Category Archives: Counseling

Day 50: actually today

So my post earlier basically recapped yesterday and this morning. This one will be shorter. 

Dad has always told me that activity is the enemy of depression, so that’s what I’m trying to do. I get cozy with Brandon on the sofa, do some laundry and try to get the boys to help me clean up the house for dad. I’m so unmotivated but Brandon talked to me about how I can’t just give up. And Lord knows, Brandon is the reason I’m fighting. So if he needs me to keep fighting, I will. And I want to keep fighting because I want that time with him. So this is gross, but I don’t even feel motivated to shower or anything:/ but I’m going to make myself shower and make myself eat something. And that’s how you know Annemarie must be depressed – food doesn’t even sound good. Yikes lol. 

Dad will be home around 5 or 6 for a little while and then he’s heading back with Hardy to stay with mom I think. Then tomorrow after radiation, after mom has been discharged, Brandon, dad and myself will take mom to rehab. Dad is cancelling his patients fir tomorrow because he said he needs to help transport mom tomorrow. I think hardy and Nathanael are going to go with To help as well. A whole family effort. Brandon and I won’t be able to do it all on our own tomorrow. She’s having a very rough day and dad said she can’t even sit up in a chair without screaming from pain. He said it’s becoming apparent that her nurses are growing weary of her and that upsets dad because she can’t help that she’s in pain.

Pray hard prayer warriors. Pray for my family, pray for relief, pray for peace and understanding. Please pray without ceasing. Dear God, take this from me. I’ll keep fighting but please take this. In your Son’s holy name, amen.

Day 50: the ER

Well, yesterday was rough. I woke up with some disturbing symptoms that heavily mimicked my symptoms from my tumor before – weird vision, nausea, overall feelings of weakness…  Brandon had me email Dr. Monga and Dr. Smith. Dr Monga suggested that I bump up my steroid dose – the one we have recently been tapering down – and dr smith suggested I go to the ER just to be safe. I called dad who was in Iowa city with mom, to ask what I should do. Then dad called my neurosurgeon, Dr. Krisht, who ordered an MRI for me at a hospital here.

So, dad rushed home and drove me to the hospital where I was hooked up to an iv, given some anxiety medication, some Benadryl, and fluids. The MRI took a while, but they’re feeling so routine now that I don’t even get scared anymore. I just take a nap. They give me s warm blanket and I conk out for 20-30 minutes. 

After the MRI, the radiologist and Dr. Krisht conferred and came to the conclusion that we had tapered my steroid prematurely, and the surgery site, irritated by daily radiation, was causing some inflammation and swelling which was causing my symptoms. As far as we can see in the MRI images, there is no new re-growth or anything. Just normal post-operative swelling. Praise the Lord! It doesn’t help that this past week I’ve been so nervous and anxious and exhausted that i was feeling sick anyways. 

Because of all this, dr Krisht, dr. Monga and the ER dr have bumped my steroid back up from 1mg daily, to 4mg daily. I know it’s to help me and I won’t disobey the doctors, but I hate this steroid. I can feel it makes my arm shakier again, it makes it harder for me to sleep. But I’m going to be on it strictly for the next couple weeks.  

I hate my life so much right now. I wake up hating my life, dreading the day, looking forward only to when I can take my medicine to sleep that evening. This is all the biggest nightmare and I’m constantly woken up to be reminded it’s actually happening. I hate that I can’t even have a headache without it warranting a trip to the ER. I’m just miserable and I want to be normal again. I know it won’t ever be normal normal again, and that just breaks my heart. I just want some relief, some hope, that I’ll have many years with Brandon, that I can enjoy this holiday season around thanksgiving, and that mine and Brandon’s  wedding will be the way I’ve seen in it my head for the past year and a half.

So that was yesterday. Scared everyone. I cried like crazy. 

Today, dad is up in Iowa City with mom and he’s planning to come home around 3pm to do just a little grilling thing with Brandon and us for Independence Day. This evening Hardy will stay with mom and then Brandon will take me to my last radiation and mom will be discharged so we can take her to the rehab facility.

I just want it all to be over. I feel like I’m drowning. Each breath is a chore. Dear God, save me from this. Rescue me from this bottomless pit. Give me some relief. Please God, I beg you. In Jesus name, amen.  

Day 49: God’s Day, and the weekend is almost over

Today I’ll finally be back in church and I sure need it. I’m embarrassed to go because everything makes me cry and I don’t want people to come over and pat me on the back or anything because that makes it worse. I’d rather people just ignore it. But I understand the desire to comfort and show compassion so I shouldn’t get annoyed. 

