Sunday, May 8, 2011

A Door Marked Cancer

As most of you know we moved to Bountiful in January. One day when Anna was moving boxes she felt a pain under her right arm. It felt like a little ball was under her arm up against her ribcage. In talking with Sarah, Anna's sister, one day she recommended that it be looked at by a doctor. An appointment was scheduled, a mammogram carried out, and biopsies of the "areas of concern" conducted. Three different areas were looked at, the one under arm which ended up being a lymph node, and two different sites in her right breast called micro-calcifications. Each of the biopsies were positive for cancer. It was discovered that Anna has 'Metastatic Carcinoma, Grade 2/3': Breast Cancer. From what we know at this point it is an Estrogen and Progesterone receptor positive cancer (not too sure what that means exactly), but our doctor who referred us to the Huntsman Center said it was a cancer that usually responds well to treatments.

We thought this blog would be a good way to keep our friends and family updated with this new phase of our lives. The name of the blog was inspired from an interchange shortly after the doctor called with the news. Through tears Anna and Ben looked at each other and Anna said "I just don't want this in my life; I just don't want to go through this". Needless to say Ben agreed. However, this is a new phase and direction our lives are taking and like it or not we are walking through this doorway together. We are not sure what is on the other side or what we will need to go through to get through it but the things we are sure of is the love and support of our family and friends.

Our adventures continue May 11th when we meet with a doctor at the Huntsman Cancer Institute in Salt Lake. We will continue to learn more about what is in store for us. Hopefully we will be able to start to addressing things as quickly as possible.

Our mental and emotional state at this time is readiness. For those of you who know Anna she doesn't like to dilly dally and is anxious to get things started. We think the first step will be more testing to see if the cancer is located anywhere else. We hope to be able to keep this blog as up to date as possible. Feel free to comment or contact us. Here we go...


  1. Anna and Ben,

    Oh gosh, I don't know what to say. I am so sorry for your news. I'm sure that you are feeling anxious and nervous, and I won't bother you with all of the "it's going to be okay" stuff. Because, when you're a mother that's all that matters...being there to raise those adorable children. My heart is with your family, and you will be in our prayers and fasts. I am just so sorry. Anna, you are an amazing mother. Since we moved to Heber City I have thought about you quite a bit, and I should have let you know sooner...but your impact inspired me to put together play groups, and adventure groups where we have gone out into the community and done stuff similar to what we did in Logan (the fire station, pizza place etc). You inspired me, and still do. I would love to come and watch your kids for you sometime when you have a doctors appointment or just need a break for a date. Again, I am so sorry for what you are going through.

    God bless,
    Brittany Case

  2. I love you guys!I'm so sorry to hear of this news. It hits a little too close to home as my doctor found a lump in my breast during a routine visit a couple of weeks ago. Fortunately, through an ultra sound they discovered it was benign. The whole thing had me on edge until the tests results. I can't even imagine what you guys are going through. I love the idea of the blog. Thanks for letting us know and keeping us updated. You will be in our thoughts and prayers.

  3. We can't imagine what you are feeling right now and our hearts hurt for you and your family. You will be in our prayers and we hope that as you find out more you will know you are strong enough to face this. You two are such amazing people and we admire you so much. We have been so touched by your charity and friendship and respect you more than you know. We love you guys.

    Scott and Melissa

  4. We are so sorry that you are having to deal with are in our thoughts and prayers daily. We wish we were closer so that we could do more to help with your kids or whatever you need!!! We love you and will look forward to being able to stay connected with this blog.

  5. Anna! Please know our thoughts and prayers are with you! You truly have always been an amazing example to mr I'd love and kindness and I know those attributes will help you and your family at this time!
    Love- Ali sommer ( Warner)

  6. Anna and Family,

    We're praying for you guys!! Thanks for the blog to keep us updated. I am going to be in your area this Thursday 5/13 and maybe Friday too. I'll call you to see if I can help with the kids and/or the house, laundry,...

