Thursday, December 31, 2009

End of the Year Gratitude

Okay, Day 1 for me, 42 for the rest of you doing this 42 days of Gratitude thing. :)

I am grateful for learning to open myself and be vunerable.
I am grateful for learning to be a recipient of aid, help, and healing energy.
I am grateful I am receptive to love and healing that others give.
I am grateful for learning to trust the universe is indeed my coconspirator of my highest good.
I am grateful for the healing that has happened within my family this year.
I am grateful for the healing that has happened within my body this year.
I am grateful for all the healers who have done this with energy, with medicine, with muscle power, with love.
I am grateful for the mountains that bank me, and the choir which peeled back a layer that obscured my inner vision, and opened me up to a whole new world.
I am grateful for tears, and for long distance phonecalls.
I am grateful we all have a chance here to Love.

http://www.worldgratitude.com/


Jenna

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

More on Herceptin Resistence and tyrkerb

Here is the news report:

http://www.laboratoryequipment.com/News-drug-combo-improves-breast-cancer-survival-121409.aspx?xmlmenuid=51

Jenna

Quick Post - Herceptin Resistence and it's CURE?

What is Herceptin Resistence? Herceptin is NOT a chemo drug. It doesn't kill all cells. Just breast cancer cells that have a certain receptor that helps it to reproduce. Herceptin goes in and takes the place where the protein should go to let the cell reproduce. Thus, shutting down the cycle. Like birth control for breast cancer cells with this as a positive attribute.

Now, this drug has been called the homerun drug of all chemo drugs by my oncologist. At the beginning of this journey. anyone in the oncology world I told I could take herceptin all were SOOO excited. The phramacist joked that it was so amazing it should be put in the water. HOWEVER, for 20% of the patients, it doesn't work. It is called Herceptin Resistence. For me, it seems to work better with chemo being taken with it. But on it's own, it wasn't holding it in check.

This has had me bummed, depressed, scared.....a life on constant chemo. I won't go there. Because...

I am part of a board of Metastatic Cancer Babes on Crazy Sexy Cancer. The discussion there informed me of a new drug in trials that helps overcome Herceptin resistence. Which lead me to a discussion with my doc several times. Which lead her to looking into it more. Which lead her to a conference. Which lead her being as excited as I am because she has the science behind it. Apparently, there is great hope and success with mixing an older drug which is similar with Hercptin and this overcoming the resistence.

Which lead her to GIVING ME THE DRUG!!!!!!! I am a road tester. Paving the way for this new drug combo that could save lives. SOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO EXCITED. I start TODAY. PRAYERS THIS WORKS. It could take me from 1-2 years to ????? !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Prayers prayers prayers.

I NEEDED THIS. Hope, something to look towards. Somethign to be a part of that will help other women, even if it doesn't help me. If my dot on a graph somewhere helps scienctist understand it better which leads to a cure.....I AM IN.

Jenna

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

And Sarah did the honors and I have the pics to prove it





What is it about kissing a bald head? lol!




Right back at you!
Very grateful. Not everyone can do what she did for me.


Jenna

























Breast Cancer, Chemo, and Losing your Hair Not your Head

How to lose your hair, not your head......

I thought I would post my journey from head of hair to baldy Rebel Girl, because, frankly, I don't think I can handle the ackwardness of people seeing me out of the blue, with a wig, or a scarf or hat and having that "Oh crap, what do I do, where do I look, do I say anything?" moments. So, I am posting the journey here. So you can, in your own time, process the change. And when you see, know the etiquette of staring, touching, questioning, and all that goes with dramatic visual changes.

My gift to you.

What can you say?
Whatever is on your mind, "Holy shit! You cut your hair off!' (because if it weren't 20 degrees out, I would go bald. I love it bald. I feel awkward in a wig, and sick in a scarf. But bald feels freeing and natural, no hiding.)

Say, "Wow, that is so weird, and hard to get used to."

Say, "You look different, but beautiful."

Say the truth. Ask direct questions. I don't mind. What I do feel awkward about it is the NOT acknowledging the elephant in the room. I like the direct approach.

And yes, you can touch it. It is still stubbly, and feels a bit like a sharks skin. But it was VERY irritating because hairs were falling out even with it shaved with an electric razor using no blade. When I put on wigs or scarves, the hair acted as a sandpaper, and got Velcroed to the hat or wig and was painful. So off it all went. I had splotches anyway, no Sinead OConner look. Bummer, I liked it that way.

But please, do not do ANY of this around Kara. She is so upset. I haven't seen her this upset about any of the journey. She has been upset before, but not like this. She asked us to stop talking about it in front of her, but she promised to talk about it to her therapist. So we agreed, no more baldy talk, for now.

So, here is the footage. I really dislike I had to do this NOW. When I see other people footage, they are healthy. At the beginning of their journey. As you can see. Cancer Rebel Girl over the summer, I am not on steroids to control the chemo nausea, not on bloated, not pimple faced, not exhausted with dark circles under my eyes from weeks of being sick PLUS chemo, OH and moving in a week.

BUT, none the less. The other people seem awkward with it. And sad, but trying to stay strong. I LOVED it. It was freeing and and load off. I guess a year and half of treatment, I know this is the least of my worries and concerns. It really really felt freeing. I feel MORE beautiful bald, than I did with that mop of hair falling out allllll over the place.

So, here it is...the video.

Sarah Cannon did the honors. She rocked rocked rocked. Jim was my support. While he couldn't bring himself to cut it, he did the memorial video and photos and was an all around moral support.

Kara snuck in and out. And tomorrow, we will go with Jeri up into the mountains we know live at the base of, and find snow and bury the hair there with notes of hope and healing that will melt with the snow in the spring and summer and give the birdies the nesting they need at the right time. I love it.

Sarah Cannon....I can't thank you enough. She has pictures of her and I together I hope to get very soon to post here as well. She was the first to kiss my bald head. :) Jim got the second. Kara finally got the courage to touch it and I agree with her assesment, it feels weird.

Cancer Rebel Girl got a new chance to unleash. And yes, if you are right with yourself inside, bald makes you feel empowered and sexy as all get out. SOMETHING comes unleashed when you go mohawk, and even bigger power comes unleashed when you go bald, and feel even more beautiful and powerful than before. ROCK ON! Maybe it is the artist in me exploring boundries, and social mores about sexual roles. I have had long long long, short short short and eveything in between. I don't mind experimenting. I thought my hair before made me feel pretty, and safe. Now I know my power is NOT in my hair. I may always keep it cropped after this, or grow it long as I can if chemo ever stops and lets it grow back.

Oh, and I plan to play while I can. Lots of wigs and lots of different styles. What better times to play with color and style than now? I have one wig right now. I feel more uncomfortable in that, than I do bald. Strange.

I feel the storm settling, the rain is passing, the sun is starting to show through the clouds after a very very very very long thunderstorm. But the air is clearing, and healing and peaceful times are afoot. I feel it.

If I can get through all of this year, and come back to hope and peace, I can get through anything. We are SO much stronger than we know. So much healing on so many levels has taken place. In me, in the circle of people around me, in family, in friends. I love this place. I love learning my courage, my vulnerability, my ability to overcome, other peoples ability to overcome and face the most challenging parts of their lives (thank you Jim!) and seeing just how wide are light can expand, even when we feel very very very dim.

