Sunday, 9 November 2008

Hello my dear, well loved, blog family, I am sorry to be so long in posting and updating you. I am doing amazingly well in regards to recovering from the surgery, as even though they closed me back up, it was still an awesome cut to contend with afterward, however it has healed beautifully and I have been up and about well before anyone thought I would be. It is ironic to be so healthy apart from the cancer! In other news I am not doing so well. When I say that, I guess it is to be expected but I am finding the thought of telling Jack extremely difficult. You have all been so wonderful to me, encouraging and loving, I have felt so loved but I also feel a bit like a fraud! I read all these beautiful comments and also emails that you send to me telling me what a wonderful mother I am and what a great job I've done and am doing and yet I am totally failing in so many ways. I cannot for the life of me figure out how I am going to tell Jack - I really don't know that I can but when I think of anyone else telling him, I know it has to be me. Honestly it has to be the most difficult and wrenching thing I have ever done in my entire life and I know you all understand that and appreciate the awful path I have ahead of me. The other reason I feel a bit of a fraud is because I haven't been the wonderful mother you all think me to be. David, especially, has made it very clear that I have stuffed up the job of raising our son in many ways. He says I have turned him into a sulk and a mummies boy and I am overprotective etc, etc. He and Jack have been fighting a bit lately and it worries me terribly especially as David always loses his temper and starts blaming me in the middle of telling Jack off, saying things like, this is all your fault etc etc. I did say to David at one stage (not in front of Jack), 'well you try and raise a child when you have cancer and are having chemo and radiotherapy and have very little in the way of help and see how well you do.' His response was 'do you want a badge.' Charming...At least I have taught Jack what love is, I have encouraged a sensitive side in him which I believe is important and have given him confidence in himself and many other important things. As for overprotective, hell yes I'm overprotective, I want him home every minute with me, I don't want him out there in the big scary world when I know I am not going to be around to help him navigate his way. I have overcompensated at times when I feel so sad that I have been unable to be there for him properly because I am just so tired from chemo that I put another movie on for him to watch, I know I have but I have tried to correct that, I try to correct everything I do that is off balance because I love Jack more than I love myself, and that is why I don't keep him home with me every minute and it's why I don't do a lot of things that I would otherwise do. I make mistakes, yes I do but I try really hard and I have needed some help here, I have virtually done this alone. I would go off to chemo alone, I would literally come home to a messy house because I would have been rushing in the morning to try and get Jack and I ready and leave on time, I would then have to put dinner on, try and give some quality time to Jack all whilst feeling like absolute crap but to be fair it didn't always 'hit' me that day, it could hit me a few days later, or on day 9, or I would just feel so lethargic and exhausted and not even realize when it actually 'hit' me and you know what, after a few chemo treatments you are just feeling like crap all the time, there is no break from it, chemo is cumulative so is radiotherapy so eventually you just feel like death warmed up and you are still trying to run the home and pretend to your little boy that everything is okay. So yes, there were too many times when Jack watched a movie or played playstation games and was pretty much ignored. I can't tell you how ashamed I am of those times, I cringe to even think about them but on the other hand, even as I write this from a space where I haven't had chemo for a few months, I feel sorry for me, I was really doing it hard and I should have had more help I really should have. There are reasons I think, why I didn't actually have the help I so needed. I like to think there are because the alternative is just so damn hurtful. The reasons that I think I didn't receive the help I needed were I came across very strong. I am a strong character and I think I looked like I was coping most of the time at least early in the peace! I would hate putting anyone out, so if someone asked me if I would like such and such, I would usually say 'no I'm fine thanks.' I later realized that I didn't need to be asked, I just needed someone to go ahead and do what was needed. Then there was also the fear that if I wasn't coping, my family would make that known to David and then David would try to take Jack away from me and would probably succeed because I have a terminal illness. That absolutely terrified me to be honest and it still does somewhat, I have it hanging over my head that if I don't 'play ball' he can just throw that one at me and go ahead and succeed in taking my son. When I say 'play ball', don't get me wrong, he has been wonderful, keeping everything running really well but I have noticed the things that were issues in our marriage are still issues now when trying to live together. When he is tired, he totally loses the plot, he gets irrational, bad tempered and takes it out on those around him. He hurt Jack's feelings terribly yesterday and look I wasn't 100 per cent sure what went on but I did hear the majority of it and I believe Jack, David was out of line, he over reacted and scared Jack witless and then Jack started calling for me, as I started to walk down the hall towards Jack, David turns around and points his finger at me and says, 'you stay there, this is half of the problem, he thinks he can just turn to you whenever he wants'. Well, I am ashamed to say I hesitated and it's because he has told me how he needs my support and that Jack knows he can wrap me around his finger, all of which is true and I am aware of that. I think that's why I hesitated. I waited a few minutes and then I went to Jack anyway. David had picked him up and thrown him into bed and told him he was to stay there for the afternoon. I went straight to Jack and hugged him tight, David says, in front of Jack 'don't cuddle him, it just tells him he's right and he can get away with things.' I didn't care, I just kept hugging my child who was sobbing and couldn't believe his father was behaving this way. I could tell Jack was just so hurt. As it turned out David was leaving anyway that afternoon (today Saturday), he was going back to Warragul for the weekend and he was leaving soon. Anyway more drama continued, Jack did not understand, I was disgusted as he did the whole ' this is your fault' thing in front of my sobbing son and theneventually, after trying to convince Jack that he was wrong and failing miserably, he left. Jack wouldn't even say goodbye, he wouldn't say sorry and David threatened him with losing his swimming lessons and all sorts of things that Jack loves, Jack still would not apologize for something he believes was wrong and you know what - I don't blame him. Then David calls out 'I love you' and Jack said 'I hate you', which is so rude and luckily David didn't hear him, well, he didn't react so I don't think he heard him. He also told David that he's never, ever going to his place again but that was a bit earlier in the piece. Anyway, I don't even know what I hope to achieve by relaying all of this, perhaps I just need to get it out but I just didn't know what to do. My feeling, then and now, was and is to tell him to get his stuff and get the hell out and that we are not putting up with his tantrums and rudeness no matter how much help he is during the week. The reasons I did not do this are - I am ashamed to say he has me believing somewhat that I have let Jack play me like a fiddle and that Jack needs to toughen up a bit and that I am responsible for a lot that is wrong. Even though I kind of want him to leave, I am scared at the same time because he is just so much help and MOST of the time he is fantastic and handles Jack just so well. Jack does need a routine and a bit of firmness and David has been providing that, he is doing better at school, his attendance is way better but this time he was out of line and I just wasn't sure whether I should have stepped in or whether I should have left it to them to sort out - but it wasn't getting sorted out and my boy was so very upset and he needed me. You know what hurts the most is that one time this is going to happen and I'm not going to be there to help him or to go to him and cuddle him, he is going to be left alone with his father in a bad temper and he will have to wear it all on his own!