    Love ya,

  7. Anna, I had no idea about this. I'm so glad you let me read this blog. I love you, Anna-bannana! I will be praying for your family. You're right, you have an amazing support system. I love that whole darn family of yours. My heart is hurting so much and I feel so glad you have the priesthood close by. I'll be thinking of you and anxious to get news. You're such a stong, awesome woman and I know from your blog and just remembering you that you are an incredible mom. Oh how I wish I could take you for a Slurpee run right now! I love you, Anna!--Jes

  8. I am glad you have started this blog, we definitely want to be kept posted on her progress. Know that your family is in our prayers right now and are praying for a quick and positive outcome. God bless you and know that you are loved!

  9. Thanks for keeping us posted! You are in our prayers and thoughts.

  10. Many prayers are coming your way! I'm sorry for the news. You will be in my thoughts frequently, but especially when I drive by your old house where I used to annoy you guys by honking every time I drove by. Be strong and know that we can help you guys whenever you need it. If you're in town, we can watch kids or do whatever. Please let us know any way we can help. Again, sorry for the news, but keep in mind the Lord has ways to work things out! Always remember that.

  11. You guys are always so positive, it never ceases to amaze me. Thank you for letting us know. We will pray for you.

  12. Darl works as a statistician for a company that researches cancer, breast cancer included. I asked him what your diagnosis meant and this is what he said:

    Metastatic means that the cancer has spread to non-breast tissue. Grade 2/3 means the cell are well differentiated (they don’t look like the original tissue). Estrogen receptors are molecules on the cell surface that receive signals to tell the cell to grow or die. If the tumor is estrogen receptor positive (ER+) it means that the cells still depend on the estrogen receptors to survive. ER+ tumors grow faster when a woman is pregnant.

    I hope this helps, but if not, feel free to ignore it. We love you all and are praying for you!

  13. Our love and prayers are with your family. Thanks for letting us be with you guys through this journey. We love you.

  14. Anna,
    Your family will be in my thoughts and prayers. So sorry to hear about this. Please keep us updated on your life.

  15. Ben,Anna And Family,
    I am so sorry to hear the news and even more sorry that it has been so long since we have had a chance to visit! I hope that you know that you will be in the thoughts and prayers of all those who love you. You have always been great examples of strength, unity and love. Heavenly Father Loves us all, and your example and your obedience will help you feel that love. We have missed you guys these past few years, and look forward to visiting and seeing you again soon. You are in our prayers.

  16. Anna and Ben,

    We just wanted to let you know how sorry we are about the news and wanted to let you know that were thinking about you and your precious family. It doesn't seem fair that you have this difficult trial ahead of you. But you are not alone in this situation. There are many who love and care about you and are here to support and strengthen you.
    I think the blog is such a good idea and we will continue to read it and send our love and support at this difficult time. Anna I want to remind you just how strong, amazing, and wonderful you are to me and everyone else around you.
    We are sending many hugs and our love from Oregon and we will be thinking and praying for you and your family.

    We love you guys!
    Jeni, Ben, and Annalise

  17. Ben & Anna,
    I hope you know how much Kirk & I Love you ~ always have & always will!!! You're such awesome people & fun to be around. I've been praying for "A Miracle for Anna" since you told us at our "Mother's Day Picnic". That will now be part of my daily prayers from now on. Thanks for letting us be a part of your Blog ... We are ready at a "moments notice" to be of service to you and your Family! * Please know that we are thinking of you & Praying for your comfort and a miraculous recovery!* May the good Lord continue to Bless you!
    We Love you, Kirk & Cindy

  18. I think you know how I feel about the situation. It's crap!!!! You know I will be there whenever. Ben make sure you call and let me serve you for a change!!! You two are amazing and Anna you are one of my closest friends and I am here for you always!

  19. Anna my prayers are with you. this is beyond sucky, but the Anna i know is a fighter and you will kick this thing in the butt! Love you Anna


  20. We are so sorry to hear this. We admire and love you both. We'll keep you in our prayers!

  21. I think the blog is a wonderful way to document your journey and share it with others. My thoughts and prayers are constantly with you, especially in this time of so many uncertainties. May you both feel the added strength you need. There are more doors ahead for you. . . .

  22. Anna,
    Jamie called and told me last week and you have been on my mind ever since. Just know my thoughts and prayers from AZ are with you.
    Jamie Andersen(Higley)

  23. Oh Anna, my mother just told me about your diagnosis. I'm seconding the thoughts of all these wonderful people here. All my love and prayers are with you. You are amazing.

    Melissa Campbell Smith