From Chair 18

May 23

I’m thumb-typing on my phone from the chemo room; the wifi is down again. But I have a warm blanket, a friendly gal in Chair 17, and some hot tea so I am happy!

I do get to have my chemo today; Dr. Wonderful gave me the all clear. In his words, “I don’t want to give the cancer a break.” Right on!

Today I am switching to a new chemotherapy protocol. I am sad to be finished with the two drugs I have been on over the past eight weeks: they have made the cancer smaller; they have served me well. Dr. Wonderful thinks I’m a bit nutty to be nostalgic about the old drugs because they are some of the harshest chemo drugs and have “severe” side effects. I tolerated them pretty well though; in fact, after my first dose I told him he could hit me harder because I was prepared for much worse. One milestone is passed, I am on to the next leg.

Today I get my first dose of a new chemotherapy drug. Overall, the side effects are supposed to be less. Except that it can be very rough on fingernails and toenails. Is it weird to ask you to pray for my nails? That they would stay on? I will receive this drug every week for twelve weeks.

In addition, I also start receiving a new biological drug (not a chemo drug). It is going to inhibit the growth of the tumor by blocking its growth mechanism. Early in the process, Dr. Awesome predicted that this drug would make my tumor “melt like butter.” Isn’t that the best description? I’m all snuggled up under my warm blanket and feel cozy knowing that right now the cancer is being strangled. I love knowing that! I will receive this drug weekly as well, and then will continue to receive it for years. Maybe it is me, but I love having something on the calendar for years to come!

Chemo is hitting my veins in a couple of minutes. (First I have to finish my pre-meds: anti-nausea, steroids, saline, etc.) It might be weird, but I totally feel like raising a glass (or my IV bag) and saying, “Cheers!”

Will you join me?


  1. Angela Johnson /

    Cheers! Praying for the drugs to work miracles in your body!! And for your nails. 🙂

  2. Cheers to a successful chemo session!! Praying for you!
    P.S. I think our babies were born on the same day, since you recently wrote that you spent Mother’s Day in the hospital last year, the day after your daughter was born, as did I!

  3. Sue Nitz /

    Hi Jen! Cheers to you! I just had my mammogram. All clear. Waiting to see my Dr Awsome for a checkup. This will be you next year. Going to Maryann’s to pray for you when I leave here. Rest and feel loved.

  4. Lisa Mader /

    Cheers to you, melting butter and things on the calendar beyond tomorrow! 🙂

  5. Mary Ann Morrison /

    Cheers! All your updates are so inspiring. Thanks for the lovely note and picture. Scott and I continue to pray.

  6. not weird at all to pray for your nails 😉 my mom asked the same thing during her treatment. praying that they stay on and for the butter to melt melt away! and FYI, my mom’s did stay on. they started to look like they were going to crack under pressure on her VERY LAST week of that drug. but they stayed in place. enjoy your battle day.

  7. I’m lifting my afternoon coffee cup to you!

    PS: I’m one of your anonymous readers who found you through Momastery. I’m currently waiting for my own biopsy results from a thyroid nodule and I’m so glad I started reading this blog way before I even knew about the growth! You are such an inspiration! Also, I’m up in Columbus, so I wave whenever we drive nearish Cincy.

  8. CHEERS TO THAT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Love you!!

  9. Amy Wheeler /

    Cheers, indeed! Keep up the great work, Jen. XOXOXO

  10. Marion /

    I am so glad to hear that you were able to have your treatment today…I bet you were even more glad! I hope your cold is gone and that is behind you. I pray that these new drugs are not too mean to you, just to the cancer! I will pray for your nails! Sending lots of prayers up for you. P.S. It was awesome to hear the giggles and play coming up from the basement today. Their imaginations amaze me!

  11. Meggie /


  12. Not weird at all. Cheers! Battle On! Go Chemo GO!!

    (♥LOVE♥ that you’ve got the calendar booked well in advance)

  13. Melissa S /

    Thinking of you on your chemo day. I think it’s awesome that you visualize the drugs strangling your cancer. I hope and pray those cells are gasping, cursing the chemo, and melting away. May you continue to push through this next leg with the same determination, positive attitude and prayer that you have shown so far. Thank you for sharing this journey.

  14. Jodi /

    My husband is French-Canadian, so whenever we raise a glass, instead of Cheers we say “Santé”, which means “to your health”. So, santé to you for today and for the years to come!

  15. Shelley Carter /

    Cheers! Praying for chemo to do its thing and for those nails to stay healthy.

  16. TheWhites /

    To many years of calendar “somethings” to come! Cheers, Jen!

  17. Cheers to chemo doing its magic!!

  18. Melissa Pizzato /

    My glass is full and I’m ‘toasting’ every step of your recovery with you Jen… Even if it’s all the way from Cairns, Australia! You are beyond amazing – CHEERS!!!

  19. Bonniebj /

    I may be a bit late but cheers, cheers, and more cheers. Heading off to small group with your newest prayer requests Jen-love the specific 😉 praying you rest well this evening after this new “cocktail”….

  20. CHEERS TO YOU JEN!! I’m in awe of your courage and enthusiasm. Love you. xo

  21. Shannon Weiss /

    You truely inspire me with you kick ass attitude Jen! Prayers your way for you, Brad and the girls! 🙂

  22. Karen Kendrick /

    Hi, Jen! As I went through treatment, I kept my toenails painted with a happy, opaque color. The new toenails grew in, and only them did they push the old nail off. Like baby teeth being pushed out by new teeth. As for my fingernails, they just got weird ripples in them, like waves coming into the shore. I used a sheer, slightly shimmery flesh color to gloss over the odd hue they took on. Keep in mind that our hair and nails exhibit the chemical effects long after we’re done, like a diary. In the end, they’re all back to happy.

  23. Ashley /

    We’re having mimosas at work this morning in honor of a couple of birthdays. Know that I’m raising a glass to you and praying that you’re having a wonderful morning and that the chemo is doing its thing. ~Ashley in Louisiana

  24. Jen /

    Praying for those nails! They’ll totally deserve a mani and pedi if they make it through”:). Good luck! Dr. Awesome sounds…pretty awesome.

  25. Hi Jen, My chemo nurses had me wear rubber gloves and hold my fingertips in a “bed pan ” filled with ice chips. My fingernails survived! ( I opted not to do my toes-just too cold, lost a bit of my big toenail-barely noticeable:) (during taxatere) If you need to go thru radiation, I have had fabulous results with Emu Oil and liquid silver. Get back to me if you want my info. My radio-techs gave me the award for “best sunburn”! It’s all about staying ahead of the symptoms and PMA(positive mental attitude) and you’ve already got that:)

  26. Rebecca /

    Cheers! 🙂 Go chemo!

  27. Jean /

    Cheers to the new surprise that awaits your cancer cells! They thought they knew the regime… they have no idea what is coming today! Here’s to a WONDERFULLY effective surprise attack!

  28. Cheers! Hope you’re feeling well. You may have seen this, but if not, I thought it might make you smile:

    Positive thoughts are with you. – Amy