Sunday, December 16, 2007

Because of Cancer... Comments and replies

I purposefully did not blog yesterday so that anyone who did not have an opportunity to check Friday's blog about Brian could do so on Saturday without having to scroll through. I hope no one was disappointed.

I have to be honest. I am intimidated to keep blogging after last week. Writing this past week about our struggles, emotions, and circumstances during Test and Results week was quite exhausting, yet so relieving. It was the easiest writing I have ever accomplished because there is SO MUCH emotion, grit, heartache, elation, turmoil, struggle, triumph, etc. that comes each day. The words just came to me without having to think or try to be creative. Each day I simply wrote what we felt during that time. I wrote some posts the night before I posted, but I would add some thoughts that occurred to me each morning as the situation of the day would become clearer in my mind. It is easy to write from your heart and gut while you are going through something. My writing was RAW last week and I was scared concerning the reaction to it. I could not write the same things today. I do not feel the same today. I couldn't have written the same thing the week before. It wasn't as vivid as when we were LIVING it. I opened up my mind and my thoughts to you and to Brian and to myself (seeing your inner thoughts in writing is sobering), and some days I was shocked at myself. I was hoping to bring you into our world and based on your feedback, I think I accomplished just that. Thank you for not judging me. Thank you for living through the week with us. Thank you for being a part of our lives.

I borrowed this concept from one of my favoite blogs, Because I Said So. She dedicates Sunday's blog to replying to a few comments she received all week. I wanted others to see the comments that they may not otherwise check, to let you know that I DO READ THEM and to take the time to reply to you. I also posted some of the emails I received regarding Friday's update on Brian.

Mindi Pruitt Said…I have been thinking about you all day, Angie your blogs are amazing, your descriptions put everything in perspective for all of us. I love you guys and can't wait to spend the Christmas season with you, no matter when we get together.

Mindi, You are the awesomest sister in the whole wide world. I can’t wait to see you over the holidays as well. You know I love you!
Angie and Brian,Been thinking about you all week and ecspecially today. Your blog has been wonderful, and very insightful. Thank God for the good results. Have a very Merry Christmas! Love,Deb

Aunt Deb, Thanks for reading it. I am glad to know you are enjoying the blog and reading it for the reason I created it.
Angie, you have become such a great writer! Such a talent.Angie and Brian, I'm playing at church this weekend and offering it up for you. Know that all the musicians and techs will be praying for you backstage. Love you guys! Kara

Coming from you, Kara, I will take a compliment on talent to the bank. You are one of the most talented people I know. I missed you play at church. I came down with a very uncomfortable cold over the weekend. (I frequently get sick after we have an emotionally trying time in our lives. It is like my whole body's defenses take a much needed rest.) Brian took the boys, though, and said the service felt tailor-made to us.
The Monges said... Hi Angie and Brian,Thank you for including us in your posts. They really are inciteful and certainly puts everything in perspective. We know you are surrounded by a loving and caring group of family and friends-and if there is anything we can do to add to that just say the word! Wishing you the best this Christmas.

Monges, I am very glad to know you are reading the posts, too. I never know who exactly would like to know or who has time to know and include us in their thoughts and prayers. Thanks for the kind words.
Bev & Howie said...
Howie and I think and pray for you always. Know that we may not live close anymore, but the love for you and the children always remains. Blessings for all of you and your families this Christmas. We love you.

Bev, You know also we don’t feel any different about you due to proximity. We miss Colorado and all our times there. Thanks for keeping in touch with us in any way.
utmomof5 said...
I have been thinking of you all day!! I was both excited adn nervous to check your blog today. I was so glad to read the news was good. I know I only know you and your family through this blog but your words have really made a diffrence in my life. In how I view the world and the obstacles that are in my path. I wanted you to know that you have made a diffrence with your attitude and the words you have written. I hope you have a very Merry Christmas!!Christina

Christina, I am so glad to have met you, a new blogger friend. I look forward to reading about you and your little monkeys each week. I love that you are praying for us, as well. We really appreciate it and definitely need it.
Catharine said...Oh, Angie, I really don't know what to say... the tears are streaming down my face thinking about the trauma and horror you and Brian have to go through. I know it is not pity that you are after, it is just that I cannot begin to imagine being in your shoes. Your amazing writing skills, however, make it somewhat possible to try to understand. We will continue to pray for you as always, and thank you for posting your prayer requests on your blog, it makes it so much easier to know how to pray pray for all of you. On a happier note, I also thank God that the results were pretty good and that the 4 of you will be able to have a nice Christmas.

