Saturday, 12 July 2008

I Am Starting to Think The Cancer is Not Going to Win...

Hello to my beautiful blog family. I am actually starting to believe that this cancer is not going to win. Please don't ask me why I feel this but I do. Perhaps I'm just being optimistic which isn't a bad thing...well not always. The Surgeons do say don't get too excited because it is very possible they will say 'no' to the surgery. However, I am still feeling so good within myself it is very had to believe I am sick and have cancer growing inside of me, maybe the Avastin is already working and has shrunk it so tiny and that's why I feel so well, who knows, I could go on and on wondering I guess, couldn't I?

Well, guess what else? Jack is at his Dad's, this is his second night, so I am having a nice little break from my normal routine and duties. Loving that! I realize a second night doesn't sound like a lot out of 2 weeks of school holidays but a few weeks ago he couldn't even stay two nights, only just made it through one and had to come home to me, so two nights is an improvement. I think as he gets older he will want to spend more time with his Dad, when boys are young they are 'Mummy's Boys', actually between you and me, I think they always will be even when they're older but they do like to spend more time with their Dad's the older they get, so I am trying not to worry to much about it. He has been through a lot with me and we are so very close that it is hard for him to be away from me. I have been encouraging him gently and letting him know that even if he is away from me, I am still with him, he still has part of me with him all the time. He seems to understand this and I think that is why he is able to do the second night now. It doesn't help with his Dad living an hour and a half away either, because Jack feels so far away from me. Anyway I will continue to work with him and hopefully he will become confident enough to stay away for a week in the next school holidays. I don't mean for my sake, I mean for his, as I think this needs to happen. I mean what if they can't operate and I do only have 2 (ish) years left! Then Jack needs to be able to count on his Dad and feel safe up there with him. I want him to feel like it's his other home.

Other things I've been doing are some scrapbooking which I have thoroughly enjoyed (not the best photos though, sorry about that). I've done a layout about Jack, I had some photos of him jumping on the trampoline, having such fun, he just looks so free and happy, so I did a layout about that, I called it Freestyle and I have almost finished a double page layout about our little cottage. I am creating memories. It is nice to look back on places you have lived so I have lots of photos of our cottage here and so I have done a layout about it, I think it'll be fun to look back on one day for the boys. It has been really good for me to use the creative side of my brain for a while to, quite therapeutic it's been. I will put a photo up of the Freestyle Layout, they are not the best photos, layouts always look better in real life but still you'll get the idea. I'm starting to wonder whether I could start to teach from home, online and earn myself a bit of money, I must be feeling well huh to be thinking like that.

A bit of sad news that I think I will share with you, is that my sister still hasn't been to visit me or phoned me or even returned a call I made to her for that matter. I am really sad and hurt about it but at the same time I don't want anyone who doesn't want to visit with me feeling obligated too, I just wish she would have wanted to that's all, especially as I may not be around for that much longer (let's hope and pray I will be but still you'd think she'd want to spend time with me just in case). Tonight I wrote her an email just saying how sad I was about the lack of effort and contact and that I don't want her to feel obligated, I don't want her to visit if she doesn't want to anyway, I said that the only reason I am saying anything at all is because it's been bothering me a long time now and I think it's better to get it out and just say it and that when we see each other at family functions, I don't want her wondering why I am somewhat reserved around her. I haven't sent the email yet because I am not sure whether I should. I know she'll probably be upset but not for the right reasons. How did someone I loved so much and looked after so much when she was little, grow up to be so entirely selfish? It just stuns me that a person could be that way. If it was her in my position, I would be there, I would be her rock, I would cook meals for her, clean her home and make sure it was all lovely and fresh, I would stay with her when she was frightened, I would go with her to chemo, I would do all that and more, I just know I would. Perhaps that's why it hurts me so much, because I thought perhaps she would be that way with me. You know when she does see me at family things, she looks so genuinely happy to see me and she wants to chat with me, we laugh at the same things, she always tells me she loves me, she just doesn't help me or contact me ever, it is really weird. Now I don't quite know whether to send her the email or not, I will sit with it for a day or so and think about it. I see no reason not took, except she will feel very uncomfortable which makes me feel a bit yuck but still I just feel as though there is this big elephant in the room and she's ignoring it and I can't do that anymore with her. What do you guys think, any advice or opinions would be appreciated. What would you do about it? Take good care my sweet, oh so special blog family. Love to you all, Jen xx


  1. I think I would send it. In my life the things that remain unsaid are always the things I regret the most. You can only do what you can do in the end only she can control her response. Which of course you already know. I would reread it before sending and wait to send it like you are doing. Sometimes things just need to be aired. Blessings to you and I hope all goes well with this.

