Preliminary surgery results: Update #3

Nov 07

Preliminary surgery results: Update #3

Well folks, the spot on my lung was malignant.  It’s cancer, and I’m now officially a Stage IV (metastatic breast cancer) SURVIVOR.

I am on some heavy narcotics, am really tired and hungry, and I am relaxing in my hospital with Brad by my side.  I am calmly waiting for Dr. Wonderful to reveal the treatment plan (early next week).

The meds are dulling my brain  and I keep falling asleep as I type–very unlike me.

Here’s how the information will filter in:  Since I have a firm No Googling policy, I can’t give you all the knowledge about what this latest diagnosis means.    Nurse Practitioner Rockstar (Dr. Wonderful’s right hand gal) will be in to see me on Friday, probably in the morning.  I’ll get some information then.  Doctors from Dr. Wizad’s team will be in to check on me through the weekend to make sue I am physically healing appropriately.  And Dr. Wonderful, who is formulating The Big Plan will come in early Monday morning.  He will hopefully have the all-important pathology report that will tell us exactly what we are dealing with.

ma·lig·nant  [muh-lig-nuhnt]


1.  disposed to cause harm, suffering, or distress deliberately;feeling or showing ill will or hatred.
2.  very dangerous or harmful in influence or effect.

3.  Pathology .

a.  tending to produce death, as bubonic plague.
b.  (of a tumor) characterized by uncontrolled growth;cancerous, invasive, or metastatic.
The narcotics are giving me a double benefit at this time; my pain is very well controlled, and my emotions are suppressed.  I’m okay with this.  Did I say that already?  Did I mention the strong narcotics? This post is taking over 2 hours to write because I can’t stay awake.  Oooops!
I’m grateful for each and every message I am receiving; you people are truly amazing and I really treasure your words.  Please continue to pray.  I really want the lab report to indicate that this is a wimpy cancer ha will respond well to treatment.
While I didn’t get the answer I wanted, I am better now than when went into the OR.  I believe my
NED (No Evidence of Disease) status has been restored.  Yay–I love my NED!
We’ll definitely be needing some help, especially now that I’ll be starting a doozy of a chemotherapy agent in addition to recovering from the surgery.  Email help4andersons(at)gmail(dot)com to engage and send us any offers of help/questions/comments/gifts.
Since my NED status is restored, I am content that there is no measurable cancer in my body.  Praise God! Praise God also for you; your words and virtual hugs of thanks for your generosity of spirit as you encouraged me all day long.
Remember: Do Today Well.
Love, Jen


  1. Lisa L /

    Jen I have been and will continue to pray for you and your family. I have loved being able to get to know you through your journey. Wish I was close enough to be physically helpful, but please know that I am praying from two states away!!

  2. not good news – glad you are feeling all the support as well as the drugs as you will need both –
    Weyba Powells

  3. Amy Wheeler /

    Love and prayers, Jen. Keep fighting, and we will keep praying. <3

  4. You are better than most of us on your bad days , we know you will get through this ,
    love from the Buderim crew.

  5. I will continue to pray for you and your family! I love your faith!

  6. Oh Jen please know I’m sending up lots of fervent prayers for you! I’m sending a virtual hug your way too. Praying for strength for all of you. You can do this. God can do this,

  7. Rachel /

    Will continue to pray and pray hard. You are truly an amazing person and you are touching so many lives each day. I lit 6 beautiful candles in your honor tonight – to remind me to pray and as a tribute to your light. Keep faith and hope alive.

  8. Praying for you and sending love your way every day. You are strong, amazing, and absolutely incredible.

  9. Lisa Mader /

    Oh Jen, I’m so sorry to hear this. Claiming NED with you once again and praying for a clear path of treatment as well as continued NED. Many prayers for all of you.

