The Situation: A Summary

Hello! Matthew made me this rad blog, so I’m going to use it to keep a running log of everything that’s happening. This post, though, is merely a rundown of my situation for those who have not heard a lot.

About three weeks ago I was waiting for my shower to get warm, and bent to scratch my back. I noticed a lump on my lower left back, told my mom about it, had an appointment later that day, got an MRI that evening, and quickly realized we weren’t dealing with a lypoma or hematoma like we had thought. I had a biopsy of the lump soon after this, which was pretty cool since I got to watch it on the ultrasound while it happened. (If you don’t like needles, don’t get cancerous tumors.) To make a long story short: the lump is a Ewing sarcoma, which is cancerous but curable. It’s found mostly in children and teenagers, and the cause is entirely unknown. I thought it was a dragon egg, but for some reason that was ruled out fairly quickly. Hmm.

To be frank, I don’t really remember dates or anything like that. There was a CT scan, where the radiologists and other doctors that looked at the images saw some teensy nodules on the lungs that concerned them. I was then scheduled for a surgery which would include a lung biopsy, bone marrow aspiration, and the installation of my chest port. The lung biopsy was planned to be done thoracoscopically, but because the nodules are so small a thoracotomy was also a possibility. Luckily, only part of the biopsy had to be done through thoracotomy (thoracoscopic surgery is much less invasive).

I spent 3 days recovering in the hospital following the procedure, two of which I spent very much drug-addled. I thought I was cognizant, but apparently I was not. If you came to see me in the hospital, I apologize for failing to converse with you. I hope I thanked you though…if I didn’t, then thank you. One thing I did that I remember was ask for “liquid water.” Everyone thinks this is riotously funny, but honestly I just didn’t want ice chips again. One must be very specific sometimes. In terms of anesthesia before the procedure, I remember giggling a lot and also some bright lights. That is literally it.

The future as it stands includes about 9 months of chemotherapy, including surgery to remove the lump. I’m vain: the hair loss is going to be the hardest part.

Sappy part:

So now, on Easter 2014, I look to the future with the same emotion an inexperienced and untrained runner might feel if forced to run a marathon. The road is a long one, but it is one that can be traveled. And though I am nowhere near ready to travel it, I will. A long time ago I decided that I if given the option to do something or stay home, I would do that thing. I always chose the uncertain over the comfortable. I did so because I live by the mentality that no moment is guaranteed. I am glad that I live this way: I have had more fun than I deserve to have, and I have enough amazing memories to span three people. Now, facing this challenge, I am not regretful. There are no “if only…”‘s. No day but today.

61 thoughts on “The Situation: A Summary

  1. Hannah, I am so very proud of you and how you are handling this situation. You are a very inspiration young lady and so very, very awesome. You have been in my thoughts and prayers since we heard the news a few weeks ago. I have asked my work prayer warriers to add you to their prayer list and they have done so with gusto. I know your mom is very emotional (because I am thinking of you and how I would be if this was Kali) and will do her best to hold it together for you but don’t forget it is o.k. to cry and I hope you do cry when the feeling/need arises. It is such a release of stress and can be very therapeutic. I love you and can’t wait to rejoice with you down the road as you reach each milestone of your journey. God bless you and know that you have many, many, many praying for you and will be there for you in whatever way you need.

  2. Hannah- thank you much for writing this! I am so glad to see that the strong, vivacious and sweet Hannah I know is facing this head on! You are an amazing girl and have been in my prayers since that Sunday you told me! I love you girl and am here for you for anything you need!

  3. Hannah as long as I can remeber you’ve been the most out going and positive girl I know… Keep your head up and keep pushing! God is on your side and we are praying for you!! Love you Hannah and I know you’ll get through this!!

  4. Hannah, This blog was a great idea. Mathew is the man! As you probably know, I am a cancer patient too. We are both exclusive members of the “port club.” My new meds are making my hair fall out, so I know how you feel about hair loss. I am having mine buzzed off this week and, although I’ve had a 30 year head start with hair loss, I’m not too crazy about the idea either. It’s a small thing in the grand scheme of things. If people ask, tell them you got the hair loss from your dad. Ha. Well, just wanted you to know I’m thinking about you and praying for you. You are a strong, positive person and an inspiration to me already.

    • Hannah I miss the days where you came to macaulays and we used to be insane!!! Lol we still are! I’m going to read through this everyday! You’re an inspiration to so many people including me. Love you girl and so does everybody at BE and I’ll be praying for you!