Anyway, this is where it is left, David took off to Warragul, Jack sobbed and cried for another 20 minutes or so and talked to me about his feelings and I tried to help him deal with what had happened. All I could end up saying was that 'daddy is very, very tired.' Jack said 'but he gets early nights he should be fine', I said ' no remember the other night he went to see that band in Melbourne and he didn't get home till really late and then the next night he didn't go to sleep till really late he told me, so I know he was exhausted. Plus all the stuff he's been doing here all week which is a lot, and he's swimming himself everyday.' This seemed to soothe Jack's feelings a little bit, not much but a little bit, enough to start the calming down process. You know, everything I told Jack is true but I hate that David isn't responsible enough to ensure that he doesn't get that darn tired because he is irrational and absolutely horrid when he is so tired. Then Jack and I played board games until Jamie and his girlfriend came home which defused the situation for Jack a lot. Here I am, left wondering what my next move should be. I don't have a clue, anyone have any idea's for me, should I have stayed out of it, perhaps I am wrong to be going in and protecting Jack from his father...I don't know...I shouldn't have to is what comes to my mind. Oh well, there is always something going on I guess, I just really don't need all this right now though, I need peace and time to think and reflect and make decisions that are huge. I also need time for Jamie, he got put on the back burner while I was going through all my treatments because I was barely coping with Jack and because Jamie was older I thought well he'll just have to be okay because I don't have a thing left to give to him. Isn't that awful to actually have to consciously say that to yourself, just terrible. So consequently the kid now has issues and problems that stem from back then and he also has resentment and bitterness and I need time to spend on him and with him to work through stuff with him. He is seeing a physcologist through the hospice unit so he is not all alone and when anything happens, I phone Ben (that's the guy Jamie sees) and tell him what went on etc because Jamie tends to hold everything in. Whilst David was running the home and taking care of Jack, all I had to do was literally care for myself and play with Jack, (I got all the good bits) and it meant that I could spend time on Jamie talking and helping him and David is helping him enormously too, so if I asked David to leave, Jamie would be devastated. Jamie loves Dave being here and thinks Jack is a brat but I think all brothers think their little brother is a brat don't they? Don't forget that although Jamie is so much older he is intellectually disabled so he is actually quite a bit younger mentally than he is in actual years. Well, that's what's been happening in my world right now. I honestly would love to run away, just grab Jack and jump on a plane. I would head straight for Meg and then one by one visit the people who write on my blog that would like me to come and stay for a few days. I would hang out with my beautiful Meg and her wonderful community, I just know I have to get over there and meet her in person before I die, that is something that I must do and it has always been my dream to get to America too! Long before I knew anyone from there, even as a little girl I used to want to go to America, as I grew up I would have strange dreams that I was getting off the plane in the US and I would feel like kissing the tarmac because I was home! Isn't that so strange? It has always stayed with me and now I have so many reasons to get to America. I would just love it and Meg is willing to have me stay with her bless her heart. Oh we would have so much to talk about and just so much to do and say and feel and be. And then I can leave Meg and come visit you (the ones who want me too, especially you Cathy xxx) and then make my way back to Meg whenever I am ready. Oh I would LOVE to do that one day in the not to distant future. I am going to try and make sure it can happen. I have a couple tricks up my sleeve so we will see.


