Nov 08

Right now I have nine different tubes attached to me.  I have leg warmers on that inflate/deflate/repeat to protect me from blood clots.  I have a pulse oxidation monitor on my left index finger that measures my oxygen saturation.  I have a catheter.  The biggest trouble-maker is the chest tube that is coming out from my back.  Because I had cuts made to my lung during surgery, the lung can now leak.  Leaking air into the abdominal cavity is what causes lungs to collapse.  So I have a chest tube that lightly suctions out all air, and some fluid as it builds up inside me.  Because the chest tube is super-painful, I’ve also a pain ball: it is a small bag of numbing medicine with tubing running to the spinal cord where it blocks the nerves.  Finally, I have my port accessed for blood draws and administering medicines, along with two IVs in my right arm.

You should see the scene when I try to sit up out of the bed: all 9 tubes have to release me.  It must be comical.  Just to keep things interesting, I also have phone and laptop cords constantly getting tangled in the mix.

Brad spent the night with me last night, and I had all of my immediate family come visit today.  It was a pleasant day in the hospital.  Staff and visitors alike quick to serve me, and I am relaxing and letting them.

As I lay here, confined to a bed with a fuzzy narcotics brain, I find myself dreaming up my Bucket List.  I am not sad or lonely.  I am hopeful and trusting that I will be one of the lucky ones who lives for decades following a Stage IV diagnosis.  And that is really all I have thought about.

I am peaceful.  God is good.


  1. Praying for 48 1/2 more years. We are with you Jen. Keep fighting!

  2. Brwynn /

    You are amazing! Your strength and faith are inspiring. I would be lying if I said that you aren’t heavy on my heart and I needed to ask my FB peeps to pray for you, Brad, Maren and Greta. Praying for your peace to remain and hoping some sinks in for me! I have been following your journey since the beginning and continue to because you draw always draw me back in with your beautiful words and soul. xoxo

  3. Shannon Kahrs /

    Keep fighting girlfriend! God has you in the palm of His hand. Love you!

  4. leah chapman /

    Keep fighting Jen….you are never far from my thoughts and you have many pulling for you. Much love to you all.

  5. I am in complete A.W.E of your graciousness and strength under incredible stress. Clearly you are surrounded by angels and God must be whispering warm, comforting words in your ear. This wonderfulness will help you heal 🙂

  6. You’re amazing. Praying fervently and Doing Today Well, in your honor.

  7. Whitney /

    Wishing you great comfort and a speedy recovery!

  8. I just love you too much. You blow me away. You remind me to let go when I’m gripping the wheel. The ferocity of your grace INSPIRES.

  9. walker girl /

    You and your family are heavy on my heart this weekend. My immediate family and church family have you and yours in our prayers. Prayers for you for speedy recovery, Brad and the girls, super grandma and all your family.

  10. Praying for you. Peace is your friend. God is good!

  11. Praying that your pain is under good control, that you heal fast, and can return to your “normal” life. Your unstoppable faith is such an inspiration to those of us that follow your journey. We never know what we will have to deal with in this life, but we can pray for the strength to deal with whatever it may be. Sure, you got what was “behind door #2”, but you have what it takes to deal with that. And you have so many people praying for you. Our Lord has you in the palm of His hand.

  12. Marlayne Skeens /

    Jen ~ Rest is good 🙂 Having people wait on you right now is good * Yes all those tubes are yucky: although, very much needed ~ I know this past summer, when my husband Tom had a serious infection in his spinal fluid & right side back muscle ~ they thought he was not going to make it & needed emergency surgery which wound up that he could not be closed up & had a wound vac until the 2nd surgery ~ got closed up & had that wonderful drainage ball hanging out of his back ~ Yes, all that is truly YUCKY; however, Tom is doing well, even though he still lives w/Alzheimer’s ~ He has done well today ~ You my dear are a warrior !!!! Fight like a Girl & WIN 🙂 Hugs, Prayers & continued peace 🙂

