Our life is good

Oct 24

Our life is good


Last week, on Chemo Eve, Brad found me in the driveway at dusk frantically pulling out my long dead (sorry neighbors) summer plants from my outdoor pots and winterizing the pots.  The kids were running amok, the car wasn’t unloaded from our Wisconsin road trip to visit the grandparents, and yet I was out wrangling outdoor messes.  Brad looked at me like I was three shades of crazy to have chosen that particular time to do that task.

“This is my time!” I explained, “Tomorrow is Chemo Day, so this eve is the best I’m going to feel for another week.”  I feel an urge to get things done.

Last night — Chemo Eve again — in another zealous burst I signed up to bring a game to BOTH Maren’s and Greta’s Halloween parties at their schools on Friday.  Ambitious much, Jen?

(I really, really enjoy Halloween.)

The choice to don my supermom cape for the class parties is why I’m so thankful for the treatment I’m on: yes, I feel cruddy a lot, but I am also able to do most of the mom stuff that I want to do.  I recognize it is a very great blessing to be able to be the fun mom for my kids.  And they were both wiggle-y with excitement when I told them this morning.  Those wiggles, man.  They do much to restore my soul.

On a personal level, I’m dealing with more loss.  It’s hard to explain how I feel, and hard to know how to answer those fleeting “how are you?’s” in passing as I move through my community.  In an effort to be concise: I behave normally as often as possible; I thrive as Jen, as Brad’s wife, as Mom to Maren and Greta.  I am my best Jen a lot.  On the flip side, the exhaustion is so great that at times I crawl up the stairs.  It’s humbling to write that.  It’s humbling to experience it.  I fight to view myself as the fierce, energetic, relational, dynamic person I am at my core, even when I am at my weakest.  I credit my faith and blessing from God that my perspective is positive, righteous and good as I navigate my days.  Brad is a huge pillar of support; yesterday I took a crash-and-burn nap while he managed homework, chores, and house pick-up, despite his own lengthy to-do list.  Better yet, he makes me feel good about taking care of myself and serves me (and our family) with his ever-present good-natured ease.  He really is the best.

I’m in the chemo chair now, and we just booked my next scan for next month.  I am praying for stability and/or regression of tumors.  Please God.  **Please remember to help me protect my daughters.  If you wish to share our story with your children, you may, but please instruct them not to talk about it with other children, including Maren and Greta. Now that Maren is in 4th grade, gossip and curiosity are becoming more of an issue that she has to contend with on a weekly basis, so please help me help her.  

It will be a fun week: I’ve got games to plan, costumes to finish, volleyball games to cheer for, and fall leaves to photograph.  I also have a lengthy list of obligatory things I need to do, but — truth be told — I am not going to overwhelm my mind or my body with prioritizing those things.  I’ll either get around to it this month, or I’ll pick a day, invite ten friends over, and we’ll get it all done in one day Amish-barn-raising-style next month.

I’ll continue to be ambitious when I can and nap when I can’t.  Yesterday when Brad encouraged me to nap when he saw I wasn’t feeling well, I was reminded that there is always warrior will involved in doing the most right thing: taking a nap when I need it without lamenting what I “should” be doing is the most right thing, but it takes a warrior will to see it that way. I pray to see and be seen as a warrior; pity, weakness and avoidance do not edify me or the world around me.  I’m grateful that God has blessed Brad and I both with righteous perspectacles.  Our life is good.


  1. Jen,

    Awake in the night and God laid you on my heart. Living so many days feeling “cruddy” seems like an amazing hard to keep waking up for, but the impact you make not only on your family, but on all of us who read your words is incredible. Never underestimate the the way you are changing the world. Never underestimate the Spirit’s ability to wake others in the middle of the night to intercede specifically for you. Grateful for your words, your story, you…

    • Linda Bucher /

      Your emails are an inspiration to me to help my best friend who is going through chemo treatments for the fourth year. My sister, Joetta Rader connected us. You are such a wonderful example of a warrior fighting to live her life for her children. I truly love your posts and they help me inspire my friend. My thoughts and prayers are with you daily and I admire your thoughts to help others in this situation. I would love to help you in anyway!

  2. Marsha Vonderwish /

    Keep doing what you are doing- taking care of yourself! Even a decade out from my cancers I still have to take naps and pay attention to what my body is telling me.

    Keeping you in my prayers dear lady!

  3. Praying dear sister. I would be happy to help raise the barn. 🙂

  4. Marlayne /

    Naps are Good & So are you 🙂

  5. I’m praying Jen.

  6. Melissa Pizzato /

    Love you Jen! You are a true warrior in my eyes Babe xxx

  7. Cindy Jones /

    I’m running to your arms I’m running to your arms.
    The riches of your love will always be enough.
    Nothing compares to your embrace
    Light of the world forever reign.

  8. So, in a more ridiculous observation, you two are adorable. Nice photo! Thanks for sharing. 🙂

  9. Jen Powers /

    Barn raising, I’m in. Love your pic (like Annie), love that you love Halloween, love you, sister.