Day 2

Mar 21

I opened my eyes.  I remember.  I cry.  Time passes as I pray, remember, pray, write, pray, hope.

Brad comes downstairs, ready for work.  I love this man.  I think, I am so lucky to have, to live, this little life of mine.

I start my morning with an hour of Maren snuggles.  She asks for a Poptart for breakfast, I agree that this is indeed a Poptart kind of day.  She studies me.  She is smart; we will have to tell her soon.  I feel thankful we spent a lot of time talking about shots this winter and how there are all types of medicine.  While I feed Greta, she flits off to color.  We have roughly 75 coloring books in our house, all in various states of tatter and filled pages.  When I come over to see her work, I see that today, this morning, she is not working on My Little Ponies or Disney princesses.  She has found a Christmas Nativity coloring book, and chosen to color a picture of a little girl, on her knees, praying.  It’s a keeper.

Greta wakes up and we do “girl snuggles,” something that started when Greta was a newborn.  I would be holding/feeding Greta and Maren would climb into my lap.  I have a girl propped in each elbow and we talk and plan the day and laugh and sing.

Mid-morning we take a walk with Greta in the stroller and Maren on her bike.  It is crazy weather; I am thankful that I get my summer now.  I breathe deep, I pick up the pace, I am strengthening my body, my bones, my spirit.  Maren is delightful to watch.  She’s a steadfast rule-follower, so she stays near me, checks for traffic, and, of course, chatters and picks up dandelions along the way.  The spring she turned 3, she called them dande-flowers.  I wonder if anyone else knows this?

The phone rings steadily, alternating between medical office staff and bamboozled loved ones.  It is tough to bounce back and forth all day, but I fight hard to be present; it is a perfect day with my beautiful girls.  Except for that one thing.  I spent a lot of time cherishing the relative normal-ness of this day.

As appointments role in and the calendar fills, I organize logistics. I realize, for the first time, my full-time job will be switching from Mama to Resident Badass Cancer Fighter.  We’re going to need someone to do my job.  Patchwork childcare will work initially, but my girls need more.  Bouncing, shuffling, these are short-term solutions.  Pray, pray.  God’s got this.

While Maren is at school, Greta laughs, I laugh.  We tickle and play.  She discovered books a month ago and will already bring one over to my so that we can read.  At 10 1/2 months, she’s already losing the baby stagger walk and gaining speed.  She presses her ear to my shoulder and grins up at me.  She is saying “Mamamamama.”  I soak. her. in.

Brad and I meet at the oncologist.  I have an oncologist.  With no pathology, today’s appointment is largely educational.  Dr. Wonderful takes the time (nearly 2 hours) to walk us through breast cancer progressions.  He is compassionate, brilliant, open-minded, holistic, and a true teacher.  I feel confident in his ability to take my scans, my pathology, my age, and my strength to treat me.  I have his home number; he welcomes middle-of-the-night calls.  We leave the office knowing what to hope for and afraid of what is to come.

Upcoming medical itinerary:

Echocardiogram (chemo can damage the heart, so I need a baseline ‘echo’). Wednesday

PET scan (Dr. Wonderful decided to do this instead of the CT scan and bone scan; looks for tumors throughout my body.) Thursday

MRI (look at the breast tumors) TBD

Port-a-cath Surgery (insert a sort of semi-permanent IV in my chest for administering chemo) TBD

Results meeting with breast surgeon/oncologist Friday/Monday

Start Chemo ASAP; sometime next week

9 comments

  1. Bonnie /

    Jen, don’t know what to say…. I’m overwhelmed with your honesty, grace and unwavering fortitude. am also overwhelmed by Gods blessing and love for you by allowing you to be fast tracked. The Lord Knows. Vigilance is ours to pray and stand with you now and in the days to come.

  2. So you are Resident Badass Cancer Fighter, being treated by Dr Awesome and Dr Wonderful. In this fight I will be the “The Rozzer”.

  3. Jen ~ You will are Super Mom, even if you do have to share those Motherly duties with other loved ones, while you get healthy again. What love you have shared with us ~ you have touched my heart & I know you are in GOD’s Loving Arms ~
    Continued Prayers. Peace be with you & yours, Marlayne :-)

  4. Dear Resident Badass Cancer Fighter,

    YOU ROCK !

  5. Mary Disberger /

    I just discovered your story through Momastery. When you said, “God’s got this.”, my heart did a little leap. My brother was diagnosed with ALL (acute lymphoblastic leukemia) in November. He’s a pastor of a large church in California. His church started a blog called godsgotthis.org for his church and friends to follow his journey. He inspires me. You inspire me. I will add you to my prayers. God really does have this!

  6. Sending love….xoxo

  7. your grace is amazing.

  8. Jen,
    I found your blog via momastery. My heart has been moved and touched by your strength, your faith, and this journey God has you on. I’m going in for my 3rd round of treatment for thyroid cancer next week and am a mother of two kids, 6 and 4. My little one has struggled since day 1 and each round of treatment. I can feel your heartache and understand your pain! I’m praying for you and know that our God is our Shephard. He knows what he is doing and He’s got this! He also has your little girls in His loving hands – its a tough lesson for me to believe that and surrender them into his hands sometimes. I’m strengthened by you and am thankful I found your blog!

    With love and prayers, Soo
    (from Singapore…originally from va. When everyone is sleeping in USA – know that you have a friend on the other side of the world up and praying for you. You are covered)

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