Slowly disconnecting from the hostiggle

Nov 12

Slowly disconnecting from the hostiggle

So, I woke up this morning to my oncologist nudging me awake.  As only Brad, my family, and my college roommates can attest, I am a sleeping bear.  I’m  a wee bit mortified that Dr. Wonderful got to see my extra-special wake up routine.  For the record, he laughed.  Oy.

Dr. Wonderful didn’t have any news (pathology or otherwise) for me this morning; he was just visiting me on his rounds.  I’m still waiting for Dr. Wizard to round on me today and make a call about whether I can go home and/or shower.  Both sound equally amazing right now, truth be told.

Other good things are happening:

1. My chest tube is out.  (For the record, given the choice between having a chest tube or having a baby, I would most definitely have a baby.  And Greta weighed 10lb 8oz.  That about sums up how I feel about chest tubes.  Moving on!)  I am still wearing a heart monitor (iPhone sized device in the pocket of my hospital gown with 5 wires that attach to sticky points on my chest.  I also still have my port access, but all the rest of the tubes/wires are gone.  Yay!  I’ve been weaned from IV narcotics to oral narcotics, so everyone is very pleased with my progress.

2.  FaceTime.  I talked to the three amigos at home last night, and “saw” Greta for the first time in 5 days.  I loooove my family.  Poor G is so confused, she probably asked me five times if I was feeling better “in the hostiggle.”  Seeing her face was just the medicine this mama needed last night.  SuperGramma got to see them see the first snowfall of the year this morning, so I’m sure that made for some excitement.


3.  Anniversary Celebration.  Our 10th wedding anniversary is coming up on December 31st.  Over the summer Brad and I looked at each other and said, “Remember that big trip we took at the six and a half year mark?  Well, let’s call that our tenth anniversary trip.”  And we high-fived each other because we’re practical, and planners, and budgeters.  But now we are prioritizing each other, and we’re changing the rules; we’re going to do something special for our anniversary.  Fun!  Brad told me to start brainstorming… love that man!

4.  The love.  I’m happily puttering away at my quiet projects, and am enjoying the music and photo book   love that you people have sent along.  Thanks for reaching out to connect to me… it is definitely making these long hospital days pass faster.


  1. Janey McKinney /

    The faith you have is amazing! You truly are a testament………God has given and you have received the power to overcome such insurmountable circumstances with GRACE, HUMILITY and such a GRATEFUL heart! “As your day, so shall your strength be”. Keep looking to Him for all that you need and just watch to see the miraculous things he will do.
    May our Heavenly Father bless and keep you and your wonderful family!

  2. Terri K /

    I’ve been following you with prayers every step of the way. I had the exact same surgery 3 years ago, plus a chunk of liver (or would that be minus?) and when the chest tube came out I said I knew how a gutted fish felt! Not pleasant, but your focus is perfect; faith,love, family, friends, music, and any other hobbies you can you use to occupy your mind. I can tell you from experience that when you look back in 3 years this whole event will have morphed into a very short blip, on a very long timeline.
    God’s peace,

  3. Hello there, brave sister. This is Jen, from Sarasota, Florida. We were in contact last year as I started following your blog as I began my own cancer journey. Your story inspires me every day, and I lift you and your family in prayer every moment I get. You are so strong, and your attitude and faith will heal your body. Keep fighting the good fight and remain faithful. Hugs from sunny Florida to you…

  4. I have to say I gagged a bit at the thought of that tube coming out, but hurray for it being over!

  5. Marsha Vonderwish /

    Hi Sweet Girl! My hubby & I are keeping you in our prayers. I’m sure you are on the ‘Hot Line to Heaven’ with all the folks praying for you!
    Hope you give you a hug someday!

  6. Kim Rourke /

    How did we live without Face Time?!!! Gotta love it! Our granddaughter, Julia, loves to give us hugs by hugging the screen. I think of your Greta as they are very close in age.

    So glad you are progressing well and that the “beast” is gone from your chest!

  7. Jen, so happy to hear the tube is out. you are going to bounce back quickly from this little bump in your road to health. Even more happy to hear about making special anniversary plans. Truth be told, I am coming up on a year clear and we still haven’t “celebrated”. Life takes over. I was a preschool teacher for several years and I have an idea for you. Have someone take pictures of you in the hospital. Save them for a later time when your girls are a little more mature(I know they will have changed over just the past few days). Since you are already delving into book publication make a book about Mommy’s hospital visit. I know you’ll do a great job. It is amazing how much they understand. As always you are an inspiration to me and I am thankful for my tiny connection with you 🙂

  8. Aunt Annie /

    Jen, so thrilled for you that your chest tube is out and you are progressing to be released from the hostiggle! The picture on the monitor of Brad and the girls is OH SO CUTE! Their expressions are priceless! Stay calm and heal on! Love, prayers and good wishes!

