Friday, 14 August 2009

A Great Start To A New Life...

Well so far so good, Jack has had a very good week at his new school and even made a 'best friend' (his words) named Jaxon (yes with an X). David told me that Jack's teacher told him that this little boy spoke more in one day with Jack than he had spoken the entire year!!! I thought that was just gorgeous because they obviously both get something from the friendship and the teacher agreed that it is indeed a friendship they have struck up between them. He even phoned Jack tonight after school for a chat! I am just so pleased, it has done my heart good. It is Friday night as I type this and Jack is back for the weekend. So lovely to see him, he is exhausted and is snuggled up in bed asleep right now. David is with us for tonight but he is leaving tomorrow and my friend Lee is taking over and staying the night with Jack and I tomorrow night and then she is taking Jack home to Warragul on Sunday. Her Dad lives not too far from there so she is going to visit him, as well as get Jack to show her where he now lives. Dave just needs a day or two to get some stuff/junk moved out of his place to make more room for Jack and make it a bit more comfortable, apparently Jack's room has quite a bit of 'junk' in it so Dave wants to get it all nice and cleaned up for him, so he can do that while I get to spend some quality time with my son. Jack has some lovely things coming up to do at his new school in the following weeks, one is a 'sleep over' in the school gym, the children and the teachers are going to watch a movie and play some games, David is going along as a parent helper so he will stay for the night also which will be lovely for Jack. Then not long after that they are going on a day trip to the Melbourne Zoo so these are things that Jack is really looking forward to which also help him settle in.

He has his new uniform and David was sweet to send photos to my mobile phone as they were purchasing it and trying it all on so I felt a part of it. In fact he sent me quite a few photos, one of Jack at the beginning of the day, the end of the first day and then one of him with a net that he and David had made together to go tadpole catching with the class. The school seems to do really 'country' things like going 'tadpoling' and the kids were learning all about frogs, Jack loved it. Already he has been learning things that have been far more interesting to him than anything he has done at his old school! He got a wonderful achievement award today for being an 'outstanding new student' and putting in a wonderful first week of school. It was a certificate with stickers on it and a lovely red ribbon with his name on it. He was absolutely chuffed.

I have been in hospice for the week which has done me the world of good. I was absolutely exhausted. Physically and emotionally drained and I have spent most of the week sleeping. I haven't had to take care of anyone and I have barely had to take care of myself. There are some lovely people in with me this time and we have spent several hours sitting in the sunshine talking which has been just lovely. The staff all know that this has been a big transition for me so they have been taking a bit of extra special care and letting me know that they are there if I need to talk. I have managed better than I thought I would to be honest. I am not sure whether perhaps the sleeping is a bit of a symptom of what I am going through, either way I am not being hard on myself and just allowing that I need it for whatever reason. I haven't sobbed and been horribly depressed. I have definitely felt fragile but hearing from Jack each day and with David including me in the entire process, I have managed to keep my head above water. I know that as long as Jack is okay, I will be fine. And he is okay. Very okay. I am so grateful.

The blossom is out on my trees! I am so very happy to see it for one last time. Spring is almost here and it is doing me good to see the flowers and the birds. There is an amazing bird life at hospice, you can sit outside and just be amazed at how friendly all the different birds are. It really is a lovely spot to retreat to. Thank you all once again for your lovely and supportive comments, you warm my heart and this blog will be treasured for a very long time by two boys that search for pieces of their mother within it. It will do their hearts good to read such love and care in your comments. They will be well pleased I am sure of that. Take care.

67 comments:

  1. I am so so pleased that everything went so well for Jack! His father sounds wonderful - I can imagine that this has put your mind at ease just a little bit.

    I am also glad you are getting some much needed rest. Thank you so much for the updates. You and your boys will be in my heart and on my mind on this beautiful New England day.

    Love, Susie

    Love, Susie

    ReplyDelete
  2. Dearest Jenni,
    We have all come to love you and I will miss you. I just love the way you are able to put yourself on the page as you keyboard. I hope to see more updates from you, but if not, I pray that you have a peaceful Spring, enjoying all the flowers and birds. Sounds like a delightful place to rest. I pray for more snuggly weekends with Jack, as he chats on about school and friends and life.
    You have fought with every ounce of your being...to see if they could come up with a way to stop this cancer, to eek out more time with your children, to enjoy just a little bit more of life this side of Heaven. You sound at peace, now. It is good.