  2. Hi! Oh, I am so very happy you've been enjoying yourself lately! And I know you are afraid to let you hopes get up but why else do you live, if not to hope and dream? And a positive attitude is the first thing needed in fighting for your life.

    As far as your sister is concerned...I have some troubles with my own mother not being the grandmother to my children that I want her to be. I know it isn't the same thing but I have such a sticky relationship with her now because of it, I thought it might translate.

    My mother doesn't want to be labeled a grandmother. She thinks it makes her sound and feel old (and it isn't like I made her a grandmother young, I was 32 when I had my daughter!). She says she raised her children already and she is not the stay-at-home and bake cookies grandmother. I don't ask that she become that person, only to interact with her grandchildren. But she doesn't. She lives 40 minutes away but sees her grandkids three times a year or so. And when she does see them she talks over them to me the entire time.

    And no amount of arguing and emailing and hurting will change who she is or who I am. I think you should send her the email, if it you really want to tell her how you feel. As Carol mentioned the things that remain unsaid are things we always regret. However, the elephant will probably always be in the room. Your sister could just be terrified of seeing you in such a vulnerable state and her way of dealing with it is to pretend it isn't going on?

    It is good to wait on the email and reread before sending. I have a habit of drafting a letter and sitting on it for a day or so before sending. I almost always go back and delete the stuff that isn't going to help and will only anger the recipient, for the wrong reasons.

    Love to you,

  3. Dear Jenn,

    I am so glad that you are feeling well and that you have such a positive attitude! That can only help, right? I love the beautiful scrapbooking that you have done. As for your sister, I was thinking that maybe she is having trouble dealing with the fact that you are sick and just avoids the whole situation. Could this be? Maybe having a heart to heart conversation will help you both.

    As always, I am thinking of you!


  4. Darling-
    I agree that you should reach out to your sister and tell her how you feel. There may be a thousand reasons why she is not able to be there for you but most importantly you are hurt and need to tell her that. I know I know easier said than done but I know you and your loving, gracious tone...I am sure you will be able to let her know in a way that doesn't put her on the defense but lets her know you are in her heart.
    Jenni I too am beginning to really believe that this cancer won't win. It thrills me to no end to see and hear how good you feel. Max is away with his grandparents this weekend--perhaps I will give you a ring.
    I love you madly

  5. Jen, it is so good to hear you sound so positive. I would send the e mail she is your sister and she should be aware of how you feel if nothing else!
    Love and hugs XXXXXX

  6. How WONDERFUL for you to be feeling so good! No matter what the outcome, right now is an incredible blessing, thank you for sharing it with us! Hope is contagious and I needed some today so thank you so much. I really, really hope that you will get the surgery and all will be well... isn't it wonderful to think that maybe some corner has been turned? I love your layouts as well...

    As for the sister, I know how that can be. My partner's family is very strange -- they obviously love her but then drop completely out of sight for months, not answering emails, etc. She is very sick with Lyme disease and needs her family and it is so hurtful when family doesn't step in as you would wish. So I totally understand your feelings... if I were you, I would express your feelings and then just ask if maybe she's uncomfortable with the situation and unable to be there for you as you both might wish? It might open up some dialogue...

    Much love and hugs,

  7. Everyday should be about "second chances" and making life better than it was yesterday.
    You may have an advantage in the quality of your life, Jen, than those of us who live as though we'll never die. I don't want to sound so doomsday and all, but, not one of us is guaranteed another day of life. It's hard (for most of us) to live for the day and my name is at the top of the list. We're busy planning for tomorrow--which may never come!!!
    You do what you feel is right in your heart. Most likely, if you're a child of God, it's the Holy Spirit prompting you to extend the olive branch. Your sister may be hurting in ways you cannot imagine and doesn't want to burden you. Like me, she may be distancing herself for what she thinks is the inevitable and it's going to be too emotional to deal with if she's close to you. Who knows? It might just surprise you. At least, you know you did the right thing by trying to mend the bridge. After that, the ball is in her court and she'll have to pass or play. You cannot have negative feelings ruin your peace of mind, Jen. You are too sweet and thoughtful to let someone's inconsideration and selfishness get you down. Not your problem and definately not your fault! Hope it all goes well. Keeping you in thoughts and prayers.

