Day 1

Mar 20

It is always good to be boring at the doctor’s office. Ho hum, run of the mill, yadda yadda, and all that jazz. Today I was not boring. A quick check of a lump in my breast at my OB/GYN lead to a referral for a biopsy. A kind-hearted receptionist at the office of the breast surgeon heard the worry of my heart in my voice and opted to squeeze me in for a same-day appointment.

I sat wearing a lovely hospital gown, as hospital gowns go, feeling pleased that I had tied the straps so that it fit like a garment rather than a costume. I answered questions. I reminded myself I am 32. I observed but did not consider the waiting room advertisements for wigs and mastectomy products. I texted. I fidgeted.

The doctor, Dr. Awesome, was wonderful. She looked me in the eye, she asked me to tell her why I am here. “To be told it’s nothing,” I replied.
We chatted through my thorough exam. She winced once, and nearly hid it. She said she would get the ultrasound machine, and I pulled out my phone anticipating a long wait. Seconds later, she wheeled in with a laptop-looking machine. She warned me, appropriately, about the room temperature gel. We laughed. She did the exam. It was quiet. Keys clicked.

She stopped, put her arm on my shoulder, turned to me and said, “You know there is something going on here.”

I said, “Yes.”

“What we have here is some cancer. There are multiple tumors, here and here,” indicating screen shots.

“Okay.” Deep breath. Mind racing. This is real. Big exhale. She’s packing up the machine to my left. She walks to the front of the bed; I sit up. “Can you give me any more information?”

“Today we’re going to get you a mammogram and we need a biopsy. There are a lot of tests and a lot more information that we need to gather. I can tell you that we will get this information and we will treat this. Surgically, I can’t do anything for you right now, and you will have chemotherapy starting soon.”

Me: “Okay.” Trying to evaluate the seriousness of this. “So, chemotherapy, as in, I’m going to lose my hair?”

Her, nodding confidently: “Yep.”

Me: “Okay.” Also nodding. Suddenly this sounds awesome. Chemotherapy is awesome because it is treatment. There is a plan. (Or, at this point, the plan to make a plan.) Funny how I went from feeling all “poor them” about chemo patients to “giddy-up–I want me somma that!” in the span of 90 seconds.

Dr. Awesome left to go order some tests. Stat. Because I’m so not boring.

I pulled out my phone. This seems interrupt-husband-at-work-worthy. I stop. What is the best way to deliver this news? Decide there is no good way, and dial. He answers. He hears. I say the c.a.n.c.e.r. word, but opt to withhold the chemotherapy word until we are together. The doctor pops in to tell me that I’ll be having both the mammogram and the biopsy today. Again, I’m special and un-boring. He’s stunned. He says all the right things. He’s amazing.

I have a mammogram. Oddly, not my first as I had one at 14, mostly, I think, because I have a very vigilant mother. The mammogram tech is young and excellent at her job. She bumps me in the neck and profusely apologizes all while arranging me just so for the mammogram. I find this hilarious. She’s asking me irrelevant questions for her form and I interrupt to say “I have cancer. She told me already. Today.” Because that sort of sums up why I need a mammogram. I realize there is a whole column on those medical history questionairres that is going to require a lot more attention. I go back to the waiting room with other women in poorly tied gowns. One woman is attempting to get the ties right, and failing miserably. I want to help her, but I don’t because what is the etiquette? I text. I wait. Another patient is called back, her name is Mercy. I pray for mercy.

We go back to the consult room with freshly printed films. Dr. Awesome comes in and starts prepping the biopsy paraphrenalia.

“Thank you for fitting me in to your day.” I’ve been there for 2 hours already. “I really appreciate your time and speediness with all the tests.”

“You’re welcome,” while getting supplies out of cabinet, half to herself. “There are some that we squeeze in when it’s rather moderate, and then, well… We need to get this done today.”

Not boring. Very special.

I say, “So, I’m open to a mastectomy.”

She doesn’t miss a beat when she says, “Yes, we’ll do that.”

I blink. “Like, for sure?”

“Yep,” more nodding.

Not boring. Noble willing-to-be-breastless me absorbs another blow that it’s not a conservative choice but a necessary one. Oh my.

Dr. Awesome comes to my side with the biopsy tray. She chuckles, which I appreciated, “Well, your films showed that there are some masses here that we need to biopsy.”

I laugh, “Okay, I’m ready.”
We chat while she uses a marker, then a numbing needle and punch biopsy needle. By this time she knows I have two beautiful girls, and I know she spoils her nieces and nephews.

I move from comparing the biopsy needle to a nail gun to, “So, with this mastectomy, will you make them even?” gesturing to my breasts.

She laughs and doesn’t answer right away–not like her.

I continue, “I like to weave my questions in, you know, go from the serious to the light.” I look up at her and realize she has tears in her eyes. All the air is sucked out of the room as I study her face and say softly, “You’re really worried about me, aren’t you?” And I know she is. Her compassion is equally magnificent and terrifying.

She takes a deep breath and tells me that this is going to be a big fight. There is a lot we have to do. There is a long process ahead. It will be hard.

The tears tumble as I say, “Can I be cancer-free in a year?”

Quickly, “Yes.”

“Promise? Really?”

“Yes, I’ve seen it before. We have a lot to do, you and I.”

“Okay,” fighting for control, “I just want to be here for my girls, that’s all I care about.”

“We’re going to to do everything we can.”

Next steps will be MRI, CT scan and bone scan. Later in the week we’ll meet with an oncologist and we’ll have the results of all the tests and scans. We’ll make a plan.

I leave the office thinking through the conversations I must have tonight. I stop and interrupt the kind receptionist who squeezed me in today to thank her again and tell her it was the right decision. I think: she may have saved my life today.

299 comments

  1. Brian White /

    We are praying hard for you and the family! WE LOVE YOU GUYS!! Please let us know if there is anything you need along your road to recovery – including a get away to Iowa or where ever else you may want to travel with the Whites to take a break.

  2. Simply amazed by you, Jen! What an amazing account of your day. We are here for you and with you, and we will be FIGHTING along side you. Saw this and reminded me of the days that may lie ahead…”Some days there won’t be a song in your heart…sing anyway.” We will be there to sing with you/for you! We love you!!!

  3. Catherine Butterworth /

    Dear Jen,
    In my sewing room I have a photo of Maren in the family christening dress as well as a photo of Maren holding Greta Rose wearing the same dress. I smile every time I look at it because it reminds me of the wonderful relationship between the Mathie, Butterworth, Caldwell and Powell families.

    The prayers started when I read the first line of your Mother’s email. They will continue everyday and especially every time I look at those special photos in my sewing room.

    Love you, Catherine

  4. You write so well……………thank you for sharing. We will fight with you.

  5. Jen ~ You are so brave & so wise. I’m not sure I could have put all this into words as you did. Prayers to you & everyone who loves you ~
    Peace be with you, Marlayne :-)

  6. Sandy /

    This is a beautiful read. I’ll see you here everyday Jen.

  7. Kim House /

    Will be reading & praying for your health and quick recovery Jen… you are an incredible woman & I know you’ll give this all your red-headed best! Sending love & hugs your way, Kim

  8. Christin /

    Agreeing with Sandy- you are a heck of a writer. Agreeing with ‘Mum’- I’ll be a fighter with you, in prayer and practicality. Agreeing with God- You and your family are in the hands that created the universe. I love you and am here to help in any way.

  9. Michael Gorman /

    Dearest Jen:
    I am so sorry to hear the news of your ordeal with Cancer. You have strong genes from Clan Mathie and know that lots of people have entered you in their respective churches prayer list. Having known your family for as many years as I have, I remain steadfast with confidence that you will maintain your sense of humor beat this thing. With endless good thoughts and prayers for you and your wonderful family.
    With much love,
    Michael Gorman

  10. Michele /

    You sat down and tapped away, and I’m having trouble forming one sentence. We love you with all our hearts and pray for a speedy recovery! Kisses & great big hugs…The Reitman’s

  11. I say if you want to tie some Yahoo’s gown, go for it. Here is the only gown etiquette I know:
    1.Don’t wear white to someone else’s wedding.
    2.You can only pour punch on someones gown if they are a jerkface.
    3.Don’t copy someones gown unless you are open to being compared in a fashion magazine.

    That would be really funny, you and the other patient in a “Who wore it better?” If it is a contest, you shouldn’t help her, you should be pairing your gown with the right accessories. I’m thinking nude heels and a Kate Spade purse.