    I will continue to pray for you and Jack and Jamie and David.

    Take care,
    Ruthie from California

    ReplyDelete
  3. Oh dear Ruthie, I feel I must answer your comment with one of my own, I appreciate your words, I have fought, I have done what I could cope with doing, I have endured radiotherapy, chemotherapy, a clinical trial, three major operations, years of invasive techniques and I have quite simply had enough! I really don't even want another injection - although that is ridiculous as I give myself injections each day but the thought of anyone touching me to put a canula in place, or anything at all really, sends me into a horrid space very quickly and I just don't want any more. The chemo affects you so badly that you don't even want to talk to anyone, you can't lift your head, I mean I just don't see the point. Say I have six months, say chemo will buy me an extra three, but the entire nine months will be revolting. Not worth it. The price is just too high. If it helped my kids then I'd do it, but it doesn't help them to see me so ill that I can't lift my own head, there is absolutely no good to come from that at all. At least this way I struggle along but I don't feel sick all day long. I need to sleep a lot and I can't take care of anyone anymore but I still have some happy moments that's for sure. Anyway darling girl, I've waffled on for far too long in my own comment box but thank you for the opportunity. I don't know if I'm at peace, I don't know whether I will ever be able to leave this planet peacefully knowing my kids are still here but I will do everything I can to ensure that it goes as easy on them as something such as this can. Leaving Memory Boxes, letters, just sweet, special things for my boys is my priority now and I am building on that each day.

    ReplyDelete
  4. How wonderful to hear everyone is getting on so well! Oh, and I came across this and thought immediately of you and your boys: http://www.blurb.com/create/book/blogbook it takes your blog and creates a bound book out of it.

    The hospice sounds like a well needed respite/retreat. "Treat" yourself, Cutie.

    Much love to you,
    Danielle

    ReplyDelete
  5. Jen - I adore you. You have become part of my spirit, your essence and the lessons you have taught me will always be a part of me.

    Your boys will have to go on without you, and how a mother can be made to leave her children is beyond what I can even imagine or understand. It should not be this way. How can it happen? But you have and will continue to leave your beautiful spirit with them. They are blessed to have you and all that you have given to them. Your presence doesn't have to last a lifetime physically; your soul is interlaced with their souls and that is forever. Know that they will have all that you have done, been and put forth to them and this world in their hearts. You are leaving them an incredible legacy, both as their mother and as a human.

    I am glad that you are taking care of you, enjoying the birds, the peaceful sleep and the little things that you choose to do. Let everyone take care of you Jen. Most of all, give yourself permission to be taken care of by everyone. It is your time to be nurtured.

    I pray that I could change things Jen and I know I can't. But I am honored to have been allowed to know you and witness your continuing journey. Your words on this blog have helped so many, including myself.

    I will continue to think of you daily and send you healing peaceful vibes.

    Hugs Lisa

    ReplyDelete
  6. So good to hear from you Dear Jen. You are doing amazing - so happy that Jack is transitioning and that David is including you, as he should be. So very happy that you are resting which will help you in the long run in spending the quality time you need with you boys.
    Love, laughter and many blessings and prayers.
    Nicky from Canada

    ReplyDelete
  7. Jen,
    You are such an inspiration and I love you so much.
    I'm glad to hear Jack is adjusting well.
    Love & Hugs,
    Dodie

    ReplyDelete
  8. Oh Jen....I wish it were within my choice to be able to grant you many more years of life~! I know somehow, that you deeply deserve it. I have come to love you on this blog...I look for you here and you bring such joy to so many of us~! your quiet determination has made me a stronger person.

    My daughter is a 37 yr old young mom and I cant imagine life without her but I also know that I wouldnt in any way want her to suffer. So, I wish you God speed dearest Jenni, and rest and nurture yourself now and know that you have been loved deeply by so many of us and I promise that you will not be forgotten by me.

    Sue in Spokane WA

    ReplyDelete
  9. How wonderful that Jack has made a good friend! I know how you fretted over that. And how lovely that you experienced your trees in blossom.
    You are in my heart.

    ReplyDelete
  10. So happy to hear that Jack is having a good experience at his new school! I don't often comment but have followed your blog for a long time now and feel like I know you...silly as it sounds. So very glad you are in an "OK" place emotionally.

