The Call

Review:  Anne continues to receive chemotherapy treatment for the reoccurrence of cervical leiomyosarcoma and lung mets (cancer spread to the lungs). Anne struggles with staying positive and not “going down the rabbit hole” of what-ifs after news of the latest reoccurrence.  The expected side effects have taken place leading Anne to have a “Buzz and Brownie” party where she and four others shaved their heads.

Robert was at the Buzz and Brownie party.  He didn’t shave his head.  He doesn’t have enough to shave, but he said he could give Anne some tips for her new do.  Robert said watching Anne shave her head really hit him.  It made this real.  She is so giving and upbeat.  This is just unfair.  As we all know though, cancer does not discriminate.  He felt compelled to do something for Anne.  She has been a great friend and supporter the last couple years.    He set to work creating the biggest surprise for Anne throughout this journey: the call of a lifetime.

Anne and Robert take a selfie at her chemotherapy treatment.

Knowing that Anne’s family’s lives revolve around soccer and Anne takes great pride in being a soccer mom, the day after the Buzz and Brownie party, Robert called the offices of the Seattle Sounders where he was connected with their community outreach director.  Robert was hoping someone from the team, like the equipment manager, would call Anne or even just send a card.  The director asked who Anne’s favorite player was.

Robert had to figure out a way to covertly get this information.  He set up a poll on his Facebook page asking his friends who their favorite current Sounders player is, and then messaged Anne to take part in the poll.  One of her favorite players is Will Bruin.  Robert relayed the information, waited, sent a link to the blog, and then waited more.

On April 5 at 7 pm, Robert got an e-mail saying Will Bruin would be calling Anne at noon the next day.  Robert had to work quickly to make sure this went off without a hitch while keeping it a surprise.  He told Anne he wanted to visit her, asking where she would be around noon.  She would be at chemotherapy for round 3, day 1—the long day when she receives Doxorubicin and Olaratumab.  He asked if she could take phone calls — in case he got lost.  She can.

Anne on the phone with her new Sounders scarf.  PC: Robert

The next morning, Robert purchased a beautiful Sounders scarf and then arrived early at the clinic.  He let the staff in on what was happening and asked if Anne could have a private room for the day.  As they sat visiting while Anne was receiving treatment, he made sure she had her phone nearby.  When an unknown number called Anne’s phone, she was about to hit “ignore,” but Robert said, “You’re going to want to answer that.”  Perplexed, she accepted the call.  Robert recorded the call and described it as “a proud mom trying to keep it together, a true professional athlete, a caring community outreach director, and one of God’s great stories of love for an amazing person having a tough time.”

To continue to boost Anne’s spirit, the Sounders posted about the call on their website and tweeted about it, calling it “one of the most touching moments of 2018.” This will bring more awareness to leiomyosarcoma, Anne’s goal in sharing her story.

I met up with Anne the next week.  She was still on Cloud Nine from the call, and surprisingly the chemotherapy side effects had not been so bad this week. She has had an appetite for real meals and is taking full advantage of it.  If she loses too much weight too fast, they will stop chemotherapy.  She seemed more like her normal, upbeat self.  I would even say there was a bit of glow about her, and it wasn’t the shine off her head. (Sorry, Anne, I couldn’t resist.) We joked that Will Bruin just needs to call her every Friday for a little boost to get her through the week.

Robert told me, “I really did little, the others truly delivered.”  I must disagree.  Anne will tell you while choking back tears, the call was absolutely amazing and something she will always treasure, but what means even more is all the care and thought Robert put into making this happen so perfectly for her.  Anne said, “My story has grown and reached people I never imagined possible.  Cancer isn’t a blessing, but the way mine has had an effect on others is truly a blessing.”  I continue to remind Anne  she is a glowstick, bringing out the best in others.


Follow Anne’s Journey with LMS

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Jennifer Jones of Sparkson Photography is a documentary style family photographer specializing in family, newborn, and school portraits. Serving Kitsap County, WA and surrounding area.

Sparkson Photography

Jennifer Jones of Sparkson Photography is a documentary style family photographer specializing in family, newborn, and school portraits. Serving Kitsap County, WA and surrounding area.

Contact me to book a session.