Love vs. Scanxiety (Love wins!)

Mar 17

Today’s medical advice: go drink green beer.  Okay, so my nurse was joking as she said this, but the truth is that she was having fun with my blood work analysis.  My blood work from the oncology office shows that my body is trending in the right direction.  All of my numbers look good.  I should start feeling better soon.  This is good news.  Aside from the cold I had after Yellow Chemo, I managed to stay pretty healthy as a chemo patient.  Since I have two young children in school, I think it is due to your prayers and God’s grace that I remained germ-free during these past four months.

Also fresh off the books from the oncology office, I got the results of my heart test.  My echocardiogram showed that my heart function (specifically my left ventricle ejection fraction) is well within normal ranges: 55-60%.  This is great news, as it means that I get to continue on with Herceptin, as per Dr. Wonderful’s plan.  (Background: Herceptin can cause heart damage, so I have a quarterly echocardiogram to make sure my heart function is within normal ranges.)  For most of 2013, I was getting conservative (weekly) doses of Herceptin to protect my heart as much as possible.  With the changes to the treatment plan, I’m now getting the normal (every three weeks) dose of Herceptin, so it is extra awesome that my heart is stable.   Again, this is another big praise-worthy item.

Tomorrow I’ll be having my post-treatment PET scan.  This is the nuclear medicine scan where they inject me with a radioactive dye and then put me in a machine to see where the dye accumulates.  Any “hot spots” that show up indicate possible cancerous activity and require further testing.  Since I have just finished six rounds of Taxotere–a tough chemotherapy agent, the expectation is that this scan should be clear.  This scan will then be used as a baseline measurement for future scans.  “Scanxiety” is a term that cancer patients coined.  I work hard on scan days to not worry.  This scan is less worrisome because of the timing relative to chemo, but the conditioned fear is still present.

Would you please pray that tomorrow’s scan is all clean?

We want there to be no sign of cancer.

No Evidence of Disease (NED).


Whilst I’m quashing any scanxiety that comes my way, I’ve thought of a project I’d like to make some traction on this week.  So often, I center my thoughts on good words that come my way.  A card, a letter, a comment, a whispered wish really help me to fix my thoughts on the good.  My amazing Brad made me a little desk area/office space this winter and while the functionality is there, the space is not decorated for me yet.  (I’m terrible at decorating.  I wish I could have one of those HGTV people come in and VOILA! it for me.)  As a writer, and lover of words, I’d like to surround the space with words that matter.  Quotes, verses, names, definitions, sayings, poems, and anything inspirational.  I also want it to be a happy, feminine, empowering space; I plan on using plain white frames mixed in with canvases and sculptural word art and have a vision of having beautiful words that surround me.   The problem is that I am paralyzed: which words?  Which verses?  What quotations?

Why am I rattling on about this?  Please send me words that matter to you.  Or words that make you think of me.  Bonus points for sending me a digital/printable version or a link to where I can buy a “pretty” version that can go on my wall.  If you are an artist and want to send me a hard copy, that would be cool too!  I look forward to being pummeled with words that matter on my scanxiety inspirational project days this week!  I’m interested in anything you think of when you think of me, and would love to expand this project for my daughter’s walls as well, so if something strikes you as “Jen” or “Maren” or “Greta” or “Anderson” or “Do Today Well” or whatever, please share that too!  Thanks for helping me to keep laser-focused on the good and to turn my back on the bad.  Blessings!

For you pray-ers and happy thought thinkers, the scan is tomorrow between 8:30am and 10:30am.  No Evidence of Disease (NED)!

You yourselves are our letter, written on our hearts, known and read by everyone. You show that you are a letter from Christ, the result of our ministry, written not with ink but with the Spirit of the living God, not on tablets of stone but on tablets of human hearts.  –2 Corinthians 3:2-3


  1. Alyssa /

    praying and believing for No Evidence of Disease!!

    i recently made the decision to pick a word to focus on for the year (due to coming across and the word that came to me for this season in my life is “connect.” this word seems to have significance for you, too – as i feel your joy when you write of connecting with people through your blogging/cancer-related experiences. afraid i can’t help with the “pretty” though. may God bless your project and all your connections. (:

  2. Lisa Smith /

    have you discovered think map? i LOVE it for words…

  3. Jen Loomis /

    Proverbs 31:25

    She is clothed with strength and dignity; she can laugh at the future without fear.

