Today’s picture

Apr 04

As I’ve been a cancer patient over the years, I think my scanxiety has gotten less with time.  That’s not because news about cancer growth gets easier — because it doesn’t get easier; it probably gets harder, actually — but there is a routine and a familiarity to the process that make it more absorbable.

The best analogy I can think of for repeated cancer scans is it’s the difference between getting in your first violent car crash versus your sixth violent car crash.  The first time: everything about it is new and awful and jarring.  There’s a frenetic panic and shock amongst the practical responsible things you still have to do despite the tumult you just experienced: check on the other people involved, get to a safe area, call police, etc. The sixth time: it’s still awful and jarring and terrible, but at least you have felt that blow before and you have an ability to absorb it with less adrenaline.  You get out of the car and execute the necessities with less drama.

Thankfully, I’m better about not letting anxiety/scanxiety get to me: I take a deep breath, whisper a prayer, and move along to focus on something I can influence for the better.  A scan is just a picture, after all.  When I worry, I lose the present moment I am in, and still there is nothing gained in the worry.

This afternoon Dr. Wonderful walked into my exam room where Brad and I were waiting with the words: “Your scan looks better.”  I love that Dr. Wonderful gets right to the point.

“Better?”

“Better.  The tumors have gotten smaller and they are less hot.”  (Less active/less metabolic activity).

Praise God!

There is no asterisk or detail I am leaving unsaid today: I personally don’t study reports, compare numbers or measurements, or look at the images from the scan.  There is nothing that my scrutiny would unveil: I trust Dr. Wonderful’s synthesis of every variable and each data point.  Cancer regression: this is something I have prayed mightily for.  My Our prayers have been answered.

Dr. Wonderful, Brad and I are all very, very, very smiley with this news.  Prior to today I’ve had a rather long series of negative reports: scans that show growth and cancer progression.  Today’s news is very welcome.  Dr. Wonderful’s recommendation is that we do exactly what we’ve been doing for the past three months.   I’ll stay on my weekly chemotherapy drug Abraxane (also receiving anti-nausea, Pepcid, Benadryl, steroids to go along with the chemo) and the biological drug Herceptin.  I’m in the Chemo Room now getting my infusions, and I’ll be here every Monday for the foreseeable future.  Dr. Wonderful isn’t committing to when my next scan will be: he will assess me one week at a time.  I am still medically high maintenance.

I’m really happy about this news.  I can look forward to a spring and summer ahead where my challenges will be more about energy management due to treatment rather than actual symptoms from cancer taking over my body.  I will take the energy challenges: as I rest and accept help, I will know that as I am fatigued/exhausted that is how the cancer is feeling too!  Yes!

As I rejoice over this news I am also trying to wrap my brain around what it means.  For the past three months I’ve learned that with this treatment protocol comes a cost where I have to be really strategic to be a good version of Jen.  With the diminished energy and smaller capacity comes a redefining of who I am and how I’m able to spend my time.  I’m still an athlete, but I can’t physically do much.  I’m adventurous, but I can’t explore.  I’m positive and optimistic, but I feel crappy.  These are challenges I’ve been facing, and will continue to face.  I commit to being the best version of Jen, despite whatever limitations arise.  I have the best husband whose love knows no bounds.  I have the help of my village and the love of an army.   I have a God of miracles and today I walk in the light of my miracle.  Regression.  Regression!

Praise God!

66 comments

  1. Dave /

    Praying all the time. 50 years!

  2. Lisa Smith /

    I rejoice with tears in my eyes. Regression!! Thank you for sharing your perspective and your heart. Xo. Love you.

  3. Sara Riebesel /

    Praise the Lord!!! ♡

  4. Yay!!

  5. Lindsay /

    Thrilled for you!!!! Yahoo!!
    Thank you Jesus!

  6. Emily /

    Praise God!!! I was praying in faith this morning as I drove to work. I will keep praying.

  7. Carli /

    What amazing news! Saying prayers and thinking of you every day. Lots of hugs!

  8. Laura Driscoll /

    YAY!! So great to hear.