  12. What Cancer Cannot do
    Cancer is so limited
    It cannot cripple love
    It cannot shatter hope
    It cannot corrode faith
    It cannot destroy peace
    It cannot kill friendship
    It cannot suppress memories
    It cannot silence courage
    It cannot invade the soul
    It cannot steal eternal life
    It cannot conquer the spirit.

    Jen,
    From your post, I can see you have the attitude needed to go on this journey.Always rememeber that others will be keeping you close in heart and prayer and will travel with you.My advise to others as always been that you have to take charge of it, be tougher and meaner and let the cancer know it picked the wrong person.
    Take care-Take Charge
    Sandy Elder

  13. Bob and Kathy Orlando /

    Jen,

    Take these words written several thousand years ago to heart as a guide during your chemo treatments. Know that our LORD will be with you and your family each step of the way. Our prayers and support are with you.

    Joshua 1:9 “Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous! Do not tremble or be dismayed, for the LORD your God is with you wherever you go”

    Bob & Kathy Orlando

  14. Jim Konves /

    Hi Jen I am a friend of your fathers from Rotary. I have three daughters 34, 31, and 27. I cannot even imagine how I would feel if one of them were in your circumstances. i am praying for you and adding you to my prayer groups. I share your faith and can promise you…………….your battle will give glory to God and give countless blessings to many. I have personally benefitted already. I am 60 years old and cant say I have read any book any more moving than your blog journal. You are an accomplished writer and I hope it gives you peace. Just one more thing………I have known several women with breast cancer (also young) who all are doing great now and cancer FREE. I am sure you know there are many support groups available , leverage them, they help. Go get em…………………

  15. Dear Jen, The only Gown etiquette I know is that they are best tied up at the side, when tied at the back or front they do not always lead to a ” good look “, where are with you every step o the way , love the Buderim mob.

  16. Tina Mathie /

    Sending warm thoughts, prayers, hugs and support and love.

    XoXo
    <3 Tina

  17. Krystal O'Brien /

    Hiya, I’m one of the monkees from momastery. I’ll be sending you and your family good vibes! We’ve seen what love can do…you’ll be just fine.

  18. Loving you and your girls – in both senses of that word. I’m a stranger who cares, who is praying for you and your family. Who is lifting you up so that all the good will and healing that is meant for you (and heading your way) can find you a little easier.
    Huge far-away hug from a Monkee,
    Julie

  19. carissa /

    Just love …love for you Jen. From Canada sent.

  20. Sending prayers to you and your family for ongoing strength and peace.

    Sister on, Jen–you can beat this!

    (With thanks to Glennon at Momastery for the link to your site.)

  21. Jen-
    I am so sorry you and your family are on this journey. My friend took the journey with breast cancer and she survived. She writes beautifully about it and if you haven’t found her blog or twitter, yet, I think you would be touched by it. Her name is Lisa Adams. Her web site is http://lisabadams.com/ and her twitter handle is @AdamsLisa
    I wish you all the best and know you will find what you need to fight the good fight.
    Sister On!
    Love, Julie

  22. So I cannot even imagine being in your shoes. I’m (almost) 36 and I have two girls too. If I did find myself in your shoes, I would want people to tell me things they think I may not know. So hopefully you won’t mind if I do that for you. Please check into these two things:

    http://www.burzynskiclinic.com/

    and

    http://gerson.org/gerpress/

    In the meantime, you will be in my thoughts and prayers.

    Love,
    Mary

  23. Sister On! You will get through this and you will be loved and supported throughout this fight! I am so glad you have Dr. Awesome!

    With love,
    Andie

  24. tpohlkotte /

    oh, prayers and love all over you and your family. What a beautiful writer, beautiful spirit living in a crazy mess. But goodness will win. Your job is to sit back and believe…watch it all unfold.

  25. Hillary /

    Oh Jen, you wonderful beautiful woman. I am so sorry! This sucks for you and your family! I am so proud of you for fighting and I am sending prayers and love and hope and strength and everything I can to be right there with you through this. I believe in you! I really do! Hugs sweetie! You’re gonna do this! LOVE to you!!!

  26. Fight, Brave Woman. Fight.

  27. ladybuggsmama /

    I am here…fighting with you, praying for you, and knowing you can do this. YOU CAN DO HARD THINGS. Sometimes life deals you crap…and you see beams of light through the crap…your Dr., the receptionist, your husband…YOU. Keep fighting…and all the while, think of a Mama, in Maryland, with a heart like yours, a daughter like your girls, and know that Im praying…as hard as I can…you are loved.

  28. Carlie /

    I came to your blog through momastery and just wanted to send enormous virtual hugs your way. I don’t know what else to give. I’m glad you have a Dr. Awesome, and I’m praying for you,
    Carlie

  29. Rachel Daly /

    Beautifully written, I felt like I was right there beside you. Love and prayers to you and your family.

  30. holistictouchpm /

    Oh my. Jen you have my heart all squeezed up and worried. I’m glad you have such a caring and compassionate doctor. And you husband…so glad he is amazing…makes things so much easier. My family is fighting it’s own fights now…but you remind me that it’s okay and that this is the path…we must walk it. I will be thinking about you, sending you good, sweet healing thoughts and I look forward to reading that you are cancer free in a year. Much love – J, J, D and K

  31. Heather /

    Jen, you don’t know me but I am praying for you and your family. Your post shows a remarkable attitude and sense of humor that will carry you through this bump in your road.

  32. Jenny /

    Jen, I come to you via Momastery. I am in awe of your spirit and think that feistiness and spirit will carry you far and serve you well as you embark on this fight. My thoughts and prayers are with you, along with many other monkees!

  33. Jen, My mom went through this at 35 when I was two and my siblings were 9 and 11. At 78, she is still with us. You will get through this and we will all be praying for you along the way.

  34. newbie here from Momastery. i thank you for your courage and for sharing this w/ me. I have a sister who has tested positive for the cancer gene, she has had cancer on the breast and of the thyroid. she has had a double masectomy, removed thyroids, and a hystorectomy. While undergoing all this…as if it isn’t enough….her son was diagnosed w/ lymphoma while he was in a medically induced coma and on a ventilator because the tumors had blocked his airway. After a year of fighting and 3 different chemo trials, they were able to get him to stem cell transplant….a cure right!!! we were so elated…3 weeks after his transplant doing great….he spikes a low grade fever…back in to the hospital…no reason could be found for the fever…so the CDC was called in w/ thoughts of an infectious disease. Standard testing for CDC began..including lumbar puncture and low and behold, my nephew had cancer in the spinal fluid which had been there all along and because the fluid is protected by a membrane, the treatments did not get to this cancer and it has been left to grow and w/ no immune system due to the stem cell transplant, it ramped up and started growing like wild fire. His prognosis is not good! We are all reeling from this. How my sister holds it together, i will never know but I thank God for her strenght and for her. Her son is lucky to have her as his mom and we are praying for the miracle!

    again, thank you for your perspective. many well wishes to you and may God bless you. I will keep you in our prayers as well.

  35. I’m a follower now…..and sending you strength and love everyday. This is the fight of your life and you’re not fighting alone.

  36. Amber /

    I will think of you and pray daily that you walk on the beach with your daughters next summer, hug them at their graduation, walk them down the isle at their wedding and hold their babies. You sound amazing, so I know you can do this.

  37. You are in my prayers Jen. I pray for your continued strength and for God and your family to hold you up when you can’t be strong.

  38. Jen
    Glennon at Momastery sent her readers here. You now have more prayer warriors in your corner than this cancer will be able to handle. You are awesome. This disease does not stand a chance. I look forward to following your journey, though I pray the journey is short, and I look forward to the news that the cancer is gone. Because it will be gone. Love and prayers.

  39. Jennifer Fallon /

    You are an amazing writer and your candor is beyond inspirational. Sometimes we never know what something is like until we’ve walked the road ourselves. But reading your words make me feel like I’m walking right next to you. Thank you.

    ♥ from another Jen ♥

  40. joannamcolwill /

    I will be praying for you. I have days where I remind myself that this world is bigger than just me, I have 2 little girls, I must go on for them! I hope for as painless a journey as possible.

