God’s got this

Mar 26

This morning Maren woke up just before we had to leave for the hospital.  Uh oh: I braced myself for tears, accusation, hurt; I was leaving her again.  It was such sweet relief when she gave me a very average hug and a very average kiss, hugged her aunt and they started a project together.  Thank you Jesus for that moment; her pain is the hardest part of this so far.

Brad and I drove to the fourth hospital I’ve been to this week for the port surgery.  The staff was pleasant and efficient.  My pre-op nurse was chatty and grandmotherly; by the time I was prepped and ready to go, she was gushing over the pictures of Maren and Greta on my phone.  My girls do have the very best smiley faces.

Maren has a huge dimple on her left cheek .  Discovering her dimple was probably the biggest surprise in her appearance when she was born.  My side of the family has no dimples whatsoever.  Brad and some of his family have “dimples” that manifest as an extra set of laugh lines (sorry honey, but it is true.)  From the time she was little I would kiss Maren’s big ol’ dimple and tell her that she has a dent in her cheek because I’ve kissed her too many times in the same spot.  She giggles every time.  And then when Greta was born, she too had a big dimple.  Hers is in her right cheek.  Both my girls have permanent marks in their cheeks from Mommy’s kisses.  I love that.

Brad and I feel settled in the steps of the process.  We banter and plan, laugh and strategize.  Dr. Awesome checked in while Brad and I waited.  Given her Xavier U. loyalty, Brad was puzzled by the University of Cincinnati surgical cap she was wearing and he asked her about it.

“I’m operating on a UC employee next, so I thought I would wear it for her,” she replied.  Yep, thats the kind of doctor she is.

In the blink of an eye, I fell asleep and woke up with my brand new port in my chest.  Right now it feels like I took a paintball to the spot just below the right shoulder.  I am holding off on the pain meds because they make me so sleepy and I want to stay up at least until Maren goes to bed.  The 100 Days of School party was a smashing success; her super-teacher emailed me to tell me that she had a very normal day today.  She went with the Chocolate Teddy Grahams after all (of course she did), so now we have some premium Skittles (premium because they were gas station pricing) on reserve.

We went directly from the hospital to our meeting with Dr. Wonderful.  He got right to the point, and told us that the MRI of my liver showed that there are indeed some suspicious spots.  We talked about the scenarios of what this might mean and how we will deal with it.  There is a plan, there are aggressive treatments, there are options, there are tools.    Bottom line, we will start the expert medical protocol from these brilliant doctors, and then we will see what God does.

For me, that is where the real story lies.  Cancer is a tricky bastard and there is no scenario that comes with a guarantee.  How would you end this sentence:  “Okay God, I will have cancer as long as it … “?

There is no safe answer, no free pass.  The details don’t matter to me and the fight I have coming.  Therefore I won’t get bogged down in the details of these cells and those cells: that is Dr. Wonderful’s job.  I have faith that God’s got this.  He has the power to melt my cancer away.  I can be cancer free.  God heals.  That is true.

I will have a liver biopsy on Friday morning, and then I will go directly to my first chemotherapy treatment and use my brand new port.  Please, please continue to fight with me and pray.  For my weapon, I choose the sword of truth.



  1. karly /

    praying hard for you girl. hard.

    but you’re right, He’s got this. He’s got you. in His hands.

  2. jen powers /

    wield that sword, sister, fighting with you. standing firm on the truth of who God says He is…redeemer, healer, rescuer, the one who makes beauty out of ashes. praying with you.

  3. I found your blog via Momastery and am so happy I did. Thank you so much for sharing your journey with us. My mother was diagnosed with breast cancer while pregnant with my youngest sister. I was 3. My other sister was 2. Your story hits very, very close to my heart. Please know that I am praying for you and cheering you on during this journey. Between God, your family, and your doctors, you are in the most capable hands! I have no doubt that you’re going to show cancer who’s boss!

    • Bobbie /

      I, too, found your blog via Momastery. I am praying for you, your family, and the Dr.’s through your battle! I do not know you, but the love you have for your husband, your daughters and our God is real and it’s beautiful. Keep smiling, keep laughing, and keep writing; He is working through you and you rock!!

    • I also found you on Monastery. You are in the thoughts and prayers of my family. I pray for you and your family hard. You can do this because you obviously have big faith and some wonderful work ahead of you raising those babies! Go kick cancer’s tushy! We are all behind you!

  4. Can we bottle Drs. Wonderful and Awesome????! Prayers on board from all the staff and kids at school and everyone else in my life!

