Jennifer Goodman Linn You Fearless
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Fearless Blog

04.16.2010 Posted 9:39 am

Thursday update

Hi everyone!  No big news to report from yesterday.  Just a lot of rest and some more walking.  Hopefully, her digestive system will start to wake up in the next couple days so she can start on ice chips and then sips of water.
One of our best friends was also getting treated in the hospital this week.  She came by and really helped to brighten Jen’s day, thank you S!  And thanks to everyone who is sending love from near and far.
I’ll try to post again tomorrow.  – David

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04.15.2010 Posted 9:23 am

This I.V. is made for walking

For those of you who have been with us since the beginning 5+ years ago, you know that it has been (and hopefully will be) quite a long journey.  Yesterday was a very good day on that winding road.
Yesterday morning, I arrived at the hospital to find Jen walking around with her nurse and IV poll.  Yes, it was a very slow walk, but just 1 day after major surgery, that’s amazing!  She is still itchy (I think from the anesthesia), in some pain (getting pain meds, but can’t take too much since that would mask any issues we need to be aware of), and not able to eat or drink anything until her digestive system starts to wake up (hopefully in the next few days).  But overall it was a very good day!
Please keep the good thoughts coming via comments on this blog, drawings from your kids, etc.  Jen reads them all, and they give her a lot of strength.  Voice mails and emails are good too, but …

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04.14.2010 Posted 9:12 am

Surgery Update

Hi.  Thanks for all your thoughts, prayers, poems, limericks, and songs – they seem to have helped!   I left the hospital late last night, and the doctors were pleased with how the surgery went.  They took a huge tumor out of Jen (more info later, but it was basically the size of a soccer ball).   They did a bunch of other stuff to put her all back together so she’s in a lot of pain, but doing ok.  I’m heading back to the hospital now.  Will try to post again tonight.  – DL

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04.13.2010 Posted 5:46 pm

Quick Update

Jen didn’t go into the operating room until around 4pm so while I’ll try to post an update late tonight, it will more likely be tomorrow.  Thanks for all your kind words and thoughts!  They definitely helped Jen get through a tough night and put her in the right frame of mind for surgery today.   Sending lots of love back to all of you.  – Dave

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04.13.2010 Posted 10:55 am

Countdown to Cut-Up #5

Just a short note to let you know that I am strong and confident heading into surgery #5.

I had my “last supper” also known as my last meal of solid foods 48 hours prior to surgery.  Dave and I decided to have a little smorgasbord of everything I likely won’t be able to eat for a while after surgery. I sampled a bit of a cheeseburger, fries, macaroni & cheese and ice-cream (If my nutritionist Lauren is reading this, I apologize J)

I started clear liquids on Sunday afternoon (just how many popsicles and cranberry juices can one drink?) and started the infamous bowel prep on Monday AM.  If anyone has had stomach surgery or a colonoscopy before, they know the wonderful delights that await you when you go through this procedure. 

In the past I have done OK with it but during the day my tumor must not have liked the havoc I was wreaking and started to rebel big time.   I started to vomit and get really horrible stomach …

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04.11.2010 Posted 2:34 pm

Tumor: Friend or Foe

So, if your keeping tabs on us, you know that the last two types of chemo we have tried have not been successful and we are expediting surgery to get rid of this very fast-growing and painful tumor.  I have been so fortunate over the last 5.5. years that all forms of chemo have worked so  I guess I am due for a bit of a hiccup (doesn’t mean I want it, just trying to be ever the optimist).

The very unsettling thing about this tumor is that it is towards the front of my abdomen and looks very much like a pregnancy (according to the doctors, the “front” positioning of the tumor is actually a good thing because it is not wreaking as much havoc on some of my internal organs which tend to lie at the back of the abdominal cavity). 

I have also been experiencing common pregnant woman symptoms like a painful lower back and stomach stretching.  I noticed the other day that my “innie” belly button is …

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04.11.2010 Posted 2:22 pm

And That’s Why I Didn’t Take off my Wig

I have written about hair many times on my blog. Losing your hair and then having it grow back just to lose it again can be very devastating.  A friend of mine used to work with a hair care company and she told me that research showed that in over 90% of women, there is a very strong correlation between “personal hair satisfaction” and “self-confidence.” I am not surprised at all.

I wrote a long, very emotional journal entry on 8/30/09 that talked about how I don’t like people to inquire about the status of my hair growth when I am off treatment.  While I encourage you to read the entry in its entirety, the summary is that I think it makes other people (not me) feel better to see that my hair is growing back. To them, it’s a sign that maybe I am no longer sick. It gives them an opportunity to “breathe” again and believe that this disease is fully and completely behind me (thank you, I appreciate your …

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04.10.2010 Posted 5:30 pm

Life Can Change on a Dime

If there’s one lesson that Dave and I have learned over the past 5.5 years it’s that life can change on a dime.  You can be “smooth sailing” and have a great week and then suddenly a bump in the road can change everything.  We have experienced this so many times over the past few years:

Planning special weekends or vacations and then having to cancel because of a medical test or complications.

Enjoying brunch with friends to suddenly experiencing stomach pains and having to rush to the hospital’s urgent care facility.
Celebrating the fantastic success of Cycle for Survival just 2 days after finding out the cancer is back.

If anything, it has taught us to live in the present and love life day by day.  A very wise friend of mine once said, “ Year by year a lot is unclear but day by day you’ll find your way”.  I am very proud of the fact that Dave and I, for the most part have lived our lives this way.  We accept …

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03.28.2010 Posted 3:55 pm

Second Time Around – In-Patient Chemo Begins

I had a really good hospital stay. I know that sounds odd but I really can’t complain. I had:
• A nice new room with a really sweet, considerate roommate (if you can’t get a single room, this is the next best thing)
• Great nurses who were young and fun and very caring
• A relaxing foot massage on day $3 of my treatment
• A wonderful stream of visitors who kept me entertained and preoccupied
• Good food (aka I had visitors bring me all of my meals so I didn’t have to eat hospital food)
More importantly, I didn’t have:
• Bad side effects from the chemo (I had very little nausea or night sweats)
• A lot of distractions at night (I managed to sleep OK despite the crazy steroids I was on)
There was definitely a sense of déjà vu being in the hospital 4.5 years later for a similar treatment.
The highlight of the 3-day stay was that I had an allergic reaction to one of the new chemo drugs I was being given. …

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03.25.2010 Posted 7:46 pm

With Cancer, Let’s Face It: Words Are Inadequate

I am home from the hospital after my first 3 day stint. I will post a full recap in the next few days. In the meantime, I wanted to post this insightful article from a NY Times journalist who often writes about his personal experience with cancer. I am not sure if I agree with his tone and POV throughout the entire article but I do agree with him that rather than a battle, cancer feels a bit like a part of life that must be accepted if you are a chronic relapser. Enjoy!
March 15, 2010, 4:47 PM
We’re all familiar with sentences like this one: Mr. Smith died yesterday after a long battle with cancer. We think we know what it means, but we read it and hear it so often that it carries little weight, bears no meaning. It’s one of the clichés of cancer.
It is easy shorthand. But it says more about the writer or speaker than it does about the deceased. We like to say …

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