  41. Sarah /

    Praying for you
    Sarah

  42. joannamcolwill /

    I will pray for you! I have days where I have to remind myself that the world is bigger than me, I have 2 little girls that need me, and I must fight on! Praying for a journey as painless as possible.

  43. Praying for you and your husband and your girls. So impressed by your strength and grace.

  44. julieobryant@msn.com /

    Oh, my. Tears here. No words, not really. Just prayers from a woman you may never know.
    I’m thinking of you and your family. Thank you for your courage and perspective. Well, I guess there WERE some words, after all.

  45. Visiting from Momastery. What an eloquent and heart-touching read! My prayers are with you for courage, strength, and all the support and care you need as you fight this battle! Thank you for sharing Day 1 with us.

  46. Kerri /

    You are amazing. You need to be on this earth, right now, so fight, fight hard, and we will pray hard, because YOU need to be here! You are my hero…..and so is your doctor. Fight on, my friend, fight on.

  47. Liz Book /

    Heard about your story from Momastery. Praying for you and your family. Remember, we can do HARD things! God has you in the palm of his hand and will carry you through this.

  48. danielle /

    Just a monkee that took a detour from momastery. I’m praying for you & your family! I know I’m just one person but i also do know that God hears prayers & heals!

  49. You don’t know me but I’m fighting and praying for you every step of the way. When things got tough my mom use to take me by the shoulders, look me in the eye and say “you can do this, because you are strong like bull!” Jen – I can tell already “you’re strong like bull.”

  50. Stephanie /

    I can’t imagine being told this news at such a young age with kids of my own. You sound like a fighter for sure. I’ll be praying for a full recovery and many cancer free years ahead of you!

  51. Rachel /

    I came from momastery & you don’t know me, but I wanted to let you know that I’m praying for you & your family. Sending LOVE.

  52. I’m so sorry. So so sorry. Cancer is an evil, evil disease but you are a strong woman and I can tell from the other comments on this post you have a lot of people on your side helping to hold you up. You are in my thoughts and prayers. Beat this thing. Beat it. Beat it into the ground and then stomp on it a few times while it’s down.

  53. Colleen /

    This Monkee is praying like crazy for you Jen. You WILL do this hard thing. We will be there to hold your hand and dance with you.

  54. Jen, thank you for this beautifully written and transparent post. I will be praying for you unceasingly. Love to you and your family.
    Lisa

  55. Keeping you in our prayers. Keep up the fight – you got this!

  56. Jen,
    I read Glennon’s blog post this morning and came right over. I hope you are prepared for a whole slew of Monkees to be knocking at your blog door. You are and eloquent writer, a loving mother, a caring wife, and a damn human being, so the Monkees will rally. You were blessed with a kind and compassionate medical staff (do they realize what comfort that brings in such an uncomfortable situation?) and I hope that continues. Lots of love, support, good vibes, and prayers to you, your family, your friends, your medical team, etc.

    Love, Megan (just one Monkee)

  57. Laura /

    Sending much love and prayers to you and your family at this difficult time xxxx

  58. JulieJ /

    Jen,
    I may not know you personally, but I can’t help but be touched by your story. I am praying for you. You fight with everything you have…for yourself, for your husband, and for those girls. Your sharing of this just might save another woman’s life. Thank you.

  59. Niki Smith /

    I don’t know you, but read about your fight on Momastery. I am a firm believer in the power of specific prayer. Today, I pray for devine intervention and complete healing of the cancer in your body. I believe you will be here to raise your daughters, not because I know something about cancer, because I know about faith. Love to you and your family.

  60. Dear Jen,
    My heart goes out to you, and to your family. Your writing and your account say to me that you have what it takes to win this battle, and I’m asking God to give you this – this life, your family, your light in this world.
    Praying,
    Jo

  61. Sent by Momastery. You are amazing and strong and incredible to write so beautifully in the face of such a challenge. Sending you love and prayers and strength!

  62. Virginia /

    You WILL beat this! The Monkees are lifting you up. Stay strong!

  63. So much love and so many prayers being sent your way. Thank you for sharing your story, you are brave and courageous and light and love.

  64. I’m glad you wrote Glennon, because I am here, and I am praying for you. Fight, pray, and love.

  65. Jaime Rice Denning /

    Jen,
    Thank you for bravely sharing your story with everyone. Not only are you facing this difficult diagnosis with grace, optimism (and humor), but you’re inspiring others to help you make sure that GOOD WILL TRIUMPH. Robbie and I are thinking of you and your family and praying for your continued strength and recovery.
    With love,
    Jaime

  66. <3
    Let's do this thing! Time to Sister on!

  67. Tears and hugs! I’m 32 with two daughters so your story is close to home. Praying for a successful treatment, speedy recovery, and that you’ll be cancer free and able to watch your girls grow old.

  68. I’m here from Momastery and just want to tell you I’ll be thinking of you and praying. Love to you and your family.

  69. LIndsay /

    Sending love and prayers to you and your family as you move through this journey. Thank you for sharing your story.

  70. sending much love and prayers…
    theresa

  71. Praying so hard for you and your family.

  72. The battles we face cannot be measured by their capacity or brevity, but by the tenacity of the warrior. I will pray for you and your army. I will pray that your and your army’s tenacity is ferocious, courageous and never tiring. I will also pray that you will feel these prayers when you are at your weakest.

  73. Oh my heart. Praying and praying from Virginia! All our love!

  74. Shelley Emond /

    Just said a prayer for you Jen!!

  75. I got here through Momastery. I am going to be following your story every day and praying for you. I am going to pray every single day for you. Thank you for sharing this. You are brave and I love your sense of humor. This is how I deal with trauma too. And I think that the sense of humor will be something that helps. I am thinking of you and I am going to pray that you win this fight. You will conquer it!!!

  76. Glennon posted your link. Glad she did. You are incredibly strong. You will beat this. I will follow your battle and will pray. Kick butt!!!

  77. Glennon from Momastery sent me here. I’m glad she did. Prayers are being lifted up for you & your family. ♥

  78. Misty /

    I don’t know you….but I am crying in my living room in Michigan after reading your post. I am sending you love. I am sending you light. I am praying for your strength to be renewed each day. Please….get well…

  79. Your courage in the face of something so scary is wonderful. I do not share your gift for writing but I wanted you to know that my family will be praying for you.

  80. You. Your girls. Your entire family are in my prayers! Me and my little girl will keep you in our nightly prayers! We are fighting for you’

  81. hopefulleigh /

    Lifting up a prayer for you and your family right now, Jen.

  82. Laura /

    Praying for you and your family. It sounds as though you have a great team who are ready to help you fight. Just know that there are a lot of people you’ve never met (Monkees, if we’re being technical) who will be praying for you, your husband, your girls and Team Dr Awesome- and that is no small thing.

  83. Bobbi /

    Hi Jen – I’m just one from Glennon’s family of Monkeys. We all will be with you, praying, crying, caring and loving you – every step of the way. You are an amazing, strong lady with many supporters. God bless you and keep you in his loving hands.

  84. maggieeileen /

    Jen, I’m here from Momastery. I am praying for you in this journey. Love surrounds you. Thank you for letting us know (quite eloquently) so that we may be with you.

  85. Lisa L /

    Hi, Jen! I’m here from Momastery. Sending love and prayers your way.

  86. So glad I found your post today. Beautifully written and very moving. You sound like an amazing woman and my thoughts are with you.

  87. Jaime C. /

    Your grace is staggering. The prayers for you are unnumbered. So many are behind you- believe and fight!

  88. Jenn DiSarcina /

    Sending the most positive thoughts and prayers for you and your entire family. Your attitude is more awesome than Dr. Awesome!

  89. perceptivitystudio /

    From one Jen with two boys to another with two girls, even though you are a stranger, I have you in my thoughts. Kick cancer’s butt, ok?

  90. You go girl and kick that cancer’s butt. You have girls to raise and you have people here for you. Your post just took my breath away. Actually, I held it the entire rime. And now I am taking a deep one and beginning to pray for you as I will every day from now on. Will be following you on this journey. You. Are. Amazing.

  91. Sending loving, healing thoughts. Sister on, you can do hard things.

  92. Praying for you. And your family. And Dr. Awesome.

  93. maggieeileen /

    (Oops, something happened to my post. Sorry if my comments go out twice.)

    Jen, I am here from Momastery. I am praying for you & your family on this journey that you didn’t choose. Please know that love surrounds you. May you have comfort & peace in Jesus.Thank you for writing (so eloquently) so that we know to pray for you.