  5. I keep getting that song in my head, “He is mighty to save, He is mighty to save…” Praying with you too Jen

  6. christy /

    I started following your blog yesterday, which I found on the momastery blog. Lots of great inspirational women writing blogs! I was instantly drawn your writing and your story. My mom is a breast cancer survivor and you will be too. Praying for you and your family! You will beat this!!

  7. Kimberlee /

    I can’t tell you how much I admire your strength and faith. You seem like such an amazing woman! You will be in my prayers daily. Nothing is impossible for Jesus!

  8. Pat Powell /

    These miles don’t mean anything, We have watched you grow, we are so proud of you = you are so strong.
    This strength with Gods love will see you kick the bastard (not a word used by me normally) cancer all the way from Cinci to deepest Antartica.

  9. Maryann /

    Our prayers for healing and strength are continuous… Much love and hugs to all four of you!

  10. You do not know me, but I wanted to leave a comment as I follow your strong story. You are a powerful writer, and please know we are praying for you, your health and your dear family!

  11. God loves you and your husband and children. He knows what you need and He hears your prayers. And let us all remember that are following this blog that we must PRAY like crazy prayer warriors on a mission for this beautiful woman and her family. I don’t know you aside from this blogged but I’m sucked in to your journey and I’m not goint to stop praying until we have victory. The dimples are adorable and the fact that you notice all the details. What a Mom you are!

  12. Fighting for you in Tennessee. Love and prayers coming your way.

  13. I think you’re right, God certainly wouldn’t have put you in the path of Dr. Awesome & Dr. Wonderful if he didn’t have this. Just as they are impacting your life my dear you are likely impacting them, it works both ways and it’s obvious just by your writing that you have a light within you that touches all those who come into contact with it. Continuing to send up prayers for you, your family and the medical team who are on the battlefield with you and for strength in the face of the unknown.

  14. Your honesty and bravery amaze me. I’m sending you healing white light and prayers as you undergo your first round of chemo.

  15. Lisa M /

    Praying hard. HE has you. Brad. Your girls. He’s bigger than all of this and wildly beyond our imagination up to good.

  16. You are an amazing writer. Thank you for sharing your story! You are very brave!

  17. hrose /

    Dear sweet strong cancer warrior with a new lovely port… lighting a candle for you tonight. Lighting one for Brad, one for Maren and one for Greta.

  18. God has you, and your babies, and your husband, and the doctors all in His hands. Let those Skittles be a rainbow reminder of His provision. Let your light shine bright. Be strong in the Lord and in His mighty power.

    I feel like I just spewed a bunch of Christian platitudes.
    So what I will say now is — you’re right. God’s got this. Rest in that knowledge.

    I’m making a beaded prayer chain, to keep me focused on ACTS (Adoration, Confession, Thanksgiving, and Supplication). On the ends will be ribbons — one end with names or lines from songs/Psalms, one end with specific prayers. Your name is going on a ribbon, to help me stay in constant prayer for you & yours. Perhaps I can find one the color of your girls’ hair…

  19. Erica Snipes /

    I have a weird question–can I actually be happy for you that this cancer has been caught and responded to so quickly and by doctors so able and compassionate and helpful? Does everybody get this kind of initiation to cancer?! I mean wow…has it even been a week since the diagnosis yet? So, basically, I’m glad you have a specific plan, I’m glad that your medical team is a bunch of rockstars and awesome people. I’m glad that treatments are starting so swiftly. I am not only praying for you to kick the poop out of this cancer, I am also praying for you to be able to live comfortably through the process of doing so. You are first and foremost, it seems, a family gal. A loving wife and mom. I want you to be able to continue to be those things, comforably, peacefully, and happily. I don’t know what the future holds in terms of your health, your pain, your comfort, but heck, I just pray for all of it to be managed, AND for you to kick cancer’s sorry behind. And isn’t it nice to believe, through it all, that God has control of all of it. 🙂 Sending care and prayer…

  20. Bonnie /

    Praying , trusting and standing with you Jen… The Lord has certainly blessed you with a wonderful family, friends and support system. Your story is like a pebble that has been thrown into a pond… the ripple effect is traveling out to places that we never dreamed of. The Lord will touch many and strengthen you, Brad and the girls in the process. Friday is on my calendar…and everyday.

