Friday, 1 August 2008

The News So Far...

Hi everyone, well on Thursday night, (last night actually), I had an appointment with my oncologist. I went in and sat down, he had a lot of papers in front of him that he was perusing as I sat and got settled. He looked up at me and said "well, I have the results of some tests here from Peter Mac, it looks very good. I'm not a surgeon but it looks as though the tumor is contained in the pelvic area. It is pushing up against your bladder and about to attack your vagina." (sorry to be so blunt but I don't hold anything back on this site). Anyway, he repeated that it looks good - in terms of having the surgery. He reminded me that it is radical surgery and that he thinks that if they are going ahead with it, it will be within six weeks, could be as soon as two weeks. He feels so strongly that they are going to go ahead that he cancelled chemo which was due today, as he said that if they do want to go ahead with the surgery, they will want me to have some time off chemo first so we may as well start now. He did say that if they don't go ahead that it won't matter in the long term that I missed a few treatments. He feels it is the best option for me and then said that actually it's the only option. The Avastin, which is the best the cancer world has to offer me, will only buy me a little time, this may save my life. Indeed it is expected to or they wouldn't be doing it.

So, how do I feel? Well, to be honest I was a little overwhelmed at first. I would be being untruthful if I didn't admit that the immensity of the surgery frightens me. The recovery is very tough, it includes intense rehabilitation, I will lose my bladder, so it means having another bag - I will literally be a bag lady! It means having my rectum/anus completely sewed up, everything in my pelvis gets removed, I am not sure about my vagina but I think it's possible they have to remove that too! So, I guess as my mum put it, it's great that it can be done and that my life can be saved, but at what cost, she finds it just heart wrenching that it is my only option. I understand completely what she means by that.

Then, later, when I was finally completely alone, I started thinking about how close I have come to losing my life, to Jack losing his mother, I have tasted it, tasted the fear and pain, the absolute gut wrenching thought of Jack's pain when I just didn't exist anymore, when he couldn't just turn to me and say how sad he was feeling, oh the thought of what he would go through was just tragic. All these thoughts went through my head and then I literally had to grab hold of the wall because I almost fell to my knees in gratitude and hopefulness. I felt this amazing love and, well sorry to repeat myself, but gratitude well up and wash over me in waves. I thanked God for all I was worth. The saying 'thou shalt not forsake me' kept running through my mind. It brings tears to my eyes now as I relive that moment writing it to you.

So all things considered, if the surgeons at Peter Mac do decide to go ahead, I am willing and oh so grateful for this second chance. Losing some of my insides is a small price to pay to get to stay with my boys. When I honestly think about what I would go through to save Jack from that pain of losing me, I would do anything I think, as long as I could still walk and talk, then I would do anything. It is not about me, it is about him, I do not want losing his mother at a very young age to be part of his heritage and part of who he is.

I must remember not to get to far ahead of myself because this is only the Oncologists opinion and as he said to me "I'm not a surgeon, but it looks as though everything is okay to go ahead from these test results." He also seemed extremely happy. He told me that if I had decided to go through with it, to try not to think about it too much and just do it. Probably good advice, but easier said than done. I was talking to my nurse yesterday, before I went to my oncologist, she comes to see me once a fortnight. Anyway I asked her whether she had met anyone else that had had this kind of surgery as she works in the cancer and palliative community and is in charge of the nursing side of things across the entire peninsula. She has only ever met/seen one person who had this radical surgery. It was a woman about my age. She looked as though she wouldn't recover from the surgery but she did- as thin as a rake. The cancer came back though, my nurse couldn't remember exactly how long after the surgery it came back but she was sure it was under two years! I know everyone is different but it just shows that even if I do have this surgery, there is no 100% guarantee that it still won't come back, or show up in a different place. They remove everything they can so it has nowhere to come back to in that area, but it doesn't necessarily mean it won't pop it's ugly head up somewhere else, does it? So I go into this with my eyes wide open, knowing that it is a good chance but not definite.

