Twelve down

Jul 12

I am happy.

I did have a lovely day with my girls yesterday.  They were exceptionally cheerful and there was hardly any whining!  (I assure you this is monumental.)  Maren asked for a list of jobs to earn a reward, and she did the (longish) list of (age-appropriate, yet complex) tasks while prancing and smiling around the house.  I found myself watching her, fascinated.  When she finished, I was so proud of her.  And it had nothing to do with the jobs, it had everything to do with the attitude and work ethic.  Believe me, I do not feel like this every day, but I soak it in when it happens!

Greta is reaching new heights (pun intended) in her climbing.  Here’s how that works:

Greta climbs up on something, and then looks at me.

I say firmly, “Sit down Greta.”  Often, I am trying to spot her so that if she hurtles herself to the ground I will break her fall enough to avoid an ER visit.  (We’ve spent our HSA-funds-for-the-year-thank-you-very-much!  Haha!)

She flirts and then sits, and usually takes her sweet time about it.

I say, “Good girl Greta!” and clap like a madwoman so that she will learn to climbandsit on her own (and therefore avoid falls/injury).  She’s on her second nose-scab this month.  The scabs on her legs require a mummy-effect or stock in Band-Aids.

She says, “Goooo girl!!!” and grins, and wiggles.

It’s gotten quite hilarious, because she now tells herself “GOOO GIRL!!!” every time she sits down.  She walks over, gets a toy, plops down to play, and says “Gooo girl!”  She finds a book, brings it to me, backs her butt up to me and sinks into my lap, twists around and tells me, “Gooo girl!”  She keeps saying it, louder each time, until I say it too.

Yes, my fourteen-month-old has excellent self-esteem.  But only when she sits on her derriere.

Today I had chemo number twelve.  I chatted with my chemo friends the whole time: one, a lifer, the other, a not-so-Newbie.  It is helpful to process our cancers together: we listen to the wisdom of the one who has had cancer since 1995.  (I realize I was a freshman in high school).  We compare notes on drugs, we talk about my blog, we talk about dating when you have no breasts and no hair (but the teeth are hers, darn it!), we talk about her kids’ upcoming weddings, we talk about surgery and reconstruction: to do, or not to do?  Life and cancer are all messy and intertwined and brutal and beautiful and mixed up together.  Our conversation is hopeful and helpful and insightful.  Seeing other people doing this well proves that I can do this well.  It helps.

Nurse Practitioner Rockstar actually gasped when she checked the tumor today.  She said it was a lot better than last week. I needed a little clinical good news today, and she gave it to me.  Thanks for your thoughts, prayers, emails, and well-wishes, especially to my last post.  It makes all the difference.  Do Today Well.  I can do that.

God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear, though the earth should change and though the mountains slip into the heart of the sea; though its waters roar and foam, though the mountains quake at its swelling pride. Selah. The LORD of hosts is with us; the God of Jacob is our stronghold. Selah.  –Psalm 46:1-3, 7


  1. Angela Johnson /

    Wooo!! That earns you a Gooooo, girl!! Continued prayers for obliteration and that you will continue to be a conduit for love and Light and Life to all who read the truth of your journey. You are helping me to do my own Today well… thank you, thank you.

  2. Bonniebj /

    This is a good day-love your “shrinking news” and girlie stories. So so much to be grateful for!! Have a wonderful day and special weekend soaking in all the giggles and encouragement you can. Our days are so full of the Grace of God – our challenge is to see it and take hold of it.

  3. Dave Schreier /

    Praying, praying, praying.

  4. Jodi Shaw /

    Continuing to pray for you as you fight your battle! One of my favorite sayings is below. I’m sure you’ve heard it, but it’s definitely appropriate now! I substituted the word ‘cancer’ for ‘problem.’

    Don’t tell God how big your cancer is… Tell cancer how big your God is!

  5. YAY! For shrinkage!!! (& a really Big GOD!)

  6. Eloise O'Mara /

    I think Greta has it nailed…. you Gooooooo Girl!! Congratulations on passing another milestone (Twelve Down) and making nurses gasp with your improvements. Not a day goes by that I don’t think of you and send ‘love and obliteration’ thoughts your way.

  7. emily /

    Praise God, Jen! Still praying for you every day, multiple times a day.

  8. Aussie Sarah /

    I hope you don’t mind me sharing a blog with you, you may have read before, but if not I thought you may enjoy this post in particular, it shares the story of a friendship formed during chemo and reading your post today reminded me of it

    Carry on, warrior!

  9. Shannon Weiss /

    I love to read that its shrinking!!!! All that ass kicking truly doing the job!!! 😉 More thoughts and prayers your way!!

  10. Love those girl stories! And how awesome that the Rock Star could TELL A DIFFERENCE!