Sunday, January 18, 2009

A Call To Arms : Updated 1/19/09

I want to tell you about a dear friend of mine. We met doing a play at Seattle Repertory Theater in Seattle, and discovered that we were neighbors. She lived down the hall from us in our fabulous old building. I'm lucky to tell you that, because of that building, a few very dear friendships were formed. The amazing Suttonhoo posted a picture about this magical building not too long ago.

Anyway, this friend... She and her love were married in a park overlooking Elliott Bay in Seattle. They were surrounded by friends and family. It was a gorgeous clear day in Seattle. They had their guests bring potluck and blankets, and it was the most elegant love-fest ever. Charley and I were married several months later, in his parents backyard in Carpinteria, CA, and they attended. Our wedding was intimate. It wasn't just financial constraints that kept it that way, it was us. We wanted it cozy, and it was.

Six years later, they welcomed their first child, a sweet baby girl. Two months after that, Joe-Henry was born. In the intervening years, my friend had become a Naturopath, and we had moved to Hollywood, but we had stayed very close. We have video of our two first born, laying side by side on a blanket on the floor, unable to do much more than look at each other, they were still so tiny. It's hard to believe that was eight years ago.

We moved back to the Northwest in 2006, and since then we've been lucky enough to see them with more regularity, although we are still separated by a three hour car ride. In 2007, they welcomed another child, a boy, who is so lucky to have those three women guide him through his life. We've been so fortunate to know the blessing of their friendship, and to see that friendship blossom in our children. When they are together, they are the three musketeers, and we've joked that JH and their daughter Hazel will be drinking coffee in some campus coffeeshop, confiding in each other about their impossible parents, rolling their eyes and laughing. (although I assume Hazel will be doing more listening here).

I tell you about this friendship because I want you to know my friend. I want you to know what she has at stake if you choose to take on this task. My friend has a very rare cancer that was diagnosed last summer, stage 4 leiomyosarcoma. After a great response to her first round of chemo (tumors shrank and some disappeared altogether), her third ct scan showed some growth, and last week she had another scan which showed enough growth to spur doctors to alter course. She is currently in the hospital for a five day course of chemotherapy. She called to tell me herself yesterday. She sounded calm and upbeat, but asked me to put out a call for prayers and positive thoughts. She has been using creative visualization and meditating a great deal, and has asked us in the past to be specific in our thoughts of her. This time, when I asked her if she wanted us to visualize anything specific, she said with a laugh "a complete cure would be great".

She is a warrior, she is fighting so hard to stay with the family she has made and loves with all her heart and soul. Dear Ones, I am asking you to hold this woman and her family in your thoughts and prayers, because sometimes even Warriors get weary. Please send love and light and strength their way.

I thank you all from the bottom of my heart.

Update: I spoke with my friend's partner last night, and she sounded so good. Dear Annie is being well taken care of, she feels safe, and the effects of the chemo haven't been too hard on her - they are monitoring her very closely. And a special note to Sharon in SF: thank you so much for commenting. Annie has been on the listserve and it's been incredibly helpful, I know. It's one more arrow in her Warrior quiver.

I promise to keep you posted as I learn more. In the meantime, I like Suttonhoo's word verification, and think we will use it as our mantra: "Sante".


*Lissa* said...

Sending loving thoughts and prayers to your special friend and her family.

Debbie said...

That makes me so sad! But I am sending out the most positive thoughts and prayers to her. She will make it and it will all be gone. You are a wonderful friend. :)

suttonhoo said...

I'm on it.

weepy, but on it.

(word verification: "sante", as in health. that's gotta be a good sign.)

Mommy Mo said...

Weepy over here. Your friend sounds lovely. I will say a prayer specifically for her, that she will be healed completely and that she mayhave peace as she goes through all of this. You are such a good friend!

anne said...

I will pray for your friend as I pray for my sister, that they both be granted the strength to deal with all that is coming their way. Both women have so much left to give to their families.

Donna said...

As you wish.

Anonymous said...

Sending out love and light.

Sharon in SF said...

Hi - The leiomyosarcoma (LMS) is ver organized! I recommend joining the LMS on-line support group. There are over 500 LMS families there who have a wealth of information and support.

Join Here:
ACOR L-M-Sarcoma

Sending Hugs,

Sharon in San Francisco
Uterine LMS stage IV, 7 yr. survivor

Sharon in SF said...

Ooops! I meant to write that the LMS community is very organized.

Also see these sites for info:

But the on-line group can answer her immediate questions.


Robin Amos Kahn said...

Annie, I will send positive thoughts, wishes and prayers from Brooklyn to the west. I have learned, from dealing with a 96 year old mother who was twice on hospice care - the human body is amazingly strong and resilient. Lots of love to your friend and her wonderful family and friends.

ellafitz said...

sending focused, positive and healed thoughts to your dear friend tonight and each day forward.

I, Rodius said...

Will do. Am doing.

Amber said...

Sending positive,cure-filled prayers her way:)What she needs is a hug&kiss from Isaac.....he is the best at it,you know;)

Seriously,though,lots of love&good thoughts are going her way!!!:)

Lisa L said...

Sending healing thoughts and love..

Living In a Girl's World said...

Thank you for posting this. Friday afternoon I was actually thinking of your friends and wondering how everything was going. My deepest sympathies to them for this setback. They have all my prayers adn well wishes for "the warrior" to win the battle and the war.

Anonymous said...

Hey, another old friend of Annie's checking in...just wanted to say thanks for this beautiful post.