Anyway my dear blog family, thank you for being with me throughout all of this, it has been a long haul and I have a bit further to go, I know you will continue to support me through this last bit and I am grateful to you for it. As soon as I talk with my surgeons and find out exactly what is going to happen and whether they actually can do the surgery, I will report back and leave nothing out. I love you all and I know you will be excited over this news but do just keep in mind it is not final yet. I love you all, take good care of yourselves and each other.

Also, just on a different note for a moment, is anybody still having trouble leaving comments? I have changed back to the normal blogger set up from the experimental one but I am not convinced that it is working properly for everyone. Let me know if there is any problem.


  1. Jen I'm thinking about you and I will continue to pray for the best outcome. You totally hit the nail on the head when you said you would do anything for your sons. I think that truly is what it all comes down to in the end. I don't know how you have come this far but I believe your love for those boys has kept you going. Hugs Lisa L.

  2. That is very positive coming from your oncologist. Let's hope the Peter Mac surgeons think the same way. If it gives you more quality time to spend with your boys it is worth it. We need you around too!
    love and hugs
    K xxx

  3. My friend,
    Good to know the surgery is possible altough it will be a battle after it. We are here to support you with friendship and love. I say we because I feel I make part of this blog family, this good intentioned people, without knowing them in person and vive-versa.

    Allow yourself to receive direct reiki. I say reiki because it is the only energy therapy I know and practice. Cancer can be healed. It can't been seen as a monster - it is hard but we can't give it the power it possibly might have. I believe in your healing. I don't know if I should say this, but I do. What I have to say is that there is a huge and wonderful energy world around us which we don't see (some people can, lucky ones!) but can feel. Spiritual light beings help us in our lives - they are only waiting for us to call them because they want to approach us. But we have to call them and open them our souls, our doors to this world of heaven. Don't be afraid.
    Wishing you a very good weekend, regards to Jack and Jamie.
    Sending love
    (I've changed my blog address, it is no longer nr-reiki)

  4. This is some encouraging news - PRAISE THE LORD. I have not stopped praying for you and I will continue. I know the Lord will watch over you and protect you.

    Your blogging sister in North Carolina (USA)

  5. Wow - some good news. I know you're being cautiously optomistic! I'd be too! Such incredible decisions to be made. But you always seem to make the right ones. You know in your heart what you need to do. I will keep you in my thought and prayers over the next week as you wait for the final decision from Pete Mac. Try not to go bonkers waiting for their response. Here's a big hug from way across the pond!


  6. Though it will be a tough road with the surgery, for Jack to have his mama is a wonderful gift for him!

    Cindy in Canada

  7. I'm so sorry that you are having to make these tough choices, Jen--your mum is right in that there's a terrible cost, and one you shouldn't have to pay. but the thought of Jack being saved from such pain, even if only for a while, seems an immense blessing. I will be saying prayers for you that your surgeons agree with the oncologists, and that things move along quickly for you. Give yourself a big hug, and then give one to Jack, too. xoxo

  8. keeping you in my thoughts. I await the news with you. :)

  9. Dear Lisa, my love for my boys has definitely got me this far, no doubt about it - I would be dead if not for that, the doctors have told me this. Thanks for your support Lisa, take care Hugs Jx

    Darling Karen, thank you so much and yes it is totally worth it even for a bit more time with my boys. Love to you Jx

    Bete! So good to hear from you, yes you certainly are a big part of this caring blog family and thank you so much for all the information on Reiki, I do appreciate it truly. I am fascinated by how it all works and wish you lived near by so we could chat all about it and you could teach me what you know. Hugs and Love to you my dear friend, Jxxxx

    Dear Nancy, thanks honey for the kind words and for praying for me all along, you are a good soul. Take care Jxxxx

    Thanks Laura, I will try not to go bonkers! No more than usual anyway!!! Thanks for the support hun, take care Jxxx

    Thanks Cindy, I think it is worth it so Jack doesn't have to suffer. Hugs xxxxx

    Thanks dear Christine, I know it is a tough one but I have to look at it as though, wow, I've got a chance and there are thousands of people that haven't, which is really very sad
    so I am extremely grateful. Hugs xxxx

  10. Jen,
    Oh I have tears streaming down my face. I am indeed overwhelmed by your news! Be brave Jen, and try not to think too much about it. Here is a second chance, I think you are going to do well, you are strong! I know it's going to be extremly difficult, but knowing you'll be there for your son is all that you need to know it is worth it all. You will be in my prayers every night my dear. Bless you, and stay strong.
    Hugs and Love,
    PS - no problem with leaving this comment.

