Apr 24

*If you know me in real life and have contacted me recently, know that I love you.  I am behind and I am busy, but I love you.  I know I don’t need to apologize because I have cancer, but cancer hasn’t done much for me in the ‘being a good friend’ department.  And you matter enough to me for me to say it here.

I am busy.  Part of it is real life busy: washing Greta’s tray three times per day, making the bed, answering the phone, digging out the bottomless pit of emails, doing laundry, packing and unpacking Maren’s backpack, planning meals, shopping.  It all just goes on: for all of us.  I am not alone in this, I know.  So, that is what I’ve been up to.  I’m doing normal things like going on Maren’s field trip (to the pizza place–isn’t preschool awesome?) and changing over Greta’s wardrobe to the next clothing size.  I am engaging in this new life; I’ve never been passive about anything.  I am busy.

The other part of my busy is cancer busy.  I am wading through the mountain of new things that require attention: medical bills, gifts, correspondence re: cancer, medical literature, blogging, thank you notes, books, and more.  I am trying to prioritize what to do with what little time I can devote to these tasks.  There is so much to deal with I get overwhelmed at times.  As I sift through the cancer piles, I am asking myself: am I (are we) doing everything I can to fight against this disease?

Spiritually, I trust God in this, and have since Day 1.  This alone is a blessing from Him.  I am praying and I am meditating on scripture.  Friends have sent me verses that I have posted on my mirror.  I am on more prayer lists than I know about.  Family, friends, acquaintances, strangers, people who don’t pray; all of them are praying for me.  Wow.  Everyday, I tune in, I pray, I ask, I thank, I believe.  Check.

Emotionally, I made my plan to Do Today Well.  It took me a couple of weeks to quell the volcano that is my emotional tank, but I feel I landed in a good place.  It is a plan that is working well, but I have to stick to it.  It’s a decision I make multiple times a day.  Check.

Mentally, I feel good about my doctors and the medical plan.  I am confident that they are treating my cancer in the aggressive method appropriate for a strong, happily married, thirty-two year old mother of two.  They went to medical school and have spent decades preparing to do this: use their tools to cure my cancer.  Check.

Physically, I am reasonably fit and healthy.  But.  I have this cancer.  What physical changes would help me and hurt the cancer?  I have no idea.

I eat a fairly healthy diet, but, honestly, my motivation has always been more about body appearance rather than body health related.  Every woman out there can probably relate to that on some level.  Reading about how the body uses food (and how cancer uses food) is all new information for me.  I can’t control much in this whole scenario, but I can restrict cancer fuel, and increase cancer inhibitors.  (Who knew?)  I feel like I am writing a research paper and I am sucking in facts and knowledge so that I can try to (hopefully) synthesize it into actionable, beneficial steps that will make my body as strong as possible to work against the cancer.  I am not going to turn into a nutcase about nutrition.  It is one piece of a very complex puzzle, and I don’t know what the picture looks like at the end.  It just seems like it makes sense to go all in.  I mean, what would you do?


  1. Jennifer /

    If you can, please try to be very gentle with yourself. This is a lot. Many years ago, a cancer survivor told me, “Someday this won’t be all you can think about.” And I didn’t believe them. But now it’s my turn to tell you that someday, this won’t be in the background of every thought. You are doing a great job.

  2. Kristen /

    http://jnci.oxfordjournals.org/content/101/1/48.short , google 60 minutes Is Sugar Toxic?
    + look at Sugar: The Bitter Truth by Robert Lustig on youtube
    I am a breast surgeon and this is what I tell my patients when they ask me about nutrition and breast cancer. 1.Exercise as much as you can…it improves how your immune system responds to threats and decreases your resistance to insulin, strenth training improves your body’s ability to use sugar even more 2. Don’t drink sweet beverages, no juice, soda, sugar in your coffee/tea…it really jumps your blood sugar and therefore your insulin level 3. Eat sugar rarely but when you do, eat it with a meal filled with protein and fiber
    You’re absolutely right, this is only one piece of the puzzle and we don’t know that much about it yet but I agree…go all in.
    Women like you make me so proud to be female, thanks.

  3. Sue Nitz /

    Oh Jen. I want to say the right thing, do the right thing to make a difference in your life and make this easier for you, but you know what? You are doing it all so well. One day at a time, one moment at a time. Living, loving and being the wonderful light to so many just by being you. Looking at the blessings, in spite of the struggles. God is giving you an opportunity to trust Him and you are such a wonderful example of faith, hope and love. You are going to look back on this time and you will feel even more blessed because of it. Love you and praying every day for you and your family.

  4. I’D GO ALL IN!!! You ARE doing today well and I hope I am too! Love you!

  5. nutrition was a huge factor in my mother’s recovery from breast cancer. she changed her lifestyle, which wasn’t THAT unhealthy-at least in america’s standard, and lives it to this day. Lots and lots of fresh, organic veggies. go all in. one book she loved was Kris Carr’s Crazy Sexy Cancer.

  6. Chrissy /

    I am so glad you are looking at your diet- such a huge part in cancer recovery! I agree, look at Kris Carr’s Crazy Sexy Diet- the documentary is awesome and her book/blog are great!

  7. Praying for you & wanted to share one of my favorite quotes from St. Francis de Sales: “do not fear what may happen tomorrow. The same loving Father who cares for you today will care for you tomorrow and everyday. Either he will shield you from suffering or He will give you unfailing strength to bear it. Be at peace then and put aside all anxious thoughts and imaginings.”

  8. Yes, Kris Carr’s Crazy Sexy Cancer diet – think loads of green juice – is awesome!! Have a great day and we are all pulling for you!

  9. I love the way you are fitting all the pieces together. Balance in alll things is a peaceful place to be. When you are ready, I would love to learn from you.

  10. Bonniebj /

    Oh Jen, try not to be overwhelmed by all that is so overwhelming right now. Praying that you are able to sift through all the paper, words of advice, instruction, etc etc.. and discover that which the Lord would have you do. Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him and He will direct your path. The Lord has the perfect plan for you, Brad, Maren and Greta. Love you and your strength in the Lord……but within the flurry TRY to REST.

  11. genora /

    trust in the lord with all your heart,lean not to your own understanding.In all your ways acknowledge him and he will direct your path

  12. Hi! Came to your blog from momastery and am enjoying reading about your journey (in admiration of your strength and candor). A friend of mine from college was diagnosed with stage 4 colon cancer a little over a year ago…maybe close to a year and a half. Anyways, she has a blog (wonderglo.com) where she talks about all the “changes” she made in lifestyle and diet as well as many other “cancer warrior” things. I think you will enjoy her honesty about living life in “super HD” as well as her insights into diet alterations that were helpful.

    Hope you enjoy your date night!! They always end up being better than I hoped they would be 🙂

  13. chubbyroad2skinny /

    Boy can I relate to eating healthy for appearance rather than health… ha ha. I would be curious to know what foods they recommend for cancer inhibitors