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), have 3 beautiful daughters and I’ve been diagnosed with Stage IV Breast Cancer which has spread to my sternum.

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 . . .

Radiation and Biopsy Results

3 of 10 days of radiation are complete. I’m pretty tired, but I’m not sure it’s because of radiation. There’s just too much going on and I’m struggling to keep up, even with not doing any cooking or cleaning. I’m sure this triggers a “what can I do to help” thought from many friends and family, which I love…but I can’t pass off parenting, appointments with kids and choir concerts.

read more…

Radiation starts on Wednesday

Both appointments went well today. I have a plan to help combat possible side effects for the course of treatment we are leaning towards. Still have to make that final decision after the biopsy results though.

I ran into my oncologist in the hospital today while visiting someone from church. 🙂 Got to chat with him for a few minutes. Once we have the biopsy results, we’ll let him know which course of treatment we want to go with and then he’ll get it ordered. He says it takes about 2 weeks to get insurance approval and to get it shipped to me, but that we wouldn’t start it during radiation anyways. So that works out well.

read more…

Slowly moving along…

I am still awaiting answers on the biopsy, but I did hear from radiation today and will be going to radiation practice 🙂 tomorrow at 1:45.

I also have an appointment at 10 up in Ballard (ugh) with my Nautropath to begin to talk about how to best get my body ready for treatment and what we can do to ease the side effects as much as possible.

read more…

We survived the day!

The girls got off to school and zero hour pretty well this morning. I’m thankful for that. I never know how mornings are going to go…

My infusion was uneventful. I got to catch up with Toni, my nurse, this morning, which is always fun. I did find out the Dr. ordered a couple extra cancer tumor marker blood tests, so I’m curious how those will come back. In the past, even with all the large tumors in my breast, the number was low and hardly changed any.

read more…

Treatment plan and moving forward

Tom and I met with both the radiation oncologist and the oncologist today. The bone scan confirmed there is active cancer in quite a few bones, but only two of them are causing pain right now – my sternum and back (T9).

The current plan is to have two weeks of radiation to target the broken vertebrae in my back as that will give the quickest pain relief. Hopefully this will relieve some of the pain in my ribs when I breathe as well. Ladies, you know the pain of breathing when you are 9 months pregnant? That’s the best way to describe it right now….except I’m not 9 months pregnant. 🙂

Then we have two treatment options to target everything else. The first one is a chemo pill, with similar side effects to IV chemo, but less severe. The biggest side effects being diarrhea, hand-foot syndrome and fatigue. The other option is a lower dose chemo pill and either the hormone blocking pill that I have taken and hated in the past, or the hormone blocking pill can be substituted for a shot that does the same thing….we assume my body will respond the same way it has to all 4 pills with bone pain, but that is unknown.

read more…

Partial Results

I was planning on waiting to share all this after we meet with the oncologists on Friday, but this is just too hard. We have been slowly telling people as needed, but I’ll be honest, I feel like we are falling apart. None of us know what to do. I apologize if you are reading this and I’m not telling you in person, but there were multiple spots on my spine, hips and possibly my sternum on my CT scan, meaning the cancer has returned. I’m reaching out for help as needed, but there’s not a lot any of us can do right now and it’s just hard.

read more…

tom-and-jennifer-ovalMeet Jennifer

Breast Cancer Patient, Chef Wife and Mom

email sign up

Resources:

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

What to Expect:

Breast Biopsy
x-default
PET Scan
port surgery
Mastectomy
Reconstruction
oophorectomy
Radiation