Sunday, 15 June 2008

Happy, Happy, Happy...

Hi guys, yes I am so very HAPPY right now. I have had almost 5 good days now (touching wood) and I feel fantastic! I love it when I have good news to share with you and I was just so excited to be able to tell you how well I'm doing right now. I was out in the backyard today mucking around and I suddenly realized how well I felt, I got this surge of happiness and well being in my heart and I stopped what I was doing and just soaked it all up, the gorgeous Autumn leaves under my feet (that desperately need raking), the sun on my shoulders, the fresh, sweet air I was just so very grateful for this normal feeling. I made the most of it too!

Anyway, I had a long discussion with my Oncologist on Friday and I think we may have reached an understanding. Not 100% convinced, however, time shall tell and if I am still not happy, then I will move on. He has now put me on some really good antibiotics as he has come clean and told me that one of the chemo drugs I am on is known for causing infections. I would have found that useful information quite sometime ago as I kept getting these infections which in turn were causing a lot of pain and discomfort. Oh well, I guess at least I know now...

In other news he (the Oncologist) has booked me in to the see world class surgeons at Peter McCallum Institute in Melbourne. The surgeons that my Oncologist generally uses (and a top surgeon I saw myself) said they wouldn't touch me again but my Oncologist told me about another patient that has had almost identical cancer to me and got treated with surgery at Peter McCallum successfully, so that is why my Oncologist is insisting on me at least speaking to them and letting them evaluate whether I can be operated on or not. Well I am happy to meet with them, of course, I would try anything that might extend my life! I meet with them on July 1st and they will tell me whether or not they can operate. If they can it is a huge operation, they remove everything from my pelvis including my bladder and rectum, uterus, etc, etc. It will mean having a bag permanently (which has happened anyway really) and it will mean having another bag for urine as I will not have a bladder. It also means a huge recovery time including rehabilitation and the operation itself is quite risky, however the options for me are not good so this is worth a visit and if possible then it may be worth having the surgery. If it buys me time with my boys I will do anything - no matter how scary. I will keep you all informed as to how it turns out.

Now these photos on the left are obviously nothing to do with cancer except that they show you parts of my healing place, my home full of love and comfort. I am sharing with you some of the favorite parts of my home. Hope you enjoy seeing bits of how I live and my taste in things. It is probably what you would term 'shabbychic' with a bit more of the shabby and a lot less of the chic lol!!! I just thought that would be something fun and different from all my cancer posts.

As I loaded these on, I realized that I don't have many of the parts of my home that I really love, I want to go and take some photos right now and load them on but it's too dark really and they won't turn out as well as if I took them in the morning so I will wait and add to them tomorrow. Anyway there are a few that I like so hopefully you will like them too. I always like to see how people live and how they decorate their homes and do their gardens and that sort of thing, I must be a bit of a sticky beak but I thought you might all like to know a bit more about me than just my battle with cancer. I intend to show you some photos of me soon too, some baby shots, some growing up, that sort of thing. I will be embarrassed because I am not photogenic at all but still, I'm going to get past that and just do it.

Take care my friends, of yourselves and each other.

Things I'm Grateful For Today:

Feeling well these past days.
My boys, of course.
A chance to relax on Sunday which was just lovely and I needed it.
That Jack's Daddy is great at fixing toys and reading instructions and putting tricky toys together - I am hopeless at that.
My friend Lee.
My brand new nephew, Harrison.
That I am well enough to start picking Jack up from school again.
That I can finally have my chemo on Tuesday (touching wood).
That my oldest son has never been into drinking or drugs or anything horrible like that.
For support sites online.


  1. This post just fills me with happiness, Jen.

    I will be sending up big prayers for your July 1 appointment in Melbourne. It sounds entirely radical, and my heart just goes out to you for making such a brave decision to explore this option, but I am with you in hanging out here as long as possible to see our babies grow.

    I love seeing your home, which provides you with so much comfort and healing, and I would love to see photos of you. You are amazingly gorgeous, so, good grief, post those "unphotogenic" photos already!



  2. I love you. I am glad you have have options and joy.

  3. how wonderful!!!!
    love, love the photos of your house. you have a beautiful home, just well done and cozy and warm.
    i think my home will never be a home bc i don't have it in me to know how to do it right. but you do.
    i love the colors, just a beautiful place.
    definitely comfy.
    so glad to hear you are doing well.
    Praying for you always. Love, Muneera

  4. So glad to hear that things are going well my dear. The thought of you having 5 good days brings me great joy. I am thrilled -- just thrilled. Loved the photos of your home--it looks so lovely and full of joy and healing. All my best-xo m

  5. Beautiful woman, beautiful home.

    And I'm so glad to hear that you managed to be heard by your oncologist. Yay!