  9. sharon hajek /

    My blessed and blest Jen. Not a best version of Jen. Not a good version of Jen Not even a version of Jen. Just Jen. Just Jen that I love in this moment and in every moment going forward I celebrate the peace and joy and pause this day brings you and Brad. And I pray in this moment and in every moment going forward. Thanking God and believing Always.

  10. Newbie friend /

    Happy Dance!!!! Thank you Lord for answering these prayers!!!

  11. Melody Smith /

    Thanks be to God…

  12. Kelly /

    Yes!!!!! Such good news!!!

  13. Kim Rourke /

    Regression! Alleluia!!!

  14. ohiofishergirl /

    Yayyyyy!! Great news and doing a happy dance for you!! 😊💕😊

  15. Mojra /

    Great news! I am rejoicing with you!

  16. Beth /

    Praise GOD indeed!

  17. Jennifer /

    ❤️🙏🏻

  18. Rebecca /

    Wonderful news!!

  19. Denise /

    Wonderful news
    Doing a happy dance!

  20. Sharon house /

    Praise be…

  21. Alicia /

    So Happy!!!!

  22. Thrilled!! Thanks for sharing . Tell your mom I’m praying for her , along w praying for you.
    Kay

  23. Christin /

    I’m praying BIG prayers with you multiple times a day.

  24. Kathi Roth /

    We live regression! Prayers we’re flooding heaven today. Thank you Jesus! Hugs through the wifi!!!

  25. peggy /

    Hallejulah! I’ve been blessed all of my life with having prayers answered. You have been my new project! God is good! I’m doing a kitchen jig as I read this!♥p

  26. KellyE /

    This makes my heart happy! Continued prayers!

  27. Bonnie B Jackson /

    Happy Dance Happy Dance, after fasting and praying today….. PRAISE THE LORD for His indescribable gift!! What a great Monday :-)

  28. Ginger /

    Praise God!!

  29. Darlene Cliff /

    Regardless of your diminished energy and all that comes with awful cancer, we LOVE YOU JUST THE SAME. You have a heart of gold. We’re so happy for your good news today.

  30. Shari /

    Wonderful news!!! So happy for you!!

  31. Kathy /

    Thrilled for you! Praise the Lord!

  32. Julie /

    Celebrating with you!! Happy dancing and prayers of thanks from the Deep South!!

  33. Jen Powers /

    Love, love, love this. Love the image of a very, very, very smiley Anderson fam. Mourning into dancing. Praise you, Jesus!

  34. Suzann /

    THIS is GREAT DAY!! 🤗

  35. Marlayne Skeens /

    💗✝💗☀️

  36. Melissa Pizzato /

    Brilliant news Jen! Massive congrats!!! Love you heaps and heaps and heaps xxx From all your family in Australia.

  37. Tina /

    XoXoXo

  38. Kelle B /

    Jen, I don’t have cancer. I don’t have friends with cancer, nor have I ever had to deal with a loved one who had cancer. (We’ve had “other” issues, just not “cancer” issues.) I was in the dark, until you came along.
    You are truly an inspiration to this mama of 3 and a leader in “finding joy right where you are”. It’s a phrase I use often now, thanks to you. Your words are a novel I dive into with each email update. You’ve taught me how to Do Today Well and how to approach those with illnesses I’ve never experienced. Your teachings are helping those of us who have a history of stepping back and not doing anything because of our fears. Your faith is inspiring.
    Praise God for your good news. I look forward to seeing many more of His miracles worked out through you, your precious family and your words.

  39. Jen Roesch /

    Praise Jesus!!

  40. Melissa Eddy /

    My heart is so happy it hurts! We are so happy to hear the good news. Praise the Lord.

  41. Kelly Burns /

    Wonderful news! Continued thoughts sent to you and your family! ❤️❤️❤️

  42. Jaime Denning /

    Jen – BEST news I’ve heard in ages!! So happy for you and all your loves.

  43. Jenn therrien /

    Yes!!!!!!!!!

  44. Christy /

    This is WONDERFUL news!!! Thank you GODfor this blessing!!

