Oct 22

Dr. Wonderful finishes my exam today, and says, “Wait a minute, don’t go anywhere.”

I say, “Okay,” and swing my legs at the edge of the exam table.  I am happy to be boring.  I love my No Evidence of Disease status.  I am happy that I have no concerns, red flags, or burdens to bring to him today.  I wonder if he is going to come back with an article or something for me to read: perhaps related to cancer, perhaps not.  Last week we talked about the demise of redheads, so I’m not sure what to expect.

He walks back in the exam room, carrying a garment bag.

I look at him, at the bag, and back to him, puzzled.

He starts to open the bag, “This is from my wife and I.”

Immediately, my eyes fill with tears.  “Seriously?  You and your wife have something for me?”  I’ve spoken to Mrs. Wonderful only once.  It was when I called Dr. Wonderful at home one night when I was anxious about test results.  Mrs. Wonderful cheerfully took my message when I called at eight o’clock at night, and said she would be happy to have him call me back.  I blurted awkwardly that I was so thankful for her support of her husband’s career, that he is such a great doctor for me, and I’m so grateful for to be in his care.  I know that she must be equally amazing, and I know that I was not articulate in trying to tell her so.  The opposite of me, she was both graceful and articulate, and she thanked me for being his patient.  Mrs. Wonderful is, well, wonderful.  It’s a family affair.

Dr. Wonderful opens the garment bag while explaining that his wife is helping with a project and they have found themselves with these costumes, and they thought that my girls would like them.

Inside the bag is a purple tutu and crown for Greta, and a floor-length pink and gold ball gown for Maren.

They are perfect.  Greta’s costume has the perfect amount of flair–just like Greta herself.  Maren’s is over-the-top glamorous, and it will transform Maren into the princess she knows herself to be.  It’s really one of those can-this-be-real moments at how well the dresses suit their little personalities.

I am blinking furiously to keep the tears from spilling over.  Dr. Wonderful and I have great rapport, but I’m pretty sure he would not appreciate my blubbering.  However, it’s really hard to not blubber because I am so touched at this gesture.  He says he hopes the sizes are correct and he didn’t want to make a big production over the gift.

I tell him the dresses are perfect.  I am grinning as I imagine the girls’ expressions when they see them.  I manage to contain myself, and thank him at the same time–barely.  Once again, I’m sure I was not articulate or graceful.  At least I was sincere when I gave him a really big hug.

I am really just completely and totally overwhelmed that my cancer doctor and his wife talked about me, planned and packaged this gift for my children, and gave it to me on a random Monday.

So much love keeps finding me.  Is it in spite of, or because of, cancer?

All that I am, it is because of the people who choose to love me.  I think, yes, I am a good cancer patient.  But how can I not be when the doctor(s) who treat me are filled with this kind of compassion and generosity?

I am inspired daily to be better and to live better by watching the greatness of those around me.  Dr. Wonderful walks around with that quiet, dignified greatness every day.  It’s a lesson in character for me.

Not only did Dr. Wonderful save my life this year, but he and his wife also got my kids their Halloween costumes.  It’s so awesome it’s ridiculous.  I am so grateful; I am so inspired.

The extra mile always matters.  It matters more because it’s extra, it’s above-and-beyond.  It’s a choice–a choice to be great.  Thank you Dr. and Mrs. Wonderful; thank you.


  1. MommaJ /

    Absolutely the sweetest and over-the-top blessing. They truly are the most special doctors-angels in disguise!! Such a blessing Jen and such a tangible way for the Lord to show His love for you and your family!!! Surpise gifts are most definitely the best..

  2. Ginger /

    Absolutely awesome! He deserves that name – he is wonderful but so are you Jen!!!

  3. I can hardly wait to see pictures of the girls in those costumes!

  4. Shell & the crazies down under /

    Honey, you get so much love because you give so much love. And we loves ya too – more than life itself! xxx ps we NEED photos of the girls in the costumes! Shell xxx

  5. As a witness to his and the staff’s excited anticipation of Jen’s arrival and a preview of the costumes, I am so inspired about the humanity of the man. He had a shy twinkle in his eyes waiting for Jen to show. The costumes are perfect for her girls. As a doctor in his field, quality of life is paramount..He is really giving Jen and her family “quality of life” bringing joy to a young family in a special thoughtful way. He is Dr Wonderful married to Mrs Wonderful!
    It makes my heart so happy to see my daughter be given such a special bond with a doctor who cares about every aspect of her life.

  6. Suzanna Waddell /

    What a “wonderful” and thoughtful present. You are special to everyone. Myself included even though we have never met. Thank you for sharing your story with such grace. You truly have a unique spiritual gift.

  7. Those generous in spirit attract others that are like-minded. Clearly, that is what has happened here. Your spirit, their spirit, both generous and uplifting.

  8. Lynda M O /

    Grace found you in that exam room and blessed you in an unusual and unique way. Happy Halloween to both those little angels of yours.

  9. 2 Thumbs Up for Surprises !!!! Jen ~ How wonderful 🙂 You have touched so many hearts & it comes back in delightful ways 🙂

  10. Love this story!! Dr and Mrs Wonderful have great hearts!

    “So much love keeps finding me. ” It’s because of YOU!! It’s just that simple! xoxo

  11. Dr. & Mrs. Wonderful’s generosity truly made my day 🙂 But Jen, surely you know by now that what you toss out to the universe comes right back at you. Throughout this cancer journey, you’ve constantly shown your love and appreciation for those who have helped you along the way. Even complete strangers are smitten with you and your kindness (note your blog following). Most go through cancer treatment with the thought “why did this have to happen to me”, but you’ve chosen another, more upbeat approach. By doing so, you’ve found yourself surrounded by amazing people who truly want to give you joy. That’s a lovely gift you deserve! Please include pictures of Greta & Maren for all of us to see ♥

  12. I cannot even tell you how much you inspire me! And I must affirm that you are incredilbly articulate, I’m absolutely sure! You could quite possibly be an author if you so desired! Thanks for inspiring me to ‘do today well’! That has become a new motto for this mommy of 3 boys who is at my wits end all too often! “Just steward this moment well” I tell myslef over and over!! I pray for you very often and am so thankful I was introduced to your blog. (BTW, I loved your STAR post, as I was once a radiation therapist before I was a mommy….you have given me a new way to gaze upon those ‘constellations’. And yes, they are very, very, very important!!!) Rejoicing with you for NED and a ‘boring’ Monday! Blessings!

  13. So sweet!! There must be something very, very special about cancer doctors. My dad’s team was also amazing like this. I am so happy to hear how well you are doing. XO, Jen

  14. Karen Kendrick /

    “So much love keeps finding me. Is it in spite of, or because of, cancer?

    All that I am, it is because of the people who choose to love me. I think, yes, I am a good cancer patient. But how can I not be when the doctor(s) who treat me are filled with this kind of compassion and generosity?”

    Chills and amens. I am still asking myself this, all these years later. I keep going back to my journal, rereading to make sure it was all as miraculous and ever-unfolding as I tell it, as I remember it.

    I believe that a gate, two massive barn doors that reach from your chest to the top of your head, opened wide with the announcement of cancer. OPENED. TWO-WAY. LOVE IN, WONDER OUT. So receptive to all that is there, much of it on a plane above words. Please never forget your lessons. They are already coloring your life with the most rosy richness. – Karen