I Like Cancer Best When It’s In the Past.

Anne smiling at the kids

One happy mom, smiling at the kids

When Anne was diagnosed in July my heart exploded. Her sickness appeared out of the blue. In fact, I left her at home the very day she went to the hospital. She was planning on driving the 700 miles to Utah to pick up the kids. However, her stomach was hurting and I had a couple days with no commitments so I jumped in the car and happily sped off to pick up the kids. By the time I was exactly halfway there Anne was in the hospital and our lives have not been the same since.

The most amazing news in the world is Anne is now doing great. She is almost 7 months cancer free and she is planning for and doing everything in her power to remain cancer free for a very long time. However, the journey to where we are now, and the uncertainty we have in our lives are much harder than we had expected. During the first couple months I had hopeful days where I pictured this courageous wonderful woman triumphantly kicking her cancer and experiencing a new life with a gratitude, faith, clarity and energy the world has rarely seen. Those thoughts and days helped me get through the days when I couldn’t see an ambulance and not have my heart race and jump to my throat, or nights where I couldn’t sleep because visions of me sharing with the kids the worst news a kid can get, and trying to figure out how I would plug a hole in our lives which could never be filled.

I steeled myself for that possible outcome and hoped and prayed for the glorious win over cancer. What I didn’t do was understand how difficult even the win could be. I have expected Anne to write something to share what she is going through but she hasn’t known what to say. She is still suffering some physical effects of her treatments and some of those may be with her for life, however I think it is the psychological scar which is the deepest. Anne, at her orders, did not know how bad her cancer was until the last month and half. She had one doctor drop “stage 4” on her but there were other characteristics of her cancer which during the first few months were not on her side and which she did not want to know about. I am glad she did not know, it was hard for her when medical professionals would turn ashen or even break down and cry. I am sure she had a clue it wasn’t good, but knowing the details could have been too much for her. Now, however the speed and aggressiveness of her cancer and the fact that it is gone combine to give us more hope that it truly is and will remain gone.

Anne near her baldest

Anne cheering Kieran at the Pinewood Derby

We know it is an unpredictable disease and so we don’t just take it on faith, hope or optimism but we are also making a major effort to change our lives to be less cancer friendly. It turns out, we are far from alone in these changes or this fight. When you are thrust into the cancer world you start to discover loads of information, some of it conflicting, you also discover many other people battling the same foe. (one of our favorites is a young lady, Wonderglo, here in LA, check out her blog if you want to hear about someone kicking cancer’s butt) Our bookshelves are filling with books about diet, exercise, mental health, and how to live a live which is hostile to cancer. Anne is aggressively studying all aspects and leading us down some paths I couldn’t comprehend a year ago, I am not there, but I have done Yoga and I have had some vegetarian and vegan days. We still have a long way to go to figure out what our new life is going to be, but at least we have picked up the pieces and our days are somewhat normal. I am working most days on a handful of projects. The kids are having fun again and Anne is back to teaching and shuttling the kids and studying our anti-cancer life. I am sure she will write again soon as I know she has much to share. I for one am looking forward to it.

Kieran sliding in the back yard

Enjoying the sun, water and mom being well

PS – In case you didn’t notice, I added Facebook likes, and connect to the site. I talk about this stuff everyday at work, I thought I should bring our site up to this decade.

Asher showing off her napkin and tape skills

No mask? No worries as long as you have a napkin.

13 thoughts on “I Like Cancer Best When It’s In the Past.

  1. Thanks for sharing your courageous story. I can’t imagine what you’ve been through but I’m so happy to hear Anne is cancer-free. God bless Anne and your whole family. Best…John

  2. Tom, thank you for sharing your wonderful news. It’s so personal and poignant. I hope you know we are cheering you on and grateful that Anne is cancer-free. Hugs, The McGees

  3. Thank goodness for good news! You look so healthy and I hope you stay that way for many years. Best wishes to all the Six,
    The Four xxxx

  4. Tom, thanks for the post and we are joyed to read of Anne’s good news. Cancer can cause havoc in lives; it can suck the life out of the receipent and devastate those most dear to her. It takes a lot of faith, hope, prayers, tears, pleading and time to get to the point that you know live goes on no matter what. Kimberly is cancer free for almost 3.5 years and never does a day go by that I don’t give thanks and think, “what if”. God bless you and your children for standing shoulder to shoulder to Anne to help her know the fight is worth it. God bless Anne and her courageous fight!

  5. THanks for sharing Tom – your story is humbling, inspiring and empowering. It brings clear the insignificance of what can consume us daily and goes right to the heart and purpose of our existance. We miss you all tremendously and pray for you always – we pray for continued strength and that you are surrounded by the most powerful medicine of all, love. Stay well, Anne <3
    The Godby clan

  6. Thanks for taking the time to write this. We had heard a snippet or so of good news, but this is far better than that I’d thought.


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  8. I read your story on Chris Biggs’ facebook and are so very happy to hear you are cancer free. In Nov. 2009 our family member was diagnosis with Brain cancer. When you get that devastating news, it affects the patient and family/caregivers completely and forever. There are days you aren’t sure you can keep going. I’m so glad you kept going every day and with such wonderful results. Fight the fight and never give up!
    Every “regular” day is such a blessing…so often taken for granted. God Bless you all! Stay healthy and know that so many are praying for you.

    Chris’ friends, the Moscuzza family

  9. So happy to hear the good news. We pray for you and your sweet family! Love, Scott and Shellie McDonald

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