Monday, May 4, 2009

Jenn slipped away peacefully this morning.


You've endured so much. You've fought so well. We're all so proud of you...We'll miss you so much.

Until we meet again.

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Update from Brother Tom

This is an update from Jenn's brother, Tom...

Jenn is currently very weak. She has been brave and strong for so long, but her body is shutting down. Last weekend was her 40th birthday party at a restaurant with her family:

However, this past week, her condition has deteriorated rapidly. Please remember her in your prayers. There is a book placed outside the door of her house if you would like to write your feelings or messages to Jenn. You may also post messages here and they will be read to her. If you want to visit, please call ahead, since she is resting most of the time now.

Thank you for all your prayers, love and support.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Things are still about the same--my liver is still ENORMOUS and I look about 3-4 months pregnant. It's usually tucked nicely up behind my ribs, but I can feel it all the way down to my belly button (and it hangs a little lower on the right side). There's fluid from it all over in my abdomen. The rest of my body has become quite skinny--so I'm looking pretty cute right now.

I got a week off chemo this week. However, because of the liver I feel pretty sick and have no energy. I spend a lot of time resting. Food is hard--my mouth is all sore inside from the chemo and my taste buds are all messed up.

I think I'm at the part where you just smile (if you can) and endure.

I still have my bright shining hope that all will be well.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

It's been awhile.
Our basement is finished, but here's the last photo taken--without carpet.

We have Bry's brother & his wife Yukari and their new baby Kentaro living in the apartment downstairs. Their baby makes me smile--he's so sweet!

I haven't had much energy lately. Last week I was mostly dead, but I'm feeling a little more alive this week. Monday, March 23rd I could feel my liver hanging out down below my ribs (which isn't normal) so I mentioned it to my oncologist the next day at my appointment (I still go in for treatment every Tuesday--three weeks in a row and one week off). She seemed concerned and decided to switch my chemo since the liver growing is a sign that what we were doing wasn't working. I also had some other meds to strengthen my bones, build red blood cells, etc. And to top it all off I had an enormous barium smoothy before having a CT scan that evening. The next two days I threw up EVERYTHING and was in and out of the hospital for IV fluids and another test (for my heart). Bry was out of town so my parents came to take care of me. By the weekend my stomach felt worse than when I was nine months pregnant because of all the fluid and pressure from my liver. I decided not to do any chemo the coming Tuesday because I felt so awful.

So--Tuesday came, my doctor felt my liver again and I told her to be blunt because I know the liver is an important organ. She said that if it continued to be like it is, I probably have months not years left. So--I went to the bathroom and had a breakdown. All I could think about was my boys.

I didn't want to do chemo again but I had to do everything I could to try to fight this and live a little longer. So--I did the new chemo again (Adriamycin). Amazingly, I am doing much better since then. The anti-nausea pills and everyone's prayers and fasting are definitely helping!! I haven't thrown up and have slept better. I feel tired, and need to rest often--but it's great improvement over last week.

I'm not sure what the future holds--whether I'll have months or years--but I just have to hang on to the fact that God knows what's going on and his will will be done which means everything will be all-right.

The quote in my day-planner this week is: "I have learned to live each day as it comes, and not to borrow trouble by dreading tomorrow. It is the dark menace of the future that makes cowards of us." (Dorothy Dix)

Photos from our California trip in March:
At Disneyland:

At the beach with friends the Johnsons:

Friday, February 27, 2009

moving like an old lady

I keep meaning to post vacation photos and shots of our nearly completed basement, but things get in the way. Our suitcases are still sitting on the floor unpacked since I had chemo the day after we got home and then I had a bad day the next day, ending up in the ER last night until early this morning. I've just had some bad abdominal pain and a fever of 103 F. They ran a bunch of tests, but couldn't figure it out. There's a lot of things it could be, but they ruled out that it was a blood clot. Today the fever is gone, but I'm just really slow and have a side ache.

But the sky is blue and the sun is shining!

Saturday, February 21, 2009

It's been a little while since I've written in here. I've felt pretty yucky lately and my brain feels like it's on overload and isn't working the best. I'm sure this is mostly from stress and trying to get our basement finished in record time. I skipped chemo this past week because we were planning to go on vacation this weekend and I wanted to enjoy the trip as much as possible.

We're in California-- going to hang out at Laguna Beach today--just relax. Tomorrow we're going to the Academy Awards (just kidding!).