Unfotunately, the video is not functioning properly. The sync between video and audio drifts out. So for now, pictures will have to do.

Saturday, December 5, 2009

The Beetlejuice Effect

So, first time round, I didn't lose my hair. Second time round, didn't lose my hair. This time round I am shedding like Chewbacca taking holiday in the Sahara......meaning....if you breath on my head, hair will fall.

It is itchy and irritating and I am trying to figure out what to do...because it may just THIN.

My dear daughter is stressed by this. The whole time, the threat of losing my hair has been her only point of expression on my cancer treatments. She doesn't want me to cut it. But after watching it fall out all day, she told me I could cut it, but (and she said this in a sweet, scared child way, not bossy) "Just don't do it if front of me". Oh that child. Tonight, she found scissors and cut a lock of her hair off and put it in her scrapbook.

But I am scouring the internet. Is this just rapid thinning that will stop? Or should I go for the close cut? Problem is, if you touch it, if falls out. So I don't see how a hair stylist could possibly cut hair that would constantly be changing as he/she cuts it. What to do what to do.

I am trying to wait it out. But for instance, I was making breakfast for Kara and I. And the whole time hair is falling falling falling. Right into our food. Hmmm..........

I have heard that Abraxane causes "hair thinning" but the posts I have read they say, "Yeah, thinning so bad I look like Beetlejuice". hmmmmmm.....

What to do, what to do........

so if next time you see me, I am wearing a wig, dawning a wrap, shaved my head to a stubble, or look like I could be Beetlejuice's hot date....please don't stare and just tell me I look beautiful .....Or I will shrink you and put you into a model of your hometown.

Jenna

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Endurance Take Two

Okay, here is the long and short of it.

My living situation got turned on it's head out of the blue.

Move to Issaquah being bumped WAY up. I found out less than two weeks ago my living situation was changing. I am leaving this weekend. WOW. Trying to take it all in.

BUT I LOVE the fact I am moving into our OWN apartment, that won't go away and I can just relax and the base of the Cascades, on a mountain, and still get to Seattle in 20 minutes. And this place is MY OWN.

I am moving very very quickly, because I really really need to be in a place I can rest. I just finished unpacking and was looking forward to settling down and resting finally. So I am moving fast, so I can get to that settled in place to heal and rest in a small town at the bast of the Cascades.

And also, because I start radiation next Monday.

Oh, and my hair....falling out in clumps and constantly. It is annoying, like a shedding cat constantly on my head. But Bug doesn't like it and wants me to keep it. But i want to cut it short while it falls out so I don't get this tangle mess of hair in my face all the time. When I take my pony tail out, I take a clump of hair. It has to go soon.

And singing. I want to get back to it. I missed choir this month. Can't wait to sing again.

Life is moving fast. I am panicked, yet feel this might be the final push to get to a place I can really rest and heal in. It is good for my family and therefore good for me. And it is good for me. I love the mountain ridges looming overhead and river running through two of them, revealing Rainer on the other side. Ahhhhh. I love the woods.

HUGS
Jenna
who is freaked out she has to pack in one weekend and move!

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Endurance

I wrote this really long and tough entry. But what it comes down to is this:

endurance means not becoming stagnate.

I feel like I am fighting a battle with stagnation. But always always always keep moving forward, even if it is only a millimeters movement. Move.

Energy healers never ever bind energy. They find where it is tightened up and release it. The goal is always fluid movement. Of mind of body of spirit.

So today, I came to a slow crawl mentally. But I moved ever so slightly forward one millimeter.

I hope. I still hope. I still believe, even if this past couple months has been challenging, painful, and scary as hell. I have moments of delight. Sometimes that is bittersweet, because it is just enough to let me know it is there, but I can't seem to hold onto it.

Almost there. I feel it. Almost there.

Jenna

Thursday, November 5, 2009

No Smancher Cancer Talk today

Just fun pics.

No, it wasn't swine flu. But that was apparent that day. However, something got us. And now that we have the official "all clear" we are OUT of here.

While we THOUGHT of walking our normal route to the local coffee house.


The rain went from drizzle
(which any good Seattle-ite worth their salt doesn't
even notice),




to an all out rain (which used to be unheard of, and is now common here), requiring (eek-gasp) UMBLRELLA'S.


And two girls with recovering chest colds, decided to drive it, then walk from there with those unsightly umbrella's no Seattle-lite worth their salt carries.


However, it inspired picture taking....
so here is our brief day out.

All of this is within 5 minutes of us. Which is why...Seattle, I do love you.




Oh, not to forget, the best coffee west of the Atlantic.

















Tuesday, November 3, 2009

no chemo h1n1 scare instead


awaiting a h1n1 result after a day of running to pediatrician, and me to cancer institute to get a nasty ass cotton swab shoved down my non feverish nose twice over. OUCH. Glad the peditriian didn't put her through that and just gave her Tamiflu anyway (because of my chemo immuno suppressed body).

As I type my feverish kid is hacking away in bed, and my throat is raw. poor kiddo going to go check on her.

Peace out
jenna

Friday, October 30, 2009

Happy Birthday MOM!

First of all, HAPPY BIRTHDAY MOM!!!!!!!!



Now back to our regularly scheduled program of cancer drama and healing.

It is often hard to decide what and how to post on this blog. Because each of you have your own filter. Some will read things as dire, others as "things are rough, but not so bad" and others see my spirit strong. All from the same post. I learned this early on and know that I just have to post what is on my mind. It is tricky if I become attached to helping you each process the information I give you. So instead I have to just let it go and let you process and interpret in your own way. I sometimes second guess if I should be writing at all. But I started this, so for now, I will keep going. Just don't read this blog like you would a novel. If you read this, be an active reader. Pray, help practically, do your own spiritual journey. Please don't read it like you are waiting for the ending of a mystery novel. I say that with a bit of cheeky humor and a lot of love.

That being said.....I hide some thing. I definitely keep some of this journey private. But at this stage I cant' anymore. So I am pondering how to continue this blog. It is going to open my very very private self up to the world. And it's judgments on the deepest parts of myself. So I ask that if you continue to read this blog, you do so with deep respect, let your judgments go, and use lots and lots of compassionate "listening" and loving kindness.

I will write more later. I am still in the process of deciding. However, Spirit is lifting me up. And last night, I felt buoyed by song, by prayer. If you had come up to me and said, "You have a really bad cancer that is aggressively attacking your spine and liver" I would have laughed and said you were crazy. I was in the moment, letting all the love and prayers flow, and living very very truthfully. I was JOY. Yes, JOY.

I am learning so much about the power of the "something more" that binds us all. That we can't quantify. That we can see or touch or taste or smell and analyze and rely on to put into research or a formula.

I see and feel the STARK difference between living in fear and living in peace. Of "knowing".

Again, I am pondering where I am going to take this blog now.

Lots of info in this one post. I know. But for you those of you wondering:
I am going to ask the doc some very straight forward questions on Tuesday. and go from there. I am leaning towards chemo, maybe not Abraxane, but most likely. But I deeply believe the missing ingredients in putting this thing into NED (No Evidence of Disease) is not going to be found in a chemo drug, but in doing some deep spiritual work and really truly taking care of my body and it's own unique needs (ie, eating REALLY well and eating for what my body needs, exercising to my body's needs, waking up everyday and my first thought being praising the strength of Spirit and my Spirit and going to bed GRATEFUL GRATEFUL GRATEFUL and then living according to my own Spirit and guidance from the higher source beyond charts and graphs and research)

And that work may isn't about becoming cancer free, but about living FULLY AWAKE. What a different ride that is indeed.

