August is the best

Aug 10

August is the best

Whew.  We’re back from an epic vacation.  It was awesome.  I can’t find the card reader for Brad’s camera, so all I have to offer you is this phone photo which sums up what this trip was all about.  I love my family!


You know that tingle-y, slightly-sun-burned feeling you have after a great day out at the beach?  You have salt on your lips, some sore muscles from playing hard, a face that aches from smile-laughing, and you can count the new freckles on your child’s nose?  That’s how my soul feels today after a more than a week of playing hard.  It’s a great feeling.

Now for some catch-up topics…

I have straight hair.  Last month I finally realized that my hair is long enough that my curl should be there.  It’s not: I think it is straight and maybe wavy in some sections, but a far cry from the old curls I used to have.  My tried-and-true method of product-and-air-dry may need to change as tousling straight hair and walking out of the bathroom does not work as well as it does with curly hair.  Either way–it’s better than bald, right?

Last week I got to shop with the director of Komen Cincinnati for some new New Balance Running shoes from Fleet Feet.  Those three groups came together to bless me with fresh feet for my racing challenge.  Thank you!  She and I had some great conversation about continuing to celebrate Stage IV living in the breast cancer world.  As breast cancer dictates so many minutes in my weeks as it is, I’m very, very, very choosey about which events, celebrations, funerals, fundraisers, and marches I attend.  (I could attend multiple events a week if I wished.)  I’m really pleased with how Komen Cincinnati is being intentional about reaching out to me to help write and create language that is more inclusive of all thriving with cancer.  If you want to support Komen’s effort towards me in particular, you can join me for the Race for the Cure on August 28.  I’ll be giving a short speech sometime in the hour right before the race.  You can also donate funds here (click through to Donate to Race participant: Jen Anderson).

Running is going surprisingly well.  I’m logging runs using the MapMyRun app, and I have about five friends that are also logged in.  So far I know three friends (1 local, 2 out-of-towners) who are officially signed up to do the half-marathon with me.  (We may not actually run together because of pacing, but we’re very much in it together!)  Anyone else?  🙂  Regardless of who is doing that particular race, it has been encouraging to “run with friends” since when I’m actually on the trail, I can’t speak because I’m too winded.  🙂  During our epic travel day which fell over a weekend, I watched my friends log miles and it was really motivating to me to get a run in ASAP.  My username is JenDoTodayWell on the app if you want to find me and see my runs.  I need recommendations for a running belt that holds my big-ish phone and some water, good earphones for running (wireless?  Is that possible?), and any songs with particularly good mojo.  Brad, Maren, Greta and I are going to do the Back2Back 5k (link) over Labor Day weekend, and we’re targeting to raise $300 as a family, so that is another way you can “run with me” if you wish.  (No pressure to donate for any of these events though–I’m re-posting the links because specific people asked me to, not because I expect blog-readers to donate.)

I’m coming off a week with no wifi; if you haven’t heard from me that’s why.  Also, I found out right before I left that iMessage (which is somehow different than regular texts?) had been turned off since May (maybe before then).  If I haven’t replied to texts from you… I wasn’t getting them.  (Sorry!)  Believe it or not, there was a time in my life that I was technically savvy.  Most of you know this: if I don’t get back to you within a short amount of time, please don’t hesitate to send me the same message again and/or remind me.  I am sorry I’m not more organized with life; I’m doing the best I can and fear I’m still neglecting many messages/notes/emails.  I worry about the implied messages my poor communication sends and I keep trying to implement systems and reply-right-away policies, but I can’t seem to stick to it.  Grace, right? Grace, please!

Maren started her summer homework yesterday, four days before school starts.  (This is entirely my fault as I needed to set up the web-based service for her.)  Whoops.  Excuse me while I polish my SuperMom badge so it is bright and shiny.

My oncology team gave me a cell search test right before I left for vacation.  (They check my blood for cancer cells).  This time I got a 1 instead of a 0 on the test, which means there was 1 cancer cell in the blood they checked.  Rockstar told the nurse to tell me, “Don’t freak out.  It’s a 1, and anything less than 5 is considered stable.”  This test could alternatively come back: too many [cancer cells] to count, so there is peace in knowing we don’t have a cancer-running-amok situation going on.  We stay the course: I’m praying for cancer stability, cancer regression, cancer vanishing.  Please God.

I am the queen of hats.  I probably have more than fifty.  At the start of summer, I found that all of my hats felt too tight.  Why?  This summer I have hair.  Voluminous hair and also a big head, apparantly, because none of my fifty plus hats fit without giving me a headache.  Thus began the quest for a great summer hat.  I found it, and I’m passing it along to you: Sunday Afternoon’s Sun Tripper Cap.  It’s a great cap if you are looking for one.

I’d like to be able to add some things to the side of my blog: semi-permanent links to the races I’m running, recommendations for things like that hat on Amazon, and maybe a running log–especially if it can be done through the app I’m using.  Any experts interested in helping me with that?  Remember–I’m technically incompetent in this arena.  😉  I would take a class on it though…   Hmmm….

Tomorrow night (Tuesday 7/8pm) I’m going to the Funny Now! Comedy showcase.  I’m going because it’s being hosted by the guy who created the video featuring my mom and I earlier this year, and it supports the Karen Wellington Foundation for LIVING with Breast Cancer–they send cancer families on vacations!  If you want to go with me, please message me!

