The good, the bad, and the ugly

Jun 10

Funny definitely isn’t the right word.

Ironic doesn’t capture it either.

Stunning, jaw-dropping, and :::stunned silence:: come closer.

We found out this week that my mom has breast cancer, too.

I know, right?

That’s a hard bombshell to deliver.  I have gotten used to telling people that I have cancer, but telling people about my mom is different.  My mom and I are already close, it’s not like we needed to have cancer together to bond.  Her cancer was found when she went in for her annual mammogram; she had no red flags or concerns, other than my diagnosis.  My mom, the double-clapper, is starting a blog, and I will link to it when she starts to write.  She has had a biopsy, met with her doctor, seen the pathology on her cancer, and she still has imaging and tests coming up this week.  She will have surgery, probably within the month.  She may not need chemo.  We have every reason to be hopeful that she has early-stage breast cancer.  Once you are talking cancer, early-stage is definitely good news.

Are we really talking about my mom’s cancer?

What do I think about it all?

First, my mom is going to rock this.  She is a nurse, she’s fit, healthy, strong, and vibrant.  Moreover, she’s Mom.  There has always been nothing my mom can’t do, no problem she can’t solve.  I routinely call her for a myriad of needs: Chef Mom when I need a recipe, Nurse Mom when I need medical advice, Gardening Mom when my black thumb shows itself, Nana Mom when I need a break from my kids, Directions Mom when I’m lost.  I know that I get all of my best qualities from her; people tell me all the time how much I am like her.  It is the highest compliment I can receive.  I love my mom.  She’s the best.

Second, I hate that my parents have to deal with this.  Times two.  Ya know?  It really stinks.  However, I also know that my parents are going to be fine.  I’m not a whiner, cry-er, tantrum-thrower, and they certainly aren’t either.  One of my most poignant childhood memories is of being a tweenager and driving on vacation.  Dad was the driver, the much-preferred job over refereeing the trio of redheads in the back of the car, if you ask me.  Mom would constantly pull from her bag of tricks to entertain us, and spent more time swiveled around in her seat than she did facing forward.  My memory is being tired and sprawling across the backseat and watching the road ahead.  I have this image of my parents in the front seats, driving along the highway, on our way to a memory-making vacation, and we are finally quiet in the backseat.  They are holding hands across the front seat as they cruise down the road.  They were meant for each other, and, for me, their whole marriage can be summed up in that one image in my mind: holding hands and embracing every moment.  It brought me peace then, and it brings me peace now.  It’s how they roll.  They do it all, the good, the bad, the ugly, and they do it together, always.


  1. I. am. astounded.
    But once again, your positive attitude pulls me through and able to leave this post and go on with my day with great hope and peace. Will be praying for your whole family. Love you.

  2. Lisa /

    Appalled. with two Ps. Prayers and good thoughts continue from the midwest for you and your mom. My sister sailed through surgery and chemo; a friend through lumpectomey, chemo and radiation. I wish smooth sailing for both of you as well.

  3. Oh my. I’m rather speechless. (Though if your mom is anything like you, I think cancer has good reason to be scared!) Much love and luck to you AND your mom (and all your loved ones going through this with you!) Now go kick some cancer butt!

  4. suenitz /

    Hi Jen. I was stunned to hear of your moms diagnosis. But I also knew that your wonderful spirit has come from somewhere. Someone as strong and faithful and wise beyond her years as you are, I knew came from just what you described above. Your family will get through of all this and be stronger than ever because you and your mom will make that happen. I will continue to pray everyday for you and now for your mom and I promise to keep your whole family in my prayers too. Only God knows what the future holds but there is a blessing in everything I do know that for sure. And God does answer prayers. Much love to you.

  5. Melissa /

    Wow. Prayers for you both now.

  6. Laura /

    Prayers for you and your family!

  7. Deanna /

    When I read this post, I was stunned. But then this came to my mind…maybe God used your diagnosis to save your mom’s life. No doubt that you and your cancer came up during your mom’s routine appointment. What mom doesn’t speak of her children??!! So your mom mentions your cancer, it gets noted in her chart, and the medical staff looking at her routine, nothing has changed since last time, mammogram yet they happen to look a little closer or take a little more time with her images. Bazinga–they notice her early stage cancer. Praying for big miracles for both of you to be cancer free. Our God is able!