  6. It's always comfortable to me to come here and read your words and know you're having good days and having joy. It truly is!
    Your home is beautiful! Just like you my dear Jennifer. And your garden seems to be a peaceful place to be. It's good to see you have comfort and beauty around you, the beauty you create. Good vibrations can be felt looking at the pictures you took. It's a candy for the eyes. I've told you this before on my first message in your blog.
    Here in Europe summer is beguining but today it was more like an autumn day.
    It's good to know your oncologist is behaving well. Sometimes we have to be tough with them, the doctors. It happens everywhere!
    Always remember that the angels guide you and warm you.
    You're always in my thoughts and prayers.
    Sending love,

  7. yay Jen!!! SO glad you're feeling better and have had a good few days.What excellent news! And I'll be keeping my fingers, toes and everything else crossed that you get some good news from those surgeons - another, say, 45 years???!!!

    your house is lovely - the colours are've made me want to go and paint a wall red..... and I bet your garden is awesome in spring!

  8. It is really good to know you've been having some comfort and good days, and that the oncologist is being straight with you. Good luck with the meeting with the surgeon. I enjoyed seeing your lovely home, and especially the pictures of the happy kids enjoying themselves too. Hope the next week will be a good one for you.

  9. Way to go Jen - nice to hear you bouncing! My jealousy has set in again with those photos - your Robert Gordon tea set is my favourite (and I have dropped hints here for soooo long) Now I can show them what I am talking about.
    The surgeons at Peter McCallum are the best so I am pleased that you are being referred there. And you were lucky not to have to wait too long for an appointment.
    Your gratitute list is extra long today! I am also grateful my 19yo doesn't drink or drug - it's such a rarity.
    Keeping smiling!!
    Love and hugs
    Karen xx

  10. it is incredibly wonderful to hear you so full of happiness and hope...I hope it hangs on for some time..enjoy it..hugs! Lisa

  11. your post has lifted my spirits in so many ways....
    it was a treat to see so many pretty things brightening your dear home. i can feel and see how it is a haven. and the tea set... come see mine on my (hopeless) blog. you go am so glad you are making progress!xox

  12. I'm so thrilled you've been having good days. I'm also happy to hear the oncologist is paying attention to your concerns and I'm even more happy to hear that you will be visting the surgeon in July to be evaluated. I think this is quite exciting as your oncologist would not waste your or the surgeon's time if he did not truly believe this is a ray of hope for you. I know I believe it. As we say in the U.S. "go for the gusto"!

    Sheila from west Michigan

  13. Your joy and happiness just pour through your post!!! So happy for you...that you are feeling so good these days...that you can pick Jack up from school again. I'm sure he just loves that :-) SO GLAD that you will be getting a 2nd opinion with the best surgeons!!! That is exciting....I know you don't have any answers yet..but just to know that there may be other options for you makes me soooooo happy. What a blessing for you and your boys!!! Can you even imagine??? Your home is beautiful....and so are you.

  14. Oh Jen after all those bad days what a joy to hear you have had 5 great days. God is listening.I always love pictures of your home and yard. Your taste is my taste as well. What a lovely place to be. And oh, I beg to differ, you always look so pretty in pictures.

  15. so intensely happy to hear that you're feeling well and possibly exploring new options. i've been away for a bit but you're never far from my mind and heart. bless you jen...

  16. hi jen, we've never met... i'm friends with jen lemen, and i also live in melbourne. i just wanted to say that there if there are things i can do for or with you - practical things - then i'm here to do them. i live in the northern suburbs, inner city, and i work in the city, so i'm pretty close to the peter mac, and i have a car so i can go anywhere. i'm really sure you have a great tribe of people around you, but i thought i'd offer in case you can never have too many people...

  17. So happy for you Jen!! Beautiful pictures!!!

    Prayers for you.

  18. Doing a little happy dance for you here. So very very pleased that you have had 5 good days. You so deserve that feeling of well being and happiness.

    Loved looking at your photos around home.

    Leeanne x

  19. So happy you are feeling well, Jen! Happiness is healing! It is the best medicine of all!! I love your house—it's so full of beautiful colors and things. It reflects your great and beautiful spirit!! All good wishes and love always.

  20. I am so thrilled to read that you are feeling good. I have said prayers all weekend for you. Your house is lovely, just like your soul. I wish for you many more days of feeling good.

    Nancy (in North Carolina)

  21. I'm so excited for you, Jen! I love all the pictures you posted of your home.

  22. what a beautiful house you have. Am jealous of your china and teacups. You have a good photographic eye.



  23. jen...
    I've been away for a bit and I'm so glad to return and read that you've been having some "feel good" days....what great news !

    My prayers to you are still being sent !!

    and big a big hug, too !!

  24. Jen,
    This is one of the happiest posts I think I have seen! Your home is lovely and is almost as I had pictured it, only much lovelier when you describe how it makes you feel.
    Thrilled to hear about your meeting with the oncologist and seeing the world-renowned oncologist about the possibility of surgery, no matter how slight, is a ray of brightness!
    So glad you're feeling well and doing well. I'll "touch wood" for you too! (We "knock on wood" here in the I'll touch and knock just for you!)
    Take Care and enjoy your wonderful surroundings!

  25. Jessica in PennsylvaniaTuesday, June 17, 2008 2:03:00 am

    Yay Jen! I'm so happy that you're in a good place. I'll be praying about your visit to the surgeon.

