Status Update: Another Hurdle to Clear

31 12 2011

 by Amy, as told to Diane Baldwin:

I know you’ve all been waiting for me to post about the results of the PET scan. The lung nodes are considerably smaller and the breast tumor is almost gone — so small in fact, it is hard to see. All my lymph nodes are clear as well, which was unexpected and surprised my doctors. I’ve been waiting and hoping for this news for almost a year now. I thought I’d be in remission once this news arrived.  I thought I’d throw a party and celebrate living life to the fullest once again!!

However, the pain I’ve been feeling has greatly accelerated and the PET scan showed why. The cancer has recently spread throughout my body, in my bones: collar bone, vertebrae, skull, legs. The lesions are small, but too numerous to count. The doctors tell me that this kind of cancer is very treatable, which is good news. I’ve wanted to write to tell you about this news, but I couldn’t because I’m shocked and very, very sad. I just don’t understand why this is happening. Why to me? Why now? Why does my stage IV cancer have to spread yet again? Why does it now have to be so painful and so limiting? How long can I stand living this way?? When will it end?

You should know that I’ve spent the last six days at home, in my bed, sleeping and crying. Trying to get through the pain. I’m not used to pain, so this is a new and horrifying experience. I can’t shower, walk or dress without help or without pain. I get stuck in bed and can’t move. I can’t take care of Theo. And I’ve somehow managed to break my arm, without any great fall. The doctors won’t cast my arm, so I have a sling, and the pain that goes with a broken bone, on top of everything else. I am taking three heavy-duty pain medications, all of which somewhat relieve the pain, but make me nauseous and sleepy. I feel depressed and many times a day a spell of despair overwhelms me. During those times, I feel that this is the start of the end for me and all I can do is sob miserably, lamenting all that I would miss on earth and in my precious life. I don’t want to be the girl you all knew who tried to fight cancer and lost.

Those of you who know me know how abysmal isolation is for me. I’m not a “home-body”. I do not like being alone for longer than a few hours, and then it’s only bearable if I have a deadline or a project I need to finish. I like going out in the world. I crave socializing. I love running errands and living a crazy, busy, exciting life with my friends and family. I was managing all of that with stage IV cancer, prior to this pain, when my leg gave out at Kohl’s just before Christmas. It’s just not fair.

My doctors say that it should take two to three rounds of my new oral chemo, with the bone agent added in, for me to feel relief and hopefully reversal of these new symptoms. I just started round two, so this means possibly five more weeks of this hellish pain and inconvenience. Five weeks put me at February 4. That’s not so long, right?

I’m still on my diet and feeling certain that’s a step in the right direction. I’m trying guided imagery, meditation, massage and Reiki to alleviate the pain. I’m considering acupuncture, too. But, please, please, dear readers, continue praying for me. I need your power, your belief in my healing to help me right now. Things are bleak, but they are not over. I’m not giving up. I can see past this pain. I just need time.



68 responses

31 12 2011
Melaney Sanchez

Oh Amy, I am absolutely praying for you! Know that you are not alone and that you are loved. Your ability to continuously seek solutions and take the next step each day, in each instance, inspires me immensely. Sending you a big hug from Maryland!

31 12 2011

Amy – I have been following your journey via your blog. I am praying for you daily, that God would give you strength and a total healing of cancer and side effects! Anne

31 12 2011

Hang in there Amy! You’ve made it this far. It’s just another speed bump that you will tackle. I’m sorry that you are in pain and hope that your treatments will help alleviate it sooner than the doctors anticipate. Sending lots of healing prayers your way.

31 12 2011
Teresa Phillips

I recently found your blog while searching for a reason why I am not healing from my nipple reconstruction. My heart goes out to you and your family. You are in my prayers! Never forget, all things are possible with God…

31 12 2011
Carrie Neilson

You are always in my prayers and thoughts. You can do this Amy. Little Name Big Meaning!!! Everything takes time. Bones heal (and “wrists”). Soon this will be a bad memory. We love you. Happy New Year and many more to come. Love you. Carrie, Jim, Logan and Mara.

