D(iagnosis) Day

Here I sit in the quiet, listening to the rain fall outside the window.  It is a sweet lullaby to my ears.  The day has been good.  I returned to work for some sense of normal routine.  I will not allow my life to be consumed by thoughts of this disease.  I have been overwhelmed with gratitude for my co-workers.  They have known me for only a short time yet I feel like part of the family.  It is a huge blessing to walk in and be cheered on, encouraged and loved on throughout my day.  I had to chuckle today as I heard, ‘I don’t know if this crosses the line’.  Apparantly we were listening during “Ms. Tammy’s Storytime” a couple weeks ago during our Sexual Harrassment training.  It’s funny how after a week of various doctors, nurses and technicians asking you to undress from the waist up will desensitize your modesty.  Ask me, I’ll tell you whatever you want to know.  We used to talk about boys and dates, now we talk about boobs and “cocktails”.  Oh my, how a day can change your life.

For the real business of the day, the diagnosis.  So what is this thing growing inside of me?  I have part of the results from my biopsy, drum roll please….. It is “locally advanced non-inflammatory breast cancer”.  Wow, that diagnosis seems as big as the tumor, so what does that mean?  First, I get a grade! But of course, I did a test so I should get a grade.  It is grade III, ‘poorly differentiated high grade.’ Second, I get a stage! No, really, I prefer behind the scenes.  Oh no, it’s stage 3 for me.  Why mess around with the small numbers when you can go straight to the top?

On a more serious note, these are all results that have a clear path of treatment.  I will begin with chemotherapy, ‘Jenn’s juice’ coming right up.  My port will be installed on Wednesday and it is highly likely to be followed with a ‘cocktail’ by the end of the week.  This ‘cocktail’ will be slightly generic until some remaining results are back from the biopsies.  Apparantly I only had to take one test and they can give multiple grades, not sure how I like that but it seems to save time and fewer pokes with those needles.  After chemotherapy, I will have surgery.  Yes, the big “M” word.  After that is done I will move onto radiation therapy.  It looks like a long road ahead and like I always say about a road trip its not how you get there its about the adventure along the way.  We better get a really big bus for all those who want to come along.

Here’s the bright side:  chemotherapy = no shaving, less hair maintenance and I can do my hair in the amount of time it takes to put on a wig.  Long, short, red or brunette I will have many options.  (Btw, I hear men like long hair so here’s my chance to try it).  Surgery = it will be painful but in the end I will have a new “set” at no charge and the bonus is they’ll have to take a little fat from the tummy.  New boobs and a tummy tuck, what more could a girl ask for? (sorry guys, I should have given you a warning but you should’ve known by the blog that it was coming.)  Radiation = not sure of the benefits, but hey if it keeps me on the road to recovery I’m all for it.  Maybe I’ll glow in the dark, oooh, I can’t wait to go on one of those rides at the amusement park with the black lights and try it.

It has been a long day and I promise I am in good spirits.

“Count it all joy, my brothers (and sisters), when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness.  And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.”  – James 1:2-4

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15 Comments

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15 responses to “D(iagnosis) Day

  1. You’re continuous trust in our Lord is an amazing testimony my friend! Good thing I still have my CDL, I’m a good bus driver! 🙂 Keep trusting Him and know you do have more than a bus full in your army! Love, Christie

  2. mcfchr

    Thankful to read your words tonight. I’m on the bus for the WHOLE trip! Sorry … you’re stuck. 🙂

    Praying with great expectation: physical healing, spiritual growth, and many discoveries along the path.

    Love to you … rest well tonight my friend!
    Christy

  3. Kristie

    well, i didn’t hear from you and started to worry so I thought I’d check your blog. I’m not even sure what to say. I admit that my eyes got big when I read the diagnosis, but not because it’s not treatable – because I know you are about to go through a lot of yucky stuff. Your attitude and trust in the Lord is so encouraging and I look forward to walking with you on this journey. Your glass is always half full and I am learning so much from how you are responding to it all. Praying for you my friend. Call me.

  4. Sandi

    You so encourage me by your faith and trust in the Lord. Thank God for the beautiful community he has provided for you! I’m amazed by your attitude and over the past week have realized God is speaking to me through you and your journey. Know you are loved…..

  5. Nicole Knox

    In the midst of this, your sparkling wit still makes me laugh out loud! I love your heartfelt, intentional way of examining the bright side of every step of this journey.

