February 2012

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Be OK

I was sitting in Room 6 at the Cancer Center this morning when Kim walked in and said, “What’s wrong? And don’t give me that ‘Nothing, I’m fine’ business.’”

And before I could stop myself, I blurted out, “I don’t want to die,” squeezed her outstretched hand, and started to cry.

This surprised me, as not five minutes before, I had been bravely telling Doc G that I had come to accept the fact that I would some day succumb to this disease. I wanted to finally know, I persuaded, how much longer this battle would go on.

He told me he didn’t have a crystal ball and new-fangled therapies are around the corner and new, promising trials taking place right now, at the Cancer Center. But if there were no ground to gain by these new treatments, no miracles: a year, maybe two.

I suspected as much and I was OK with hearing this because there ARE new and promising treatments around the corner and I DO believe in miracles.

You might be wondering how this all came up today since my last CT scan was clear. Well, my CA-125 tumor marker is up ten points. But this could simply be an anomaly. This is my fourth time being treated for this disease in just over three years and one thing has been true for every occurrence: I’ve felt the pain before the onset. And currently I have no pain.

None of this is in my hands and I can’t keep track of the ups and downs. Let me just say that one-to-two years is a lot longer than many other cancer patients are given, many other much-younger cancer patients at that.

I’m off to pick up little J now, and for all he knows, and for all any of us know for that matter, mama’s gonna be around for a long time.

Here’s my mantra for the day. Enjoy:

 

Hugs,

Jennifer

 

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I woke at six to the sound of Dennis and Little J zipping their hoodies and talking in hushed voices. Each week they head out early to help with the Food Bank. Dennis unloads the truck and his helper makes a display of the food available each week.

I love that they do this together. They’ve also been working hard on their car for the Scouts’ Pinewood Derby Race.

I’ve been taking walks, sometimes with Leigh. We stroll along the marshland and our laughter cracks and scatters across the water like a startled flock of birds.

This weekend our friends from Australia visit and we attend an auction to help cure Kayla Rose.

I passed my next door neighbor on my walk this morning, her bright cheeks two pink flowers on a gray landscape. She was recently diagnosed with cancer. Every ounce of bounce in her step tells me she will be fine.

We blow each other kisses from across the street, then carry on, walking with purpose: two stones skillfully skipped across the water, touching down and changing direction. Never sinking.

Hibernation

Well, things are going so much better. *Cowers and waits for other shoe.* (Sigh)

My pain is gone, my tumors are gone, my dad is recovering beautifully, and it seems we can all exhale. Whoosh.

And many of you, (Marina, Mom, Sandra, Ronnie, Linda) will be happy to know that I’ve embraced a new, simpler, slower way of life. I’m simply just not doing as much.

I’ve gotten into a routine of spending my mornings reading, resting, walking, juicing and taking care of things around the house. But my main goal for each day is to simply have enough energy to spend quality time with Little J from 2:45 to 6:45. It’s such a blessing to have the strength to pick him up from school each day, rather than send him to after care. It’s so great to have four solid hours with him to go on play dates, do homework, read, go on a bike ride, whatever. It’s totally my job right now to make myself strong enough each day for that time with him. That’s it.

And not much has changed as far as my day-to-day except that I don’t create more busy-ness in my life. I do the bare minimum. I think that’s a lesson I could have used years and years ago.

I would call this a kind of hibernation, except for the fact that we’re not having winter for some reason. Our daffodils are already pushing up through the earth, still dry from a crackling autumn.

It sprinkled a little this morning and rained a bunch the weekend before last, but we need a good soak-down rain, to fill our reservoirs, spill over the edges our rain buckets, fill our gutters with worms.

I’d like to put a log on the fire and sip my tea to the sound of pattering rain while I shore up my energy for an afternoon with Little J. Til then, I’ll imagine the tinnish fingers of my good blessings sprinkling down on the rooftop, recline a little further and wait.

Hugs,

Jennifer

ps: Happy Birthday, Ronnie!

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