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I have breast cancer and am a snappy dancer

Monday, December 3, 2012

the news we didn't want....................

Well, PJ and I rec'd the news we didn't want on Friday - and I'm going to be very blunt here, if you don't mind.  My liver is shutting down and there's nothing they can do about it.  Seems my billirubin jumped a whole point last Thurs then again on Fri - and they (meaning the medical director of CTCA and the intake dr. for inpatient) said any further treatment will cause my liver to shut down completely immediately.  My liver has been beat up so much, it is currently working at 600% capacity more than it should be.  Not good.
At first I cried, then stopped, then cried again.  That seems to be the pattern.  I cry, then stop, then cry, then stop.

So I've been sent home to live out the remainder of my life, wth a Hospice team. I can't fucking believe it. Party of me thinks - I go through this crappy shit, all this chemo, theresphere, quadrasphere - and this is what I get?  None of it worked, the cancer kept growing, and here i am. 

Then, on the other hand, I'm so tired.  So tired of fighting, I just want to live out these following days, weeks, months - whatever (I'm pretty yellow so that's why I stop at months) here with my family and friends.  However, the sucky part (not that it all doesn't suck) is that I still have the broken pelvis, the edema, the neuropathy that is affecting my living.  Like I don't get to enjoy the remaining time without this excruciating pain - everywhere - and that sucks.

I feel like I'm in some sort of movie.  Like it's happening all around me, but not to me directly.  If that makes sense.  We elected to tell our family first.  Told my mom, and she cried a little, taking it all in. 
Told my sweet angels, which was the singlemost heartbreaking thing I've ever had to do I think.  I watched their faces and they just dropped.  Madeline started crying a little, then said 'Mom I wish we had three lives, then we could live one, die then come back and live again'.  Ginger looked at me with no expression and said 'It's my fault'.  I held her close and said "no, no my sweet angel, it's not your fault - it's not anyone's fault".  Told my sister, who was quiet and stoic.  She asked if I wanted her to come out earlier than Jan, I said I didn't know.  I don't know how to answer this question.  It's like by me answering I'm saying "yea, I think  may die then".  Then my daddy and his beautiful wife Nancy.  Also heart wrenching.  To hold my father in my arms on the couch and both of us sob together.  This is surreal.  Now here.  Christmas is usually my ultimate obsession, however now, not so much.  I'm so crushed that I wasn't able to experience NYC with my family, it was one of my lifelong dreams to show my kids the Thanksgiving
Day parade, which we didn't do because of my mothers health decline.  Little did we know.  I suppose it just wasn't supposed to happen.  I need to trust that.

My body is just unrecognizable to me.  My belly is distended, my skin color is yellowing, I hardly have the strength to get around so the walker is my best friend these days.  So I avoid mirrors these days.  And of course I would have JUST placed like the biggest MAC order of my life.  Any one interested in some fabUlous MAC makeup barely used?  Grrr.

I'm not afraid to die.  I can't wait to meet Jesus with open arms.  But I wish it wasn't now.  I want so bad to be a wife to my husband and grow old together.  I have sooooo much to teach my girls, about being girls, and women, and wives.  Why is this being taken away from me?    We purchased a video camera from Walmart so I can start working on recording messages to them.  To be honest, I don' know where to start.  My friend Jennifer had a great idea of sending them birthday cards, which I will start on this week.  It is all so overwhelming.

I've been sitting here at the kitchen table now for a couple of hours typing and my feet are filling with fluid, and it's me and the girls home here alone this morning, so I'll need to sign off here. But not to worry, I'll be back.  This blog will again become what I need to get through this. 

God Bless -



  1. Oh dear Dina, I'm here for you, as much or as little as you need. We're coming tomorrow for lunch, Anna, Noel and I, and I so look forward to catching up. Peace to you- not as the world gives- but only as He can give.

  2. There are no words. I am so sorry. I am praying for spiritual "manna" by day, hour and minute for all of you. As before, I (and/or Joey) are here for you, PJ, and the girls if we could be of any help. May God's comfort and peace overwhelm your pain.

  3. Dina....I met you once at your comedy fund raiser in Tempe with my sis-in-law Amy. I have been following your blog since then. I have been and will continue to pray for you, PJ and the girls. I am just heart broken for you all.