UPDATE 9am: I don’t think I’m going to be going to church this morning – I’m feeling really sick. My vision is icky and I feel really nauseous.

The whole point of Sunday morning worship is to worship. It is not about me, it is about Him. We often forget that fact. It doesn’t matter how I feel, or how I think, but what God has commanded me to do. And I have many things to worship him for. I pray that I can keep that at the forefront of my mind. Maybe I’m completely wrong.

 1Corinthians 3:19 For the wisdom of this world is foolishness to God. As the Scriptures say, “He traps the wise in the snare of their own cleverness.”

I don’t want to seem haughty or anything in like ‘quoting Scripture’ and seeming ‘holier than thou’ . I don’t want to appear a fraud. I’m completely open. I don’t want people to think I’m trying to push my faith on anyone or make it appear I have so much knowledge or anything. That being said, this is my blog so  I’ll say what I want lol. I have been raised in a very faithful family, went to a private Christian school, and attended Harding University. So, …. 

I won’t deny my faith by any means, I just want to clarify my motives and everything, even though I know I dont have to. Does that make any sense? My faith is between myself and God. We have a relationship all our own. But i don’t want people to think I’m faking it.Maybe That is vanity? I need to ask someone about these things. 

As you’ve read before, I see Brandon as truly my biggest blessing from God. Brandon gives me a feeling of such comfort that washes over me when I’m hurting, scared, or anything that nothing else can compare to. God gives comfort in different ways to different people, but I believe He gives me comfort through Brandon. Even when we first started dating, through engagement, and now.

Because of this belief and the comfort Brandon provides, I don’t like to be away from him for very long. Not now. While dating and engagement, we really only saw each other on the weekends or long weekends, because of my schooling and his work. 

So I don’t want anyone thinking I’m a needy girl. In fact, i enjoy my space and time spent alone. That being said, in my current situation (I don’t like saying the word) I don’t like to be left alone or not have tv on in the background. I need a distraction. I just want one other person around. Brandon, dad, mom, Hardy, Jeanie, Nathanael…. No one else I really feel okay falling apart in from of. 

This post seems very all over the place and confused. I seem very all over the place and confused. I guess these posts really do reflect how I am currently because they babble and meander as I do….  I wake up each morning in a dazed horror as i realize that this isn’t just a nightmare but reality. same thing this morning, it’s like a shock when I wake up, this isn’t just a bad dream. This is happening and I can’t escape it. I feel caught firmly in death’s grip. 

This next week should be better as things slow down. Mom will be discharged Tuesday, she’ll be in a rehab facility and that should help her. I’ll be done with radiation and can try to pick up life again without daily appointments. It’ll change from daily appointments to monthly appointments. I’ll be going to OT to help me get my hand back to coordination. 

Please pray that this all goes away, that I can be healthy again. Please. 

Day 48: the long weekend

This could arguably the worst weekend of my life. I have never felt suffering like this before and hope to never again. I’ve never felt anxiety, stress, or fear like this. Never. It is Crumbling and crushing agony.

Mom will not be discharged until Tuesday as it is a long weekend. Dad is up with mom there and from everything dad has relayed to me, mom is improving greatly. On a scale 1-10, she is only describing her pain at a 3. I don’t want to raise hopes too high, as it will most likely be a back and forth thing for a while, but this is such a great thing. They no longer have her on the medicine that was making her so loopy and she apparently is doing very well in that sense. 

I am so relieved as I type this that I am crying. Never in my life have I cried from pure relief, but now is that time. 

I was having some worrisome symptoms earlier: nausea this morning, weird vision, and my head was hurting, along with my face swelling a lot and my incision was kind of throbbing. Brandon, Jeanie and I were watching a movie earlier and I got so tired I moved to the EZ  chair and literally fell asleep minutes after. As in my dad texted me 5 times and I could dreamily feel that my phone was in my hand and had vibrated but I could not open my eyes. When I finally woke up a few hours later, I had the good update about mom and could hear the lift in dads voice, the boys had headed to Iowa city to give dad a little break, and wonderful Pat Adams from our church family had brought over some delicious food. I feel much better and don’t seem to have any of those symptoms really. But let me tell you, I really worried Brandon. I worried myself too, really with the vision thing. But I think I’ve been so worried and upset and tired this past week that I’m exhausted and at my wits (of sorts) end and that has been causing these symptoms. Because those symptoms are typical of stress, but they’re also symptoms I had with my tumor so Brandon and I were very worried. 