  21. sent your way via glennon. my mother is a breast cancer survivor. she’s about 3years out of treatment now. port, chemo, surgery, radiation. it was a fight, but one worth fighting. she’s still here and looks better than ever. praying for you all, every day. prayers, humor, God got us through. keep writing, you are a beautiful writer and you will want these pages to look back on. yes, LOOK BACK ON, because someday this will be behind you. praying…..

  22. Hey Jen, I was thinking of you on Sunday , your strength motivated me to keep running even though it hurt, when I needed a laugh I looked at some of the folks and thought of them running in hospital gowns all flapping around, it made me want to get past them real quick, as mentioned open flapping hospital gowns is not a good look..there was some amazing efforts by many people of all body shapes. Enough of them, Dr’s Awesome, Wonderful, and etc will be there to do the neccessary and we know you will get through this ,
    much love Ian and the Buderim mob.

  23. Amen. There is no better weapon to use.

    Praying with you, and for you.

  24. Andy turkington /

    Ricky told me about what’s going on, I want to let you know I will be following this and checking up on you, I recently have had both my aunt and uncle diagnosed with lymphoma, and both are cured! It was long and a tough battle but they both did it and I know you can too. Please give my bests to brad, maren, and greta, as well as your sisters mother and father, love you and have you in my prayers!

  25. Found you via Momastery and you two things have stuck out to me as incredibly true here – cancer is, indeed, one tricky little bastard.
    The other is that Jesus is, indeed, mighty to save. Lucky for us, Jesus is more mighty than cancer is tricky. And I don’t think He looks kindly on those basterdly types either. Praying for you and your family.

  26. Another Monkee here via Momastery…just wanted to say I’m praying for you. I have an old childhood friend who is also fighting breast cancer. Her “slogan” for herself right now is “Fight like a girl!” I think if you two were near each other you would be great friends, as you both have fighter attitudes when it counts and strong faith to support you when the fight gets tough. Kick some cancer-a$$!

  27. Lea F /

    Praying for you…

  28. Fighting with you from Arkansas!! Praying for you and your precious family – your bravery is so inspiring and your attitude has moved me to make positive changes in my life. Keep up the good fight!

  29. Christy /

    praying for you. our paths haven’t crossed in awhile, but i am fighting for you. When i think of you, i am always remembering our trip long ago to Juarez that you and Brad led. i always remember how you guys found a way to get my husband and me a cake for our first anniversary that we were celebrating that week! do you remember those sand storms that came in and covered us with dirt that couldn’t wash away because we couldn’t shower for four days?! remember that first shower we got after all that work and sweat? i am praying that our God gives you a refreshing strength today that felt like that first shower. Lord, give Jen that, ‘ahhh’ feeling everyday during this fight. As this storm surrounds her and leaves its muck covering her, may You swoop in and be her relief, washing all this gunk away. Go girl. Keep fighting. We are fighting with you.

  30. Jen, I came to your blog after checking in a Momastery and oh, how I long to meet you and ‘talk’. I am currently undergoing chemo and so vividly remember those initial days, wandering hospitals, coordinating doctor’s visits and surgeries, all the while yearning to shield my children from the awful reality of what was beginning. I am happy to say that being young and tough has been the greatest asset (well, having Christ on my side is and always will be my greatest asset) and i know those will serve you well in your battle. Sitting in chemo allows a lot of time to read — take a blanket (its cold!), some socks and an iPad/Kindle/Book to read — so perhaps you may enjoy reading my CaringBridge site. And if there are any questions you have, I would be happy to try to answer them for you. Know that you and your precious family will be in my prayers. Thanks for keeping us posted on this journey!

  31. We don’t know each other, but I stumbled upon your blog yesterday and it really touched me. Probably because I have 2 little ones too. Anyway, I’m praying for you and your girls (and of course your husband). Praying that God takes this cancer away.

  32. sgd1227 /

    Thank you for being such an encouragement to us and to your family. This is a time when it would be so easy to get sucked into only thinking about yourself and I’m amazed and humbled by your actions and words. You can bet that I’ll be reading here for a really long time to come!

  33. Jen – We don’t know each other, but please know that I am praying for you every day. You are one strong Mamma! Now go give cancer a swift kick in teeth!

  34. I am so thankful I “stumbled” upon your blog. Your attitude is amazing to me. My attitude is not so good and it is encouraging and helpful and refreshing to read how you are dealing with all this. I am waiting to hear the results of my own breast biopsy. If it is positive then this will be the second time in five years.
    When things calm down a little for you there is a book called Anticancer by David Servan-Schrieber. It mostly tells you ways through diet and exercise that you can make your body stronger to fight cancer as you go through your treatments.