    My close friend from high school, age 48, has recently been diagnosed with Colon cancer stage IV. This was quite a shock for her as she had not even had her baseline colonoscopy yet (recommended at age 50 in the U.S.) You allowed me to be a part of your most inner feelings...good, bad, happy, and sad. I hope to be able to offer her the same support your lovely friend Lee has had for you.

    Thank you again, Sheila from west Michigan.

    P.S. I think both of your boys will cherish reading and re-reading your blog over the years!

    ReplyDelete
  11. I am SO happy that Jack has had a good beginning in school, and I thank God that He gave Jack a special buddy. Terrific!

    You sound like your heart is in peaceful place right now, Jen.

    And I'm so thankful for all that David is doing for you and for Jack. Bless him. Bless you all.

    ReplyDelete
  12. I mostly lurk but this is such a wonderful post, I felt the need to comment. Great news about your Jack and his new friend Jax. His new school sounds just perfect and David's mobile communications are also perfect. Jack is thriving in his new environment, because you prepared him for it and made sure he would. You are a fabulous and selfless Mum. For a terribly sad story, there are definitely some sunny spots. And you tell the stories so well. Enjoy the blossoms and the care that is being provided. Thinking of you and your family all the way from Canada. Tory

    ReplyDelete
  13. Hi Jenny, I am so glad to hear that Jack had a wonderful start in his new school. It was nice to hear that David was able to keep you included in everything with the photos. I hope knowing how well it is going can bring you a sence of peace. I keep all of you in my prayers. Be well. Lauren (USA)

    ReplyDelete
  14. Hello dear Jen, so good to see your post today and to know that Jack and David had a wonderful first week together and that Jack's first week in his new school went perfectly. It brought a huge smile to my face knowing he'd made a connection with another little friend, and that together they will help and support each other. You have given him such a gift in the way you have handled this all Jen, and you have amazed me and inspired me all through it.
    I wish there was something, anything, that could change the outcome of this -- but it is a comfort to know that you're doing as well as can be expected, going with the flow, and doing all you can to make Jack's life the best it can be. What a beautiful legacy you have made for your sons Jen, they will always know how very much they were loved and how special their mom was.
    I wish you peace. I wish you sweet, simple moments. I wish you pain-free days and nights. I wish you a miracle. I thank you for sharing your life here. You have left an amazing mark on everyone who knows you, both here on your blog, and in real life.
    May God bless you always.
    With love,
    Lisa in Florida

    ReplyDelete
  15. Dearest Jenni—I'm so happy that Jack has a new friend and that school went so well! How wonderful of David to have sent you the photos. You have been so loving and wise to set Jack on the path of his new life. Jenni, I love you so much and am, like everyone else, so moved and humbled by your sweet loving spirit. You have taught me to simply say what is in my heart. You have shown us all what love really is. No matter the grim things you had to endure you cared so much for others. You always thought of your boys first. You even thought of us who follow you here and care so much about you.
    You truly have fought a courageous battle and you have won this battle, dear Jenni. Of course, I wish so much that the cancer would have gone away and that we'd have you here telling other stories in your inimitable, funny and loving way for years to come. But to have come to the place of peace and love in the face of the awful trials you have faced is a victory beyond measure. You have done everything a person could and the way you have handled this is something you should be very, very proud of. Your boys will be filled with your love and courage too, I know.
    I'm so happy that hospice is a fine place and that you are surrounded by love and care. You are so wise to simply be now. May you rest in the happy assurance that your boys are strong like you and full of your life and spirit too. We'll all carry you forever in our hearts as we go on. You inspire me to always do the loving thing. Thank you, Jenni, for everything. It's such a privilege to know you!!
    Sending love and hugs and wishing you a wonderful week,
    Cathy in Boston

    ReplyDelete
  16. You sound good and Jack sounds like he's settling in. He will be well cared for and loved, even when you are gone. That must be a relief. I can't imagine leaving my daughter.

    Take care and enjoy the spring.

    ReplyDelete
  17. I'm glad to hear that Jack is doing so well and that you're being well cared for. Soak in all the goodness of spring, Jen.