  5. Hi, Hannah. I’m Matthew’s old (literally) English teacher from Porter-Gaud, and I want to wish you the best (and to compliment your prose style). Your positive, unself-pitying attitude will be an invaluable asset as you beat this disease. Best wishes, Wesley Moore

  6. Hannah, News like this travels fast because so many people care about you and your family. The Tonks family is following your blog. We have tri-state prayers coming your way! God shines through you and is evident everywhere throughout this blog. Lean on Him, as you obviously have already, and will in the future. You are one impressive young lady! Miss Julie and the Tonks family

  7. Hi Hannah, I am your Aunt Kackle’s Aunt Janice, you are so strong I know you will do well. Just know that you are in thoughts and prayers every day

  8. Hannah, the Phlegar family is following your blog and praying for you. Stay positive and strong…each day will be the best that you make it. We are cheering you on as you make this journey. ~Kathy Phlegar

  9. Hannah, You have been in constant prayers from “The James Gang”. You and your family are special to us and I know in my heart that God will continue to give you just what you need. This blog is going to be an inspiration to so many people. You are glorifying God each time you take time to tell your story. I will use that familiar scripture that brings peace…Romans 8:28…God’s word is true! Love and Blessings, Lora, Dean, Jessica, Christopher & Amanda

  10. Hi Hannah….We are all in such awe of you and the way you are handling this journey. you are in my prayers everyday. And all the teachers at St. Andrews will have every little child at school praying for you. And you know Jesus loves the little children and so I know he will be listening as we all ask God to help you and your family… Much Love….Bonnie (Edenfield)

  11. Hannah, words are inadequate, but please know you are amazing. You face adversity with a sense of humor and great confidence. You are an inspiration! Lots of love and prayers from the Sweazys.

  12. Hannah, just wanted to reach out and tell you I’m thinking of you and sending positive thoughts your way. Your words were inspiring to us all. love, Michele Bayme

  13. Hannah you have always been such a positive person, even as a little four year old when I first met you. Know that your preschool teacher from Westminster will be praying for you.
    Mrs. Campbell

  14. Hannah I am praying for you everyday. God will get you through this. The Tiki’s are there for you. You are loved so much by all of us! Love Brenda

  15. Hannah – The strength inside can only get stronger from this point forward as you press on with continued courage and a sense of humor. Laughter does help in healing, so along with prayers of healing, strength, courage for you and your family, prayers for wisdom for the doctors, I will add prayers for laughter to speed your recovery. We love your Mom, and we love you. Let me know when cupcakes are needed. They help with healing, too!

  16. Hannah, Mr. Ewing Sarcoma picked on the wrong girl this time. Has he not heard? HANNAH’s Here~~~! And you are prepared for the long run. Your family, your friends – you will have so much support from the multitude of friendships that you have planted throughout your life. This will serve you well. And while this is all happening – Keep up the great dialogue. Your explanations are effective for those of us not well versed in medical jargon. Love, Mrs. Anita (Momma ‘Nita to you!)

  17. Hannah,
    My heart and prayers are with you in your fight. I have always admired your strength and your competitiveness. You were an awesome partner at Youth and Government. If anyone at BE can beat cancer, then it is you. You know that everyone is praying for you.

  18. Hannah,

    I had to read your blog twice because I was in awe of your professionalism, high spirits, and determination to move forward with this journey and more importantly, to bring us along with you every step of the way. Prayers are being said every day and guardian angels are swarming. We love you dearly, Lisa and Danny Quirk.

    PS, the blog is awesome !

  19. I’ll be praying for you Hannah, and I’ll be following your blog! You have a great writing style 🙂
    “For God did not give us a spirit of timidity, but a spirit of power, of love and of self discipline.” 2 Tim 1:7

  20. Hannah, what a beautiful outlook you have on life. This blog is awesome. The road ahead is long and arduous but know that you are not alone, you will never be alone, just look at the response to this blog. I’m on an oil rig in the Gulf of Mexico, about 70 miles off the coast of Louisiana, word travels quick to all kinds of places. With every step in this journey we are with you, we are here and we are ready to kick some cancer ass. God Bless you, Never Give Up.

  21. Hannah,
    Awesome blog! Praying for you everyday and sending all good thoughts your way. You are an inspiration! Love…

  22. Hannah, My children go to the preschool where your mom teaches and Kathleen told me about your blog today. I came straight here to read your story. What you said in the last paragraph is so moving, and is how we should all live our lives. (And, you had me had at Mrs. Doubtfire and the wicked cup of cocoa). I’ll be following your journey, rooting for you and praying for you.