  10. Michelle /

    I have no idea what I’m about to say to you but I feel compelled to comment. I have been following your blog for some time now. Can’t remember how I came across it…maybe through Stephanie Nielsons blog possibly. You caught my eye because my daughters name is also Maren but caught my heart because my sister Natalie also had the same cancer you do and at such a young age. I have prayed along with you that you will be able to beat this cancer beast. Your strength and ability to capture people’s hearts with your words reminds me of my sister. I know how extremely difficult it can be to get through the fear and climb back up to peace. You do it amazingly well…keep doing that, it is the best way to fight cancer. That’s all I really wanted to say I guess. Much love to you and your family….Michelle

  11. Linda (aka. T) /

    Keeping you and your family in my thoughts and prayers. Sending hugs from Cleveland.

  12. Just found you yesterday through HS friends of mine in Ohio. Posting so that you know that I spent my entire day praying for you and asking God for a miracle, because I know He can provide one and He rewards persistence. Love and prayers!

  13. Love & prayers coming your way Jen. Your faith & attitude are an inspiration.

  14. Marisol /

    You are an inspiration to so many of us, your faith and love of life. I am praying for you from many countries away!

  15. I have been quietly following your journey as my own sister was diagnosed with Triple Negative BC last year at age 41 with a 5 and 2 year old at home. I believe she reads your site and has gleaned many helpful and hopeful words from you.

    You are a warrior and your strength in the face of so much physical pain and the unknown is truly a gift to your children, family, and those of us blessed to glimpse your amazing spirit.

    You, Brad, and your girls are forever in our prayers! May you feel our prayers embrace!

  16. Sending love from West Virginia Jenn! Hope you feel better soon, keep fighting, and stay strong! YOU’RE GONNA KICK THIS PIG! as they say down in these parts!



  17. I have been following your blog since Glennon linked to you on Momastery. I am from Australia but have been living in the USA for 8 years. I also have two young girls. I do not regularly pray but since coming across your blog you are often in my thoughts. Sending love and prayers and strength to you and your beautiful family. Your positive attitude and appreciation for the simple, pure pleasures of daily life are an inspiration!

  18. Jen, you write better on drugs than all of my college admissions essay-writing applicants.

  19. Lindsay /

    I’ve been thinking and praying for you all day…

  20. Stacey /

    Jen…I am a stranger to you but you and your family are not to me. I’ve been following your journey since your first post (through Momestry).
    You are the same age as me and our kids are the same age, and though we never know how we would react when faced with adversity, I doubt I would possess the strength and courage and faith that you have shown us.
    You have been on my mind and in my heart the past few weeks, I am so sorry to hear that the spot was cancer, but I’m glad they were able to get it and restore your NED status. You and your beautiful family will fill my thoughts and prayers as you heal from this new challenge. You’re strength is an inspiration to us all!
    Much love from Canada,

  21. Jen,
    It’s definitely not what we were all hoping and praying for, BUT I will continue to pray that it is wimpy and definitely beatable! I will continue to pray for it to be gone and keep your body strong! I am not a writer and not good at all at expressing the strength of my feelings. We are praying and praying hard and we love you very much!

  22. Rita O'Brien /

    Jen, I know this is not the result you were hoping for and will continue to pray for you as you battle this next phase of treatment. Big hugs and hope you are able to rest comfortably through the next few weeks.

  23. Ginger /

    Prayers are continuing for you as I know you will be amazing in your attack!! Hugs!

  24. jen gev /

    NED NED NED NED NED NED NED–my everyday prayer. Praising God for treatment and doctors and HOPE and CONFIDENCE.

  25. Keeley /

    So many fervent prayers from here! I found you through momastery and have followed this whole time and am sending love your way from Utah 🙂

  26. Continued prayers from across the country. You inspire me to Do Today Well.

  27. Praying. Praying. Keep abiding in Him.

  28. KathyT /

    I am going to tell you what my Mom told her doctors when she was given the same diagnosis:
    “I don’t have time to die. I have children who need their Mommy. I have a husband who needs his wife. I have a family who needs their daughter, sister, aunt, niece. I have friends. I have a LIFE.
    Do NOT treat me as if I am going to die. I intend to live, and I need you to be on board with that. If you do not believe that, refer me to a new doctor.”

