Hope4Peyton header image

Yeah, I cried…a LOT

We’re breathing again…it is DONE.  We got to the hospital at 7:30 for Peyton’s surgery at 9 and the waiting was agonizing.

Peyton? Totally unaffected.

She did ask me several times if I would be able to stay with her and every time my heart puddled a wee bit more. She had her daddy at her side this time (the first time he was unable to be there because he had the joyous job of trying to explain to Nathaniel and Rachael where their baby sister was) and it changed the experience for both of us.

I didn’t have to lean on the wall for support.  I had Pete.  So much better, ya’ll.

(totally forgot my rockin’ camera, so all of these come from my Blackberry, but better than nothing!)

The whole thing took all of 25 minutes.  Seriously, it was done in a flash.  And this is what it looks like.

I’d managed to hold it together really well until the moment he put that jar…the one holding her port…in my hand.  We’d ask to keep it, but I didn’t think THAT would be the thing that threw me over the edge.

I know Doctor gave us instructions and told us things and said a bunch of doctorly blahblahfollowuppainanddrugs type things that I might have needed to understood…but every other sense shut down.  All I could register was sight. The sight of that plastic jar with the port inside.

I looked at the doctor as his lips moved.  I may or may not have nodded a few times to try to encourage him to LEAVE.ME.ALONE….and he continued to talk.

But I could feel my throat closing up and that throb in your nose that lets you know the jerky breathing and tears are about to start.

He finally left.

We had to wait another half an hour while Peyton woke up in recovery. Probably a good thing because Peter and I both lost it altogether and cried like two old ladies.

Or like two parents who realized their baby girl had finished cancer treatment.


I would love to be able to tell you what it felt like because being able to define THAT level of happy would make the world a better place. But if I used every word ever uttered in the history of man, it would still fail to describe what I felt with that port in my hand.

I could fly. I could dance. I could walk on water.

My daughter beat cancer.

Thank you, Shannon, for being our friend, becoming a part of our family and for being there for all of us every day of this journey.  We love you!

And at the end of the day, all she cared about was butterfly tattoes and getting some food.

Yeah, it was JUST that good.


I want to thank each and everyone of you personally and I will answer every comment, but just THANK YOU so much for all your prayers and love and support and encouragement.

44 Comments on “Yeah, I cried…a LOT”

  1. #1 Melisa
    on Jan 17th, 2009 at 9:38 am

    Congratulations and continued great health to Peyton and your entire family! I’m so happy for you!

  2. #2 Kyla
    on Jan 17th, 2009 at 11:04 am

    Victory! I’m so happy for you all.

  3. #3 Stimey
    on Jan 17th, 2009 at 11:14 am

    So happy for you. Congratulations!

  4. #4 maria
    on Jan 17th, 2009 at 11:24 am

    Oh Anissa, I am over the moon for you. This totally made me cry happy tears for you and your family. What you’ve gone through is every parents’ nightmare and you’ve come out it. Peyton is a beacon of hope. Although I came into this story late, thank you so very much for sharing it with all of us.

    (No problem about Sunday. We’ll do breakfast/babypie another time!)

  5. #5 Jennifer
    on Jan 17th, 2009 at 12:19 pm

    I am so incredibly happy for your family. That girl is amazing. You all are!

  6. #6 Nicole
    on Jan 17th, 2009 at 12:22 pm

    Congrats! What an amazing day!

  7. #7 Dana
    on Jan 17th, 2009 at 12:28 pm

    The picture made me cry, too, dangit! THAT is what is in my baby? Landon had his first port removed due to a staph infection and a second put in a month later. We didn’t even think about asking for the port. We did get the triple lumen catheter that was in that month, though.

    Holy Crap. That picture of the port makes me cry like a baby.

    I am so happy for you. I know it wasn’t an accident that I found your blog yesterday. I had been finding blogs of stories that ended so differently. I needed the pick-me-up of seeing your baby’s success. Thank you for sharing it with the world.

    Oh heavens, Anissa, thank you.


  8. #8 Mary in ATL
    on Jan 17th, 2009 at 12:40 pm

    your blog needs a 3 tissue warning some days. Either laughter or tears – you always get to me. And now I’ll have to find a new tag for you….around here when I’m telling future-hubs what I’m reading…..you are “cancer mom in Florida, ya know the one on Oprah” Poor guy has a hard time keeping up with my circle of friends already. Adding the internet ones has fried his brain. Barbie Doll House mom- has a nice ring to it!

