About Jen

Until March 2012, the most defining thing about me was my red hair. Then I got cancer at age 32, as a young wife and mama.  Cancer recurred in my lungs in November 2013, December 2014, and to my lung and lymph nodes in March 2015.  I have Stage IV breast cancer, but it does not define me.

Cancer helped me to love my chaos more than I already did (and I did love it before, too).

My life has included an idyllic childhood, a sensational family, love (oh, the love), opportunities galore, adventure, and genuine happiness. Oh, and cancer, but I don’t let that overshadow the good stuff.

Once upon a time, I was a high school history teacher. Fun times. Seriously. I loved it.

Brad and I married in 2003 in one of those met-and-married-within-a-year love stories. He is my knight and he shields me from whatever ugliness I cannot fend off for myself. I love him to the moon and back.

I am a woman of faith and thank God daily for the blessings in my life. Cancer strengthened my faith and I point to God as my healer.

Today my girls are seven and three.  My older girl “gets it” and we are as honest as we can be with her.  We simplify things for my little one.

about the blog:

I became a writer on the same day that I was diagnosed with hairy-scary cancer. After having that devastating weight thrust upon me, I needed a place to process and to come to terms with the Big C. And me. Because, you know, C and I were in it together at that point. I can’t imagine having cancer and not writing about it; I can’t imagine I ever would have started writing without cancer as the flashpoint.

First, I wrote only for myself, to record this momentus season in my life, and to get to a place of peace.

Forty-eight hours, fifty phone calls, and six hundred emails later, I realized that I could not, would not, tell the same story to e.v.e.r.y.o.n.e. in my life. I made the blog public and began pointing friends and family there so they could stay updated. I tried to write in an authentic voice so that each of those caring souls would feel like they had talked to me, and knew how I was really doing.

I wrote then, and write now, for my daughters. I want them to know me. If they were the only ones in the world to have read these words, that would be enough.

Throughout my cancer journey, the comments and community that I gathered through the blog became a tidal wave of love. Often, I still find myself spinning below the surface as I am crushed by the awesome kindness of people. Thank you, people.

I write when I have time, and I choose the subject matter. Therefore it’s random, but it is real. I could spend time telling you about my failures, woes, and weaknesses, of which there are many, but I don’t want to. I want to write about what gives me hope and joy. Welcome. I want to know you, too.