Anna Marie’s Latest Update From Home

Anna Marie shares her thoughts on being back at home. Love, Sarah

What an almost unbelievable feeling it was to actually hear I would get my last chemo and be coming home! A huge thank you to my parents for packing my suitcases for me the night before leaving for the airport at 4 AM. I should have packed sooner… but typical “me” fashion, I didn’t think it would take very long (those who know me well are probably laughing right now). Reality is, I had a LOT of stuff to fit in my suitcases (I didn’t realize I had accumulated more while out there!) and I am thankful that my mom is a very gifted packer; because if left to me, I think I would have ended up leaving a lot behind. They went so above and beyond to make my time out there as special and relaxing as possible, under the circumstances, and I’m very grateful to them for making the chemo out there possible.

It was overwhelming to get close to home and see Gigi and almost the entire Maxwell family assembled with welcome signs and balloons. Two new Maxwells joined our ranks while I was gone, and it was special to see Jesse’s wife, Anna, and John and Chelsy’s little Elliot amongst the welcoming crew! Cheers and laughter mingled with happy tears. It was SO good to see everyone again, and I felt so loved with the effort they all put into my welcome.

The children were bursting with stories and things to show me. Even Elizabeth took my hand and led me through the house showing me the little award signs Aunt Mary made for each of the children (Elizabeth’s says #1 snuggler 🙂 ). It’s sweet how much more Elizabeth is talking, and it’s neat to see ways the older four have all grown. They’re becoming great helpers, too! I’ve loved the snuggles, story times, singing times, etc. Of course, all the children were anxious to lavish their loving attention on Simon Peter, whose life for the last three+ months has been in a home of four adults. He has adjusted well and seems to enjoy all the little people pals. One of his favorite things to do is lie on the floor and kick his feet – and it is pretty cute when his siblings decide to join him. 🙂

To be very transparent, the first few days at home were more emotion-laden for me than I imagined they would be. I was disappointed to find myself crying so often. I think somehow coming home, all the emotions of the last twelve months hit me, combined with the fact that I’m on some hormone therapy and my energy and blood levels were probably at an all-time low. Once I realized what was happening and I started “focusing on my thoughts, not my feelings” (as encouraged in the Quieting A Noisy Soul Bible study I’ve been doing), things started getting better. I’m sure it also helped that I got rested up, too. Physical and spiritual well-being definitely go hand-in-hand in many ways. But God’s grace is sufficient for each need if I humbly accept it!

We met with the medical oncologist in Kansas City on Tuesday. We liked him in person as much as we did on our phone consult. He was supportive of our general approach so far; to the point of saying it’s exactly what he would have recommended (surgery followed by chemo). Right now we are waiting to hear from the financial coordinator at the hospital’s cancer center who is working on my care plan before we can schedule treatments. The plan is to start treatment in the next week or two. Currently the plan is that the treatments will primarily be the newly-announced subcutaneous injections that I should be able to do myself.

It was interesting to hear that the oncologist thinks my blood counts will stay in the lower range while I’m on the anti-HER2 therapy (through April). There’s another oral HER2 blocker I’ll probably be on for another year (so through April 2022) and I don’t know what effects that will have. But it definitely seems like I’ll be somewhat immune-compromised for the foreseeable future, which complicates trying to figure out what our socialization looks like. It seems like we have a lot of decisions and things like that kind of in the air right now, so we appreciate prayer for wisdom.

The cancer center our oncologist works at is associated with the hospital where Simon Peter was born, so it was neat to end up right near the same exit we came out six months ago with our little baby! What a journey this has been… from that exit, to New York, to Washington, and back again. God has been holding us up in every place, and I know He will continue to hold us up wherever else this journey leads us.

Anna Marie

“The eternal God is thy refuge,
and underneath are the everlasting arms…”
Deuteronomy 33:27

18 thoughts on “Anna Marie’s Latest Update From Home”

  1. Your comments had me in tears! Happy tears!

    One day I was driving down the highway going to see my granddaughters who live an hour away. I was in the fast lane keeping up with traffic going 80 in a 70 mph zone. It hit me that I had prayed for His safety that morning and here I was not doing my part but expecting God to do his. This is also something I have thought about with covid and social distancing since I am high risk for ending up in the hospital if I should get it.

    I told you this hoping it will help on deciding your socializing plans. Sometimes its not easy, but when done hand in hand with God His comfort is always there.

    You are in my prayers,

  2. Hi Anna Marie,

    Thanks for sharing this with us. So glad you are sharing also about “Quieting a Noisy Soul” and a specific help from it.

    One day at a time, keeping your eyes seeking Him just for His path for each day. Praying for wisdom for planning with regards to the need to keep social distance.