  94. Praying for you!

  95. I don’t know you, but I am thinking of you, Jen. I also have had cancer in my life – I was diagnosed with thyroid cancer at 37, and although I have been cancer free for two years now, the ripple effects of the experience have not disappeared. This kind of experience is one of those “before and after” lines that defines your life, for better or worse. Just from reading one blog entry your strong spirit is evident. Stay open to the ways this will change your life – there can be gifts to be gleaned amongst the tears, although sometimes they are really hard to see. Just know that if you stay strong, open and hopeful, they will be there. Stay strong. Experience love in all the places you can. I will pray that you leave cancer behind you and take with you only the lessons that make life more precious and joyful. Sending much love your way.

  96. I’m here from Momastery and want you to know there is a whole world of love and prayers being sent your way. Cancer doesn’t stand a chance.

  97. I’m crying and praying for you. Sending you love, strength and healing.

  98. Mollie /

    Thank you for sharing your story. Wow. I heard of your story from Glennon and I want you to know I’m pulling for you!

  99. Much love to you. Praying and sending love and light. Tons. Of. IT!!!! /

    Love!!!!!!! Sending it straight your way

  100. Lorraine /

    So I’m reading this and I’m realizing I don’t even know your name…does it mater, no… I’m thinking this is how we live our lives..,I pray for you that you will win this battle with all of us pulling together for you…

  101. The battles we face are not measured by their capacity or brevity but by the tenacity of the warrior. I will pray that you and your army’s tenacity is ever ferocious and courageous and is never tiring.

  102. Molly /

    Jen-
    I came to the site via momastery and will keep it bookmarked. We’ll be with you every step of the way.
    Love,
    Molly

  103. Melly /

    Jen. I come from Glennon’s site, I guess I’m a Monkee but I KNOW I’m praying for you, for complete healing, for strength, for grace and mercy.

  104. I am moved by your spirit, grace, love of your family and appreciation! Your words inspire me to soak up more of the regular, simple to let pass by moments of the day! Knock it out – you got this!

  105. Alice /

    I don’t know you except what I just read. I clicked over from Momastery. I have three daughters and am 32 and I just want you to have all my best thoughts and healing white light and love. And love to your precious children from mine. Give it hell.

  106. Beautifully written lines. Hang in there.

  107. Thank you so much for sharing your journey with us. I can’t tell you how amazing your writing is. I feel as if I were there, in the room, with you and Dr. Awesome. And I feel now as if I can be there for my friends who encounter a similar diagnosis.

    But that’s not what this is all about, is it. It’s about you and your girls and your husband. I’m praying for you all. Praying hard.

  108. Sheila Los /

    Jen,
    I am a 32 year old mother who loves her daughter so fiercely I can only pretend to imagine all of the thoughts running through your head as you drove home from the doctor’s office. I will be sure to send you love and lots of good energy as you journey on! We can do hard things!
    Sheila

  109. Kirsten /

    I popped over here from Momastery… you are an amazing writer and your story moves me. Sending love and prayers to you and your family!

  110. Allison /

    God Bless you Jen! I Found your blog through Momastery.

  111. Sending love to you.

  112. Alberta Gal /

    Good thoughts and prayers coming your way.

  113. karly /

    Be strong. Kick that cancer’s A$$!!!!! came here via momastery. you are loved. I’m following and praying for you from now on!!!!

    ((hugs))

    karly

  114. Ginger /

    Positive attitude, Prayers ,lots of laughs and loads of hugs and kisses… that will help you get thru this,,, My friend Katrina Fox is someone you need to talk with,, she is an inspiration ,,, look her up on facebook… katrinas courage.

  115. Michelle Banning /

    I don’t know you but please know my prayers will be there for you and your family!
    Much Love –
    Michelle

  116. When I saw that giant needle I asked the doctor if it would be like the scene from Pulp Fiction when Uma Thurman gets the giant needle treatment. She laughed at me and said no, but it is quite a big needle.

    I’m really sorry to hear about this, I’ll keep you in my prayers and will follow your journey to a breast cancer free life.

  117. Diana /

    Jen, I found you through Momastery, and I want you to know that I’m sending love your way, and prayers too. Lots of prayers! Be strong, my warrior friend.

  118. I’m 32 and have two daughters too. Though I’ve never met you—we share those two things. That means something. We belong to each other. You and I. Mamas. Loving two girls.

    I pray that love surrounds you so deep and so wide that you can’t see beyond it.

    Love and prayers to you today.

  119. LOve your attitude-Love your post- Sending prayers for you & your family:)

  120. Oh, so many thoughts and prayers coming your way. I found you through Glennon, so I imagine you will have prayers from every direction soon.

  121. Danielle /

    Just a monkee praying for you and sending good vibes!

  122. You are in my prayers!

  123. jennyabby /

    I will keep you and your family in my prayers!

  124. Christy /

    Sent here from Glennon of Momastery. You are an amazing writer. Thank you for sharing your story with us. You can do hard things, never forget that. Adding you to my prayers right now! Sister on!

  125. Sara M /

    Jen,
    I don’t know you but clicked over here from Momastary. I will be praying for you and I’m sure more Monkees will be too.
    Sar

  126. perceptivitystudio /

    From one Jen with two boys to another with two girls, even though you are a stranger, you are in my thoughts. Kick cancer’s butt, ok?

  127. Emily /

    You do not know me, but I am a Monkee with two little girls like you! Your words have brought me to tears. Please know that I will be praying for you, your family, and all of the doctors and nurses who will be taking care of you. God will guide you through this journey!

  128. charityc /

    Praying for you, your husband and your beautiful girls!

  129. Misty /

    I am a 35 year old, 5 year breast cancer survivor. My children were 1 1/2 and 3 when I was diagnosed. You can do this! God will triumph in your life.

  130. Wow. You could be me only my mother had breast cancer and I’m 40 and I haven’t seen my OB/GYN since my son was born 3 years ago. I better make an appointment. I guess I was living in the world of “it just would be unfair and unthinkable to have had to deal with the anxiety and depression I’ve had and then also have some other medical problem,” i.e. denial and avoidance.

    I don’t pray, but if you keep writing you will have one more supporter journeying with you.

  131. Hi, Jen, I came over from the Momastery site, and I’m so touched by the humor and grace you displayed in telling your story. Thank you for sharing it, and I want you to be here for your girls, too.

    There will be times when you feel so strong and positive and even happy through it all; and there may be other times when you feel angry and frustrated and like your strength is slipping. I just want you to know that I will never judge you for any of it, and will be here “listening” and providing any support I can.

    I’m thinking of you and your family and sending love. xo

  132. Shannon /

    I have no idea who you are. But I believe in you, in the fight and look forward to knowing you will not only be there for your girls, but for your grandchildren and great grandchildren. Lot’s of prayers and warm thoughts.

  133. Stephanie young /

    I am a monkee and I praying for you. Sister on!

  134. Esther /

    Sending lots of love your way((hugs))

  135. Hey Jen. Glennon sent me. :) From one Monkee to another, let me tell you that we’ve got your back, and we’ll be praying. Be strong, and know that we’ll be your strength when you need to be at ease. According to Dr. Awesome, you’ve got a hard fight, so let us shoulder some of the burden with our prayers. Love wins. <3

  136. Michal /

    I’ll be praying for you. Your positive attitude will get you through this. You are tough, fight each battle and win the war. From experience, don’t forget to take the nausea pills, you don’t want to be hugging the toilet all day.

  137. Love and tears and prayers and hope and many many indulgent days ahead to you.

  138. Hopped over from Momastery.
    Praying for u and your family.
    Hugz

  139. Hey Jen. Glennon sent me. :) Fromone Monkee to another, I just wanted to tell you that we’ve got your back, and we’ll be praying for you. Be strong, sweet Jen, and when you just can’t be strong for a second longer rest assured that we’ll be strong for you. According to Dr. Awesome, you’re in for a tough fight, so let us shoulder some of the burden with the power of our prayers. We can do hard things. Love wins. <3 God bless you & your beautiful family!

  140. Kelly /

    My God, do I want your courage and lightness. I too have two girls….I’m touched and my heart is being ripped out of my chest by your writing and your story. I’d have my breasts removed too for you if that helps at all….I feel like I need to do something. I’m sending prayers, hugs, support, love to you and your kids and your husband (um the friend kind, let’s not get crazy here ;).