    She lived. 1980. Stage 4 metastatic inflammatory breast cancer. She called shenanigans and she lived. Doctors practiced medicine. She and her circle of prayer warriors practiced faith.
    And. She. Lived.

    As will you.

    • Jackie /

      What a warrior. As are you, Jen. Monkee love and hope from Memphis.

  29. diane allen /

    I will be praying for you and your family! You are an inspiration to all, although I know you would rather not have ANY of this happen, and,not be an inspiration to ANYONE! You are touching so many lives! And will continue to do so! You will be a survivor, I am sure of it! God bless you and your writing! 🙂

  30. Jen…I’ve been thinking of you a lot lately. And then Nikki told our DB group that you were having surgery today. I prayed and prayed and prayed and then resolved to talk out my frustrations in an empty car while errand running. I prayed out loud to an empty car and laid all of life’s anxieties and uncertainties out there in front of me. At the end of my self rant, I resolved to live every bit of today as best as I could. It’s hard work. Being present. Please know that I’m thinking of you and wishing you and your family peace and healing. You inspire and heal through your words and experience. Much love!

  31. DENISE /

    Go the ned. we are praying and sending lots of hugs and love.
    Neecie and Leo

  32. Sharon Hajek /

    Even now you are reassuring us, moving us forward, sharing your strength, peace, and faith. You are teaching us how to LIVE and how to LOVE. So i will censor my first response and continue to pray without ceasing and believe.

  33. Well. Sometimes life can just feel so heavy. And sometimes we don’t get the answer we were waiting for, but still. God is faithful. He is. He still is.
    Thirty years ago our young family was given a cancer diagnosis with a poor prognosis. And we invited God to come in. And He gave us a a miracle.
    I am praying that you feel the loving power of God’s hand on your heart, on your lungs, and on your family.

    Romans 8:28

  34. Our God is bigger, stronger, mightier than cancer — and so is your heart and your faith.
    I lifted you up in prayer at choir last night, so add 8 more strangers to those praying for you, your family, and the medical staff caring for you.
    With much love from Spokane, WA ♥

  35. Anita Houpert /

    I have been following you and your mom through all of this. I forget now how I started, but realize how close I am in the emotions I feel for you and your precious family right now. I’m praying so hard. The bigger the problem, the bigger the miracle.

  36. Marion /

    I am not sure of the right or the best thing to say. Cancer sucks. However, I do know that you have been given the gifts to fight it right. This will only strengthen your amazing story that you will tell in 20, 30, 50 years when you are a famous author (or whatever your dreams hold!) Still standing by you, holding you up in prayer and friendship.

  37. Michelle /

    You are loved. You are STRONG. You are optimistic. Nothing gets you down. You are like the punching bag with the weight in the bottom of it. Something tries to knock you down and you just pop back up with a smile and say “Not today. I’m doing today well.”
    Prayers for your quick healing so you get return to snuggles and hugs, strength for Brad and all other family members.

  38. Dwayne /

    Jen, you have touched my heart. Although you have been hit with some devasting news, your encouraging spirit exactly reflects the Holy Spirit that resides in you. You’ve chosen to be more than a conqueror (Romans 8:37), you have demonstrated that no weapon formed against you shall prosper (Isaiah 54:17), and you conditioned yourself to count it all joy (James 1:2). What a tremendous living witness you are for the Kindgom of God!

    Continue to be strong in the Lord! I’m sure that you can think of a million things that you would rather experience, or a million places you would rather be . . . but know that you are exactly in the place and exactly in the situation that God will have you be. Just like I’m sure that Daniel didn’t want to be thrown in the Lion’s Den (Daniel 6) . . . or the three Hebrews being placed in the fiery furnace (Daniel 3). In each case, God was right there with them and delivered them. He is right there with you and will deliver you as well. What a mighty God we serve!

