Tuesday, July 26, 2011


Next week, I start a year long journey to DESTROY any cancer cells in my body. It is an aggressive treatment, which is fitting since I have never done ANYTHING in my life half or 50%. It just sounds very "Jen" and yet to be honest I am scared. I have no idea how my body will react to this treatment, and I am NOT good at lying around quietly all day long. But I'm going into this year with a smile on my face and JOY in my heart!

Every since I heard the words "You have cancer" I have felt this whispering to be JOYFUL. It has been a quiet whisper almost too hard to hear at times. That is ridiculous I found myself saying! You can't be JOYFUL with cancer, and a person who is, is most likely the most FAKE person I will have ever met! "I am not fake, God" I found myself saying. Opposite really, I love telling others about my flaws, sins, and mistakes. To be honest, I don't have to "tell" people about them. I wear them like a billboard around my neck. I was kind of mad at the idea of being JOYFUL with cancer, it sounded silly and immature. No one is JOYFUL when fighting for their life. Especially not a young Mom of 3, ESPECIALLY not me. But, I was reminded of the times I went through trials of other kinds, losing a baby, fighting with God for control, watching my precious baby fight for her life, and sending foster children back home. I was not always joyful during those times, which I don't think was necessarily a bad thing. But, for some reason I feel like I am supposed to be JOYFUL in this trial.

Proverbs 17:22 - "A joyful heart is good medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up the bones."

I'm not being fake or overly spiritual and I would puke in my mouth if people saw my life as that. I'm being as real as I can be. God is helping me find JOY! I have moments ALL the time when I am pissed off, challenged, my faith tested, sad, and fearful for my life. But these moments are ALWAYS cut off by this unnatural need to find JOY. Maybe one of my kids does something absolutely ridiculous and I find myself yanked outta of a depressed fog. One time, God used a friend at the gym to literally smack me in the face (lovingly of course) with a "well at least you have a chance at life, millions don't". That made me just laugh, because it is SO true. Or a best friend who calls me up only to talk about a stupid TV show, if I can still be "that" obsessed with a reality show then surely I have things to be JOYFUL about. Even in the hospital, drugged up, and loathing what God had let happen in my body, minutes later I would be laughing and joking around with a nurse or a doctor. Even now, sitting here writing this post trying to find the right words explaining why I am so JOYFUL through this all, I look up and see a Christmas decoration left out by accident. I was too lazy to put it away months ago when I realized the mistake, and figured it would be okay because it is a simple silver plaque with the letters: J O Y! Seeing it made me laugh out loud.

Today I laid in bed asking again; Why? Why this JOY thing, God?

10 seconds later I found myself watching this video.

Then it hit me like a ton of bricks!


Maybe not the cancer that is in my body right now, but I have been healed from the cancer that was slowly destroying my soul. I am free, healed, alive, and because of my Savior throughout this cancer journey......


Sunday, July 10, 2011

Saying Goodbye to our Little M

Last week, we had to say goodbye to our sweet baby "Little M". I can't talk about her case, but I can say that Bio Mom and Dad messed up, and it will be a long journey. So everyone involved agreed that the best thing to do for Little M and her siblings was to put them all together in a foster home (long term). That way, the siblings can bond and if they go up for adoption they will be together. It was horribly sad saying goodbye to our sweet baby girl, but we have learned that God's plan for us on this foster journey is perfect.

We all mourned losing Little M in different ways. Connor immediately asked when we were going to get another foster baby. Bryce was quiet. And Alexis decided to carry her baby-doll around everywhere she went. Adam and I are doing okay. It is always hard for us when we say goodbye to one of our foster kiddos. It hurts deeply. And yet we are all encouraged knowing that God is good and that He has a perfect plan for our family and for the babies we have had in our family.

We talk about adoption a lot in our family. We talk about how we were all orphans before God took us in and adopted us into His family. I love that my kids understand that there are kids out there that need our help and love. I love that they love on kiddos who are not their siblings biologically. I love that they still talk about J-man as their brother and of course Little M as "our" baby. I pray that as they grow that God continues to work in their hearts. I pray that they never feel too confused or mad that our family has decided to live this foster journey. I pray that they continue to pray for all the babies we have come through our doors and I pray that you join me too.

We will take a break from fostering until we feel like I am physically well. Our agency is super awesome and is supporting us no matter how long it takes.

Little M's picture will go up on our family photo wall and forever she will be one of "ours" in our hearts. And one day I pray that I see her again in heaven...

Friday, July 1, 2011

Let the Chemo begin.....

Adam and I met with my oncologist this week and talked about options.

Here is the low down:

1) I begin chemo August 1st. I will go in and get an IV injection EVERYDAY for 4 weeks (I get the weekends off).

2) After the 4 weeks we will begin my 11 month treatment schedule. I will get to give myself injections 3X a week. Probably a Monday, Wednesday, Friday kind of schedule.

3) We have NO IDEA how my body will respond to these treatments. We talked with the doctor and heard EVERY POSSIBILITY. I could do great the whole time and just be kind of sick. I could do horrible the whole time and never get out of bed. I might be great for weeks or months and then hit a wall and react badly. I might do horrible at first and then do better the longer I am on treatment. I could lose all of my hair, maybe just some, or maybe just maybe none. I could throw up everyday. I could have a temperature everyday or only at nights or not at all. I might get body aches, chills, and not want to move or I MIGHT be at the gym everyday (that WILL HAPPEN) I might have a hard time doing anything or maybe life will be able to continue as usual. I could be a little loopy on the drugs or A LOT loopy. (Adam laughed at that part) My white blood cells might do great and keep me strong or they might drop and we will have to do other therapy to get them back up. My liver might show signs of failing or it might rock it out! My body could completely shut down and we will have to talk about other options. My arm might fall off.....oh ok that is not true, but that is how I felt after going over everything with the doctor.

4) I just said "might" 10 times and "could" 6 times. There will be A LOT of mights and coulds and what if's this year. I will WANT to quit. I will WANT to throw in the towel and give up. The doctor told us that a lot of people do. I will NEED your prayers!!!!

5) "We will cross bridges when we get to them." My doctor will not talk about many what if's with us until we HAVE to. He doesn't want us overwhelmed. My focus needs to ONLY be on staying strong and healthy. If something happens "bad" then we will cross that bridge. There are lot's of medications, therapies, and other options if my body reacts badly to something. We will cross those bridges if we need to. I like that my doctor thinks this way, because Adam and I do as well. We are going to take each day one at a time. If I have a bad day then it is just that ONE bad day.

Well that's it for now. We feel good and ready to get on with this journey. We know, trust, and believe that Jesus is with us through this all. I'm not mad or sad, I am great actually. I am blessed and loved and happy to be ALIVE! This could be a hard year we know that, but we also KNOW that our God is faithful, good, and powerful and that what ever happens it is His perfect plan! (One day I will write about my journey and I how my faith has changed throughout the years, because I HAVE had trouble in the past with "bad things happening to good people" (good people being ME.)) My prayer is that at the end of the day, God uses my story to glorify His name. I pray that this cancer journey will show others that there is HOPE EVERLASTING even when you are battling to live. That whatever happens God is good, no GREAT!

Have any questions? I will try to answer all of them.......
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