Anjanette’s Story

Site created on September 15, 2018

Dear Family and Friends,

My name is Jackie Maraya Griffin and I am Anjanette Maraya-Ramey’s sister.

Some of you may have heard that Anjanette was recently admitted into Kaiser Zion Hospital and diagnosed with APL Leukemia. She began aggressive chemotherapy and it has been extremely taxing on her mentally, physically, and emotionally. Her doctors told her she will be hospitalized for the next 1-3 months. Tough news to swallow, especially after enduring a heartbreaking miscarriage followed by a brain hemorrhage that literally knocked this dancer off her feet for several months last summer. Anjanette finally got her life back in order and rose back to her feet and BAM...her strength and resilience are being tested once again.

Your texts, phone calls, and messages to offer support are deeply appreciated. However, while Anjanette sometimes physically struggles to walk and talk, her husband Matt is also overwhelmed by the many details to manage while being her primary care taker.

Because of this, they have asked me to serve as a communicator for them at this time. We are using this Caring Bridge website to keep updates all in one place.

As you all know, ANJANETTE HAS A HEART OF GOLD. She is a true Social Justice Warrior (SJW) and Arts Advocate...always unapologetically fighting for Equity and Justice. She has contributed so much of her life’s work to making an impact on communities in need and to the arts.

Anjanette has been fighting with all of her might - but she still has quite a mountain to climb with weeks of aggressive chemotherapy to endure. She must learn like never before to choreograph her way through this storm.

Anjanette is truly a generous and kind person, a loyal friend and family member to her loved ones. She has given so much to her community and to each of us.

HOSPITAL VISITS - VERY IMPORTANT INFO:
Anjanette would love to see you and your beautiful faces. She requests that visits are Monday-Friday between 1:00pm-5:00pm and weekends 1:00pm to 6:00pm. Please keep it brief (10 minutes or less) as her energy fades quickly. All visitors must wear hospital masks and use hand sanitizer to protect her weakened immune system. Masks and hand sanitizers are available at the nurses’ table across from her room (4th Floor - Room #4117). If you have any signs of a cough or cold, please refrain from visiting until you feel better. Please text Matt (619) 807-5736 or Jackie (808) 729-0500 for any questions. 

There are no flowers or plants allowed in her room and please do not bring any food with a strong aroma. Also, please be mindful not to wear strong scented deodorants, perfume, cologne, or hair products.

Visitors are welcome to bring cards, photos, and hand written letters. She loves artwork that shows peace and serenity. She also loves DoTerra Lavender, Frankincense, Peppermint, and Balance essential oils; and healing stones like rose quartz.  Of course, pretty fashionable Chemo Caps or Beanies, Pashminas and Scarves would also help her during this journey!  Since Anjanette is a dancer and choreographer, she also loves all kinds of fun Toe Sox (www.toesox.com) so she can continue her bedside yoga practice and choreograph new dances! :) She wears size small and asks that you pick a design that reminds you of Anjanette.  Cards, Letters, Chemo Caps and Toesox can be sent to:

Anjanette and Matthew Ramey
8085 Lake Adlon Dr.
San Diego, CA 92119

She would love visitors to come and share stories and memories with her. Bring your songs, poems, nature photos, contemporary art and/or architecture photos. We will try to make this journey fun, creative, and adventurous as much as possible! :) Just be prepared for some turbulence and detours along the way!

CLOSING GRATITUDE:
Thank you all for your unconditional love, support, well wishes, healing thoughts, meditations, and prayers. We have immense hope that Anjanette will travel and dance through this journey with grace and power. Healing will come one day at a time and through it all - the loving, creative, generous, and vibrant Anjanette we all know, will again be FOUND.

With Gratitude,
Jackie

“Even when the dark comes crashing through, when you need a friend to carry you, when you’re broken on the ground, YOU WILL BE FOUND. So let the sun come streaming in cause you’ll reach up and you’ll rise again, lift your head and look around, YOU WILL BE FOUND. “
~ From Dear Evan Hansen (one of her favorite Broadway musicals).

Newest Update

Journal entry by Anjanette Maraya-Ramey

Greetings loved ones,

Today marks Day #17 of 28 days of outpatient chemo Cycle One. I will complete Day 28 on December 23rd - just in time for the Christmas holiday. I will then have 4 weeks off from chemo, before moving onto Cycle Two. I look forward to spending my chemo break with family and friends; and getting out to experience art happenings, community events, and nature.

Despite enduring consistent side effects such as nausea, fatigue, dry skin, and change in appetite - I remain strong and resilient. I still have the energy to make up choreography in my living room, and go on walks around my cute neighborhood. (Please stay tuned for a few dance projects I will present in 2019!). Woo hoo!

There have been some days where all I could do is sleep. I feel guilty for sleeping so much because I am accustomed to being in the constant state of being busy and never getting enough sleep. Having cancer has really forced me to slow down, and be unapologetic about being gentle with myself. I acknowledge that eating well, moving my body, reducing stress, resting, and sleeping are all essential for my treatment. I do my best every single day at the things in my power that will help me get better.

Thank you all so much for your well wishes via voicemail, texts, social media, email, post office mail, etc. My days are so much brighter because of all of the wonderful people in my life. I have so much to live for and look forward to - and I am constantly reminded of that EVERY SINGLE DAY. I am truly blessed.

Please head over to my photo GALLERY to check out a few of my fun shenanigans after my 45 day hospital stay including my 44th Birthday/Homecoming celebration; Thanksgiving dinner; Made in Paradise Hills community event where Grammy nominated Southeast San Diego homegrown artist, Ms. Andra Day performed one of my favorite songs, "Rise Up."

Ms. Day was inspired to write this song after she heard her friend was diagnosed with cancer. I just learned this from watching Jeopardy tonight (no joke!). I have directed and choreographed to this song for the Arts Amplifying Youth Summit and for transcenDANCE Youth Arts this past year, in collaboration with my dear friend and little bro, Dairrick Khalil Hodges. The pieces were performed by youth from under resourced neighborhoods in San Diego. I also played this song at my Birthday/Homecoming party and improv danced with my dance friends and family. This song and lyrics are extraordinarily meaningful to me. I hope you will find meaning in these lyrics too!

RISE UP by Andra Day
You're broken down and tired
Of living life on a merry go round
And you can't find the fighter
But I see it in you so we gonna walk it out
And move mountains
We gonna walk it out
And move mountains
And I'll rise up
I'll rise like the day
I'll rise up
I'll rise unafraid
I'll rise up
And I'll do it a thousand times again
And I'll rise up
High like the waves
I'll rise up
In spite of the ache
I'll rise up
And I'll do it a thousands times again
For you...

When the silence isn't quiet
And it feels like it's getting hard to breathe
And I know you feel like dying
But I promise we'll take the world to its feet
And move mountains
We'll take it to its feet
And move mountains
And I'll rise up
I'll rise like the day
I'll rise up
I'll rise unafraid
I'll rise up
And I'll do it a thousand times again
For you...

All we need, all we need is hope
And for that we have each other
And for that we have each other
We will rise
We will rise
We'll rise, oh oh

Rise like the day
I'll rise up
In spite of the ache
I will rise a thousands times again
And we'll rise up
Rise like the waves
We'll rise up
In spite of the ache
We'll rise up
And we'll do it a thousands times again
For you...

With love and gratitude,
Anjanette (AJ)
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