    Praying for you through your journey….

  35. fondofsnape /

    Heard about your battle over on my friend Karen’s blog…thinking good thoughts for you and your family!!! You’re so lucky to be surrounded by so much love 🙂 A weird thing to say, maybe, but I fought cancer, too, and that was one of the things that made it easier for me…the love. Hugs!

  36. Melissa in DC /

    Dear Kick-Butt Mom:

    You ROCK! There is nothing you and your phenomenal team can’t do as God is blessing you and everyone in your presence! And, when God is for you, not even cancer can be against you. Thank you for lifting your light to shine in countless lives as you battle. Truly, although you may feel blessed, those who are reading your blog are blessed by you.

    Have an AWESOME day!

  37. Karen /

    God bless you and your family as you go thru this time. I will be praying for you all that you will have the strength to handle whatever God sends your way. Remember, He is with you and so are we. Big hugs and prayers.

  38. Karen Ward /

    Praying for an awesome testimony for you!!

  39. Jen,

    I am praying for you and your family daily. (I’m a Jen too). I wanted to tell you that I truly admire your strength and your positive attitude.

  40. Marianne /

    Holding you in my heart here in sunny Southern California. Will do so as long as it takes. Love and hugs.

  41. Hi! I’m a Momastery reader who is now following and reading your blog, too. You are an amazingly lucid writer. I’m so sorry you are going through this.You and your family are in my prayers.

  42. Keeley /

    I’m another monkee from Momastery and I think that you’re so incredible! You have such beautiful perspective on life and I’m keeping you in my prayers. Keep up the fight!

  43. You are in my heart as is your family. My prayers continue for you all. As an oncology nurse I can just urge you to do whatever is good for you and your family, say no if you really can’t, spend all the time you can with your babies. They are the best medicine. Keep a notebook for all your questions. Write things down. Your mind may become fuzzy. It is good to have a notebook for just that purpose. When people ask if you need anything or say to call for anything- DO IT!!! People want to do things they just don’t know what to do. Give someone a mop, another a broom, someone else a grocery list. Let people help. Spend time with your kids and your recovery and resting so that your body can heal. Let everyone else do the rest! This is your journey. Don’t be afraid to ask for what you need and make the choices YOU want! It sounds like you have an awesome time behind you- both medically and support. Prayers and good wishes being sent to you everyday!

  44. I found you from Momastery, and although I don’t know you, I want you to know that I will be praying for you. The power of prayer is amazing, but so is the power of our thoughts. Having your outlook on this stage of your life is going to be a great benefit to your healing.

  45. Elisabete Balcavage /

    We are all here sending you extra prayers. Maya has been curious and asking questions and you’ve advanced to #1 on her prayer list 🙂 You are such an inspiration.
    Let us know if anything is needed. Love you all! Elisabete

  46. Christine O. /

    A friend sent me your blog link as I have recently had a breast biopsy and upcoming surgery for abnormal cells. I’m praying for you and your family. One thing that’s been brought to my attention because of my health issues, is the movie (documentary) called “Crazy, Sexy Cancer”. Its quite interesting….maybe you’ve seen it. Anyway, its about a young woman who is diagnosed with liver/lung cancer and how she has changed her life via eating raw food (veggies/fruit), making smoothies and juicing…and her cancer hasn’t spread. Quite amazing. Just wanted to pass along that movie name as it helped me. (and she has a website too called crazy sexy life).

  47. You’re a brave and wonderful woman and writer. Thank you for sharing your story with us; know that many Sister-warriors are praying for you, Jen!

  48. Jen from OC /

    I too found you through momastery and think you are a gift! What a wonderful writer you are. I am the daughter and granddaughter of breast cancer survivors. The mama of two sweet girls 3 and 6 months…and six months late in scheduling a follow up appointment with my breast dr. I am calling first thing in the morning. You are already changing lives! Praying for you to kick some booty!

  49. Christina /

    I read Psalm 16 this morning and thought of you, your positive attitude, and your trust in God. I hope the Psalm gives you encouragement. My prayers are with you!

  50. Lindsay /

    You are awesome! Sending prayers your way.

  51. Jen, another monkey here. I feel this compulsion to visit this site several times a day. I want “you” to rub off on “me”. I need whatever it is that you’ve got. I want to be like you when I grow up, or find my grownup self. I AM in my 40’s. Thank you, profoundly, for sharing your story. I will be here, every day. He is with YOU, every nano second.


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