    Kelly

  141. Monique /

    My kids have the flu today. In our family prayer, my second oldest (6 year old) prayed for all the people in our family who are sick. But then she said something else, “Please bless ALL the sick people in the world.” I read this post and, remembering my little one’s prayer, thought, “Jen is being prayed for by SOO many people.” I think I will continue to pray for all the people in the world who are sick. And then thank Him for awesome doctors.

    Also, a quote for you, “A strong person is not the one who doesn’t cry. A strong person is one who is quiet and sheds a tear for a moment, and then picks up her sword and fights again.” Though I told my cousin with cancer that I don’t agree with the “quiet part” of this. You can sob and be loud by telling everyone about it. Thanks for this.

  142. Bethany /

    Dear Jen,

    Your courage and attitude and humor are beautiful. Saying prayers for you and your family and sending love as well. No cancer a year from now: YOU WILL GET THERE!!!!!!

    Love,
    Bethany and family

  143. Your beautifully written post left me floored. I’ll be right here reading every post. Saying a prayer for you.

  144. Janice /

    Thank you for sharing your story. My 30 year old cousin (mother of three) was recently diagnosed with breast cancer and your words brought me to tears. Sending good thoughts your way.

  145. You will be in my prayers.

  146. Kelly /

    Praying for you now… the comparison of the biopsy needle to a staple gun is right on! Thank you for sharing your story. You are a gifted writer!

  147. There are so many of us out here who do not know you, but know that God is in control and He is all that we need to make it through tough times like these. Our hearts are open to you, our prayers are being sent up. You have a glowing attitude about it all and are a fantastic writer. Such an inspiration to the rest of us!

  148. I came here from Momastery, an unregister Monkee. I want you to meet my cousin, who just went through this a year ago. She blogged about it, raw sometimes, honest, and *she made it*. You are right: the battle is raging. And Good will win. My cousin’s blog is http://ranchoruperto.blogspot.com/ – I hope that reading her journey will strengthen you for yours.

  149. you will do this, you will fight and you will win. our family found out last month that my dad has a malignant brain tumor. we are doing this, we are fighting, we will win!

    some things we’ve learned:
    1. find the BEST doctor for your cancer and go there fast… it matters. (any chance you’re on the east coast/mid-atlantic ‘cuz i know someone?)
    2. accept help from anyone and everyone
    3. go to this site and read the letter to you: http://blochcancer.org/
    4. go to this page and order all THREE free books: http://blochcancer.org/books/cancer-theres-hope/
    5. assign someone to be the “updater” for family/friends on FB & email & include photos
    6. have i mentioned that you need to accept help? don’t forget to ASK for help, too.
    7. laugh… often!

    prayers and positive energy are already on their way. as glennon says, we do hard things!!

  150. Dear Jen, I will pray for you and your family as you fight this fight.
    You are the same age as me and I have always been nonchalant about breast checks and the like.
    Today I will make a doctor’s appointment.
    Thankyou for sharing.
    With much love and lots of strong, healthy vibes,

    Mel

  151. Mollie Williamson /

    Prayers your way.

  152. Monica /

    praying for you and your family Jen! With God all things are possible, fight like a woman and like a mama bear, and soon you will cancer-free!

  153. Dear Jen,

    You are LOVED! You will be healed by our LOVE & PRAYERS! We won’t have it any other way! Sending you LOVE, PRAYERS, HOPE & FAITH that you WILL pull through this a stronger & better you!

    Tanya xo

  154. Dear Jen,

    You are LOVED! You will be healed by our LOVE & PRAYERS! We won’t have it any other way! Sending you LOVE, PRAYERS, HOPE & FAITH that you WILL pull through this a stronger & better you!

    Tanya xo

  155. Here from Momastary…sending prayers your way. Sounds like you are ready to fight and that is so important. Also sounds like you have a doc ready to fight alongside, also important.

  156. stacey /

    I’m a newer member of the monkees….I am so glad they led me to you….You are one tough cookie and you will be OK. Your awesome doctor sounds, well, awesome, and she will help you be OK. You have love and that will help you be OK. You have family and friends and they will help you be OK. Continue to reach out, even on your worst days so that those who love you will help you be OK even when you start doubting.

    Much cyber love on this journey….
    Stacey

  157. Oh my….I was my MIL’s caregiver while she fought and WON. You can do this. It sounds like you have an excellent doctor and an even more excellent reason to fight and WIN as well.

  158. Jen,
    I don’t know you, but I feel like I do when I read your blog. You are an amazing writer, a courageous woman, and a passionate fighter. Love life, love your children and fight with everything you have in you. I’m crying as I write this. Fight on!

  159. I don’t know what it’s like to hear news like this, but my sister does. She fought and won. I will pray for you in your fight. You can win too.

  160. Brandee /

    YOU. CAN. DO. THIS.
    Love, a fellow Monkee

  161. vogelkaren /

    I’ve come here from Momastery. We’re all rooting for you and your little girls. God bless that compassionate, honest doctor.

  162. Please know you are being prayed for, you and your entire family. The fight is hard but you can do it. Take cancer and kick its butt. God bless.

  163. Jen,

    I don’t know you, but I’m praying for you and sending you lots of healing white light. You write beautifully. I am amazed at your courage and your selflessness at sharing your story with others. Thank you!

  164. sonia /

    Jen,
    Just followed your link from Momastery. All the best for your fight and love from Down Under. You are a great writer and sound like a brave and courageous woman. Your girls are lucky. Take care and much love, Sonia

  165. gina sendef /

    Praying for you and sending legions of healing angels your way. You will win with love and you are so very loved.

  166. Please read and pray for this lovely mama, she needs us.

  167. Suzanne /

    I found you and your story through Momastery.com
    My most profound apologies for your heartbreaking news. From your wonderful words and the support I can see that you have, I know you will fare very well in your fight.
    You are strong. You can do this.
    Thank you for sharing your shock. I hope you allow us to continue to share the story of your journey and amazing recovery.
    We are all cheering for you.
    You are an inspiration.
    Go Mama.

  168. Cassie /

    Soilder on my friend, 2 Timothy 4:7. Lifting you and your family up in prayer!

  169. Here from Momastery – I will be offering up lots of prayers for you and your family. Sending lots of healing thoughts.

  170. Mary Valenzuela /

    Coming over from Momastery…… I want you here for your girls, too. I want you here to love your husband, offer our world what God has for you to offer and give us more real stories of how life turns on a dime and yet it just keeps going. I will be with the many hundreds who will pray for you, cry and worry as we read your blog and then, in about a year, shout for joy! I speak courage, hope and tenacity over your whole family.Big hugs and high hopes for you from a fellow mom and woman.

  171. megan /

    Dear Jen,
    I found your link through Glennon. You have so many people (including me) praying for you and your family. I thought about you all day and wanted to let you know I am and will be, sending good thoughts and prayers your way every day. Thank you for being brave enough to share your story. “FIGHT LIKE A GIRL”!

  172. It will be four years on Wednesday since i had the same conversation with my doctor. My hair grew back and my new breasts are nicer-looking than the first set. Im not going to say it was easy, but life on the other side is somehow brighter, grittier, more real. God’s blessings on your journey. You do not walk alone.

  173. Karen Doyle /

    Praying for you and grateful to be apart of your journey.

  174. Hi Jen!
    I just clicked over from Momastery and I am so inspired by your wonderfully, positive focus… as well as your lovely writing! You are a beautiful living example of how I hope I would choose to react to such news. Thank you for sharing!

  175. Jennifer m /

    I am a fellow monkee from MOMASTERY & I will be praying for you until the day they say “we got it, you are cured.”. And then I’ll continue to pray for you and your family. Kick that cancers ass!

  176. Rachel McCrickard /

    Praying for you tonight, Jen. You will not fight alone.

  177. Jenny Beery /

    Jen,

    I can’t imagine how terrifying this must be for you, but here is a little ray of hope for you. My grandmother had a partial mastectomy. She went through both chemotherapy and radiation. Lost all of her hair and had to wear wigs. I’m certain she was, at times, terrified. But, through all of this, she kept a positive attitude. Her motto for dealing with adversity: This, too, in time shall pass.
    So, this is a hard part of life for you, but keep in mind, there is a ray of light at the end of this long, dark tunnel. Just keep heading for the light, keep your eyes on that. Don’t become distracted by the darkness, and you will triumph.
    My grandma has been cancer free for 25 years and is now 94 years old, still living in the home my grandfather built for their growing family sixty-some years ago. You will be in my prayers. The same is possible for you!