Catharine, Thank you for the kind words. I am glad I was able to make you understand. That was, in fact, my entire goal this week; to write out the details in a way that I thought would help others possibly understand what we go through.
I've read your blogs before; but this was very inspiring! Maybe writing (at home for a living) is your new future. I love the vantage point you wrote from. Maybe it is out of necessity or God's way of blessing you (isn't He amazing!) or inspiring you that made you think of this creative way of writing about your life. Keep it up. I think it will help both you and others. Again......your point of view was awsome. I know I'll think about the complimentary coffe with more enthusiasm from now on.I've been out of touch for a few weeks now. Out of town on a job and then I come back to Oklahoma's worst ice storm in history. (glad I made some historical point in my life). I've now lived without electicity for a whole 2 1/2 days and it is funny how you ALWAYS put my life in perspective with what you guys are going through. I know I was just happy (once Ken hooked up the generator) to have my food cold and my house warm. Anything else was a plus. Now I look at you guys and realize how much I DO have to be THANKFUL for. Including having such an awesom niece I can claim as a relative.May your realize how many lives you touch and how much you have to offer other people. God BLESS you and your entire family as you face the CHRISTmas Holiday Season. Oh by the way Angie,Yeah......that last posting was anonymous because I can't seem to remember my sign in name, my user name, my password or anything else about myself when it comes t this sight. Life is just too complicated. Just know that anonymous might just mean your aunt Cindy and Uncle Ken in Oklahoma. Geee..........I seem to hate technology!!Cindy

Aunt Cindy and Ken, We have to laugh, because, first of all, we can hear you rambling in your post the same way that people can hear me rambling in my posts. We laugh also because that is why I enabled anonymous comments. Many people said they had a hard time posting comments in April and May when were in the hospital. Finally, we laugh because only we can make people thankful that one of the worst icestorms in history and being without power for days on end is NOT SO BAD! We have to laugh at life or we would GO CRAZY! We look forward to our wonderful Christmas ornament created and crafted by the very talented Aunt Cindy.
Angie & Brian, unfortunately I have walked in your shoes, I do understand what you are saying. Writing is so good for you and for all of us who want to know how you are both doing. Keep the words coming. They will give you strength to get through the toughest times.I am so happy to hear the positive news, especially at this time of the year. What a wonderful Christmas you will have now. You have both been through so much. (Yes, especially for your young age. But none of us get choose all the events in our lives.) Stay strong, stay believing!ad

AD, Thank you. The writing is THERAPUETIC! I hope that as months progress we can look back on all this and know that we are blessed and we can see God’s provision through all our times – good and bad. I hope my writing this week did not take you back to places you did not want to go. I know how painful it must be to read this – the same way it was/is for Brian. I think a lot of days he doesn’t want to read this blog. I told him I would love to write from his perspective some day. I think he doesn’t want to open up that part of his mind to vulnerability and I appreciate that. We think of you often (especially when we drive by the very FESTIVE house next to yours).
Amber said...Thanks so much for the comment you left on Mile High Mamas. I am sobered to read about your journey, especially since my husband is a cancer survivor who just had heart surgery a couple of years ago. I know what it is like to live with this hanging over your head and your attitude is inspiring.

Amber will probably not come back by my blog to read this, but her blog is funny and witty, gives me ideas and makes me yearn for Colorado living again. She actually has two blogs. It is amazing for me to learn that she has a cancer survivor husband as she is young and so athletic and I am assuming hubby is the same. Cancer does not discriminate. I hate IT!
Heather said...I'm glad that the news was good today, although it seems weird calling any news associated with cancer "good." I hope you are able to enjoy your weekend with Brian and the boys. More snow is headed your way I think.

