First day of long-term treatment plan

Mar 27

First day of long-term treatment plan

I’m in the chemo infusion chair today.  I’m sitting in a recliner and savoring this time of forced quietude to reflect.  Due to my upcoming trip with Maren, I had to change up my oncology office scheduling and I’m being treated at a different office on a Thursday.  It’s weird.  I don’t know the other patients here, and the chairs are much further apart, making conversation a little awkward.  I’m seeing nurses and staff whom  I haven’t seen regularly since almost two years ago when I went through my first round of chemo.  It’s nice to reconnect with them, but I’m also missing the vibe of the Chemo Mondays at my regular office.  However, this office has recliners with heaters in the back and seat which is pretty divine… it’s the little things, right?

As I type, I’m getting Herceptin and Perjeta via my port.  They are the two targeted therapy drugs, also called biological drugs: they only target cancer cells.  Chemotherapy drugs, on the other hand–like the Taxotere rainbow I just completed, target all cells which accounts for the many side effects of chemo.  Herceptin and Perjeta are very tolerable and my quality of life should be really great on these two drugs.  Dr. Wonderful is also adding another drug called Faslodex which is hormone therapy drug: it keeps cancer from feeding off estrogen.  Faslodex is administered via a shot.  I’ll continue coming to the oncology office every three weeks for these infusions/shot and for Dr. Wonderful to keep an eye on me.   Today he gave me a bunch of suggestions for things to do and see in NYC; I know things are looking great when Dr. Wonderful doesn’t have anything to say about cancer, and lots to say about the good things in life.

Now we all just need to pray that God and these drugs keep any cancer from growing so that I can live out the next 47+ years.  I’ll be scanned every three months, and I’m going to work hard on not focusing on the scan timeline.  It is tempting to live life in three month increments, and I get sucked into that mindset.  However, I don’t think God wants me to live on a timetable.  Even my deliriously hopeful 47+ years is a timeline of my own creation, not His.

It would be easy to fidget and shiver with scanxiety over the “what ifs” of my medical prognosis, but that sounds pretty miserable.  Just as these drugs are targeting the cancer, my thoughts need to target the worry and obliterate it.  I don’t want to be a person of worry, anxiety, depression, or fear.

I’m working on living fiercely for today.  Making a memory today.  Being grateful today.  Performing a random act of kindness today.  Being joyful today.  I’m not promised anything, but I have today.

I’ve got lots of happy memories from “today’s” all strung together.  They go back as far as I can remember…



(Jen and Roz in 1980)

Every morning for the past six weeks, Greta has come into my room to wake me up.  She pads in, not with the pitter patter of a small child, but with the thundering stomp that seems to be the unique gifting of my two children.  She circles around to my side of the bed and I anticipate her snuggles and sweetness.  Instead, as she pats my arm she says, “Mommy, I’m poopy.”

Ahhh, motherhood.  ‘Tis many things, but it is not glamourous.  I take her by the hand and we go back to her room to begin the day together.  I know she’ll be potty trained eventually.  This morning I noticed that she says “yellow” properly, and I miss her saying “weddow”.  At bedtime she prefers books that have a legitimate storyline rather than the board books with simple concepts.  She hears Maren planning her 7th birthday festivities and seems set on outdoing her sister with her 3rd birthday plans.  Yesterday she put on her sunglasses and struck a pose declaring, “I’m a wock star!”  Indeed, she is a rock star; she’s always had that quiet confidence of knowing who she is and what she wants.


(Greta @ 8 months)

Maren lost two teeth this week.  The first one she yanked out within an hour of arriving at school Monday morning: she’d been planning this “yank” all weekend because she wanted one of the coveted tooth necklaces that the nurse gives out at school to anyone who loses a tooth.  She felt so special with her tooth necklace; I love that her school celebrates such things.  She wrote the Tooth Fairy a note asking for “an extra dollar, or two, or even three” because she is going to New York.  She pulled the second tooth out on Tuesday night; it seems she is really counting on the Tooth Fairy to give her some extra spending money for New York.  As I held her baby teeth in my hand I savored the baby-ness of them and also celebrated the big girl that she is blossoming into.  I’m psyched to be spending a week focused on her.

Cruising on the furniture.

(Maren @ 8 months on the day she popped her first two baby teeth)

Being fully present today guarantees that I will look back on these days gone by with fond, full memories.  It is such a great motivator!

Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.  –Matthew 6:34


  1. Marsha Vonderwish /

    Jen, we have not met but I know your Mom- the amazing Roz! My hubby & I pray for you everyday. I wanted to share my FB post from yesterday to encourage you.

    “14 yrs ago this Spring I was finishing up chemo for my 3rd battle with the Big ‘C’. It was my second time of being ‘Stage 4’. I saw my oncologist yesterday and I think he is amazed as I am that I’m still here. I am so very humbled, and grateful, to my Lord for His care. Each day really is a gift from above…don’t wast it.”

    I think you do an amazing job of not wasting each day. God is using you! Keep doing what you are doing sweet girl!

  2. peggy /

    LOVE, LOVE, LOVE that you’re getting on with your “regular” mommy life now! We were babysitting for our “bits” when the oldest lost his first tooth. I wanted so badly to leave the $100.00 bill Adam left for emergency groceries under D’s pillow, but I restrained myself and put a $5.00 bill instead! Good thing because, just like Maren, he lost his second tooth the next night! Relish these “little girl” days…not that your daughters won’t be special their entire lives, but the magical days childhood are quickly replaced by the drama of preteen & beyond! Enjoy the Big Apple…post pictures! ♥p

  3. walker girl /

    Jen, I work with your mom and when we got together yesterday I got to meet your precious Greta while fossil hunting. As short of a time as we were out there (it was flipping cold and windy), I have to say she melted my heart.

  4. Bonnie J /

    The”smells” and greenness of Spring is evident this morning. The freshness of rain on the grass 🙂 I revel in Spring and all of its NEW beginnings. .. Have a wonderful trip to the BIG city and revel in all of your new beginnings day by day by day !!!