What a week

Oct 27

Wow… it’s been a weird week.  I’ve been sick.  Chemo sick (normal for me, though this drug regimen is not predictable from day-to-day or week-to-week) plus some other run-of-the-mill infection.  I had a fever for the first time in a long while, and — dang — I’d forgotten that shivering-under-ten-blankets-feeling that accompanies a fever.  I’ve been nearly bedridden except for a few windows of stuff I really wanted to do, and a brief stint on Wednesday morning when I thought I was better.  Days have gone by now without me doing the basic and essentials: no laundry, no dishes, no pick-up, lions-and-tigers-and-bears, oh my!

Ironically, last week I was processing with some friends and said that I thought I could/should be stewarding my time a bit better.  (On the whole, I feel I do my days well, but there are things — important things — that I keep putting off.)  This week I have had no choice but to be absolutely present in my immediate needs.  Late this afternoon I began to feel like I am doing a bit better, so hopefully that trend continues.  My chemo break comes on Monday, so that is well-timed.  (I’m on a three-weeks-on, one-week-off cycle.)

Brad, in his usual awesome fashion, rearranged his week to be more present and did so while high-fiving me for doing “my job” (resting) well.  I love that he not only supports me, but champions me.  Does the subtlety and the awesomeness of that difference come across?  I hope so because it is one of the reasons I know Brad and I are meant to be together: no one else could love me as well as he does.  Maren stepped up this week too: she ran her first load of laundry when I forgot to wash her volleyball uniform between games, and she made dinner for herself and Greta so I could stay in bed for an extra half-hour.  Greta, too, is supportive: she has a sweet way of patting my head/face and giving me oh-s0-heartfelt five-year-old well-wishes when I am not at the top of my game.  My mom dropped of dinner, my mother-in-law sent a well-timed gift card to go out for dinner, and the village as a whole has rallied to fill in any gaps that they see.  This week, I’ve been sick enough that I can’t muster the mojo to say what I need, so I’ve been reliant on people who just step in and do things without asking.  It’s a great relief (on so many levels) and a great model for other care-givers to follow for their patients.

Our girls’ schools celebrate Halloween in different ways:

Maren’s school does an annual Masquerade March and all the kids in the school (a second through sixth building) wear costumes and “march” during recess.  They gather pledges in the weeks leading up to it and raise money for the school PTA.  It’s brilliant to combine the annual fundraiser with Halloween in my opinion, and it is a really fun day at the school.  Maren decided she was in on the fund-raising idea this year, so she knocked on doors for two evenings soliciting donations while wearing her costume, and she wrote and sent an email to some of the family.  I am feeling very nostalgic with memories as I made her practice her door-knocking speech for me, and also at her eyes-wide expression when she realized how many thank-you notes she is going to need to write.  (So many life lessons and teaching moments encompassed in this endeavor… it is a good thing!)  *Donations are closed for this event.

Greta’s school does Trunk or Treat where all the kids in her school (a kindergarten and first grade building) come to school in the evening wearing costumes.  The brave and ambitious parents sign up to decorate their vehicle (I passed on that this year), and the kids trick-or-treat from trunk-to-trunk in the parking lot.  There’s popcorn and pizza and a general festive atmosphere.  All the staff members who come are doing so on their own time, and I just think that’s awesome.  Greta is SO excited for her teacher to see her costume!  Maren is excited to go  back to her old school, and we are all excited to step into Greta’s world for a bit.  I just read the info paper tonight (remember my week?) and we need to bring three-hundred pieces of candy, so I’m pretty sure it’s a packed house!  Greta will be in her element, and that’s always fun.

After spending most of the day in bed, I began feeling better when the girls got home from school; I’m hoping to feel normal-ish tomorrow.  (Both of the afore-mentioned school Halloween events are tomorrow!  And remember those party games I signed up for?  Yeah, that’s tomorrow too.)  If you would pray for some supernatural energy tomorrow, it would sure come in handy.  I’ve got this!  (Can you hear me pep-talking myself–lol?!)

I’ll take some pictures of some costumed cuties and share them soon: this year Greta is a ladybug and Maren is a butterfly!


  1. Julie Hines /

    Praying you feel better soon and that God will give you strength. know how much it must mean for you to be at the girls school tomorrow .

  2. Marlayne /

    Jen ~
    It is Trick or Treat weekend ~ Hopefully, MOSTLY Treats & that means taking care of yourself ~ Enjoy your little Love Bugs 🙂 You have an Amazing Family & they have an Amazing Jen 🙂 Hugs 🙂

  3. Lisa Smith /

    I’m proud of you Jen. Sending love. Xo

  4. Lori6NV /

    You can do it!! Praying you can rally for the Halloween fun!!

  5. Spending the day in prayer for you. 50!

  6. Jen with THREE boys and a girl /

    Oh stranger friend, it was a crazy week here too. I ended up with a stomach bug at 35 weeks pregnant that led to contractions that led to a BABY on Monday night and now here we are back at home getting ready for my two big boys’ Halloween events with a new little one to tag along instead of the big belly I’d planned to have for another month. Life is so amazing, challenging and even funny sometimes.

  7. Jen,
    I’m praying for you today.
    Love to you,

  8. Janet Raulin /

    Halloween always brings sweet memories of the Mathie, Hemsworth & Raulin families! (Seven Dwarfs, golf carts) Love that you’re now building memories for the Anderson family! xoxo

  9. Lisa Marker /

    Prayers for energy and fun beyond what you’ve ever imagined!!

  10. Declaring His strength for you today!

  11. Mommaj /

    Praying Strength and Resilience for you Jen plus the freedom to fly for your Butterfly and Ladybug?…
    Love you…

  12. I hope that you’re feeling well enough today to enjoy the fun. You continue to be an inspiration, as are the stories you share of your village. Your writing reminds us all of the good that remains in the world. Thanks for sharing your story.

  13. Jen,
    I only know you thru your blog, but you are truly an inspiration. I keep you in my prayers. I spin three times a week and while I’m spinning I’m praying as it keeps my mind off of the hills & tough workout. This week I did a presentation on the importance of legacy writing and mentioned your blog. At the end when I asked for questions or comments one of the women commented that she loved the title ‘Do Today Well’. I hope that she signs up for your blog. More readers = more prayers. You continue to bless the world with your writings and presence. Thank you.

  14. I pray for you to have an unusual crazy amount of supernatural energy tomorrow! And there after! ?
    I hope The Rozzinator & Norv are doing great! 🙂