Okay, enough for now. Time to wake up the girl and get her ready for Halloween at school! COWGIRL PICTURES TO FOLLOW. ;)

I am well.
I know that today and in this moment
my Spirit and body thrive.
I don't know how,
but I rise above
and the joy of my Spirit
makes the pain of my body diminish
and I am well.
And the power of Spirit to do this,
makes me humble and happy and
oh
so
grateful.

Jenna

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Chemo Round 3

I don't know what to say anymore. I feel like I am hitting you all with a cold splash of water and punching you in the gut. But here we go....

It is still spreading, up my spine and in my liver. NOT to the brain. Woohooo, my idea of a head cold pans out.

But the liver makes lots o' sense and I asked "did it go up my spine" because of the pain. Sigh.

So we go back to Abraxane. I can't process all of this right now. So much. So that is that for now.

Not great, no horrid, but a HUGE challenge ahead.

Jenna

Thursday, October 22, 2009

starting to make sense, Part two

So, my "it's the drugs" theory isn't panning out to the doc. So she is sending me in for a brain MRI and a PET/CT to peek inside and see if the cancer has travelled anywhere new. The brain MRI I had at the onset was all clear, it would be really NICE that is still is.

I think, because of my dripping running nose, and cough with phelm, MAYBE this all over a cold. She is checking for mono. But beyond that, she just feels concerned enough to peek inside and rule some stuff out.

So off I go. MRI's are like being inside a video game, with buzzes and bangs and clangs. fun times.

If you feel inclined to take me on Monday to said appointments and you can clear you schedule for a 10:30-4:00 run, please let me know. I can't go this day alone.

Jenna

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Something is starting to make sense

Been having a rough month. And I think I finally know why. Once I got still, and could listen and had a few good friends to bounce my "bouncing" thoughts off of, I do believe I have a clue. I have been in pain, sleeping a lot, and unable to fully "wake up" so many days. But it isn't depression. When it is past, I am very happy, peaceful, contented, hopeful. Then this monster comes and shuts my brain off half way. I believe it is a medication I am taking. And today proved it. I was doing fine, well, alert, and then the person with me saw it, I turned "off". Like a switch was flipped. My brain started having trouble processing information and I felt drugged.

Drugged.

I am pretty sure my meds needs to be tweaked. I had asked to be taken off one of the drugs, if not also the pain mends I have been on. They aren't going to like that at all. They always deswayed me. But I am not living my life right now. And there is n point in being here, if I am going to be here, tweaked out on drugs, on my couch, feeling like do-d0. Now I am going to demand it. There are alternatives I can rely on and can put in place.

That being said, I am moving into a 5 day "completely nuture my body" phase. I have been EXHAUSTED and not stopping. As a friend pointed out yesterday, the difference before and after a nap was marked. I know I have been exhausted and unable to stop.

That is where YOU come in. If you are close by. I need your help in "restore Jenna's energy" movement. For the next 5 days, I am resting, resting resting. Doing ONLY that which restores my energy.

I also need:
  • Someone who can take Kara to school Monday and Tuesday. She needs to be there by 8:30.
  • Someone to come over and cook my squash soup, and play scrabble while it simmers.
  • Someone to do dishes every other day
  • Someone to grocery shop at PCC for some basic staples. Apples, kale, lemons, etc.
Things are VERY off. I have spent the last three weeks in a walking sleep, and starting to be unable to have coherent conversations (at least it feels that way). When I do "crash", I sleep for days and can't get my brain to wake up. People around help with Kara. But now I need help too to get through this and get some energy back.

Last week, my friends who came over on an SOS call to help said I sounded drunk. I am really calling it in. I can see the way through, and taking 5 days of letting my friends step in and take care of me is required. I have to be vulnerable and honest right now. But I can see the way through, and that means asking for help.

I have thought about checking into the hospital several time this month for exhaustion. This can be fixed. This can be addressed. And I see how. But that means needing people to lean on.

Got an hour to spare here or there. Something on that list do-able? Let me know.

FOLLOW UP: Everyone once in awhile I go back through this blog to tweak it, edit it, and clarify things, or give follow ups. This one is LONG overdue and very important to me to get out there. If you are in medical care, DO NOT BE AFRAID TO SAY "THIS MED IS MAKING ME NOT RIGHT - WHAT CAN WE DO?" Meds are very powerful things, changing the neural synapic makeup and sometimes that damage, if goes on for too long, can't be undone. I had to be slowly taken down off this medicine, and it does make people "out of it" if it isn't good for them. BE PROACTIVE! SAY SOMETHING! There are options and the docs need to know. I have had to do this more than once, and everytime, we find out way around the med. BE PROACTIVE - it is YOUR body, and your body may react differently than the "norm". Okay? Soapbox gone ;)

Thanks
Jenna Helm

And food for thought:

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Must Read Article

Please, to the end.A Rebel Cancer Girl indeed. The info on research funding and metastatic breast cancer SHOULD make your uneasy. Especially after Soma, Amy, and Fritzi walked their tushies off under my name. Did all the money they raise go to met girls like me? Or just the ones they can save? Read on...

Fighting Advanced Cancer is Like Being a Secret Alligator Wrestler

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Those Who Rock, an incomplete and incorehent list

Jean H. ----- Jeri is a ROCKSTAR. I love fate, seredipity, God, the Universe. Thank you for her. Thank you for praying for me, brought me to her. ;) Thank you thank you.

Jeri Rocks. Best day of chemo in awhile and you just SHINE.

Mom rocks. Walked me through a dark spot tonight. Fear fear fear + shit really hurts for too long = scared little girl raising a kid. Aren't we all?

Kevin rocks. It was nice sitting with you today, thanks for the loving goodbye. There is the term LYLAS, you are LYLAB (bro).

Soma, and Amy and Fritzi --------rockstars times three. WOW. is all I can say. wow.

Choir of Light angels. Thanks Carolellen for more chicken soup. It was delicious.

WENDY! YOU DID IT! And you sounded BEAUTIFUL.

That is all I got the juice for. Something is TRIPPING OUT. Ringing in my ears for two days now, trippy stomach.........

Life is funny. Life is short. Life is sweet. Life can be scary sometimes too.

And of course....MORE music...it is better than chemo, better than blood. I plan to be an angel singing alle allelujah.....




jenna

Saturday, October 10, 2009

The Walk is ON

So, I have spent the last two days sleeping, with a quick jaunt out to choir rehearsal somewhere in the middle. I am a wee bit freaked out it is Friday, because I don't really remember the week. I remember going in for chemo and getting a flu shot, some nice music one day, and then an amazing day at chemo this week, and then it is like I have been in a daze and sleeping. I am trying to keep my spirit up. Going through this cycle of I feel okay for two days, get chemo, and get drug through what feels like a mild to moderate case of the flu, with muscle aches and joint pain and usually the inability to keep my eyes open one day a week.....I then spent a couple of days recouping and climbing back out, only to start over....it is wearing on my psyche. Because that one day a week of it "hitting" is drawing out into 4 days.