  4. Casey /

    she is spectacular w/ words and art. i have no idea if she would do a custom piece, but the ones she has up are gorgeous 🙂

    • Casey /

      oh- and her name is Casey also- but we are not one and the same 🙂

  5. The phrase most meaningful to me the past 6+ years has been “choose love.” It reminds me to choose to feel and exhibit love over fear, anger, impatience, judgement… so many things.

    I am a calligrapher in Columbus (see my website link above for my facebook). I’d love to write some of the words and phrases and verses people send for you to frame. If you’re interested, please shoot me a message via facebook or my email!

  6. suzann /

    This reminds me of you:
    Strong Women. May we know them, may we raise them, may we be them.

  7. Carla /

    Ann Voskamp is a master wordsmith- has beautiful ways of putting just exactly what I was thinking but didn’t know it!!!! Her focus is on gratitude- giving thanks in all situations- which reminds me of you!!! She has tons of beautiful free printables. Her website is is an example of one of her quotes “Perspective can always adopt gratitude — and gratitude always parents joy.”

  8. Melody Smith /

    Jen, I wanted to pass along a common theme discussed at a recent retreat … Let Go, Let God.
    I’ve embraced it and reflect on the simple words daily. Maybe a candidate for your wall too…

  9. “Brave is the new Beauty” is my favorite new phrase. I had the pleasure of attending the very first Brave Beauty retreat a few weeks after I finished my last chemo treatment last Fall. Check out the facebook page of this non-profit organization headed by the amazing Leith McHugh. I have often thought that you are indeed a Brave Beauty . . .and perhaps the Brave Beauty Team should know you — you are such an inspiration and could move so many women in search of bravery! Here is the Facebook link:

  10. Robyn /

    “I have heard there are troubles of more than one kind. Some come from ahead and some come from behind. But I’ve bought a big bat. I’m all ready you see. Now my troubles are going to have troubles with me!”
    ― Dr. Seuss

  11. Patty Wheeler /

    Brave, Extraordinary, amazing, strong, loving, selfless… And I could go on!

    • I got a couple of pdfs made on Etsy that I had printed for $1.99 at Staples. These ladies did a FAB job for me, but I have a friend who copied mine and did them for herself. This shop gave a discount for multiple digital files and these 2 ladies were SO nice to work with. (

      I got the “what a difference a day makes” and put all of our birthdays and our wedding dates. I also got the “I thought I loved you then” with special dates for my husband and I. I LOVE these prints.

      There is also a FREE website called ( where you say create your own and you type in as many words as you want and it makes a cloud for you. You can shuffle it as many times as you want until you get the look you want. My daughter’s teacher uses it to make a word cloud during their student of the week with words their classmates wrote about them. The more times a word appears, the bigger it appears in a cloud, so she starts the wordle by typing the name 10x so it is the biggest in the cloud. You can play with it, it is EASY and FREE. You do have to highlight the section you want and make a screenshot, and you can paste it to a word doc as well for easy printing. That would be a neat way to display some of the words you collect.

      Over the past few years, I have had a few phrases, I pick one per year to help me be who I know I can be.

      Never wear your blessings like burdens
      Don’t let perfect be the enemy of good
      Be where you are
      Be healthy and bold and humble and beautiful

      I sometimes come to this blog to find verses. If you went back through past entries and copied the ones you put at the end of your posts, those were the ones that carried you on these days over the past to years. The ones that got you here. Those might be special verses to start with.

      I will be praying when I wake up tomorrow at 5:30am my time!

      The MIGHTY hand of God can gift you with NED!


  12. Jennifer /

    My new favorite is
    “I know that my body is inside my soul, not the other way around”

  13. Elizabeth /

    I love Desiderata by Max Ehrmann. You can find it in a lot of places….but here is an etsy shop that allows custom colors.

    Thanks for the project inspiration! Be well! NED!


  14. Jen, go to for amazing and beautiful wall art decals. In my living room which can be seen from my kitchen as well is
    “Let us be silent that we may hear the whispers of God.” It reminds me everyday to be serene and spend quiet time with my Lord.
    I pray for you daily.

  15. Kelly /

    One of my faves is relatable across the board… “We may not have it all together, but together we have it all.”

