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Support and baby steps

When I first started this site up several years ago, it looked a little different.  I band-aided together a couple of software packages and made it work.  I would watch the little counter go up shortly.  1 hit here, 4 hits there, etc as friends and family would trickle in.  It was something to do to pass the time waiting for news.

It was lonely.

Yesterday we had over 35,000 hits and drove our friend’s server into the ground!  THAT’S the kind of impact my wife has had over the years.  That’s not counting all the social media sites she’s gotten into.  I keep her cell phone on me because it jiggles when she gets an email for some things I just can’t figure out.  It jiggled all day.  I like it because it’s a constant reminder that people are thinking of us.  I’m going to keep it that way for a while.

I asked for someone to lean on….apparently we have the world.  And somehow that includes her favorite teen crush of all time….the karate kid, Ralph Macchio.  I’ve still got to figure that one out.

You ALL inspire me and hold me up at times.  It kind of feels like that moment in Rocky….where he ran alone at first, then the entire city of kids ran behind him later.


So, Friday was a day of waiting.  We decided that maybe we were pushing her too hard and would just talk “around” her, instead of aggravating her.

They ordered another cat scan, after Natalie pushed hard for it.  Sometimes with a medical staff, you’ve got to drive them.  We learned that with Peyton, and it served us well.  Plus with a weekend coming up, they never order tests over a weekend unless there’s a significant change.  Three day weekends are a challenge to wait through.  Bless her for pushing for that.

No news is generally a good thing, so we waited rather impatiently all day long.  We waited and talked.  We talked about the kids.  We talked about things Anissa’s done.  We talked about current events.  We laughed some, we cried some.  Mostly, we waited.  It was that polite conversation you do when there’s something you’re dancing around.  Another friend came up to stay for a while.

Anissa got a bath, new sheets, had a picc line installed.  She gets a little cranky when they mess with her.

Then, last night, around the time they do a shift change, we were talking to her, focusing on her, asking her to open her eyes.

She did.

She kept trying to keep them open for a good 35 minutes.  She also tried to sit up some.

We don’t think there’s any recognition yet, but we do think she’s hearing us.  I keep telling her simple phrases like, “I love you”.

These are baby steps, but very encouraging baby steps.

The cat scan finally came back shortly afterwards:  No degradation, slight improvement.

We’re getting there.

On the home front, the girls are doing remarkably well.  I’m concerned for Nathaniel.  He’s my oldest and a tenderheart like his dad.  He’s old enough to understand what’s going on with his mom, and he’s scared/nervous.  On the outside, he’s being his normal goofy self.  Even got in trouble for doing another kids homework for money the other day.  On the inside, he’s hurting like no other and doesn’t want to show it.  I’m very thankful that his best friend in the whole world gets up here today and will be here all week.  The non-estrogen support will be welcome.  The lego battles will be monumental.  The adventures in the back yard will be better than they’ve ever been.  The forts will be huge, and they will wage war on everything…including that fear in the back of his head.

249 Comments on “Support and baby steps”

  1. #1 Mental P Mama
    on Nov 22nd, 2009 at 9:11 am

    Hugs, prayers and light coming at you all from Connecticut. She’s gonna beat this!

  2. #2 Fran
    on Nov 22nd, 2009 at 9:37 am

    I have faith that God is hearing our prayers. I trust His tender mercy. I’m praying for healing for Anissa and strength for you all.

  3. #3 Mary@Holy Mackerel
    on Nov 22nd, 2009 at 10:40 am

    Peter, Thank you for the updates. Sending lots of love your and Anissa’s way. Glad you’re pushing the medical team. We learned that too, when our son had cancer. You have to be their advocate, no matter what.

    Take care.

  4. #4 Mommy Cracked
    on Nov 22nd, 2009 at 10:42 am

    Thinking of you all and praying for a full recovery for Anissa.

  5. #5 Erin
    on Nov 22nd, 2009 at 11:06 am

    I am astounded at your strength in writing this so eloquently, despite everything. My prayers are frequent and strong for you.