  26. Yay for feeling good, Jenni! And the pictures are so fun to look at. I love to see the inside of houses as well. I inherited my Aunty's tea cup collection last year. Your tea sets are beautiful. And what fun to have them all out on the buffet. My kids (ages 2 & 3) also love the tea cups/pots so I have to keep them put away most of the time.

    And I adore shabbychic. My husband is not a fan but I have little reminders/knickknacks around.

  27. Love the post - so glad that you are feeling good. Keep my fingers crossed for the surgery!!!
    Love your home!!!
    Nicky from Canada

  28. Jen,

    I cant express to you how happy it makes me to read this post!! To hear that you are feeling well and have possibility of the surgery just makes me thrilled for you! Your home is so lovely and I love seeing Jack in his room and with all of his friends. I am also glad that you feel a little better about your dr. I'll be thinking of you.....!!


  29. Can I come over for some gorgeous Jenni's! oh! i mean cupcakes? :0) xx

  30. I am so happy that you are feeling well right now. What a blessing and of course you must go to the surgeon for an evaluation. What a miracle that would be.


    PS. I love the floors in your hall

  31. So glad to hear that you're feeling good these days and that things are improving with your doctor. And what a lovely treat to peak inside your house. I love the term "sticky beak"! I've never heard it before. Here in southwestern Pennsylvania, we use the term "nebby" to mean nosey. I think I might have to start using sticky beak instead. :)

  32. Hi Jen

    Remember me? I've been so bad about blog reading lately...not because I don't want to read, but because of my crazy life recently. Lots of company, which has been wonderful and then all the medical tests, "hoopla", etc. I'm back now though...finally.

    You've been a busy, busy girl. I've really enjoyed reading all your posts I've missed and seeing all your photos. It's been fun catching up with you. I'm so glad to hear you've been feeling so good. Praise God from whom ALL blessings flow!


  33. Oh Joy! So thrilled you are feeling well and that there's yet another option in the future perhaps. That's wonderful news even to be able to consider different paths.

    I love your house! It's quite chic not shabby at all - love the chandeliers and crown mouldings - and your yard is amazing!

    Much love,

  34. Finger crossed for luck! Lovely photos, Jen. It's almost summer here, the garden is doing pretty well (the slugs love the chard!) And everything is filling. I sometimes forget that the other side of the planet has opposite seasons!

  35. How wonderful to hear you're feeling so good! The pictures are beautiful.

    I'll send some positive energy your way for the meeting with the surgeon.

    Blessed Be.

  36. Oh Jen, a Million thank you's for your beautiful pictures, my heart sings for the lovliness which you have created. My heart says a million prayers for your continued peace, happiness, and healing. Love from Virginia, Anne

  37. So awesome to know there's more options to take you a step closer to healing!!! The more impossible a situation seems, the more God can show He is truly God. He can work in and through your life to show others there is NO ONE above Him. You go, Jen!!! You can ask for specific requests from God. We just have to humble ourselves before Him through our relationship with Jesus Christ, and He'll answer our prayers! (Sometimes it's answered fast, and sometimes it takes a while). His timimg is always perfect, though. He wants to give us His best blessings, we may just have to wait longer for them. In the end, He will be glorified, no matter what the answer. I'm praying He'll do the work in YOU, Jennifer Ballantyne!!! (And, like, RIGHT NOW!!!)
    P.S. I love your sweet shabby-chic home!!! A great healing sanctuary!!!

  38. Serenity and peaceful Joy abound in every nook and space of your dwelling place. I can see and feel You, Darling Jen speaking and expressing your Self in all of your home's ambiance. Your loving Spirit dances all about every element of your habitation ... including the place that you indwell in my Heart.

    I do, so, Love You!

  39. Such beautiful photos of a much-loved, much-lived in home. Beautiful cups and plates, views from the window. You are blessed with a fantastic place to be with your sons and to live your life. Thanks for sharing those photos. And the ones you'd posted a few posts ago.

    May your visit to the surgeons go well and may they give you encouraging news about the possibilities for your next steps in your courageous battle against cancer.

    Peace to you, dear, strong Jen.

  40. Hope and happiness to you, Jen. Good news!

  41. Jen, I am so glad to read this 'happy' post from you ~ it is great to hear you are getting somewhere with that oncologist!!
    Hope it carries on being positive!!
    I love the photos ~ your place sure looks comfy!!
    I love the pink and white cup photo ~ I want one like that!
    Thinking of you and sending much love and hugs to you ~
    Take care my friend ~ love Tabitha XX

  42. oh Jeni, this makes me so happy.
    I am hoping for the best and sending prayers for you and these surgeons.
    so happy to hear you are feeling less pain, having such moments where well being surge through you.
    I can hear the lightness in your voice.
    It seems to be singing.
    love to you.

  43. Jen,
    I am just checking in on you. Been thinking about you and pray that your days are happy.
    Ruthie from California

  44. Just checking up on you hun. I know of someone interstate through a scrapbooking forum who had similar surgery last April - and is doing really well. So lets hope it is suitable for you.
    love and prayers,
    K xx

  45. wow, your home just makes me want to come over for tea! lovely! and SO glad you've had good days! love and prayers, Megan from California