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 . . .

Appointments Today

Tom and I started the day off at the infusion center. I got a couple bags of fluid as well as my monthly zometa infusion and faslodex shots. I also got some pain medicine which was a little stronger than what I have been taking and that was wonderful.

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Still Dealing with Side Effects

We are back from the cruise. I’ll write more about that later.

Last night we flew home and I was dropped off at the ER on the way home. I was too weak to get off the plane without a wheelchair. That was pretty traumatic for the girls, but there was no option. I was too weak to walk. I got 2 bags of fluid at the ER. A CT confirmed that everything is fine, except a lot of inflammation in my throat. I am still not able to drink anything or swallow a lot with out liquid lidocaine.

Tom and I go in tomorrow to see the oncologist again and I get my monthly shots and infusion. I’ll also get some more fluids when I’m at the infusion center. Along with the severe soar throat, I still have some mouth soars as well. The pain meds make it hard to function, cause a lot of twitching and random muscle movements. They make it impossible to make any sort of decision and make it very hard to parent without doing something to make things much harder than than already are,.

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Hello from Cabo

Hello from Cabo San Lucas, Mexico!
I stayed on the ship to rest, so here is the view from our room.

This cruise is very different for us because of the radiation side effects I am dealing with. My mouth sores are slowly getting better, but it now hurts to swallow. The ship Dr. said they can give me some IV fluids if and when I need them.

I have been in the room quite a bit. This blogpost has taken 30 minutes to write because of brain fog and involuntary muscle spasms in my arms and hands – I keep dropping my phone.

Sorry for any typos ❤️

Don’t miss a dose

Made the mistake of letting too much time pass between pain meds. I won’t be doing that again! I was feeling good and enjoying not feeling so drugged up. 🤣

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Pain meds

Tom took me to the oncologist today and we have a pain plan to manage all the sores in my mouth and on my lips (which he believes are from radiation).  I am thankful to have a plan!

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Side effects

Quick update tonight – Side effects hit hard this morning when I woke up. My tongue, lips and throat are pretty swollen and because my mouth was so dry I was having a little trouble breathing. I was able to get that under control by drinking, but I will be honest, it scared me a little bit.

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Almost done with radiation

Today was day 7 of radiation and tomorrow is my last day. Around day 5 which was supposed to be the middle of radiation, my throat started hurting already, and feeling very tight and constricted. It was a pretty scary thing to wake up to in the middle of the night as my mind just went crazy with thoughts of future pain.

I asked the doctor if there was any chance we could cut the radiation short by two days. I explained that the pain in my arm was gone. And most of the pain in my back and my neck was gone. Something must have been pinched in that one area of my neck!

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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