  8. Dearest Jenni—You are letting the cancer go with your beautiful bright loving spirit and the care you are getting. It may be gone already. With luck the tests will tell the new doctor the very best way forward. But I know you are getting better every day. It shows all the way across the planet!
    You sister is likely having her own struggle. I'm sure she loves you and simply cannot face the very difficult road you have had to walk. Many people can't. I totally understand your feeling sad and hurt—it is natural but her behavior is all about where she is. Whatever you decide, to express your feelings in this moment or not, I would think about how it will make YOU feel, whether expressing the feelings in a gentle caring way will create peace and happiness for you. You will know just what to do.
    Sending love and prayers always,

  9. I am so glad to hear that you are so well. I think you should let your sister know how you feel. You seem like the type of person who would write a sensitive and heartfelt letter (as opposed to an "accusing" one). I agree that there could be so many reasons she is not there for you, least of all perhaps "fear"?? There is no down side to letting her know you love and need her.

    I am so happy that your life is going well, many many blessings,


  10. As my son said to me once: "I'm not you." I think you are considering what you would do to show love, and she is probably dealing with your illness in her way. I think rather than selfishness, it is fear.She is in a different place emotionally than you are, and you might want to consider that. I have been sending you dreamtime healing energy since I came across your blog, and I am so pleased that you are beginning to see that the cancer doesn't have to win.

  11. jen, i have to agree with the above comments. i can't help but feel she is hurting for you and her fear for your health goes so deep she doesn't know what to say or how to say it. it's my opinion that you need to send the email. you need to open the dialogue between the two of you and let her know how much you need her in your life. the way she treats you in person tells me she loves you deeply and is afraid - so afraid she doesn't know what to say or how to help.

    i love your scrapbook layouts. from a fellow scrapbooker - it's therapeutic!! you're very talented and you give me good ideas, so you just keep 'em coming! :o)

    keep the positive attitude and the hope in your heart. i'm keeping it in mine.

    still praying for you beautiful girl...

  12. Certainly, hope seems to be lightening the load. You sound so light and happy and calm.

    Continued prayers your way,

    Cindy in Canada

  13. oh sound so good !!
    happy thoughts to you !!!

  14. Optimism is positive not matter what the medicos may challenge you with - and really it is about how you feel about yourself. And I love hearing you talk like that.
    How great that Jack has done 2 nights at his dad's - that is a huge leap forward for him. It gives you a break too.
    Love the owl on your layout! I must do some scrapping too.
    love and hugs
    K xx

  15. I think you should trust your instincts and do what you feel is right. If you're hesitating to send the email, then wait until you feel certain. Maybe just wait until you get the news about the surgery and then share that. I'm praying it's good news, better than you ever expected.

  16. Hi Jen,
    I have a similar situation with my younger sister. I was always the 'caregiver' and the maternal sister to her (our mom died of breast cancer 8 years ago, so now I really am like her mom). Because of that, she can't see me as needy or in want of help. She wants to keep the roles the way they are because that's where she is comfortable. It's scary to take care of someone who always has taken care of you. It forces you to look at your own mortality and abandonment issues. Hoping this doesn't sound like psycho mumbo jumbo. Just my two cents.

  17. Jen, I have a younger sister who does not speak to me and speaks to my other family members. It is the saddest thing I typically deal with. I miss her, love her and yet, she wants no relationship.

  18. I am so delighted to hear you sounding so well, and so happy and optimistic!

    I think I echo the others who have left comments about your sister, and that is, send the note, let her know how you feel, it's the things unsaid that cause the biggest regret.

    Wishing you all the best...
    Linda @ Barefoot in the Park

  19. I am so glad you sound and feel so well! I also have a difficult situation with one of my sisters, and I think your sister is probably afraid, as some of the other commenters have also said. And honestly, I think you should reread the email and make sure it is gentle and not accusatory (though I am sure it is not) and send it. You might be doing her a favor as well - for one day she may regret her feelings and actions now. Perhaps tell her that you need her to talk to you, if she can, putting on pressure on her and reassuring her it's ok to be frightened.

    The older I get the more I realize life is too short to let things go unsaid, and I am starting to live my life that way. I know that's how you are living your life now, and I know you'll do what's right for you.


  20. Cancer or no cancer... it's always about doing the next right thing.
    Just keep doing the next right thing, Jen.


  21. Hi Jen,

    I love what wilsonian the next right thing. That might become my new catch-phrase. I try to do it anyway, but never heard it worded like that.