  1. Oh Jesus Jen, give yourself a break sweetie! Life is the shittest it's ever been for you at the moment. You are so scared of dying - maybe not the actual deed itself but leaving your totally beloved Jack.
    Thing is, its shit for everyone else who cares for you as well and I'm no psychiatrist but have heard somewhere that when someone we love is dying, our way of dealing with it or not as it were, is occasionally to hurt them because we are angry that they are leaving us. It's irrational but then again aren't we all flawed? A friend of mine, who's husband was dying, shouted at him one day, when she was tired and delusional with the intensity and grief of it all "Why don't you just hurry up and fucking die?" It seems inconceivable that we can say these things to each other but we do and have to live with it afterwards.
    No doubt David is shit scared of the responsilibities that are soon going to be all his and he sees his boy, clinging onto you for dear life and wonders what the hell he is going to do with him afterwards. So in some crazy moment he got angry with you for making Jack too dependent and with Jack for being 'wet'.
    He won't be a perfect dad Jen, but neither will he be a bad dad. He will be 'good enough' which to be honest, is all any of us parents can aspire to.
    Thinking of you - fancy a trip to Cornwall, England? The bed's already made xxxx

  2. Jen,
    Too much! You are dealing with too much!

    Have you considered going with Jack and David to a psychologist through the hospice unit? Perhaps you and Jack and then you Jack and David. Oh, even just you and David too. One, Jack needs to know the truth and he needs to know that you have a plan for him. Two, David needs to know that too.

    While you may not be raising Jack as he would, tough shit! There is a reason you, David and Jack have not lived as a family and those reasons still exsist even though you have cancer. Hopefully David will be able to reflect on this and realize that him raising his son is truly a gift from you - no matter how he feels about you.

    Kathy from Washington State, USA

    PS You can come visit!

  3. Jen - You (or anyone) cannot possibly deal with all this by yourself! Will David go to a therapist with you, for Jack's sake? Someone who is impartial may be able to look at this very very difficult situation and recommend some concrete things to make things easier for all of you.

    Making mistakes does not make you a bad mother - we ALL say and do things we never thought we would and we regret. Your love for your boys comes shining through in everything you do and that, at the end of the day, is what matters and what they will hold in their hearts and souls.

    David's caring for you and the boys was also evident in his posts, so perhaps he will be willing to hear out a professional before things get out of hand.

    I am so sorry you have to deal with this in addition to everything else. You are strong and lovely and loving. And a wonderful parent in an unbelievably wrenching situation.

    Much Love and Many Blessings - Susie

  4. Your son knows he is loved by you! You are a good mother because of this. :)

  5. Hi Jen, There is no such thing as a perfect life, perfect parents or a perfect child. Jack is dealing with things now that will prepare him for adversity later in life. We all do the best we can with what we have. That is what you are doing, and David is also doing this. If everything is wonderful while a child is young they will not have the coping skills when they grow up to deal with life and what it brings with it. I know your situation is difficult but you are doing a wonderful job. Just loving your child as you obviously do is a gift he will cherish all his life. Keep doing your best and loving your sons. As a mother that is what you do best. Take care. Kim

  6. Darling Jen - I am too much to say about this that I am not going to put here and will tell you in person. I live with someone who used to behave like that around my kids and it is not healthy for anyone - and I had it drummed into me that I was a bad mother, but it doesn't help if you undermine each others decisions. Maybe David is not coping either, I have agree with Alice and is lashing out in the only way he knows. I feel family counselling would be beneficial.
    You cannot do everything by yourself.
    love and hugs
    K xxx

  7. Jen you are a good mother and don't you ever doubt that. Jack loves you so much and he has a special bond with you. As he grows older he will always treasure the time he has spent with you.
    I wish I could be there to help you.

    Hugs & Love,

  8. Jen I would run to my son also. You are here right now and he needs you. And shame on David for putting him down - he needs positive vibes and praise right now. There is nothing wrong with him being sensitive and loving his mamma like he does. He will toughen up soon enough when life is thrown at him. I cuddle my 8 year old all the time. And if my husband were unfairly lashing out at him, you bet I'd interfere. The sad thing is that everyone should be enjoying each other right now; not stressed and upset. Unfortunately people cope in different ways. Oh Jen please don't feel that you have ever done anything other than the best someone could do in your situation. I don't eve know how you have done all that you have. Your boys have a mother that loves them unconditionally and would do anything to be with them. They are very lucky. Please take care of you a bit too. Hugs Lisa

  9. Oh I have been faced with a similar scenario with an ex without dealing with cancer on top of it. It's a chilling place to navigate.

