Thursday, April 23, 2009

April 23, 2009

Back again. Anne had her colonoscopy this morning. She survived the prep--what a trooper. She only had to get up 3 times during the night. She remembers talking to the colonoscopist who was from London, England--they had a nice discussion about the United Kingdom. He had spent some time in Edinburgh where Anne grew up. The whole process took about 3 hours. I was able to get in some breakfast and then did some reading. After she was done, we had tea and Anne a bagel and a banana--the first solid food she'd had in 3 days. After we made it back to the room, she slept a bit. I ran out for a haircut in the hotel "subway" which is the tunnel connecting all these different buildings together.

At 1:00 we went to a class about chemotherapy. One of the neat things about this institution is all of the stuff they have in addition to just the doctors and nurses. They have tons of educational material for the patients--in all of the buildings. They have information from many organizations, including the American Cancer Society. I haven't really supported them in the past, but I can see now that I must. They need the support to be able to provide patients with information they need about their disease, treatment, complications, and whatever else. Another cool thing is the piano they have in the Atrium area. They have various people playing the piano and either singing or playing the flute or violin or whatever. Very cool and relaxing.

We met with Dr. Ahlquist again at 2:30. The news wasn't the best. It turns out that they were able to confirm that the primary tumor is definitely in the sigmoid colon, but is nearly completely closing off the canal--nearly a complete obstruction. We're happy we decided to go ahead with the colonoscopy, as we did have a choice not too, but we really wanted to get tissue for testing purposes. Anne was also asked to participate in a study they are doing here to help with early diagnosis (actually 2 separate studies--mainly because of her young age) and they needed specimens for that. The news of the near-occlusion meant we had 2 choices--leave it alone and see if the tumor would shrink enough with the chemo to not pose a blockage issue, or do something about it--place a stent, or tube there to keep the passage open. Not doing it could potentially be a problem, because if she developed the blockage when we were home, we'd either need to get ourselves back here right away or undergo surgery in Saginaw. I'm not sure if they're sophisticated enough in Saginaw to do the stents, and maybe they are (I know we have very good GI-guys) but for one thing I didn't want to take a chance about that, and for another, we figured that we maight as well go ahead with it since we're already here. Unfortunately, that means--you guessed it--another bowel prep tonight. Poor thing was so looking forward to eating something solid--and not having to have to drink the prep again. The good thing is that they're going to do it tomorrow after she gets her Mediport so she'll only have to be NPO one more time while we're here. The other good thing is that she will still have the chemo on Monday, so we're expecting to be home by next Saturday.

We have continued to get emails and calls with prayers and support. My neice Johanna sent me an article written in the New York Times. Here's the link:
It's an article about the power of friends in helping with healing. It's not about prayer and healing, but I know there are lots of articles about that too. There's no question in my mind that having lots of friends supporting you (and praying for you) goes a long way in healing.

Praise God (again, always, forever--you name it!).


  1. Hey Tony and Anne,
    I am so glad to have found out about this blog. Thank you for writing everyday. Rob and I have been so worried about Anne and its great to get little snippets of what she is going through. Plus there are a million rumors flying around,( you know small town living)so its good to know the facts. We are thinking constantly of you and Anne and praying for her safe recovery.
    Love to you both, Celeste and Rob
    ps. you are a beautiful writer. Keep it coming

  2. Dr. and Anne,
    Want you to know that Jill and I heard about this from Joe (Kreger) a few days ago and that you are in our prayers.

    We pray it is the Lord's will to heal Anne, but more so that you both are holding firm to Him and seeking His glory in all these trials you are facing. Remember every breath shows His grace.

    Tom and Jill Peck

  3. Dear Anne and Toni,
    We are all praying for you unceasingly! Thank you Toni for daily hopefilled updates. I'm sending a hug along with my thoughts and prayers. In Jesus' and our love,
    Phyllis and family

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