It flies

Jan 28

Time in the Chemo Room flies.  It flies, I tell you.

I am in the recliners of the Chemo Room every week for about an hour and half.  I haul a large bag with me; in it I have projects I am perpetually working on.  Books, correspondence, lists, and coupons are with me most weeks.  I should really stop toting the heavy bag around though, since I haven’t used my time in the recliners of the Chemo Room to be productive in months.

Today I sat by two of my friends.

One is an “old friend.”  I met her last summer when I was getting weekly chemo.  She is a “Lifer”; she has Stage IV cancer in her bones and liver, so she gets chemotherapy and Herceptin every two weeks.  This has been her routine for the past five years.  During those years, she has watched her daughter graduate high school and other milestones that she, statistically, never thought she would see.  She is a magnificent example of living life with cancer instead of dying of cancer.  She does it right, and I admire her so.

My other friend is twenty-five (twenty-five!), and she is undergoing treatment for Stage II breast cancer.  She got married in October and was diagnosed with breast cancer two weeks later.  And she almost died of leukemia when she was a teenager.  There is no rhyme or reason to how or when cancer strikes.  She is happy that the doctors have tools to combat the cancer, and I tell her that she really needs to work on being medically boring.  She laughs as she agrees.

Today in the Chemo Room we laughed.  Oh, we laughed.  We talked about how the Chemo Room is a special place, that the world is kinder, gentler, slower and beautiful here.  We each glean lessons from the Chemo Room each week and try to implement them in the rest of our lives.  We relate to each other and help each other process.  We talked about breast reconstruction options and how our children have handled our diagnoses.  It’s not normal conversation, but, to be clear, it’s not sad conversation.

We are upbeat, we are hopeful, we are living.

When you pass an Oncology office, please pray for healing for the people inside.  But don’t pity us or fear us; cancer allows us to juxtapose the Magnificent with the Ugly in a myriad of ways.

In my experience, the Ugly makes the Magnificent that much brighter.  I choose to let the Ugly spotlight the Magnificence.


  1. The friendships formed in “your” Chemo Room sound very much like those formed in other Chemo rooms and Dialysis rooms. There is truly something Special and Wonderful that happens there, especially when there is at least one person who recognizes God’s presence. And I love that you have chosen to let the Ugly spotlight the Magnificent.

  2. diane allen /

    You so enrich my life. I pray for you always, as I laugh and smile my way through your posts!! You are amazing and I love you!!!

  3. Wow – that last line is so powerful – I will definitely pray for healing and glory for all cancer patients – thanks for sharing this deep insight into a world that some of us might share one day

  4. Karen Almand /

    Hi Jen! I have not commented in so long but just wanted you to know I am here-admiring you and learning from you. Shine on my dear-the world needs you so! I am so thrilled for your NED status. You continue to be in my prayers. Just wanted to say “hi!”

    Karen from Memphis