I know I have said I have been knowing I have to slow down and rest. I think that overdrive went out and I am resting now, because I just cant' stop sleeeeeeping.

And then it dawned on me, as I wake up in the middle of the night..

did someone say Columbus day to me?

The three day walk?

Is it REALLY Columbus day weekend?

And it is....

which means.....

Soma and the Team are WALKING!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

In my chemo stupor, the loss of what day it is, I missed this. I knew yesterday for some reason, I wanted to call Soma.

SO! GO TEAM DC RACK PACK GO!!!!!!!!!!!

THANK YOU!

SEND PICTURES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I remembering hoping to be there. I am glad I didn't buy a ticket. I won't have made it there.
But I am there in spirit and gratitude and am proud of your fundraising prowess! I checked those final tallies and WOW.

Fritzi's blog was reminding us to get our regular checkups and do mammograms.

Here are a couple of things I learned along the way that could save a 20 or 30 something's life that add to Fritzi's advice:

  1. In the MRI place, the doc has signs up EVERYWHERE that INCLUDE TRUSTING YOUR INTUITION. If you FEEL like something is wrong, go in and get it checked out.
  2. Young women have thicker breast tissue, and regular mammograms may miss smaller cancer tumors.
  3. Breast cancer has a higher mortality rate in those in their 20's and 30's because it is often overlooked as being a cyst because the spike in women in this age bracket. It USED to be that it was an older persons, post menopause, that got breast cancer. The reality is different now. So many young women are being "looked over", even with lumps that can be felt. I read this over and over again on the BC blogs and group sites. So we end up at Stage IV before we finally get the diagnosis and help.
  4. Stage IV is considered a chronic disease most often now because of the progressively more effective and targeted drugs and understanding of the disease. BECAUSE OF RESEARCH and because people like the DC Rack Pack walk and raise funds and do the footwork to start research going.

Okay, back to sleep. I forced myself awake to write this and acknowledge the Walk.

I am with you in spirit!
Jenna

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Naviagting Cancer Website

Okay, this page rocks. It is up and coming and in development. But it is by far my favorite page for reaching OUT to your care posse. So if you are reading this, and have cancer, check this out:

http://beta.navigatingcancer.com/

If you are want to be a member of my care team, and didn't get a message inviting you, email me at cancerrebelgirl@gmail.com.

Spread the news. This is a good site for coordinating care. That is so difficult to do, because of the various forms of communication now. Facebook for some. Blogging for others. Others use phone calls, emails, or texts. trying to remember who said they wanted to stay informed. This way, I don't have to worry about bugging you or draining you with 20 emails in a month requesting care/help. It is just there waiting for you.

How to get the information out there that you need help is tough now. But this website gives you a calendar. And the members of your care team can access it and check off what they want to do without the circle of emails and texts that can literally take me hours, and I get minimal responses sometimes. Help ususally always shows, but sometime I dont' ask for the help because it is exhausting to do that dance. I am spent and tired by the time I get what I need.

Yay for someone developing this practical and lovely site!

Jenna

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

StopLights and The Excercise I Use to Center


I am going to let you in on something I hold secret. I think it is time to let that secret go. What a waste of energy to hold onto it, and worry if I say it "out loud" I will....I dunno....be called names, or be rejected. Blah blah. I am over that now. :)

So.....the secret (ooooh, sounds like a little DVD Oprah loved).

A few years back, I was sitting at a rather major stoplight, wanting to turn. So I had plenty of time to sit and watch the cars drive by. Instead of mindlessly seeing the cars go by, one by one in an energetic colorful blur, I started seeing INTO the cars and seeing the faces of the people passing by. I wasn't trying to do anything. I just shifted consciousness unwittingly, and realllllly took in the faces of each car passing me. And then "it" happened. I started crying, because I saw something "more". I saw Gods expression of creativity in each and every face. I saw our CONNECTEDNESS. I was humbled, and cried these tears of hope and joy at how amazing it was to see the divine and sacred plan of each person passing me by. Grouching, laughing, happy, frustrated. etc. It was all included and it was all perfect. I felt connected to all things and all people and was in awe of it all.

And that brings me back to the exercise I promised a few days back. I missed my window of time to write it down in, but am back after chemo and resting. So here it is:

Take any object. I love taking a piece of fruit for some reason. But it can be anything. Your clothing, your couch, your favorite football. Really, anything.

Hold it in your hands and take a few deep breaths just to slow down the monkey mind we all have in our society. The one jumping around from to do list, to do list. And really settle into your object. What is it texture? It's color? It's weight? Take your time and don't "think" to much about the answers, just let them be and let them go. It isn't about those answers.

Now, that your focused and settled on your object. Let's say, an apple. I see it's beautiful streaks of green and red. I feel it's coolness in my hand, and I maybe smell the flavor of the apple if it is cut.

And this is the key step:

Now I start to trace it's origin and it's web.

I know I bought this at the market down the street this afternoon. And at that market, I met a very friendly salesperson who said Hi and was very kind. She helped bring this apple to my table.

I also think of the produce manager and the produce workers who chose this apple, and it's display and made sure I found my way to what I needed.

I then think about the person who drove the truck, and brought this apple to the store. I think about the company they work for, and the gas they used from some forgein country to drive this apple to the store mananger who gave it to the store produce workers, and then to me. I am grateful for the gas company who gave the truck driver the ability to make the run. I think about the truck makers, probably some forgein country, that made the truck in some factory. I think about that factory worker who goes home to his or her family and has a evening meal, and loves their child, and the family around the table that share a meal.

And my mind pops back to the truck driver here. And they family or friends they go home to every night, and share meals with, stories with, and the food they eat.

And I think about the field worker, who picked the apple, and the farmer who grew it, and the warehouse manager who set the order to the store that I bought the apple from.

And as I let me mind linger on all the connections, and the branches of the connections, and the branches off the branches of connections....I begin to shift my awareness, something shifts to a sacred and deep level. How disconnected we can feel from one another, but how truly interconnected we are in the web.

That moment at the stoplight was similar. But without warning, without trying, I just saw it all in an instant. We really truly influence one another, and are all in this together.

Do with it as you will :)
Jenna

Friday, October 2, 2009

An Exercise in Holding Consciousness

I feel like expanding on yesterday blog entry, "Everything is Holy Now" sung by Faith Rivera.

Since I was a child, I have never let go of that wondrous feeling that we are even here at all. I may have lost site of it in temporary fits of fear, but in general, that sense of wonder, despite the pains of life, is never far out of reach.

I LOVE the line in the song I posted yesterday. Walking in the woods, smelling the earth after a rain, hearing the birds, reading an email from a friend who reaches out JUST when you felt alone...and they they didn't know it....all these are the little miracles that instill that constant sense of "woah, something bigger is going on here". As she sang in the song, because the fact that THIS world, this body, this mind I have, is even here, so that I can have a conscious experience of Life ....wow.

Sure, you may be thinking, "Of course, that is easy to do walking in the woods, or being loved by a friend...but what about crappy stuff like cancer, or war, or abandonment?

The ONE thing that brings me to my knees and causes anxiety in this cancer journey is not the proposition of death. We all are going to die. It is leaving my child in uncertain circumstances that are out of my control. That pain is SO deep, even writing it, my throat chokes up, tears well in my eyes. There is a physical PAIN that sets into my body. What will become of her? Will someone catch her? Will this experience make her stronger and more of a powerhouse in her life? Or leave her depleted? It is out of my hands once I leave this earth.