  178. Marie /

    You are starting with an awesome team, and it is getting bigger. Sending prayers and positive thoughts and laughter your way

  179. Rachel /

    I will be here with you to offer love. Sending positive, kick-ass thoughts and prayers to you. Xoxo

  180. Angie /

    You are an inspiration. Prayers, Monkee.

  181. Jen B. /

    You are wrapped in God’s loving arms every single second of every day.

    “Everlasting arms of Love
    are beneath, around, above.
    God it is who bears us on,
    His the arms we lean upon.”

    With love from another Jen

  182. jennifer /

    Best of luck. You are in my prayers.

  183. Found your blog through Momastery… this is such an inspiring and heartbreaking post all at the same time. Wishing you all the strength and courage you’ll need as you embark on this journey.

    XOXO

    Jacy

  184. Kelley /

    Praying for you…much love to you and your family…I love your faith and strength!

  185. bungalow56 /

    My sister in law at age at age 34 was nursing her 6 month old. She was told it was mastitis. When the tumor was discovered things were bad. She had chemotherapy, radiation and had a double mastectomy. She also took the new amazing cancer fighting drugs. Today, her little guy is almost six with a very happy and healthy mom. This is only one of many many stories out there. You are not alone.

  186. Jen
    I came here from Momastery…cancer sucks but I love your attitude. My sister was diagnosed with breast cancer almost two years ago. My immediate thought after oh crap was all that she had to be thankful for—good insurance, medical care and support system. She SAILED through surgery, reconstruction and chemo. I wish the same for you.

    Leverage every bit of knowledge you can find, talk to survivors, there are lots of them! If you are not happy with one doctor or don’t feel a bond, find another one, advocate for yourself or find someone who will advocate for you. Take someone with you to all appointments to help you listen and ask questions. Accept help from everyone. Contact cleaningforreason.com , they clean houses for FREE for chemo patients.

    This bible verse is one of my favorites and one my friends turned to over and over during her fight with breast cancer. Isaiah 40:31 But those who trust in the LORD will find new strength. They will soar high on wings like eagles. They will run and not grow weary. They will walk and not faint.

    I wish you only the best and God Bless the receptionist who got you in the same day.

  187. bungalow56 /

    My 34 year old sister-in-law was nursing her third child who was six months old. She felt a hardness in her breast and was treated unsuccessfully for mastitis. When they figured out what it was, things were bad. She had chemo, radiation and a double mastectomy. She also took amazing new cancer fighting drugs for a year. Today her youngest is almost six, and he has a very happy healthy cancer free mom. You are not alone.
    Dana

  188. Jodie /

    You are strong, and cancer is weak. Praying for you.

  189. Sarah /

    Wow. My prayers are with you, Jen, and your family.

  190. You are in my prayers….if you ever need to talk with someone who has walked this walk, let me know. I also have a blog about the journey….do not let satan steal your hope.

    love and peace, Karen

  191. I just stopped right here at my desk and prayed for you. In my mind I imagined you curled up all warm and safe in the palm of God’s hand.

  192. Sister, if you can write this with what you’re going through right now, you’ve got the tools, and I know you’ll have the people. Fight on for the girls! We’ll start praying for you and yours!

  193. Tobie /

    I don’t know you. Nor do you know me. But Jen, I love you today. I will fight with you today. I will pray for you today. Today, and tomorrow and each day until you are cancer free…

  194. J.Willett /

    There’s no doubt in my mind. You’ve got this one “in the bag”. You GO Girl!

  195. Deborah Brandon /

    I will be thinking and praying deeply for you. I know you will beat this. Good luck in your journey.

    Deborah Brandon

  196. I followed a link to your blog from Momastery. I know nothing about you except for the fact that you are courageous and kind. I know this because it takes courage to say the c.a.n.c.e.r word and then turn around and give it every ounce of strength you have. I know that you are kind because even in the midst of this, you took the time to say thank you to those around you. I never comment on any of the blogs I read but I wanted to say, like so many others here, that I will be praying for you, that you are clearly not alone in this fight and that you will make it through.

  197. Praying for you, Jen. Beautifully expressed. So thankful for Dr. Awesome and her compassion as well. Praying for your family and girls.

  198. Erin Parker /

    Your attitude is incredible! I’m here from momastery and will be praying for you! Jeremiah 29:11 He has your future taken care of! <3

  199. Katiejane /

    Thinking of you and praying hard. You will beat this! Your attitude says it all. Read the part of “the secret” on health. A woman with breast cancer beat it by watching funny movies. You will beat this. God’s speed.

  200. Judi Martin /

    12 year survivor here – and very proud to say that. I fought the fight and you will too. Please know there is life after breast cancer. Email me if you would like to talk. You are in my prayers!

  201. saskia /

    Glennon from Momastery sent me here – and i am glad she did!!!

    all my love and my prayers i send to you from far away germany.

    i love you,
    saskia

  202. I was very touched by your story. May our Father in Heaven grant you the strength to endure it well. And may you be cancer free in a year, just as you wished.

  203. Hi Jen,
    Found you through Momastery. My day began reading your story and praying for you, your family, and your medical team. I feel blessed to have been led to your blog this day, and hope to continue with you on your journey. I’m not a writer–the written word does not come easy to me, but I love to talk :) and I have strong faith in Jesus Christ our Lord and I’m going to speak with Him about you today.
    Thank you for sharing your story~

  204. Having sleepless night I found your post through Momestery…and found inspiration. Hope u know that all who read this are sending love and powerful prayers your way.

  205. Sending positive thoughts your way for as long as it takes for you and Dr Awesome to kick butt!! I believe that the positive energy from you, your family and others will get you through this–It worked for my baby when we found a tumor at 2mos old–after the longest week of my life it was removed and benign–Lots of love, Amy

  206. Dear Jen –
    I’m another reader referred from Momastery. I’m a decade older than you and I have only one daughter – age 6- (in part due to my own cancer battles) but so much of what you wrote resonated with me. You have many, many people holding you in their hearts and prayers and you clearly have an amazing physician and wonderful family. This is a fight you can and will win, even if at times it may feel like you can’t and won’t. I’m praying for your complete healing and for your entire family to be the recipients of more love and support than you believe possible.
    Love and light –
    Kimberly

  207. Alisha /

    You can do this! Sending you lots of love and strengh!

  208. maria /

    You Know , we ll be here for you . . thinking of you .sending my love from Brazil .. a big hug a and lots of loving kisses.

  209. Karen Ward /

    No words…just prayers!

  210. Jen– anna here from momastery–

    sending you much love and many prayers! you can do this!

  211. Jessica Wrench /

    Hi Jen!

    I found your blog from Glennon at Momastery. Thank God for the kind receptionist. Thank God for Dr. Awesome. Thank God for the healing that is to come. :) I’m praying for you and will be continually praying for your healing and for strength and for your family.

    Love –
    Jess

  212. I was in the first grade when my mother (age 38) was told she had breast cancer. She would have chemo on Friday and by Sunday all 3 girls (my sisters ages 8 and 12) would be wearing our matching dresses! 5 years ago insurance finally agreed to test my mom for the BRAC gene. She tested positive, and one by one we all went in for our test. Mom literally made the whole place stop and pray over our blood…and one by one we were all told we tested negative! Today my mom, a business woman who randomly can drive a motorcycle at age 62 lives with a mission…she also happens to be the best grandmother in the world! We are praying for your family…

  213. Heather /

    Already said my first prayer for you; there will be many more to come. As tough as this is going to be, just know you have so many of us behind you!

  214. rachel /

    Hi Jen,
    I came here from momastery, too. I’m 32 w/two little girls as well… your story brought tears to my eyes. Stay strong…we are all sending up prayers for you and your family.

  215. Philippa /

    Jen, I too have found you through Momastery and am blown away by what a beautiful writer you are. I am so inspired by your courage, strength and grace. I am not surprised that your doctor cried when she first diagnosed you …. I have only read your written word for the first time this morning and have already been moved to tears by you (and laughter – you are also very funny!). You and your family are in my thoughts and prayers and I wish you all the strength in the world to fight this fight. Judging from what I have learnt about you this morning, Cancer is gonna get its arse kicked! Lots of love, Philippa

  216. Mama-bear /

    Dear Jen
    Along with countless others, I send your family and you my prayers .

