Wednesday, 6 February 2008

What Would You Do....


Hi dear readers, (this post has since been updated with new information but I don't want to post it yet until everyone who is interested has done with this post, I need to keep it at the top of the page I think, so I have added some basic info down the bottom of this post and will update in more detail very soon, thank you) today I asked a very difficult thing of a very dear friend of mine. I asked her to write me all about what she would do if she knew she had only 12 months left to live on this earth. My friend has a young child like I do, she is very wise and intuitive so I was really interested in what her thoughts on this would be. Sure enough what she wrote me was beautiful and inspiring, it helped me greatly to read about all the wonderful, important and yet simple things that she would do with limited time, she wrote things that I could relate to and yet still hadn't done or 'put right' thinking that there would be time. I think a lot of us put things off because there is always tomorrow. Things like telling certain people we love them, forgiving things that perhaps we still hold a little grudge about - thinking to ourselves that we will forgive but not just yet, maybe in a few weeks time, doing little things that can really make a difference in peoples lives, even strangers. I know there are a lot of things that I would wish I had done if I died tomorrow, so I think it is a great exercise to take part in, it can help remind us of what is truly important, we tend to get so sidetracked and to think we are immortal until something comes along and reminds us that we are not. I wonder how differently we would live if we were reminded every single day that we possibly will not be around much longer. How different would our days be, how different would some of our choices be? The wonderful thing is that we do have some time left even if it is a small amount of time we can still do something worthwhile and feel good about it.

My friend wrote me after she had done this exercise for me, that we should all ask ourselves this question from time to time as none of us know how long we are here for and it can give us perspective as to whether we are living the authentic lives we would hope we had lived if we were on our death bed so to speak. I totally agree with her, it is something we should all do, any of us could leave the planet tomorrow or next week or next month, we just don't know when.

Anyway, I am here today to ask you to write me all about what you would do if you had only 12 months left to live. What would be really important for you, the things that mean so much, that you would regret if you didn't do them and left this planet soon. I know it's kind of a tough question and when I asked my dear friend to do this for me I was a little worried that it might be upsetting for her and uncomfortable for her to have to think about but it was the opposite for her, which tells you what kind of brave, wonderful person she is. She actually found it very positive and therapeutic (her words). I am going to make a list myself and will post it on my blog and I was thinking you could post yours on your blogs and in the comments section of my blog, just post a link to them. I would appreciate you doing this so very much as it helps me to rise above the pain and fear and worry and think about the wonderful things I can still do and still achieve, it helps me to clarify my own thoughts and ideas and perhaps will give me some new ideas too. I also believe it would help other men and women, you don't need to be ill with cancer or any other sickness to think about the importance of this question. As I pointed out before, any of us could leave this planet at any moment! So, please, if you can without it causing you to much pain, share with us what you would do with your life if you only had 12 months left. I thank you in advance and I look forward to reading your wonderful posts if you decide you would like to do this. Okay, take good care my friends, more soon. (PS: I am starting to handle the bad news better now, I can feel my strength coming back like blood rushing back into your body after you feel faint, it is a good feeling, I need strength right now.) Now go, think and then please write. Thank you. Edited to add: see my friends post here.