  6. #6 Christine
    on Nov 22nd, 2009 at 11:07 am

    Thinking of you guys each and every day.

  7. #7 lori smart
    on Nov 22nd, 2009 at 11:48 am

    Peter – After reading your last couple of posts, I have to say your writing is fantastic – I think it even rivals Anissa’s. Seriously! Thank you so much for your posts, and I am glad you feel the love being sent to you from around the world. I’m sure Anissa feels it too. So happy for the “baby steps,” she sure is a tough cookie that one. As someone else posted already – I’ll bet she is pissed! That spirit will bring her back, I’m sure of it. Don’t forget to tell her you are posting your updates, but maybe you should wait to tell her how well you are doing with that! 🙂 Sending love your way from Tampa – Lori Smart

  8. #8 Jana B.
    on Nov 22nd, 2009 at 12:32 pm

    So I thought that my post was sent yesterday, but apparently not…so again, just wanted to let you know that we are all praying for you and your entire family!
    Yet again, another stranger that read about your situation through another blog, your wife seems like a magnificent woman and you are by far magnificent for being by her side!
    Prayers, many many prayers are being sent your way! Thanks for the updates! There are reason’s for everything and you have brought a lot of people together!
    Your entire family sounds like they are FIGHTER’S!!! So keep on fightin’ and we will all be here to root Anissa and your family on!

    ~Jana from Germantown OH

  9. #9 Jenn
    on Nov 22nd, 2009 at 12:49 pm

    Hi Peter,

    You don’t know me….my name is Jenn and I love in Ontario Canada. I got to know of your wife thanks to Heather’s site. Since then, I have read some of your wifes words and I must say they had a HUGE impact on me. After only reading a few words from your wife’s posts, I was so impressed and knew, I would love to become her “real” friend one day.

    I just wanted you to know your family now has a new “Stranger Friend” from Canada. I must admit when I read your post about your son, I started to cry. My oldest son is 12 and he is also a very tender heart. I know how hurt my son becomes so I can just imagine what your son is going through.

    If he ever wants a pen pal (well…e-mail pal) from Canada. I know my son would love a new friend.

    Well, I know you are probably exhausted so I will end this now. You are an amazing husband…Anissa is lucky to have you as her partner.

    Please take care and know….you are NEVER alone.

    Your New Stranger Friend,

  10. #10 Karen MEG
    on Nov 22nd, 2009 at 12:54 pm

    Peter, I just found out – I’ve been out of blogland and twitter for the last little while and I am so shocked – I just came by via Lotus’ site. I met Anissa in Chicago in July and had such an amazing connection – she’s a beautiful woman, with amazing strength and spirit. My heart and prayers are going out to you and your kiddos, and especially wishing lovely Anissa much strength and love as she pulls through this.

    Karen MEG from Canada.

  11. #11 Suki
    on Nov 22nd, 2009 at 3:31 pm

    A little progress is better than nothing.
    I hope the kids do well every day. I only can imagine the fear they must experience.
    Still praying for Anissa

  12. #12 Mary Jane
    on Nov 22nd, 2009 at 3:43 pm

    I am totally blown away with how strong this family is. You all amaze me. Humbles me with my daily complaints and whines!
    I also am thrilled, as an anonymous face in bloggerville, to hear every little bit of progress Anissa makes. I’ve followed quietly through Peyton’s battle and rejoiced in her victories. I finally had to speak up though, after hearing about Anissa. She’s one tough cookie, as are all of you.
    Good to see that there will be a shot of testosterone in the house for a few days to help balance some of the estrogen you’re drowning in! LOL I’m sure that it will help your son in ways that we or even you could not. What a struggle this must be for him, given his age. He is aware of the harsh realities that his mother is facing.
    Prayers for you all, and especially for Anissa!

  13. #13 Lisa
    on Nov 22nd, 2009 at 4:04 pm

    Last night, I accidently found a blog asking for prayers for Annissa and what a wonderful person she is. There were dozens of sites saying the same thing.

