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September 23, 2014 / keeponspinning

ChemoBlitz 9/23/2014+

(From Facebook, Tuesday AM, 9/23/14 – Ann O)

Facebook has eaten two posts this morning. guess they were really whiny if even Facebook didn’t want them… I’m going to try one more time before I get on my way to day one of chemo blitz.

This morning I should be at my absolute best, the farthest past the last chemo I am going to get. But if this is my best I am in trouble. I have spent all weekend arranging for other people to do my job – taking care of my children, getting me places, etc… I hate doing that. I am supposed to be able to take care of my family. Sigh.


Thanks to the “better living through chemistry” concept (i.e. take whatever medicine you need to be able to do the things you want to do) Betsy English and Brooke Porsch were able to take me to the park to knit.


(Betsy’s making a gorgeous pure alpaca scarf for callie and Brooke is working on the softest ever hooded baby blanket,and I got started on a pair of socks for Renee Tam… mostly pink…)


While we were knitting, we got to listen to Brian DeHority‘s symphony concert, which was fabulous.


Of course I paid the price later. I couldn’t get off the sofa for 24 hours after. Which is why I am having to ask everybody in Charlotte to help me out this week. Which is really,really hard for me. Especially when I’m so tired and anxious, kind of ironic, I know… However, Dixon goes back to work tonight and even if I just want to hide UNDER my bed and not deal with anything or anybody, life for my family needs to go on and so I’ve called in the reserves.

Whether I am going to be able to get out of bed and be dressed and friendly and social is another story, we’ll see how bad this third round is… and how much worse the combination/blitz concept is… Anyway, off to chemo 1. Paula Ladnier is taking me tomorrow to chemo 2,my third dose of this new one. This is really, really not easy.

September 22, 2014 / keeponspinning

gratitude & a photo

From Facebook…. More than one source – Ann O

So grateful for The Parker Lee Project for sending Danny some much needed medical supplies today – there are some things that insurance just doesn’t cover and/or our oxygen/tube feeding suppplier doesn’t carry, so it was awesome to get a wonderful package in the mail with all sorts of treasures… our ENTIRE wish list! Many thanks…..


From Betsy English on Facebook

Knitting at Freedom Park while waiting for Brian’s concert with friend Brooke Porsch.


September 13, 2014 / keeponspinning

It’s not smart to sleep through your medicine time on day 3 post chemo.

It is 152 AM, so officially chemo day 3. Someday i will write and illustrate an amazing blog post about why, exactly, chemo makes you feel bad. But for now, let me share this wisdom with you. When you are on the post chemo day when all your little baby cells all through your body all die at once, releasing their previously protected enzymes and other noxious chemicals, setting off a HUGE cytokine cascade, it is a REALLY bad idea to sleep through the time when you usually take your pain medicine and your anti-throw up medicine and your steroids (for adrenal insufficiency, unrelated to cancer but a major hassle to coordinate with chemo) ,,,, But anyway, when you usually carefully time all your medicines to overlap precisely, and then one evening you sleep right through, several hours past the dexamthasone and the MS Contin and the Zofran and the phenergan and even the fast acting pain meds… on a day when even with the drugs you felt SO BAD that all you could do was whine on the sofa… I can tell you this, that waiting for my medicine to start working was a really, really good way to remind me never, ever to let that happen again.


Speaking of medicines, have i ever told you how grateful I am to have health insurance??? Look at this one. I have more in the same general ballpark, And that’s not even chemo.

OK, now that all the drugs are working, I am going to try to sleep. That shouldn’t be hard. Except for the HUGE list of thank you notes that has been looking at me all day. Beautiful chemo caps, Masses, meals for our families, Masses, a rosary blessed by a Pope, perfect books and videos, Audibles credits, Masses, and so much help with the children and with driving… Some day. But if you are one of the ever so lovely people who has sent me a card, or taken the time to email me a happy video link or a verse that might uplift me, or carefully wrapped a gift and taken it to the post office and stood in line, hoping that I will unwrap it with as much love and excitement as you put into the parcel on your end… please know that I am ever so grateful.


And speaking of grateful! Amy Boroughs husband Adam is flying to rescue their son.


Amber Gilchrist Anderson has already left to go get her twoboys, and then another friend of mine, you all didn;t fundraise for her, but her baby girl has cancer and so you know how I feel about that, and she is already there with her daughter, getting to hold her in her arms for the first time, hoping to hustle her back to the US at warp speed to avoid an emergency eye removal where she is now… So we’ve just been praying for her (hahaha… just praying :-) That’s funny) So many miracles you all have done, so many miracles. Can’t just be a coincidence that three friends are traveling to the same place on the same weekend, you know? And now, thank you notes still unwritten but medications working, I am going back to sleep….