  45. Elisa Dailey /

    This was the BEST news!! God is Great!!!
    And Jen….you are amazing! (Brad and the girls aren’t too bad either!)😜

  46. Neecie /

    Love you sweetness and will give thanks.

  47. Malia /

    Exhaling with you, praying for continued regression. Praise the Lord!

  48. Tamara /

    That is awesome news Jen! So happy for you and your family:). God is great!!!!!

  49. Becky Merrill /

    Awesome!!!!! We are praying without ceasing. I have always admired your attitude, strength, and especially your smile. Now, I know how hard that it. I know how hard you have worked to keep it. Love, Hugs, & Prayer

  50. Wanda /

    Hallelujah! So happy to hear the good news. We’ll all just keep praying for continued remission. I’m still praying that you’ll live to see …. and enjoy your grandchildren.

  51. Marsha Vonderwish /

    Such wonderful news! Continued prayers dear lady!

  52. annie /

    This is wonderful news for you and for your community–the turn-around brought about by answered prayer. It’s a challenge to adapt to a new normal but a blessing as well because the cancer is in retreat. Happy Tuesday!!

  53. Jean /

    I love when the cancer gets thrown backwards. Praying for you as you relish the news. Already praying that this is just the beginning of some more answers to the Holy S**T prayers.

  54. Krista /

    Wonderful news!!!

  55. Melissa S. /

    God is good!!!

  56. Praise the Lord and pass the (chemo) ammunition!

    I loved your “I’m still an athlete, but I can’t physically do much. I’m adventurous, but I can’t explore. I’m positive and optimistic, but I feel crappy.”

    The reality of who we are against what we can do as cancer patients/survivors is hard to state (at least for me it is), but this so poetically describes how I feel. Not quite myself, and yet still who I am.

  57. Julie Hines /

    Jen so happy to hear your good news! I never miss reading your journal and think and pray for you often. You are a such an inspiration!

  58. Eloise /

    Woohoo!! Doing happy dances all day long since reading this. So so happy to hear the news!!

  59. So glad to see this news. I will continue to pray for you and your dear family!

  60. Aunt Annie /

    Hip, Hip, Hooray! Giving cheers and thanks! You amaze me Jen with your awesome attitude and grace.

  61. Linda (aka. T) /

    So happy to hear the news!!! Your strength and determination to see the good in your days are a true inspiration.

    I always keep your beautiful family in my thoughts and prayers.

  62. Nikki /

    LOVE! Love. Spring is my favorite time of year every single year because it means everything renews. Renewal. And mercy…His mercies are new every morning! I am praising the Lord with you and holding you tightly in prayers to SQUEEZE the cancer right outta you!

    I’ve had a few different varieties of challenge not named cancer but one recently that stood me face to face with my own mortality and nothing brings you to the present quite like that awareness. But I am assured of this for myself and for you…this is a launching pad by which greater things will be accomplished. Even in your weakness the power of the launch that moves in spite of and even right in the middle of our greatest weakness, is where miracles are born. I am believing in and for miracles and 50 years!!

    XOXO

  63. Laura B. /

    Wonderful news! I think you are actually quite the explorer still- every day you explore what it means to be the best version of you you can be and how to find joy and peace in the ups and downs of everyday life. That’s an adventure I think we should all pay more attention to and explore even though sometimes it’s hard! You have taught me how to work toward self exploration and it often gives me more contentment than any of my big traveling adventures. Always sending prayers your way!

  64. Lori6NV /

    I’m telling ya, it’s the “holy s***” prayers from your last post! They’re working! “I prayed to the Lord, and he answered me. He freed me from all my fears.” Psalm 34:4 I’ve always been hesitant to pray earnestly for the “big things.” You’ve inspired me Jen to trust more fully in the power of prayer. Hang in there and keep on Jenn-ing. You got this.

  65. PRAISE GOD!!
    I love that you know you are still the same person: an athlete, an adventurer, a positive thinker, a lover of your family; and that you know your village is right here cheering you on and helping when possible.

  66. Jennifer /

    Such wonderful, blessed news. May your healing miracle continue! Thank you for sharing your wisdom, of being so very present in each moment, showing up with a spirit that seeks to live well and good always!