    Anyway, thanks to God that you have had some good days finally.

    I agree with the above comments that we should always try to do everything in our power to keep communication open. Is this the sister who just had a baby and has some other little ones? If so, I remember when I was in that position, with 3 children in 3 1/2 years. I was pretty oblivious to my two sisters' lives and it was selfish, but I didn't realize it then. They later told me, and I wish they had told me when it was happening. Of course, neither of them was ill, and I don't know how that would have changed my actions then.

    Like the others said, sit on it a day or a few, reread it with a fresh mind in a few days, and you will know how to edit it if you need to. I can feel your disappointment in the lack of interest from her and I'm sorry about that.

    Still praying,

  22. Hi Jen.. I am glad your feeling well and thinking positive!!
    Just so you know I understand the sister thing.
    I have four sisters. Two are wonderful and want to know it all and share it all. Although we do not live close to each other the phone calls come daily.
    Then I have one who is a total pain. I tried to make amends with her and its always she has it worse off then I do. Health all of it. though things are trival and not that bad she wants me to think so. I see her with my folks and I let the rest lay. Simply cause she is to demanding and I can't do it anymore.
    Then my older sister is a nun of all things. She hasn't been around for years and simply doesn't care to know how my life is. If I email or send her letters. Her replies are simply mean and uncaring . It hurts really bad. I still love her but her responsiblity to us as her family ended when she be came a nun. She simply gave us all up. Cancer or not she doesn't listen or understand. She simply was here to see so its beyond her understanding. Now she has cancer, her remarks were biting and how I could never understand. I can and do. My Mom even went so far as to re explain all I went through in hopes to clear the air and she still remains cold and heartless. I always felt when it came to my parents she would be there she just simply could care less.

    I have no regrets. I simply have said my piece not to accuse her but to let her know I will always always care about her as family. I think to for me. I have cancer but I am still am caregiver of my Parents. That is hard with my sisters all away. I just continue to do the job cause it simply needs doing. I have also decided that its what God wants of me to.

    I feel your disappointment I really do. I just think sometimes people can't handle our situation. So they just say nothing and do nothing. It's easier for them.

    I to would hold the email till your sure you feel okay with it. I will be honest I wrote one to my oldest sister because I wanted her to know I still love her no matter what. But I do forgive how unkind she is. Simply because she was a nun, and I was upset about her lack of compassion for those who still try to keep in touch with her. It changed nothing in her actions simply made me feel better.

    The thing is she is still my Sister, I still love her to pieces. I just still don't get where her head is at.

    I am sorry cause I know how hard it is.

    Hugs and Prayers Kerry

  23. Jen,

    So glad you are feeling healthy, happy and optimistic. I think that is the best recipe for better health.

    Love to you and Jack,

  24. Hello Jen. I've responded to your blog one other time but usually just love to read about how you're doing. There are no words to describe how happy I am for your feeling so good mentally and physically with regard to the cancer. I found your blog about five months ago and was drawn to you immediately. You have the most wonderful and light energy about you. Three months ago my youngest sister, Stephanie (34 years old) was diagnosed with Stage 4 colon cancer spread to her liver. She had been having some bleeding but the doctors told her it was probably just her hemorrhoid acting up. She had a colonoscopy four years earlier for a similar problem and the doctor found nothing wrong with her colon. Her doctors think that the cancer had been growing for about a year. She has been having chemo treatments with Avastin once every two weeks and will have her sixth treatment on Tuesday. She just had a scan done this week to see if the cancer has shrunk in her liver and colon. She won't get the results until the day of her chemo. She has maintained her sense of humor and an incredible attitude about everything. I'm sure that a lot of it has to do with her two young children. She has a daughter who is 4 and a son who is 2. She is determined to do whatever needs to be done to win this battle. I pray for her and pray for you every day. I practice Reiki and I have a Reiki Grid with your name and Stephanie's name on it so the two of you are receiving perpetual healing energy. I say positive affirmations over this grid. "Jen is strong. Jen is healthy. Jen is cancer-free." Then I do the same for my sister. My sister was told she might have cancer in her leg. My friend, a Reiki Master, and I sent her distance Reiki everyday and sometimes several times throughout the day. After several scans they concluded that it was a genetic arthritic condition showing up as a hot spot on her scan. I didn't have a doubt in my mind that it wasn't cancer. I know what you mean when you say you have a very strong feeling that the cancer isn't going to win. I have had that feeling for you for a long time now.