Did you guys finally get snow for your little boys?!?!? We got about 5 inches throughout the day on Saturday which is about 2 more than they said we would get. I agree that calling any news about cancer good. I never thought of it that way. Let’s pray for there to be no more need for the word cancer!
Jason said...There are rarely many instances in which I become speechless. :-)I concur with several peoples posts regarding your writing style. I want to thank you for taking time out of your busy life to write and posts these blogs. You should look into turning these pages into a book; "How we beat cancer for the umpteenth time". I will confess that I was not sure if I was ready to read today's post, especially with the email to prompt us to the blog. I have no clue what you guys encounter on a daily basis, however, your writing allows me a small glimpse. I can reflect back to the 5 year survival party in which we all dressed up for Halloween. I was thinking you guys were Pebbles and Bam Bam. That does not seem that long ago hanging out around the fire and talking about old times. I am always thinking of you guys and look forward to seeing in January. I hope for a joyous 2008 and improved health into the future.HUDSON

Jason, I think I can honestly say that I have never been speechless. Actually, wait a minute. I am speechless about 3 times a week for about 3 seconds when I see something Grant did that is just so naughty and deliberately disobedient. Sometimes even 5 times a week. It is short-lived, though and I soon find the words to use, sometimes a bit too colorful and usually too loud. I will confess that I was trying to figure out how to word today’s post if the news were bad. I didn’t know if I would have the strength to even write the words. We were Pebbles and Bam Bam for that party. My mom has the Bam Bam costume and Gavin LOVES to dress up in it. He loves the hat because it is Daddy’s, and he says the white fuzzy ball on top helps him find squirrels on nature walks…Ummm…Yeah….We are not sure where he gets this stuff.
Pinky said... Angie, your emotions lept into my heart here. Although I haven't been on the same journey you and Brian are on, we did lose a daughter 5 years ago. When you wrote about the woman in the waiting room asking you questions...well, I've been there! It's so difficult to be diplomatic, much less kind to someone when you're aching on the inside. People have no idea that their simple questions are opening up a world of hurt, just waiting to explode. Thank you for putting it into words. Much love, and much praise to God for good test results. Pinky

Pinky (and the brain, brain, brain, brain), Also a new blogger friend, whose site Cheese in My Shoe, I LOVE to read! Thank you so much for your words and I am very saddened to learn of your loss years ago. I can’t imagine the loss of a child. Having children now gives me a WHOLE new perspective, appreciation and understanding for what Brian’s parents deal with on any daily basis with Brian’s illness; a perspective I did not have 7 years ago. A perspective that makes me realize I maybe didn't handle the situation very well with them when he was first diagnosed. He is their baby, and it doesn’t matter that he is in his 30s. Nothing would pain me more than to see my children suffer a serious life-threatening illness or to lose them altogether. I was scared to write about the waiting room. There is just something about being in the thick of it when you don’t feel like being kind and you hate everything about the place where you are – even the good gestures. Thanks for understanding.
Angie and Brian,The power of words....what to say and how to say it...every writer's struggles...The interesting point about God's Word is that it is spoken by Him and written by another. You can take Him at His Word. Keep it in your heart and in your mind. He is in control. I have to remind myself of that fact often. I agree with the assessment of your writing, Angie. Let's start on that book this summer.Love, Jane

Aunt Jane, I love you. You hold a very dear and special place in my heart mostly because on my journey to know and love Christ, you are always there helping me if I need it. You have words when I don’t have words and if I ever did decide to try to capture these words into a more structured format, you would DEFINITELY be the person I would want at my side. That is an intimidating thought, though...
Shawn said...Your note was so helpful and we will have you in our prayers. Thank you for your prayers for Hillary. We hope she can soon be with her son Max soon. I know Brian pushes every day because of you and your boys. We hope you have a wonderful Christmas and much like ours, I bet it is the best one yet! Thank you for your sweet message to us about Hillary and your family will be in our prayers. Your site is wonderful and as an employee of the National Home Office of the American Cancer Society, it is wonderful to see Brian's progress. We are so hoping Hillary's son Max will be able to cone home so he can help her push forward to regaining her life as you and your sons have helped Brian do. Can you imagine if he had not been able to have those children in his life through this? That is what she/we have dealt with through all of this. We have your site bookmarked and can't wait to read more on his progress. Shawn