    Our God is Awesome . . . Walk in victory!

  39. Charity Buchanan /

    I’m not sure what to say except to say that I am praying and will continue to pray for you and your family. You are an amazing example of faith in action. God bless

  40. Patty Wheeler /

    I stood by my window Wednesday looking at the rain and prayed for you. I continue to pray… You are awesome!

  41. Not the news we were praying for…still trying to trust in Him and I know HE is in control. Continuing to pray as you heal and praying for the full report and treatment plan. You can do this! Much love from TX!

  42. Jen, my friend that I’ve never met. My inspiration and example of how to live this life. Been following you since the beginning when your optimistic mindset gave me a new look on life. You. Are my WRECKING BALL FRIEND. Wreck on.

  43. In honor of your faith, grace, courage, & optimism, I will do today well. Love to you and your precious family & friends as you face this next chapter. You have an army cheering you on!

  44. Newbyfriend /

    The Lord says, ” My grace is sufficient for you, for power is made perfect in weakness…..
    Therefore , I am content with weakness, insults, hardships,persecutions,and constraints for the sake of Christ, for when I am weak, then I am strong.” Jen you are the living example of these scriptures. Teaching all of us how to live. Thank you, love you, praying for you and trusting that God will heal you.

  45. Bonnie B /

    Good morning my dear dear friend. Not the result we were expecting but our Lord is still in His heaven, He’s still WITH us moment by moment and in our very breath. We will continue to pray every step of the way. Love you Jen and your whole family!! Your ripple in the pond has deeply affected us all and we are forever changed.

  46. Kellyn /

    My friend Jacqui here in columbus asked me to pray for her friend, Jen. Since I like to visualize and know who I am praying for I found your blog. After reading I have come to the realization that you are an angel! What grace you have been given. I will continue to pray along with my prayer group and my family. I will pray for ENDURANCE. Your witness is amazing and an example beyond measure. God is with you! -Romans 5

  47. Jen I have had many conversations with your Dad and his office about you.I am not a good writer. I have started many times to write but did not have the words to say what is in my heart. You and your family are so much a part of our every day life.
    I look every day for words from you. You are and amazing person and I really feel you are going to be miracle that goes into medical books as a winner of this nasty word. I past your blogs on to several prayer groups months ago and e-mailed then this past week and also this AM. YOU ARE LOVED BY SO MANY AND WE ARE FIGHTING FOR YOU AND YOUR WONDERFUL FAMILY

  48. Praise God to whom all blessings flow. We will continue to battle on with you Jen. Keep fighting the good fight. My prayers for the Andersons will never cease until the cancer is gone! I am going to carry a piece of paper in my pocket. 1 side will have the Lords prayer, the other side will have “50 years!” That’s what you asked for, so that is what I will pray. Much love from the Schreier’s.

    Psalms 84:11
    For the LORD God is a sun and shield; the LORD bestows favor and honor. No good thing does he withhold from those who walk uprightly.

  49. Valerie /

    My heart goes out to you and your family. Adding my prayers to all of these. May the pathology report identify wimpy-ness, may you tolerate treatment well, and may you maintain NED status for a LONG LONG time.

  50. Tiffany Green /

    Praying for complete healing and for continued peace that only our precious Father can provide. He’s got you in the palm of His hand. Love and blessings from Tennessee!

  51. Cancer sux…You Rock!!!

  52. Jen with two boys /

    I must admit that I uttered a word inappropriate for my sons’ ears when I read the first words of this post. You are such a fighter though, and all of your friends, family and stranger friends will continue to lift you up.
    Big hugs from Jen with two boys

  53. That’s not exactly the news any of us wanted to hear. No matter. We will battle on with you. There’s strength in numbers and we, my dear strong friend, outnumber this measly cancer. Someone said you were like a weighted punching bag…you simply refuse to be knocked over. I love that analogy! It’s so you!! And we warriors will continue to “bounce back” along with you because we’re determined you should have a least 50 more years being “wife Jen” and “mom Jen” (and “grandma Jen”). We’re all enlisting new members…43 of my Facebook friends now know your name and have joined the prayer/positive thought brigade. Stop reading and blogging for now ~ rest up! You’ve got a lot of living yet to do!! 🙂

  54. Leea Luers /

    Jen, Praying for you and your family!!!! You are awesome!!! Stay strong!!!