  11. SO very happy for you! I wish it was an easier solution but I'm so glad there is an option that makes you feel hopeful.

  12. Hi sweet girl.

    This is one powerful post.

    I am simply amazed at the love you have for your sons and for your life. And yet... my heart aches at the options placed before you.

    Jenni, if this radical surgery is what you have to do to linger with us longer, I'll be sending up mighty prayers for your physical, spiritual and emotional strength and healing.

    If I'm feeling this range of feelings, I can only imagine what you are experiencing.

    You're unbelievably strong.

    Love to you.


  13. I don't have any words of encouragement that you haven't already heard, just want you to know that I'm with you in spirit!
    Love, prayers, kisses and hugs, Debbie

  14. Hi Jen. I found your blog quite a while ago via Ali Edwards' blog. I have been reading it every day since. There are probably a lot of people out there, like me, who sit quietly on the sidelines. Really just unsure what to say. Today I decided it was time to just say hello and to let you know that although I don't know you personally, I think of you often, and always hope (pray) that everything will turn out alright. You are an inspiration to us all. Love, Kristen

  15. Thank you so much for posting an update!! That is great news; of course you're still waiting for the actual decision but we're all praying for you. When will you hear? Your angels are watching over you with everything they've got...

  16. I say GO FOR IT! It sounds like there are more pluses than negatives. I know the recuperation sounds brutal but with what you have been through and what you have to gain it sounds like you have more to gain.

  17. Dearest. I am hopeful for you. If this is what you want, then I hope that you get it. I think, given the situation, I would like to think I would do this for my children as well. I hope you hear from the surgeons soon.

    Love to you.

  18. oh Jeni this is such good news.
    I am feeling hopeful with you.
    It sounds like there are both responses and both quite sane and normal to me.
    that you would be so grateful for this, want it so much, to have your life back, and that it would be a loss. Sometimes the best possible option involves loss. And then back to the hope and giving thanks. It's all there, and neither one negates the other.
    So I am feeling this loss with you and hoping with you.
    love to you.

  19. Oh, Jenni, I feel intensely grateful to hear that there is such a good chance for your surgery to go ahead. Of course it is radical, of course there are losses involved, but you are taking the only possible attitude - the important thing is to do what you can to be able to stay with your boys. Bless you (And thank you for your message of sympathy on the loss of my mother. That was so kind of you.)

  20. Wow! I think this is wonderful wonderful!! I just read a book about visualization and how it helped this woman through her recovery from surgery. If anyone is strong enough for this, it is you! Susie

  21. if anyone can endure this surgery and recovery it is YOU. you are the strongest person i've ever known.

    God willing can do this.
    my heart skipped a beat when i read this latest entry.

    i love you, and remain so hopeful.

  22. Thanks dear Rose, I will need all the prayers I can get and I know I can count on you all for that. Thanks for being so lovely. xxx

    I know what you mean Fern, I am just so glad there is an option too. After thinking there wasn't one, it's amazing how grateful you can be. Hugs to you sweet friend xxx

    Sweet Jill, thank you so much for your faith in me. Hopefully it will strengthen my own. I am definitely fearful of what is to come, still grateful at the same time. Thanks for your lovely words, take care, hugs Jenxxx

    Thank you dear Debbie, that means such a lot. xx

    Hi Kristen, big welcome to our blog family! I am so glad you did come out and say hi and thank you so much for your support and kind words, it means a lot. I love Ali's blog and I couldn't believe it when she mentioned me to be honest, I don't know how she heard about me but it was so sweet of her, and this is sweet of you so thanks again and welcome. Hugs J xx

    Thanks Daphne, I tell you my Angels must be worn out! I will hear for sure in about 2 weeks, I will let you know as soon as the appointment is made for me. Thanks for your love and support Daphne, I appreciate it so much. Hugs Jxx