And that could leave me completely depressed. Spent. Done. I could only see that aweful shitty circumstance. And I edge there some days when I am really tired. However, going back to what she is getting at in this song....

What is Holy, Magical, Godlike, Sacred, whatever you want to call it....is that even the experience of anxiety and grief is born out of Love. It is beyond words to me, that we love each other SO MUCH, that we can feel THAT DEEPLY. And we feel THAT DEEPLY because of Love. And when you get into that space, you get that sense of something...beyond what we are capable of expressing in words. And that space, that stillness, where there are no words to use to describe it, is sacred.

So even my fears, even my anxiety - they are expressions that are precious and an act of love. Funny thing is, once I realize that....the fear and anxiety drop away, and all that I feel....is Love. Because I feel that connection to something bigger than me, and Peace settles deep into my heart.

The question is, we have experiences here and there, that awaken us to this sense of wonder, of amazement...of "more" than we can explain.....so how do we hold that consciousness through the dark times?

I will leave it there, for now. And tomorrow, post a couple of exercises that I do to bring me back to that state of awareness when I am feeling lost or disconnected from it.

For now, ponder it for yourself. Make sense of my ramblings, my attempts to put this all into words. When have you felt that "something MORE is going on here than I can put into words and express? When have you felt a profound sense of connection and peace and..."w"holiness?

Jenna

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Faith Rivera

So, sometimes I get asked how I don't just become a puddle of anxiety and nerves and hide under my blanket. But believe me, I do have those days. And what I cling to that is the truth of life for me is SO WELL put....in this song. So even when I am crying, or scared, deeeeeeep inside, in the eye of the storm, what she sings in this song is true for me. The cancer, the growth, the separation, that bad things happen to good people....it is all in here.

Today I am at home, feeling ill. I got a flu shot with my chemo. This is GOOD. It sat me still. I haven't sat still in months. And it allowed me to explore music, and I found this gem and it renewed hope. See, it is all web, and the web will always take you back to some point where there is good.

So, instead of feeling afraid, or alone in this sickness today, I feel supported and loved. Strangers are reaching out to catch me, offering me harbor, good friends cry empathic tears and send me healing prayers. And in all this there is beauty. Call it God, call it Great Spirit, call it Great Mother, call it whatever, but it is that beautiful sacred bond that fills me with Love. Just acknowledge that it is there, even in the darkest of times. It never leaves you, never deserts you, we just get wrapped up in fear and forget.

But let me stand aside and let her sing it out best. She comes around this area, and she even more powerful in person. I will keep you posted:

Faith Rivera - Holy Now


Peace and love,
Jenna

Sunday, September 27, 2009

I sang like there was no tomorrow

Today.

It was so awesome. I left feeling radiate. Singing with the Choir of Light.

Amazing.

Just going to go bask in the glow and let those tumor markers fall fall fall some more. :)

Jenna

Monday, September 21, 2009

And the Tumor Markers go....

down down down.....despite them only hoping the slow down. They WENT down.

ah ha ha!

Now I have some flu. No chemo....and I get a stomach flu.

can I grumble? grumble grumble grumble....

Jenna

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Still Here

Still here and settling into our new place. Plum trees are dropping buckets off plums. All day long I hear squirrels making a ruckus and the thump thump thump of plums outside my window. Trains and boats blowing there horns fill there air sporatically, and neighborhood kids voices carry through the urban suburban backyards.

Chemo today. Nothing new, feel like one of those bags of fluids they give me to help offset the side effects of the chemo.

Getting change of address forms, choir rehearsals (gospel with Eddie Watkins Jr....sweeeeeet), and the sweet coccoon of our new home wraps me up and let's me just relax into the newness of it all.

That's the update. For now. ;)

Love,
Jenna

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Meet Fritzi & Amy


Soma has done a phenomenal job raising funds. And she is hoping to not walk alone. Therefore, I am adding a link to a teammates fundraising for the DC Rack Pack. Help Soma not walk alone, raise funds to find out why Herceptin isn't working alone for me, and I need a miracle drug.... (sorry to plant that little bomb in the middle there)....and find me my miracle drug ;)

Fritizi's Fundraising for the 3-Day walk. She is ALMOST there...get her there!

Help Amy! That is her on the left and me on the right in our looks like, middle school days. :)

Here is the DC Rack Pack 3 Day Susan G Komen Walk Page....and if anyone knows why to find Marty. please let me know!


Go, donate, support, love,
Jenna

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Making the Move

I am making the move to a wonderful Seattle neighborhood in the a.m. Very excited. VERY sore. But tomorrow I have help. We are going to rock it out and get it done.

This has been the MOST challenging time in my life. I have had to dig deeper than I ever thought. I have had to face fears and had no one to lean on, and got through. I FELT the prayer support today totally kick my anixety out the door, and I became JOYFUL and assured this is the best move for us to heal.

I look foward to resting finallllllllllllllllllllly after three long months of going going going. I mean washing dishes when my bones HURT LIKE HELL, and exhaustion had me wanting to sleep, but I had to stay awake for my daughter. I learned new depths of faith, and fear, and overcoming.

I will be offline for a week or so while I rest, go to a Choir Retreat (what.....three days W/O my DAUGHTER!) and a group of phenomoneal healing people to sing sing sing away the saddness, grief, pain, fear, of the summer. Cannot wait. ;) I LOVED singing in choir this week. It so lifted me up and raised my energy and spirit.

Lots of new new new. Happy transition to fall everyone! See you in a couple of weeks!
Jenna

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

The Cancer Smancher Soundtrack Review

So much good music keeps me going. Really NOTHING ELSE can help me pull out of a tailspin like music can. I play piano, wooden flute, skin drums, lyre, anything. I hear music my head, and I turn it on and almost no matter what pain ails me, something moves in my body. So, while I am in transition in our new life, new home, new way of being in the world and dealing with all of its stresses and its joys, I am doing a review of all the music of the past year I have brought to this site. ENJOY!


TWO SPECIAL REQUEST THIS WEEK:
I am moving. And on chemo. And I could REALLY use some homemade chicken soup (gf) to get us through this week. My stomach, very sensetive, and this special dish always always always heals and give me energy. But I am unable to make it in the midst of the transition to the home. If anyone could please be a dear, and I will reimburse you the cost of the food if need be.

2) Remember to become a Follower. See the sidebar. It helps keep you up to date, and help me know I am writing for SOMEONE out there. ;) Thank you to all of those who have signed up so far.


And don't forget to move it today!

I start off with a new piece to this site: it is inspired. And it is one of the things that keeps me fighting to stay here as LONG AS I CAN, when I just want to lay down and rest.