31 12 2011
brian Murphy

Dear Amy–we love you, think about you all the time (the bracelet!), and it is certainly easy to wish you a HAPPIER NEW YEAR! With love from Brian, Toni, and Lauren

31 12 2011
kerri daugherty

Amy all my love and prayers are being sent to you. I’m sure its hard but you are one of the strongest women I know. Believe it or not u have opened my eyes to life. U are an inspiration to so many. U need anything please let me know. Love ya

31 12 2011
karen roth

Prayers you need…prayers you’ve got!!! May the new year bring you new energy, a renewed spirit, and lots of steps – little and big and tiny and miraculous all mixed together – toward good health and wholeness! God bless you, Amy!

Karen (Hildebrand) Roth

31 12 2011

EFF-ing Cancer!!!! BE GONE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Love you, Amy ❤

31 12 2011
Cathy Carey

Thoughts and prayers from here in California. Keep seeing past the pain.

31 12 2011
Carol Clemens

Prayers continuing in Oklahoma, girl! You and your body will turn the tide in this new year. I am imaging little cancer fighters with super zap guns ciculating in your blood, just ready to zap those errant cells where they try to hatch. After them comes a crew with shovels and brooms to sweep up the remains and flush it out your system. BAM!! We’ll get those guys!


31 12 2011

You do not know me. I know you through BI and a friend told me about this last Spring. You have already touched so many lives with your courage. The way you deal with what has been dealt to you has been so inspiring. Your spirit shines through always. Keep the faith, courage and strength. The Lord is near the brokenhearted and saves the crushed in spirit. Keep fighting. We ALL pray for you, your son and husband.
Nancy Schrull

31 12 2011

Amy, so very sorry to hear you are in pain – praying that the meds kick in very, very fast for you. Wishing you health, health, health in 2012 and good times with your lovely family.

31 12 2011
amy youngblood

Praying for you with the rest of your army. you will continue to inspire and dont forget how many lives you have touched and that we need you as much as you need us. you wont be “that girl” you will be the girl who went through hell and back and lived to tell the tale- and you will tell it better than anyone!!

31 12 2011
Rita P

Amy, deep prayers coming your way. FWIW; when I was forced into social isolation for 10 years I challenged myself to find peace – and even joy –in the circumstances.

At first I thought I might go mad; yet eventually within that stillness I slowly began to viscerally experience His presence.

He then guided me into a deep knowing of what was best for me in each moment. Thus my isolation actually became my realization.

(I believe MY isolation took so long because I resisted for so many years. I constantly was wishing, hoping and praying for things to change. Once I deeply accepted ‘what is’ at every level, things changed dramatically for me.)

Today I still find myself facing some of the same challenges, just in different disguises.

Deep love and respect to you.

31 12 2011

Sending lots of healing prayers your way! So sorry you have to endure this pain and new bump in the road. February 4th will be here before you know it and you’ll once again be busily hopping around from here to there. Love you!

31 12 2011

I know it’s not the same as running around, active, but bring your laptop to your bed and at least you won’t be alone. There are people here and at Facebook, FLX and I’m sure other groups you belong to who would love to chat with you any hour around the clock.

Love you, Amy

31 12 2011

Big hugs Amy, we are all with you. Don’t give up

31 12 2011

Just wanted to say that I am praying for you and hoping the pain is gone tomorrow to start 2012 off right!

31 12 2011
Leslie Dietz

So very sorry to hear this news. I hardly ever post but I’ve followed you for over a year ever since my Cousin in Michigan told me about you. I will continue to pray for you – for healing, for the pain to go away SOON, and for God’s presence to surround you at ALL times. You certainly have touched many lives and they are all praying for you as well. God bless you Amy and stay strong . . . from another breast cancer survivor in California.

31 12 2011
Ken and Gay

Our Dearest Amy, We pray without ceasing for you to have relief from pain and for the medications to go after the cancer cells with a full force attack!! You are loved more than words can express and that love is surrounding you every minute of every day. God has sent his Angels to battle for you against this evil cancer and nothing can defeat them!!!! Much Love K.& G. XXX000

31 12 2011
Laura Kasischke

Praying for you, Amy, and will hold you in my thoughts at all times.