Edited to add again: Unfortunately I have worse news today, I have been to one of the best Bowel Surgeons in the country and many other countries as well. He looked at my many CT scans and PET scans and copies of reports, tests, etc he also did a quick, (if embarrassing) examination - yes he looked up my bottom, I never get used to that I've gotta say, doesn't matter how many times I have had it done, I still hate it. Anyway he was very, very quick, about 3 seconds in total and said he had seen all he needed to see, he could tell what was causing the pain and the problems. I got dressed and sat down. He proceeded to tell me that I have cancer all around my anus and coming out actually. Gross!!! To much information I know but again it is real and I'm doin' real here on this blog now. Anyway, he then proceeded to tell me exactly what my previous Surgeon told me and that was that in order to remove this huge tumour to relieve the pain it would require surgery the likes of that which would nearly kill me. I would need my entire anus, rectum removed. My vagina removed, my bladder removed, my uterus removed and I would then be flat on my back for at least 6 months with virtually no quality of life. I would have 3 'bag's' rather than the one I have now. I would have all this done only to die soon afterwards because there is too much cancer and I cannot be saved now, I can only be palliated. Oh and even if I wanted to have all that surgery on the off chance the cancer didn't get me for a while at least, I couldn't as there would more than likely be no-one who would do it. I certainly know my original surgeon won't and also this new one made it very clear that he wouldn't either. He would if he thought I had any chance at all of survival because I am young but he knows I won't survive and he doesn't want my last months spent like that. He also told me that he is amazed that I am still alive. Since my liver operation in July '07, I should have died sometime within this 6 months past. He said this shows him that I am amazingly strong and will probably last longer than anyone thinks I will but still it will get me in 12 - 18 months with treatment. The only treatment he recommends for me is more radiology IF I am allowed to have more, you can only have a certain amount of radiotherapy before it starts to damage bone marrow and all sorts of other complications set in. He has booked me in the my previous radiologist as he has all the dosages of my last lot and he will know whether I can have more or not. If I can, the surgeon believes it will shrink the tumor and buy me time. I haven't got the answers from my Oncologist as to what type of chemo he wants to do but when I find out next week, the surgeon wants me to come back and see him and run it by him before I accept. He says to definitely have treatment but he wants to make sure it is the right treatment. I think the most awful, devastating part of this whole journey is that it did not necessarily have to turn out this way. This new surgeon, (he is actually a Professor now) explained where and how I have been neglected, incorrectly diagnosed at times. Some of the horrid things that have happened to me throughout this I told him of and he said those things would have alerted him instantly to the fact that the cancer was back and in exactly what are. Whereas my Surgeon had no idea, told me the wrong thing, and then didn't send me to someone else when he was out of his league, he simply pretended that he knew what he was doing. This new surgeon did say that he would only know because he has studied it for years and it has been his passion, to discover and research all bowel conditions from the most simple to the most complex. I just can't bear to think I am dying and my boys will lose their Mother because of neglect and arrogance and lack of knowledge. Anyway, I will get off my soapbox as getting angry will not do me any good, it is what it is, it has happened, all I can do is move past it and try to do as much as I can now to remedy what has gone wrong. Anyway please continue to pray for me and I thank you you for your beautiful and supportive comments so far. Take care our yourselves and each other. x

Things To Smile About Today:

I have found a new Oncologist and Surgeon and as soon as he heard what pain I was in he got me in to see him the very next day (tomorrow). He is very well qualified and comes with credentials a mile long, so I feel better.

I am feeling a little better in myself, I think I am coming to terms with what is happening to me.

My Mum is helping me out financially for a while, at least till I'm better or gone!

I have realized it is not death itself that horrifies me, it is leaving my kids behind, I don't want them to feel that much pain. At least I am gaining greater clarity.

67 comments:

  1. Hi Jen:
    Wow what a post. I actually decided to pose this to some of my friends. It really got me thinking. If they allow me, I'll share their list with you. Take care!
    Laura

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  2. I'll think about this one and see what I come up with

    K

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  3. Hi Jen,
    What a challenge you propose us!
    It's true: we don't own life, we're here on this planet like "passing by". I don't know if I am expressing myself correctly in English... I've been thought that death doesn't exist. We all experience a physical death, in fact we continue on living in a spiritual form in the spiritual world. I feel and know it is true. I'm actually reading the book "anatomy energy" by Caroline Myss and she explains that there is no death, there is only life after life. It comfortable for me to know this.
    I feel it is but there is a pain inside my chest. When I read your message I felt this pain again. We all gonna die one day but we think this will only happen when we're old, after completed 80 years old, but the truth is that it can occurs at any age.
    The pain I experience when thinking about it is about leaving our family and friends, the routines, etc. etc. etc. it needs a preparation... but it's inevitable and we don't need to be ill to die. Some years ago a great friend of mine, Luisa, played a psychological "game" which concerns: imagine you are walking on a street and at the end of the street there is a wall. Describe the wall, its color, width, extension and how do you go to the other side of the wall. What do you see there and how do you feel being there. Concluding, the wall is the death and how we see it. Everybody who did this experience imagine the place behind the wall like a unique place to go. I see it as a green field or wood, very extensive... I like walk a lot I like extensive roads or paths to walk, it's something I need to do weekly but I only do it when it's possible to do.
    As a matter of fact I used to think a lot about death specially when I was younger, now I'm 41 and I see death like an open door.... Your question made me fell a lot of things including a lot of fear in spite all my believes but I think it's natural. Answering it I can say if I only had 12 months left to live I had to do the following things:
    - go to Egypt to visit the pyramids,
    - visit India
    - visit Scotland, the highlands
    - visit Iceland and Patagonia
    - go back to Paris and Venice and London, but I needed a lot of money to do all those trips...
    - read some the books, watch some movies
    - I had to go back to my homeland, the island in the Azores
    - pray a lot and ask God a lot, forgive a lot and be with my friends and family.