  23. Hannah you are amazing. I know it’ll be hard to lose the hair you never brush but if anyone could pull it off, it’d be you. I love you!

  24. Hey Hanna! You don’t know me, but I went to C of C with your mom (i think) and I am close friends with Brenda Clarey. I have been praying every day for you and will continue to do so. I am a cancer survivor from a cancer that has no cure 🙂 It was in my bladder and they took my bladder out 3 years ago this August and gave me a 33 percent chance to live 2 years. There is no cancer in my body now , and I plan to be here a long time. Anyway, I was thinking about your hair comment. I went to the cancer accessory store on Hwy 7 behind Chic fil A and I took over a dozen people with me. I tried on many wigs while we laughed at how funny I looked in some of them. I did this before starting chemo and surgery and we had fun. They helped me find
    a synthetic wig that honestly looked better than my real hair. 🙂 Psalm 34:4 I sought the Lord, and He heard me, and delivered me from all my fears…. Peace and blessings to you Hanna!

  25. Hannah, the Bruce family is solidly in your court. We will pray for you and your family. And after having had a daughter who lost her hair because of treatment for Hodgkins Disease, let me tell you, bald is beautiful! One suggestion-do rags. They look great!

  26. Dear Hannah,
    Colleen Barth asked me to put you on my daily prayer list. Colleen has been on it for years. Have you noticed any change? With God’s help, prayer and good doctors, you will be fine. Prayers, Fr. Tom

  27. Hola, Hannah (Margarita),
    What a relief it is to see your awesome blog! Of course, I am still so concerned about you, but to be honest, I’m more concerned about your sweet MOM! I know of no other mother in the world who loves their daughter more than she loves you! I am praying for all of your family as you work through this crazy curve ball in your lives. I know that you are going to make lemonade out of these lemons though! No one can do it better than you. Your zest for life as you’ve written about in the blog is going to serve as inspiration for so many others. I’m proud of you, and proud to have been one of your teachers. You are in the hearts of all of us at Mason Prep!
    Muchos abrazos,
    Candi Hawkins

  28. My sweet friend you have always followed your heart and brought joy with you since I first met you at three. So keep being you and keep dancing. I love you and know you will keep making a joyful noise. My prayers are with you. Miss Alicia

  29. The Rea Family is keeping you in our prayers! Every night the kids (all 20 of them…jk) and I say a special prayer just for you!

  30. Hannah: You are an inspiration to all who know you. I know you will be strong and take each day as it comes. Please know that there are so many folks out here praying for you. We wish you and your family strength and peace during this difficult time. Much love from all the Schulzs: Eric, Mariann, MaryClaire and Chris

  31. I love the way you write! You are in my prayers! Wish I could say more, but I can’t think of anything witty or non-trite, so know I am lifting you before God as hard as I can, without ceasing!

  32. Hannah,
    You are amazing! Your blog radiates the joy and spunk with which you live your life! You are truly an inspiration for others. There is an army of people lifting you up in prayer each and every day. We love you and are behind you every step of the way as you beat this! xoxo
    Love, The Kreutners

  33. Hannah, you are such a strong person! It is amazing. I think of you everyday and say a prayer every night. If there is anything I can do for you or your Mom and Dad, please let me know. Love you, Darlene

  34. Hannah, I am blown away by your positive attitude and beautiful words! I will be holding you close to my heart in the months to come and know that you will not only BEAT this cancer but look gorgeous doing it!
    With tons of love,
    Shelby Earnst

  35. Hannah, What an amazing, bright, beautiful young woman you are! Your sermon a few weeks ago was so inspiring in itself, and then to find out you had found this mass only days earlier shows your strength and determination to persevere. You and your family are in our prayers daily. May God strengthen you all on this journey.
    Love and prayers,
    Jacki Ratledge

  36. Hannah, what a smart brother you have to set you up with this blog! It’s a great way to journal for yourself and keep others updated also. You are such an amazing young woman and I have no doubt you will kick Mr. Ewing Sarcoma to the curb. You are in the Petit family’s thoughts and prayers. I saw a comment from Matthew ‘s old (literally, which means I’m old too! Haha!) English teacher, Wesley Moore – he and his wife, Judy, lived at the end of our road back in the dark ages. Small world – hi Wesley – if you happen to read this comment!
    Betsy Petit

  37. Hannah, you are so amazing! The Shealy’s love you and are praying for your daily. You WILL BEAT THIS!! Your strength and courage are beyond words. Love you girlie!

