the elevator was out and housekeeping was awful. On top of that, have to figure out who wis going with me, Shawn just started a new job today, and Rick should be back to work .May 7 if all goes well.. I asked my daughter in law if she would like to go,. She will have to check her schedule. It will,work out. God knows we want to meet and he already has us back on the same day! How expensive is the Rotaty house?
This is AWESOME. Glad you are responding so well. Can't wait until we can meet ... yes, it will happen.
Smurf, Ann like this comment
You rock!
Ann, thank you for such a wonderful post, wonderful in so many ways. This is great news and gives us all renewed hope. The airplane story, I'm sorry is pretty funny when you look at it from the perspective of how you felt and behaved. You are brave, smart and funny, and such a good sport. You got the news we all hope to get. This group has been a lifesaver for me and I am only a caretaker. Again, thank you for your insights.
I really enjoy reading your posts. You have something going on with that, there, Ann. Maybe a book with the story of your life is in order. I'm serious!
As far as "Saving Uranus", I WILL be coming your way, in the next year, and plan to get together with you southern girls, even if I have to go to your homes individually. (Drive by, in my "Save Uranus" float!)
Lots of love and hugs, Jean
Smurf likes this comment
You drive by in your float, I will make sure I am on the curb for you to throw candy to. I know a couple of marching band directors, could probably get you a band and we could make it a parade 👍👍
Easterly likes this comment
Such great hope you have given us all!! Thank you for being so strong and for reporting to us!! You are amazing.....
Ann, it is joy to read and re-read your post. Yes, you were in a terrible situation in december, and now that's in the past. Thank goodness for dr Eng (by the way, in Dutch eng means scary... don't think she is by the sound of it!), and thank goodness that you didn't lie down and give up! The flight is really funny reading, even if you were thinking otherwise. You sure can write, girl!
The results couldn't have been better! Sooo happy for you!
What an ordeal, Ann! So, so happy you are responding to treatment and all that you've been through is worth it. Keep fighting, and I'll keep thinking and praying for you!
A M A Z I N G!!!!!!
Ann - are you on Cisplatin and 5FU?
Ann likes this comment
Carboplatin and Paclitaxel.
You said you may not have much to give. Oh yes you do! Your posts, your writing about your experiences, your love shines through it all. You are an amazing warrior who hands out hope, love, humor and a commitment to bring awareness of this camcer. I can't tell you how glad I am for you that treatment had gone so well. How about posting a picture of you in that wig? If you come to Georgia, I hope I can plan a trip here at the same time. I would love to meet you! I believe that God led me to BFAC too.
Linda likes this comment
I had to push "like, fight, pray, and hug" on this one...I am over the moon excited for you! Maybe I'm over Uranus excited ;). God Bless you and I am thrilled to hear how well you are doing with the treatments. And thank you for the HOPE today!
Ann, I have been thinking of you so much and am so very extactic that your treatment is working so well. You are truly an inspiration and a warrior. I am convinced that you will be in that "almost cured" category. Wow. Thanks so much for sharing as well as being such a role model to the rest of us.
Ann, your wonderful detailed post was terrific to read. I, too, was disappointed we didn't get to meet, but I know we will one of these days. I am so thrilled for your good news. My days at MDA will be over on Wednesday and we will head home. It really has flown by! I have met so many friendly and helpful folks. If there are grouchy or crabby people here, they were nowhere near me! God has blessed me in amazing ways with strength and courage to get through this. My side effects have been so minor that I can't believe it! All the best to you, my friend, and keep on getting stronger!
Ann likes this comment
Wow! What an amazing post. I think about you so much and this post made me feel like I was walking by you and your son's side every step of the way. Thanks for sharing this rip-roaring adventure with us. My favorite part is where the tumors get kicked to the curb! Yea, chemo. Yea, Wonder Woman, Ann. (By the way, I saw a show this morning where they mentioned 2017 is the 75th anniversary of Wonder Woman 💪💪💪). The Georgia/Florida convention of BFAC Wonder Women would love to add a South Carolinian to our annual summer luncheon! I hope your dance card keeps an open slot for the luncheon (next to the one for your dance with NED). Congratulations 🎈 🎉
Ann likes this comment
Amazing, thinking of you here in Australia :)
You are Beautiful, I loved your post.
Are you on Nivumolab. I remember seeing its carboplatin & pactlitaxol
Just Carboplatin and Paclitaxel
Leiana likes this comment
I love reading your posts, Ann! At times I didn't know whether to laugh or cry with you, but I'm so glad you found this group, too!
Great news! Keep it coming!
Awesome post and I am so happy that things are going well!
Never apologize for long posts, I love them, especially the ones that are so obviously filled with such joy and hope!
What an experience. Great news. Now celebrate. Maybe you can fill that hat with champagne and drink from it!💜
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Vital Info


October 17, 2015

North Augusta, South Carolina 29841

February 9, 1960

Cancer Fighter

Cancer Info

Anal Cancer

July 31, 2015

Stage 1

1.1 - 2.0 cm


Any amount is appreciated

The isolation and embarrassment from the stigma of Anal Cancer

That I am the only one in control of my body.


11/3/16 mets lung and liver

Searching for one


12/8 going to Dr. Eng MD Anderson for options

Eat lots of protein, or drink protein shakes.

Rest, when your body says sleep do it. Sleep is when the body heals.

November 23, 2015

December 28, 2015

Blood in stools, lower right abdominal pain. Frequent bouts of diarrhea.

Tumor excision 7/31/15

Radiation 9/23/15 uncontrollable diarrhea, severe burns, hair loss, pain in hips, now stiff



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