    My vote is red-head, and of course I would love to come along and help make the call. Being an empathetic shopper, I may wind up with some new “do’s” as well. 🙂 As for the tumor pushing you onto center stage … what a great opportunity for God to steal the show! I have no doubt that He will.

    I believe the next leg of the road-trip will be as unexpected as our favorite one: chasing the moon, 100 steps, roaring trains, bonfires and glowing waves. We went blindly, we would not stop even though we didn’t know our destination … but the journey was worth it & the reward great!

    All my heart, my love and my prayers are with you.

  6. Karen

    Thank you for blogging. I bet I have checked this site 20 times today to check on your results. Big numbers = big healing!!! Im so thankful for your good spirits. I have to admit this has been emotional for me to read of all of this happening to you. I’m sorry for admiitng that but I guess its just a reality check. As far as your “bus” trip I have the “round trip ticket” I will be with ya in prayer or in any other way you need the WHOLE time.
    Didnt know if you knew …..but Katie decieded last Spring she wanted to grow her hair for Locks of Love and is STILL growing it. I was waiting to tell her about Ms Jennifer that we had lunch with is someone that might use that still you found out if you would need them. She will so glad to know she knows someone that will use something that she is helping out. I love ya girl and feel honored to be able to be a warrior in prayer for you. Keep up the good work and ministry you are doing throught this season of your life.
    Karen.

  7. Melanie Johnson

    Your writing is eloquent, witty, strong & beautiful, just as you are! We all are thinking of you and love you.

    XOXOXO
    Melanie, Dean Allie & Aaron

  8. Jan Greggo

    Oh my friend, you inspire me so much. I am blown away and am crying from both the news, your writing & your humor. I love you and love how the Lord is shining through you so brilliantly right now. New hair and new boobs – just what we all want. I pray the discomfort is unusually light for you and the time is one of peace and filled with the joy that God provides like no other. Know that you are surrounded by prayer warriors, friends & angels.

  9. Linda & Larry

    Dear Jiff,
    Just consider this one of the bumps in the journey of your life. Your strong faith and love for the Lord will provide you with fuel to make it down this path.
    When times are tough, just close your eyes and be back in Hawaii! Remember the beautiful water and cool breeze….
    Zipping along in the helicopter, watching the lava flow….
    Plan for many more good times!!
    We love you and are here for you always!
    Mom & Dad II

  10. Chad

    How do you make me hurt for you and worry about you so hard, and then the next sentence you’re cracking me up??!! You know I think the world of you Jen, you see a person’s true colors when they take on challenges like this. You’re a stud. Call anytime…I’ll call you soon too 🙂

  11. Diane

    Jenn (sistah),
    I will take one ticket for that bus ride please!! I am here for you—whatever you need. You continue to be in our prayers and your reliance on our Lord is so inspirational to me. Of course, you had me laughing and I had tears in my eyes while reading your blog. You always know how to find the “silver lining” in every situation.
    I love you my friend and I ask God to continue to watch over you as you go through this time. I am praising Him already for everything He will do for you.
    God Bless,
    Di

  12. Tausha Esparza

    I pre-purchased my ticket but you know me, I need to sit in the front of the bus or I’ll get car sick. And I’m a rollercoaster expert so count me in there too! My heart dropped while reading your blog but as others jumped right back up because I was laughing so hard. Laughter & prayer…what a great prescription!
    Love your spirit and courage. It’s obvious He is whispering in your ear and like a child your eyes are wide open and you’re listening intently.
    Keep sharing.
    Love you!
    Tee

  13. Ken

    I can tell you that hair is so overrated.

    Love you friend. Thanks for sharing your journey.

    Ken

  14. Janna

    Jenn,

    Praying and missing your sweet smile. Call me and let’s go out one night when you want some awesome company!?! Wade and I are just down the road from you and would love to help you out along this road trip! Just put us on your list of those to call when you “Need Help”. Love you so much and am thanking the LORD for His Spirit that is consuming you!
    Janna

  15. I see a superhero power in your future!! Can you ask them to throw in some gamma radiation? Oh wait… that might make your green when you’re angry. I can never get which superhero story is which.

    All kidding aside (not really), you will have a great power coming out of this… your story. Thanks for letting us walk along side of you during it!

    Love you friend!!

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