A summer change

Jul 01

Today should be the start of a new chemo cycle, but that’s not the plan.

And I have to say I’m quite happy for the chemo break — chemo, while marvelous for all its cancer-killing ways, is a doozy to cope with week after week, month after month, year after year.

Last week, I had my regularly scheduled PET scan and it showed a mixed result. I had cancer regression in my lungs, specifically where the radiation was targeted. This is great news and I have definitely seen some improvement in my breathing and a reduction in my coughing that correlates to the regression. In other areas of my chest and abdomen, there are some slightly larger, more active cancer spots, and — this round — it is those spots that Dr. Wonderful has his eye on. With that in mind, we are changing treatments.

The good (great) news about this treatment change is that Dr. Wonderful is recommending a new-to-the-market drug. It’s an oral drug, and it’s an inhibitor rather than a chemo agent. This means it targets specific pathways of cancer growth rather than the slash and burn method of chemo. Bottom line: the side effects are much more favorable for me. I’ve been on non-chemo drugs before and my quality of life is better (obviously). The asterisk of this plan is that I am outside the parameters of the profile for which this drug is approved, so the insurance company and/or the drug company will need to allow me compassionate use. I have my fingers and toes crossed as I wait for approval. I’ll feel relieved when this one shows up at my door! Please pray for the approval.

I’ll expect an energy bump with this treatment change, and I am looking forward to that. However it is also worth a mention that I am also experiencing sustained energy shortage because of shortness of breath. I just don’t have the lung function to keep up with activity; for example, I can no longer walk-and-talk at the same time. My body is working harder at breathing and oxygenation and it is tiring! I thought it worthy of mention for all the folks who haven’t seen me this season. I still look the same, but my activity levels have changed quite a bit.

Meanwhile I am content to enjoy a non-chemo Monday with my girls. Summer days are here! We are all sporting new freckles, are in summer-sleep-in mode, and love the freedom that the season brings.


  1. I pray only the best for you. The medication will show up I am sure πŸ’ž

  2. Stranger friend Melanie /

    My fingers and toes are also crossed, and my prayers are ascending!

  3. Cindy Mitchell /

    Jen, it is great to hear of you getting a new drug , which , I hope makes you feels better..You are MY HERO.. Enjoy your day with the girls and feel better soon.. Prayer for you always.. Sending you hugs..

  4. Melody A. Smith /

    Will continue to pray for God to place his healing hands on you Jen – Happy Summer to you and the girls!

  5. Sharon Hajek /

    You may not have sustained lung power, but you have sustained love, joy, and goodness in how you embrace and live your life moment to moment, day to day, year to year, and even plan to plan. It is in being present that your being rejoices. Embrace on, rainbow princess,

  6. Huzzah for the regression of those targeted spots and for a break from the chemo that kills more than just cancer cells. Praying for approval for the new treatment with fewer side effects and for summer days filled with making memories — even those everyday ones — with your girls.

  7. Peggy /

    Okay then…got it. I’m already praying the insurance company allows payment for this “off label” use. Jen, you’re never far from my thoughts. Now go sport those new freckles…and maybe add even more!

  8. Aunt Annie /

    Peace Jen, Praying for approval and a miracle! In awe of your courage. Congrats on becoming an aunt to Miss Gloria! πŸ₯°

  9. Bonnie B Jackson /

    So looking forward to a few days with you ☺️ and thanking the Lord for your good news coupled with a regime change!! Praying πŸ™ for insurance approval!!

  10. Melissa /

    Praying for insurance approval ❀️ Yay for a change of medication. Love and prayers