  9. #9 Melissa
    on Jan 17th, 2009 at 1:15 pm

    Oh, holy goosebumps!! I am so happy for your whole family!

  10. #10 Natalie
    on Jan 17th, 2009 at 1:26 pm

    I am crying, rejoicing and filled with thanks. Love you all and and so happy for you. Peyton=CANCER SURVIVOR. LOVE IT!!!!!!!

  11. #11 Awesome Mom
    on Jan 17th, 2009 at 2:11 pm

    Woo hoo for being port free!

  12. #12 Basi
    on Jan 17th, 2009 at 2:13 pm

    Freedom!!! Yeah! We are rejoicing with you.

  13. #13 Shelley
    on Jan 17th, 2009 at 2:20 pm

    TEARS again! This time pure joy! What a brave little girl she is. Oh, and her mama is pretty brave too. I would have melted in a big puddle of tears right there at the doctors feet. Hug her for me and let her know she has A LOT of fans!

  14. #14 Rhonda
    on Jan 17th, 2009 at 2:27 pm

    Peyton-I can’t even begin to tell you what a hero you are to me! You have survived so much-and grown so much-and I know God has great things instore for you. Tell your Mom that since you beat CANCER-she needs to let you keep your ear. Not every great artist has to lose one!!! Much love and “cancer-butt-kicking” kisses coming your way Babe!!

  15. #15 Kylie
    on Jan 17th, 2009 at 5:59 pm

    Anissa and family,

    My 16 year old sister passed away on Tuesday morning after a 6 year battle with Neuroblastoma. It is so refreshing to see Peyton celebrating a positive turn in her cancer battle. I wish you all the best, and many many happy, healthy, cancer free years for your baby.

    Much love,

    Kylie (from Australia)

  16. #16 jennifer
    on Jan 17th, 2009 at 7:04 pm


    Hugs to all of you. I wish only good things for your family. You are all amazing.

  17. #17 Megan (mommyesquire)
    on Jan 17th, 2009 at 7:19 pm

    Oh my goodness. How wonderful! Just picturing in my mind all of the JOY that you are feeling right now makes me a little weepy!

  18. #18 Brandi
    on Jan 17th, 2009 at 8:27 pm

    I cannot imagine all the amazing emotions your family must be feeling. You did it! I’m so very happy for each of you! I praise the Lord with you.

  19. #19 Beverly
    on Jan 17th, 2009 at 9:27 pm

    I’m so happy for Peyton and you guys. What a wonderful day this is!

  20. #20 Watty
    on Jan 17th, 2009 at 9:31 pm

    May the only port you see any time ever in the near future is a port-a-potty! (and that’s just passing them, not going to use one 😉

    You go girlfriend!

  21. #21 Adventures In Babywearing
    on Jan 17th, 2009 at 9:57 pm

    Pools of tears. OH I ‘m so happy for you!


  22. #22 Lee
    on Jan 17th, 2009 at 10:20 pm

    Tears of joy for you! We hope to be right where you are in about 1200 days or so… Peyton looks wonderful and you are definitely blessed with a wonderful family. From now on I hope that the only port you have in a bottle is the kind you can drink to excess!

  23. #23 kp
    on Jan 17th, 2009 at 10:58 pm

    So completely awesome!
    Love you guys!

  24. #24 Erica
    on Jan 17th, 2009 at 11:17 pm

    Congratulations!!! Continued Blessings….for are all of you!

  25. #25 always home and uncool
    on Jan 17th, 2009 at 11:59 pm

    Happy portlessness!

  26. #26 Musing
    on Jan 18th, 2009 at 1:00 am

    So very happy for you all!

  27. #27 Karen Sugarpants
    on Jan 18th, 2009 at 2:32 am

    Crying happy tears right along with you…what a huge huge thing to have lifted from your shoulders. Congratulations! xo

  28. #28 heather...
    on Jan 18th, 2009 at 5:36 am

    I’ve felt that indescribable level of happy. I’m so glad you felt it, too.

  29. #29 Dawn
    on Jan 18th, 2009 at 6:15 am

    I can only imagine how happy and blessed you must all be feeling right now. It’s wonderful to read. Please give Peyton a kiss from her “adopted”(!) Aunty in England.