31 12 2011
Randy Weiser

Hey, you!
Since when do you give up?!? I DON’T THINK SO!!!! You never did, and you never will!
Energy’s still flowing in your direction, so tap into the prayers and energy, and BEAT THIS!!!!
Happy New Year!!!!

31 12 2011
Amy Lange

You are always in our prayers, Amy, and know that no matter how despondent you feel, we believe you will be the girl we all knew who tried to fight cancer and won. Rest your body, rest your racing mind, rest and re-charge – you’ll be back.

31 12 2011
Pam Spencer

Amy! You will beat this. I believe this with every fiber in my being. Your work is far from finished here. You are not done teaching us the importance of living. We are all praying for you, every day. Know that you are loved by many and prayed for by thousands!

31 12 2011
frieda wishinsky

Your strength despite everything is amazing. Thanks for sharing your journey with us. Sending you warm wishes for pain free days in 2012.

Frieda in Toronto

31 12 2011
Lynn Brown Clary

Amy I’ve been following your blog and I’m so inspired by your courage. You are touching lives and making a difference. I am sorry you are having such a hard time right now. My prayers are with you. Keep fighting.

31 12 2011
Debbie V

Amy – I am so sad for you that you have to go through this pain. I truly believe it will get better for you, I know how hard it is but try as hard as you can to keep as positive as you can. I will be praying for you with healing thoughts. Happy new year to you and your family. P.S. I deleted your email address and want to write to you about my stage IV journey. Take Care Amy.
Debbie V.

31 12 2011
Kristi Kahl

We will be throwing a party and embrace you living life to its fullest! Lots of prayers and support from so many all over the world! In those quiet and alone times remember all of us are here for you. You have great things for you to still get done and so many of us anticipating your book! 2012 will be your year for amazing and wonderful things in your life! Keep the faith…we are all here with you. Xoxox

31 12 2011
Phyllis Dawson

I am praying that God heal you in Jesus name. All things are possible Christ Jesus our Lord.

31 12 2011
Nan Hasting

Dear Amy

I can’t begin to pretend I know what you are going through…your gift of writing is beautiful so I feel every once of pain when I read your words…I too am dealing with recurrence. Stupid €%#£+{< cancer! Stay strong my prayers continue for you and all of us who are fighting the fight! Love and prayers Nan

31 12 2011
Ellyn Craine Davidson

Amy, you are strong! You’ll beat this. So many are praying for you. XO

31 12 2011
Elizabeth DeWaard

Oh my Amy, I so want to be there to hug you and cry with you and celebrate each improvement with you. Once they get a handle on that pain, you’ll be back to your old, fightin’ self—amazing!
Love, Betsy

31 12 2011
Kimberly Brown

Oh Amy, I am so sorry you are in so much pain. It is not fair, it is not okay….
Cry honey, cry your heart out. Rage, scream. Do whatever you need to do to get through this awful time. And then….get back in the fight! You have so many supporters, and we will all keep the hope alive for you..until you are ready to take it into your heart again. Please know you are never alone….never. You are in the hearts and minds and prayers of so, so many. You can do this.
Blessed Be dear one

31 12 2011
Linda Stanislawski

I’m praying dear Amy… And trusting God for good results and long life for you. My heart aches because of your pain, but I believe for your victory

31 12 2011
Scot Orwig

I’m so sorry you have to go through this painful time. I wish there was a shortcut to February 4th. For you the pain of being incapacitated must rival the physical pain. I hope it starts turning around sooner than expected, and that 2012 only gets better from here.

31 12 2011

Hang in there, Amy. We’re all with you. (You’re still socializing, but in a different way, and with even more friends!)

May 2012 be as good to you as it can be,


31 12 2011
Carol Phillips

Dear friend,

This totally stinks! Feel free to let God know it does. Yet even in the sadness, pain, and fear, please know that He is right there with you and will give you the strength and courage to face each day. Somewhere in each day God will give you His joy, but you are going to have to look for it. Don’t let the pain steal monents of joy. As always praying for you. 2012 will bring victory, good bye 2011!

