I am at a loss. I wanted to say something encouraging. But in reality I got some pretty awful news. The lymph node in my neck is cancer. There are several actually. They are all cancer. They also discovered lesions on my liver. These are new. Prior to this my cancer had not been in my organs. There are several small spots. The bone cancer in my sternum and spine appears improved and stable. So the zometa ( bone filler) will continue to be used. My chemo will need to be changed however because clearly it is not working.

The next step is to undergo some more tests to make sure we know exactly what is going on. These include an MRI of my brain and scan of my heart. As well as a biopsy of the cancer in my neck. After the test results are in they will start me on three medications, adriamycin, cytaxan, and avastin. Sadly, I will lose all my hair again. As well as my eyebrows and eyelashes. I will get these once every two to three weeks. Adriamycin is sometimes called red devil because it is red like cool aid and notorious for being harsh. I will only be on this chemo regimen for about 18 weeks. After that I will be re-evaluated and once again be scanned. I will be put on another long term chemo medication.

I spent much of the morning crying. It is difficult not to feel defeated. It is hard to wrap my head around all the change. It is hard to not feel like there is a lot of unfairness in this. I want nothing more than time. I am trying so hard to live. What more can I say. I am sad about being bald again. I am sad about being super sick again. And I am devastaed about the progression. What can I do?

I will keep you all posted as things unfold. In the meantime I did not get chemo this week. I plan on trying to use this time that I feel good and spend it with the kids. I love you all and thank you for your support.

35 Responses to “Progression”

  1. Barb says:

    My heart, the entire thing, goes out to you and your family.

  2. Dina says:

    I love you, and I am here.

  3. Mary Beth says:

    Many, many people are so sad right along with you and you’re right, this does seem way too unfair. My family and I will be praying even more this Easter weekend that you and your family find some peace this weekend that you all deserve. God be with you …

  4. ByJane says:

    What’s your favorite color? I will knit you a chemo cap. Each stitch will be a prayer.

  5. Tina says:

    I love your spirit & your heart – if I could hug you thru this electronic gizmo, I would. I will be in prayer for you & your family. I believe in God’s healing power. I praise Him for what He’s done & what’s He’s continuing to do in your life. No matter what happens, I want you to know that following you thru this journey has changed my life. If something like this should ever happen to me, I hope to remember how you have faced this fight with strength & grace. May His peace flood your spirit & His healing fill your body.

  6. I am so sorry and sad that you have received this news. I wish I had something profound that I could say but I do not. I will keep saying prayers for you and your family. I was on the 1st 2 drugs that you mentioned. I did lose my hair but my eyebrows and eyelashes just thinned until I got to Taxotere. Do you have a port to receive your chemo?

  7. Linda, Palm Harbor, Florida says:

    Words can’t express how bad I feel for you. You have been very, very brave through this horrible waiting and then to hear this. But, I, too, believe that prayer in numbers can provide miracles, so sweetie, please, do not give up the fight. I know it’s easy for us to say to you, but you are such a real blessing to so many of us – more than I think you realize and your journey is in God’s hands. I will be praying for you constantly and you will be in my thoughts and prayers this special Easter Sunday.

  8. Donna says:

    So many are thinking of you…((soft hug)) I wish there were better words in the world…

  9. alaina from Ohio says:

    Dear Andrea,

    Sometimes, its hard to know what to say. I feel so much for you and yet my feelings are so hard for me to put into words.

    I also believe in the power of God and that He hears our prayers. During this Easter, while we contemplate Jesus’ suffering I will also be thinking about your suffering. I will be praying for you and your family. I will be asking for this chemo to work and for you to live a long life, one in which you will honor God with. I will be praying for you. I will be thinking about,” thru His stripes, we shall be healed.”

    You can get through this. I love you, alaina

  10. joshua says:

    woah. big news. more material for prayer. and big sorry i missed your call today…

  11. Toni G says:

    NO NO NO NO ENOUGH ALREADY but don’t give up yet. We need to concentrate our positive energy in your direction with much more intensity. Shit.

  12. Kristine says:

    Andrea, Even as a cancer patient I have no words. This is a sad day. Know that I love you and I am sending you lot’s of love and energy. Kristine

  13. larue miller says:

    As I read the 1st paragraph, my response was crap( that’s not what I really said, but I’m trying to keep this pg)! I hope you know there are so many people who will be praying for you. I will pray you have all the time you want and need, pray for the doctors to make the right chemo decisions and pray for your family and loved ones as they digest this latest news. If prayers and good thoughts would heal you, it would be done! We know God has a plan for you, but we would love a different plan! I pray you have some comfort and peace this weekend. It’s the weekend we Christians get comfort and peace from. I hope you feel God’s loving arms around you!

  14. megan says:

    i’m here. i’m here. god is here. through of all of this, i am constantly amazed at how being near you i feel god’s presence. this happens when i am with those i love, and with those who are intentionally seeking God with me. but with you, i know God is sitting with us. please please please feel God today. let her hold you in her arms. i am sorry. and i am so glad we can celebrate resurrection together this year. so much love, crazy love to you.

  15. kim d. says:

    i read this’s from brennan manning and i thought of it for you as i hear this news.

