Update: March 8, 2017
I can’t imagine the burden that Ana’s bearing right now, as she gets sicker and loses things one by one by one. She’s been very alert this week, but she’s also struggling with so much.
Her stomach is more distended every day and this is obviously because her tumors are enormous. There’s just no room. Her left ankle and foot have begun swelling. We’re not sure why, but elevating her leg seems to help…for now. The fevers are also a problem, keeping her up at night or uncomfortable during the day. I associate them with tumor growth because that’s what happened in the beginning, when she was first diagnosed.
She is consumed with the desire to gain weight to try and balance her growing stomach. She’s very thin everywhere else. This is agony for a teenage girl – watching her body change each day, feeling ugly, not being able to wear clothes she wore only months ago.
She’s been deeply depressed for the last few days, but today she seemed happier. She went to her guitar lesson (Michael, you’re an angel) and Marissa and Evi came for a visit afterwards. Ana gave them some of the clothes she doesn’t feel comfortable wearing anymore either because they’re too big or they’re cropped and expose her stomach. After they left, she said, “I’m glad I gave the clothes to my friends. I know I can always get them back if I want.”
She still has hope even though she knows how sick she is. She is the strongest, bravest person I know.
I would give anything to take on this burden for her. Anything. I had no idea how hard this would be, how scary and painful and relentless. I’m frozen. Deer-in-headlights frozen. So, please keep this in mind if you see me out and about. I’m not myself. I may never be myself again.