  217. Jen,
    First and foremost, I am praying hard for you! I just wrote your name on my hand – so every time I see it – I will pray for YOU. Second, please keep writing. You need a place to get all those thoughts and fears out of your head. Our mind has a way of screwing with us, you know? So don’t let those fears get the best of you! Share those fears with us and we will help you through this. You know the saying, “How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time!” Well you have a whole bunch of Monkees ready to help you eat this Elephant!
    Love and prayers, ~i

  218. Susan /

    You are where I was in July of 1998 with a 2 year old daughter at home and dreams of a second child. I was 31 and I did not expect to be talking about chemo and radiation and surgery. Much has changed since I had my surgery – they do chemo first and then surgery and that is just a small change. I was lucky, though I had an aggressive form of invasive ductal carcinoma. it was small and had not spread to my lymph system and I was able after two lumpectomys to keep some of my breast. (get ready to learn the lingo – this is the masters degree you never wanted but need to learn) All this aside I wanted to live for my daughter, my husband, my friends, my family, and for me. I was a fighter – you be one. Your road may be harder than mine but it is a mountain you can climb. Pray, rub healing stones, try most anything that might help, breathe, and believe that you will get better. I’ll be praying for you and believing in you. Fight and be proactive and love – love your family and friends like there is no tomorrow and do this for the rest of your life it is an abundant way to live.

  219. Prayers are on the way. I am a major Jesus Freak and also a Monkee from Momastery. You are in my prayers and I will be keeping up with your blog. Sister on my friend. We will be here to help you!
    XoXo Susie.

  220. Dear Jen –

    Sending prayers and love your way. My cousin, who is 36, just went through the same battle you are just beginning. She won and so will you. It looks like you have a whole army behind you!

  221. Praying for you. And your family. You’re young and strong. Time to kick some cancer @$$!

  222. praying for you as you embark on this journey. May God bring you peace and strength.

  223. Crissy /

    I was directed here by Glennon from Momastery. Just wanted you to know that I’m praying for you. You are a strong woman and I have no doubt that you’re going to beat this!

  224. Here from Momastery, sending you lots of love and cancer-butt-kicking vibes. I’m praying you continue to have strength during this journey, and that you can kick this in less than a year. Also praying for your two little ones to witness the power that true love and determination can have.

  225. I was sent here by Momastery and am priveleged to read your story. I pray that you are given the strenth to make it through this. As I contemplate my life with my two girls, I would like to think that I would have handled this news the way you did. I am not sure. You are brave and strong. Take care. You have another person praying for you.

  226. Cari Clark /

    Six years ago, on March 20, I received the news that I had breast cancer.

    I am here, fine and healthy, today.

    You will beat this. I’m praying for you.

  227. Stacy /

    Found you through Momastery. I was diagnosed at 31, so I know the road ahead of you. You can do this! Praying for you and your family

  228. I am here via a friend, via Momastery. May you be well. May you be strong. May you have endless hope. I will send a prayer for you and your family.

  229. RachelC /

    LOts of Monkee hugs!! You are in my prayers!!!

  230. Dear Jen, at this point, I know you have tons of tons of support. Tons of prayers (my prayers included). Tons of people offering suggestions, advice, food, babysitting, probably any and everything I can imagine. Mostly because they did the same for me. Only six months ago. However, no lump here — detected on my first mammogram. See, I’m not boring either. :-)
    From one writer to another, one blogger to another, one Sur-Thriver to a Future Sur-Thriver (I just love this word so much more than Survivor), I am here if you ever need a total stranger to lean on. Sometimes strangers can rock in that way like someone close to you cannot. If you’re like me, you will try hard to protect all of those around you. It becomes exhausting at times. You don’t have to do that with me. Each cancer journey is different, I’m convinced there are no two that are alike, but I will do my best to help in any way possible.
    Love, Love, Love.

    ~ Leslie Green

  231. Kendall /

    You rock, Jen. Lots of prayers heading your way.

  232. Marcela /

    I’m also a Monkee from Momastery….I will be praying for you…I know that you can and WILL beat this. xoxo

  233. Jen- I will be lifting you up in my prayers! My cousin is going through something very similiar at this very moment and her motto from the beginning has been IGTBOK! (It’s going to be Okay!!!)

  234. I was referred to your blog by momastery. Sending prayers to you and your family.

    Your have a positive attitude and a lot to look forward to.

    Stay strong, fight hard!

    With love
    Donna

  235. Carrie /

    Beautifully written. I am praying for you and your family. Xoxoxo. Love, carrie

  236. Dearest Jen,
    Reading your blog definitely brought tears to my eyes, mostly because I am not yet a year out from my breast cancer diagnosis in May 2011. I have had a double mastectomy, 4 months of chemo, 33 treatments of radiation, a hysterectomy last month because I am at an increased risk of developing ovarian cancer since I tested positive for the BRCA2 gene mutation, and I will finally finish up with my reconstruction this July. It has been a long year to say the least, but one in which I have felt a level of love that I have never experienced in my life. I was 38 at the time of my diagnosis with 3 young children, ages 9 to 18 months. I started making even more time for my family and feel that my relationships with my husband and children are even stronger since my diagnosis. I have also met so many beautifully fantastic survivors out there that have become a huge part of my life. At this time, I am cancer free! So, hang in there! Sounds like you have a wonderful sense of humor . . . that will definitely help you to get through the tough times! Also, following a tip of a friend, I let my older children help my husband shave my head when my hair started to really fall out. They initially gave me a mohawk and then we used pink-styling gel to style it. Definitely made what could have been a really sad event less scary and even somewhat fun for the entire family. :)

  237. Michelle /

    This newly minted Monkee will be praying for you. Feel the love.

  238. stacy /

    You can do this. I don’t know you but I love you already.

  239. Lyndsay /

    Sent by Glennon. Your writing is whitty and smart. Take good care of yourself and your wonderful family. You will get through this. Praying and Praying.

  240. You go girl! You go! All the love and hope in the universe to you and your family.

  241. I am sending you many prayers and healing thoughts. You WILL get better.

  242. Christine /

    Jen – Like many others, I found your blog through Momastery. YOU WILL BEAT THIS.

    BELIEVE!

    Sending lots of love, prayers, and good thoughts your way. You got this.

  243. December 31 of 2010, one of my best friends got the same news. With in one year, she went through so much but by Jan. 4 of 2012 she was back at work in full remission and her hair is once again beautiful and full.

    You can do this! You WILL do this! We will send our prayers and hopes and good wishes for you every day.

  244. Michelle M. /

    Praying for you and your family!

  245. Julie /

    I found you through momastery too. I am going to talk to a good friend about you and your family. His name is God and he has a way with things. Be strong, keep loving, and keep living.
    -Julie

  246. Ginger /

    I came here from Momastery. I’m sitting outside reading this and can’t stop crying. Thank you for being brave enough to be vulnerable. I don’t know you but I’m holding you in my heart as you put one foot in front of the other. I can already tell you are so very courageous. I have two littles (boys) and I pray tha you will be healed so that your girls can grow up w their amazing Mama by their sides. I love you even though I don’t know you. I will be praying.

  247. Caroline /

    Praying for you …

  248. Another Monkee praying for you! It sounds like you have exactly the kind of fight in you necessary to beat this thing and be there for your girls!

  249. Thinking of you… fellow monkee… hugs to you and your family

  250. Wow!!! Positive vibes being sent your way!! My sister-in-law just had a double mastectomy (she’s 37). She’s on the road to recovery and I pray for the same for you.

  251. Sending love and prayers.

    My best friend who is wife and mother extraordinaire of three girls was diagnosed with breast cancer on June 28, 2010. She had her mastectomy on August 12, 2010. Grueling chemo, radiation and reconstruction followed until March 9, 2011. On June 12, 2011 she and her husband flew to Italy to complete a cycling pilgrimage from Switzerland to Rome, some 600+ miles(!!!), which they had been planning for two years. She did it! She did it. The girls joined them in Rome. They returned home on July 2, 2011. What a year.

    To look at her today, you would never know what she has endured. Her prognosis is excellent. On a practical note, the best tip to share, I think, is that when people brought meals to their home, there was a cooler placed outside the back door. This way, people could just drop off food at anytime, with little disruption to the family.

