Wednesday, 3 December 2008

Thoughtfulness...

That is what the past few weeks have felt like, like I've been in a cloud of thoughtfulness. The details of day to day living have barely filtered through. I haven't returned phone calls, I haven't kept up with paperwork and bills, I haven't really known what day is what apart from when I have to have chemo - had it again on Tuesday, but thankfully David has been keeping up with the day to day things we need, like food shopping and school programs and events. There is just so very much to think about when faced with your own passing. So many things you want to say and to so many different friends and loved ones. Also thoughtfulness in regard to sorting chaff from the wheat and asking yourself really honestly whether it matters if you allow some of the chaff to stay just because it hurts to much to let them go. Thoughtfulness about where to live and indeed when to live there. Thoughtfulness about how this affects others besides myself and my son (s). Thoughtfulness regarding the afterlife - that's a biggie. Thoughtfulness as to if there is something special afterwards do I deserve to be a part of that, have I done enough good, am I a good enough person, could I have done more, could I do more, which is the way that is the truth, is it Christianity, is it Buddhism, is it Jehovah's Witnesses that hold the key, or is just based on how much you have loved and been kind to fellow man no matter what your spiritual connections have been. Is it reincarnation and if so will I come back as a better person with a better life or will I come back with a lot of lessons still to learn and have to go through a hard life again - that one is scary because I feel so exhausted already by the pain of this one - not just for myself but I carry the weight for those around me whom this causes pain! Thoughtfulness on how much to leave behind for my boys in the way of letters and cards and photo albums/scrapbooks, how much to try and tell them or to keep it very simple and low key - I just don't know. Lots of photos of us together while I still look okay, whilst I still have my hair, lots of video of us, it is all rather overwhelming. There are so many potentially important things I could tell them but then if I were alive and trying to tell them about life would they listen or would they merrily go forth and get there any how, like most of us did, and most people do?

So it has been a quiet time overall as I try to come to terms with things. I find it difficult because it is in my nature to be very positive, however just when I start thinking perhaps I can beat this, something comes along that tells me only for a while, only for some borrowed time. A Research Nurse that ran the trial at the hospital I had my chemo at looked after me the entire time I was on this trial, I absolutely adore her, I respect her as much as it is possible to respect a person, she is amazing, she is honest and deep and loving and kind and she looked right into my soul and decided somehow that I was special (don't ask me how or what she saw), she worked very closely with me throughout this trial which was a tough one on me. Anyway long story short, I ran into her on Tuesday which is the first time I've seen her in what feels like an age. After a teary catch up she stayed beside me whilst my chemo got started and we talked. I told her the latest prognosis and she asked me whether I was handling the fact that I was not meant much longer for this world! I knew then, deep inside, what she knew, that once the cancer gets a certain hold on you, you don't beat it. I mean you hear the Miracle stories that happen but most often you don't beat aggressive cancer like this. I have done amazingly to beat it this long, Jack and Jamie have kept me going obviously but even they can't keep me going past a certain point. I don't want to sound negative and if a trial happens to come up that is suitable for me before I die, then I'll be there with my hand up, in fact I research all the time to make sure I'm not missing anything and I certainly allow the possibility that the longer I can stay alive the more chance I have got of something else coming along that may help me to survive longer again, the scientists are researching all the time and so many new drugs and trials have come along just during my diagnosis. I also believe diet and meditation and positive thinking can make a huge difference to the journey but sometimes you do just have to accept that you are going to die within a certain time frame and you have to get organized which is when the thoughtfulness steps in and, well........starts you thinking.

44 comments:

  1. Jen

    You are amazing! Do you know that? We all do and I'm sure your sweet nurse knows it too. You are so real. I can't imagine being in your place and handling it as well as you do. You inspire me. You really make me think. Girl, follow your heart and do what it tells you to do. Thanks for being YOU!