    But those who have commented before me have said it best. I couldn't handle a fraction of what you've handled/are handling. Please stop criticizing yourself and give yourself the credit you deserve.

  10. Jen,
    I know I would be doing everything the way you're doing it with Jack. I wish I could take this stress out of your life, because you certainly don't need it, on top of everything else you are going through. I agree with Alice, I think David is lashing out because of his own fears. It is such a scary time for all of you. I will continue to pray for you, Jack, Jamie and David.

    I can tell you ALL of your blog family would come to you if you ever make it to Meg's. Put me on that list. I will be there. I love you. I pray for peace for you Jen.

  11. Well here then: America comes to you. No one is in it alone; it sounds like everyone is hurt and scared and stressed and why not? Why not?! It is hard to trust that you are the one and only expert at this. Everything in its own time. Here I am allowing you to do everything absolutely the "wrong" way knowing that it is right. You cannot err. Much love always.

  12. I love you. You are a wonderful mother. Jacke needs you, with all your strengths and all your weaknesses, for as long as he can have you. Give yourself the space and permission to be you--the mother that Jack chose--and let go of the rest. xoxo Meg

  13. We all do it wrong. We all do it right. We all make mistakes. We all love. We all fail and we all triumph. We all do the best we can with what we're given. In the end, I believe there is only love. What else can we believe? What else is there? You love your boys. They love you. In the end, that will always remain. In the meantime, may help and support find you and lift you up.

  14. Jen, so many of the previous commenters have said better what I'd like to offer, and there are suggestions there that could be really useful, too, but mostly it just really struck me that you "confess" that you're not the perfect mother we think you are. No, but you're the perfect mother for Jack and Jamie, and you have always done what you can for them. Most mothers I know would admit they let TV babysit when they're tired, overburdened, sick... I was never able to limit my son's time on computer games very well (and guiltily allowed him extra time when I needed a break). We all do what we can and you do need to give yourself the break you'd give anyone else. As to David's relationship with Jack... They will work it out, and help might be useful. I'd love to be able to visit or have you visit too, but in the meantime, know you're so often on my mind and in my prayers.

  15. Eh, Jen...I agree with what has been said above. Obviously, there was and is stress between you and David or you would have still been together. These things are still there.

    All I could add is that Jack needs to know the truth. He is reacting to what is going on...he knows something is up and sometimes not knowing when you know is worse than knowing the truth and dealing with it.

    Further, there are differences in how you deal with Jack because you are mothering him and David is fathering him...but you both love him.

    Take care sweet lady,

    Cindy in Canada

  16. Jen, you are a great mom! Don't worry about what David said. Sounds like he is probably hurt and scared and lashing out. I am sure he is trying in his own way to be a good Dad. But if he is being hurtful to Jack that is not good either. I would definitely look into some counseling for the 3 of you, individually or group whatever works.

    Sometimes when we are in the middle of a situation it is so hard to see what is going on. We get "feedback loops" going inside our own heads. That's when a helpful counselor can really be of assistance. Maybe with the Hospice they can help you find someone?

    It is ok and all of the love you give Jack will make him a stronger man in the future.

  17. This is going to sound so stupid but it's what I thought. I thought that if you were dying, things would be okay. People who loved you, your family and friends would step up to the plate and take care of you. I forgot that even as we die, life goes on. David sounds like he has issues that need to be dealt with. He's angry because he's scared. Jack is acting out because you've been sick and haven't been there for him and it's not your fault but it still needs to be addressed.

    But woman, dying should be easier. I don't know why I believe that, it's obviously not true. And I remember my father in law dying last fall, he pretty much died as he lived, still trying to screw people over, right up to the end.

    As for you, why do you think you need to do it all by yourself? Why won't you ask for more help? You've said you're afraid of losing Jack but Jack needs someone who can take care of him. He's a small boy and he needs someone to take care of him instead of him having to take care of you. Sounds harsh I know and I don't mean it to be but it's true. It's hard enough that Jack will lose his mother, he shouldn't be taking on the role of your protector as well. It's too much for a small child.

    As for David and his statement that Jack needs to toughen up says volumes about how he was raised. People, men especially, need to be able to feel and express their feelings. It is not a weakness but a strength. David sounds terrified of his feelings. That's a hard way to live because we always have feelings, even if we stuff them way down inside, they still exist.

    And finally, I'm sending a hug and a prayer. Hope things get better.