I love August–now off to enjoy it!





  1. You run girl! Suggestions for running belts: FlipBelt is amazing — you can store all kinds of things in the little pockets (except water), it hardly moves, and comes in all kinds of fun colors. Your phone/headphones will fit too. Try running without your earbuds in; from a safety standpoint, it’s always good to be aware of your surroundings and I’ve learned to run without tunes. It’s kind of a peaceful run that lets your mind wander. As for water, Nathan makes a great hand-held that even holds a phone. Keep in mind with a half marathon, there will be plenty of water and snacks available on the course, so you may not need to carry your own. Depends on your preference. “But those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.” Isaiah 40:31

    • admin /

      Hi Kris… Thanks for the tip on the FlipBelt; I hadn’t considered carrying water separately, but I get the appeal of this design. I do run in silence and with earbuds but when I’m out for an hour or more, I like to have the option. Thanks for your advice!

  2. Dionn /

    I love the flip belt too! It worked great on the Pig and was nice and stretchy and allowed you distribute your stuff all around. Jen I will be walking the Aueen Bee half do I hope to see you there! I was thinking of you when I volunteered for KickCancer at Kings Island and saw your lovely face in a big poster!

    • admin /

      Thanks Dionn–I do hope to see you there! 🙂 I am looking at the FlipBelt–thanks for the tip!

  3. Lisa Smith /

    I use LilGadgets Untangled Pro Children’s Wireless Bluetooth Headphones White (amazon). I LOVE THEM. Bonus, the kiddos can use them when traveling if needed. I use them ALL THE TIME, doing housework, ceramics, running. LOVE LOVE LOVE.

    • Lisa Smith /

      I also have been LOVING listening to podcasts rather than music lately. I hate having to ‘skip’ songs or mess with my listening at all… Some of my fave are: WTF with Mark Maron, Here’s The Thing with Alec Baldwin, NPR’s Fresh Air. Just introduced Hubby to these and he’s so addicted. Can hardly put the phone down as he loading more and more podcasts for work the next day. Also bonus: You don’t have to be online or streaming to listen to them. Just load them from your feed ahead of time and you’re good to go.

      • admin /

        Thanks for all this nuggets of wisdom Lisa–I appreciate it and will check them out.

  4. Ian P /

    Jen, do you have a Park Run group in Cinnci, I will send you a link via email. We have one that does a Point Cartwright run every Saturday

    • admin /

      Hi Ian, There are lots of running groups, but I’m a bit anti-social as I don’t like to run and talk (maybe it’s that I don’t have enough lung capacity to do both!) How do people carry on full conversations?!?!

  5. amy betters-midtvedt /

    I feel like a weird stalker, but I just love your blog and your writing! I don’t comment, but always read and want to let you know that you inspire me often to try and do my today well!! Are you anywhere on Facebook? I have tried to find you there and would love to follow you there if you are.

    • admin /

      Hi Amy, Thanks for saying hello. Facebook stresses me out because I feel I’m never caught up (and I don’t check it very often and rarely post), but I will look for you.

  6. Jenn therrien /

    Jen I also recommend running without any earbuds. I just have my phone in my armband blasting away. I like to hear cars coming and nature sounds and how lucky are the houses on my route to hear Missy Eliot pandora blasting at 6:30 am?! (Missy Elliot is strictly for running! I also like the Dave Matthews band Pandora station) I also suggest upgrading to pandora one of u dont have it already and spend a few days “editing” it (u can press a thumbs up or down to the song that comes on and it helps pandora narrow down what U like) keep up the amazing work!

    • admin /

      Hi Jenn, I hate armbands, unfortunately, but I love the image of you rocking your way down the road. Brad uses Pandora all the time, but I don’t–my phone speakers are a lot softer than his and — to your point — I don’t take the time to make it “smarter” for me. You make me want to check it out though!!!

  7. Bonnie BJ /

    Welcome Welcome Home Jen, such a wonderful time to be with family !!! Now you’re of and running 🙂 literally 🙂

  8. Michelle /

    Glad you had a wonderful vacation! So I agree with not running with earphones if you are outside but for any indoor treadmill runs its a must!!! I bought a pair for David as a stocking stuffer then stole them! I tried to find the brand on line but I can’t find them. I got them at the Apple Store. Not Beats but the next step down. They lock in place and don’t budge! on race day you don’t want to wear ear phones so you can hear everyone cheering for you so it’s good to get used to running without them. If you do learn to love pandora I like the jay-z dirt off your shoulder station. It plays a lot of old school jay z, Kanye when he wasn’t so annoying and tupac. I also like the Rihanna s&m station. And lady gaga (has a lot of Britney on that station). Disclaimer my running music has nothing to do with my taste in music in general I promise!

    • admin /

      Haha! This made me laugh. Good advice, too–thanks!

  9. Michelle /

    Oh and I did wear a belt for the marathon. I was definitely in the minority and it’s definitely not necessary but I started with a full Gatorade in one hand then had my four bottles 2 with water two with Gatorade on my belt. I have a hard time drinking out of a cup when I run so it’s nice to have the bottles. I also felt like the water stations get crowded and give me a little anxiety (esp the first couple because the runners aren’t that spread out yet!)

  10. Lori6NV /

    I don’t run, and have nothing add on that front, other than awe that you are tackling these races! Go you! I will be thinking of you on the 28th!