The Orange Slide

Dec 18

I had Brad stop on the way home from work the other day to pick up duct tape.  For my head.  Because when you buzz your hair after chemo, the tiny little buzzed hairs are itchy, but they don’t fall out all that easily.  Another chemo patient last time around told me that she used to place strips of duct tape over her head and peel them off.  Voila!  All those little hairs peel right off too.  So, Brad and I spend some time duct-taping my head every other evening or so.  You know, how do you and your hubs spend Wednesday nights?  🙂  My head is now looking rather patchy and mangy, but I keep a hat on most of the time anyway, because — hello — it is freezing!

I took my last steroid pill for this cycle tonight, which means I’ll probably start the slide tomorrow.  So far, I’ve really been doing quite well, aided significantly by the fact that one or both of my sisters have been here around the clock.  I’ve been able to busy myself preparing the last of Christmas stuff, tidying up, writing thank-you’s, while they take on the never-ending household toiling.  My laundry is done.  Meals have been coming at a steady stream, and it is such a blessing to have dinner magically appear.  (Cancer perk alert!)  Tonight/tomorrow NanaRoz swoops in for her shift, and Brad will do the heavy-lifting with responsibilities this weekend.

I am preparing to sleep, and rest, and be quiet, and read, and watch TV/movies.  I know that my family is in good hands.  I have a few key fun activities lined up through the weekend: dinner with friends, the Nutcracker ballet, and I feel confident I will be able to manage my energy and my medicine so that I will have fun and will thoroughly enjoy the experiences.  As I am The Sick One, our schedules are planned around me.  But, happily, I really don’t feel like The Sick One.  I feel like me; and I feel like I have been given the grace and love to just do what I need to do.  There are no expectations on me.  It is freeing in a way.  My people, near and far, are so good at encouraging me to just be me.

I’ve learned to line up my morning meds on my nightstand so that I can take them before getting out of bed: the nausea can hit from the moment I start moving, so that has been a good trick.  Because I’ve had helpers staying with us, I have the freedom to get out of bed in the morning… or not.  Tell me another young mom who has that freedom–LOL!

Friends, family, people, don’t avoid me during the slide: I might not get back to you right away, but I’m still tuned in.  It is great to get messages while in slide!

Because of the LORD’s great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail.  They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.  –Lamentations 3:22-23


  1. Sending you love and prayers for a full Orange Crush Chemo. Crush those nasty cancer cells!

    Can I pick up some soft, cozy hats for you or do already have more than 5 or 6?

    Lots of love!

  2. Lisa Smith /

    How many different ways can I possibly articulate the immense and profound inspiration you are to me? I truly do not know how to say again how proud I am to know you and how thankful I am to journey with you. These posts rock me Every. Single. Time. I cannot get enough of you Jen. Lord bless you. Xo

  3. Melissa Pizzato /

    Hopefully it’s not so much a slide you’re on Jen, but a roller coaster that will shoot right back up high after this dip! Thinking of you today and always… But even more so during the festive season! Lots of love, hugs and kisses from your Pizzato cousins in Brisbane xxxooo

  4. Tiffany Green /

    It’s so awesome that you have so many wonderful people to help you through the slide. You are surrounded by God’s angels and blessings but yet YOU are the true angel and blessing for all of us. You’ve got a fun weekend ahead of you it sounds like….lot’s more sweet memories in the making! Praise God!

  5. I hope you are feeling up for the weekend, because it sounds fabulous. Do Today Well dear.Hugs to you

  6. Love and Grace and Freedom to be oneself — this sounds fantastic! I know that chemo isn’t a bag of fun, but I do love your positive outlook. Another friend was hit with cancer news recently and your story that you continue to share here gives me the ability to stay positive for others. Bless you, Jen.

  7. I haven’t commented in a while but just wanted to say that I am thinking of and praying for you, stranger friend. As a Florida Gator fan, I know just how awesome the color orange ( and blue, when you get there) can be.

  8. Jessica /

    Your cheerful attitude and optimism are like little “pills” in my
    Morning routine. I wake up feel glum and without enough to face the day and I read your
    Words and remember that we can choose a good attitude or a bad!
    And if Jen can do it…. So can I! Praying for a less slippery slide for you
    During this holiday season and, as always, for a miracle for your family!!!

  9. Bonnie BJ /

    Good morning Jen, it’s a beautiful Orangey kind of day !! Sleep and rest well during this run downhill. Makes me think of sledding-exhilarating descent into the unknown only to safely rest at the bottom. Collapsed and ready to go again. You, my dear are empowered by the Holy Spirit to do this well. Your story is encouraging so so many! !

  10. Praying you manage the orange chemo slide well and are on the up swing soon. Love and prayers going up constantly!

  11. Marsha Vonderwish /

    Keeping you in our prayers you precious girl!

  12. Julie Hughes /

    Praying you will continue to have the energy and grace to do just what you need to do! Love and prayers and hugs from Alabama!

  13. Sharon House /

    Hey Jen! You should write to the folks who put the book together called “101 things to do with duct tape. I bet your use is not in the book! Hugs to you. Enjoy your weekend with friends and the Nutcracker! Sharon

  14. We meet each other, in prayer again, by the manger this time. Let these holy days sooth and bring you healing.

  15. Who would have thought that Duct tape could be such a bonding experience. Much Love and prayers Neecie Leo &crew

  16. We (my husband, two 3 year olds and myself) are sitting in a terrible traffic jam in Cincinnati as we go from Columbus to Alabama to viait family. First we prayed for the people involved in the accident and then God brought you to mind. So I’m praying for you– your life, your girls, your peace and joy this Christmas.

  17. Holding you up to the Universal Healing Power and knowing that time will pass and you will again feel like your normal self. Bless you and all who care for you and the others sick and wanting in our world.

  18. Lori6NV /

    Hope you’re enjoying the weekend as much as you can! I’ve never braved the Nutcracker with the kiddos, I hope it’s a great memory maker with your girls.
    ~Your “stranger friend” in Nevada

  19. Continuing to hold you close in prayer and just wanted you to know.

  20. Checking in on you and praying that you are feeling better and better. Merry Christmas to you & your family.

  21. Jen, I just want to wish you and your family a very Merry Christmas an a Happy and Healthy New Year. I hope all your wishes come true for 2014.