  55. Jessica /

    I follow you regularly and I feel like I know you. I just wanted to let you know that God has put you on this earth for a BIG reason. And if for no more than that you show all of us that it is not only ok to think that the hand you have been dealt is stinky in big ways but that you can BE THANKFUL for the things you do have just the same. I am a chronic pessimist and struggle with other things, nothing like cancer, and your blog reminds me to DO TODAY WELL for we have a hope and a future-not on earth!!! Prayers to you. And your babies. And your team. You are a strong, brave woman!!! With a big hug to you from a far off “sister”.

  56. Jen, I am keeping you, Brad and the girls in my thoughts and prayers. Sun and love coming your way from the Sunshine state.

  57. Lisa Smith /

    I don’t do ‘morning devotions’ but reading this post and all the comments sure kicked my ass this morning. Jen, I want to get a plane and get over there and squeeze you. God bless you. I wish I had something profound to say but I can only echo what has been said. You inspire me to stop complaining and to Do Today Well. I will continue to be a better person because of your insights through this journey. Praying for NED every day. Love you.

  58. You have been on my mind and heart. I will keep praying.

  59. I really really want to take note of this specific posting,
    “Preliminary surgery results: Update #3 | Do Today Well” on
    my webpage. Will you mind in the event I reallydo?
    Thx ,Gidget

    • Heather,
      Please explain your project before I agree to this.

  60. Sending you peaceful thoughts and prayer-filled wishes followed by continued hope,abundant strength and much love from The Raulin Family (-:

  61. Many prayers from another person that does not know you but is inspired by the person you are. Jen.. you make us want to live life better. You can beat this!!!!

  62. This is okay. You’ve got this. Medicine is amazing, and God is even more amazing. Prayers continue!

  63. Frankly, I was hoping for less of an intense journey for you, clearly God has other plans in store for you. I am in awe of your strength and can’t help but think you are a vessel through which thousands (oh yeah-thousands)will learn how you’ve used your faith and gathered such an amazing support group of family, friends and complete strangers like me who are on similar journeys. I’m sure all of those who are connected to you somehow wish we could be right there to give you a hug. You have been such a part of my journey you must know. Continued prayers! 🙂

  64. Jen powers /

    Listening to the song ‘you are an overcomer’ and claiming it for you!! Again, your faith and tenacity of spirit makes me love Jesus more. Bless you my friend!

  65. My husband has had great results via a more natural prescribing Doctor. See and He specializes in curing cancer at the source; not by attacking healthy cells, etc. Hope you find help that’s truly helpful.

  66. Genora /

    My prayers with you and your family,…ALWAYS

  67. Will do today well in your honor, because you are so deserving of it. Will keep you in my thoughts and prayers as you continue to thrive and survive!

  68. Tiffany Nabozny /

    Thinking of you and sending many healing thoughts for you this morning. I prayer for you daily, even hourly, and have many of my friends and family doing the same. Rest, heal and gain that strength back! Cancer doesn’t know who it’s up against!

  69. Karen Almand /

    Jen, I am very saddened by this news but I know you’ve got this. May God continue to uphold you in His righteous hand and give you new strength. I hold prayers for you and your family in my heart.

    Karen from memphis

  70. Emily Sommer /

    Praying, Jen! I am committed to praying for you and your family every day. Praise God for NED!

  71. Praying, praying, praying for you all. Rest, dear one.

  72. Valerie /

    Prayers continue for you and family Jen. You are such a warrior and daughter of a Good King. A King who performs miracles. Stay strong and hold on to that unbelievable faith of yours!