Now to the year in review:

Xavier Rudd


Eddie Vedar - Big Hard Sun



Michael Franti and Spearhead "Say Hey I Love You"



Orien "Her Morning Elegance"




Chumbawumba - Tubthumping



Patty Griffin - "Heavenly Day"



Neil Gaiman - Blueberry Girl
While not "music" this inspiring book I gave to my daughter, as a special reminder to carry her through all stages and ages of her life, if I am not there to remind her personally at some point. (Sorry folks, I can be on chemo for years, but a cure MUST happen for me to be at her wedding, or hold my grandchild (who she promises to name Serenity for me)



Stevie Wonder - "Supersitous"



Xavier Rudd (again) - Yirra Curl



Muppets - Mannahmahnah



Natasha Bedingfield - Unwritten
You have to go to her website - no embedding allowed:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4lFXy5bIiSA

Michael Franit and Spearhead again! "A Little Bit of Riddim
A Little Bit Of Riddim feat. Cherine Anderson



Maddona and Justin Tmblerlake - "4 Minutes" because the riddim in this is just too hard to pass up and dance to. Brillantly done.Madonna - 4 Minutes


There is so much more music I use to keep the energy going on the hard days but they don't have videos: Google:
Stephan Mitchell
CSL Choir of Light Seattle
Monty Python Songs & Skits

Namaste
Jenna

Thursday, August 27, 2009

A Lull

There is going to be a lull in this blog because I am moving to a place I am very excited about. Out of the big house, into a small duplex, great neighborhood, just my size, great streets to walk, kids for Kara to play with, the beach minutes away, and four cool neighborhoods at my doorstep.

My house is boxes. I keep stubbing my toe.

I am cranky, tired, excited, happy. I am a rollercoaster of emotion.

New beginnings.

I did put out this status report on Facebook:

Can anyone take in a overtired, stressed out, cantankerous, crabby, stubborn, temper tantrum throwing child? Oh, and my kid needs a place to stay too. :P

Thanks for the invite to the lake, Dida, what a WONDERFUL afternoon! Perfect Seattle summer day. So beautiful.

Wait till the drip drip drip....or as it was last year...snow storm snow storm, snow storm.

Let's dance:
Madonna - 4 Minutes



Jenna

Thursday, August 20, 2009

And the Pendulum Swings

Back to just getting this body through another night. Amazing. Just amazing watching this dance. I am great, I am fine, and I awesome. I am shuddering, and stuttering, and am leaning on your prayers, and energy, and phones waiting at the ready. But tomorrow will be better. Or maybe the day after. But every week, this passes. In it, it feels intense, like birth. But I have gotten through every week. And I will this week. Tomorrow, if not tonight, I will make a phone call, someone will take Kara, I will curl up, wait it out. Saturday will be bright and sunny. And everytime my body goes through the cycle I will be saying hasta la vista to another bunch of cancer cells. I will rest, recoup, take the good days and see where this crazy road leads.

Jenna

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

A Thought on Chemo and Potted Plants

No no no, not THOSE potted plants that the state of washington made legal for people like me. I don't do the whacky weed.

I went to the Center for Spiritual Living Sunday, like I have all summer. And we had a guest speaker. I believe you can hear the whole talk HERE. I myself, didn't get all into the whole talk. Maybe I was more inspired by the convertible mustange, red, with the hood down in the parking lot SHOWING me manifestation of our dreams. But one thing leapt out....I had to share:

He talked about how potted plants can get root bound and die. You have to give the plant a bigger and bigger pot or piece of land grown in, or the roots choke themselves out. In order to let a plant thrive, you move it to a bigger pot, and those roots start to force their way out into the darkness and the unknown, to seek out the new nutrition they need to grow. Those roots take up the life force they need and thrive not by staying small and wound tight, but by reaching out into what''s new and untapped and unknown. Rock it! So cooooool. Sooooo true.

It just sticks with me. With SO many change this year, I sometimes feel like I am on the verge of just crumbling under the weight. But as Dida says, rest, and when you feel rested, and not in pain, decide from THERE how you REALLY feel. Otherwise your reptilian brain, the part responsible for the classic fight or flight response sets in, and you can only make decision based on fear. Usually fear of the unknown.

My biggest fear is that I am CRAZY trying to raise a young child, undergoing chemo, surgery, and no family around for 1,000s of miles. AM I NUTS! I just free fall into faith in a new day when things get overwhelming. And guess what, I AM doing it. We are both still here, still happy, still loving, still living. I AM doing it (albeit maybe a grumpy mamma somedays), we are making out way out into the dark, the unknown, and drawing up the life force we need to thrive.

It gets easier with time to practice this. The art of Faith.

I had a discussion with someone tonight, whom I consider a friend I deeply appreciate, and was hearing about a tough time she was going through with a close family member. Her family member was ill, and it was out of her hands to help. The choice is now her family members to make. To make the changes to live, or die. And I just got a reminder how it might be for some of you out there. Watching from the outside, wanting to help. Hearing/reading emails from teary eyed friends from far away wishing they could hop a plane to help on those hard days I feel like I am going to break. Perspective, gaining perspective for YOUR part in this journey.

Cancer is NOT a disease of an individual. It's effects and lessons ripple through the entire community around the person plodding their way through (or leaping and laughing their way through) or how ever they cope.

Thanks for being the net, and all the prayers and all the support in ANYWAY you give it. Wether it be strange summer squash turning up at the back door, the mowed lawn, the clean kitchen sink, or the phone call or email saying "Thinking of you!", or the pray at the end of the day.

Rock on Cancer Rebels, rock on.
Love to you and as that speaker said, "Stay conscious"
Jenna

Monday, August 17, 2009

Random thoughts and becoming still

Random Thought #1) Oh, the sauciness of Rebel Girl. Guess what I found sitting in the parking lot at the spiritual center I go to.....

A RED mustang convertible with it top down. Ha ha God has a sense of humor. ;)
I also unwittingly ran into the man who owned it, before I knew HE owned it and walked out to see him get into it. We had a chat. Synchronicity. Follow the synchronicity. I was actually heading to the car to take a pic of it for the blog when I saw him get into it. We talked, but I was too shy to ask a complete stranger if I could take a pic of his car.

Random Thought #2) And I share this quote with you, my dear friend Susan always says to me:
"At the moment of commitment, the universe conspires to assist you." I always find this to be so true. If this week is any indicator, free falling into faith you will enjoy the fall is a good way to live.

Random Thought #3) I have spent 3 months, parenting, from surgery to chemo, alone....24/7...and only now am I getting cabin fever and the honeymoon is over. GRUMPY mamma I am becoming. Poor kiddo. Almost to school! Almost to school!

Random Thought #4) Packing, with the thought of carrying the lightest load with you, is SO freeing. Puerto Ballardo here we come!

Random Thought #5) I am tired. Chemo is starting to have it cumulative effects. Not bad this far into it. But oh yeah, less and less days of energy, more and more windows of opportunity and laying down is starting to take precedence over much else.

Random Thought #6) Life is good. Friends are wonderful, and even with grumpy - love is pervasive.

Random Thought #7) I am that interesting to have 7 random thoughts worth reading? No...so I share...MUSIC! Dance like God is watching. ;)

A Little Bit Of Riddim feat. Cherine Anderson


Peace and Healing
Jenna

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Refocusing, Moving Forward sassy pants and all....

I must have some energy rising. I would like to say that my alter ego, Cancer Rebel Girl has quieted down a bit after stirring up the dust (and apologizes for the swearing grandma!), but my friends and family have pointed out to me that "THERE'S the girl we know and love!". Or 'Dida put it, "not an alter ego, just a sleeping dragon waking back up". Ha, ha ha. Love you all right back.

I guess this is a more "serious" posting, but don't worry I still have my sassy pants on. (Soma, I am going to take that one for as long as I need it to keep me going).

