Aug 21




In my early twenties, I had a ring that said “free.”  Free is a word that has had significance for a while: its a word that I feel God gave me, it’s direction on how to live, it’s an attitude, it’s a name.


For a time, I gravitated towards quotes, inscriptions, and verses that had the word free in it.  The weightlessness and spirit of the word encouraged and invigorated me.  As I gained footing and purpose as an independent adult, I worked to live “free”: to be myself, to shake off expectations and junk that wasn’t true to who I wanted to be.  There was nothing magical or dramatic, but it was something that helped me focus on what is important.  I think it is one of the many footholds that allowed me to become the strong, healthy woman I am today.  I did struggle to find my ground with self esteem and self image: part of that was learning to be free.


Somewhere along the way, I stopped thinking about it.  I lost the ring; my brain moved on to meditate on other things.


Days after my diagnosis, a friend called out the “free” in me.  I had shared with her that I have no promises: it was the beginning of the thoughts that lead to the realization that all I can do is Do Today Well.


This friend, who remembered a conversation we had, probably in the wee hours of the night when we were young and philosophical and awake suggested that I think about being free once again.


Cancer free.


It’s not a promise, I have no guarantee, but I do feel it is one more reason to hope.  And hope and faith matter a great deal to me as I navigate this course.


I pray to be cancer free.  As I am free.




  1. Peggy /

    Jen, as long as your resurrecting your “free”, you and the girls can drag out that old idea of making a visualization board. Cut out pictures from magazines, gather up photos of fun holidays ~ anything you hope to be doing in the future ~ and put it on a bulletin board. Maren could even make art work for it. Experts say it works. And in this battle of cancer-fighting it’s all about staying positive and believing in a bright, long future. So make sure there are pictures of your future grandchildren on that bulletin board:)

  2. Kim Rourke /


  3. Free is Joy 🙂

  4. I ♥ ♥ ♥ that ring w/ the word “free” spelled out.
    Where did you get it?

  5. Thanks Jen, I needed to read your words today.

  6. suenitz /

    Oh how wonderful it is, to be free! When I think of what Jesus did for me so that I can be free I just want to give praise and thanks to God for his love. You are such an inspiration! Thank you for sharing this part of your life. When you were young He planted that “free” seed and look how it has grown! And I will continue to pray that you are “cancer free” too!! God is blessing you with wisdom beyond your years.

  7. I love the ring and the symbolism. It’s a great reminder for all of us.

    I’ve often noticed that people use words like painless or fearless, and I’ve wondered why they didn’t say pain free and fear free.

    So, most definitely it is Cancer free time!! Praying…

  8. Britt /

    Look at my email address. Being free (in so many ways) has been huge in my adult life. I’m still working on freeing myself, and allowing God to free me from self imposed cages and fears.
    “Where the a spirit of The Lord Is, there is FREEDOM”.
    ~some worship song from church

    I luv you to pieces in Jesus strangers though we may be. You give me courage.
    Ps. Where did you get the ring? 🙂

    • Britt /

      Guess you can’t see my email.
      It is

  9. Allie W. /

    Hoping this bit of information makes it to you. I have been reading your blog for quite a while. To say you are an encouragement is an understatement. I was diagnosed with a brain tumor in November and seeing you truly fight gives me hope!

    After chatching up on some of your posts I thought you should know about a product made by a friend and fellow church member who herself is a breast cancer survivor. She made a camisole for the days post-mastectomy and beyond. It is called the lookbetterthanyoufeel (isn’t that great!) camisole. You can find it at

    To help you feel FREE!

  10. Beautiful! May you be cancer free.