  18. Oh Jen ~
    I remember the exhaustion and the not-so-award-worthy mothering moments myself. How on earth we are still loving mothers after a day full of poison pumping through our veins I will never know. Even when things are tough, and I know right now they are, Jack knows you LOVE him and that is what matters most. Kids are intuitive...even though you are scared to tell him, he probably has an idea that something is up. We were very up front with our girls from the beginning. We told them mommy has a bug in her body that is sick, very sick, and mommy is going to have to go to the hospital and the doctors are going to take it out. But, mommy will also have to take medicing to make sure the bug didn't have any friends in there with him and the medicine try to get rid of the bugs if there are any. We also told them there was a chance that there would be more sickness in mommy and if that was the case, that God might want me sooner than I was ready to go. I just couldn't lie to them, I wanted to know that if it was my turn, they knew I was always honest with them. Not saying you aren't, there's a difference between saying everything is going to be okay and not saying anything. You have to do what is right for you. But, so you know, my girls took it very well, they were uber-supportive and loving. I also had help, though. That is key. I can so see me in your shoes if I didn't have help. I get that.

    Know that I'm thinking of you and wishing you peace of mind. Jack will love you no matter what. You are a wonderful mother no matter what. Love yourself, that will be Jack's greatest gift.

  19. Oh Jen ~ I cannot believe that you are having to deal with all this ~ and try and cope with it all ~ it breaks my heart!!
    I am thinking of you and seding you love and hugs ~ as always.
    Take care my friend XXXX

  20. Jen
    There is not alot I can add to what has already been said to you. Do you not think tho that it is time to let those friends in to do the dishes now and then or cook the odd casserole. Listen to your nurse and work with her the best method of informing Jack. We all have failings as a mother... right now I feel like a massive failure! Its normal, we don't fail tho, because our kids are healthy and well mannered (most of the time in my sons case) and have morals.... which is the above all most important. I think the whole reality of the situation you all seem to be in is hitting David right now so unfortunately he is retaliating with anger. It is time to start wheeling and forming a few longterm plans sweet. We all love you and are here to hold you when you crumble. That's what friends are for and what we do best.


  21. Hi there, I have just popped in to address a comment that bothered me a little bit. It was the one from Deb and most of it is lovely there is just a little piece where she says:-

    "He's a small boy and he needs someone to take care of him instead of him having to take care of you. Sounds harsh I know and I don't mean it to be but it's true. It's hard enough that Jack will lose his mother, he shouldn't be taking on the role of your protector as well. It's too much for a small child."

    Now I am not sure where in my post I gave the impression that Jack takes on the role of protector for me or where I have said that he is taking care of me, but let me assure you most strongly that Jack does not take care of me in any way, shape or form! Quite the opposite in fact, he is a very normal child that leaves mess around and expects me to pick up after him, my illness hasn't, as yet, played to much havoc on him. I was commenting on the fact that when he was younger and I came home from chemo absolutely exhausted, I would put him in front of the DVD's or Playstation games and I felt bad for that because it happened quite a bit during that time but he has never ever had to take care of me, I truly don't know where you got that idea from but hear it straight from the horses mouth - he does not. When I get to the stage where I am not coping at home I get some help as David is here helping right now and will be for quite some months yet and while he is here we are working out the plan to follow that. So I hope I have made myself very clear, I would never rely on a 7 yr old little boy to take care of me.

  22. Jen

    I'm praying for you sweet friend. I can not imagine how hard everything is for you now. The last thing you need is for David to put guilt on you or to upset you by saying awful things and upsetting Jack.


  23. Jen I am sorry if I offended you, it was not my intent. The fact is that you have been sick for much of your son's short life. That has had an impact on his development. It's not your fault that you've been sick and I'm not trying to blame you. But having an sick parent does change how a child develops. And having a parent who will die before he is grown will also effect him. You are gone when you are in the hospital and you are absent when you are very ill, and no it's not your fault. But Jack could use some help to deal with what's going on in his life. Children often misunderstand what's going on, feel they are to blame in some way, have emotions that they feel bad about having or don't understand. That's what I meant to say when I wrote what I wrote. He probably is protecting you in some way from what he feels. I'm angry at my own mother right now because I know she will die soon and I'm having a hard time coping with it at 46. I can't imagine being only six and just because he's only six, don't imagine he doesn't have some idea of what's going on, of how sick you are.
    You have way more than enough of your plate but so does Jack. He needs your help to get through this.

  24. Dear Jen,

    Wow, you really dont need this added stress do you? I would react the same way and protect and smother my little boy with love and attention. As someone else said, Jack has plenty of time to toughen up later on...if Jack needs his Mom then he needs his Mom. I hesitate to comment on David as I dont know him. He may be acting out of fright, frustration, stress etc but poor Jack and poor you. It does seem that talking to someone together may really help.

    As always, thinking of you...