  16. laura /

    This has meant the most to me over some hard days this past year: Breathe in: Lord, I receive. Breathe out: Lord, I give thanks. (from Ann Voskamp)

    My fave Etsy shop for Scripture is French Press Mornings. Website:

    The Scripture on my heart for you right now: “Then your light will break forth like the dawn, and your healing will quickly appear; then your righteousness will go before you, and the glory of the Lord will be your rear guard. Then you will call, and the Lord will answer; you will cry for help, and he will say: Here am I!” Isaiah 58: 8 – 9

    BIG prayers and so much love coming from Texas to you!!!!! You are a true inspiration in my life, thank you for sharing your story so faithfully and honestly!

    Standing with you in faith,

  17. Karen /

    Well as an avid follower of Glennon I like “we belong together” and “love wins”.

  18. ohiofishergirl /

    Jen, the words that come to mind are—we love you!!! Uncle Dale and I are up north in Moffet, Quebec ice fishing (eh, fishing’s bad) but we are thinking of you and sending our love and well wishes your way. Not sure when your and Maren’s trip to NYC is but we hope the two of you have a most excellent Mama-daughter vacation. We love you all!! Salut from Quebec! Hugs, Lauri

  19. Krista /

    I’ll narrow down a few favorite quotes, but in the meantime wanted you to know that I’m a “stranger-friend” who thinks of you and your sweet family often, and always with positive vibes headed your way. Glad to hear your blood work is on the upswing, hopefully your energy will be too!

  20. Praying for no evidence! 50 years. Much love from the Schreier’s!

  21. Julie /

    I think this was talked about on one of your earlier blogs and it comes first to mind. FREE. It has so many dimensions! I would love to see a picture of the completed project as would all your many warriors! Love you girlie!

  22. I have some pretty 5×7 artwork I designed that I would love to mail you. I’m in Florida so I promise not to show up on your doorstep, though I’m sure we would have a lovely talk over a cup of tea. :). If it’s ok just email me your address.

  23. Stephanie /

    I love this quote for the girls’ room- “And Though She Be But Little, She Is Fierce”-Shakespeare. For your office, “Every single thing that has happened in your life is preparing you for a moment that is yet to come”-Unknown

  24. Katie /

    I have been following you through this whole process. Your words inspire me so much. In fact, I typed up and printed out “Do Today Well” and framed it for placement in my home office. Like you, I receive inspiration from words, quotes, and scripture. I even have a board on Pinterest that is titled “Words to Live By”. Here are some of my favorites: “You will FOREVER be my ALWAYS”, “Choose to see the GOOD STUFF”, “With you, I am home” and my all time favorite “She believed SHE COULD, so she did.” Feel free to follow me (Katie Jones Tautphaeus) on Pinterest to see what awesome things others have done with these words. Prayers for you and for NED. God bless you Jen.

  25. Wendy /

    From Glennon… We can do hard things

  26. tiernan from dc /

    Prayers for a clean scan are heading your way!

    As for words, my friend Andra has started a business designing wedding stationery, and recently launched an initiative called “be loved,” which she’s using to raise money to fight human trafficking. She sells pretty printables on etsy for a few dollars each with “be” phrases — be loved, be brave, be truth, be somebody. They’re here, if you’d like to check them out:

    I also found some really fun, lovely art pieces (sayings on watercolor art) last year on etsy: I bought a few for part of a friend’s wedding gift, and they were as nice in person as they were online.

    Hope you enjoy your inspirational word decoration!

  27. A few of my personal favorites:
    “Kindness Matters” (google that quote and you’ll come up with all sorts of options)

    “Make time for quiet moments as God whispers and the world is loud.”

    Praying for NED!

  28. You’d love Mandie Joy, I think. She’s got a great blog with an amazing story and testimony of living out God’s love. She lived in Africa for a while w/ another (then) single gal caring for orphans in basically a foster home set up. She’s just now returned home w/ two little girls she’s adopted.

    Anyway, she does prints on Etsy that are great. It’s actually how she funded her adoptions and is managing to be a stay at home single mom.

    She posts free ones on her blog sometimes, as well.
    Here’s links to a few of the free ones from her blog – (two or three at that link)

    Holly Gerth is another with great images or sayings and quotes, etc.

    And the (in)couragement site links to some sometimes also (but also another source for some good encouraging phrasing)

    But my real suggestion? If you don’t own it, get Jesus Storybook Bible (you’ll honestly probably appreciate it at least as much as your kids!) and Thoughts to Make Your Heart Sing (linked below) AMAZING!

    Little snippets from both would be great – but should be staples on your bedside if you don’t have them! (Really!) I have double sets – for home and my hospital bag. And I’ve probably given 3 dozen of Thoughts to Make Your Heart Sing away and close to that of Jesus Storybook Bible. They’re really THAT moving in terms of depicting God’s love for us. and

    Now I’ve got both on my ipad also…I literally don’t leave home without them!