  9. This was my daily bible verse today – it seemed very fitting when I think about you. Your posts are so inspiring and humbling, I think readers are compelled to lift your up in prayer.

    “For this reason, since the day we heard about you, we have not stopped praying for you. We continually ask God to fill you with the knowledge of His will through all the wisdom and understanding that the Spirit gives.” Colossians 1:9

  10. Erin allen /

    Yay for the chest tube coming out!!!! We are praying for you tons in our house!!! Love you, jen!!!! Xoxoxo

  11. Marlayne Skeens /

    Jen ~ I love the picture of the Skype with your 3 amigos !!!!!!!!!!! What a Handsome & Beautiful Family You have 🙂 So glad you are getting the tethers off & feeling like taking a shower (It’s the little things that we take for granted) When Tom was in the hospital this Summer, with all his tubes & drains, he really wanted to take a shower!! When the port came out ~ Oh My ~ then he could really take shower !!!!! You are woman, hear you roar !!!!! Hugs & Prayers 🙂

  12. ohiofishergirl /

    Yay, no more chest tube!! Glad that you’re healing, resting, and enjoying the love of your family. Keep resting and as Aunt Annie said “Heal On”! Gentle hugs, Lauri & Dale

  13. LOVE you girl! I teared up when I saw your dear family on your computer screen! So happy you were able to see them and so happy your uncomfortable chest tube is gone! You are one of the toughest people I know and always have been, so kudos to you for braving through that one. 🙂 I hope today you can know that the Father lavishes you with His insurmountable love.

  14. I laughed out loud about waking you up in the morning. I hope your doc wasn’t standing too close. He he. I wanted to respond as soon as I read it but I didn’t know how to get past my schools firewall. One day I will be good at technology….most likely not… I am also glad to hear about you starting to be disconnected from all your tubes and iv’s. I am happy that the healing is going well. Thanks for all the updates! Love you much!!!

  15. Bonnie B /

    It’s so hard to believe that another day is coming to a close. . Cold and wintery was the name of the game but the sun was glorious !! Before you know it you’ll be home and we’ll all be able to dote on you :’) Your main job is to rest and revel in the Lord’s goodness !! Love you Jen !

  16. Michelle /

    So happy to hear that you are cutting back on tubing…a word that ordinarily makes me smile as I think about riding the wake behind a boat and attempting to hang on or zipping down holes 2 or 3 leaving a dust storm of snow behind! I hope that someday (sooner rather than later) you too, will be able to think of those kinds of memories when thinking of “tubing”. On another note, I’m so excited to hear of a 10th anniversary celebration/adventure!!! What kind of trip is going through your mind? So many places to see and experience. I’m sure planning this will be a wonderful way to spend some healing time! Love that Brad came up with the idea!!! Enjoy! Heal on! Cancer sucks! Husbands with BIG hearts rock!!!

  17. It’s hard to be in the hostiggle but what a blessing good medicine is. I’m happy that your chest tube is out. Ouch. You paint a loving picture of your healthcare providers. We had a very brilliant oncologist in our lives years ago and I always thought of him as Dr. Grumpy-pants, not Dr. Wonderful. I think back on it now and I think he had a very difficult job. Now I am just grateful.
    I am always so glad to see a new post; I carry you and your family around in what I think of as my prayer pocket. I take you out a couple of times a day and ask that you all feel God’s presence as you move through these important days. I am also thanking God for His work in you.

  18. On the road to recovery. Love that the tube is out and the girls got to see you in living color. I know that helps a lot, especially that little imp, Greta. Maren seems to be so mature this time around about your stay; she’s growing quickly and competently into a small version of you and your mom, I think. Beautiful to have you share this jopurney with your readers. Peace and quiet recovery hours are wished for you from northern California.

  19. Lol! Let me know if you’d like me to give Dr. Wonderful some tips on how to wake the “sleeping bear.” Always keep your distance…maintain leg & arm distance!

    So glad you got to FaceTime with your girlies! And I hope you get to shower soon, I can smell you all the way out here!
    Love ya lots! Praying!