  25. Jen,
    I am not a perfect mother and neither are any of us here. We do the best we can, learn, and go on. It isn't necessary to beat ourselves up over the past or what lurkes in the future, just live in the moment and do what feels right.
    I think David needs some serious counselling and parenting classes! I'm sure he's going through tough times too and could use the help.
    You all could use counselling together. What is coming will be the most difficult event in everyone's lives so professional help would undoubtedly be of benefit!
    You are invited to Minnesota as well when you come to the states! The Twin Cities has a ton of fun things to do and beauty of it's own. I would love to have you! :)
    Take care Jenni and consider the counselling. :)

  26. Jen
    Try not to be so hard on yourself, we all do it with our children - my little man is a momma's boy too and my hubby and I have fights over it also (however, in the big scheme of things the hubby is a momma's boy too!!-that's the funny part) That is why we have boys (at least my thoughts anyways) Just love him the way you know how and maybe talk to David about how important that is to you. Maybe it would be worth having someone that both you and David could talk to about dealing with telling Jack and how to deal with the struggles going forward - as it will not be easy for David, any loss is horrific to deal with, especially a mothers.
    If you make it to Canada - we would love to have you!!
    Just remember Jen , we all beat outselves up over these things without having the extra burden of Cancer to deal with on top of life in general. Make sure that you take time out for Jamie - he needs you also!!
    Lots of love and prayers
    Nicky from Canada

  27. Nothing I could say would make your world easier... but I think about you a lot.


  28. Jen, really I think fighting with you or criticising you is a form of denial of the gravity of your situation. I am sure he can't really mean it!

    And no one knows the way to do everything you are having to do, but we are cheering you on.

    I am hoping you get to come to America.

  29. God bless you, dear Jen. I wish I could make all of your problems go away.

    Don't doubt yourself as a good mother. First and foremost you love your sons, and that is what is most important.

    I agree that you really need to tell your little Jack, but I strongly suggest you have someone there with you. I believe Hospice should have someone to help you with this.

    I can't begin to know what is going on with David, but I do feel that his frustrations and venting should not be done in front of Jack. The two of you need to present a united front in parenting.

    I will pray even harder for you.

  30. Lots of love pouring your way.
    Trust yourself.
    Take on as much as you can.
    Leave the rest.
    You already have the most important thing covered... loving as much as you can.

    Peace to you, lovely Jen.

  31. Jen-
    none of us are perfect or even great parents all the time. All of you are dealing with a lot.
    I do know your heart and you love your boys. Just live in that light and the rest will follow-

  32. Adding my voice to the choir, let me say that you should surely give yourself a break. Go to your son when you think he needs you; it's much better than holding back. Perfection is not needed for parenthood--a loving heart will do just fine. And you have that in spades. I would add, though, to try to give David a break here too. God knows how all this is affecting him. Even if he isn't always behaving as he should, he's also in a tough place (not that his place compares with yours, of course).

    Please waste not a minute in self recrimination. You are human and so imperfect, but relative to most of the rest of us, you are still an angel of light. Believe that, please.

    God bless you.

  33. I second everyone's eloquence... you are coming from a place of love and that's what counts.
    Thinking of you and keeping you in the light!
    Cate in Northern California

  34. Jen thank you so much for your lovely comment on my really made my was so encouraging for me to read that you like what I do. I am in total awe that you give your time to leave lovely comments on blogs when you are living through such personal torment.

    There is so much going on in my mind that I want to say but I don't think any of it hasn't been said by others. I think that despite David possibly acting out due to fear, he also needs counselling to help him work through these issues so he can put Jack Jack will need to feel secure in the knowledge that his father will be a rock for him, and always be there for him. Love will get Jack through anything.

    Jen you are not a fraud, you are not are just trying to get through each day with no handbook to follow. When my son had cancer everyone praised me for 'coping' so well and they said they couldn't cope as well...but one has no choice but to cope and carry are only human and you are allowed to not cope, to stumble and fall at times. Please be easy on yourself, you are such a beautiful soul.

  35. Hi Beautiful. As you know, I am reserving my 'comments' for our phone chat. But I received this message in an Email ... and feel it proper and appropriate to forward it to you. So, My Precious, here is Debi Landrum's message ...

    My Dear friend, I read the latest post on The Comfy Place and I am so sad and upset. I wish I had your way with words for her. I cannot even comment anymore as something has been changed and will not allow me in. I feel bad that so many women are saying unkind things about her husband David. It seems to me that this is not the time to just tell Jen what we think she wants to hear. I feel she really needs help and she is asking for that help. There is some wonderful and loving advice from some. Thank the dear Lord. I worry about her older son almost more than Jack. Her husband must be a good man to change his life to come there to care for them all. Little kids know when something is goin on and Jack senses it too. He probably does get his way with mom and resents dad for stepping in. I worry that this will make it very hard when Jen is gone. He needs to not see dad as the outsider who doesn't aways give in to him. He needs a man for a dad. You are so good at being loving and being strong both. I worry that Jen may be creating a resentment in Jamie as he sees little brother get so much more attention from mom. She has admited to that. I think one lady said it but was very harsh and made it impossible for Jen to take it to heart. I could never have said it in that way. In fact I do not know what I would say except that David is not the bad guy here. Cancer is. Why am I writing you my friend? Heck, I have no idea. I needed to say these things to a kind ear I guess. Thank you for being here, you are the best, love debi

  36. Hello dear Jen. First of all bless you and your family. You are all amazing people, and I am in awe of the love that you share. Your comment about David reminded me of a quote I once read..."Just because somebody doesn't love you the way you want them to, doesn't mean they don't love you with all that they have" - what a quote huh?