    “what he does not protect us from,he will perfect us through.”

    your gift of a life has made rich all those who have read your words,seen your struggle,shared your fears,and muttered your the sacrifice of allowing all that you are going through to be laid out here for all of us to read,we have been able to catch a glimpse of christ in you.that is more than can be said for most people who say they know him and yet who’s lives never reveal his love or his light.your words have,indeed,changed so many for the better.i’m sure,we your readers,kiss our children a little more,think about what’s truly important in the grand scheme of things,and realize that nothing in this life can be taken for granted because of your testimony.

    your honesty and bravery.your faith and even just the way you work out being wife,mother,and friend in the face of all of this has been inspring to say the least.although i have not met you personally.i can honestly say,that my life has been enriched,from just listening to the story that you have had to tell.

    do not lose hope.even in the face of are not alone.

    why are you downcast,o my soul?
    why so disturbed within me?
    put your hope in god,
    for i will yet praise him,
    my savior and my god.
    -psalm 43:5

  16. Renee Khan says:


    My heart fell to my stomach.

    Please don’t anticipate. Live in the moment.

    Love Renee

  17. Pamela says:

    All I know is that even in moments such as this, God is still on the throne, and He loves you.
    manymany prayers,

  18. Penny says:

    I do not know you personally Andrea, but I know your heart and your soul, through this blog. You are in my prayers, my thoughts and my heart.

  19. Jocelyn says:

    Delurking for the first time to send a little love your way after your crappy news…

  20. Juanita says:

    I’m sad, angry, incredulous, and crying with you. It is unfair. In moments of stunning disappointment and grief, when I have nothing left to hold on to God with, I imagine her wrapping me up in a soft cloth, tying me on her back and carrying me. I am praying that you will feel held and carried. Love to you.

  21. McGizzle's Mama says:

    Close your eyes Andrea, I am sending you lots of love.

  22. leah says:

    i love you! and as always you are my hero

  23. Amy says:

    Thoughts and prayers are being sent to you form Lincoln, Ne. Stay STRONG!!!!

  24. Jaija says:

    People who do not know you have been following you on your plight and feel a part of your struggle. They marvel at your strong persona as you cope with life’s daily responsibilities in raising children and giving and gathering nurturing. You are a talented writer and express yourself with depth and perception.
    When you ask `what can I do?’ the readers of this blog want to put a veil over you and protect you from further pain. You can `feel’ their disappointment reading your last blog. I know it is probably annoyng to have people give you suggestions on treatment plans for the future and you have probably explored many alternatives. But perhaps it may be helpful at ths time to coloaborate with your accupuncturist who may be able to recommend an MD homeopath. Homeopaths as you probably already know focus on chinese remedies and nutrition. It is often possible to combine both allopathic and homeopathic treatments. Have had some success with this for varied conditions. Much more has ben researched in this area as time goes on and and successful patient stories abound.
    You are in many, many folks thoughts and wishes.

  25. Julie says:

    You are in my heart, my soul, my thoughts and prayers. I wish I could carry some of this burden for you.

    Remember, I’m right across the river. If there is anything you need – please please please let me know.

  26. Rebecca says:


    I want to thank you for keeping us updated. I’m so so sorry the news is not better, but please try to keep your spirits up. We are thinking of you, praying for you and your family.

    Rebecca & Jesse
    …ummm… “Big Jesse” 🙂

  27. kelly in Berkeley says:

    Andrea, you are doing everything exactly as you should. You are living. Life is a big rollercoaster. You are not alone, so many people are following you and learning and gaining strength from your story, and gently giving support–I say gently, because we don’t want you to feel responsible for “letting anybody down” or making anyone feel put out. This is life. You are living it. Cry, and get it out, and do whatever you need to to feel part of the world, which includes rest. And know that you are never, ever alone.

  28. Jill Bacon says:

    God bless you! I am so sorry to hear this news… Please stay strong and let all of us along with our LORD carry you through. You don’t have to do anything except be. We will carry you with our prayers, well thoughts and positive energy.

    God bless you and much love Andrea.


  29. Stacy S. says:

    Andrea…I have not posted in a while but I have kept reading your blog. I am so sorry to hear this news. I feel devestated. You are always in my prayers girl. Keep fighting!

  30. Kim says:

    Andrea, I am sorry to hear this news, and I am thinking about you.

  31. Donna Arnold says:

    Hi my sweet Andrea:
    While this is devastating news for you, and for all of us….who sit in the shadows of your words…know we are ALL ONE with you right now…..
    We are holding you and your whole family in our hearts, thoughts, and prayers…..God has a plan for you…while we may not understand it now, we will all walk with you…as ONE!!!
    Our love, prayers, and hugs to you….
    Cathy gets new scans this week, Tuesday, with results Wednesday….
    Andrea, please know you are in so many hearts and prayers, and your blogs mean so much to so many…we take it all…good, bad, ugly, indifferent…for better or for worse, we ALL take YOU!!!! Know I love you, my sweet girl, always….and we send you peace and white light….Donna

  32. jeff says:

    Heaviness. We are praying for you. When we chatted the other day at the Franklin Institute. I was struck by the wisdom, grace, and light that you shine into dark places. Thank you for sharing yourself with us.
    Praying, hoping, praying.
    Please call us if you need anything at all.

    -Jeff & Rachel

  33. Jodie says:


    I am so sorry.

    You sound so strong. Facing it head on. You and your doctors have a plan. You are sharing.

    What can you do? You’re doing it. Kick cancer’s ass, Andrea! We’re in your corner… cheering and praying.

  34. Cindy says:

    I was going to leave without commenting as I didn’t know what to say. But I’ll say something anyhow….

    I’m sorry you’ve received this news. You inspire me to LIVE each day. To love and show love and appreciate those around me! You are such a blessing in my life.

  35. Imstell says:

    Andrea, I am so sorry for your discouraging news. I’ve not been reading online much the last few weeks but something drew me here today. You are strong in Christ. He will help you through this. And we’ll all be here to hold you up.