    Up until that moment, you were all strangers to me but I started to read Peyton’s blog and now this and was brought to tears. All morning I have been sharing what I found with friends.

    PLease know there are dozens of prayers coming your way for you and for yours…

  14. #14 Amy @ The Bitchin' Wives Club
    on Nov 22nd, 2009 at 4:11 pm

    That is fantastic news about Anissa and makes me believe that all the prayers are working! She is in so many people’s thoughts right now and I am so happy that you are using her network to keep everyone informed about her.

  15. #15 Thea Strassburg
    on Nov 22nd, 2009 at 5:19 pm

    I stumbled on this site today (Nov. 22) after googling an author, Jen Lancaster. Not sure how I got here but I did.
    I worked in trauma/ heart transplant for many years. I remember a beautiful youg lady, off to college to major in music, whose life was changed in an instance by a grunk driver.
    She came into the ICU with a major, life threatening head injury. She was in a coma for 6 weeks with her wonderful parents by her side every moment.
    When she finally left the hospital for rehab, her only response was the occasional eye movement, following her nurse or parent across the room.
    The doctors said he would probably would never recover.
    12 month later, that young lady and her parents walked back into the ICU and asked for us.
    I could not believe my eyes. She was getting back to school, smiling and talking. She had no memory of ever being in our ICU though. It was one of the most satisfying moments in my life.
    I asked her mom, what could we, the hospital staff, have done better.
    And she said “offered us hope”.
    From that day on, I realized that “being realistic” with families of the critically ill, does not always mean ” being realistic”. “Realism” is very subjective in the medical field. “Hope” is realistic. “Hope” is what built civilization, what drives us to find cures, what what allows us to visualize what the future may hold, and drives out despair. It lifts us and drives us, what holds us up in the darkest hour.
    “Hope” is the essence of life.
    And what makes us fight. And that is what you and your family are doing. Being realistic with these familes, in my mind means knowing that there is hope that the person you love so much CAN get better, CAN recover, and unexpected and unforeseen miracles happen every single day. I have seen it. I am offering you hope that people can suffer massive injuries, and recover. Your hope, and all of ours, are powerful things. Never let go of it no matter what anyone says.
    She can come back from this. And frankly, I think she will, I have seen it myself… TS

  16. #16 Carrie
    on Nov 22nd, 2009 at 5:24 pm

    You *do* have the whole world rooting for you, for Anissa!

    Thank you again for the encouraging update – I’ll keep wishing, hoping, begging, pleading with universe for more good news!

    You keep fighting Anissa! Much love –

  17. #17 Kendra
    on Nov 22nd, 2009 at 5:27 pm

    So glad to hear about opening her eyes. I hope it helps to know that I’m another person from somewhere out in internet-land praying for Anissa.

  18. #18 Erin
    on Nov 22nd, 2009 at 6:45 pm

    I’m so very glad to hear this encouraging news on Anissa’s progress and it IS encouraging! She is getting there, for certain.

    I have no medical background but stood by a friend’s side who was in a coma for three months. Very little hope of him coming out. The third month was when he opened his eyes and even watched TV! Things progressed rapidly from there so I’m hoping and praying it will be the same for Anissa.

    We are all sending every ounce of strength, love, and support in my family, even though we’ve never met your wife. Just stumbled on her site and fell in love w/her words and her voice.

    She’s a fighter and will fight her hind end off for you all.

  19. #19 Jeanean
    on Nov 22nd, 2009 at 7:57 pm

    Somehow I found this website for Peyton and was following it everyday for the last few years!
    I only know you from the website. You are a very strong woman and funny. You can do this Anissa!!!!! You have to!!! Be strong….think of your children and husband. Think of Peyton! You will get through this!!! I have another friend, a lot older and he is doing it…slowly…but is doing it and I know you will too!!!! I’m praying for you and the road may be long ahead of you, but you will get there!!!!

  20. #20 Kathleen
    on Nov 22nd, 2009 at 8:35 pm

    Another stranger from Texas adding her voice to the chorus of support, prayers and healing.