    Yep Lynn, I am with you, I will indeed GO FOR IT. Not to say it isn't a bit scary though but still worth doing I believe. Thanks for the support. hugs J xx

    Dear Danielle, thank you, i don't know that it's what I want so much as it's the only chance I've got to stay alive for more than a couple of years so I've got to take it if I want to spare my sons the pain and hurt of losing their mother. It is going to be tough but hopefully I will survive it somehow. I forgot to add in my post that the operation itself is very risky but as I know I'd be dead in two years anyway, the risk is kind of worth it ya know?? Anyway hun, love to you and thanks for your continued support (am loving using the scrapping stuff x)Hugs Jxxx

    Dearest Bella, you totally get my mixed feelings and emotions on this, you are amazingly thoughtful and intuitive and I love you, thanks for stopping by so often and offering me love and kindness and support. Hugs Jxx

    Dear Imelda, you too understand that I have to do this and I have to look at it the way I am and that is to be grateful. As for the message regarding your loss, you are very welcome and I hope you are doing okay. Thank you my friend for your continued support. Hugs Jxx

    Dear Suzie, thanks for your belief in me, that helps, perhaps if you all think I am strong enough then I am. Sounds like an interesting book, maybe I need the name of it? Anyway, thanks for commenting darling, take care Jxx

    Vicki, thank you, your belief in me is so strong, it is touching. I hope it is based in reality because I am going to need all the strength I can get a hold of for this major op! Yikes, it is scary stuff but I know I must do it, I will think of little Jack so lost without me and I will be able to go through with it. Love and hugs to you sweet friend. Jxx

  23. Dearest Jenni—I am so in awe of your amazing strength and your powerfully loving spirit. I am so happy that the cancer is contained and my great prayer is that when the surgeons go in they discover the surgery needn't be too radical. I think we can ask in prayer, all of us, for the cancer to leave. We so want your beautiful self to be amongst us for a very long time and especially that you can there for your boys. We want your body as intact as possible. I am asking for that. Please know that we are here for you, through thick and thin, and that we send our prayers for you up daily with love and gratitude for knowing you, our sweet, amazing friend. How blessed your boys are to have such a mum as you!

  24. My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family.

  25. Dear Jen,

    Thank God for the good news that you can have the surgery! I will be thinking and praying for you and your family as you go through this...


  26. Jen hi,
    So glad to hear the road for you seems to be opening up ahead. A few weeks ago I did not know you and now you are an uplifting person in my life.
    Best wishes and virtual hugs from Ed in Adelaide.

  27. reading this again. i am excited. praying for you. love all around, muneera

  28. I'm so glad for you that you have another option to fight this thing! That's great! Got my fingers and toes crossed for you. Can't wait to hear what the people at Peter Mac say.

  29. Hello Jen - I was so pleased to see that your oncologist is giving you the thumbs up in his opinion for your surgery. I have been following your journey for quite some time and, not having even met you in person, I feel just from your wonderful and honest posts that if anyone can have a major surgery and make a great recovery it is you. I do not say this just to encourage you. I have seen in your writings time and time again that the fates have "shoved you down" and you've "stood back up and come out swinging"! I think your doctors must see this too and know that you can handle it. If they didn't see your ability to fight and fight hard they would not have encouraged you to even be tested to get this far. I'm not a mom so I can't imagine how much you want to be there for your boys. However my mom passed away from complications from a serious form of multiple sclerosis when I was 20 years old. She did much as you have been doing all along...fighting hard to live and trying to make our home life as "normal" as possible. To this day (I'm 50) the memories of her efforts have affected me in the most positive ways. This will happen for Jack too...and I'm praying this surgery does the trick for you and many years from now he will be able to tell you how much your efforts mean to him!

    God bless you, your friend from west Michigan, Sheila

  30. Dear are so very brave and such an incredible Momma to be putting your children ahead of what you will have to go through to give them more time with you. Sending lots of love and prayers your way.

  31. Jen hang on to that picture of the Boys you can do this and they are the motivation to get through it.
    I know for me thats is what pushed me this far. My thoughts and prayers are with you.

