To each and every one of you, I want to say thank you. Thank you for praying, thank you for running errands, thank you for picking up and bringing my kids home from school, thank you for dinners, thank you for flowers, thank you for texts, etc. That is truly what has gotten me through thus far.
I also wanted to thank you for your kind words about my song with Cary Pierce. Several of you have asked how to download it and I finally figured it out. Click here for a link to the song in iTunes (I believe it’s on spotify, pandora, etc. but I’m not 100% sure). I am giving a portion of the proceeds to Susan G. Komen foundation (which I’m sure will be approximately $10 after my family downloads), so PLEASE download and share with your friends via email, social media, etc. Because of research prior to my diagnosis, I will most likely live a normal life. And you can’t put a price on that.
Now for the update…after two nights in the hospital, I am finally home and in my own bed. And this is what I found when I got home.
More points for Trev and his decorating skills.
The surgery went well per the physicians and I couldn’t be more grateful. I can definitely feel God’s presence with me and I truly am not shaken (Psalm 16:8).
The past 10 days have been non-stop for me (and for you too, I’m guessing), and I count that as a huge blessing. Originally, we thought having the surgery scheduled for the last week of school would be somewhat of a logistical nightmare (final exams, end of school, etc.), but it turns out being busy was the best distraction of all. Thank you, Lord, for your provision.
My friend Molly drove from College Station to come keep me company last week. We got to walk, talk, have lunch, etc. I felt like I was on vacation patio eating and ignoring any responsibilities at home. Which, if I stop and think about it, is almost like any other day.
The next day Kim flew in from Boston to hang out with me. We had a blast together running carpool (not even a joke – mundane tasks are so much better with friends). The one comment all of our 7 boys (yes, 7 boys between the two of us) say to us when we are together is, “mom, you act weird when Kim/Jamie is here”. And our response? This is what we look like when y’all aren’t beating us down with sports, school, packing lunches and doing laundry. We are actually really funny and enjoyable when we aren’t parenting. And even though Kim and I talk on the phone every single morning, we still had so much catching up to do. #mykidsdontunderstandhowwehavesomanywords
Last weekend, we got to celebrate my niece who is graduating from high school today! We attended her baccalaureate and then had such a nice brunch with family. I am so very proud of Logan (Ashley’s daughter) for working so hard in school and in athletics. She is such a go-getter and I know she will thrive at UT (even though she will never live down that decision and will be taunted by her Aggie family for life).
Monday, my precious friends threw a birthday party for me. Let me just say that the PERFECT gift for me is to have all of my people together in one place. It was such a lovely day, and I felt so cared for.
Not only did they make me “special” cookies…
But they prayed for me as well, which was so comforting.
I can’t stress enough how important it is in life to have family and friends who love you and will walk through valleys with you. The support in this room was palpable.
After the birthday party, I looked at the calendar and realized my next hair appointment was the day after my surgery. Well, clearly that wasn’t going to work because if anything was going to give me more gray hair it would be this. I called my hair colorist and she was able to work me in Tuesday morning (day of surgery). I contemplated this odd timing, then realized it might be a nice way to pass the time since I couldn’t eat or drink all day and since my surgery wasn’t going to start until 3pm. Plus, let’s be honest ladies, it is such a bonus to have fresh blonde & a good blow out being wheeled into the OR. Seven out of 8 of my friends agree. #lotsofblondes
Around 12:30, we all geared up to head to the hospital. I suddenly became very nervous and asked God for the very first time, “Why?”. “Why now?”, “Why me? Why Jen? It all just came spilling out of me. The minute we loaded up in the car, I plugged my phone in to charge and you’ll never believe what happened. “I Surrender All” began playing as if it had been queued up by God himself. Of all the songs that could have played, it was this one. And I realized as I sobbed in the car holding Trevor’s hand and Kim’s hand that I don’t need to know ‘why’. All I need to do is surrender to the Lord. Trust his promises. And know that He works all things for good (Romans 8:28).
We got to the hospital and had lots of visitors. I’m still dumbfounded that we didn’t get kicked out because no one was using their ‘inside voice’. The nurses put me in a room, and I was fortunate to don another beautiful gown from the Baylor Hospital Couture Collection. Not only that, but they accessorized me with a hair net that complimented the color of my gown. Last up, the medical team gave me amazing little socks with grippers on them. I think that was the perfect way to complete the ensemble. Hair AND wardrobe were on point.
Feeling like a million bucks, my posse came in to pray with me. I had asked our Sunday school teacher, Miller Cunningham, if he would come lead us. Miller is an incredible man with the purest heart for the Lord. He exudes qualities that are in line with his beliefs and has been so influential in Trevor’s and my spiritual life. He and his sweet wife, Ginger, were able to circle up and hold hands with my family and friends, which made all my fears and doubt disappear. Click here to learn more about Miller & Ginger’s ministry.
The actual surgery started around 3:45 and ended around 8pm. I don’t remember much of waking up or being in the recovery room, but so far I’ve heard some good stories that I may or may not repeat. Also, we had been praying so hard for no nausea after surgery because I had severe nausea after the lymph node biopsy. Praise God I have had no nausea and have felt great. I’m so grateful for Dr. Grant (surgical oncologist) and Dr. Potter (plastic surgeon) for being so thorough and for caring for me so well. But this one will always my favorite physician…
The next steps are for me to see my plastic surgeon on Tuesday. He will make sure everything is healing correctly. Then the following week I will see both my plastic surgeon and surgical oncologist. I should also receive my pathology report which will determine if my treatment is complete or if I will need chemotherapy. I am boldly asking for you to pray specifically for no chemo!!
Lastly, I am unbelievably grateful to have the cancer out of my body. However, my brain won’t let me fully celebrate until pathology comes back with clear margins. I learned through Jennifer’s journey to emotionally stay in neutral because the ups and downs of this disease can be so severe. But if my path report is good, you might see me doing an awkward happy dance and embarrassing my teenagers. Cannot wait.
Everything you guys have been praying for has turned out better than I ever imagined (Ephesians 3:20). So please don’t stop. God is good. All the time.
Until next time, much love to you all & make every day count!
PS: Don’t forget to download ‘How Great Thou Art’ and help me help others!!
PSS: I am still taking heavy drugs for pain, so if this blog post doesn’t make sense or there are several typos that’s why. And I think I might have lot of regret about posting a hospital pic of me, but I’m trying to keep it real!