Insert Christmas Magic here

Dec 10

I’m still sick, people.  Sick enough that Dr. Wonderful’s team decided I should not get chemo today; we have pushed it back to Thursday.  It is the first time I have ever had a delay in treatment of this nature and I don’t like it.  However, when I try to imagine layering chemo symptoms on top of what my body is already dealing with, it makes me want to cry.  Clearly this is the right choice.  And Thursday is really not that far away.  And no one promised to dose me on Thursday; I might need more time to recover.

I need all the healing prayers, please.

Friends stepped in for me big today.  Someone cooked us dinner, someone de-cluttered my whole house, someone brought me bone broth, someone picked up my kid from school and took her to and from her doctor appointment, someone cleaned my house, someone went to Costco and filled up the freezer with meals that are quick grab style, and someone even folded the hundred? socks in my clean laundry pile.  There are notes on the table with how to care for our new poinsettia, what food is in our fridge/freezer, and all the clutter is gone.  Thank you, my friends.  Thank you.

So, while my body still feels like crap, my spirit is a little more settled as I sit here.  The fireplace next to me is on, the girls are sweetly practicing their Christmas recital duet, and I have both a scarf and a blanket wrapped around me. I’m taking (another) nap as soon as I drop them off at piano practice.

The “sweetly practicing” portion of the above statement is a full-fledged Christmas miracle.

I wish the Christmas lights on the tree were twinkling, but they are in the same mindset as my body and not working.  I think we’re down to two working strands on both the interior and the exterior of the house (and they all worked when they were put up within the week.) Brad and I promised we would try to create some Christmas magic tonight for the girls, so hopefully the lights will cooperate and get on that train.  Brad to the rescue!  Again!  The look on his face when he saw the tree lights are all not working — he puts a million strands on because we like a twinkly tree around here, and it takes forever, and now he may have to undo them and redo them.  I think he needs some prayers too.

While other people did what I think of as “my life”, this is what I did today at Dr. Wonderful’s office:

-I had a long talk with Dr. Wonderful’s nurse practitioner about everything I have going on: cough and exhaustion as primary, read COUGH FROM HELL and EXhausty-freaking-EXHAUSTION, with a little nausea and shortness of breath as secondary but still significant.

-I got blood cultures to see if I have any interesting infections percolating that could be causing all this drama.  I kind of hope so.  It would be good to have source to blame and treat.

-News that my last cell search test was a zero (yay, good news), and my tumor markers are down (yay).

-Two liters of saline fluid infused — I’m now hydrated well.

-A chest X-ray.  Results are already back; it was negative.  In the past six weeks I have had a chest CT scan with contrast, a PET scan, and a chest X-ray, and none of them indicate any reason I should be coughing like I am.

-Information that 6% of people who are on this chemo (Ixempra) develop respiratory infections.  So maybe that is what is going on with the cough?

-My nurse put lots of stickers on the paper about my blood work because she gets me, and “Good Job!” and smiley face stickers do make me feel like I got an A+ in blood work today.  I’ll take every win I can get.


So that’s the update.  Thanks for the prayers, please keep them coming.  Brad and the girls are all feeling the strain in their own ways too, so pray for them also.  Mama is taking more than she’s giving these days, and it’s hard on all of us.


  1. Another Jen /

    Sending you love, patience and strength.

  2. And hope. (As for me, I will always have hope. Psalm 71:14)

  3. Still praying for you and your sweet family!

  4. Kim Rourke /

    If there is an elf on a shelf in your house it’s time he got in gear and fixed those twinkly lights for you!! ?. Praying for calming of your cough, a renewed strength, and the warmth of the Christmas magic that surrounds your family everyday in the beautiful love you share!

  5. May all the blessings of the Christmas spirit be with you and your family.
    I admire you from a far I only know if you seen my daughter Dottie but your strength and faith are very powerful

  6. I only know of you as my daughter Dottie was diagnosed about the same time you were.

  7. Julie Tomaszewski /


  8. Sandy Griffiths /

    My prayers are with you and your family. You are one of the strongest women I know and I believe you and Brad are raising strong beautiful young ladies.
    I read your blog when Megan posts it and you have a wonderful way with words…your words make me feel your pain but mostly they let me see your spirit…your beautiful spirit. Thoughts and prayers to you and the family. ?

  9. Ginger H. /

    Sending love,prayers and strength to handle these added issues. ??❤️??

  10. Kelly Burns /

    You (and your family) are amazing. Sending you big holiday hugs, Jen! ❤️

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  12. Sending a gazillion prayers for the cough to stop and you to regain strength, for the Christmas elf to fix your twinkle lights, and for the angels to continue to watch over all of you add you navigate this extremely rough patch.

  13. Sherry Stoffer /

    Jen, prayers are with you all! May God Bless you all this season!

  14. Marlayne Skeens /

    Prayers, Rest & More Prayers ~ Hugs to your whole family <3

  15. Leah Chapman /

    Love, strength, peace and hugs to all of you, Jen.

  16. Lowered tumor markers and clean scans are huge blessings, as are friends who step up and insert themselves into the many jobs a mama has to do but can’t when she’s sick.
    Praying for health and healing in your home and body.

  17. Prayers for you. Rest and heal. Let the village do their thing!

  18. Lisa Cox /

    Jen I continue to pray, fervently for you and your family. May God bring some answers and quick relief of these symptoms.

  19. Connan Morrissey /

    Sending strength and thoughts of power to you and your family.

  20. Cheryl Todorov /

    Hello, You don’t know me, but I know your lovely Mom. I wanted to let you know you and your family are in my prayers.
    Cheryl Todorov

  21. Cheryl Floyd /

    Hi dear one. You don’t know me either but I know your mom. Sending live and prayers for you and yours.

  22. Lisa M Marker-Robbins /

    PRAYING big time!!!

  23. Praying for the physical realities to match all the “on paper reports” – clearly there is a bit of a disconnect :-/. Praying that today you felt some cough relief and that the lights miraculously recovered as well.

  24. Linda (aka. T) /

    Sending prayers for you, Brad and your beautiful daughters. Keeping your family in my thoughts during this Christmas season.

  25. Peggy Wolfe /

    Prayers, lots of positive energy, hugs galore are being sent your way. ‘Tis the season of miracles. Much love to the Anderson family.

  26. Andrea Scott /

    Praying for you Jen and your whole family. May you feel all the love that’s felt for you and your family tonight. As you lay your head down to rest , I pray you feel the love of God as he holds you and yours ever so close. Much love??❤️

  27. Christin /

    Praying for you and your family. Fortitude and strength.

  28. Praying for you and yours from way over here. God will fill in the gaps.

  29. Praying for all of you, Jen and sending every possible positive vibe there is to you!!! ❤️❤️

  30. Sending prayers for you and your sweet family.

  31. Cindy Mitchell /

    Jen, Prayers that all is going well and improving for you and your family..May your days get cheerier and brighter as the Christmas Spirit cranks into high gear for you.. Hopefully Brad will get that tree blinking again for tonight.. I hate when that happens, but it will be fixed in due time.. You take care.. Merry Christmas to you and your family..

  32. I am Tanya Hubers sister, Alita Romans. I just wanted to let you know that I am praying for you every day and I think you are one of the strongest people I know (of, since I don’t believe we’ve met). I know your strength comes from the Lord and that blesses me and encourages me. My husband has had a liver transplant and is possibly staring at cancer for the 4th time. Lord, please bless the suffering and give them strength and hope for the day. Blessed Christmas to you and yours Jen.