I have long neglected my workspace for these past few months. But all this reawakening energy, despite the ongoing chemo, has me pulling back to my ideas wall. On it, are posted 25 pink post it notes. 25 Ways to Stay Out of a Cancer Funk. It just keeps coming back up this week. Actually, it has been calling me back for a month. But life has me refocused.

I sat with them, pulling down the ideas: Progressive Muscle Relaxation, Hypnotherapy, If you Can't Move your Body, Move your Body in Your Mind, Gratitude List It Out. Speaking of gratitude, I am SO grateful for the time I spent at Bastyr. I wanted Art School. And got called to do Art Therapy and started at Bastyr, with a degree in Health Psychology. I went on a quest to understand the cancer that has afflicted my family (first my father when I was 13, then my nephew when I was 23). I never knew how I would take these theories from my Health Psychology degree from page to being road tested. Now I have this intimate understanding, that just reading or watching someone go through it, can never really touch.

Guess, what.... they worked.

So for all those people who have asked me to write, I promise, I have not forgotten. And I am still feeling the pull to put these on the page. I will move those ideas from post it note, to paperbound in some form or fashion over the next 6 months. Once my daughter starts school up again, and my days are not about getting through chemo with a now 6 year old in tow, those post it notes will move down one by one. Maybe I will put it on PINK paper.

Here is a shout out to my nephew, Hawk. My daughter brought him up tonight, said she was letting her "voice rise up to those who are spirits" now. He has walked me through this journey in his spirit. How a 5 year old carried himself with such in the NOW energy, moment to moment, laughing right up til the end. I learned that was the key to life. When he was scared, he was scared, and when fear passed, he was playful. When he was in pain, he said so, we helped him, he moved on to playing. I have had this picture I took of him up on my kitchen wall for a couple of weeks, "talking" to him as I pass by for encouragement to remember to be here NOW. He braved his journey so young, with such grace. Thanks little dude for the help along my way. Love you.

Note from Cancer Rebel Girl....Planning Idea

Cancer Rebels Unite! (go here to see what I am talking about...)

So, here is what I am thinking......who out there has connections to Fremont Arts world? Who do I contact regarding a parade? I am thinking much like the Solstice Parade, we do floats. One for different types of cancers. Each one celebrating LIVING and THRIVING and saying "NaNaNA-na-naaa-na" to cancer's image of sad people who must hide because....you know...we might...gasp DIE! (SIDENOTE:Check it out people, we are all gonna kick it, how do YOU want to go down?). Someone got hit and killed outside the Cancer Center....Cancer isn't really related to death. Death is related to Death. I am going to LIVE til I die!

Back to the topic at hand:
We are a growing thriving community that won't cower in the shadows and be afraid. Like the Gay Pride Parades, but instead Cancer Pride Parades. I think we should even have on float dedicated to Stage IV of all types. We are different lot all together. :) We can get pretty damn rowdy!

We ride through Fremont, and land in Gasworks Park, and there, we have a couple of kick ass motivational speakers (eh, hem, Sean, if that really is YOU emailing me....wanna be a part of it?), and then when sing and drum and dance to celebrate LIFE.

There is ONE more element to this, but I have to talk to the person directly about it first. But it is still too soon to speak of it. ;) Got to leave you in SOME suspense.

Oh, this will be soooooo good if we can pull this off...

P.S. Want to keep up to date on this? Follow this blog (see sidebar on right side)!

Jenna

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Meet Cancer Rebel Girl andJoin Her Cause

Tonight, after chemo, and in a fit of rage against cancer NEVER taking my spirit, and seeing bloated nasty pictures of Chemo Girl of last year...well, Rebel Cancer Girl was Born. Fuck you Cancer. You'll never take me. You may make me cry, but I am SO much stronger than you!I have meds, and doctors, and healers, and herbs, and FAMILY, and FRIENDS, and LOVE AND JOY AND YOUR GRIP ON ME SHALL PASS. I thumb my nose and you and I have a mission now. Here is the story:

Meet Cancer Rebel Girl- she is going to go say f&$@ you! to cancer and get her dad's cherry apple red convertable mustang drive with the top down across the country banishing fears around cancer and living with a fire burning in her belly so fierce cancer flees and crumbles from the sheer force of Cancer Rebels passion to free us all from living small!!! Masses will join her, and cry out to once and for all say hasta la vista you crummy insignificant disease. We shall thumb our noses at you as you flee from our Pure Joy and Thirst for Living. Ha! Cancer Rebels Unite! At the end of our parades we will gather in fields and sing and dance and stomp out the fear and start living with a cause - to NEVER let it take our SPIRITS. Cancer may TRY to eat away at your body, or your loved ones bones, but let can never EVER take our SPIRITS - we give that away by choice.

I SEE PARADES, full of people celebrating life and defining their cancer journey's for themselves. Need to banish a cancer fear that grips you? JOIN the parade. Wear your rebel hats, laugh, scream and drive those cancer cells to the shores and drown them in the joy of life!

Live in Seattle? Wanna to join a group that spearheads this cause, gets the city involved, raises art funds from the local government, and inspires other cities to rally to the cause?!!!! Seriously, friends, family, survivors, loved ones who stand it the place of those whose bodies have fallen, but whose SPIRITS live STRONG and rebels.....let's see what we can create..march, walk, dance, roll your wheelchair, hell - roll on your gurneys with your nurses in tow, IV polls allowed...email CancerRebelGirl@gmail.com and FOLLOW this blog....see links on sidebar to keep abreast (ha ha ha) of the updates. I am eyeing the Fremont Summer Solstice Parade next year......LETS DO IT.


Seriously. I have a cause. I am on a mission. Here we go........

Jenna
eh, um...sorry
Cancer Rebel Girl

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Chemo Climber and Cancer


Once again, wee bit inspired (just only a tiny bit...lol) that Sean Swarner Top just recently made it to the top of Kilimanjaro, my old stomping grounds. This organization is dedicated to getting other cancer survivors to realize their climbing dreams and reminding them, with the right help and organization, you can do it too. GOSH, I need that right now. ;) Inspiration to be DONE with chemo and get a move on. Thin air, here I come ;)

http://www.cancerclimber.blogspot.com/

Jenna

Monday, August 10, 2009

Sean Swarner

Doing amazing things......this dropped in my Facebook Inbox today:

..for the add. i really appreciate it. how'd you find me anyhow? have you seen these 2 clips?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lVQGAg-k4bw
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dTGi1MhxtEM

maybe you could share those with everyone you know!? :)

thanks again for reaching out. i really do appreciate it and hopefully you know someone who'd like to see one of those clips!?

- Sean

Jenna

Saturday, August 8, 2009

hmmm, double dose of POW and gratitude

Okay, day whatever of this rough ride. Seems like the antibiotics are helping, but now I have the chemo pain. How to describe this pain...

Imagine there is a tiny robotic submarine, no DOZENS of tiny microscopic submarines being set out into my bloodstream, latching onto muscles throughout my entire system, pinching and twisting and attacking bones with tiny hammers.

Ouch.....I mean....oooooooooouch. BUT this will pass. And tomorrow, both of these things will be behind me.

What rock stars I have around me!

Kevin, thanks for the spotless kitchen, a delicious smelling dinner, and a mowed lawn - all while I slept like I haven't slept in so long! Thank you Candida for sharing your hubby and the deliciously clarifying talk about what fear does to the brain and what rest can do to help! And the yummy yummy dips and sauces for when my stomach is ready for food again.

