The Green Team

Feb 03

Brad and I reached an agreement at the end of last week: we agreed that he would stop asking me how I was feeling.

His questions, of course, came out of love and wanting to know how I was, well, feeling.

However, I was faced with answering with a bright, shiny, “Fine” which fell a more than a few notes of ringing true.  Or, I could be honest and answer how I really was feeling: “Blah blah, tired, blah blah achey, blah blah itchy, nauseous, hot flashes, did-I-mention-tired blah blah ugh.”  I just got tired of listening to myself.  I felt like I was complaining, and I didn’t feel like complaining.  Does that make sense?  I am proud that I am a brave and strong chemo patient: I’m cancer-killing, boo yah!  So rather than the questions which we both know the answer to, he gives me a hug or kisses my forehead.  I squeeze his hand and tell him I love him.  Our language is largely unspoken but full of love and patience and grace.

During the weekdays, my army of helpers keep Maren and Greta entertained and fed and clothed and happy.  Because there are so many faces taking a turn, I like to think that M & G are actually getting the best version of all of those people: they are loved better by the what-could-be-called-crazy schedule.

Over the weekend, Brad was SuperDad: he handled the house, the kids, the birthday party, church, playdates, parties and general child maintenance.  He’s awesome.  In effort to stay connected, we prioritized each other and went on a date.  This too was good.

With the girls, I popped in when and where I could.  I snuggled the girls in my bed, one in each arm, and we reviewed their Friday together.  I made them dinner Sunday night.  Greta and I got her baby doll ready for a very important playdate on Saturday afternoon; her doll Sis was decked out in her finest by the time we were finished.  Maren and I snuggled in her handmade Frozen blanket fort in her bottom bunk and planned out our Mommy-Maren time for the week.  I did a few important good things with my children this weekend.  Our tanks are full enough.

Aside from these snippets where I dazzle my family with my presence and my fun hat, I take care of me.  If I were to list out how I’m feeling, it sounds too whiney.  And, as a Mom, I am very sure that no one in the world needs extra whining, so I will spare you.  Today, one week post chemo, is usually the “worst” day.  I go in to the oncology office for a blood draw today, and the nurses wave the printout of my CBC at me and tell me that they have empirical evidence that I shall soon feel better.  And, I will.  Green chemo is wreaking havoc on cancer cells.  That always brings a big smile to my face.   I am blessed with the time and space to rest and heal as I need.

Each day, each cycle, each message, I am reminded of how much I am loved.  The hard moments sharpen my focus and highlight the goodness.  People whirl in with blessings and whirl out again while I revel in them.  Thank you!


  1. Rachel /

    Keep on keeping on Jen.

  2. Jana R. /

    You are amazing. I have been following you along this journey however this may be my first to write to you. I want you to know how much I admire you. I also am fighting cancer, but no where near the war you have taken on. I know that in my own battle faith is the thing that keeps me grounded. Your faith is an inspiration. You can do hard things and glorify His name in all you do. I thank you for being that beam of light we all need to see.

  3. Praying lots. Glad for the update.

  4. It’s good to be on the green team. The green team won the SuperBowl because of their incredible DEFENSE. Having the green team on cancer-killing duty is definitely a good thing. BEAST MODE!

    (Yes, I know I’m mixing the Seattle Seahawks football with Chemo — but the analogy works!)

  5. This scripture came to my mind as I was reading:

    The Spirit of The Lord is on you; because He has anointed you to preach good news to the poor. He has sent you to proclaim freedom to the prisoners and recovery of sight for the blind, to release the oppressed, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor. Luke 4:18-19

    It’s okay that you don’t feel well. You have been anointed to shine beyond the circumstance. I do not wish anybody to endure such trials, but you really teach me how to be graceful and patient in mine. Thank you. You are such a blessing. <3

  6. Today we are waiting to find out if my 17 yo son has cancer. It is crazy how many emotions/thoughts try to invade the same space in my body at the same time. I have been repeating to myself that fear has no place here and that no Mayer what, God is a good God and loves my son more than I can even fathom. It was balm to my soul to come here today and soak up your positive outlook and remember it doesn’t have to consume us. Thank you.

  7. I saw this local (to me) company in my Facebook feed today and thought of you. Not sure how your hat collection is going (you probably have a zillion by now!), but I loved the concept of these hats designed for chemo patients by a cancer survivor and noticed they have some blue and purple ones that would be perfect for the next two rounds of rainbow chemo.

    Thinking about you, stranger friend!
    Jen with two boys (and a GIRL on the way)

  8. Lisa Smith /

    Thank you also, for being the beam of light and goodness. xo

  9. Kristen /

    You are amazing…so awed by your strength and courage. Rooting for you Jen!

  10. Loved Karen’s analogy to the Seahawks! Yes, cancer is a seriously sucky disease, but facing it with some humor works. When Pete was diagnosed we were told to laugh everyday…it releases the “happy hormones”…and a happy body is more likely to want to heal itself. It’s also OK to get mad as he** because it releases toxins. Crying has it’s benefits, too (except no one likes the tell-tale ugly red face). What I’m trying to say is, none of us would mind an occasional whine from you. We’re here to help: we pray, we send positive thoughts, we can lend an ear if you want to vent or a shoulder if you want to cry. We’re part of a team and we want VICTORY!!! ♥p

    • Michelle /

      Couldn’t have said it better. Moms always know best. This post caused me to choke up a bit…so close to my heart. We all pray for victory for ALL who are fighting that cancerous villain! Goooo team!!!

  11. kathy swim /

    Always praying for you and family and looking forward to your beautiful blog! What strength you have. I just lost my hair for the 3rd time due to chemo but I decided I would use all those lovely scarves in my closet to do some creative head pieces with big earrings. Can one play “dress up” at 61! I think so! You inspire me so much! Keep up the colorful cancer killing! Love and healing energy I send your way!

  12. Shannon Weiss /

    Wore green today and thought of you! You truly are an inspiration! Hugs and prayers!

  13. Bonnie J /

    Such a cold morning but I see Green everywhere !! Praying daily Jen, Praying you sense unwavering peace today and a very very good Dr. Report !!