Waking up and feeling nothing, okay has never been such a relief, and then all the other good news was a relief I didn’t know I could feel. Truly it felt like a “victory in Jesus”! It’s a relief and a tease. 

 I keep randomly having crying outbursts and breakdowns from relief, worry, and fear. I imagine this is his how my life will be for the foreseeable future. Future? What does that even mean? I have to push that awful thought away. Again, I’m feeling trapped on my island. I can’t handle ‘staying in the now’ at this point, but to say ‘tomorrow will be better’ is a sick thought riddled with fear. 

The bible says not to worry about tomorrow because it has its own worries, but that is a difficult thing. 

I realize that I’ve almost teased myself with the thought of this small joy that has made me feel so relieved, would be exponentially better if I could just be healed, if I could just not have cancer. That feels so selfish to want that, to crave it. 

Dear Lord, if I am wrong for wanting, petitioning or praying for this, pay me no mind, but Lord, heal me. Let mehave years  with my husband, my family. Use my life not my death for your glory. Please please please I beg of You.

Day 47: round two

Waiting and waiting, this is a patient’s game. I have no patience. I’m going and going and I must endure but this game has gotten old.


I have one more radiation left, Tuesday July 5th. I cannot wait for it to be over with!!!! Victory in Jesus! I had my appointment for Dr. Day today with Dr. Smith. Unfortunately, I’m going to be bald for quite some time, months. He said he thinks by a year out that it will all be normal-ish. I don’t even know what that means anymore…

3:30pm: Currently, Nathanael, Jeanie and I are waiting in Mom’s hospital room with her. She’s really out of it. They have her on an extended release morphine and she’s very odd right now. But I prefer this for her than all that pain. Jeanie and Nathanael just left for a few minutes to go get a quick little snack (I’m not hungry), we’re gunna leave here soon and let her get some rest. The nurse had paged the doctor twice while we were there and he never came, so he’s a butt. And I’m guessing he’ll just end up coming around at rounds this evening. Bro is lucky I won’t be there because you’re messing with my mom and I don’t like it and would give him an earful. But I digress, he’s the doctor. 

4:34: we left mom just a little bit ago so that she could get some rest, Nathanael could get some food and sleep, and honestly, I’m feeling really drained, so I couldn’t stay too much longer anyways. Jeanie is such a gem: driving me to Iowa city and back and even coming to see me at all, helping around the house, enduring my silly doggies… I couldn’t ask for better friends. I’m truly blessed. Glory to God! 


We’re on our way back home now and Nathanael is fully conked out. God bless him, sweet little 14 year old. He’s doing and living through as much as a 14 year old should ever have to.

 We’re going to pick up some Chinese for dinner for all of us (minus Brandon  who is at work) and head on home. Today has been a loooong day. Dad isn’t off work until about 8 – 9pm and then he will come by the house and head to Iowa city to be with mom.  


Everyday this week has been too long. I’m definitely at my emotional and mental breaking point. Thank God I have God and the people around me that I do, because they’re holding me up through this when I can’t. 


When we get home, dinner, and chill. Maybe a movie, but we are definitely going to watch the Olympic Trials!  


Dear Lord, keep me positive, keep me strong, help me be patient, help me in general. I am breaking. I am so broken. I need You. Please heal me. Let me feel like me again. Make me whole again. Lord I petition, I beg all this in your Precious Son’s holy name, Amen. 

Day 47: July 1st, Jeanie’s Here, and Rest

Good Morning! I feel pretty good this morning, now that I’ve gotten some sleep. Last night, after the Warcraft Movie, which was surprisingly good,  I had a full-on breakdown in the car while Brandon and I went out to Burlington, Iowa to pick up Jeanie, and she’s here til Sunday! Yay! So blessed to have this beautiful friend here. It felt really good to just break down; this is going to be a long war, but there are little battles along the way, and I’m a cryer. I need to cry in between battles. 


So we all drove back home, had some pizza and carrots and celery (healthy-ish), watched some of the trials for the Summer Olympics and headed to sleep. I pretty well enjoyed the first night! Good food, good friend, good sleep lol. 


Today, Jeanie is taking me to Iowa City for my second-to-last radiation. Y’all, I cannot explain how impatient I am right now for this dumb radiation to be over lol. And then I believe I have Dr. Day with Dr. Smith, but I’m not completely sure since my last radiation is Tuesday and I’ll see him then anyways? I don’t know. Either way, they’re short quick little appointments. 