    Much love and prayers


  4. Dina, I don't know you, and I stumbled upon your blog by pure chance. I just want to send you some love and hugs right now. I'm so sorry for this. Don't you worry your dear heart about your angels ... they know your courage, dignity, and strength. xo

  5. I also am a reader who fairly recently stumbled upon your blog. This is so unfair. I hope that pain relief and comfort become a top priority for your medical team as you deserve it. Hugs.

  6. Heartbroken for the pain you and your beautiful Family are going through. You're strength and life are inspirational. Prayers and love being sent your way.

  7. Dina, thank you for sharing your journey & your life with us. I can't begin to understand why any of this is happening to you, who deserves only happiness and health, but He has the answers! I love you and will keep you, PJ and the girls in my prayers... always!

  8. Absolutely nothing to say that will lift your mood or make this all 'ok.' Absolutely nothing. I can't wait to meet you when the devil has finally been defeated.Give you a huge hug and know that my chest will be touching the chest of a HEALTHY, pain-free happy Dina. pray your children will live their lives looking forward to it,to give a HEALTHY, PAIN-FREE YOU the smooshiest hugs ever.

  9. Like Thandi, I feel inadequate and like many others who follow your blog we have never met, and yet I feel like I know you. Your brutal honesty and faith are incredible, and they matter to those with whom you have shared them. I will be in prayer for you and your family, but in addition to that if there things I (we) can DO, please do not hesitate to reach out; to cook meals, buy Christmas gifts, send money, and etc. As I read this post I was drawn to the words of Psalm 91, a passage you have mentioned several times over the last several years.

    1 Those who live in the shelter of the Most High
    will find rest in the shadow of the Almighty.
    2 This I declare about the Lord:
    He alone is my refuge, my place of safety;
    he is my God, and I trust him.
    3 For he will rescue you from every trap
    and protect you from deadly disease.
    4 He will cover you with his feathers.
    He will shelter you with his wings.
    His faithful promises are your armor and protection.
    5 Do not be afraid of the terrors of the night,
    nor the arrow that flies in the day.
    6 Do not dread the disease that stalks in darkness,
    nor the disaster that strikes at midday.
    7 Though a thousand fall at your side,
    though ten thousand are dying around you,
    these evils will not touch you.
    8 Just open your eyes,
    and see how the wicked are punished.

    9 If you make the Lord your refuge,
    if you make the Most High your shelter,
    10 no evil will conquer you;
    no plague will come near your home.
    11 For he will order his angels
    to protect you wherever you go.
    12 They will hold you up with their hands
    so you won’t even hurt your foot on a stone.
    13 You will trample upon lions and cobras;
    you will crush fierce lions and serpents under your feet!

    14 The Lord says, “I will rescue those who love me.
    I will protect those who trust in my name.
    15 When they call on me, I will answer;
    I will be with them in trouble.
    I will rescue and honor them.
    16 I will reward them with a long life
    and give them my salvation.”

    1. That is also my favorite chapter of Psalms. Just saying it is reassuring. Thank you for sharing this during this difficult time.

  10. Dina, Like everyone else, I have no words to express how I feel. I am so sorry. My prayers are with you, PJ and the girls. Like the person above, if you need anything please let us know, you have lots of people that love you and would like to help. I would love to come in see you. LEt me know if that works for you. Love you Dina, peace be with you!


  11. Dear Dina,I am so very sorry to hear of your news. You and your family are in my incessant prayers for your comfort and peace. I cherish the time I had with you personally when you were one of "my" girls in MOPS when Ginger was a new baby. And the time we were roommies at the retreat. And I'm so grateful for the visit you made to me when I was sick with the flu. You are a true friend and a shining light for all of us who have had the pleasure of your company. I think of you and pray for you each day. This being so unfair makes it difficult for any of us to see the sense in it all. But we must continue to trust and obey our one true Lord, who loves us and will never leave or forsake us in our time of trouble. I am also here for you and the family. God bless you in every minute of you days. I love you as a daughter. Sheila Adams

  12. Have been completely heartbroken for 2 days and words seem so inadequate. I have been following you for over a year and a half, praying for you, PJ and your girls every day. I can not even comprehend why this is happening to you but please know how very deeply you have touched my life. Although we have never met I feel like you have let us all into your world and I know that I have been pulling for you every step of the way. your faith has inspired me, your strength amazed me and now both are what will get you through. As a Mother and wife I cry with you as I can only imagine how you are feeling, but we truly must remember our eternal life with the Lord. To know that we will spend eternity with the ones we love free from pain and suffering, there is nothing greater. If there is anything that you need I would be honored to help you, please know that there are so many of us praying for you. God bless you, you have made such an impact in my life.