  13. Lisa Smith /

    Again, I wish I had something as equally profound to say as you have offered to the rest of us measly Normal Regular People. Jen, I love you. I hope you feel it when your read this comment, like I feel it when I read all the other comments to you. I went running today (let’s be honest, jogging) with Gloria (13 months). It’s a little harder to run (jog) pushing the stroller, but it reminded me to pray for you, to give thanks for the ability to be able to run, to be Normal Mommy. Because it took years to conceive Gloria, I don’t take a single moment of being Normal Mommy for granted, but with your journey in mind, I am extra aware of the gift it is to be Normal Mommy and Working Mommy. It is a gift to be tired at the end of my day because I have worked and I have cared for Gloria and my family. I give thanks for this tired. My body aches at times, but it reminds me that my body has been good to me and again, I am reminded of what a blessing it is be able to Do Today Well. Thank You a million times Thank You for taking the time be vulnerable with the rest of us measly Normal Regular People. You are a beautiful, graceful delight. I am so glad to know you. Love You.

  14. I have been following you since the start — I’m not sure how I was pointed in your direction and I’ve never left a comment before until now.

    YOU. ARE. AMAZING. I will pray for you and your family and will continue to be with you on your journey.

    Your messages always leave me with hope. Again, you are amazing, girlfriend!

    I’m sending you a huge virtual hug.

  15. Karen Reider /

    Jen- I don’t think I know you, although it seems we have many mutual friends. I came across your blog because because many of my Facebook friends posted it wit request for prayers. I couldn’t read through even two blog posts without feeling led to write something…I don’t claim to understand even closely what you’re going through, but I have been on my own journey through this and so in some small ways everything you say takes me back to a very difficult time. I just want to say your courage, vulnerability, and strength is so appreciated and evident. Continue to cling to hope..when you have nothing else, you always have that. Doctors and the entire beast of a medical system will do everything possible to take that away from you…you can win this battle, I don’t know you, but I fully believe in your strength and the power of God in your life. I’m not sure if you’ve ever heard of Kris Carr…she is a woman with much the same will and determination as yourself, and she made a wonderfully encouraging documentary called “Crazy, Sexy, Cancer” if you find yourself losing your grip on hope, look her up, watch this movie, it will lift you up and give you needed strength. I continue to hold you up in prayer and hope you fully understand how far reaching your influence is on so many. What an inspiration.

    • Owengirl /

      I would like to recommend Kris Carr to you as well. Not just this film, but also her books about LIVING with Stage 4. You and your family are in my prayers every day.

  16. Rindro /

    Praying for you all day. I’ve been following since the beginning too.
    I read every night before bed. You put everything in perfect perspective. I admire your faith in God. You are an amazing writer. You encourage me to be a better mom, wife, daughter and sister everyday. I wish you a speedy recovery.

  17. Praying for you and your fam. Praying you all will keep abiding. God is faithful especially in the dark.

  18. Jennifer /

    Thank you for sharing your journey with us. I pray for you and everyone who loves you, and I always will. I just started Max Lucado’s book, “Grace,” last night, and it made me think of you. I hope you recover quickly and completely.

  19. Newbie friend /

    I feel that God will give you a long life because you are doing such a good job at showing people how we should live. Stay strong friend and know that many many people are talking to God about you! He knows your name, Jen. Sending hugs .

  20. marsha /

    God has HIS hand upon you and HE will not let go!
    May you feel HIS peace (and I think you do). I was not given much hope a dozen years ago but God had plans for me to stay here.
    You my dear are being prayed for by so many and God hears those prayers! I carry you in my heart this day and continue to pray for you and your family.
    I hope to hug you some day!

  21. Bonnie J /

    Good morning Jen, yet another day is upon you and your loved ones. The Lord hears the deepest groanings and desires of your heart and our hearts. He Loves you and does have you on the Palm of His hand. Today the sun will shine and you will continue to bless us all and we will all do Today well !!

