PET results and cartwheels

Jun 22

The bad news:

  • I have two new cancer spots.  Two more lymph nodes in my sternum (making four total) are lighting up showing cancerous activity.

The good news:

  • The two lymph nodes from my last scan are showing stable/no change.  They are not bigger/growing.
  • The lung spot from the last scan is unchanged.  We didn’t even discuss it, so it’s not interesting to Dr. Wonderful which I take as very good news.
  • My tumor marker test number was within “normal” range, which is all that matters.  Normal is good; normal is best case scenario.
  • My cell search test registered at zero–this is huge; it means that cancer cells are not active in my bloodstream.
  • My liver is cancer free.
  • My bones are cancer free.
  • My brain is cancer free.
  • (The bones, brain, lungs, and liver are the four organs where breast cancer settles and creates tumors; death usually comes when cancerous tumors overtakes one or more of these organs.)
  • Cancer in my lymph nodes is not an imminent risk to my vitality; I can live like this for fifty more years if the cancer has the decency to stay put.

The plan:

  • Dr. Wonderful is adding a drug.  Treatment at this stage is a delicate balance between being aggressive and preserving quality of life.  No one is better at striking this balance than Dr. Wonderful, and I trust his decision and understand his explanation.  We’re staying on my current regimen and adding one drug that will boost the hormonal resistance to cancer.

How you can pray:

  • Pray that the four lymph nodes in my sternum would be free from cancer and that cancer would cease spreading in my lymphatic system.  Currently all four are about one centimeter in size, which I tell you so that you can visualize them being obliterated!
  • Pray that my bloodstream and vital organs would continue to be free from cancer.
  • Pray for my miracle–forty-six more years!
  • Pray for my quality of life, vitality, and energy both in spite of and because of my treatment.
  • Pray that all of my treatments would be approved by my insurance.
  • Pray for me to Do Today Well, every day.
  • Pray for me to spend my (our) time, energy, and money in the wisest places.

This morning when I got dressed, I put on “cartwheel shorts” under my dress because I remembered I had to get shots in my derriere today.  Often I choose clothes/jewelry/headbands that suit my mood or intent for the day: pieces with inspirational sayings, gifts from friends/family, items purchased while traveling, or treasures from my favorite stores that blend femininity and athleticism.  I am well-loved and when I put on gifted things, I feel the love that accompanies it.  Today’s wardrobe choice — dress, shorts and all — was dictated by my desire to be “dressed up” somewhat in my professional medical environment, something with no metal so that I can skip the gown for the PET scan, modesty for the nurse who administers my shots, and to feel feminine and beautiful as a woman.  Cartwheel shorts are what my girls and I call shortie shorts: when you wear shorts under your dress so that you can still do cartwheels without being indiscreet.  At four and eight, cartwheel shorts are worn under their dresses daily.  My cartwheel shorts today were less about playground fun and instead started as a function of practicality and modesty for my medical team.  However, I’m finding my cartwheel shorts fitting as I reflect upon this day and what I want my life to look like.

Today is a cartwheel kind of day, and I think I subconsciously knew that as I got dressed in the wee hours of the morning.

Cartwheels because it will make my girls laugh as we play together tonight.

Cartwheels because I have a body that is strong enough and healthy enough to do them.

Cartwheels because it harkens happy childhood memories and whimsy.

Cartwheeels because that’s who I am at heart; it’s who I am when I choose to be the best version of myself.

Cartwheels because they are a wonderful image of femininity, grace and strength.

I am not cancer.

I am cartwheels.


  1. Lisa Campbell /

    All I can say is we love you guys and God answers prayer! He is so GOOD!

  2. Lisa Smith /

    Love you. Cartwheel on.

  3. Lindsay l /

    I’ve been praying for you throughout the day. Thanks for taking the time to write an update. Will continue to pray for your list girl. Hugs, Lindsay

  4. Yay! Praise God. Have been fasting/praying today and God comes through. Woo. Hoo. Praying for the things you mentioned. I’m impressed with your cartwheel extravaganza since I can’t do them anymore! Blessings to you and yours. ❤️

  5. Ginger /

    YES!!!!! Praise God! Cartwheels are a gift from God and so are you!

  6. Jen powers /

    Cartwheels and prayers over here my friend… Thank you for posting… Been praying all day… Love to you!

  7. peggy /

    CARTWHEELS!!! I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE that! I think I’m going to put on my own cartwheel shorts and join you (just visualizing me doing a cartwheel should cause ROTFLOL ~ yes I make up my own text abbreviations!) I really do feel joyful. I’ll be concentrating all my prayers on obliterating those 4 lymph nodes! ♥p

  8. Kim Rourke /

    Yippee! praying that you new treatment will kick the big C to the curb without taking your vitality with it. Cartwheel away!!

  9. Dave /

    Praying for 50 years. 4 down, 46 to go. God is good.

  10. Newbyfriend /

    Smiling and taking a greatful sigh of relief!

  11. Amy Wheeler /

    Fantastic news, Jen. The Wheelers are cartwheeling for you!

  12. Susan in New Mexico /

    Praying that you will cartwheel through many many years to come! Thanks for sharing your great news!

  13. Bonnie BJ /

    Wonderful news Jen and Fam !! Cartwheels and Split Jumps are the order
    of the day !! The Lord woke me up in the middle of the night last night praying for you :’) So happy 🙂

  14. Hooray for cartwheels. And only centimeters? Let’s decimate those suckers.

  15. Sheila /

    Cartwheels! I am going to try one with my 5 yr. old tonight. Not because I’ve ever been able to successfully complete one in my adult life, but because you remind me every time I read your blog, how to be a better mom and best self. Thank you for the inspiration, Jen. My prayers are for the obliteration of those cancer cells! Sending stranger friend love your way!

  16. Banita /

    Sending prayers! Keep cartwheeling

  17. Holding to that image of obliterating cancer cells while you are busy with your cartwheels, shorts and all.

  18. Lori6NV /

    I’ve never been able to do a cartwheel, but I sure did cheer for this news!

  19. Karin Eppert /

    I declare healing in the name of Jesus!!!!!!

  20. Jennifer /

    Praying for it all and mostly 46 more years of doing cartwheels with your family.

  21. Sarah in Sydney /

    Cartwheels on indeed!!!!

  22. Neecie /

    I belong to the group that could never cartwheel but I can boogie with the best of them. so I am doing my best boogie-ing down the hall, around the house and all over. Good news go the boogie/cartwheel. Maybe M and G can make up a dance which is boogie and cartwheel for us all to celebrate.

  23. Shari /

    Woohoo!!! Excellent news! I’m sure there are lots of cartwheels taking place by those who follow you and love you!

  24. Marsha Vonderwish /

    Praise God! You continue to be in my prayers!

  25. Jen,
    Since being diagnosed with cancer myself 46 weeks ago I have read your posts and I am inspired each day. Thank you for the inspiration, it is greatly appreciated. God’s speed my friend

  26. Sharon House /

    I will do cartwheels in celebration with you. This will also provide the neighbors with cheap entertainment. :o)