    You're in my prayers.
    Hugs!
    Kat

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  2. Dear Jen,
    Oh, so much to think about and heavy stuff too. I have been thinking of you and wondering how the chemo went for you and how you were feeling. I wish for you strength,peace and hope to help you deal with this...
    annie

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  3. Dear Sweet Jen
    So much on your plate as has been for a very long time. You are doing amazing and I can't imagine how you deal with what is occurring. You are graceful, thoughtful, loving, and a wonderful person.
    Wishing you love and laughter to strenghen you along your journal!! And lots of hugs and kisses!!
    God Bless
    Nicky from Canada

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  4. Jen, I found that these words gave me a sense of peace. It isn't always about forcing one's self to be positive. Sometime it's just about gracefully accepting what's been given. Indeed, your words today are filled with grace. I feel lucky to have read them. Thank you.

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  5. Jen - I believe it is the most evolved and wise of beings who volunteer for a life with such pain - the lessons are actually for everyone around them. You have taught me so much about courage and appreciation and love and I thank you very much. I try to check in with you once a day to see how you are, my friend -

    Love - Susie

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  6. Dearest Jen,

    I hope it helps you to know that we are all here holding your hand on this journey. I believe with all that I am that you are on the ultimate journey to our God. I believe He is a kind God that sees the goodness in your heart, and He welcomes you with open arms.

    In some ways He has given you these days to share all of your love with those for whom you care so deeply. It is that thoughtfulness and grace that can guide you on these steps. I believe you should try to put any of the old hurts out of your heart so that you can live these days surrounded by love and peace. Seeing you like that will surely leave good memories with everyone that loves you so.

    Let you caregivers do everything possible to help you with pain. We are here to walk with you.

    Love to you always.

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  7. You are so beautiful! I feel so inspired that you are being thoughtful in such a graceful way, as others have said.

    As a woman who lost my dad suddenly and early (he was 57 and I was 27) there are now so many things I wish I could have talked to him about, asked him about. I can only say what I experienced, but I think your kids will so appreciate it in their later years if you take the time sit down and tell them everything - stories from their childhood, stories from your life, things that only you would know -- personal things. If you sit down to talk with them and tell them stories, turn on a voice recorder so they will have it forever, because especially at Jack's age, he may not understand the significance now, but oh later he will.

    My heart breaks for you, and yet it breaks open knowing how much you love your kids and your friends to think of them and yourself in this way.

    As difficult as what you are going through is, I feel in a certain way you are being given a gift that you *can* be thoughtful about it. That you can plan, and think, and care for these moments the way they deserve. I'm wrapping you in a giant hug of love and appreciation and blessings.

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  8. Delurking to say - I don't always have the right things to say (and I still don't) but I hope this knowledge and time that you have been given does help with Jess and Jack's transition - and if there is a next level to play, I reckon you should have a few extra energy packs and lifelines as bonuses.

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  9. Dearest Jen ~ I wish that I could send you a huge big hug through the computer ~ because you are so wonderful and deserve so much more than this.
    My dad died after a long fight with bowel cancer and he left notes, pictures and bits and pieces for us ~ for after he had gone. You have to do whatever you feel is right ~ I know that no matter how much my Dad left by way of letters and things ~ it would never have been enough ~ but I was so grateful for every last item....and I know your boys will feel the same.
    It breaks my heart reading this post and writing this ~ you will never know how much I wish this wasn't happening to you.
    Stay strong dear Jen.
    Thinking of you ~ sending lots of love and that huge big hug too XXXXXXX

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  10. Dear Jen ~ following along on your journey & just wanted to say you are in my thoughts daily.

    So much to think about ~ you'll make the wisest decison's, that I'm sure.

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  11. Hi dear Jen. I agree with the rest of your blogger family. You are an inspiration to all of us. Your courage is admirable...I pray that you are given the strength to continue on this journey of life...and that you are blessed with the words to pass on to those you love. Blessings,
    Rose

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  12. Hey Jen,
    Thinking of you today, as always, and wishing you some peace with your thoughtfulness.
    You are such a brave and bright spirit. You will definitely live on through those boys.
    I admire your strength and hope for it to continue as long as it possibly can for you. And the boys.
    Take Care,
    Kathy

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  13. Dear Jen,

    You don't have to be good enough to spend eternity with God, You just have to believe in Jesus. Jesus died for all your sin, and mine. The price has been paid. You just have to accept, his gift.
    God Bless you

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  14. Jeni, my heart and love go out to you and your precious boys this day.

