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 . . .

So far so good

Well, so far so good on the new medicine. I’ve taken two half doses and two full doses. The biggest side effect I have so far is that I have a very dry mouth and I am incredibly thirsty all the time…which leads to me drinking a lot…which leads to me going to the bathroom a lot…you get picture. So we’ll be keeping an eye on that for a few days to make sure I’m not having high blood sugar issues, which is a very common side effect of this medication.

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New Medication Started and Radiation Coming Soon

Trials…that appears to be the theme of the day. From talking about it during counseling this morning, studying about it in my Bible Study on James mid morning and then this week’s AWANA section too! As I said Luke 22:41-42 over and over and over with Ashley to help her memorize it….Jesus asked God to remove the trial if He was willing, but only if it was His will.

Luke 22:41-42 “And He withdrew from them about a stone’s throw, and He knelt down and began to pray, saying, “Father, if You are willing, remove this cup from Me; yet not My will, but Yours be done.”

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New Medicine Next Week

Hellooooooo from freezing Washington. It’s been a week filled with snow days and late starts for the girls and it’s been nice to have easier mornings this week. 🙂

My new medicine, Piquray, arrives via FedEx on Monday. Without insurance it costs $20,000 a month. My co-pay is $0 – which I guess means I already hit my out of pocket max 16 days into the new calendar year or it’s billed differently than regular prescriptions. I have no idea. I’m just very grateful for insurance!

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Early Scan

It hasn’t been the week I expected.

After Sunday morning’s start with neck pain, the Dr. and nurse told me to go to the ER if the pain got a lot worse, or if I had shortness of breath, pain in my arms, etc.

Tuesday morning as I was getting ready, my left arm started hurting from my wrist up to the middle of my bicep. Since I never asked the Dr. what type of arm pain to be concerned about, I called the office. After talking with the nurse for 20 minutes, she said I should go to the ER…not because it was really an emergency, but because things seem to be progressing quickly and if I went to the ER, they would do the CT scan immediately and I wouldn’t have to wait.

I called my neighbor Jen and she drove me up to the ER. Tom met me there. It was a long day of waiting and playing games on our phones. I am totally addicted to playing Yatzee (thanks Else for getting me started on that on Christmas).

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Drugged up

I’ve spent most of the day in bed sleeping on and off. The last week and a half I’ve noticed my shoulders, upper spine and neck have been hurting. It started when we were at Disneyland. I didn’t mention it to my other colleges last week because I figured was just from being a super active on vacation. It was worse yesterday and really bad this morning, bad enough that I didn’t feel like I could drive safely as it’s hard to turn my neck and I stayed home from church. I called the oncologist on call and he told me how much Tylenol with codeine to take and then to move to oxycodone if I needed to. He said if that didn’t touch the pain, I needed to go to the ER. Two Tylenol with codeine helped a little and I can at least lay in bed and move my head a little without major pain. I usually just take half of a pill, so it’s quite a bit more than normal.

This morning I was wondering if maybe it was a pinched nerve, but the doctor said since I didn’t have any shooting pain radiating anywhere, that wasn’t likely. I’ve been really anxious the past few days with the scans coming up and I’m pretty scared right now. Hopefully it’s just some wonky thing that will resolve itself in a day or two.

Please pray the pain will subside enough that I can lower the amount of medicine I have to take and that I can get out of bed. I also really need to be able to drive this week.

Happy New Year

Happy New Year! I can’t believe it’s 2020!

We got home from our trip to Southern California about 11:45 on Monday night. It was great to spend time with family at Christmas. I wish we all lived closer! Our trip to Disneyland was fun but exhausting. I walked 43 miles in 4 days. I’m so thankful for a hotel to go back and rest in as I needed to! Now we need a vacation from our vacation.

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Merry Christmas


Merry Christmas from our family to yours. I pray today is full of wonderful memories and celebration of the birth of our Saviour.

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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