    May peace surround you and be assured of my prayers for you and your family.

  252. Carla /

    Take a deep breath…you can do this! I included you in my prayers tonight, and will continue to do so.

  253. burckeri /

    I’m incredibly impressed at the way you were able to tell your story. Hang in there; you have a lot of people pulling for you!

  254. Came across your story and am moved and inspired by your words and courage. Kick cancer’s ass, please!

  255. Jen – just want to continue to pile on the love for you and your family right now. You are a fabulous writer and an inspiration. You have a community to lean on in the months ahead. Praying for you. -monkee

  256. aimeewrites /

    You are amazing. There is no way you won’t beat this. I can hear it in your post, in your attitude, in the voices of the people surrounding you.

    AND with all this extra Monkee love, you’re a sure thing!

  257. Chimmy /

    Praying for you! For your recovery, for strength and for beating cancer. Sending a lot of live to you and your family!

  258. Ryann /

    You will be a survivor. You will. Your girls need you. The world needs you. You are beautiful and strong and will be here.

  259. paulapo /

    Coming over- sent by Glennon. Two of our sorority sisters with young families have battled breast cancer in the last couple of years and both have come through a tough, tough year with their health and beauty and families in tact. You fight like a girl and be strong and keep writing! Love wins!

  260. Michelle M. /

    Hi Jen,
    Im here Along with many of the other monkees sent from momastery. Your words gave me goosies and tears. I admire your courage and bravery and your ” move over cancer you aren’t taking me with you” attitude! You have a zillion monkees praying and with your humor and loving family you WILL BEAT THIS. It will be hard. But you will beat this. Keep your sense of humor and focus on the road to recovery that awaits you. Sending massive hugs of healing and strength to you. Is it ok to call cancer the “c-word” it seems more fitting for such a hellish disease!

  261. Wishing you Godspeed for a miraculous recovery. Sister on, keep us updated and let us know how we can help. Monkees await further instructions.

  262. Michelle /

    Sending all the most healing, and healthy wishes. I will be thinking of you and waiting to hear about your success.

  263. Wow. I am stunned.

  264. Sending you warm thoughts and good karma! You are tough strong woman, and you will kick that cancer’s ass!

  265. Carey /

    Jen, you are in my prayers. I just had a so-very-minor scare that turned out to be nothing, but until I knew that, I was terrified I would be taken away from my little girls. I pray that you will receive the same mercy.

  266. Angie /

    Jen, your story touched me deeply. Please know that I will lift you up in prayer regularly. Fight hard, stay strong and don’t be afraid to accept help and allow yourself to cry whenever you feel like it.

    Hugs from Ft. Leavenworth Kansas

  267. Christina /

    Love and prayers!

  268. Traci Jansa Lepak /

    So very many prayers. For you. For your girls. For your family. For the Dr. who will help heal you. For strength. For peace in your worried heart. For your support system. For ‘the plan’… So. Very. Many. Prayers.

  269. Mrs. Shelly Frank /

    Praying for you, Jen, as you walk this journey with God’s grace and strength. His purposes aren’t always clear in the midst of difficulty, but his character is unchanging and his provision through Christ is our anchor. I pray that you will be enveloped everyday with the care you need both personally and as a family.

  270. Rachel Bernstein /

    Praying and pulling for you, your beautiful girls, and Dr. Awesome. You will beat this.

  271. You are a brave superwoman – I have never visited your site before – but after reading, I am sure of it. You can do this. for you. for your girls. for your man. for all of the women who have read this, and immediately scheduled that appointment that they have been putting off because it “just doesn’t fit into the schedule of groceries, work, etc.” Thank you – I am calling my doctor today.

    But you, Superwoman, keep you head high and your spirits up – because after reading all of these comments, you have a world full of prayers coming your way.
    Much love.

  272. Michelle Roberts /

    Found you through Momastery and want to leave you with prayers and love. An aunt is going through chemo now and I know there are so many details I can only imagine as I send her blessings, too. Thank you for sharing your journey and I’m hopeful you continue to be met with the open hearts and gentle care that you deserve.

  273. Julie B /

    I am a Monkee and I’m praying for you. Not just ‘oh I’m praying for you’. I’m actually praying for you.

  274. belikethefox /

    Jen, I don’t know you, but your words convey your incredible strength and bravery, and I wish we knew each other so I could give you a huge hug. Sending love and praying for you.

  275. rachelrichter013 /

    You are brave and strong! I am praying for you and your family. Thank you for sharing your story so openly.

  276. Fight like a girl! Thank you for sharing your journey and allowing perfect strangers to cover your back (and front and family and…) with good thoughts, prayer, positive energy, and love. Best of the best to you for this fight and well beyond!

  277. I never comment on blogs, and only read your blog for the first time today! The way you have approached and met this head-on has impressed me greatly. (and ask anyone…it’s really hard to impress me!!!) Sending positive energy and healing thoughts your way. Kick ass!!!

  278. Maryanne coppinger /

    You will be a warrior. Sending you strength and prayers

  279. Elizabeth Baxter /

    We are sending prayers and positive energy your way! I, too, NEVER comment on blogs ever but your post moved me. I have no doubt that You, Dr Awesome and your family can do this. Cancer free…here you come.

  280. I’m not a big blog reader but was having a quiet afternoon and stumbled upon yours. I live in Ottawa, Canada and am a SAHM with two young children. Please know that you & your family will be in my thoughts until the day you post that you are cancer-free. There is no doubt in my mind that you will be win this fight!

  281. Colleen /

    “Do not fear the future…God is already there.”
    You are in my prayers, Jen:) May God hold you & your family close on this journey.

  282. Jen. Wow. Thank you for sharing this trial. You write beautifully. I’m praying for you and your family today and every day going forward. The Lord will bring you through this.
    – Jill (Jackson) Klaiber

  283. Praying for you and your family!

  284. I will fight with you. I am your newest prayer warrior. Please let us know here if there are specific needs that we can pray for. Otherwise I will be praying for strength for you and your husband, for God to hold your hand when you aren’t strong enough to take a step, for grace, for peace and for everything you need and want (including a soft place to land every once in a while).
    Kelley Suggs, wife, mama of two (3 and 16 months).

  285. Julie /

    You are my new hero, and you know what… Hero’s win fights, that’s why they are called hero’s… So go fight and win your’s, and I will follow and pray along with all the other Momastery prayer warriors pledging to walk this battle with you… We all need a hero, and today and for hopefully a SHORT while longer… YOU are it!!! Love you!!! Sister On… YOU CAN and WILL do Hard things!!!

  286. Britt /

    You got this, girl. You are amazing. Loving prayers coming your way.

  287. Maureen /

    Kind words from strangers. Love and support from your family and friends. Learn to accept help. I was diagnosed with cancer last May and am still learning. There are plenty of people to help you fight this battle! Although I don’t know you and happened to stumble upon your blog, I will keep you in my thoughts and prayers.

  288. You are amazing. And you write beautifully. My family and I will totally be praying for you!

  289. I read you post on a friends Facebook! Fight!!! Prayers your way!

  290. Praying!!

  291. Angie Miller /

    Praying for you and your family!

  292. I believe in the power of prayer. I’m so grateful for the community that God has built through Momastery which has enabled us to learn about warriors out there who need prayer. He is an amazing God, working in incredible ways. I pray for healing, peace and comfort for you. I pray for courage for you and your whole family.

  293. Powerfully written. I am touched and praying with all my might. Bless you, new friend.

  294. Here from Glennon’s (though neither of you know me), already praying because I HATE cancer.

    You’re a warrior princess and I’ll battle with you in the heavenly realms. Thank you for inviting us into your story.

  295. Over from momastry.
    Walked through this with my baby sister…Diagnosis also not-boring. It has been a battle…but she is cancer free, back teaching and living life with her 3 little ones. Praying ( right now) for you and for Dr. Awesome.

  296. Angela /

    What a hard and yet joyful thing to re-read this a year later. Cancer free! For 200-some days already! God bless everyone who stepped up to your team and squeezed in appointments, procedures, watched your kids, made you meals, listened to you or your husband, cared for you, and prayed from near or far. Prayers continue for all! ~Hugs from Michigan, Angela

  297. Jenni McKay /

    I just reread this after your latest post, and again, I sit here with tears running down my face. Your journey is so amazing, Jen. It is truly a miracle, and I thank you for letting all of us stranger friends witness it.

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