    I pray you'll have the courage to sort through your beliefs and come to the realization that Christ is the only way to an eternal life after death. "It is appointed for men to die once, but after this the judgement." Hebrews 9:27 There is no reincarnation, according to the bible.

    You know what separates Jesus from other leaders of world religions? When Jesus died (and then rose again on the 3rd Day) HE DIDN'T LEAVE A BODY! He's still in it!!! Everyone else (give or take one or so in the bible who got to rise up to heaven) left their bones behind! They were mere mortal men like you and me.

    You have nothing to lose by putting your hope and faith in Jesus, Jeni! You'll be able to peacefully "let go" knowing God is in control of your eternal destiny and the destiny of your sweet, precious, family who loves you and wants to see you again in heaven. Give them something to hope for and have faith in too. Jesus is calling all of you!

    I'd love to hear your decision to follow Him will begin today. Love you, Jen.

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  15. Dearest Jen...I have been checking on you frequently. This was a hard post to read...so very deep and so many things to think about. I continue to be amazed by how you are hanging on so tightly. You are an incredible person and momma. Sending big hugs your way from Canada.

    xoxo

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  16. Dear Jen,
    I'm delurking for the first time, to say you're in my thoughts and prayers always. You are dealing with so much, yet so very gracefully.
    Have faith that there is no right or wrong, only what is feeling right for you and your family. Lean on others and allow them to do for you. My prayers are with you Jen and I'm sending you a great big cyber hug {{{{{{{}}}}}}}}}

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  17. I thought of you tonight as I was cleaning up my kitchen. It's good to read your words. Sending you love.

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  18. Breathe. You have much to think about. I know you are brave. Pictures and letters are good. I wish I had more pictures of my mom. Don't overwhelm yourself. I am thinking of you.

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  19. Reading the words you write are such a blessing Jen. Still praying for you and loving you every single day.

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  20. Thinking of you Jen and checking in regularly to send you good wishes and hopes that this chemo does it's stuff and helps your body on the road to wellness.

    I understand the thoughtfulness that you're having - such a major life event as this ongoing battle with cancer - how can you not have these thoughts and moments, really? I do think that if you didn't have any chance, they wouldn't bother with chemo, right? SO, focus on that while thinking deeply, okay! Just like the trials...where there's a will, there's a way...you're obviously a very special person (even the nurse that's seen so much knows it) and I still expect great miracles for you!

    Keep up the good work, I"m sure it's daunting and really damn hard but you're doing a great job!

    Best for you and the boys... Lee too!
    Cate in California

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  21. Jen, You are such a blessing. Your writing and expressing your heart are so beautiful. Yes, write those notes, etc. You do that so well. What a gift. I'm so grateful to you for sharing. I'll be praying that the God of Heaven will give you a clarity and peace and guide and direct you in the things you feel you need to be doing with and for your family.
    You are beautiful. I can see it without ever having seen you. Just reading your heart is enough. The God of Heaven knows your heart. He created it. Trust Him with it. Bless you sweet, sweet girl. You Rock and Roll!
    Lots of Love and Cyber HHHuuugggsss!!!
    Jynene www.vintagebyhart.typepad.com

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  22. I'm starting to get jealous! My husband keep on asking me about you...:-) teehee...he thinks you are gorgoues! xx

    I'm with you on the thoughtfullness...it is what it is Jenni...and I love you. xx

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  23. Hi Jen, thinking of you sweet girl, you are an inspiration.Much love, Suzanne:)

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  24. Jot notes, leave photos for your boys but most of all talk to them. You have many beautiful layouts already - there is nothing "right" to leave them - just do what feels right to you. You can't tell them everything and you know kids - they will listen to what suits them.
    Take care hun
    love and prayers
    Karen xxxxx

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  25. I can't imagine being faced with my own mortality at your age. I care for dying people all the time, but usually they are at the end of a long life. It's normal to die, we all die, but we think it's something reserved for the old.

    I think the trick is to live up until the time you die. My own father spent years dying, even before he got sick, he was busy dying. A friend of my mother's died three years ago. I only knew this woman for the last three months of her life, her cancer had already returned when I met her, but she was full of life and enjoyed her life right up until the end. A week before this lady died, I told her a dirty joke and she laughed so hard. She gave me a clue as to how to live my life, right up until the end.