While Jeanie is in the QC, I figured she needs to try the distinct cuisine we offer (hungry hobo, whiteys, Shanghai) the first two, I’ve never had lol. So we’ll probably hit up one if those places this evening for dinner, and I have a final from this past spring semester I need to finish tonight to complete the course (Harding has been so amazing while I’ve been going through this; since I couldn’t take the final at the scheduled time) and then just chill!  I’m so ready for some rest because this week has been crazy hectic. 


So Nathanael stayed with mom last night, Hardy went to work and is now upstairs sleeping like a baby, and dad got home last night and Jeanie and I made him get some rest lol. This is just another reason I love Jeanie, she is a lot more convincing and persuasive than myself, when i just comes across as a bossy nag. 

daddy is upstairs sleeping, and then he has another long day at work. I think the plan is for Hardy to come to radiation with Jeanie and me, and then Hardy and Nathanael kind of ‘switch shifts’ and we take Nathanael back home so he can rest?  But don’t take my word for it, I’m so beyond trying to plan things out at this point it is literally laughable. Things happen so suddenly and quickly in this house, you’ll drive yourself mad trying to keep up lol. 


Brandon works 3-close tonight and then opens tomorrow at 6am. So not only did he weather an Annemarie-Tornado-Breakdown yesterday, but he also gets to work icky hours this weekend. But I digress, a job is a job. 

There was some discussion that my mom might be discharged today, and as for that, I’m completely clueless. That being said, she won’t be coming home home, but to a rehab facility here in the QC. Given the extent of her surgery, she needs to be monitored closely and cannot move independently very well. The only thing I do know is that when I asked mom yesterday if she wanted to be discharged yet, if she felt ready, she said she felt she needed one more day. I don’t want people pushing her out of the hospital.

To wrap today’s log up, Jeanie is here safe and sound, dad is finally getting at least a little rest, the boys are doing shifts with mama, Brandon is resting and working hard, mom may or may not be discharged today, that is yet to be determined, and I’m just (trying to) eat healthy and  battle cancer like a boss over here. 

Day 46: graduation from pt, thursday

This morning was weird lol. I slept until about 4 and then couldn’t go back to sleep until about 6am and then slept until 9am. I guess sometimes that just happens? But I am still tired, so this weekend is going to be for visiting with Jeanie and resting lol.

Brandon and Nathanael went with me to pt and ot this morning, 10-11:30am where I graduated! Yay! Lol so I’m done with PT and I met almost all of my goals. One goal I didn’t reach was being able to stand with my eyes closed, and have the floor move under me and maintain my balance through my hips and ankles. I don’t know how to fully explain, but I could show you? Anyways, I don’t think I could do that before all of this mess lol. I’m going to keep working on it on my own because apparently this is a basic skill I need to be able to perform. 


Brandon then headed back home to get the house picked up, watch the puppies, and rest some because he’s been going non-stop. Everyone has been, everyone around me is going non-stop. Everyone needs a massage, a Popsicle, and a nap. Let’s go back to Pre-K, guys lol. 


Zech, my sweet cousin, is driving myself and Nathanael to Iowa city where I’m getting radiation and we’re currently up seeing mom. Her nurse right now is kind of a butt, but whatever. Zechie and I will heading back in a little bit and Hardy will be heading home. Nathanael is staying with mama tonight. I ordered her an ensure drink and that way she can get some of those carbs she’s needing. The nurse could tell I wanted to take charge lol. If I get through this, I’ve definitely overcome my fear of hospitals and I could volunteer or something maybe. 


I’m so proud of Hardy for how great he’s been, because I know he hadn’t planned to stay with mom and get no sleep or anything, but he did it, and he did it graciously. Same with Nathanael. I’m so proud of my brothers. 

Zech, Brandon and I are going to see the movie, Warcraft, (our family does a lot of movies – it’s kind of our thing lol) the dorky movie based on WOW. I didn’t have any interest in seeing it or not, but Zech and Brandon did, so that’s why we’re going at three – hit up that matinee pricing. 😁 


After the movie, Brandon and I will head to Burlington, Iowa, to pick up Jeanie Linton from the airport:) she’s staying with us until Sunday.

So today is a big long day and I will sleep really well tonight I hope. Then only one more radiation before the weekend. I just want to rest. 

Lord, Today I’m thankful for this great day, for Zech, Brandon, Hardy, Nathanael, Jeanie, Dad, Grandma, and getting to see Mom in a little less pain. Thank you so much for the doctors who are helping me and helping my family. I ask that You take this from me please. Just take it away. Let me live my life for You, I’ll do whatever You want, but please don’t let me die. Give mom quick healing please, give her relief, give dad peace, give him strength and calm, give rest to the boys and Brandon. All of this I offer up to You through your Son, in Jesus name, Amen.