Coming out from under

Dec 25

Merry Christmas!

What’s been happening:

– Orange Chemo left me feeling weak and shakey.  Every time I saw a couch or a bed or a chair, I felt the almost-irresistable urge to stop what I was doing and melt into it.  I wanted to curl up and rest and relax.  For the most part, I did a lot of just that: rest, relax, sleep.  My support team is really amazing in allowing me the freedom to just be me.

– I haven’t done anything productive aside from absolute essentials since early last week.  This time even email was too much to keep up with, and I couldn’t muster the energy to write.  It’s going to take me a while to dig out from under the To Do list.  First I have to write the To Do list.  Oy.

– I had fun at all my key fun events that occurred during the slide.  Brad and I shared long, lingering meals with fun conversation with friends.  We prepared Christmas Magic for our kids, who — at 2 and 6 — are in their prime magic years.  We went to the Nutcracker Ballet as a family and it was spectacular.  During the slide, I can time my medications and energy to be prime for a 3-4 hour window as long as I rest before and after.  It works–I’m grateful for those hours, and the hours of rest.

– I began to bounce out of Chemo Funk at 9pm Monday night–it was strange to all of a sudden have energy and feel like myself again.  It was almost like a light switch turning on.

– Christmas Eve was a great day–I felt mostly normal.  Although, I am feeling a basic level of de-conditioning; spending a week in a hospital bed (after my lung surgery in November) took away a lot of my conditioning.  Two chemo treatments and another surgery haven’t exactly allowed me to build back strength.  I’m going to try to make a point to do some walking for exercise over the next two weeks–quite different from my 2012 chemo, where I ran 2-4x/week throughout.

– I woke up Christmas Day with what was either a short but intense flu or the return of Chemo Funk.  The family ended up suspending gift-opening halfway through because I had to take a break and a nap.  (You know you are sick when you can’t open presents–lol.)  After a crash and loading up on anti-nausea meds, I rallied for the rest of the day.  Now–late Christmas night– I’m feeling better, albeit still weak.  Fingers crossed that everyone else stays healthy.


Tonight I am *so* happy to be feeling more like myself.

I love my life.  It’s so important to me to do my life well and honor the blessings I’ve been given.

I’m feeling grateful for the gifts — oh, the gifts — that have been showered upon us this holiday season.

I am soaking in the joyful exuberance of my daughters, and merriment in general.

I am wrapped in the love of my family in friends.

I point to Jesus as Lord and Healer this season, and every season.



  1. Shannon Kahrs /

    Merry Christmas sweet friend!

  2. What wonderful memories we made today! I felt the fire of love that all the gifting signifies. There is an army of huge positive energy urging all of us to “do today well”

  3. Merry Christmas from WA state, Jen! Thank you for the update. Praying you wake up feeling rested tomorrow. Glad you were able to enjoy the ballet and dinner with friends!

  4. I am glad your doing better, and I’m sure your family doesn’t mind waiting for you to rest, before continuing on with whatever comes next. I’m glad you had a wonderful Christmas and am praying for 50 more.Love and Hugs

  5. Bonnie BJ /

    Merry Christmas Jen, Brad, Maren, Greta and the whole clan. Was thinking was praying for you and so happy to hear that you’re emerging. Kind of like a butterfly after a long rest. We are Happy !!! Enjoy your day !!

  6. So happy to see this update! We have been continuting to pray, especially that you were able to manage your rest and medications to be able to enjoy the wonderful things planned with your family this past week. Sounds like those prayers were answered! Merry Christmas from Kentucky!:)

  7. Lisa Smith /

    Love you Jen

  8. You are a gift to all of us who know you and your family. I wish you 75 1/2 more years…you are doing what you need to do to kick cancer in the butt.

  9. Kim Rourke /

    Merry Christmas, Jen, and wishes to all your clan as well. So good to hear you were able to enjoy this blessed time. Jack, all my kids, and I wish you extra joy throughout this Christmas season. You truly model for all of us! Baby Jesus is surely smiling on you!

  10. Lori6NV /

    Merriest Christmas and blessings in the New Year! Glad you were able to enjoy the festivities. What a trooper you are!

  11. Marsha Vonderwish /

    We have been keeping you in our prayers!

  12. Shari DeRossett /

    Hi Jen~ I received Tracey Kornau’s Christmas card, which mentioned you and your blog. I am so inspired by your writing. Your words help all of us to remember what is truly important, especially during this time of year. You and your family will continue to be in prayers. Wishing you health and happiness in 2014!

  13. May the remainder of the Chemo be as colorful as Red and Orange have been. Here’s to a 2014 that includes fewer sick days and lots more fun ones. Holding you up to the Universal Healing Power and claiming for you the best of the week. Hugs from nor Cal.

  14. Like so many others, I fell asleep praying for you and awoke to your grace filled blog. Do Today Well—-being in the moment is totally inspiring. To do that is your only “to do” list. Thank you for reminding us how to live life with eyes of love.