    Love to you my dear,
    Bete

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  4. See Megs wonderful and thoughtful answer to this question at www.megcasey.com. Thanks Meg, it's a gorgeous post, I am touched and I love you. Jen xx

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  5. jen. you're being really, really brave and my heart's breaking for you right now. i'm going to take up this challenge and post about it soon.

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  6. Jen - I ache for you and am sending my love. I, too, plan to blog about this soon. You are amazing and strong.

    xo Jena

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  7. oh jen,
    my heart breaks. I am so sorry.
    I send you all my love.
    I'll write my own list for you soon.
    You are so beautiful.

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  8. my heart reaches out to you with all the strength that i have.

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  9. lighting a candle for you today my friend and starting my list....sending peace across great oceans to you and Jack

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  10. Jen - I don't know you and I hadn't read your journal before, but I was touched to read your entry. Right now I feel paralyzed, like anything that I could say presumes too much. I wrote my answer to your question, and I thank you for asking it.

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  11. If I had only 12 months, I would take the time to visit as many loved ones and friends as possible and tell them how they have enriched my life. And I would write letters to each and every one. Because I believe it is not the things, not even the adventures we have, but rather the people in our lives, and our regrets usually revolve around that which we did not say.

    Bless you, Jen. I am honored that you are sharing this experience with the blogosphere.

    --another Jenn (with an extra 'n')

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  12. dearest Jen, i found you via jen lemen & bella/beyond the map. as i sit in my cozy nest with a candle lit beside me i want to tell you that i visited & i will return & i am thinking of you (and, your sweet boys) & i will be thinking of you & when i do a prayer will be sent out to you. a prayer to respond to whatever is called for in that moment...i am holding you in my heart-space, where there is abundant room to twinkle & twirl & grieve & sigh & giggle & whatever else a magical, miraculous being like you does in a heart-space.
    peace to you, wonder-soul.
    warmly,
    gem

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  13. Hi, I am new here, via Bella's blog. Quite honestly I am in shock having read some of your previous entries, as a Mum of a young child too (she's 4) I cannot begin to imagine what it's like to know you will most likely have to leave them behind at such a young age. What a brave lady you are. I admire your strength.

    If I had 12 months?? My blog is called 'Barefoot in the Park' - the reason I called it that was a commitment to try and live life - experience and enjoy things and not take things for granted - walk barefoot in the park - because you never know what life may bring. I think if I definately knew, 12 months, I would probably just want to do as much for my daughter, my husband, my family as I possibly could. Fun things, special things, create journals/keepsakes together - just live in the moment and be as happy as I could be.

    My parents are both in their 80's and I know they most likely won't be around for my daughters 21st or her wedding. My daughter has just turned 4. They have given me some extra special personalised keepsakes for her, to give to her when she's 18, 21, when she gets married. A video message too. Something that will make them a part of those special occasions for her, and I think that is such a wonderful gift.

    Sorry to go on and on!!! I will visit again soon!

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  14. Jen:
    I am so sorry to hear of this recent news. I am just so sad for you.
    Hugs,
    Laura

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  15. Hi. I just "met" you through Jen Lemen's blog, but I totally can relate to what you're going through. I have a rare and extremely agressive form of cancer called inflammatory breast cancer, and it was so advanced (my entire boob was so rock-solid with cancer I didn't think I'd live through chemo). I struggled with this question and I came up with one answer that kept floating to the top:

    Love my children. Play with my children. Whisper in their ears how very much Mama loves them, and teach them to read books and explore their world and make friendships. Teach them to treasure the important things in life, so that they will always know the answer to this question. For me, the answer lay in loving my children as much as I could, and in helping them find other interests that would help them transcend their loss.

    I have been lucky enough to continue to live, 7 months past my diagnosis so far, but I will never forget what I have learned.

    My heart goes out to you and your family. I will pray for you, and tell my readers about you as well.

