cropped-butterfly-2.pngI’m sorry you found my blog.

HA!  What a funny thing to say on a blog!!  But seriously, if you landed here, you either know me, or know someone that has cancer.  That’s why I’m sorry!

Cancer.

I hate that word.

I remember sitting in the oncologist’s office in my early 20’s listening to the Dr. tell me that while it was not likely I would get Ocular Melanoma like my Mom, 3 out of 4 people would be diagnosed with some sort of cancer in their life.  Since all of my Grandparents and my Mom have died of some type of cancer, I knew my day would come.  I just never thought my diagnosis would be the day after my 41st birthday and as a mother of a 10, 7 and 6 year old.

Fast forward 4 years (October 2019) and the cancer has returned in other bones.  So here we are, ready to fight again…and looking to be on some sort of treatment for the rest of my life.

This blog is my journey as I fight to leave cancer behind and move on in my life.

I should probably back up and introduce myself . . . my name is Jennifer.  I’m a Christ follower, married to an amazing man (who happens to be a chef turned COO of a restaurant), have 3 beautiful daughters and I’ve been diagnosed with Stage IV Breast Cancer which originally spread to my sternum, but has now spread to quite a few other bones as well.

I know it can be confusing when you stumble upon a new blog, so let me help you get started.

  • I have a blog to keep track of my thoughts and to let friends and family know what’s going on.
  • You can get to know our family or read my personal testimony here.
  • As I’ve been going through different procedures, I’ve written down what it was like.  You can find a list of those over in the side bar (or down at the bottom if you are on a mobile device).
  • Click here to receive an email when I publish new posts.
  • And finally, if you noticed above that I’m married to a chef and think that must be the MOST AMAZING THING EVER, click here and browse through my blog about what it’s really like to be married to a chef.  (I love blogging.  Can you tell?)

Jennifer

Here’s what’s going on with me right now . . .

Hard Days

The last few days have been really hard. Even though I’m sleeping a full night and sleeping well, I wake up and I’m still so tired. Yesterday I took three naps and really was not out of bed much. Today I was so weak I was out of bed even less. I needed to take a shower, and was so concerned about falling that I had Tom in there with me the whole time just to be safe.

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Getting out of the house

Don’t worry…the only reason I left the house was to go to the infusion center. Believe it or not, I was excited to go, because it meant I could be somewhere besides my house. I wasn’t quite as excited when I got the shots or they poked me for the IV, but I did have my favorite nurse Toni, and I always love chatting with her. She said my labs looked good and the infusion and shot went well. We also met with my palliative care nurse and talked a little bit about back pain management and some ideas on how to get my energy up.

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What day is it?

That question was asked by numerous people in our home today. I have a feeling it will be asked almost every day and we will lose track of what day it actually is while we are hanging out at home all the time!

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Sunday update

I haven’t updated in a while, because I keep putting it off. I keep hoping things will get better, but it’s very, very slow. I am able to eat now without lidocaine, although my taste buds are still messed up. Even my favorite milk chocolate Cadbury eggs don’t taste good, which makes me so sad. Coffee doesn’t taste good. Pretty much nothing tastes as it should. That makes it really hard to eat…which makes it really hard to get enough calories…which makes it hard to get my energy back. Ugh. I haven’t updated because I was concerned it would just come across as complaining, and I don’t want that. I’m struggling with contentment. I know the truth that my contentment is based on my relationship with the Lord and not my circumstances, but I’ll be honest, I’m really struggling with that right now.

Tom had to go out of town part of last week, so my mother-in-law flew up for the week. She was so helpful and it was so nice to spend time with her. Sage keeps coming out of her room and telling me that she misses Grandma. ❤️

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Eating more and more

I’m eating a little more each each day. I’m about 50% food and 50% liquid for my diet right now. I had 2 visits to the infusion center this past week for fluids and might go once more this next week if I need it.

I’m still on the same pain medicine, although I’m now able to drink through the day with out needing a lot of lidocaine. It’s hit or miss what will sting my throat or will be hard to swallow, so I am trying a lot of things.

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Down a few more pounds but throat is getting better

My throat is getting better quickly. A few times today I was able to pick up a cup of water and drink without having to use lidocaine first! That is a big improvement. In addition to a protein drink today, I was able to eat some soup for lunch and a little bit of the Thanksgiving dinner that we had for dinner. The bites are small, and I probably ate a half cup total, but it’s something,

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I ate a Thin Mint

Yep…….it hurt. But I ate one. I have seen a little bit of improvement in my throat. I have been able to get down some tapioca pudding, mashed potatoes, a couple bites of meatloaf, and a few other things I can’t remember. With the exception of the tapioca pudding, it’s just a few bites and it all hurts to swallow, even with the lidocaine.

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tom-and-jennifer-ovalMeet Jennifer

Breast Cancer Patient, Chef Wife and Mom

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Resources:

How to help a friend or family member with cancer
Resources for Cancer 'Patients
neuropathy after chemo

What to Expect:

Breast Biopsy
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PET Scan
port surgery
Mastectomy
Reconstruction
oophorectomy
Radiation