31 12 2011
Deb Peters

Amy, I am praying for you and it will continue. I am sharing this blog so that my New Zealand friends and family and of course friends and family closer can continue to pray for you. You are strong and can overcome this. There are many of us who love you and we are here for you.

31 12 2011
Sandy Kovach Heron

Amy, I am so very very sorry you have to deal with all the pain and discomfort on top of everything else. I believe you have so much ahead of you when you get past this…and you will. May God give you the strength to persevere. One day, one hour, one minute at a time if necessary. Thanks for so courageously sharing your story with so many. You are truly an inspiration and I’ll keep praying

31 12 2011
Gerri Barnauskas

Dear Amy,
I have never posted before but have followed you for several months now. I am so sorry that you are suffering but I will keep you in my prayers along with your husband and little son. Fervently hoping for relief for you and a bright new year. Hold on…

31 12 2011
Amy Orwig

My prayers go up for the relief of your pain, return of your independence and for your emotional reserve to cope with the fear and anger – because I agree, it isn’t fair. May God cradle you and your family as the tears are flowing, and healing happens.

31 12 2011
marcus washington


31 12 2011

Dear Amy,

Poor you! This totally sucks and I am so so sorry. I think the downside of being an optimist is that setbacks hit us especially hard. The upside is that, after we cry and rage for a bit, we get back up and press on, strengthened by our belief that problems have solutions and we’re going to find them! So let yourself feel what you feel during this absolutely miserable time, Amy the Optimist is taking a beating right now, but she’ll be back. Like the song says, “I get knocked down, but I get up again. You’re never gonna keep me down.”

Do you remember the scene from “The African Queen” when Bogart’s character, who has an absolute horror of leeches, has to pull the boat through the swamp? Since my son was diagnosed with a rare liver disease that requires a transplant, there have been times when I’ve had to drag our metaphorical boat through the swamp. I get knocked down, but I get up again, and go back into the water with the leeches. You’ve got all of us there in the swamp with you, pulling the Good Ship Amy to where she needs to be.

Add Bremerton UMC to the looong list of people praying for you and Don and Theo,

31 12 2011
Mary Dougherty

Amy, We love you. We pray for you everyday. We all need you Amy. You are strong and you CAN and WILL beat this awful disease. I have never met anyone as strong as you. Know that you are loved so much and you are always in our prayers. Always. Love you, Bill and Mary

31 12 2011
Cathy P

Hi Amy, I have never met you, but read your blogs when ever they are available. I continuously pray for you and truly feel your pain…honestly…ask my husband becaause I talke about you. I pray all the time and do believe that God is there and listening. I wish I could hug you…. I always think about you…truly…always…daily.. Cathy

31 12 2011
Beth Z

You are a warrior! You fight and win, fight and win, fight and win….This is no different of a fight. Keep at it; stay focused and you WILL win again….

1 01 2012
John Eckardt

Amy, You are in my prays daily, and you just keep plugging along.

1 01 2012

I’m sending you hugs and every ounce of energy I have to get you through this! Of course you are always in my prays and always on my mind!! You would think I would have all the right things to say but in fact the truth is my heart hurts for you and your family very, very much and I believe perhaps there is no right or wrong! You are an incredible mother and woman and you will be up and about when your body is ready, so please rest up, you have a new year waiting to live it up with your family and friends!! All my love Kelly

1 01 2012
Sharon L-S

As always prayers and this time soft hugs so not to give pain just comfort. Wishing a 2012 full of positive health news and looking forward tews of a dance or a jig on Valentines Day.
Love to you, Don and Theo.

Sharon L-S

1 01 2012
Julie Morrison

Amy, you probably don’t remember, but we worked together briefly at WCC years ago. You are in my prayers for continued strength and healing and that you can continue to (as you yourself have written) look up. Grace and peace to you.

1 01 2012

You are a pink warrior and will succeed! We are all in your corner!