Thanks for the phonecalls Mom, Michelle, Susan, and Jules (however brief and nonsensical I was during it) and finally...

thank you Jim, and Sharon, and John, and Evelyn, and Jason for taking Kara for soooooo long, while I huddled under warm blankets (that seem to derail the tiny submarines attacking my muscles).

I really felt like this net was thrown under us as soon as people knew I needed it. Despite my fears of being alone in this, you help squeltch those fears.

And Kevin, you do have a great singing voice! When you get back, we will have to plan a jam session around a campfire on the beach with anyone in the area wanting to jam!

Thank you thank you thank you! I needed to just sleep. My only regret is missing Iska's birthday party! I have been looking forward to that since the invite. It sounded so cool. Ihope you are all snug in tents, listening to owls squeak!

Happy Birthday Iska and Elena!
Jenna

Friday, August 7, 2009

Rough Ride Update

1) Feel so much less scary today, woke up understanding....I am SICK, not just chemo'ed.
2) Got Bug somewhere she could be because I couldn't keep my head up off a pillow. Once again, she understood
3) Got an ND in, and she said sinus infection (and somehow I feel sick all over too), so antiobiotics are on the way
4) Sweating and sleeping it off, lots of fluids.

Wew
Jenna

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Rough Ride Night

Wow, talk about digging deep. I laying here in cold sweats, my insides shaking, and freaking out how I am going to get through the night. I missed my window to get to my friends house, thought this would hit tomorrow. But things are settling down after a rough ride.

My daughter, is amazing. Amazing. After playing around me, watching Dora, and doing puzzles while I slept on and off on the couch, and managed a decent lunch, and back to sleep til 3:00, we pulled it out and managed to get her to her first swim class. She BEAMED and it was worth it. It was close by, or I wouldn't have done it. But it was worth it. After a decent dinner of healthy leftovers, the rough ride returned in force. I was pushing hard through fatigue, and that is where her amazing-ness came back. She retreated to her room for some journaling time, because I explained the drugs were making me feel very tired again.

I callher down for bedtime, I am shaking but she comes down. Brush teeth, she cooperates, I explain she needs to sleep downstairs, because I am so tired, i can't get her back up to her room. She says "okay" and we read Mr. Potters Penguins, and I say I have to sleep. In a cold sweat, she starts to read, I catnap as she manages herself. She can't sleep so early but knows i want her close. She gets what she needs, gives me hugs, journals, reads to me, reads to herself, turns on a CD of stories and falls asleep. How amazing is this child. No child should have to go through this, and she rocks it.

Now to get over my own fears. Next time, I head straight to my friends without waiting to see if it turns. If it turns, I can always come home. But getting through nights like these, is much better not alone. But at least I have been through this before, and have that voice in the back of my head saying, "It is JUST this, and it WILL pass, tomorrow WILL be better". And it already is. I am doing what I need to do to help myself, and it is settling down. Tomorrow will be better.

How deep can your strength go? Pretty amazing.

Thank you good friends for calling and answering the phone today Marcia, Kendyl, I heard you, was just asleep when you called. Candida, always a blessing. Rach, thanks for the daily dose of love and laughter, Mom, thanks for taking the time to walk me through big decisions, and Soma, rock on. And Evelyn, special shout out for the LATE NIGHT talk to help me make sound choices, your friendship is greatly appreciated and I admire your calm insightfulness in other peoples storms.

I may need more help coming up friends. The slow accumulative effects of chemo are slowly setttling in. My rebound not so hot right now. Moral support appreciated, practical support GREATLY appreciated. I have all the ingredients for dish I am unsure I can get around to making, for Bug and I to eat off of for the weekend. Any cookers want to come over for an hour an whip it up if this doesn't shake off? Any chicken soups by the back door are appreciated!! Needed even. I am starting to not keep up.

And whatever angel left the summer squash at the backdoor, thank you! ;)

Off to sleep it off now that the stomach is settling down and the cold sweats are abating.

jenna

Jenna

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Unwritten

Lately I have been grappling with fears. How to start over, will I have my body strong and functional again enough so I can go hiking, learn to surf, dance, parent, love, travel. I know when I tangle up with fear. And I am getting wise enough to know, if you just move forward, fear will pass. Momentum is the antidote to fear. Because my conviction and spirit have proven stronger with time and practice, overcoming fear is easier. I was beginning to panic about what the next chapter in my life might look like.

I heard this song. I have heard it a million times in the background of grocery stores but never paid attention. Until this week. I "heard" it. It fit so perfectly. I have been tangled up with my fears of losing my strong young body to a diseased aged less functional body. And I realized, it was all just that fears. I can handle my body and live the life I desire....I will find my way. Others before me have. I can ride the coattails of those cancer survivors before me, and use their momentum to not get stuck.

This song below fits this insights so well....

Tomorrows page is blank. I don't want to fill it up with, "She sat with fear, and fear made her sit still, so she sat with fear, and fear made her sit still....."

So, once again, cancer, I say to you, na-na-na-na-naaaaaaaaaaa-na, I win.

Now go dance it out:







Jenna
P.S. If the fluid and somewhat disorganized nature of this post bothers you, I get to blame it on the meds they give me at night. Make me kind of "flighty". So have fun, even if it doesn't make sense, just enjoy the song and dance!

Friday, July 31, 2009

10 things I know for sure about cancer thus far

1) cancer is a noun, a thing, not an adjective - it doesn't describe me
2) cancer will show you were the cracks in your foundation are, and force you to fix them, or crumble
3) if cancer breaks things down, take it as a gift that you can rebuild things right
4) cancer makes you look in the mirror every morning and ask, "Am I going to live in fear today? Or am I going to live Free today?"
5) cancer can get you cool t-shits like : "The Chemo Made me Do it!" (came in the mail today)
6) cancer will freak you out - no, check that - the unknown will freak you out
7) cancer can give you the chance to celebrate life, forgive easily, and rejoice in the small things
8) cancer doesn't mean you can't rock - check this guy out: http://www.seanswarner.com/ (if you heard my recent fears - that I will never be in shape enough to hike/climb again)
9) cancer doesn't think, people think, and people think cancer must be all your think about, but it isn't
10) cancer is like a truth serum and will freak some people out and draw others to you

with love,
Jenna

P.S. To Rachel. I am SO sorry. I did a bad bad thing. I thought you KNEW. I really didn't mean to smack your psyche and heart out of the blue like that on FB. So, in honor of your lightness, and your ability to rebound, I am editing this post and sharing with the rest of the folks here the silliness we share as we have grown up together. I do apologize for you NOT knowing all this time! So in honor of our sisterly silliness and in the spirit of apology and silliness, I post what you posted to me for all to share in the sisterly silliness:


Thursday, July 30, 2009

And Soma Did It 3 Day Breast Cancer Walk DC here she comes!


Soma and all the wonderful donors did it. What a WHIRLWIND day!!!!!! It went above and beyond the 2,300 and went on to 2,400.....how high can she go?


If you want to see this thermometer do the nifty little trick of rising to the top and blinking you must go here....http://www.facebook.com/ext/share.php?sid=109491588877&h=FTpBz&u=jXi67&ref=nf

If you want to see it go to 102% donate there too....there is no limitation to the good you can do!

Go Soma!