    Courage!

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  16. Jen,
    I learned about you and your courage via Jen Lemen and WhyMommy...and read and read and cried and read some more.

    I suppose I would surround myself in and around as much love as possible, my child center stage, and I would be as conscious as possible and soak it all in.

    Words seem trite, it feels odd to just simply say this and go. I am reading, I am sending you light.

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  17. here from Toddler Planet.

    it's the most important question, i think. and yet i am so sorry that you have to put your money where your mouth is in terms of your answer, not because your answer isn't beautiful and good and right and brave, but because it is heartbreaking to have to let go so early, especially with little ones to leave behind

    you sound like you hold your head high and look at things as frankly as you can...even when the view looks like palliative care. i don't know how to tell you how stricken i am for you about that news...i am so sorry. but i hope you are able to hold the beauty of your words and Meg's tightly and brightly for as many days as you have.

    and i thank you for reminding me to do the same.

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  18. Here from Whymommy. I'll ponder your request. And I'll think of you and wish you strength and quality in each moment that you revel in with those boys of yours.
    Blessings.

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  19. Jen,
    We've only met but I know your friends Meg and Jen and I have spoken my prayer in a post dedicated to you.
    This love I can give you.

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  20. I came here from Bella's Beyond the Map. She's right that you deserve the awards. I'm sad for you but inspired by your spirit in finding something to smile about each day. Blessings on you, your son, and your mom. I hope you are able to enjoy the time that you have together.

    I'll think about your question.

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  21. Jen, I'm sent here by WhyMommy and am so heartbroken for you. You already inspire me with your frankness, and this is just my first visit to you.

    I'm reading something called 'Emmanuel's Book' right now, recommended to me by a friend. I am not whatsoever religious nor new-agey but it's simple, and it speaks to what I've witnessed personally, and it comforts me. So I pass on to you, for what it's worth. Here's what is written on the first page:

    ++

    Your physical bodies
    can be symbols to you of restriction,
    of ultimate pain and death,
    of surprising and alarming needs
    and of unexpected triviality
    that knows no bounds of denigration.
    Or they can be seen as chosen vehicles
    that souls are inhabiting
    because, rather like space suits,
    they are necessary where you are.

    ++

    I really want to say the right thing, and not be trite. Mostly I just want you to know that my heart is heavy tonight, thinking of your bright, brave face and this news. And I just want you to know that I'm here, and listening, and sending all the light I can to you.

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  22. Hi there,

    Arrived here by way of Toddler Planet. I ache for you and what this means for your family.

    My answer. I would spend time with my husband and my two kids and tell them I love them. I'd take pictures of myself with my son and daughter so that they'd have something they could hold and look at and see me loving them. I'd write love letters to my husband. I'd take go on a family vacation and stay in a house on the beach. Knowing me, I'd probably clean out my underwear drawer.

    I'll keep you in my thoughts.

    Danielle

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  23. I'm new, but you have touched me. Thank you for giving me a peek into your world.

    I answered your question on my blog:

    http://toddlerdrama.com/2008/02/07/what-would-you-do/

    You will be in my thoughts and prayers

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  24. Hi Jen,

    Several years ago I had a patient ... a young Amish woman with a terminal brain tumor. She had six young children.

    She said to me, "It's not the time I have left with them ... it's how I spend that time with them. It's the words I say that they'll never forget, and it's my smile that they'll see when they close their eyes and remember me."

    She told me that above all ... she wanted them to always see her face, and always see that smile. That was how she wanted to be remembered. She said that the things she'd taught them hopefully they'd always live by, but when they needed her and she wouldn't be there .... they would always see her smile and know that she was there.

    She was radiant even in the end. ... and she died with a smile on her face. I was there.

    I have never forgotten this wise young woman named Marie.

    I am going to seriously think about what I would do if only had 12 months left.

    Take care and God bless you and your little ones.

    I am here from WhyMommy.

    Tanya

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  25. Jen,

    I too am here via WhyMommy.

    Like many of the wonderful people above me have said, my heart is incredibly heavy with what you must face. Your fear of having to leave your children is one I completely understand.

    If I had just twelve months I too would surround myself with my loved ones. They would be tired of hearing about how much I love them, but I'd want to tell them enough times so they would remember when I was gone. I think too I'd want to soak up the precious moments of every day...the sights, the smells, the feelings.