  13. Dina-
    I am so sorry to hear the latest news effecting you & your family. Words often fall short during times like this...I'll be praying that the Lord will comfort you (and your lovely family)-physically, spiritually & emotionally. May His peace & presence dwell in your home as He draws you closer unto Himself. Will pray that you'll be given the strength to enjoy your time w/ PJ & the girls...making lasting memories. My thoughts & prayer go out to you all-
    Beth C.

  14. I have been on and off following you since you pretty much started hoping and praying to find you say "yay cancer free!" ___________ Sigh! My mother died of cancer when I was 9. She was diagnoesd in December of 1978 and died in April of 1979. I want you to not give up until the end - drink carrot juice and wheat grass juice ANY THING to not give up. But I want to tell you I think you've done a great job involving your husband and your family and especially your girls. Don't hide from them. I LOVE the card idea. Bloody heck I'm crying for you! DOn't give up yet.

  15. Dina
    I am so honored to know you. You are amazing...what God...Your Beloved is working in you. As i viewed your FB pictures, I cried...wiped my tears and cried some more. The joy on your face and the innocence of your girls and the undying love of your amazing husband...What a legacy you have. Keep snapping pictures as long as you fingers will push the button...capture every moment and every breath...Your legacy is captured in the hearts of all who are blessed to know you.
    Much love and prayers

  16. Dearest Dina, you and your family are so totally in my heart and prayers... That will continue as you proceed through this unplanned journey. I will call tomorrow to explore some thoughts that some of your friends and I have had... Please know how very much we care! May God hold you tightly in the palm of His hand...
    Love and blessings, in the midst of it all...
    Carol M.

  17. You have touched my life as a Discussion Group Leader, MOPs leader (for two years), Mrs. Hannigan and as a person of extreme faith - as I have never seen before. You are a comic and one of the most giving people I know. The honesty that you share in your blog is the authenticity that we should all strive for. You do all things on a grand scale and that, my friend is how you have managed to touch EVERYONE in a way that moves us all. Thank you, thank you, thank you!!

  18. Dear Dina, I just read your post, and my heart is breaking for you and your family. I have been praying for you and your family and will continue to do so. Your courage, faith, and willingness to share this most difficult time have been an inspiration to me and, I'm sure, to all who have followed your blog. I'm praying that God will grant you the time you need to make birthday cards for your girls, to create memories for them, your husband and your family and to spend every possible moment with them. My own dear sister-in-law died just two days ago, only two months after being diagnosed with lung cancer. It is a terrible insidious disease, taking so many good and kind people from us all. Tonight, as I lay down to sleep, I'll pray the last of Psalm 4 for you as I have prayed it for myself and those I love so many times: "I will lie down in peace and sleep comes at once, for you alone, Lord, make me dwell in safety." You are and always will be able to rest in the Lord, for He will protect and watch over you, your husband, your children and your family. Much love to you and many blessings, janet garrison

  19. I'm sobbing uncontrollably. All I can say is I adore you. Your talent, your humor. You got to do another show and have another baby and frankly, I'm pissed we didn't get to go to the diner again. I'm a sobbing mess. I love you, girl. Please call me soon so we can chat. I want to hear your voice and just laugh and cry with you. I love you. Love, Sami

  20. Oh Dina...I don't even know what to say. I hate that you're going through this. You deserve the best that life has to offer. I can't even imagine what you're going through and being able to do it with such grace as you are. Thank you for sharing with us and letting us see what strength and courage really is. You're an inspiration to me. Now just rest, wrap yourself in love and be at peace.
    I love you.