  8. jen geverdt /

    Ugh, Jen, so sorry to hear this. Now we get to pray for both of you.

  9. Bonniebj /

    Stunned doesn’t even begin to touch what I feel about this latest news. You both touch me in the deepest place and I know that God doesn’t just allow things without purpose. Praying for the deepest of miracles within your family.. Show us the deepest purpose and teach us how to pray, Lord… I want to live like that and give it All I have…in reckless abandon to the Lord.

  10. Dear Sweet Jen ~ Kim & I are speechless after reading your blog * We know that The Mathie Gals ( Mom & her 3 daughters ) have endured a lot & always come out much better ~ I am sure you are an inspiration to your Mom & she will look to you for strenght ~ The 2 of you will keep each other in peace & smiling. Your Dad & sisters will be your cherleaders ~ Prayers to you both & everyone that loves you 🙂 each

  11. /

    No words can communicate the shock we felt on hearing Ros’s news. You write so profoundly beautifully of you love and your faith in a successful outcome. We believe most strongly in that belief and know that the hike though difficult will be successful for you both. Love you heaps Neecie

  12. My dad had colon cancer 4 years ago and beat it. Parents seem superhuman and I know for me it was tough to face my dad’s vulnerability. Your experience with cancer is going to give you special insight into helping her. She’s so lucky to have such a wonderful daughter!

  13. Rebecca /

    Wow. Unbelievable. Prayers for you all.

  14. Cyndi /

    Daily healing thoughts and prayers for you and your mom… And I’m so glad to hear your love for your mom. Love heals!! Sending extra hugs your way…

  15. I am so sorry! That just plain sucks!

  16. Angela Johnson /

    Words fail! Keep your positive attitude – your mom has already learned so much about fighting cancer from watching you, which you probably learned from watching her live life and parent. What a great role model you each are for the other – and for all of us. Praying for BOTH of you now, and looking forward to getting to know your mom thru her blog, too. Prayers & hugs!

  17. Peggy /

    I just remember your mom taking 3 little red-headed girls off to Australia by herself (your dad had to stay home & work!!). If she could do that, she surely can beat this cancer! Praying for you both 🙂

  18. Jennifer /

    I will continue to pray like crazy for you, your mom, and your friends and family. I love the description of your parents on road trips. My parents were and are like that, too, and I am forever grateful and amazed. God bless you all.

  19. Tina Mathie /

    I’m so glad we were able to hang out and watch the kids play together this weekend . It was wonderful to be with everyone. Love you lots!! Prayers and hugs XoXoX

  20. Melissa Pizzato /

    Poor Roz! I’m so sorry your beautiful family has been hit twice with this awful disease. I know she will fight back just as hard as you are Jen. But, I’m sending you both all my strength and best wishes!!! Mel.

  21. Jodi /

    I am so sorry to hear this news. It must be completely overwhelming, but hopefully you can draw off of each others strength and positivity to fight this battle together.

  22. Rae Kuyath /

    Wow just heard. My prayers are with you at this time. I know that you are strong and you will see this through

  23. Oh, goodness. Prayers for your whole family.

  24. TheWhites /

    Hey Jen and B. As you know we will keep praying for the family.

    “Oh, my God, He will not delay. My refuge and strength ALWAYS. I will not fear, His promise is true. My God will come through ALWAYS.”


  25. Wow. Continued strength and faith for you and your mom now on the same journey. I pray for your peace with all that is hitting you.

  26. Marion /

    Jen, I am so sorry to hear this news. I will add your mom to my prayer list. I am specifically praying to strength, peace, healing, and an awesome team of medical professionals. Imagine the party you all will throw when you both get the news of each other’s remission!

  27. Danae /

    I have been following your story since Momastery linked to your blog at the beginning of this journey, but I never commented. My mom was diagnosed with brain cancer just after Christmas and so I feel like I can empathize with you about this news. I am so sorry you have to go through this. I think God gives a special helping of grace, peace, and comfort to the patient and then the rest of the family just has to deal with the news. Many prayers and blessings wished upon you and your family from Colorado!


  1. The Rozzinator | AndersonFamilyZoo's Blog - [...] mom is blogging her journey too.  Here is her link if you are interested.  You should read yesterday’s post…