Tomorrow, photos of MY babies.  And all the news about school.  I totally have to show you George’s communication book from school, if his amazingly gifted teacher keeps it up (she even pastes in photos almost every day) at the end of the year, she will truly have a publishable account of kindergarten inclusion in a Montessori classroom.  I told her the title needs to be “Inclusion Done Right” :-)  Good night, friends, love and hugs and peace to all.

September 10, 2014 / keeponspinning

Chemo in progress as of 10:30 AM ET


transferred from Facebook a few hours later – Ann O


T minus zero. At the infusion center. Number today is 3.5, so better than last weeks 2.9 but still not quite what we’d like…. but good enough to go ahead. So I am wearing my lacy socks from Esther. So here’s how tired this new chemo has made me…. I have not finished one single sock all week. Ugh. OK, here we go, the nurses are coming with my drugs 

September 10, 2014 / keeponspinning

T minus 4 hours (Chemo dose 2)

Five hours have passed since FB posting before the transfer to the blog. So now it’s T minus 4 hours. Emphasis about heart & neuropathy is mine. Ann O

T minus nine hours and 25 minutes until dose number two of my new chemo. Last week my white cell count was borderline (2.9) so there is a chance that if this new drug has dropped it more, they could decide not to do the infusion. That would be bad.

So far the number one side effect has been PROFOUND weakness. and fatigue.

Like “sleep for 12 hours, get up,brush teeth,and then have to take a four hour nap to recover from the extreme exertion of brushing teeth” kind of tired.

And weakness like not being able to pull my shirt off over my head because it’s too heavy kind of weakness.

I now feel like the laziest mama in the entire universe. But so far we are having no cardiac complications or worsening neuropathy. My hair has not yet started to fall out. Nine hours and 21 minutes ….. stress, stress, stress……

September 9, 2014 / keeponspinning


from Facebook – Ann O

I am so grateful. I have the most generous friends in the whole world. Look at this:

More from Facebook – Ann O

Amber Gilchrist Anderson

Okay, we still need $345 to be funded for travel! So close!! Our totally, completely fully funded total would be $2845. We owe another $2500 agency fee that they said they would wait on until we returned, but we’d sure love to pay it before we go, just in case they change their mind lol 

September 8, 2014 / keeponspinning

Rescuing Orphans is WAY more fun than chemo

from Facebook – Ann O

Friends – Jaime Vanchura only has a couple of days left for her fundraiser for the Amber Gilchrist Anderson family…. please, please enter… just go like Jaime’s post or share or contribute….. i want this to be my best sock fundraiser ever but the lack of interest is …ummmmm…… underwhelming for sure.

Have you not participated because you think it’s crazy that a family would be adopting two boys without adequate cash in hand to pay those many tens of thousands of dollars in fees and expenses to save their boys’ lives?



Well, Amber didn’t plan it that way but there were families traveling before them who were truly desperate due to all sorts of disasters, and so Amber shared the funds she’d raised for her boys’ adoption…. and shared and shared and shared. So now she’s about to travel to rescue her sons and needs our help.

They have less than $6000.00 left to go, that’s less than a single dose of some chemotherapies.

Saving boys is way more fun than chemo, for sure. Thanks for listening.

Jaime Vanchura with Elizabeth DeHority and Amber Gilchrist Anderson
Thu · Edited ·
**Free entry just for liking this post**
Well, isn’t this something? Last night I posted that one of our families needed $310 to expedite a power of attorney form their agency overlooked. They travel in just 7 days. Well, you wonderful folks met the need overnight before I could even whip anything up to give away or sell! More folks posted, and it turns out the Anderson family still needs $6500 that Amber said nothing about. Well, I don’t have $6500 today, but I’ve got these socks…

Ok, Elizabeth DeHority has these socks: beautiful wool, purple with orange and black stripes, knit with 19,200 stitches, every stitch a prayer. They are the perfect companion for quiet morning prayer and sending mamas and daddies to their boys on the other side of the world. While bids on these precious socks often go into the $400-$500 range, this pair could be yours for $5. Make a donation for any amount, and email your receipt to me at $1=an entry. Or, share *or like* this post for a free entry (email me to let me know). We’ll draw a winner the night before the Andersons leave.

Maybe we can send them to Danny and Wayne fully funded. And maybe we’ll just get them a little closer. But I know that more than one family will be blessed by the love of our hands.

Donate to Danny and Wayne’s adoption here:

If you don’t know the story of these socks, you can read about them here:


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