1 01 2012

You will not be the girl who fights cancer and lost! You are strong and a fighter and with all the friends, family and love out there will over come all this!! Love Me

1 01 2012
Rita O'Connor

Hi Amy darlin’….Never never have I seen anyone who has as many friends and as much tremendous support as you do! What a great cheering roster is a-going for you! You have so much prayer going on for your intention, its just amazing! Such a wide and wonderful arena of strength you have, it just MUST make you feel better. I join my thoughts and prayers for you from the team-Amy, and we shall not stop until you get the “all clear!” signal.
Love always, Mom Reet

2 01 2012

My dear Amy – Praying, praying, praying for you as requested. My heart breaks for you that you are going through this terrible time of pain. I’m sure the meds will click in soon and you will feel much better. I just know that you will be victorious in your fight. You are so strong and have done ALL the right things. The doctor’s told you that the breast & lung tumors would shrink and be gone, and that is what is happening. Now they are telling you that these new spots are treatable too, so just KEEP BELIEVING!!!!! We are all supporting you!! We are all thinking about you!! We are all praying for you.
Sending lots of love from your Indianapolis family and BELIEVING TOO! Jan

2 01 2012

Sparky, if you ever find yourself needing to talk while in isolation, give me a call. We’ll talk about shopping, and the fashion, and, you know, ‘scopin out the guys!’ or…or..ohmygod…missing that shoe sale by..what…FIVE MINUTES!?

Seriously, you can do this. This may feel more than a bump in the road on this wretched journey, but I can’t begin to count the events in your life that you have plowed through with the spirit of a warrior and with your support system around you. Dig deep. The Spirit is there and so is the ‘Spark.’

Love you,

2 01 2012

Prayers are coming your way.
You are an inspiration to all of us.
As always
Cookie from Fla

2 01 2012

Amy, praying for you and sending much love and many hugs. Amy

2 01 2012
Sara Nickerson

Praying for your recovery, Amy, and for your family! I know this is a very difficult time for you and them, but I truly believe you can beat this disease. I pray that God gives you and your family an extra dose of strength and many happy times ahead.

2 01 2012

Sending loads of prayers & virtual hugs your way, Amy!!!

2 01 2012
Wynne Brown

Dear Amy,
I’ve been reading your beautifully written and oh-so-heartfelt posts for about a year now. This is the first time I’ve replied, but I wanted you to know that I’m fighting for you with all the good thoughts I can send, along with random deposits into the savings account of good deeds…

I do mean it when I say, “BE WELL!”

2 01 2012
Bob Adams

Amy, I think of you many times during each day and say a prayer for you each time. I wish I could do something more to help with your pain and discomfort rather than just prayer and words. God has a plan for you. Always remember that. Trust that that is true.

2 01 2012
Trena Winans-Bagnall

Stay strong Amy! You have shown unbelievable courage and grace through all of this and are certainly more than entitled to just be sad sometimes, but your strong spirit will carry you through this. Know that we, and so many others, are sending healing and loving thoughts your way. Know that you are loved and know that this too shall pass.
Wishing you the very best,

2 01 2012
Ann Iezzi

Amy – I am praying for your full recovery & remission. I hope that the pain goes away soon. May God be with you & give you strength through this very difficult time.

Ann Iezzi

2 01 2012

I too have stage 4 best cancer and have been following your blog, because of Kristi Kahl. I know all about the bone metastasis and the pain that comes with it, trust me when I tell you the chemo and the zometa will help. Keep your head up your positive outlook keep me going!

3 01 2012
Melody Provenzano

Oh, Amy. I am so sorry to hear how you are suffering. I am thinking of you and praying for you…. for peace of mind, for pain relief (!!), and for remission. God bless you and your family.

3 01 2012
Cindy Straub

Amy, I hope with all my heart that your pain subsides. You are always in my prayers and thoughts. You are the strongest and most courageous person I know and I know you will continue to fight this. Sending you love and power to continue your healing.

4 01 2012

We really are praying for the best for you,we know you can come back from this…maybe this is the cancer’s last ditch effort to deflate your spirit before its forced to leave you alone forever…just hang in there a little longer,your fight is helping so many others and that line forms behind my wife and I.
May God keep you safe in His hand.

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