    David is a wonderful father, and you a wonderful mom to both Jack and Jaime. Don't be so hard on yourself and David. Jack knows how you love him, and he knows how much David loves him. And he will hurt like hell no doubt when you are gone, but he has a strong foundation from both of his parents and is strong on solid and will carry him through. Focus on that my dear...and let go of the negative...if not for your own peace, then for the peace of those you leave behind.

    You continue to be in my thoughts and prayers. Enjoy your beautiful days my dear, cherish the moments...

    Sending you Love and Hugs,

  37. Jen Dear,

    Don't put yourself through a guilt trip about parenting. If there is something you want to change about yesterday, do it differently today and tomorrow.

    ASK for help when you need it. It's not helping Jack's sense of security by you and David being at odds.

    You and David might come up with a plan about holding each other accountable for your patience (or lack thereof!) I know your kids (like my kids) will push those buttons until we explode. We have to overlook their emotions and figure out the root of their frustration....lack of sleep, hungry, scared, or just being brats.

    David is going to have to let Jack be a little boy for now. Boys are sensitive creatures even though we expect them to be tough. Yelling at them all the time will squelch their spirit and create low self-esteem.

    My boys run to me when they're in trouble with their dad. It's hard for me not to want to yell back in anger at their dad, but I have to show a united front when I know he's right and they've been naughty. We can hug them and encourage them to do the right thing next time.

    DAVID: IF you're reading this, please help Jen by showing your love for Jack and Jamie in being patient and kind (and counting to 10 before you blow up) even when they're being toots. It's going to help her in letting go when it's time to say goodbye to this life, if she knows they are happy and secure with you.

    None of us can change our past. It makes us better people for having gone through some of our trials and failures. Don't pull each other down by bringing up negative things from yesterday. Show each other how you've changed by doing what is right--now and tomorrow.

    There is not one person on earth God cannot change by following Him and knowing his word (read Proverbs--it'll change your life and how you live and treat others). Remember that! We can't do this alone--it's just too dang hard!

    Love to you Jen and David.
    Hug and A Smootch!

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  40. This comment is addressed to the delusional woman that has written in and said that I am a hoax or my cancer is a hoax or whatever she meant - have YOU ever been with someone who actually has stage 4 bowel cancer with mets to liver and lymph nodes??? I think not otherwise you wouldn't question my integrity one little bit. I certainly was told that without that surgery I would die a slow painful death and it certainly has been that way so far, I am already on oral Ketamine in liquid form which can only be dispensed by Peter McCallum Institute and a cocktail of other drugs. I actually don't know why I am bothering to respond to you except that you got me quite angry with your rude ignorance. I have never had any problem with rude people on this blog before and haven't ever had to monitor the comments section but I see I shall have to if you are going to continue writing absolute rubbish and not even sign your name - you do it anonymously which, in my opinion, is very cowardly. If you are going to make strong accusations like you have at least have the guts to put your name or your blog or something to let us know who you are. As for asking how I can write on this blog if I'm so sick, well, I sit down on a chair and type, it's not exactly running the quarter mile is it? Anyway anyone that has been following my blog knows that I am extremely honest and open and some people that follow it actually know me in person and can validate the fact that I do indeed, very unfortunately, have cancer. I wish you were correct and that I did not. I can't help but wonder what possible benefit you get out of trying to call a very ill woman a liar, what reason could you possibly have? I am sorry for you, sorry that you have to be so very bitter and cynical and ugly enough inside to feel the urge to actually come onto my blog and express these false accusations. To all my other dear readers, I am sorry you have to see this I really don't want to have to monitor my comments section but I may have to in the future. I will leave it for now and just see whether I have anymore kooks coming on here and annoying me. ;)

  41. Oh Jen, I am sorry about all of this....sorry you have to endure this. Thinking of you...

  42. Hey "Anonymous",

    Even if Jen's story WERE a hoax--we'd STILL celebrate her life!!!

    Your comments are not welcome here in our circle of faith, hope, love and friends!!!

  43. I cannot believe that "hoax" comment - and it @#$% me off. Posted as "anonymous" - so gutless.

    Jenni is my friend (the type made of flesh and bones - not a cyber creation!) and she is very sick whether you choose to believe it or not! (And an absolutely adorable, very creative mother who is doing the best she possibly can for her family under difficult circumstances even if she doesn't believe it sometimes - but I digress......) The surgery and its pros and cons are very real - I also know someone else who has been through it earlier this year

    As Kat says we celebrate life, hope and faith and we love Jen for who she is - not for what she has.

