Nov 19



  1. I’ve been off of all painkillers/narcotics for over forty-eight hours.  I’m feeling physically strong.
  2. Dr. Wizard gave me clearance to drive (yay!  freedom!) today.  He also says I can carefully hold Greta starting Thanksgiving day (happy Thanksgiving to me and G!).  And, should I feel inclined, I can go for a run the week after Thanksgiving.  (However, given #3, I may not feel inclined.)
  3. Red Chemo* starts in six days.
  4. Dr. Knockout and Dr. Wonderful chatted on the phone about me today, and then Dr. Knockout called me at 6:42pm to update me on their conversation.  Yes, my doctors are ridiculously dedicated to me.  My oophorectomy is scheduled for December 13, and then Orange Chemo* is on December 16.

*Last time I had chemo, I had sixteen treatments over twenty weeks.  I numbered them Chemo #1-16.  I don’t want to name these chemos the same as last time because this is a New Protocol for New Cancer with New Results.  Since there are six treatments in this eighteen week protocol, I’m going with the rainbow: Red, Orange, Yellow, Green, Blue, and Purple Chemos are coming soon this winter.  And, boy, am I looking forward to the end of *that* rainbow.  Pot o’ gold?  Yes please!

Today after I finished my medical appointments, I went to Maren’s school and surprised her by picking her up for a surprise Mommy-Maren date.  Her school has a Giving Tree in their lobby, so we picked up a couple of ornaments for some needy kids in our community and headed off to make some other family’s Christmas a little brighter.  Maren and I had fun choosing the very best items for the very best Christmas experience for some other little girls.  Maren was totally into it, and I was tickled at her selections.  Our next stop was going to one of my doctor’s appointments together.  I try to keep the veil off of my medical circus for her; she can better understand it if she experiences small pieces of it.  Familiarity replaces fear, ya know?  Finally, we stopped for a fancy dinner.  (Truth be told, I wasn’t feel the love for a fast and cheap restaurant; healthy was the order of the day.)  We went to a restaurant that has a hibachi teppenyaki grill; the chef comes to the table and prepares the meal on the tableside grill.  There’s a fair amount of flame-throwing, utensil trickery, and foodie fun as entertainment as he cooks.  She was dazzled by the show, we clinked our Shirley Temple glasses, she giggled at our conversation, and we made a memory tonight.  The best moment of the day?  When she slipped me a card full of love she wrote for me at school.  I love the my girl is becoming a writer and finding her own voice in the world.  This mama is bursting with pride.  I. Love. Her.

photo-6 copy



  1. You are an AMAZING WOMAN, and I see God in all your posts! You are a true inspiration to me, and many others, I’m sure!

    I continue to pray for your healing! I love your updates – thank you!

  2. Beautiful! I will pray for many many more memory making moments even as you battle through this round of chemo.

  3. Lisa Smith /

    And I’m crying again. Because I just love you and I want to be you when I grow up. Love your Normal Mommy stories and your Normal Mommy heart. xo

  4. I am so glad you are feeling so good. That is a precious picture of the two of you. Its good to see you making memories. Priceless!!!!!!! Prayers and Hugs to you and your family.

  5. Tiffany Green /

    So sweet and such wonderful memories you’re making together! You are both gifts from God and He shines through in all that you do!

  6. Hillary S. in DE /

    Crying again too. But happy tears because sometimes all we need is the smile of our children and a Shirley Temple!!! (It’s a favorite in our house and often done with popcorn for movie nights.) LOVE that you surprised Maren at school, can’t imagine how thrilled she was. What a great day, thanks for sharing.

    P.S. Don’t think I will look at rainbows the same way now– and love it.

  7. Shannon K /

    Yay! Sounds like a great day! I like the rainbow theme! I pray that at the end of that rainbow God’s promise is that you will never have to weather that storm again!!!!

  8. Maren has grown so and you are such a beautiful example to her. I can see now already what a beautiful young woman she will become. No wonder you are bursting with pride.

    You stick to your motto Do Today Well in such a loving and caring way. I want to also be like you when I grow up 🙂 Okay maybe as I age even more would be a tad more accurate. I will miss all of you terribly at Thanksgiving but so thankful for you. Love you girl and the whole fam of course!

  9. Rebecca /

    Beautiful and brutiful – you do it all with such grace. I’m sending healing thoughts your way.

  10. I’m so happy to hear of your wonderful day with Maren! The smile on her face is bursting with joy…your love for each other radiates. Praising God for each beautiful moment and that you choose to love on others and give together. Praying you feel the Lord’s presence today.

  11. Newbie friend /

    Awe your beautiful picture made me cry…you two look so good. You ARE doing today well and inspiring me and many others to do the same. “Somewhere Over the Rainbow” is one of my favorite songs, I’ll be thinking of you when I sing it and hoping that all of your dreams really do come true!

  12. Honestly Jen, I look so forward to reading your blog ~ not only about how your healing is progressing (released to drive…YEAH!), but how quickly you’re getting right back to “memory making mommy” (♥♥♥ the picture). EXCELLENT! You truly are an amazingly strong young woman. I read the paragraph about the new rainbow Chemo aloud to my husband (he’s also cheering you on to victory). The medical community is beginning to agree that there is a strong, unexplainable connection between positive thinking and healing. YOU, sweet lady, WILL find that pot of gold!!!

  13. Maureen /

    So happy for you Jen. Cancer sucks. But at the same time it is a gift to treasure EVERY moment, no matter how big or how little.


  14. nancy zwolinski /

    Thank you for sharing your life. The good and the bad. The ups and the downs. The beautiful and the not so beautiful. For letting us get a tiny glimpse of the world thru ” our Fathers eyes.” May Gods peace continue to fill you and surround you and lift you above these circumstances. My prayer is always to encourage you and yet, you are always encouraging me. Shine on girl.

  15. Bonnie J /

    How fun and what a treasure. .. a surprise date !! Maren had to be just as thrilled by seeing you too 😉 Personally, the unexpected surprises of life are the best. Love it – this is one you’ll both treasure always !! Praying for more to come and come and come !! Love those Big Huge Smiles 🙂

  16. Becky Palmieri /

    What a beautiful memory for you and Maren!!! You inspire me to be more of a “memory making mama”. I’m often guilty of being all business, instead of fun. I LOVE that you have embraced the fun and intimate moments your life with your little family has to offer. Thank you for sharing your beautiful writing to inspire us all.

  17. Danette /

    Love, love, love……

  18. Prayer Friend /

    You inspire in so many ways!!!! Praying for many many many many more memory making years!!!!

  19. Aunt Annie /

    Jen, What a sweet surprise and adventure for Maren today! You’re an awesome MOM!!! I wish I had your grace and patience when I raised my girls. You are such a wonderful role model. We are praying for that pot of gold at the end of your rainbow!

  20. Anne Jutt /

    Praying and praying for you… and so very happy to see you out having fun! Go show Red Chemo who’s the boss!

  21. Banita Bailey /

    Great update. You did today well!

  22. Beautiful photo!! It’s good to hear you have your driving freedom…and could surprise one little cutie at school and hold the other little cutie on Thanksgiving Day! Lots of happy girls in your house!!

  23. Shannon Weiss /

    What a wonderful Mommy-Daughter moment!!