Key to contentment

Jan 07

Today was chemo day.  My first of the new year, back in my “regular” office that is ten minutes from my home, and I had a good talk with Dr. Wonderful to kick it off.  He is onboard with me flexing to three-and-a-half weeks instead of three weeks when I want to; the benefit is that I gain three to four “good days” at the end of each cycle that feel really valuable to me because I am down for the count with a slow increase over weeks two and three.  Dr. Wonderful and I also discussed my cough, and we are going to watch and wait before doing anything about it for a while.  I am comfortable with that, and — as always — feel energized and have my game face on after talking to Dr. Wonderful.  He really is an amazing physician and a compassionate soul.  We laugh together and work together really well.

In addition to my steroids, anti-nausea med, gastro support med, white blood cell boosting med, and the chemo itself, I also get fifty milligrams of IV Benadryl infused over twenty minutes before I start my chemo.  It’s to help prevent an allergic reaction to the chemo (common!), and — golly — it knocks me out.  I get a solid two hour nap! Today was a long day, I checked in at 10:40am and was the last patient to clock out at 5:18. And now tonight I have the steroids kicking in so I’m up late.  Managing my meds is no joke; in addition to all the goods I get in the office, I take about ten to fifteen pills orally per day depending on what my symptoms are.  I started a new prescription medicine to manage the debilitating neuropathy pain in my hands, feet, and joints, and I am really pleased to report that it is working really well.  Every little bit helps!

The village is helping too, as ever!  Thank you!

The good thing about being on this treatment since September is that I have a sense of what to expect. It helps a lot to be able to plan and to put things on the calendar to look forward to.  It’s still a rough treatment — maybe the hardest one I’ve had to date — but I am squeezing as much as I can out of my good days and moments.  Something I’ve been reminded of over the past few days as I have had margin to process more is that my contentment is high when I focus on what I have: gratitude, blessings, gifts, relationships, love.  My contentment goes low when I think about what I have lost, suffered, miss, can’t do, ache for, want.  It was good to regroup and focus ahead of my next week where I will be horizontal.

You can pray for me to spend my moments wisely.  Brad has picked up a lot more of my share of the work of living life and he has done is with such grace.  The man’s capacity to love us just keeps growing; he is amazing.  The girls are keenly aware of my weakened state and that is an area that we could use some prayer.  I need to invest with great care when I am able, and they need to feel peaceful, safe, loved, and valued… as they so very much are.


  1. Susan /

    Praying for all of your needs.

  2. You teach us so much. I love your thoughts on the key to contentment. True in all our lives.

  3. Kim Rourke /

    Prayers said! For you all, our precious, one-of-a-kind Anderson family. Wisdom, strength, and the light of a mother and father’s love!

  4. Praying for wisdom and strength. 50!

  5. Praying Jen. Kay

  6. Newbie friend /

    You are such a strong and wise woman! Sending prayers and love.

  7. Marlayne Skeens /

    Hugs, Prayers, Hugs, Prayers & More Hugs & Prayers ?????

  8. Ione Timm /

    What an inspiration you are to me. I pray for you daily!!!

  9. Aunt Annie /

    ???????? You are courageous and so inspiring! Peace dear Jen.

  10. Christin /

    The key to contentment: a good reminder to us all!!! Keep on keepin’ on, you incredible soldier/teacher/mentor/friend/wife/mom, you!

  11. Lacy Lee /

    Again and again I am strengthened in my realationships with God and others as your share your joys and burdens. Praying for you and your family often.

  12. Jen you are going through this chapter of your life with such grace. I am always praying for you and your family…I have girls the same ages as yours so I can imagine what they request of you. I pray for strength, God to be by your side and those cancer cells to be zapped!

  13. Your mindfulness and intentionality are such reminders to me of what is important. Praying God surrounds and upholds you, Brad, and your precious girls.

  14. Ginger H. /

    Love and prayers always coming your way. You are such an inspiration to all??❤️??❤️

  15. Melody A. Smith /

    Big Hugs to you, the girls and Brad…and everyday, prayers!

  16. Bonnie B Jackson /

    Faith that moves mountains, Joy that fills hearts, praying Peace and Trust to be all over you, Brad, Maren and Greta!! Love you Jen!!

  17. Jen Powers /

    Praying for YOU and those beautiful girls of yours. You have chutzpah faith and determination to choose gratitude and contentment in the hardest of hard. It ministers to me, all of us, in a way that causes me to laser focus on what is good and holy and right and wise and purposeful. I love you for how you teach me and sharpen me and challenge me just by how you walk this out. You are remarkably wise and deep soul. I’m so crazy uber thankful to know you and be known by you.

  18. Sherry Stoffer /

    Prayers continuing each day for you and the whole family. May God bless you all! ????

  19. Karin Eppert /

    Love you.

  20. Your focus on gratitude is what I am also doing this month, perhaps all year. Three things each day is a great attitude adjustment. It’s helping me look beyond myself and my circumstances. That’s something I learn each time i visit your blog.
    Tonight I’m grateful that you are getting a few extra good days when you really need them. And I pray that you and your family can feel blessed and loved by and with one another. I’m picturing individual time spent with you for each of them, cozy heart-to-heart time spent horizontally where honestly and love and grace shine. ❤️

  21. Cindy Mitchell /

    Jen, May the Lord give you the strength, comfort and love.. You are such a strong woman.. Even when you don’t feel like you do, you manage to pull through it.. That is your positive attitude working.. You are handling this so well.. I admire you for everything treatment you have gone through.. Prayers also for less pain, your girls, and Brad.. You have an AWESOME FAMILY.

  22. Peggy Wolfe /

    I’ve been praying for your entire family daily. Your dedication to making every minute of every day count is an inspiration to everyone who knows you. You’re a treasure, Jen. Miracles happen! ❤️peggy