    I am crying for you tonight. I send you strength.

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  26. Dear Jen,

    I was just introduced to you through Jen Lemen and I want you to know that my thoughts and prayers are with you. I can not even imagine all that you have been through so far, however from what I see you are incredibly brave, strong, and and inspiration to all of us. Your words have moved my heart and soul to tears. I would like to answer your challenge.. I will post about it and link to it soon. I wish you peace as I light a candle for you tonight.

    Jennifer

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  27. hi jen. i'm here via bella. the hands that are typing these words are reaching out to you, so aware that my words are going to fall short. what a kindness you have extended to me. thank you for reminding me that i will not be here forever, but i am here now. i'm going to hold this question in my heart for a while, but i'm already noticing things that were hidden to me only a few moments ago.

    praying for you and hurting for you and your family...

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  28. Hello, what a time to discover your blog. Really. If I had 12 months? I would be with my baby every minute. There must be more but only if he was with me.

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  29. Hi Jen,
    I'm new here too (via Jen Lemen's blog) and wow, what a question. What a great question... this deserves some thought. I'll put it together and share it with you when I've got something.
    For now, what would be on the list most likely would be "stay in the moment" - time seems to go by much slower when I remember that.
    The present is a gift... also another fave thought.
    Be well and I wish you miracles now!
    Cate

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  30. HI...
    I found you through Bella and now I see why you are such an inspiration to her !

    My prayers and thoughts are being sent your way !

    and soon, I will come up with my list of 12 things....I need to think a few more days about that one.

    And I'm not sure, but I think you might like my post quote from yesterday.
    www.moredoors.blogspot.com

    and also, a few more posts down is my valentine give-away and I want to send one to you even if I don't draw your name.....

    so please send me your address to my email so I can get one of in the mail to you.

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  31. Sweetheart, my words in this tiny comment box can't convey the sorrow I feel for your entire family... I don't know what kind of love to send to you, but I do know that I will hope and pray for no pain for you...

    I'm so sorry...

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  32. Hi Jen! I shared your challenge (and Meg's response) with my husband last night, and we were both deeply, incredibly moved. I hope to start working on my own response today, as well as start reading through your archives-- I like your writing style! You remain in my prayers, and I wish you a wonderful weekend...

    Rebecca
    www.jasonandrebecca.com

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  33. I found you through Jena at Bullseye, Baby.

    I'm heartbroken for you and your son. And I'm amazed at your forthrightness and bravery. It shines through in every sentence.

    I'm with Norabee... if I had 12 months, I would spend as much time as I could with my kids. I'll think more about this and post when I've come up with something.

    Just know you're in my heart and I'm sending all the good, positive vibes I can to you.

    Bless you.

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  34. I just read your entire blog and I wanted to tell you how heartbroken I am for you and your beautiful sons. For five years I managed an oncology surgeon's practice here in the US, and your story has touched me with deeper than any of the people I encountered. I hate the fact that you were so horribly misdiagnosed and mismanaged. I am literally in tears. You are so very brave.

    However, I will summon all of the positive energy I have for you so that you can have as much time as possible with your sons.

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  35. Dear Jen. I am here by way of jen lemen's blog.

    I read this and your other recent posts last night and this morning woke up thinking about you. I started looking for good words to add to your comfy place.

    I didn't have to look very far. In the basket next to my bed I keep favourite reading material. A few years ago, I clipped out a couple of "live your best life" pages from O (Oprah's) magazine and put them in plastic covers. Sometimes other books and magazines bury them for a while, but eventually they rise to the top. This morning, they were on top.

    Here they are:

    First a poem by Raymond Carver:
    "And did you get what
    you wanted from this life even so?
    I did.
    And what did you want?
    To call myself beloved, to feel myself
    beloved on the earth."

    The second is a quote by Oswald Spengler, A German philosopher:
    "This is our purpose: to make as meaningful as possible this life that has been bestowed upon us,...to live in such a way that we may be proud of ourselves, to act in such a way that some part of us lives on."

    Above the photos are beautiful images of a child skipping with joy and an infant peering curiously at the world.

    Thank you for inspiring us with your honesty and courage. I will be coming back to listen again.