    As for your sister, please send her that email and let her know how you feel but do it for you, not for her. Everyone deals with illness differently and if your sister was selfish before your diagnosis that isn't going to change. I'm not saying that to be mean or nasty about your sister. She just doesn't know how to be any other way. I was lucky in that my sister's illness has brought us closer together. Unfortunately, due to the choices that she and her husband have made over the years, we haven't been very close to them or to my niece and nephew. We don't fight at all but we just don't get to see each other very often and we only live two miles from each other. I've made it a point to call her every couple of days just to see how she's doing. I hope that your sister will connect with you more often. My hope for you, Jen, is that you can hit the "send" button on your email and then let this go. We all have our own journeys in this lifetime. Pray that she finds her way to you or to whatever it is that she's missing in her life that keeps her from being a part of yours.

    Many blessings to you, Jen. You are a Warrior and a Teacher and a Mother Extraordinaire. The love you exude is felt by all that read your blog of courage and of life's trials and tribulations. One Day at a Time ~ Let Go and Let God.

    ~ Wendy xoxoxo

  25. I say send the email to your sister. You are doing you part. The rest is up to her. You will have nothing to regret.

  26. I am so happy you're feeling good, Jenni B.

    Your sister? There is no excuse for her lack of compassion. I have found, though, that people do strange things when someone they love becomes really sick. I had people I knew only peripherally totally come through for me. Others, including a few who are were in my inner circle, checked out for months at a time...a few even permanently. But sometimes people do not have what it takes inside to go through a serious illness with someone.

    Love the scrapbook pages. So sweet that you do that. I may just have to make a few books for my kids...

    Have a good Sunday, honey!

  27. Hi Jen,
    I'm loving your scrapbook pages, you're doing a wonderful job! Absolutely send the email to your sister. It's how you feel, so go ahead and send it, get it off of your chest.

  28. Think you should send the email to your sister. She should be there for you, and at least if you send it you have said your piece and the next step is her choice!!
    Nicky from Canada
    Lots of prayers

  29. have you checked out kris carr's she is a cancer survivor so full of inspiration and a wealth of information and links on cancer. you may have seen her or know who she is -- she's been on oprah with dr. oz. she's a young woman like yourself, and was diagnosed with stage 4 liver cancer which she has managed to control (she actually shrunk the tumors in her liver). many who have cancer and are cancer survivors visit her site. i spent an entire weekend just poring thru her site beginning from her first post as i wanted to see her extraordinary journey.

    as for your sister, i don't know what to say. you will know what to do. maybe she's afraid and doesn't know how to handle your situation, i don't know. it doesn't make it right, and i am not saying that that is the case, but maybe this is another possibility. i would send her the email you wrote and see if she responds. and when she finally comes to visit, i would have a heart to heart; unfortunately, emails and letters do not register emotion.

    i wish you many blessings and peace throughout this difficult journey you are going thru right now. you seem to be responding very well to the treatment and that is excellent! stay positive about yourself and others, do not let negativity come and take away your progress, and let the universe take care of everything else. your job right now is to take care of you. only you, in the embracing and "good for your soul" love of your son.

    blessings and love,

  30. jeni i love the layouts! keep them coming! they are so cute and so inpsiring. i am just thrilled to hear you are feeling so much better lately. God answers prayer.

    as for your sis, it just makes me so sad to hear how she is responding to you. at a time when a girl needs her sister the most. i don't get her. i am in favor of sending the email... she needs a wake up call and hopefully this will be her nudge. does your mom or other family members say anything to her? it truly is hurtful and i would feel the same way as you hon...

    i am gearing up to send you a big long email..i have so much to share with you all that is happening on this end.

    hugs and blessings my sweet jeni,

  31. Dear Jen -

    It's a long story, but the owl is the symbol for my son who died at 6 days old, so whenever I see a representation of an owl, I feel that he's saying hi. So your layout was special to me.

    I am so hopeful for your treatment. I am pulling for you.

    I'm sorry to hear about your sister. I didn't hear a word from my brother when my son died, and still haven't. I think that illness and death is very hard for people, but that's no excuse.

    I am praying for and with you.

  32. I too am so hopeful for your surgery. I really want you to beat this!

    I typed some other stuff and then deleted. I didn't know if it would be understood. But I am that sister who doesn't communicate. No hard feelings... just no feelings and a long road between my sister and myself.