    ReplyDelete
  18. Jen,
    All the other people have said things far more eloquently that I could but I just want to add, without sounding 'icky' that your diary of love and endurance has been quite remarkable. It just goes to show what the human body, physically and spiritually can put up with. Some of the ordeals you went through made us all think hard about a lot of things we moan about constantly. Take it easy now Jen. Enjoy the birdsong, your friends and family, being taken care of and of course your gorgeous boys xxxx

    ReplyDelete
  19. Hi Jen,
    What a lovely post from you and I'm so happy to hear that Jack's found a best friend (funny, my mom wanted me to name a boy Jaxon - I had 2 girls so...) and loves his school while having great adventures. He sounds like such an adaptable and happy boy - good job, you! I know it must be so tough to not be there but I'm thankful that you're taking care of yourself, Dave's keeping you updated and involved and that Lee is there to help you and Jack and keep you company too.
    Enjoy the blossoms and the birds and you take good care too, our dear friend! You sound like you're in a good but sad place (which is totally understandable and makes me tear up lots right now) but a peaceful one, too. I pray for many more beautiful moments for you and will hold you in my heart, always thinking of your amazing tenacity, courage and neverending love for your boys!
    Best wishes,
    Cate in California

    ReplyDelete
  20. You're special my darling. And you're filled with love. God is with all of you.
    Lots of LOVE to YOU my dear, to your boys and David.
    Bete

    ReplyDelete
  21. Dearest Jen, I have come to love and admire you so much. You have done everything right. You have fought the good fight, and you have loved well. Your boys will carry your spirit in their hearts all of their lives. They will feel you walking beside their every step.

    Some people were meant to be a mother, and you are one of those people. You know what it means to have your heart walking around outside of your body - because your heart is with those two boys.

    I believe you are on your way to finding peace. You have endured an almost unbearable trial, but God has given you time to share your love and find your peace. You have laid the foundation and placed each brick to protect your boys and build their lives.

    I've always felt that the proof of a good life is that you make the world a better place for others. You have done that, Jen. You have made the world a better place for those who are physically near you. And, you have made the world a better place for all of us. You have shared, and you have shown us love, passion and strength.

    The day we go to meet our God will come for each of us. And, I know in my heart that you will always be one of the brightest stars in the universe.

    My love to you always. I reach out my hand to grasp yours.

    ReplyDelete
  22. Beautiful girl-It sounds as though there is lots of peace surrounding you now. That is good. So glad Jack had such a marvelous week. Thinking of you every day--you are in my prayers and thoughts
    love you
    Meg

    ReplyDelete
  23. great news! Happy to read that both you and Jack are doing well. Sending you love from Toronto, Canada

    ReplyDelete
  24. Prayers & love Dear Jen - hope you are resting
    Love coming your way
    Nicky from Canada

    ReplyDelete
  25. Jen,

    My prayers are with you. You are such a good mother...such a strong woman indeed. God has provided a best buddy for Jack ! what a blessing! Change is never easy, but when you place your trust in a loving God, He always makes it a safe and worthwhile journey. I send you hugs my dear friend.

    love to you,
    Shelbi

    ReplyDelete
  26. So great to hear that Jack has had an amazing first week of school and found a best friend. I think David is so thoughtful to send you the crucial school photos so you could share in the adventure as much as possible.

    You do sound peaceful and rested which must be a blessing. You are such an inspiration to me as a mother and a person. I thought of you yesterday when I yelled at my toddler because I was tired and a little unwell and I felt ashamed of myself. I thought "I can do this because think what Jen is doing".

    Sending you love and hugs from Brisbane.

    ReplyDelete
  27. Dearest Jen,
    I am so glad Jack had a good week and cannot express what an amazing lady you are! My deepest affection and admiration for you! Dominique xx Bless You!

    ReplyDelete
  28. Oh Jen....I too admire you so very much....how you write so eloquently of all you are going through is amazing. I am so glad Jack has a new friend at school...knowing he is happy must mean everything. I am thinking of you all the time...
    annie

    ReplyDelete
  29. Jen,

    You are such an inspiration to me, and always in my thoughts. What a wonderful mother you are, and so full of grace. I wish you many more pain-free days with your boys, and all the love and peace in the world.

    ReplyDelete
  30. Thinking of you as ever and hoping that the song and flight of those birds are never far from view.