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  36. Linked to you through Bella. Sending a hug your way and prayers heavenward for you. Hope today is comfortable, full of affirmation, and peaceful.
    Alexandra

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  37. I came to this through Beyond the Map...to answer your question...I'd try to prepare my son. I'd try to keep his life normal and happy and tell him everything he needs to know and what I can't tell him I'd write down. I'd still write my novel. And I'd take a hot air balloon ride. That would be enough for what it's worth.

    All the best thoughts and wishes to you and your loves.

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  38. I heard of your blog through a friend and just wanted to let you know, you are in my thoughts and prayers!

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  39. Jen - I am a new reader of yours, found through Sweet.Salty and Bon's sites. You will be in my thoughts every day - your strength inspires me, Jen, and I admire your courage through this unimagineable time. My prayers to you - Jo in WI

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  40. Hi Jenn, Jena sent me here...

    I'm going to write out my list...I'm going to think along with the rest of you what it will feel like, and I wish for you it was just a feeling too, and not a reality...

    I'm numb inside right now though Jenn, shocked by the actuality of this happening to a fellow mother. oh, I know it happens all the time, but I don't come across their blogs like I have yours, and I don't get to witness snapshots of their life like I have here...and I don't get the opportunity to see and feel the love that is embracing you, and get to add my own to your circle as well.

    If you'd like, I can send your reiki Jenn, let me know.

    peace from my heart to your heart,
    Lil
    www.changingwoman.wordpress.com

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  41. Your story rips my heart apart; I can't help but think "what would I do," and I can't stop crying! It is a beautiful courageous thing for you to be willing to share your experience with so many random strangers around the world, but I personally thank you so very much for pulling me away from selfishness and making me wake up and recognize that none of us know how much time we get and I, for one, better get down to business of what really matters in life.

    Thanks you. I send you my love and sympathy and pray that you will be blessed with everything you need.

    Brandy

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  42. I came here from WhyMommy. I'll think too and post next week. All the best.

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  43. Jen,
    you are so beautiful....my heart is poured out to you, my sweet blogger sister. i found you via alexandra's blog (silverbell cottage). i cannot even fathom what you must be feeling...and what you are going thru just seems more than one soul should ever have to bare. so many thoughts and emotions. your sweet son is just beautiful & having 4 children of my own, i can relate to what you say by looking at them thru your tears at moments. i am going to be praying for you daily, and for your family...and for your son. i just wish we lived closer, i would be there in as many ways possible for you.

    your so strong to continue documenting - what a legacy you will have...your strength inspires me.

    please know if you ever need someone to 'listen' i am here. email me any time....thank you for reaching out thru this medium to all of us, it is a blessing to be able to be here for one another.
    warm hugs,
    shelbi

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  44. Jen,

    I read your blog after being linked through from Bella. I have answered your post, and it was a great gift to me. Thank you for asking the question.

    http://www.speckblog.net/2008/02/08/not-pink-unicorns

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  45. My God, girl. My God.

    Honestly, is there anything anyone can say? I sure can't think of a single thing, and I am trying really, really hard.

    I think there's nothing TO say, except that this mom in Wisconsin is thinking about you, and crying for you, and loving you somehow, without really knowing you at all.

    I hope that's something.

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  46. Jen, I'm here from a comment on Bon's post. You don't know me, but I wanted to tell you that your news, and your question, has touched me deeply. I will be praying for you during this time, and I will think about an answer to your question. I would feel exactly the same as you in your place-- not so much afraid of death, but afraid of leaving my children behind, and wondering what will become of them. My heart goes out to you. Know that you will be in my thoughts and prayers.

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  47. What would I do?

    You are amazing and your son will be amazing because of his amazing mom. He will have strength because you have shown him such amazing strength. In thinking about death, and what I know about life after death (mormon.org) I would have to echo ToddlerPlanet "loving my children as much as I could, and in helping them find other interests that would help them transcend their loss." For you will be with your son again. I know that. But that doesn't make the separation any easier. Please reassure him that this will only be a separation and you will be together again and it will be a wonderful reunion. Look through the glasses of eternity.

    I would be happy to share what I know if you are interested. In the meantime, you have a beautiful son that is lucky to have such a great mom.

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  48. really blew me away. bella too, led me here...i can but only offer my prayers that you'll continually be strong and loved by your family...

    and yes, bella is right - you are beautiful, passionate person! i can feel that...

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  49. Dear Jen,

    It takes a brave heart to ask a question living with a disease. I don't have 12 things to write about because the essence of them has been covered here byso many others.