Shawn, I was humbled at your blog about your daughter Hillary. I know only parts of what you go through as our struggles are of different circumstances. However, you are Hillary are in my prayers and I pray she is able to spend time with Max again soon! He would help her in so many ways in her recovery, but I also understand the need to protect the children.
Kellan said... Yes, praise God Angie!!!! I'm glad to hear the good news - I am so relieved for you and your sweet husband. I can't even imagine all you have been through, but I am so pleased to have met you and that you are sharing your story - the story of your lives and of your precious family and your husband - through your beautiful writing. I hope it helps you to know that I love to hear your story as hard as I know I know it must be for your to live it and to write it - it is a gift to hear and see your life through your beautiful writing.I hope you have a good weekend and I hope the news remains good - especially through Christmas! Take care and I'll see you soon. Kellan

Kellan, Another new blogger friend whose site I enjoy IMMENSELY! No matter the topic, she always ends with ON THE UPSIDE. I love to hear her wit and insight into life’s daily pleasures and issues. Thank you for the compliment on the writing. Nothing like writing from the depths of one’s emotions. A little risky, though. You never know how someone is going to interpret what you are saying. We are praising God for his provision for the holiday season.
Jan wrote…I am continuing to pray for you all, Angie. St Albert misses you! May this Christmas be one of peace and joy. Ours will be spent in Colorado. Yeah, family, friends and TARGET

Jan, Enjoy Target and the US! I know you have the same love relationship with Canada that I did, but there is still no place like HOME! We TREMENDOUSLY miss ST. Albert, too. Peace! (for those of you who didn't know, there is no Target in Canada, the horror, the HORROR!)
Steve Wrote… Angie - Your writing and faith are beyond words. I appreciate you including me on your updates and I have continued to check the blog every so often. Our prayers are with you and Brian. If there is anyone that can beat the odds it is certainly Brian. Please feel free to let me know if there is ever anything I can do. I know you are trying to work on the house and I will be off during the holidays. I would be happy to fix, repair or build anything you may still need done.

Steve, THANK YOU DEARLY for your offer to help on the house, but thank the Lord we are done. You can help take down Christmas decorations in a couple of weeks if you would like. Just kidding! I am glad that others Brian knows are as confident in his ability to beat this as I am. I just wish he didn’t have to – AGAIN!
Brian and Angie... I miss you both... Have a wonderful Christmas Turkey dinner!!!...i can already hear the squeal from the kids on Christmas morning... Angie...your blogs are truly should write AND GET PAID FOR IT!..(giggle) Truly inspiring... God Bless.... Smiles,Char Bergen

Char, We miss you and the whole Edmonton Caterpillar group, too. We can hear the kids squeal, too, only it isn’t Christmas – IT’S JUST EVERYDAY ANNOYING! Just kidding. Wouldn’t trade it for the world.
Kevin said….I like your blog. It is keeping your communication skills very sharp. I always knew you were very witty and insightful. I’m glad to hear the news about Brian and will continue to pray for him

Kevin, Thank you for the compliment on my wit and insight. I don’t feel very witty, but there is nothing like first-hand experience to give one insight! I would like some insight on becoming a multi-millionaire. Or how about insight on miraculous recoveries? How about how to raise children that NEVER sass? Thank you, though, and you are my favorite brother!
Ashley said…So glad to hear that the news was OK again. I have continued to pray for you every day (well, I must admit that some days I don't have quality prayer time....but, when I and your family are at the top of the list! Hope you guys have a Merry Christmas....I feel so lucky to have met you!!

