Breath of peace

Oct 26

It’s official.  My lung surgery is scheduled for 7:30am on November 7th.

After I spoke with Dr. Wonderful (oncologist) and Dr. Wizard (pulmonary surgeon) about the plan for surgery after the biopsy result, or non-result, as it happened to be, I felt a deep sense of peace.

This doesn’t actually make a lot of sense since I’m having major surgery to determine whether the spot that looks suspicious is in fact cancer.

And yet, I am peaceful.

Usually, if I feel a niggling of worry, I work to pray it away because worry is a joy stealer.  Now, I’m feeling this niggling of peace.  I’m breathing it in and savoring it.  I cannot explain it well (obviously), but I am so grateful for this peace that is draped over me like a heavy quilt.

This peace allows me to be normal Mommy.  My mind is not plagued by what-ifs and the deep desire to write to my children, to make videos for them, to record it all.  Instead, I’m doing all the happy day-to-day things that fill my ordinary days.  I’m DIY-ing Halloween costumes.  Well, technically costume (singular) because someone (Greta, I’m looking at you kid) gives a different answer every time I ask her what she wants to be.  I’m normal Mommy who can deal with tantrums without crying myself, I can organize upcoming logistics without stress, I can do my small part-time job effectively and efficiently.  I love being Normal Mommy.  Brad and I have worked together to create a life we love: I cherish these ordinary days.

The best case scenario that begins on November 7th is that I have the lung surgery and the spot in my lung is not cancer.  I’ll spend several weeks recovering, first at the hospital, then at my parent’s house.  SuperGramma is swooping in again to stay at my house with Brad and the girls.  We are very grateful as it keeps the girls’ lives as normal as possible, and gives them some wonderful quality time with their beloved SuperGramma.  Phenom, friends and neighbors are waiting in the wings with offers of help as well.  I’ve been told I’ve got six weeks of no lifting Greta (or anything heavier than a gallon of milk), so that will be, um, interesting.  But, all this sounds wonderful for that no cancer result.

If there is cancer, then I’ll still have the post-surgery recovery, but I’ll also start another hardcore round of eighteen weeks of intense chemotherapy (bald again!), after which I’ll move on to what they call “maintentance chemo,” wherein I will be on chemotherapy drugs for the rest of my life.  But, all this sounds wonderful as it means that there is equipment in the arsenal to keep the cancer down.

I write this calmly, peacefully.  Weird, right?

Early on in my cancer journey, I felt an annointing of peace and calm that can only come from the Lord.  The peace did not come from a promise or certainty that I would live, or I would have a long cancer-free existence.  My peace came from the knowledge that God is in control.  I do believe that my life is His, and good will come.  I trust that this surgery is the right next step: it is both diagnostic and theraputic no matter what the results show.

This goodness, this peace feels like blanket that covers up the chill.  Instead of being uncomfortable and anxious, I am cozy, resting and trusting that this will all be okay.

Thank you for the prayers and messages of love I’ve been receiving over the past week; I am grateful beyond words.

Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.  And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. — Phillipians 4:6-7

I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world. — John 16:33



  1. kathy swim /

    Dear Jen, I have been where you are now and have felt that peace you speak of. Hold on to that and cherish your life every day and you will have lived fuller than most. I have a good feeling about what you’ll be going through and will pray vigorously for you and your family. I’ve already lived longer with liver mets than the average. Anything is possible. My mantra is “Don’t waste a day!” Healing energy to you and your whole family! Love, Kathy

  2. Latoya /

    AMEN!!! You are AMAZING! Lots of love and hugs to you and your beautiful family!!!

  3. Celebrating (seems the wrong word to use, but somehow appropriate) the living out of the peace that passes understanding. May you continue to RELISH each moment of living in this space….


  4. newbyfriend /

    Jen its the peace that passes all understanding, that can only come from the Lord. He is with you and giving you what you need. I got that same peace this week as I tried to pray away the anxious thoughts as I waited for my test results. After two weeks of waiting, the calm came over me, then about a day later the good news came too. Hoping and praying that this will be how it goes for you too.

  5. Lindsay /

    Jen- I’ve been thinking and praying for you! Such an amazing testimony about God’s peace in the midst of what could seem chaotic. Prayers for you and your sweet family!

  6. Patty Wheeler /

    I have said it before and I say it again…you are amazing!

  7. Jen, I feel the same sense of calm about the outcome of your upcoming lung surgery. Continue being “ordinary mom”…the rest of us will cover the necessary worrying. We’ve all got your back! Trust me, there will be a huge prayer circle that gathers on the eve of Nov. 6th and we’ll continue until we hear the glorious “NED” word! ♥

  8. Michelle /

    The strength, courage, and passion that you exude and send out into the world is returning to you, like a boomerang. You should feel it full force on the 7th and the healing days that will follow for you, Jen, will receive double what you have “put out there”!

  9. Terri K /

    I had lung cancer surgery 3 years ago & I cannot stress enough the importance of minimizing post surgery exposure to allergens & toxins! I lost my Dad to a post surgical lung infection so I read alot about it. My wonderful family ran interference w/a vengeance. NO FLOWERS, NO GIFTS, NO NONESSENTIAL VISITORS FOR THE FIRST 10 DAYS! I was the “bubble girl” for my first 2 weeks at home. I talked on my sterilized telephone, I emailed & skyped from my sterilized laptop and waited patiently for my immune system to get strong again. My husband would not allow me to touch the exterior of my car or hand rails (bird feces carries some particularly evil strains of bacteria). Even after 2 weeks; every time I wanted to sit outside, he scrubbed the patio furniture w/bleach. My fabulous employer of 30yrs tested & improved the air quality of my work environment. The result was a recovery that astonished everyone even the doctors!
    I pray that for you dear friend in Christ.

  10. Karen Almand /

    Jen-You are such a light! You just absolutely amaze me! Reading your words lifts me up! Thank you for teaching me. You are in my prayers. And as always, you’ve got this! You are an absolute rock star so there is no other choice 🙂

    Karen from Memphis

  11. Shannon Weiss /

    You kicked ass last time and you will yet again! Sending our thoughts prayers from Wisconsin. Xoxo

  12. Lenore /

    “This is my story, this is my song. Praising my Savior all the day long.”. You are in our prayers from the Eastern Shore of Maryland. Thanks for sharing your story so that our faith might be encouraged as we see God work in you. God bless you!

  13. Jay Moretti /

    Dear Jen, You have been most inspirational to me and I’m sure to many others. My heart and my prayers go out to you and your family. I will try to write more often. Thanks for being there for so many others by sharing your life with us. God is resting his hand on your shoulder and is always with you. Thank you for all you do for others.

    Jay Moretti