  73. You are so loved. I hope you feel that, in this time, especially. Sending my love and positive thoughts and much goodness your way.

  74. I am a friend of your Mothers. My daughters Amber & Alexis went to your birthday parties when you were young,Then You and your sisters would come to theirs.We’ve followed your Blog. Our hearts have been blessed as well as encouraged. we care for you deeply and pray for you continually. WE will continue to follow your progress and pray for your complete healing. Your Friends and prayer partners, Bev, Amber & Alexis

  75. kathy swim /

    Sweet, Dear Jen, I am an old friend of your mom and dad’s. I am also a metastatic breast cancer patient who was first diagnosed at age 42. I’m 61 right now and going strong!!!!!!!!!! To help you, it’s tough now but will get better and you will have so many chemos to keep you going, that it’s amazing. Some of the new ones have little or no side effects! Don’t loose hope! There is so much that they can do you won’t believe it! I will continue to keep you in my thoughts and prayers and call me anytime if you ever want to talk. I’ve beat it in the bones, lymph nodes, and now I’m beating it in the liver! Life can be very, very good and long. It’s just our disease “cross to bear”. We will cheer and pray for you and your whole sweet family! Love, The Swims (630.416.3620)

  76. We love you Jen. I couldn’t stop thinking of you, Brad, and the girls as I was subbing yesterday. You are one of the strongest, most awesome people I know. You got this, kick butt!

  77. Marlis /

    Jen, I’ve been sharing your story with all the amazing people I know and love. Many of them are women. Many are mamas. They all want to help. They all want to pray or do today well, or both! You wouldn’t belLIEVE what a fabulous group of people they are! Well, I bet you would, because I’m guessing there are hundreds, even thousands more circling you from near and far. Thank you for the privilege of reading your story. I hope you are feeling some of that same peace you talked about right now. xo

  78. Hi Jen, My husband is a chaplain at a children’s hospital and responsible for sending out daily “Grace Notes” to the staff via email. This was the one from two days ago. I thought it was especially lovely, and that its expression of the pervasive presence of the Holy might speak to you too. Praying so hard for you and your family. May you be held in love.

    At the beginning of the day
    we seek your countenance among us, O God,
    in the countless forms of creation all around us
    in the sun’s rising glory
    in the face of friend and stranger.
    Your Presence within every presence
    your Light within all light
    your Heart at the heart of this moment.
    May the fresh light of morning wash our sight
    that we may see your Life
    in every life this day.
    -John Phillip Newell

  79. Erin Elizabeth /

    Hope you are healing and recovering from this surgery with your family. You are in my prayers. I’m sending lots of love and light to you and your family. You continue to do today well.


    You are there for your girls and for Brad. Please don’t worry about this. You are doing a fabulous job, and you WILL CONTINUE to be there for them. You are so strong, I believe that you will beat this cancer.

    Keep your focus on today and let God take care of your (many) tomorrows.
    Loving and praying, Katie

  81. Brwynn /

    Sending love and prayers for continued peace!

  82. Christy /

    Jen, please just know I will be praying for you all the time. I know you are a true warrior and survivor. And your girls are going to grow to be just like their amazing mother. I feel blessed just reading your words, because they remind us all to focus on what is truly important in our daily lives. Rest, heal, stay strong, and know you are constantly being lifted in prayer.

  83. Shannon Weiss /

    You are a fighter. You are strong. Time to put on those kick-ass boots again. Hugs to you all xoxo

  84. Tonja Hemmerick /

    I have no other words, but “Dam”!!!! I so wanted to hear that this was non-malignant! Now that you and your team know what it is it’s time to suit up in your armor, and fight the fight of your life. We know we serve an “AWESOME” God, and a mighty “POWERFUL” medical team that will see you through (not to mention some pretty cool fellow chemo. patients:)).
    Much Love;


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