Ashley, I am so glad to have met you through church this year, too. I have had a lot of fun with the moms I have met this year. I have to admit that some days my prayer is not a top-notch in quality as I would like to it be, either. Isn’t that what we all must strive for? Oh, so many challenges.
Shalene wrote …LOVE the new look of your blog. Love reading it too….Angie, you have a real talent for writing…..I felt like I was right there with you in the waiting room today and it’s neat to be able to read what you are actually thinking vs what you say-I love it! Great news about the results…just in time for Christmas! I hope your Christmas is great. We watched the video on your blog too, which was really cool because Ty got to see Grant which he thought was pretty neat.Take care, Merry Christmas and I’ll keep praying,

Shalene, Thanks so much for the compliment on the new look. I still don’t love it. I wish I knew more about HTML and I would try to come up with my own format. Oh what am I saying? I have a hard enough time with paint and curtain swatches, I can’t design a website! I was glad you felt like you were with me in the waiting room. You were. Your prayers were lifting me up, keeping me from stumbling and losing composure. I am relieved you liked seeing what was in my head versus what came out of my mouth. It is hard to make oneself vulnerable. Thanks for not judging me. I am glad Ty got to see Grant on the video. (Grant and Ty were best buddies last year). Grant talks of going back to Canada ALL the time. It is hard to move no matter the age. Grant misses ice-skating. I miss FREE ice-skating.
Heather said… I really enjoy reading YOUR site as I told you over Thanksgiving. I faithfully checked it every day during your hiatus. Just so you know, I never post any comments even though I really enjoy everything that you write. Many things hit home, but the day you wrote about the changes you see in Grant and Gavin when their cousin comes over was so funny to me. My Grandmother ALWAYS laughed and commented on that same phenomenon. Any two of us cousins could play so nicely, but if a third entered the scene—things turned ugly. Four or more—not a problem. It was always that magical number of 3!!!! I also work with Hillary’s Dad, Paul. He is an engineer with PRS and he is a super great guy.I am very glad that Brian’s test came out well. You ALL are constantly in my prayers.

Heather, I hope you don’t mind that I am posting this today. I probably should have asked first. Oh well, I will ask for forgiveness later. Too funny about the 3 thing. I thought maybe it was just additional children in the mix, but this last week, when Brody came over, a friend called and asked if I could watch her 6 year old due to a need to take her other to the doctor. So I had 4. No problems. They were a little rowdy, but the dramatic transformation that occurs in both my children did not happen. It was amazing. Thanks for the information on Hillary’s blog and situation.
Patrick wrote…I caught up reading your blog. This holiday season, the whole gang is going to Colorado for a couple of weeks. It doesn't snow in Monterrey, Mexico. In fact, when I hear about the Midwestern deep freezes, I'm usually in short sleeves with temps in the 70s. I'm not complaining. I do not miss shoveling snow at all!

Patrick. Okay. We like you for now. Keep up the mid 70s comments into February and early March and we may just have to lose contact with you. The ice and snow we received recently put us in the Christmas mood, for sure. And we had a wonderful neighborly neighbor who shoveled the driveway this morning. I don't think palm trees and Spanish would make me feel very Holiday-ish. Snow and nice neighbors certainly makes it feel Christmasy. Blessings!
Linda wrote…Praise the Lord! I don’t know what else to say. I pray hard for you all. I hate the pain it causes everyone. I mentioned to you before that my sister-in-law is going through the same cancer/treatments/schedule. Angie, your description of the feelings are so well put into words. Thank you for updating the ones who love you and pray for you.
Linda, I do think of and pray for your sister-in-law. Please keep me informed of her progress. I would never considering NOT updating our family and friends of our status. (I also think my Aunt Jane and Aunt-in-law JoAnn English teachers would correct my double negative above.)



  1. I think you have done wonderfully expressing your feelings and giving a unique and detailed insight into your precious lives - I thank you for that - it is not easy, but you are doing it with grace and dignity and giving so much love in the process. Take care. Kellan

  2. This is an excellent idea! A great way to address everybody and do it all at once. I never get many comments, but it can get overwhelming checking and responding throughout the day. Angie, the writing is good no matter what. If it's a regular day, or a test day, or a results day. Just be you. I've been scared to write about things like grannie panties and poots, but that's my life, and that's what my blog is about. It's therapy, and I need it.
    I think about you and your family quite often, and you have blessed me with your honesty and insight. Our Sunday school lesson today was learning to be wise and live each day to the fullest, and I thought of you and Brian. I'm thankful for our new and fun friendship.