I'll post photos of the trip and our basement soon.

Today is Bry's birthday--HAPPY BIRTHDAY LOVE!! YOU'RE THE BEST!!

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

After an emotional week of hair falling out in gobs every day, I decided it's time to get rid of it. Bry did a fine job.

I was actually surprised at the nice oval shape of my head. You wonder sometimes what shape is hiding under the hair.

I felt so great that I decided I didn't want to cover it up and Bry and I went out to run some errands and do some shopping.

When the boys got home from school they were a bit shocked, but then things went on as usual until right before bedtime when Joe asked me to go put something on my head because I looked like an old man. Sweet child. I guess they need a little more time to get used to my bald beauty.

Here we are a week or so ago (with hair) out for ice cream. I have to say that it's been so long since I've had ice cream--it didn't even taste good. I needed a nice cup of veggies.

I just have to put a plug in for awesome dads. Mine brings me a load of Costco veggies and fruits along with a bouquet of flowerer just about every week. He's currently spending most of his free time helping us finish our basement. We have to have it done by mid-March so Bry's brother and his wife, Yukari can move in (we're putting an apartment with a separate entrance in). I can't wait for all the dust to settle.

Love you dad!!

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Goodbye hair.

Every day for the past five or six days my hair has been leaving me. Saturday I went walking and just popped by a kind neighbor's home (she cuts hair) to see about cutting it short. I'm not ready to shave it yet, but shorter hair will be less mess. My guess is that it will be gone by the end of the month.

I get this week off chemo to let my blood counts recover--YAY!! No needles!!
I'm feeling okay but weak most of the time. Evenings are the hardest-where I feel pretty yucky. If I don't eat frequently during the day I feel pretty yucky too. I've been pretty dizzy at times (oh-maybe that's because I'm blond!--but not for long).

I'm just happy for each day I wake up and I'm still here!

Friday, January 16, 2009

Only one poke this time!

Tuesday was a success!! The nurse got my IV first try!! I wanted to hug her!
Things are going relatively smoothly. Nights are the hardest--when I get worn out and feel yuckiest. Sometimes I have sleepless nights (like last night) and I get weird aches and pains all over from time to time from who knows what--all the chemicals or the cancer or stress. Nothing too unordinary.

Tuesdays are my Huntsman days from now on--to get chemo every week, bone strengthener once a month and see the Dr. from time to time. My white blood cell count has already dropped pretty low, so I get shots for three days after chemo to up my white blood cell counts.

Keepin' positive!! (Thanks to everyone's prayers and help!)

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

I am a holy woman.

Today was my first day for my new chemotherapy called Taxol. I'll be getting it each Tuesday.

It took three women, three sticks with a needle in each arm in various places, and a little over an hour to find a vein that would be found after much probing and digging around with each stick. That was pure torture!! I tried to go to my happy place and pretend I was on the beach. Every so often the digging brought me back to reality and I felt like crying like a little girl.

The actual receiving of the Taxol wasn't bad. After we got past the first 15-30 minutes where they watch to see if you have an allergic reaction (I was a little nervous during this part) things went smoothly. 1-2 hours total. We met some nice people and I found out some good places to check out for wigs (if I decide to go that route--I may just like scarves & bandanas--we'll see).

My nurse called this afternoon to let me know that my MRI results showed more cancer in my skull (there was already a palm-sized amount on my forehead at my last scan) but none in my brain!! YAY!!

I'm wired. I'm on a ton of steroids that go along with the chemo to help my body not have an allergic reaction. I wonder if I'll sleep tonight. I guess I could always organize closets or something useful!

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Coming soon...

I had a weird thing happen to my vision on Tuesday so I get an MRI of my brain for New Years!! YAY!!
I just love getting scanned!
I'll post results when we get them. Maybe some photos too!

I've been feeling pretty well--I've been snow-shoeing the past two days and we spent an awesome New Year's Eve with family and friends. I'm still waiting for the nausea from my chemo to go away before I start the new stuff on Tues. the 6th. It's getting better each day but not gone yet.

THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU EVERYONE for all the fasting and prayers!! I am feeling a lot of emotional and spiritual strength because of it. I'm not sure how things will turn out, but I'm confident that God is watching over me and come what may--everything will be okay.

I am glad for every day I wake up--I love mornings!