Ask me

Jan 06

The irony is not lost on me that I have finally (I think) caught up on emails today.  It takes my being tethered to an IV pole and told to sit in a recliner for me to carve out the time for this task.  Now that I get email and texts and comments on my phone, I often see them in passing: at the grocery store, mid-dinner prep, or waiting rooms.  I make a mental note to write back, but lately, that system is failing me.  I don’t know if I have less time (yes), or chemo brain (yes), or if my talkative children suck all the words right out of me (yes), but it has been harder to find the time.  Now that December-rama is over, I’ll be better.  Maybe.  If not, then grace.  Right?

I’ve gotten a few phone calls, emails, texts, messages where people are wondering about me.  How am I doing?, they ask.  My oncology nurse is harassing me (in the nicest of ways) that I’m not blogging, and when I don’t blog, she’s worried about me.  (Isn’t that sweet?)  My friends are calling.  It is nice to be loved, I tell you.

I have so many things I could write about, but I thought I would do something I’ve never done: ask you.  What do you want to know?  Ask away, either in the comments or email me at andersonfamilyzoo (at) gmail (dot) com.

A friend sent me Psalm 107 after she spent some time praying for me.  I’ve been reading that today and the theme that resonates is “He brought them out of their distress”; it repeats several times.  The Lord can so do this.  Cancer is small, God is big.


  1. Lisa Smith /

    I love you.

  2. Amy Wheeler /

    Okay, here is what I want to know! Do you remember when we were neighbors in Iowa and we were all outside the front of my house with our kids, and one of them started screaming, “Snake, snake!!!” so we both ran over and I ran up to the snake (which was holding itself up in the grass to see the commotion) and grabbed it around the neck (do snakes have necks??). Your face was priceless. I remember you saying that you thought I was running over the rescue the kids and possibly kill it and never dreamed I would grab it. I didn’t know if you thought it was funny or if it traumatized you forever. Do you remember that??

  3. Praying. 50 years!

  4. Ali Moore /

    I would love for you to answer a few things, (if I may): in regards to how others have been a blessing to you and your family, what has blessed you the most? What have others said to you (or Brad) that has been encouraging? What comments have well-intentioned people said that are NOT good things to hear as you go through this trial? I know that you are a Believer so I realize that answering that last one may be difficult, but I work in a medical facility and I often struggle with what to say to patients that are going through difficulties with their health and all the while trying to be “politically correct” & respectful that not everyone has faith in the Healer. Thank you for being do bold and transparent. You are such a witness. Keeping you in thought and prayer, dear sister in Christ. ~ Ali

  5. I want to know… If u will be on the other side of this round of chemo to rejoin us at Doe Bay in May? 🙂 And… I wonder about your dear hubby’s side of your story. Have you guys considered adding his thoughts and words and insight and quips of inspiration to your blog? How does he do his days well? 🙂 <3 hugs and prayers!

  6. Peggy /

    Well, now that you’ve asked…how did you spend your 10th anniversary? What was Christmas morning like at your house? Do you still give “something you want, something you need, something for fun and something to read”? Did the girls like their American girl dolls? I agree with Nikki…I’d love to hear more about Brad’s thoughts of this journey. A while ago you wrote about your “wish list”…how’s that coming along? Frankly, Jen, most anything you write about is interesting. How do you do it? Even when you must be feeling quite yucky, your writing is fabulous! Sending love & energy!

  7. How do you stay so positive? I worry constantly about my daughter, Lauren. How do you answer the questions, “why me” and “why now”? I struggle with this daily. I would love to be able to enjoy each day. But, instead, I spend a lot of time worrying and asking why.

  8. Hi, Jen! I’ll be by w/ soup and a board game today—hope to see you but if not, know that I think about you daily and am sending my love. And now, per your request, an idea for a blog topic: I deeply admire your positivity. However, I imagine there are days when you feel less than positive. I think it would be really helpful for others going through the same thing to know how you work through those days, how long the negativity lasts and what others can do for you (and other loved ones they know going through this) during those periods. Also, I thought this was fitting for yellow chemo week: “Some painters transform the sun into a yellow spot, others transform a yellow spot into the sun.” —Pablo Picasso

  9. I love how you always speak from the heart, so whatever your heart wants to say is perfect for me.

    Sending a New Year hug…

  10. Jen, the peacefulness with which you travel this path amazes me each time I read a new post. Like others above, Brad’s experience intrigues me; the coping mechanisms you find most helpful would be an interesting and educational read since life gives us all chances to Cope, doesn’t it ?~! Personal losses this weekend gave me a chance to use mine. Thank you for taking the energy and time to post even when you must be feeling pretty icky; i feel blessed to read you each time you are able to put up a new page.

  11. annie /

    I have been thinking about you (and what I would like to ask you) for several days. Like Jill, who posted on the 7th, I too, have spent a lot of time (too much) worrying and asking why; my daughter* was diagnosed with cancer when she was 12 months old. I finally concluded that there is no answer to “why me?” or “why now?”. I found myself wondering instead: Why anybody? Why ever? I think the answer is that we live in a broken world. But God still finds us here. God reaches in and there is healing. God is a God of miracles, both large and small.
    You live and express yourself with such a grateful heart. It has been a blessing to read your posts–like a devotion.
    My questions: Does writing/deleting/writing/starting-over help you set your mind and heart on joy and thankfulness? Do you ever thrash it out on paper (or the computer) and then work your way towards a blog post? Have you always known that “peace that passes understanding”? It shines through your words.

    *My daughter is now 33. A miracle.

    • Michelle /

      Annie…love that you shared your own miracle with all of us!

  12. Lori6NV /

    I just wonder how you stay so positive. And in the moments where perhaps you’re not, how do you regain peace/perspective? What a wonderful lesson for all of us. Continued prayers during this yellow chemo. Your Nevada friend.

  13. My question is similar to some already mentioned above. Do you ever ask “why me?” and how do you deal with those thoughts? Have you seen the need for formal therapy to help you through this journey?