  21. #21 Michele
    on Nov 22nd, 2009 at 8:50 pm

    Omaha sending prayers, love, hugs, hope, spirit of His LOVE for you and yours. Please keep us posted and updated as time allows. Many blessings always.

  22. #22 jennifer
    on Nov 22nd, 2009 at 8:52 pm

    Sending more prayers your way from Canada.

  23. #23 April
    on Nov 22nd, 2009 at 9:26 pm

    thank you for continuing to let us be a part of your lives. hope love (and as much cash as i can cobble together) is headed your way 🙂


  24. #24 Beerly Atkins
    on Nov 22nd, 2009 at 9:28 pm

    Thanks so much for keeping us posted. Anissa would be so proud of your eloquence (I can’t spell). We’re all praying for Anissa and the extended family. You have an army, navy, marine and air force behind you. We all love Anissa. Take care of yourself.

  25. #25 Katy
    on Nov 22nd, 2009 at 9:53 pm


    Thank you so much for your updates — I know that it’s difficult to think of posting on a blog for people you don’t even know, but you all have so much support.

    Anissa is going to pull through this, and I look forward to reading her tweets and blog posts about what we’ll all look back at as a terrifying time with a happy ending.


  26. #26 Jodi Stevens Bryce
    on Nov 22nd, 2009 at 10:05 pm

    You all are included in my prayers. You must take care of your selves during this time as well. She needs you all healthy. Peace be with you. I’m so sorry you are going thru this.

  27. #27 the muskrat
    on Nov 22nd, 2009 at 10:26 pm

    Wow…glad to see the outpouring of love y’all are getting.
    I assume you saw this in the paper yesterday?


  28. #28 Jennifer Clark
    on Nov 22nd, 2009 at 10:54 pm

    Just another “stranger” here, who has been blessed tremendously through your wife’s amazing courage and faith. Know that she and you and your kids, your entire family, are being covered in prayer by me and many of my friends and family. I was pondering yesterday about how amazing it is, given all the evil that is in our world, and that the internet has been used for – and how awesome it is that God is able to use the internet and the blogosphere to bring glory to Himself and make Himself known to people through such amazing people like your wife and your family. I pray that many more will see His glory through your wife’s incredible fight and story, and I pray for supernatural peace, strength and endurance for you and your family as you run this marathon.

  29. #29 Kristin
    on Nov 22nd, 2009 at 11:18 pm

    Any tiny sign of improvement is a blessing. Continuing to pray for you, Anissa, and your kids.

  30. #30 blissfully caffeinated
    on Nov 22nd, 2009 at 11:57 pm

    Thank you for posting these updates. Even though I don’t know anissa personally, like so many of us in the blogosphere, I know
    her story, have read her words and feel like I know her. Thinking of you and your family, praying for Anissa and all of you.

    -Jennifer @ blissfully caffeinated

  31. #31 becky
    on Nov 23rd, 2009 at 12:02 am

    Sending your family much calm, healing energy and praying for Anissa’s full recovery; her story is moving throughout the world and touching many.

    Thank you for updating when you are able.

    All. Ways. Peace.

  32. #32 Lorrian in Long Beach, CA
    on Nov 23rd, 2009 at 12:57 am

    Love, light, positive thought – all winging its way to Anissa and your family. I’m not that plugged in to the blogosphere, but the few bloggers I read all know Anissa – so now I’m here, too and pulling for you all.

    xoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxo from California.

  33. #33 T
    on Nov 23rd, 2009 at 1:14 am

    We’ve got you all in our prayers. Thank you so much for posting such an encouraging update!

    Much love to you and yours.

  34. #34 Rose/yarnivore
    on Nov 23rd, 2009 at 1:32 am

    Thinking of Anissa and the rest of your family. Just another internet stranger touched by your story and Anissa’s wonderful sense of humor.