    ReplyDelete
  31. Dear Jen,
    I've been reading your blog for about a year now. Can't even remember how I found it, but I'm glad I did. You are an incredible woman with remarkable grace, strength and courage. I have 2 friends undergoing chemo right now and a nephew (just 2) with leukemia. Life can seem so unfair, but I read your blog and somehow you make me feel better. How silly is that? Thank you.

    ReplyDelete
  32. Jenni,

    All my love, all my hope, all my wishes to you tonight.

    Hugs.

    I'm glad that hospice is good to you. I well remember Andrea's relief.

    Love to you, to Jack, and to all who love you.

    Susan

    ReplyDelete
  33. You are amazingly strong and such a loving mom! Your boys will always know your love. Hugs to you.

    ReplyDelete
  34. Whymommy sent me here! Love and strength and peace to you and your family, it sounds like you are in a really good place, both mentally and in hospice. A relative of mine spent time in hospice and I know what a wonderful place it can be at an unimaginably difficult time. I'm so glad Jack has such a good friend. Hugs...

    ReplyDelete
  35. To the Divine Miss B: You pulled me into your blog and your world with your sweet, honest, vulnerable and relentlessly positive spirit. We shared cancer and sons and divorce and other common ground. But your kindness and openness is what kept me coming back here, even when I was unable to actively participate. I read tonight about your entering hospice. The path you're on now is one I'll walk, too, one day. I can only pray to the loving God of the universe that I'll be able to look beyond the pain and suffering and actually see the friendly little birds outside, like you do. You are one splendid creature, Jenni Ballantyne. Peace to you and your much-loved boys.

    Jill

    ReplyDelete
  36. I'm here via Whymommy. I have read your posts with tears in my eyes and wish you love and peace. I'm so pleased to hear that your son is so happy in this first week of his new life. x Ella

    ReplyDelete
  37. Sending lots of love and hugs and prayers. You are such a strong woman and an inspiration to all us Mothers With Cancer!

    ReplyDelete
  38. Another Friend from Mothers with Cancer - Thank you for documenting your journey. Bless you and your family in this difficult time. Your son sounds like a darling boy!

    Love, Lorri Steer

    ReplyDelete
  39. Last time I checked in you were worried about Jack and I'm so glad you are feeling good about the support he has. You sound relaxed and peaceful and your spirit sounds strong. I have loved checking in on you and admire your strength and honesty. Please keep us updated with your reflections as you have the strength....they are good for us. Many Blessings.

    ReplyDelete
  40. Whymommy sent me over. I am glad to hear that you are well cared for, and that Jack has found a friend. You fought so long and so brave. What you said about chemo reminded me of my mom. She was often so miserable that she could not enjoy the (extra?) time we had together. I wish you some more wonderful moments with your boys, and them loving and fond memories of you, like those I have of my mother.

    ReplyDelete
  41. A Mother With Cancer friend here. Enjoy the rest, the birds, the flowers, the life, the family, the friends. Best wishes for the time. Your boys will treasure your writing.

    Hugs, Linsey Krolik.

    ReplyDelete
  42. Laurie from Moms with Cancer here. You are beautiful, Jenni and you are handling your life beautifully. I am angered and saddened that things are ending this way but awed by your grace and love. You inspire me. xoxo

    ReplyDelete
  43. Dear Jen, I have read all of your words, prayed for you for so long. I am so happy that young Jack had a great week at school and that you have the peace of knowing that he will be happy and that he will have friends, that his father loves him, that Jamie and he will always have each other, because of you. And they have so much more, because of all of your wonderful words which you have written over these years. They will always know How much you Love them. I will miss you, even though I have only known you through your blog, and I will always remember you and keep you and your boys in my prayers, much love, Anne in Virginia

    ReplyDelete
  44. Jen,

    you don't know me...i'm here via Whymommy. just wanted to say how moved i am by the grace and dignity with which you are taking care of yourself right now, focusing on quality of time and on your boys. your love for them comes off the page so vividly, and i wish you beautiful days together in the months to come.

    ReplyDelete
  45. You are being featured on Five Star Friday -
    http://www.fivestarfriday.com/2009/08/five-star-fridays-edition-67.html

    ReplyDelete
  46. Dear Sweet Jen
    Sending you love, hugs and many blessings.
    Deep in my thoughts
    Nicky from Canada

    ReplyDelete
  47. Oh Jenni - you and yours are in my thoughts and prayers. Your gentle and warm spirit makes me smile every single time.

    ReplyDelete
  48. I don't know you, we've never met. I live so very far away from you but I am compelled to tell that you've touched my life. You've helped me be a better mother, a better friend, a better person. I was lacking in those departments and found you while looking for inspiration to improve. Your grace, your dignity...the fact that through your words you've left your mark on the world and will continue to be thought of for days and years to come is an example of how powerful you've become. I admire your bravery, I model your strength and resolve. I've taken part of your shield and will carry it with me and hopefully be a model for someone like you've been for me. Thank you Jen.
    Love Nicole

    ReplyDelete
  49. I'm so happy that Jack has settled in to his new school so well.
    The hospice sounds wonderful.
    You, and your family, are in my prayers, Jen.
    Love and admiration to you.
    Fiona x

    ReplyDelete
  50. Dearest Jen, there are so many wonderful words written here for you, read them and know that you are loved. I am so happy to hear that Jack is settling at his new school - and got a special friend, I remember when he didn't want to go to his old one. You and David have prepared him well - he is a happy, secure child and has a loving big brother in Jamie. Now its time for you to be looked after.
    Love and prayer, K xx

    ReplyDelete
  51. I just sat down and read every post above. I feel like there is nothing I can say that hasn't already been said so beautifully. You should be so proud of your life Jen, proud that you have touched so many...just because you decided one day to start a blog about your journey. What an amazing difference you have made in all of our lives. I love you.

    ReplyDelete
  52. Another stranger come over from ToddlerPlanet. I'm lost for words but wanted to send you warm thoughts and wish you and yours all the best.
    Suze
    NSW

    ReplyDelete
  53. Thinking of you, Jen, and wishing you a beautiful springtime.

    ReplyDelete
  54. Hey Sweet You,
    just to let you know that my mama will be waiting for you to show you the way when you are ready to go. She 'took flight' on the 14th of August...we warned all the angels...she gets easily lost! With people watching her! :0) teehee...
    think of you..and love youxx (Linni - periwinkle)

    ReplyDelete
  55. I saw from Jill's blog (Reconstruct This) that you are in need of peace comfort and prayer. I pray for all things good for you and yours.
    God be with you..Deena

    ReplyDelete
  56. Love to you from across the pond, sweet Jen.

    ReplyDelete
  57. Sorry I just had to do a test one first as I have never been able to leave comment. Im in Australia and actually not that far from you really. I have read your posts for a long time and I really cant belive anyone has to go though what you have. Your so brave and have endured to much. I love how much you love your kids so much. To let jack go to his dads now so theres time to adjust is just so selfless it would have been so easy for you to insist he stay with you and everyone else just help out but you didnt you set him free to settle into a new life while you are still hear to guide him through the transition. It breaks my heart. All my prayers are with you
    Elesha

    ReplyDelete
  58. It's monday morning here in New England, USA and we are about to embark on a new school year for our two girls. I am thinking of you and Jack and his new school and all the love and dedication that you have.

    Love, Susie

    ReplyDelete
  59. Jen,

    I am praying for you ... it's Monday here in the States...i was making dinner and the thoughts of you are all around me today. are you ok? I keep checking back here to see if you have posted anything. I long to hear from you, long to hear that you are ok....

    I was thinking the other day about the book I sent you, the devotional...i was reading it this morning and was hoping you were too...there was the most beautiful and comforting scripture and it brought me to thoughts of you...you are a darling friend. and i miss you very much.

    i love you,
    hugs
    shelbi

    ReplyDelete
  60. Jen,

    Please know that all of the Mothers with Cancer are thinking of you and your boys. You have taught us all so much.

    Mary Beth

    ReplyDelete
  61. Stopping by to see if you have posted. You remain in my thoughts and prayers, dear Jen.

    ReplyDelete
  62. Oh Jenni,

    My thoughts and prayers are with you.

    Love,
    RivkA

    ReplyDelete
  63. I hope my love to you may come a long way, you are a wonderful mother and a simple sunny teacher of life to us all.

    ReplyDelete
  64. I am angry that you have to say goodbye to your babies too early. I am sad that so many of us takes our lives for granted, including me. I don't know you but I can make a promise. I promise to never forget.

    Love,
    Jessica in VA, US

    ReplyDelete