    I would add one thing dance under the "Blue Stars", google it and on You Tube the song, "Dancing When The Stars Go Blue" by the Corrs and go dance under those stars, for you are one of them. A blazing a light of love and hope - - a beautiful lovely star.

    Don't let a Dr. give you a label or time limit to your life. Fight the good fight for love, for love keeps us hanging onto many things. Hold on to love.

    Remember to look to the heavens above. I spoke with a physicist recently who said they don't even know why the Universe is held in place. You have a great strength of heart and courage... and the 12 things you will do are within your heart all ready.

    May God bless and keep you in all things.

    Blessings,
    Ella

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  50. Love, love, love and strength to you, Jen. I will post something for you.

    -Stephanie

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  51. I'm new here from Jena Strong and my face is streaked with tears, my stomach clenching from sobs. Your boy is beautiful and your amazing spirit shines through him. I will answer your question soon, and get back to you -- I know as mothers it is about our children, always our dear, sweet children. Please know you have love and light coming to you from California, and gratitude for your courage in sharing your experience.

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  52. Jen, I come to you through Bella's blog and send to you strength, energy, admiration, sorrow, tears and whatever can be sent from one person to another through this little box and the wires that connect us. Thank you for sharing your feelings here and for reminding all of us who have read that there is much to be grateful for and much still left to do.

    God bless you.

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  53. Jen - I'm here via Jen Lemen's blog. Your question is a hard one, but I'll do my best.

    In the time that was left to me, I would try harder to find beauty in everyday things; I would stop and watch more sunsets, try to enjoy the feeling of even the bitterest wind on my cheek, and pause to appreciate the neat, quick movements of the simple sparrow at my feeder. I would share those moments with someone I love.

    I would tell my family and friends how much I love them, because love that is given away will go on to grow and nourish others.

    I would go to Venice.

    I would write each of my children a letter. My mother did this for me the night before she was to have surgery and I have that letter still, even though I do not have her.

    I would be honest.

    You are in my heart and my prayers.

    Suzanne

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  54. Brave, strong, Mama. I hope you don't mind that I've added you to our parish prayer list. Is it weird to have 800 families on the other side of the world thinking of you and praying for you?
    I wrote my answer for you here.
    Through my tears~

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  55. Here is my answer for you to add to all the others. Thank you for being such an amazing person.

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  56. I've been reading other people's responses; I've put this question to so many people over the past week. Looking for different answers, different ideas. Most of us are on the same page.

    I know other people have suggested making movies, videos of yourself. One of my friends suggested that you have Jack make videos of you and I thought that was a wonderful twist on this idea. Creating a memory with him and preserving it at the same time--don't all kids love playing with cameras?

    I just can't stop thinking about you. I wish I had found you sooner.

    Good thoughts and wishes coming your way~

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  57. Hi there....I have been thinking about your question for awhile, and have posted an answer here:

    http://mommato2.blogspot.com/2008/02/what-would-you-do.html

    Thanks for making me think and I hope today is a good day for you.

    xo

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  58. I would believe that God of heaven can and will do anything if we ask. I would confess my sins, and beg for forgiveness, then I would eat as well as possible fully expecting a miracle. I would not succumb to the death sentence which has been issued. So, my question to you would be what do you have to stay here for? What's worth fighting for? Have you stopped believing in miracles? Did you ever believe in miracles? Will you now?

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  59. you are such a brave warrior. i can feel your strength across the globe.

    thank you for opening yourself up and sharing your journey. my eyes are filled with tears and my heart is heavy.

    my heart is also full knowing you are so protected and loved and therefor, your son is as well. may the two of you be wrapped up in comfort, peace and the promise of miracles.

    i am thinking of you. i hear you. i feel you and i am sending you love and healing.

    have you read Crazy Sexy Cancer? i am sure you have heard about it by now but i encourage you to read her book and watch her documentary about her journey with the C word.

    you are beautiful.

    love,
    denise

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  60. All my warm thoughts to you. I have answered your question here: http://milife.wordpress.com/2008/03/29/525600-minutes/

    Thank you for making me think about how precious life is.

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  61. I have come back and forth to your blog and read your messages. This one really touched me today and I am praying for you. Truly, I am. Be blessed and know that from this day forth, I will live my best life and appreciate every moment I have.

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