  35. #35 Jill Bonilla
    on Nov 23rd, 2009 at 1:34 am


    You are in my prayers Girlfriend! The Lord is with you each and every minute of EVERY day! He will get you through this. We all know how strong you are. You keep fighting girl!!!!! I can’t wait to hear from you!

    Love You,
    Jill Bonilla

  36. #36 bermudabluez
    on Nov 23rd, 2009 at 2:49 am

    My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family. Keep on fighting!!

  37. #37 Janice (5 Minutes for Mom)
    on Nov 23rd, 2009 at 4:07 am

    I am just so thrilled to read such good news! I know it is a hard long road – but I am soooooooo relieved Anissa is taking that road and fighting.

    I am blinking through my tears as I think of your son. I have a tenderhearted boy myself and I can only imagine his pain — and yours knowing how badly he is suffering.

    What an incredible blessing that all of you have such incredible support!!!

    God Bless – and we are still praying and thinking of you all constantly!

  38. #38 Kathryn
    on Nov 23rd, 2009 at 4:47 am

    So 35,001 hits ! I heard about Anissa through The Sphors are Multiplying blog and now I find myself checking in several times a day to see if there is some good news about Anissa. I’m glad she’s such a strong fighter, but I’m even more thankful that she has such a huge outpouring of love and support for her and also for the rest of her family. That says a lot about her personality.

    So good thoughts and well wishes from 1 more supporter in Berlin, Germany.

    Keep fighting Anissa!

  39. #39 Denise
    on Nov 23rd, 2009 at 5:35 am

    Just so you know, I am in China, Shanghai, and heard about Anissa through “The Spoohrs are Multiplying” blog too. I would like for Anissa, you and your family to know that me and my family are praying for you all from this side of the world!

    Keep the good fight going, girl!!! You have touched the WHOLE world with your love for life!!!

  40. #40 maryleih
    on Nov 23rd, 2009 at 9:16 am

    Your family is in my prayers!

  41. #41 AmyInOhio
    on Nov 23rd, 2009 at 10:10 am

    Man you inspire me. Anissa was always lucky in my eyes because she was funny, brilliant, beautiful – but knowing she has an amazing dude like you in her corner…wow!

    Thanks for keeping us far-away, wishing we could be there souls updated. She is a rock in our community, we love her so.

    Amy in OHio

  42. #42 Stacey
    on Nov 23rd, 2009 at 1:59 pm

    It feels so good to support such a wonderful family. Anissa is strong. I continue to pray for you all.

    Thank you for updating us regularly.

    It really means a lot!

  43. #43 Susan (5 Minutes for Mom)
    on Nov 23rd, 2009 at 3:15 pm

    We all adore Anissa and event the hits to this site can’t measure it.

  44. #44 Colleen Pence
    on Nov 23rd, 2009 at 3:31 pm

    I continue to pray for Anissa and you all every night. She’s an amazing woman!

  45. #45 LisaUnfiltered
    on Nov 24th, 2009 at 12:01 am

    I LOVE LOVE LOVE that she gets aggravated when they mess with her. She is IN THERE!

    I hope the weather improves for the backyard battles. Though, cold and wet can work.

    Love you Anissa, wish we could’ve finally met face to face this week while I’m visiting; it will make it all that much SWEETER when we can the NEXT time I’m here. Who knows, maybe I’ll bring you that Twilight toy we giggled over.

  46. #46 icarolann
    on Nov 24th, 2009 at 1:12 am

    Thank you for taking time away from your precious wife and family to keep us updated on Anissa’s progress. You have an amazing wife and exceptional family. There’s no wonder why Anissa would have chosen you to share her life’s journey. God’s blessings on you, Anissa and the children.

  47. #47 Nina
    on Nov 27th, 2009 at 2:53 pm

    Wishing you and your family lots of love.

  48. #48 John Left
    on Jun 6th, 2010 at 4:01 pm

    Nice post! Great article! I really like bloggin and this blog has a lot of great ideas for my own personal site, thank you!

  49. #49 Beverly Atkins
    on Jun 6th, 2010 at 6:03 pm

    I still continue to pray for you all. Thank you for updating!