    You are not welcome here.

  44. Goodness Jen, I can hardly believe what I'm reading from anonymous. What a sick person to feel the need to write such horrible things. You have no business here. Please do not come back.

    Jen, please don't waste your energy on this garbage.


  45. Hey Jen, I snuck in here to see how you were....i'm from Minti and you haven't been on for some time. I have been thinking of you and wondering how you are going.
    Sorry to hear of your trouble with your son and his Dad. Don't beat yourself up, i am surprised that he would say such things to you and not understand your plight for your son....of course you let him get away with things and you are 'soft' on him. What mother who has cancer wouldn't? Or what father for that matter? I wish you had more help, so you could spend every precious moment with Jack.....thinking of you
    Julie (domestic-warrior)

  46. How are you doing Jen? Just thinking about you and wanted to let you know you are in my prayers.
    God Bless
    Nicky from Canada

  47. PS - I am so sad that someone would send you such a horrible note.
    Thinking of you
    Nicky from Canada

  48. Jen, I just want to let you know I'm thinking of you. You are such a special lady and Jack & Jamie are so fortunate to have you for their mother.
    Love & Hugs,

  49. I found your blog recently and would like to comment here, based on my own experience. My husband died a year ago form pancreatic cancer. Our son was 4 and the two of them were as thick as thieves. My son, my husband and I all went to a counselor to figure out how to cope and how to explain it all to my son. A year later, my son still sees that counselor once a month. It was been very helpful.

  50. Jen, thinking of you and have just read your comment to anon. Sorry you had to deal with're such a loving and sweet person!!! You are SUCH a wonderful mother!! You know we all think that :-) You just keep doing what you're doing....don't worry. Jack will be a better person, husband, and maybe even father someday...all because of ALL the love you are showing him now. I love how you love him so sweetly :-)

    Thinking of you and still praying for a miracle....

  51. One thing that occurs to me is that David is also afraid of losing you. He is having trouble finding a way to express that to you and to Jack. He knows that a time is coming when you will not be around to step in and love Jack, to explain all that you explain, to love his as you do - and that must frighten him. Unfortunately, some people have great difficulty in expressing their fears, especially to the person they need to express them with. And worst of all, some people take that anger and fear and frustration out on children, especially the children of the one they are losing. Does that make any sense? Not an excuse for bad behavior or hurtful words, not at all. But just a possible explanation. David is as frightened and unmoored as you are, perhaps more so.

    As many have commented and suggested, it would be great for all of you to speak to someone who can help you sort out some of these feelings and fears, starting with you and David together. It would be great to find a safe and neutral place and person to help you figure out what steps you can take to let Jack know more of what is going on and help you prepare for what is to come.

    In the meantime, keep loving Jack, hugging him, taking his side as often as possible, and letting him feel your love and care and total commitment to him. And to yourself, dear Jen.

  52. Hi Jen - just popping by to tell you I have been thinking of you today. Hugs Lisa L.

  53. Hi Jen,

    Checking in to see how you are. Stay out of the drama and stay in the love. You deserve to be around things that give you joy and love right now. You are a wonderful Mom and Jack and Jamie are soooo lucky. I think as mothers, we all question how well we've done our job. I know from reading your blog since the begining that your world, your life, your heart is your children. This is what matters most, my dear. And those words that you have written will be read by your sons one day. And they will know without doubt the love you have for them.

    Take care Jen, and I am sending many blessings your way. PS if you are in the midwest states, stop in Iowa!!


  54. Hi Sweetie,

    I love you.
    All of you.
    The not so perfect mothering...which is just perfect.
    The trying to cope with what you have...and doing great! Do you hear? GREAT!
    Being ill...and always positive! I wish sometimes you can show us the angry side...heehee :-) (you can whisper it in my ear)
    The trying to be objective 'wife' (since not divorced')...who invites 'daddy' into her lucky is have his daddy in his house.
    The open and gentle and beautiful and gorgeous and brave and strong and soft and creative woman that you are.
    I love you.
    All of you.

    Just be, Jen. You don't need to do anything else.

    Just be.

    I love you xx

  55. Teehee....wanted to read my comment see if it shows just 'how much' i love you...after approval...sigh*...people!

    This is great! now i can get even more personal...and just tell you how much i love you!

    I'll keep it for the next one :-) giggles*

  56. I'm sorry someone would send you hurtful words. Glad you didn't let an anonymous idiot get to you!

  57. I've no idea what was said, but can gather a little from the comments.... How anyone could not beleive you is frankly, stupid. No-one could make your illness up.

    Your wedding photos are just beautiful by the way...

    Keep up the amazing effort.