  38. Hannah, cancer picked the wrong girl to tangle with…not only are you one tough cookie, but you’ve got an army of family and friends ready to support you in your fight to beat it!! The Richbergs are praying for you every day, and we love you tons. And don’t sweat the hair loss – as Oatmeal says, “God made pretty people, and then put hair on the rest.” You are beautiful, inside and out…never forget that 🙂
    Love, Lisa Richberg

  39. Hannah:This family has always been in awe of Hannah Warren since the first day John came home and said he had the coolest girl in the school helping him get used to Mason Prep GVC class! Just lately, Chris came home, saying he got a big hug and a sweet greeting from you on his BE tour. Your magic personality always brings joy and light to all; just turn that special magic of yours on yourself for a little bit …it sure works on everyone else you sprinkle it on! We are pulling for you to get this cleared up fast; God and Jesus will hear from us every day about you~ Laura, Matt, John, Chris Pavlides

  40. Hi, Hannah. I went to Middleton High with your Mom. I can tell by your summary what kind of kid you are. Your strength, peace and comfort will be provided by your friends and family when needed but always by your God. You and your precious family will be in my prayers and you will definitely not have a problem getting through this journey. ROCK ON, GIRL!!

  41. Hi Hannah. Your mom has been my friend since 6th grade – so yes, I’m old. I am inspired by your heart and attitude. I am praying for you as you walk on this journey and know that you are walking hand in hand with many who love you. Exodus 14:13-14

  42. Hi Hannah. Thank you for starting this blog. You are an inspiration to all of us! The Towne family is praying for you !

  43. Hannah- You are amazing. I knew that years ago when I taught you. Prayers are coming from the Sessions’ family to you and your family. Love, Dr. Sessions

  44. Hi there! I worked with your mom at St.Andrew’s several years ago and met you a couple of times. Your mom is one of the most joyful, wonderful women I’ve ever met, and I can tell from your writing that those same traits are deeply embedded in you. My cousin was only 21 when she started her journey with Leukemia, and in her honor I started a project called “CLUCK Cancer.” I’ve shared the link to your blog on CLUCK Cancer’s Facebook page and I hope people flood you with all the humor and hope you can stand. I wish you all the best and hope this phase of your life leaves you feeling stronger and more amazing than you could ever imagine! 🙂

  45. Hey, Hannah!
    I went to high school and college with your mom and was in your parents’ wedding. Your blog is inspiring and I am sure your faith, positive attitude, and family will see you through this journey! You will be in my thoughts and prayers! God Bless!

  46. Hannah! Yes, news travels fast, especially when the person involved is one who is UNIVERSALLY LOVED! My prayers are with you and your family and your doctors. I send my love!
    Debbie Bandy, leader of the fruit loops. 🙂

  47. Hannah,
    I have been thinking of you and praying for you every day. I messaged your mom to give you a big hug from me. So now you two hug each other from me. Remember I told you I would do whatever I can for you- except you might not want my help with your schoolwork- 🙂 Love and hugs- Mrs Ferguson

  48. Hannah ~ Thank you for the update. You can’t begin to imagine how many people love you and are praying for you and your family: picture a huge army stretching as far as you can see, and it is not big enough! The Whites lift you up many times a day. Love, Ms. Pam, Zan, Jackson, & Mr. Jim

  49. Hannah, I am Edie Kent’s sister and Alex Almers’ grandmother. Since Edie told me the news, you, and your family, have been in my prayers. You are handling this with such a positive attitude and that is so important. All of the test results you have received so far have been good, so praying that this last set will be good as well. Our entire family is behind you. Thank you for keeping us updated with this blog. Much love to you and your family from our family.
    God Bless.

  50. Hannah,
    The Morgenweck family has your beautiful soul in our thoughts and prayers. Keep your strength & sense of humor, as they will bring you through anything. What an amazing young lady you are. Now…Go kick butt!!!

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  52. Hannah, I am so glad I found your blog. You are one awesome young lady. Don’t worry about that hair it will come back even more beautiful than it was. I have a friend who had straight dark hair and hers came back wavy and auburn it is beautiful. You are in our prays and I put you on the OES pray list so you are in 50 states and a lot of people praying for you. Stay strong, cry when you need too, and trust in the Lord and he will guild you thru. Love You

  53. Hey, Hannah – just checking in to make sure you are still smiling when able. I didn’t want you to think I’d forgotten about you. I think about you and your family all the time, and you are in my prayers daily. Let me know when you need more cakes!!

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