  30. #30 Jen W
    on Jan 18th, 2009 at 11:21 am

    So, so, so happy for you. I would have wept too. What a joyous occasion. You and your family deserve this joy. Hugs to you!

  31. #31 SciFi Dad
    on Jan 18th, 2009 at 1:15 pm

    Yay for Peyton. This is awesome news. I am so happy for all of you.

  32. #32 Wendy
    on Jan 18th, 2009 at 5:34 pm

    Yay! OMG I can’t believe you didn’t sort of at least HINT that something this big was going on when we talked on Twitter and I apologized bc I hadn’t been over in so long.

    This is just the best news ever! I’m so happy for all of you. I’m sure you can breathe a little now. 🙂

  33. #33 Mommy of 2
    on Jan 18th, 2009 at 7:49 pm

    Just stopped by really quickly and wanted to say ‘hi’ and Congrats that the port is out and all of y’all are doing great.

  34. #34 Carrie
    on Jan 18th, 2009 at 9:50 pm

    What a relief! I am so happy things went well, she is such a trooper…you too, mama!

  35. #35 Bacardi Mama
    on Jan 18th, 2009 at 9:52 pm

    I just stumbled on your blog from another one, but what a day to stumble. How wonderful you must feel. Your baby is a very brave and beautiful little girl. It must be amazing to be able to say cancer free. Congratulatons on your wondeful news!

  36. #36 Sunday Linky Love
    on Jan 18th, 2009 at 11:17 pm

    […] removed Peyton’s port. She beat that cancer. Yeah […]

  37. #37 threeundertwo
    on Jan 18th, 2009 at 11:49 pm

    Crying and cheering for Peyton over here in California.

  38. #38 The Mom Jen
    on Jan 19th, 2009 at 12:04 am

    HOORAY for Peyton, hooray!! Best news of the day!

  39. #39 Angela
    on Jan 19th, 2009 at 1:30 am

    I missed your de-lurking day so I’m commenting on this post…CONGRATULATIONS!!! Congratulations to Peyton, Rachel, Nathan, you, Pete (hopefully I got everyone there) you all deserve a hug, a round of applause, a good cry, and a trip to Disneyworld 🙂 What an amazing journey you’ve been on (and continue to be on). What an amazing family you have. You should all be proud and happy. I have to say, though, I would have been right there with you balling my fa-reaking eyes out when they handed me the port. You go girl. This website has made me laugh, cry, snort milk out my nose (just once when I was laughing so hard), and wish that someday I could meet you in person. You are amazing and funny and such a good writer. I hope you know that even though I don’t de-lurk very often your family continues to be in my thoughts and prayers on a regular basis. Here’s hoping that cancer never comes back to visit your family again!!!!

  40. #40 dug
    on Jan 19th, 2009 at 2:03 am

    A port on the nightstand is cool.
    A port scar is a badge of courage.
    A port free Peyton is magnificent!

    We love you all.

    Adelaine Powell and family.

  41. #41 Marie
    on Jan 19th, 2009 at 3:12 am

    That is awesome, amazing news!! I follow a lot of caring bridge type sites and so many of them have ended in tragedy or are not looking good. I’m so happy to see a success story and one of “my” kids has made it!!!! I knew you could do it Peyton!!!

  42. #42 BlapherMJ
    on Jan 19th, 2009 at 8:23 am

    I think you said it so well with “every word uttered would still fail” to describe that feeling…. My heart is very happy for Peyton and for You and Your Family.

  43. #43 Cindi
    on Jan 19th, 2009 at 7:47 pm

    I came across your blog quite some time ago. I have never commented…only laughed and cried and related to your fears and joys. I am 37 years old and I just finished treatment for a childhood cancer (Ewing’s sarcoma). That is how I happened to find your blog. Peyton has been such an inspiration to me as I battled my journey these past 18 months. I have such admiration for you both and your family. When I was first diagnosed…the first thing that came out of my mouth was…”I am so glad it is me and not my son”. I have no idea how you have done it. You are an amazing strong woman and it has shown how you have past that strength to Peyton. Thank you for giving me courage and hope as I accomplished becoming a survivor…my port will be removed next week

    Contiune to stand strong-

  44. #44 Kim
    on Jan 19th, 2009 at 8:54 pm

    I am so happy for all of you! Peyton is such a brave little girl! Hugs for all of you!