  22. Peggy Isenogle /

    Jen… I personally promise you there are many of working hard every day to make sure we keep you living life to the fullest while we find a cure! We will get right to work researching every possible option and treatment available. I’m headed to the San Antonio Breast Cancer Symposium in December and will listen carefully on your behalf. Would love it if you were able to attend too!
    Love, hugs and prayers…

  23. I have read that attitude is everything. Add your amazing attitude to your enormous faith, and I think you are on a good path of healiing. I believe you will be a fighter and survivor for many many years to come.

    You and your family continue to be in my prayers!

  24. Banita Bailey /

    Jen, sending prayers and hugs! You are amazing

  25. Christin /

    I agree with Dave’s post: 48 1/2 more years are in my prayers! (I’m a poet :))

  26. I don’t know how or when I first came to read your blog, but I have been reading about your journey for a long time. Even though you don’t know me, I feel that I know you and that we are friends. You have inspired me with your amazing faith and your abundant love for your family. I have even put “Do Today Well” in a picture frame on my desk. I am praying for you and asking God to be with you.

  27. Aunt Annie /

    Jen, You are an amazing, courageous, faithful woman inspiring us all to trust in God and to be more like Him. God has blessed you with awesome strength and grace. Gentle hugs, kisses, prayers and good wishes! Love, Aunt Annie

  28. Maureen /

    My thoughts are with you. I know how painful those tubes can be. Hang in there. Try to enjoy the narcotic haze right now. Although we have never met, I feel like I know you. Thank you for sharing your journey with all of us. We are all in your corner arming you with prayers.


  29. jennifer /

    Jen, I don t know you, but follow your story from Seattle. I am so humbled by your perspective. Please know your words affect us all, it gives me strength. I think if SHE can do that, so gracefully, even though, it may not FEEL Like it… I feel like i can do much smaller piddly things without fussing. I admire you, and your words are salve to my soul. Sending prayers, and good thoughts for you and your family.

  30. Tiffany Green /

    Praying without ceasing and trusting in God completely! You are amazing!

  31. Sue Nitz /

    Hi Jen, I hope and pray that you will feel God’s peace today. When those scary thoughts enter your mind I pray that all that wonderful grace you have built in your heart and soul will get you through. I admire your unselfishness in witnessing and strengthening so many people. Yours is a journey of true faithfulness. Only God knows your deepest stirrings and thoughts and fears as a mother, daughter, wife, sister and friend, mentor and all the ways you are physically and spiritually connected to. You are not alone in this journey. We are holding you close in our hearts and on our minds and in our prayers. As you close your eyes to rest may you feel the love that we all feel for you.

  32. Charissa /

    Jen, thank you for the updates. I am praying for you, the girls and Brad. You are on my heart! *hugs* We are here for you guys!

  33. Shamayal /

    I have been following your journey for a while now. I am so impressed with your grace, courage and most of all your love for family. I have been praying for you and although I dont pray often something about you makes me want ask GOD to look out for you. We may not be of the same religion but I believe every kind of God will keep you in his protection.

  34. Jen powers /

    I want to be like you when I grow up. Thank you for choosing faith instead of fear. Praying for you, your girls, Super Gramma, Brad and ressssst. Xo.

  35. Jen, just lie back and enjoy the fuzzy ride. I highly recommend the Grand Canyon…it reminds me that there is a way bigger picture and obviously miracles happen all the time, we just have to know when we are seeing them 🙂

  36. kathy swim /

    Stay strong and you will beat this! All our thoughts and prayers are with you and family. Life will get better!

  37. So what IS on your bucket list? Let’s get comparing and make some of this happen!
    Dad and I ARE GOING to take a vacation ALONE!!!! (one day)

  38. You are on my mind frequently and I lift your name up in prayer multiple times a day and night. You amaze me with your perspective and shiny attitude. Hope you are feeling comfort today. Love from WA.

  39. Sending Prayers and Hugs your way.