    And you can get DVD version of Jesus Storybook Bible (don’t do audio only – the visual part helps bring it to life) which make my eyes welly all the time (and not much else does that!) They’re sold separately on Amazon, but you can also buy a set with JSB and the DVDs both (until relatively recently you had to buy the curriculum set to get the DVDs.

    Through the last few years of being in and out of the hospital and now being essentially housebound, those two, more than most anything else, are what God’s used to minister and speak to me.

  29. Connie /

    I love your phrase- “DO TODAY WELL”-
    I have it printed out and on my bullentin board which I face everyday I work- thank you for that- and I truly pray for you this morning- and every morning-

  30. Katelynn /

    “Fill my heart with love and my mind with peace” I think this is a Jen Anderson original-either way I read it on your blog and put it on a post it on my mirror.

  31. Genora /

    John 16:33 These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you might have peace. In the world you will have tribulations; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.

  32. Lori6NV /

    You know my favorite bible verse already, but another one of my favorite quotes is from TS Eliot: “I said to my soul, be still and wait without hope, for hope would be hope for the wrong thing; wait without love, for love would be love of the wrong thing; there is yet faith, but the faith and the love are all in the waiting.” I also think some children’s books have great quotes. 🙂 Thinking of you today and praying for great results.

  33. Elise /

    I love Winnie the Pooh quotes! For you or your girls!!
    “Promise me you’ll always remember: You’re braver Than you believe, and stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think.” (Christophef Robin to Pooh)

    “Piglet noticed that even though he had a Very Small Heart, it could hold a rather large amout of Gratitude.”

    How do you spell love? – Piglet
    You don’t spell it, you feel it. – Pooh

    “Sometimes the smallest things take up the most room in your heart.”

    Here is an etsy shop where you can buy digital copies of some of the quotes:

  34. Love her work:

    Perhaps you would like some of these quotes?

    “Light tomorrow with today.” —Elizabeth Barrett Browning

    “Being deeply loved by someone gives you strength, while loving someone deeply gives you courage.” —Lao Tzu

    “When you are sorrowful look again in your heart, and you shall see that in truth you are weeping for that which has been your delight.” —Khalil Gibran (I know this one seems sad, but it’s one of my favorites and one I have hanging on my wall—there’s just so much truth and love within it.)

    Will be sending good thoughts and much love your way tomorrow!


  35. Lisa W. /

    Good Timber
    by Douglas Malloch

    The tree that never had to fight
    For sun and sky and air and light,
    But stood out in the open plain
    And always got its share of rain,
    Never became a forest king
    But lived and died a scrubby thing.

    The man who never had to toil
    To gain and farm his patch of soil,
    Who never had to win his share
    Of sun and sky and light and air,
    Never became a manly man
    But lived and died as he began.

    Good timber does not grow with ease:
    The stronger wind, the stronger trees;
    The further sky, the greater length;
    The more the storm, the more the strength.
    By sun and cold, by rain and snow,
    In trees and men good timbers grow.

    Where thickest lies the forest growth,
    We find the patriarchs of both.
    And they hold counsel with the stars
    Whose broken branches show the scars
    Of many winds and much of strife.
    This is the common law of life.

  36. Karen /

    one of my favorite artists has the most delicious and inspiring prints

  37. Jennifer /

    Your words have inspired me since I first heard of your story via Momastery. Here are some words that I love – may they inspire you:

    “Hope is like the bird who senses the dawn and carefully starts to sing while it is still dark.” – Anonymous (I think)

    “As for me, I know of nothing else but miracles.” – Walt Whitman

    “Close the door. Write with no one looking over your shoulder. Don’t try to figure out what other people want to hear from you; figure out what you have to say. It’s the one and only thing you have to offer.”
    – Barbara Kingsolver

    “Do Today Well” – you know this one well 🙂

    My biggest & truest prayers and wishes for a clean scan – for you and yours.

  38. Hi!

    I’ve been a lurker for some time. Thank you for sharing your story. I had to share my favorite quote right now from Laura Ingalls Wilder. I have an almost 7 year old daughter, and we are planning a big Little House Bday party for her. If you are ever looking for a wonderful show to watch with Maren, don’t forgot about the peaceful times that were in Walnut Grove. HEre’s a link to the quote: