Written Saturday, April 29th

Well it’s been a few days since I’ve written and much to my dismay, I still have cancer. I’ve been to several doctors since my diagnosis and I think a tiny piece of me hoped one of them would say this was all a bad mistake.  That the pathologists somehow got it wrong or switched my slides.  But unfortunately they were right and it is, in fact, cancer.

The good news is that I am in such a sweet place with the Lord.  He has continued to give me daily assurances that He is still in control regardless of these unfortunate circumstances.

A few days after my diagnosis, the strangest thing happened.  I hesitate to even mention it out loud for fear I’ll be held accountable to keep it going should things change. (You know how when you proclaim you are on a diet but a few days later find your friends giving you that “look” when you are diving into the queso? Yeah, that.)  However, I believe 100% it is somewhat of a miracle, and I am committed to sharing with you how the Lord is working in remarkable ways. I am a self proclaimed Diet Coke addict and have been for over 20 years. But after my cancer diagnosis, I became extremely thirsty and Diet Coke did not quench that thirst. For days I tried to tell myself to keep trying and surely it would do the trick. When that strategy failed, I was forced to turn to the dreaded bottled water.  To say I don’t like water is an understatement. I detest water. Yes, I know it’s good for me.  Yes, I know the benefits for my skin and hair. But literally the only time I ever drink water is right after I work out. And I won’t even talk about how often that happens. Anyway, for the past 8 or so days, water is the ONLY thing that quenches my thirst. And Diet Coke (I feel so disloyal even saying this) tastes terrible to me. I guess you could say I’m 8 days sober.

Now, I feel like that story in and of itself is a miracle. But you throw in the next piece and I promise you’ll be blown away.  The other day I had to run errands and take my x-rays from one doctor’s office to another.  My sweet friend, Meredith, had texted me the night before and offered to ‘run errands or ride along with me’ not even knowing what I had planned the next day.  I was happy to have a friend along, so she joined me for the mundane tasks ahead.  We had a running tally of things we needed to talk about as we drove around Dallas, and the last one on the list was ‘diet coke’ (I wanted to share what was happening because I still couldn’t believe it myself).  When I told Meredith about being repulsed by my old mainstay, she got huge tears in her eyes.  Surprised by her reaction, I asked what was making her cry.  She responded, “I’ve been praying about ways to talk to you about Diet Coke and how it wasn’t good for you especially in light of your diagnosis.” I’m sorry, but what?!  I got teary myself and said, “Well, now I know who to blame!”.  Seriously, though, statements like that can make you cringe because the last thing you want to worry about is what you are eating and drinking after being diagnosed.  But Mere has street cred because her family has been negatively affected by cancer and she is super savvy on nutrition and all the latest cancer fighting agents.  That, plus I know she loves me dearly, made what she was saying so so sweet.  And since we broke the dam, all of my friends who have been worried about my caffeine/aspertame consumption have come out of the woodwork and breathed a collective sigh of relief. And aside from multiple naps and headaches, I think the positives of this incredible change outweigh the negatives. GO GOD.

As if that’s not enough, this morning I awoke praying (I’ve been doing this lately, which is bizarre but so comforting) for the Lord to “illuminate my path”.  I don’t know about you, but I don’t typically use the word “illuminate”, so I knew something was up.  I quickly remembered the verse in the Bible that talks about the Holy Spirit interceding on our behalf when we don’t know how to pray. ( “In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us…”  Romans 8:26).  It was an incredible and overwhelming experience.  The Holy Spirit was not only praying IN me, but FOR me as well.  I couldn’t wait to go read my devotion to see what the Lord was saying to me.  Would you believe the verse in my devotion was Psalm 118:105 (“Thy word is a lamp to my feet, and a light to my path.”)?  I’m not even kidding.  Things like this are happening on a daily basis and I get so excited to see what the Lord will show me everyday.  Just as I have developed an increased thirst for water, I have also developed an increased thirst for His word.  For His guidance.  For His wisdom. God knows what we need each day.  Whether that be for our bodies, our minds or even our souls.  He is the only one who can quench our thirst.  Thank you, sweet Jesus.

Today, Trevor and I (along with my sisters and parents) went to see another physician for a second (or 4th) opinion.  I’ve learned it’s a good thing to be thorough and not rush this process.  In one of the packets I received, it says, “It is much more important to do things correctly than to do them quickly.”  Thank goodness, because about 15 days out from my diagnosis and am just now figuring out what I’m going to do.  After much prayer and a lot of analyzing, I have decided to have a double mastectomy.  And even though I’m very much an open book, it feels weird to send that personal information out on the internet (hello everyone, I’m getting new boobs!).  However, I’m taking a chance with being vulnerable in an effort to help anyone else that might go through this process someday.  I know those that have shared their stories breathe life into mine, and I hope I can, in turn, help the next person who needs it.  This was not an easy decision, but one I am confident in and one I feel is best for me.

The process of choosing the right team of doctors has been interesting to say the least. Because of my decision to do the double mastectomy, I have to choose both a surgical oncologist and a plastic surgeon (both of whom work side by side during surgery).  I have absolutely loved so many of the physicians I have seen thus far, so that decision has been tough.  Dallas is bursting at the seams with capable and excellent surgeons, and I am growing increasingly grateful for access to amazing healthcare.  After today’s appointment, I am one step closer to securing my team.  And I know the Lord is already preparing the hands of the surgeons for my upcoming surgery.  Before I have the mastectomy, however, I have to have what is called a sentinel node biopsy to make sure the cancer hasn’t spread to my lymph nodes. Did I really just write that? Seriously, it still feels so surreal that I’m talking about my own body this way.  All scans thus far have not indicated any spreading, however, they want to cross every “t” and dot every “i” before giving me the all clear.  This is more than likely going to happen early next week. And if I had my hunch, it will probably be Tuesday, which also happens to be my 19th wedding anniversary. And NOTHING says romance like holding hands while having your nodes biopsied.  Am I right, ladies?  It will be a day surgery and I will be laid up for a day or two afterwards due to soreness.  The pathology report should return within 2-3 days after the surgery.  I would greatly appreciate your prayers for a huge ‘ALL CLEAR’ on my lymph nodes, as well as something other than gauze from my spouse on that lovely day.

(Next week, I should also have the results back from my genetic testing, which will help the physicians determine the best possible course of treatment.)

I think I’m going to close out EVERY. SINGLE. POST. with how beautiful friendship and family are.  The ways you’ve shown you care is truly mind blowing.  Thank you.  Words fail me every time in this category as there is no way to express my gratitude.  But please know how much I love each of you, and how much I appreciate your prayers.  I feel so ‘carried’ (that is the only word that continually comes to mind when describing the feeling) by your prayers.  Literally carried.  The other night Trevor and I ordered Chinese food (because Meredith told me to have broccoli every day ;)) and my fortune cookie could not have been more on point.


I love you, and have never needed you more than I do now.

Until next time…much love to you all & Make Every Day Count,


“…but whoever drinks of the water that I will give him will never be thirsty again. The water that I will give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life.” John 4:14

If Life Hands You Lemons…

So I received this card yesterday and haven’t stopped laughing since…



I love how people “get” me.

This card was especially meaningful because it came from one of Jennifer’s friends, Alyson, whom I have had the privilege of getting to know the past few years.  I was actually in the lobby of Baylor hospital with Jen when I met Alyson.  Alyson had just recently been diagnosed with breast cancer (it seems to be all the rage these days) and was figuring out her course of treatment.  I remember Jen being extremely bossy with her about what she should and shouldn’t do and I was horrified because I didn’t even know this poor girl yet and I was all up in her business.  Little did I know I would grow to love Aly through the years as I watched her effortlessly & selflessly care for Jen despite (or maybe because of) her own cancer diagnosis.  In her hysterical card, she wrote that she she would “quietly and prayerfully consider ways to support me through this journey”.  And my laughing suddenly turned to tears.

What I realized in that moment and in review of last night’s Aggie Muster (which I’ll get to in a second) was that even though it is DOUBLY sad/hard/painful to be around Jen’s friends & family (one because we are all still SO raw from her passing, and two because I feel like I just ripped the scab off of them with my news and made them bleed again), it is also DOUBLY sweet to be cared for by them.  Not only do I have my friends by my side, but I just inherited Jen’s army as well.  And let me tell you, she has quite the army.  God is truly amazing in the ways He continues to pour His love over me through so many people.

Now back to Aggie Muster.  If you’re an Aggie, you can skip this paragraph.  If not, please bear with me while I brag on my alma mater.  Texas A&M University is filled with traditions, which you may or may not know.  Some of these I understand and some I’ll never comprehend.  One of these traditions is called Aggie Muster, and it takes place every April 21st all around the world.  Basically, it is a ceremony which honors Aggies who have passed away during the previous year.  They have a Roll Call and literally call out the names of fallen Aggies, while a loved one (or ones) answers, ‘Here’ for that person.  Did you just get chills?  If not, let’s check your pulse.  I’m going to be honest, I’ve never really thought much of this ritual or tradition until this year.  Until a person whom I loved very much – and who happened to be an Aggie – passed away.  Then all of a sudden it became really relevant.  Our dear friend, Hite, had the foresight to gather his Aggie friends this year, along with Jen’s husband, son and mom, and invite us all to the Dallas Aggie Club’s Muster.  I don’t know if it was the dark room filled with lit candles representing the lost lives, the playing of Silver Taps, or the palpable brotherhood in that room, but I was incredibly moved.  My husband, Trevor, commented on just how intimate the ceremony was despite the 800 people who showed up last night.  (I like to think they were ALL there for Jen).  I’ve never been more proud to be an Aggie and am praying my boys someday bleed maroon (can I get a WHOOP?!).


Jennifer would have absolutely loved this, and I felt like we were able to honor her all together in such a special way.

As for this yucky thing called cancer, I will continue to see doctors next week and hopefully have a plan in place by Wednesday.  I’m ready to get it out of my body and begin the healing process (both mentally and physically).  The words, ‘Thank you’, don’t seem to be enough at a time like this, but my heart is overflowing with gratitude for each of your prayers, your texts, your calls, your flowers, your treats, your cards, etc.  They are sincerely appreciated by me, my husband, my kids, my parents & my sisters.

To close, I want to encourage you to surround yourselves with friends who pray.  It is so important when something like this hits.  Yesterday morning, some of the moms from the basketball moms prayer group that I was a part of this season, met to pray over me.  These ladies became very special to me this year as we met every Friday and prayed for the basketball team, coaches, and families.  There is something so special about meeting just to pray, and this time was no different.  I FIRMLY believe in the power of prayer.  And these precious women have demonstrated just how fruitful it can be when you make it a priority and you do it with other believers.  The girls suggested that maybe I have a ‘signature’ verse to get me through this time.  And when I got home yesterday, I had cards from 3 different people with Isaiah 41:10 written on them.  Coincidence?  I think not.   Thank you Debbie, Deanna, Darian, Laura and Mrs. Snowden for your faithful example of prayer.

Until next week…much love to you all & make every day count!!!


“So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God.  I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.”  Isaiah 41:10




Five Blondes Walk Into the Plastic Surgeon’s Office…

Thank you to ALL of my prayer warriors today.  It was a much better day overall, and I attribute that to the power of prayer.   My sister, Ashley, picked me up today around 8:45 and we had breakfast with a friend of a friend who had a double mastectomy and was willing to share her experience with us.  To hear first hand from the patient’s perspective was invaluable.  She was totally honest and upfront, and I was so appreciative of her advice and wisdom.   Her closing line was, “This is approximately 8 months of your life.  Put your head down and do what you have to do to beat this.  You’re going to do just fine.”  I want so badly to believe that.

After breakfast, I had to take care of some paperwork and drop off my labradoodle, Dodger,  to get groomed.  I did have to check myself when I realized I spent more time giving the groomer instructions on my dog’s haircut than I give my own hair stylist.  You might have a problem when…

Trying to mix real world stuff with cancer is just weird.  Life still goes on and you still have to do all the stuff you did before, but NOW YOU HAVE CANCER.  It feels like you should get some sort of pass, and I guess you do temporarily, but groceries still have to be bought, kids still have to get to school and the dog still has to have his hair cut.

I scheduled another appointment today with a different plastic surgeon to get a second opinion on reconstructive surgery after a mastectomy.  When I asked if some of my friends wanted to come with me,  I thought the office was in Plano.  So I texted to see if everyone wanted to ‘road trip’ together.  My friend, Catherine, quickly noted after looking up the address that, in fact, the office was just on the other side of Northpark Mall.  And while we could still road trip, it would only take us 3 minutes.  Since we are crazy like that, we all rode together and it was the most fun road trip I’ve taken all week.  Friends have a way of making even doctor’s appointments enjoyable.

I think it’s fair to say that the city of Dallas takes its plastic surgery very seriously.  We are surrounded by the most beautiful people, and whether it’s true or not, I’m pretty sure I’m not the first 40 something female to walk into to that office.   However, I’m also pretty sure that my friends and I were the first group of women to arrive together, check in together and cozy up together in the waiting room.  It was the perfect set up to what I’m sure would be a funny joke.  “Five blondes walk into the plastic surgeon’s office…”


The looks we got were priceless, and we joked that everyone in the waiting room might be afraid they were missing out on some group discount on botox.

On a side note, I don’t think there is anything wrong with plastic surgery, but I did feel the need for some reason to explain I wasn’t there to tweak my nose or trim my thighs.  I’m way too chicken to ELECT to have someone cut me open.  But here I was in the same room with those who want tattooed 6 packs, and I felt out of place. 

The positive news is that I had a wonderful appointment and gleaned more information, with which to make an informed decision.  I have a few more appointments/interviews, then Trevor and I will choose our doctors and our treatment plan.  We would greatly appreciate your prayers specifically for that.

Thank you again for all of the love and support thus far.  I can already tell that I am going to need lots of help, and I’m grateful to have been on the other side of this gig to know that people really DO want to help.  Quick shout out to my friend, Sarah, as she took one for the team today.  Sarah went to several places within Presbyterian hospital today to locate all of my films (x-rays) from my previous mammograms and sonograms.  She gathered them all up and delivered them to me in my kitchen this afternoon.  Move over, Favor, there’s a new sheriff in town.

That’s all for now, but I’ll be updating often during this decision making phase.  I know years from now I’ll forget the details, and I really want to cling to the beautiful ways that you are praying for us, caring for us and showing us so much love.

Make every day count,


PS: Yesterday I mentioned JD’s Chippery on my blog and cookies appeared on my doorstep today.  If that’s the way this works, ONE MILLION DOLLARS.






Reality Is Sinking In…

Well, I think the shock of my initial diagnosis is starting to wear off and it’s not pretty.  I could rival a teenage girl with the myriad of emotions I feel in a span of 15 minutes.  Laughing one minute then crying the next has become my new normal.  And I feel like in this house full of boys, it’s easy to win the ‘one of these is not like the others’ game.

This morning I spent time with 3 of my closest friends.  We sat on the couch and simply downloaded all of the most recent information.  It’s one thing to have talked and texted about it, but it’s a whole other thing to physically hug each other and be in the presence of friends who really love you.  Have I mentioned how much I love my people?   The Lord has truly blessed me with the most amazing support team, and I already feel so protected, so loved, so cared for, and so covered in prayer.  It was a great way to recharge and refuel for the appointment I had this afternoon.

Around 3pm today, Trevor and I went to see a plastic surgeon who specializes in reconstructive surgery as we explore which treatment option we will choose.  Let me just say that I was completely overwhelmed after that.  The physician could NOT have been nicer and more informative, but halfway through the appointment I found myself thinking, “this really can’t be happening to me.”  I tried to stay focused and present as the doctor spoke, but at some point I think I zoned out.  It’s funny to me how your brain literally knows when it’s had enough and it shuts down.  Like SHUTS DOWN.  (That’s why you always bring back up people to your appointments.)  Not only do I need to decide IF I am going to have a mastectomy, but also what TYPE of reconstruction to have.  Apparently there are several types of reconstruction approaches to choose from as well.  Who knew?  I think it’s like when you go into a bakery for a simple chocolate chip cookie and they offer you about 10 different varieties of chocolate chip cookies (I’m looking at you, J.D.’s Chippery).  NO.  I don’t want to choose between semi sweet and milk chocolate.  There is only ONE real chocolate chip cookie, people.  Please don’t make me choose what type of reconstruction I’m going to have.

Needless to say, I came home and immediately crawled into bed.  That has unfortunately been my go to lately.  PJ’s at 5pm and I’m not apologizing for it.  Sweet Trevor came and got in bed with me as I started to cry.  Then we both laughed and repeated the phrase we have said approximately 3 or 4 times since my diagnosis.  “We suck at being parents right now.”  Our kids were who knows where for a brief period of time, but the house didn’t catch on fire and everyone still had their limbs when we finally reengaged so I’m counting that as a win.

There are so many ways that God is sustaining me through this process, which I will share in time.  But I trust Him implicitly, and know that He will provide whatever I need each day.  I was able to connect with Jennifer’s trial nurse, Nancy, today, as well as her oncologist, Dr. Osborne.  It was so good for my soul to hear their voices, but it also brought back memories of a sad time not too long ago.  Both had the sweetest and most encouraging things to say, but one thing Nancy said that has stuck with me all day is this…”Jennifer’s story does not have to be your story.”

And that got me thinking.

Everyone who travels this road (or ANY road) has their own unique story.  And that is something that I find very comforting.  I found myself singing Blessed Assurance today in the car.  (Well truth be told, I didn’t know it was Blessed Assurance until I could sing my way through to the chorus.  I was in great anticipation to find out which hymn it was even though I was raised a southern Baptist and should have TOTALLY known.)  The actual words that came to mind first and resonated with my heart were “This is my story,  This is my song.  Praising my savior, all the day long.”   We all have a story.  And it doesn’t really matter what it is, it matters what we do with it.  And I am committed to praising Him through mine.

Much love to you all and THANK YOU for praying,


One Down, Many More To Go

Written: Monday, April 17, 2017

Today was my first official doctor’s visit on this .  Not knowing where to begin, my ob/gyn recommended I see the oncologist that his wife had seen a decade ago at Presbyterian.  Her name was Dr. Ganaraj, and today was our first meeting.  From the minute she walked into the room, I knew I was going to like her.  She looked me straight in the eye and had the most genuine smile on her face.  She immediately put me at ease and for whatever reason I automatically trusted her.  I’m no Einstein, but I know that’s a good start to any relationship.

Long story short, she felt very optimistic about my prognosis after reviewing my test results, and gave me two options for treatment.  One was to have a lumpectomy followed by radiation.  The second was the have a mastectomy with no further treatment unless it has spread into my lymph nodes (which we will find out in the next week or two).  There are pros and cons to both options, so Trevor and I are praying for wisdom to choose the best one for me.  (On a side note, I feel like I’m choosing between doing the laundry when my kids get home from sleepover camp or nagging my kids to do the laundry when they get home from sleepover camp – neither is good, but one is necessary).  She also recommended genetic testing and an EKG, both of which we knocked out this afternoon while at the hospital.   I think the last time I was this productive was when I cleaned out my closet in college while avoiding studying for final exams.

Oh, and for those who have asked and unfortunately know about breast cancer, mine is hormone positive and Her2 negative (both good things) with no indication of metastasis.  Cancer notwithstanding, this truly is the BREAST CASE SCENARIO.

I appreciate my posse today (Trevor, mom, Ashley, Jennifer & Amy)!  Couldn’t do it without you.  And thank YOU for all of your calls, messages, texts, goodies, etc.  I may not be able to respond to all, but I feel the love and appreciate your thoughtfulness more than you know.

Much love,

Jamie (aka B)

“And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”  Philippians 4:7

(Not So) Good Friday

Written: Friday, April 14, 2017

Yesterday my world changed, and I’m still very much in shock.

I felt a lump in my left breast approximately 2 weeks ago. I asked my husband, who happens to be a physician, if it was something I should be concerned about.   He said it wouldn’t hurt to make an appointment with my OB/Gyn to get it checked out, so I did. To back up a little, I had also detected a lump in my right breast last June (2016), which turned out to be a fluid filled cyst.   So naturally I was hesitant about calling my doctor again, for fear I was being a hypochondriac. To back up just a little bit more, I lost my best childhood friend, Jennifer, to breast cancer just 8 months ago.   EIGHT MONTHS AGO.  I literally was by her side for almost 2 years for her doctor’s appointments, chemotherapy, radiation, brain surgery and finally in her death.



(Me & Jen).

So…part of me thought I was suffering from trauma, and that my brain was making things up. Was I going crazy? Even if I was, I decided it was better to be crazy than dumb. So I made an appointment for Tuesday, April 4, 2017.

That Tuesday morning, I did a self exam to make sure I really wasn’t losing it and I COULD NOT FIND THE LUMP.  My brain confirmed that yes, I truly had made up the entire thing and must be mentally unstable. I called my husband and told him, but he insisted I still go to my appointment. Begrudgingly, I set out to the doctor’s office for my 10am appointment. I quickly explained to my doctor my current psychosis and felt so stupid for even sitting on that table in my flimsy gown.   But after he performed his exam, he found the lump. And then it got real. I didn’t know whether to be happy that I actually wasn’t crazy or devastated that there was actually a lump. He set me up for a mammogram and a sonogram, and the first available appointment was the following Tuesday, April 11th.

Now April 11th might not be a special day for you, but it would have been my friend, Jennifer’s, 7th wedding anniversary to her husband Scott. So it was the first anniversary he’s had without her. And it was emotional. Just like Thanksgiving, Christmas and her birthday had been. When someone you love passes away, there are days that are harder than others. And days where you wake up thinking of how you should be celebrating instead of grieving. But here it was the 11th, and Jen was on my mind for so many reasons.

Because I thought this mammogram and sonogram would turn out the way it had in June, I simply went to my appointment by myself. I didn’t even tell some of my closest friends I was doing this because I FELT SO SILLY to be there again. After the sonogram, the sonographer left the room and the radiologist came in the room. I immediately knew this wasn’t normal. I’d been to enough appointments with Jennifer to detect when the tide was about to turn. The radiologist announced that they had found a small mass in my left breast. And apparently when a mass is found, they have to do a biopsy. Tears welled up in my eyes and my body started to shake just a little. I felt so vulnerable in that moment. I explained why I was so teary and the doctor reassured me that he was not at all worried about this. Apparently cancer lesions normally present as long and skinny and mine was short and fat.  (Yes, I could insert a funny joke about the extra pounds I carried in my childhood and being 5’2 here, but I’ll save that for a later date).    I felt a little better after the sonographer reiterated that the doctor would have told me if he was really worried because she’s heard him say it several times. And then she said let’s get you in for the biopsy as soon as possible to give you peace of mind.  Thank you.  The next available appointment was the following morning, April 12th, at 10am.   This was all moving very fast.   But Trevor was very reassuring that everything would be okay and it would be a simple procedure.

My sister, Ashley, picked me up on Wednesday morning at 9:15 and took me to my appointment. Ashley is hands down the best person in the world to have by your side when you are emotional. She is all business and takes charge like a boss. Her no nonsense approach was very comforting that morning and was exactly what I needed.   We signed in and they called me back in no time. The same nurse and radiologist from the day before were there and they explained how the procedure would work.   I chose to close my eyes and pretend a large needle wasn’t about to be inserted into my vulnerable parts. Did it hurt? Yes. Was it fast? Yes. Once that was over, Ashley took me home and I went about my day. I didn’t have too much time to think or worry about the results because I had previously scheduled a hair appointment for 12:15 that day. And there’s nothing that takes your mind off of needle biopsies more than a People magazine and fresh roots.

The next day was Thursday and I met the ladies in my church small group for breakfast. We caught up for awhile at a precious little restaurant called the Hospitality Sweet. After that, I went shopping for Easter presents for the boys then ran a few more errands before picking them up from school. It was an early release day for my youngest son, Hayes, so my Thursday was cut a little short.   All of my kids were home by about 3:30 and they were relaxing because their holiday weekend had just begun.

And that was the proverbial calm before the storm.  

It was a few minutes after everyone got settled that I got a phone call from my Ob/Gyn, Dr. Fogwell.   I’ll never forget the words he said to me. He led with, “Where are you?”.  Um, I quickly figured out he wasn’t calling to tell me Happy Easter.  Dr. Fogwell proceeded to tell me that the pathology report had come back and it was determined that I had Invasive Ductile Carcinoma. The first two words made me pause, but the last one made me stop dead in my tracks.   I had walked out onto my side patio and sat down once I heard the news. I immediately felt like I couldn’t breathe and then I started shaking uncontrollably. He proceeded to let me know next steps, but I don’t remember a word after realizing I had breast cancer. Sensing my terror, Dr. Fogwell offered to call Trevor and tell him the news. I went back into my house and headed straight for my bathroom where I proceeded to fall apart and cry hysterically. I didn’t want my kids to hear me, so my cry was the weirdest symphony of muffled groans, dry heaving and shrieks. That, plus I was trying to catch my breath because I literally thought I was going to pass out. Trevor called me after he got the news and told me to sit down for fear I was going to faint. He was already en route home when Dr. Fogwell called him, so it wasn’t long before got home and joined me on the floor in the bathroom.  (In hindsight, there are SO many other cleaner, prettier, and more comfortable places in my house to contemplate cancer, but in that moment I literally froze and landed on the nearest runway.)

I knew right then that everything had forever changed.  But for a brief period of time, Trevor and I were the only ones with this information and that felt sacred. I wanted to hold onto it for a long time. There’s something about telling people that makes it real and I wasn’t ready for it to be real for a little while longer. Once I felt ready to share, I called Ashley because she lives close by and she came right over. We talked it out a little and then she offered to go over to my parents house to be with them when I called to tell them the news. It became tricky at that point because my kids were going in different directions that night and we had to figure out how to tell them the news as well. I didn’t want to have my parents over because I knew my kids would figure out something was funny and I truly wanted the boys’ evening to be as normal as possible until I had the right words to say. I also didn’t know at what point all 3 kids’ schedules would intersect and we’d have that serendipitous moment together as a family (if you have teenagers, you know this is a precious and rare thing).  Ashley hunted down my parents and I called and let them know the results.  How do you tell your own parents that their youngest daughter has cancer?  They were very sweet and supportive and of course had several questions.   I wish I was there to hug them or them to hug me, but at that point my number one priority was my own kids. Ashley stayed with my parents and they were able to process together, which was huge for me. Next I called my oldest sister, Jennifer, to let her know.   It was so hard to even get the words out, especially when met with tears on the other end of the phone. Jen offered to come over as well, but I let her know that Trevor and I were trying to secure our house for when the boys all arrived back home from their activities. She totally understood and we sat in disbelief on the phone.


(Me, Ashley, Mom, Dad & Jennifer)

After that, I called my best friend, Kim, who lives in Boston.  She walked me through some of the toughest days with Jen and is heartbroken to not be in the same town to do the same with me.  But I am confident we will do the best we can via FaceTime and lots of visits.

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I also called my dear friend, Casey, who had just texted me, ‘Any News?’. Yes, there was news.  Unfortunate news.  Lastly, my friend Amy had checked in on me as it was getting late and I was running out of steam.  And every time I repeated the story, it didn’t seem right. There is NO WAY I have cancer.

My boys ended up all finally being home and together around 9pm on Thursday night. We sat around the table and Trevor delivered the news. I was so sad for them, because I knew their only experience with breast cancer was watching Jennifer, who was like an aunt to them, go through lengthy treatments and an eventual death. Would they automatically jump to conclusions that I was going to die? WAS I going to die? I didn’t really know what to say, and I felt like I couldn’t promise them anything.  Boys being boys, it was a very short, matter of fact exchange and they all hugged me afterwards. Each boy had their own way of dealing and it was evident from the start how it was going to be. That still didn’t take away the fact that I felt like I had just robbed them from an innocence they had known just minutes prior to our family meeting.


The biggest blessings of my life (my husband, Trevor, and our three boys Hudson, Hunter & Hayes)

Fast forward to this morning, which happens to be Good Friday.  I woke up hoping the day before was just a nightmare. But I quickly realized it was just as real as the sunrise. Trevor, being the man of action that he is, quickly started making calls and lining me up for tests and scans. He was able to get me in for a chest and abdomen CT scan at 1:30pm and Dr. Fogwell got me scheduled for a breast MRI at 6:45pm. I don’t know about you, but that doesn’t sound like a Good Friday to me.  While Trevor was making those calls, I spent the morning calling a lot of my friends and delivering the news.  Unfortunately, I wasn’t prepared for their responses.  There is something so very unnatural about making each one of your friends cry.  How could I feel so horrible and so loved all at the same time?  As I mentioned earlier, I hadn’t told most of them I was even going to the doctor.  So you can imagine the shock of the news.  With each passing call and each passing tear, I sunk back into the reality of my present situation.  Finally, I got so emotional that I had to just start texting so I didn’t have to hear their sadness.  I remember what it was like being on the other end of that phone call, and I hated to put the people I love the most in that position.  There is one thing about my friends, though.  They love so well.  And I knew with 100% confidence when they said they would pray for me, that those were not just empty words.  They would ACTUALLY PRAY for me.  God has given me a tremendous support team, and I feel blessed beyond measure to be surrounded by such amazing people.

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As for the scans, I have never felt as small as I did when I got dressed into medical scrubs and laid on a cold hard table in the middle of a HUGE room with a gigantic CT scanner above me.   It was bizarre.  That, plus filling out what seemed like my weight in paperwork, made Trevor comment, ‘It’s starting to feel like you are actually a patient now.’  Um, yes.  Yes it does.

In less than 36 hours, my life has turned upside down.  I told Jennifer’s mom, Jane, that my cancer diagnosis was a heartbreaking twist in our already sad story.  But the good news, the WONDERFUL NEWS, is that I know the author of this story. And I know that He is good, He doesn’t make mistakes, and that He loves me.  The Lord has literally allowed me to walk this path already, albeit in different shoes.  The familiarity I have with cancer, hospitals, oncologists, etc. has taken some of the fear and anxiety out of this process.  Also, for the past few years, I have had a front row seat to watching God do some of the most amazing things.  I’ve witnessed miracles.  I’m up on all of His promises.  I’ve seen His hand in the tiniest of details.  And I feel so privileged to be the one to continue the story that Jen began a few years ago.  I pray that you can follow along with me in anticipation of what He will do next on this journey.

Much love and welcome aboard,

Jamie (aka B)

“I lift up my eyes to the hills.  From where does my help come?  My help comes from the Lord, who made heaven and earth.”  Psalm 121:1-2

PS: A huge thank you to my incredibly talented friend, Melanie (aka Big Mama), for setting up this blog for me.  It’s nice to have friends in high internet places.