Love from the outside in

Dec 08

I really feel like it is September. I sort things into piles of “to do” and it is very alarming how tall my “very important to do” stack is.  I’m stressed about what’s in there, but also know it is silly to stress, so I don’t.  Where have the past few months gone?!  Oh, right.  Chemo.  Doh.

Last weekend at this time I was excited for the week ahead: my “good week” before starting the next round of chemo on Monday.  I was going to do all the things, slay the day(s), and conquer the universe.  I even bought myself a couple of extra good days by bumping my next treatment forward four days to optimize our family Winter Break timing.  Unfortunately, on Monday morning I woke up with a cold and it settled in my chest.  (Recent history reminder: I’ve developed a cough that occurs when I take a deep breath or exert myself.) It turns out, coughing from a post nasal drip (a cold) qualifies as exertion and often precipitates taking deep breaths which also now triggers coughing in me.  It has been a helluva week, people.  Oh, the coughing.

My abdominal muscles — the “cough muscles” are sore this week, I am exhausted from coughing, and my hips and butt hurt from spending too many hours in my bed.  I’ve taken to whispering as that is less likely to trigger a cough; my voice is warbley and weak. My girls miss me.  I miss them.  They have been so patient and helpful. A trip to the bathroom is something to plan, meals have been largely delivered by Brad, and stairs — I hate stairs this week.  I left the house once all week using the full arsenal of medications at my disposal, and still overdid it at that.

I really think it’s just a cold, but I was so unprepared for the depth and duration it has taken me down.

Finally, on Friday morning after Brad let me sleep through getting both girls on their buses and I was still exhausted, I suggested maybe I should call my team, and Brad said, “Yes, I’ll stay here in case I need to drive you to the hospital.”  I’ll admit that gave me a bit of a start; Brad doesn’t play a hospital card lightly.  I called and had a lengthy conversation with the nurse, and the decision was that they would call me in an antibiotic prescription and I’ll see them as planned on Monday.

So, I started antibiotics yesterday (I had to ask a friend to pick them up for me as I didn’t have the strength to leave the house.) I probably feel better after having been on them for 30 hours, but just about anything would be better than earlier this week.  There is a lot more room for improvement; I am hopeful for tomorrow, but not expectant.

Tonight Brad and the girls are at Winterfest.  I’m so proud of them for going as a threesome. I so wish I could go, yet I’m not even remotely jealous as I have no business being out of bed let alone attending a walk-around-in-the-frigid-temps-festival.  I took a nap when they left, and now here I am with an update.  I’m spotty at answering texts and email is one of the many things I’ll have to catch up on — I’m sorry if you have been looking for me.  This is the first time I’ve been on my computer since Sunday.  Maybe I am feeling better than I thought.

So while I’ve been wallowing in sickness this week, our neighbors organized for a company with a lift to put up lights on our very high roofline, which made quite the scene (they sent me pictures, which I was able to view from my bed).   Out-of-town family sent Greta the nicest note and a contribution for her school’s goat project, which is awesome because I have not done a darn thing about this sweet school project.  Soup has been dropped off on my doorstep. I was gifted a real poinsettia from my dad.  My mom made my cookie dough recipe and gave it to me unbaked so that my house can have the fresh-baked cookie smell.  I get cheery texts from friends and family. My prescription pick up friend also got me cherry popsicles and oyster crackers.  There’s a bunch of mail and packages in the “mom pile” as the kids call it; I have no idea what is in there–and it may take me another couple of weeks to get into it, but I’m pretty sure I didn’t order much as I haven’t done much shopping.  It is proving to be a challenging December for me, but I am grateful that we are getting the Christmas spirit infused from the outside in. Love from the outside in.  Thank you!

And that’s what the season is all about; I may be having a tough week, but we are living a 2018 version of the true meaning of Christmas which is far more impactful.  I’m humbled and grateful, again and always.


  1. Patty Wheeler /

    You continue to amaze me! Take care of yourself and love to all the family.

  2. Shannon Weiss /

    Praying this cold goes away quickly!! Glad to hear the goat contribution made it there 🙂

  3. Kim Rourke /

    Hope all the loving “from the outside in” lifts your spirits as the antibiotic does its job. I pray for a calming of your cough and a few good night sleeps. Not sure why, but as we drive home from a night of grandparenting I am smiling a bit envisioning a pic I have from a Christmas many years ago. A pic of some pretty adorable Mathie girls! Sleep well dear Jen!

  4. Oh, Jen… so much hard stuff for you in the past week! Breathe gently and breathe out those feelings of guilt and stress, breathe in GRACE and PEACE and HEALTH. I have no doubt your shopping angels will gladly come through for you if needed.

  5. Thank you for your spirit this morning! Prayers for you that the antibiotic helps and this coming week is a better one! I plan to do today well despite my cold! ❤️

  6. Praying for strength, healing, and restoration. 50 Years!

  7. Lindsey R /

    Reading your journey and gleaning your perspective is a gift…

  8. Stephanie Baiocchi /

    You have such a way with words. You are so inspiring. Merry Christmas to you and your family. I will be praying that you feel better. Xo

  9. Bonnie B Jackson /

    Your outing out must have been for the Gingerbread House extravaganza!! What a blessing for the girls and us….praying your cold subsides and that you are feeling better soon!! Love you ??

  10. Marsha Vonderwish /

    You continue to be in my prayers!

  11. Lisa Leaf /

    Praying you feel “better” very soon!

  12. Praying for each of you and for your extended families. May God bring you peace and joy, rest and strength. Love to you , Kay

  13. Cindy Mitchell /

    I just read how bad you have been feeling.. Prayers for a speedy recovery, so you can get back to the normal Jen.. Hats off to you Jen, you are such a Trooper.. God Bless You..Take care..