The summer of 2009 was riddled with hard days, she says.
“The nitrogen shots that you receive after chemo ache every joint in your body. It’s agonizing,” she says. “I don’t think I know what arthritis feels like, but I hear that it’s similar to undergoing chemo.”
Hair began falling out 21 days after she received her first treatment.
“I didn’t notice until my daughter pointed out a bald patch,” says Anderson. “I had just been walking around the grocery store and didn’t even notice.”
And after family friend and barber Tavarian Lawrence cut off all of her hair, she looked the part of a soldier and the world then knew that she was battling for her life.
Her church family at Victory Baptist knew she didn’t normally wear wigs, she says, and they along with her pastor, Robert Daniels, and the women’s ministry group rallied around her. They visited with her and offered rides to the doctor’s office.
“I really appreciated having them there to talk to me,” says Anderson of her church. “And my good friend, Felicia McKinley, she would often make trips from Atlanta just to spend time with me during my struggle.”
Her family struggled and did all they could to aid their ailing matriarch, says Anderson.
Her youngest son, Eddie or E.J., didn’t tell the teacher at school what his family was enduring or explain why he had begun to doze off in classes. Oldest son Dominique overcame his anxiety regarding hospitals, and visited his sickly mother. Daughter Christie didn’t say much, but Anderson says she learned that her daughter had been researching cancer treatments online.
Parents Clarence and Sarah Burgman offered unwavering support, as did her sister, Carla Meade.
But one of her dearest allies was battling in another theater of war.
Husband Walter Anderson Jr. was incarcerated throughout the whole ordeal.
“He had to deal with it the hard way because he’s not home,” she says. “It’s hard for both of us, because when you go through something like this. You have your family, but it’s not your whole family. I had to wait on the collect calls to hear from him. And mentally, I know it weighed on him.”
As the days of summer tempered and faded into fall, Anderson recalled the day when her IV catheter was removed as her happiest day throughout her whole ordeal.