    GRACE and PEACE and MERCY be with you.

    Sarah and family

  3. Always enjoy hearing from Anna Marie. Praying that home life gets back to a bit more normal for all of the Maxwell family.


  4. It’s perfectly fine to allow yourself to feel all those emotions! You’ve been through so much and you’re incredibly brave! It’s healthy to allow yourself to cry or feel whatever emotion you have! Please don’t ever feel guilty about being emotional!

    1. I agree with this comment! Crying is sometimes the best medicine! God made us able to both laugh and cry – “a time to weep, and a time to laugh”.

      In the midst of everything going on, you took the time to create this post. Thank you!! Thank you for sharing so honestly about your journey – it is so encouraging to many.

      You’re on “the list” – my prayer list, that is. 🙂

  5. May God continue blessing you and guiding you through this journey. I will continue praying for you and your entire family.

  6. Your life has been turned upside down and you have been through A LOT!! Please don’t be hard on yourself for the crying! I don’t want to even imagine how difficult and challenging this has been for you!! But I can see that you don’t want to be dominated and controlled by your emotions. I think everyone out here still loves you the same and we don’t look down on you for the emotions!! 🙂 You are so special to us and such an encouragement!!

    I looked up the Quieting a Noisy Soul. The whole set is rather expensive. But there is a book that is affordable. Did you get the whole set or just the book? If I can only afford the book, will that cover the same info in the set??

    I will continue to pray for you that you will have wisdom in all the things that concern you!!

    So glad everything is going good with being home!!!

  7. Anna Marie, you are so brave and courageous!!!! I know its because you are staying so close to the Lord. You are wise also!! Special wisdom given to you by the Lord for such a time as this.
    Thank You for sharing! I always look forward to getting to know how you and your family are doing.
    You have a wonderful support system. That alone is huge in times like these.

    My prayers are with you.

  8. Thank you so much for sharing your journey with us. The Lord will use this time of trial and testing in your life for His glory and His purposes. I’m deeply touched by the strength of your faith and your continual reliance upon Him for every aspect of life. What a blessing that you were able to stay with your parents and sister to receive such love and care. It warms my heart to see the picture of the other children circled around Simon Peter. What a joy for them and for you to finally be back home! You will definitely remain in my prayers.

  9. You are so brave and I enjoyed reading about your journey these last few months! You have been through so much this year and it is completely okay to allow yourself to feel your emotions. I pray that you continue to take comfort in God and your family during this time.

  10. Dear Anna Marie,
    My father is a cancer survivor. While being treated, he saw a kind and caring counselor who specialized in oncology patients. This really helped him cope with his complex emotions. Now he is well and not only that, he has become a chaplain at that same hospital which treated him. Prayers for your healing and strength.

  11. Oh Anna Marie, please don’t feel bad about being bad. God gifted humanity the ability to cry for a reason, and that is so that we might see each others’ pain and reach out in love and kindness, to lift each other up in times of need.

    Remember: “Blessed are ye that weep now: for ye shall laugh” (Matthew 5:3), and “Blessed are they that mourn: for they shall be comforted” (Luke 6:21). We cry that God my send us comfort in the form of our family and friends, and lead us to laughter.

    Might I suggest finding a group of women who are going through similar to you and spending some time with them? I’ve known many going through what you are who have gone to such gatherings who found it extremely encouraging. Fellowship is so important, but especially when we are going through what seems to be the worst imaginable. It is another gift from God!

  12. Dear Anna Marie,
    Thank you for your journal during this time. I have watched your from the beginning of your married life and the live stream wedding. I continue to think of you and pray daily.

  13. I am also in treatment for breast cancer, and I have received a lot of wisdom about the emotional rollercoaster. Sadness, fear, anxiety, and grief are such normal emotions for you to be feeling right now. Each of those emotions causes a physiological reaction in the body. It’s important to acknowledge and feel your emotions, and then do something to flush the actual physical reaction from your body – a hot bath, some gentle movement, or a good cry! So don’t be disappointed that you’re crying a lot – your body just knows what it needs to do to flush that fear and sadness out. I’m keeping you and your family in my prayers.

  14. So pleased to hear you are home enjoying your family once more!

    Your cancer sounds similar to mine in that it was also HER2 and I received an IV infusion for 12 months after my last chemo treatment. I had heard that injections and oral treatments were coming, and I’m glad to hear that you are able to take advantage of them! Better than sitting in the chemo room every month ; )

    You may be taking something different, but I had no side effects that I noticed from the Herceptin I took, although they did monitor my heart very closely as that was the concern with that particular HER2 drug. I pray it goes smoothly for you and real healing can begin! Blessings, Anna Marie.

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