    Take care of yourself sweetie.

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  26. Praying for you, sweet soul. and for your family. Wrap yourself in your blanket of thoughtfulness.

    I read many good thoughts here, jotting notes on photos, just jotting love thoughts to your children....how precious....

    I wish I could sit, face to face, coffee cup to coffee cup and hug and chat. I don't "know" you, have followed your journey for a while, ache with pain and smile with the little joys...and whisper my prayers to Abba.

    I pray most for your answer to that spiritual thoughtfulness..for you and for your boys....whispering that His presence will blanket you.

    Hugs through tears.....

    Sandee

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  27. In my thoughts
    Love & blessings
    Nicky from Canada

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  28. Dear Jen, I've been in 'thouhtfulness' too since your latest blog, so I e-mailed you.

    Would you please read it, or have someone read it to you? It's kind of all over the place, but hopefully you won't pass out with boredom reading it! :)

    Love,
    Kat

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  29. jeni, your thoughtfulness is wide and deep and I don't know what happens in the afterlife, only that you are an old soul in this one, your wisdom being a teacher to so many of us.
    i love you.

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  30. Jen,
    I'm thinking of you daily and you are in my prayers.
    You are such an inspiration to all of us who read your blog.
    I love you,
    Hugs,
    Dodie

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  31. Beautiful Jenni... you're on my mind so often. I pray that however this continues to unfold, you find more beauty in the midst of it. Maybe in the form of caring nurses, or your beautiful boys' faces. Maybe in the kindness of strangers. But you keep sowing seeds of beauty... they'll grow. No doubt.

    Peace
    xo

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  32. jen-
    just checking in as I always do. your beautiful in thought and spirit.

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  33. God Bless you sweet Jen - in my thoughts and prayers.
    Wishing you peace and love
    Nicky from Canada

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  34. Thinking of you, sweet girl, and wishing you peace.

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  35. Have you heard of low dose naltrexone? No, I'm not selling you any miracle cures, but please read what I am saying. Low dose naltrexone is a cancer treatment based on an inexpensive prescription drug, and it can slow down the progression of the cancer, halt it, or sometimes even make the tumors shrink. It costs only about $20 a month (depending on the compounding pharmacy and does not usually have any side effects (in fact it can relieve fatigue and pain and improve mood) so you don't have much to lose.

    Wishing you well (as well as you can be,
    Maija Haavisto
    -Maija Haavisto

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  36. You are the expert at this Jen. No one can tell you how to do this. But I am here to tell you not to worry. You and the ones you love are safely in hand. You can trust it all. With love.

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  37. Praying for you, Jenni. We think about you daily.
    Ruthie from California

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  38. Jen, I'm thinking of you and hope you are doing well.
    I hope you post soon so we know you are doing alright.
    Love & Hugs,
    Dodie

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  39. Hi Jen.

    Just dropping by this morning during breakfast to say hello. I am thinking about you and praying for you without ceasing.

    With love from Colorado.
    Emily.

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  40. Jen

    Are you ok, haven't heard from you for a while. Sending big love from the top end of Oz
    Thinking of you
    Carmel

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  41. Keep believing in miracles, kiddo. Your posts are amazing and so, so sweet.
    Big hug ~
    Alexandra

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  42. Jen, I have been praying for you to feel the presence of God in the midst of all you are dealing with and going through. I hope you know there is nothing you have to do apart from believing in JESUS CHRIST. He is the only way. it's not a religion thing, it's a relationship thing. Just reach out to Him...he is there.

    God Bless you sweet friend...

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  43. Hi Jen,
    Just checking in on you to see how you're doing... hope the holidays are taking your mind off things - that would be my wish for you today! That and a miracle, of course!!

    Sending prayers and good wishes across the continents~
    xo,
    Cate in California

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  44. Jen, We haven't heard from you for so long.
    I hope you are doing well.

    How is Jack doing? Is he enjoying his break from school?

    Big Hugs to you Jen.
    Prayers & Hugs,
    Dodie

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