  21. Dear Dina--I'm praying for God's comfort, peace, strength, and joy to surround you & your family so completely as only He could do at this time. I have seen and continue to see God working through you in the most unbelievable ways. I love you like a daughter, Dina. How precious you are...
    Love, Sana

  22. Dina, I am heartbroken and have stalled in posting here because I don't know what to say other than that you are amazing, and I admire you so damn much, and I'm angry that your time with your family is growing short. But I have this one continual thought - since reading that Ginger said it was her fault - and I think it is a really big one: you've been fighting so hard for so long, and it's not gone the way you or anyone hoped and prayed it would go, but it's not for nothing, because Ginger is old enough now to remember you always. What these years have given to her, are her own clear memories of her extraordinary mother. She won't have to live on stories that other people tell her about you -- she will have her own stories. She will remember you at Disney, in Annie, singing in church, bouncing on the trampoline with her and Mads. She will remember your smile and your laughter and how great your hugs feel. She will remember snuggling in bed with you. Isn't that really the greatest gift, that you got to have this extra time with her, so that she, like PJ and Madeline and Britt and everyone else in your cherished community, will have her own experience of you to carry with her in her heart every day. Through all the tears, I am just so glad that she gets to have that, only because you and PJ have fought so damn hard for so long. You need to be proud of that, my friend, because it's huge.

    I love you and will keep on praying for you & your family. Knowing you has changed my life, Dina. God's honest truth. I am blessed to know you, and though it is heartwrenching, I am not surprised that God wants you back.

    I doubt you're looking at FB these days but today a friend posted a cartoon I thought would make you laugh - it was of Jesus talking to someone, and he says, "When you see just one set of footprints, that was when I carried you. And when you see that long groove, that was when i dragged you kicking and screaming." I haven't experience you kicking and screaming (tho I'm sure you've had those times), but I have experience such grace and courage coming from you... and your ever-constant faith and trust in God. You are a miracle. I love you, Dina.

  23. I love you so much Dina. You are always in my thoughts and prayers. Wayne

  24. I am at a loss for words. I just want to hug you and tell you so many things. You are an amazing person Dina and I can't even tell you how many times you have made me laugh recollecting things you've said or done. These are things that I have passed on to my children believe it or not. I can't stop crying this morning even though I know the tears are selfish. I really have never known anyone funnier or more genuine than you. I am thankful for that, I truly am.

    May God hold you and your family in his gentle hands.


  25. Dina, words cannot describe the feelings I have after reading this post. My heart is so heavy for you and your family. I cannot imagine what you are going through. I wish I could take away your pain and make this cancer just disappear. I was absolutely convinced that you would be healed as so many of us have been praying for you and asking others to pray for you from the very start. But I have learned the hard way that our will and God's will are not always the same...resulting in the repetitive question "Why???" "All things work together for good" (Romans 8:28) is always His answer to me whenever I ask that question. But I don't completely understand that answer. Then I am reminded we may not always understand His ways but we must simply trust His will. Easier said than done during such difficult times.

    But I pray that you will find peace that surpasses all understanding (Philippians 4:6-7).

    Just by reading the comments on your blog and on your FB page, it is clearly evident that you have touched so many hearts and you continue to do so....what an awesome legacy you continue to create!!! You are a true blessing to so many. Thank you for being the amazing person that you are and for allowing us to be a part of your journey. God bless you and your family. You are loved!!!!!!!!!!! XOXOXOXO

  26. So. Here goes.

    Back when we lived in New York and that tiny little apartment in Astoria we were hanging out on the sofa one evening watching TV together. It was Law and Order SVU, it must have been one of the very earliest seasons....anyway, we were totally wrapped up in it, and after watching the whole thing it just kind of ended with a sucky ending. And you got up and went to go in to the kitchen and you said, "I don't know about that show. I don' know if I like it. The way they end them makes you feel like there should have been more, and it should have turned out better."

    And right now, that's kind of how I am feeling. There should be more, and it should turn out better.

    I am sending you love and happiness...and happy thoughts. For instance...here's one. Same couch, maybe even the same day. TC comes running out of my bedroom with the shoelaces to one of my boots in his mouth. And he's terrified of the boot clomping after him....but too dumb/stubborn to know that he has to let it go to make it stop. That was awesome. And really funny. He was clearly a comedian's cat.

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