  32. Wow!!! Jen it's all so overwhelming, thinking of you always.

    Leeanne x

  33. your gratitude and faith and optimism in this time is truly an inspiration to me. Jen you are a teacher in the language of love. You are in my thoughts and hopes.

  34. Hi Jen,
    Wow - that is pretty overwhelming and amazing news! I'm really thrilled at the prospect of having something other than Avastin to try. When do you meet w/your surgeons? I agree with what the oncologist said about when you make the choice, to stay strong and to commit to it positively.
    Please know that we all support you whatever your choice is!
    Thanks for the update - I kept checking in to see how things went - really happy that all seems to be contained.
    Keeping good thoughts coming your way...
    Cate in Cal

  35. ps - no trouble posting comments from what I can see...
    Cate :-)

  36. Jen, I am so grateful this option is there for you. When dealing with cancer, making difficult decisions is just an understatement. Cancer is a vicious enemy. I pray that one day we will find cures for all cancers.

    You are such a brave and loving mother to your children. My prayers will support you in any choices you make.

  37. Waiting with bated breath and a hopeful heart for you, dear one...

  38. Jenn,
    You are a great mum! I am praying that the surgeons are as positive and optimistic as your oncologist and that they get started as soon as possible!
    Ruthie from California

  39. Jen,
    I can't imagine having to make such a drastic decision. But the key word in your decision is to LIVE while mastering the changes brought on by the surgery.

    Just think how your experience may help even one person down the road. God is right there with you every moment. He will not leave you or forsake you. Jesus said in John 10: 27-30 "My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me. And I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; neither shall anyone snatch them out of My hand. My Father, who has given them to Me, is greater than all; and no one is able to snatch them out of My Father's hand. I and My Father are one."
    You are so precious in the eyes of our Father and Lord, Jesus Christ that He gave His life so that YOU may have life everlasting. It's so simple, yet so hard for us to let go and let God do His work in us. Lean on Him and His promises in the bible during this trying time. You will make the right decision for your life, Jen. Make God your focus.

    Keep us posted!

    Hug and a Smootch!

    p.s. I've been on vacation, so 1 less person was commenting on posts. Hope you don't think we're "slacking". ha.

  40. This is wonderful news Jenni darling. I can't wait to hear what the surgeons say. I am feeling so clear that that things are unfolding in a way that is so very right. Love you dearly

  41. I usually just lurk here but I wanted to tell you how happy I am that you have this hope. I have been praying for you and your family and I will continue to do so.
    You deserve some good news, my fingers are crossed for you. Miracles can happen.

  42. Smiling and hoping and praying for you.

  43. I'm praying for you and your boys too, lovely Jen.

  44. My Darling Jen. If I could ever say anything to you that I wanted you to fully embrace in complete confidence and assurance, it would be this Truth ... You, dear Lady, are so much more a Person ... so fuller a Woman ... so thoroughly and overwhelmingly an Individual ... that to have a bit of your physical life-vehicle removed, as a dangerous threat to your continued blessing of the world that you constantly bless with your Presence ... is to consider the casting aside of some of what has served you well, to date ... but is as a spent 'booster rocket' that has propelled you this far in your journey ... and is now ready to be released. For You, Dearest Jen have lives and worlds yet to touch and bless. None of which will either be affected by, or take note of your inventory of 'parts.' For the Part that continues on ... is The Magnificent You. I love You so ... and am so grateful for the Gift of our Friendship.

    Lovingly ...

  45. Jen,

    You brave, beautiful woman... I am praying this will happen and be a great success. I think your thoughts about this are so right. The love of your children and time with them will always overshadow everything else. Wishing you blessings and continued courage today!


  46. Jen -

    I'm still with you here, always sending Green Mountain love...

    xo Jena

  47. :) I love joining this kind of chorus!

    No matter how it plays out, there is so much change ahead for you. Praying over those changes, that the well of grace you draw from never goes dry, that courage lifts you up, and that the doctors hold onto their hats... because they've not met anyone like you!

    I hope that you have an amazing and joyful time in the next week+, free of anxiety, full of peace.