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 Co-CEO 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  and one of my lungs 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 . . .

Another Day at the Infusion Center

I had chemo again this morning. Today for the first time since November, my port was clogged. I went an entire year without it clogging. So today, bloodwork and some hydration were doing via IV to get me out of there quicker. I only had to wait 30 minutes with the unblocking medicine in the port and it worked. I was very thankful for that, or I would have had to wait an additional 90 minutes for the medicine to work. Hopefully this will not be something we have to deal with on a regular basis again!

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The Successful Transition

Imagine having a job for 25 years and then needing to hand that job off to someone else and then watch them do it day in and day out (and often better than you did). Imagine doing that with a mind that is still working pretty well, just a body that is failing and making it so you can no longer do your job.

Since our marriage began almost 25 years ago, our home and taking care of our girls during the day has been my job. Yes, I did some years of teaching, but my hours were always less than Tom’s, so I did the majority of the housework. When we started our family, he continued to provide for our family by working outside the home and I took care of the home and the girls while he was at work. I tried my best to make our home a place he could come home and relax, without having much to do, since he was working 60-70 hours a week plus a commute.

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Changes to the House When You are Fighting Cancer

I never thought about it before it happened, but our home has changed in the past year because of my cancer. I’m not talking about the people in the house or how the house runs (I’ll save that for another post), I’m talking about the things in the house. I imagine it has changed like some older people’s homes, as I could see how these accommodations would be helpful for aches and pains of an aging body.

Let’s start with the bedroom. 2 months before we found out my cancer had returned, I was having a lot of back pain. At that time I thought it was from the arthritis and herniated disc in my back. So for our September birthdays, Tom and I splurged and bought a new bed…well…beds. We got new mattresses with adjustable bases. We got two twin XL beds so that when they are side by side, they look the same as a king size bed, but because they are separate, we can both adjust our side how we need it. Our room is very small, so pretty much we have a bed in our room with the tiniest little side tables we could find.

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Good and Bad Days

It’s hard waking up in the morning, not knowing if it’s going to be a good or bad day physically. Yesterday was a good day. I was able to do a few things around the house and play a few games. It was different and nice. The day before and today I’m more tired and have a little pain, even with pain meds. I know this is not unlike many of your lives….some days are better than others. That’s just how life is.

This week we’ve had a break from appointments which has been very nice. I’ve been really productive this week. I got our Christmas cards ready and mailed out. I think I finished our Christmas shopping. (I’m very thankful to be able to shop for gifts sitting at home in my comfortable chair.) I’ve organized some things on the computer, finished a Bible Study up with a friend and decided on which one to start next. I’ve played quite a few rounds of Monopoly Deal with Ashley which has been a lot of fun. I’ve scanned paperwork from my In Box to be filed away soon. All of things are great. However, the best thing of all….are you ready for this????? I SHAVED MY LEGS! Yes you read that correctly. That was the highlight of my week!

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2nd Opinion

Today has been a really hard day. My legs are heavy and throbbing and I have been too weak to get out of bed. Thankfully, the Dr. up at Seattle Cancer Care Alliance agreed to meet with us over Zoom so we didn’t have to cancel the appointment. I couldn’t have made it up there today.

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This is a first…

Well, I almost don’t know how to write this post because I actually have good news. I’m not used to getting to share good news.

I had my CT today and it went well. We got the results from the radiologist about 15 minutes after I got home which is so fast! We googled a little bit and it looked like it was good news, but were a little unsure. The doctor called at the end of his work day and I am happy to say I have good scan results!

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So Much to be Thankful for, so why am I so Discouraged?

We have so much to be thankful for,  and I could make a big list for you. We’ve talked about them this week. Yet I’m sitting here worried and scared about this upcoming week.

Monday I have chemo again.

Tuesday I have a CT scan to see how this chemo is working.  Since my symptoms are getting worse,  I don’t expect to get good news from this scan.

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Meet Jennifer

Breast Cancer Patient, Chef Wife and Mom

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Resources:

verses of encouragement
How to help a friend or family member with cancer
Resources for Cancer 'Patients
cancer insurance

What to Expect:

Breast Biopsy
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PET Scan
port surgery
chemotherapy
Mastectomy
Reconstruction
oophorectomy
Radiation
neuropathy after chemo