Jennifer Goodman Linn You Fearless
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Fearless Blog

11.22.2010 Posted 7:46 pm

Approaching Chemo Cycle #2 with Hope and Dread

I love the quote, "You can't experience the highest of highs unless you have experienced the lowest of lows". I don't know who said it but I always remember it when I am having a particularly wonderful moment. I realize that the only reason I truly know it is a wonderful moment is because I have had many moments that were the stark opposite. I do believe that the heights of joy and gratitude you can reach are much higher if you have had some sorrow or sadness in your life.

So, the few days before Chemo Cycle #2 started were "the highest of highs". I had great energy, I was more mobile because some of my leg swelling had subsided and I got my appetite back. I actually felt somewhat human. I still was very achy and tired and had to take daily naps but I was able to get out of the house a few times for some meetings that made me feel so great.

I went to …

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11.14.2010 Posted 6:08 pm

Making it Through the Week

I am happy to report that things definitely seem to have improved a bit since I returned from the hospital on Tuesday. I seem to have my pain management more or less under control and my thrush symptoms are definitely gone thanks to the antibiotics. As a result, I am able to really drink a lot more and get some of my strength back.

Dave has become quite the connoisseur at making smoothies for me. Sometimes he combines an Ensure protein shake with some milk, bananas and peanut butter. Sometimes he mixes orange juice with frozen mangos, bananas and protein mix. I am very glad that we decided to invest in our fancy Vita Mix blender a few months ago. It has really made quite a difference.

Although I am happy to report that things are a bit more stable than they were the week prior, things are by no means easy. My symptoms continue to be very unpredictable. Yesterday (Saturday), I was so tired that I literally could not …

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11.9.2010 Posted 2:47 pm

Tilt A Whirling through the Past 10 Days

In my last blog post I mentioned that Dave and I don’t like roller coasters. I have decided in the past week that I would actually greatly prefer a roller coaster to the “ride” that I have been given these past 2 weeks. You see, a roller coaster is scary but you can see what’s ahead of you (When does it rise? When does it fall?). Our ride seems to have no predictability.

I will have one “OK” day followed by one really difficult day. It reminds me of the Tilt-A-Whirl…the carnival ride where you are placed in a freely spinning car that goes at all different speeds and in all different directions.

I am writing from the hospital. I checked in to urgent care this past Sunday when I started to get increasingly nauseous and realized that my body no longer could handle taking all of the medications without a bit of a boost.

The major side effect I have experience from the new chemo we started this past Friday has been …

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10.31.2010 Posted 11:38 am

Dave and I never Did Like Roller Coasters

Despite our outgoing, fun personalities, Dave and I have never been ones to love carnival rides.

We are always the ones encouraging our nephews or nieces to try the “gentler” rides rather than the upside-down roller coasters or free fall rides. Perhaps this is because we didn’t realize we would be getting so much practice on “up and down” rides in our personal lives.

This past week can only be categorized by lots of good and lots of bad. Since I always have on my rosy shades, I will start with the good:

After what seemed like years of suffering, I finally got in to meet with the pain management team at MSKCC and they seem to have really helped with my quality of life these past few days. They took me off a lot of the “short-acting” pills I was taking and focused more on “long-action” patches that stick to your body and dispense pain relief continuously throughout the day. What a great decision! Don’t get me wrong, my pain …

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10.24.2010 Posted 9:18 pm

Searching for that Light at the End of the Tunnel

Hi everyone. Sorry that I have not written in a week.

I will try to write more often but no promises given how challenging the days have been. Perhaps I will just get comfortable writing much briefer blog entries so that way I am not as intimidated by writing.

The last week has been tough to say the least.

I started on the 2nd drug of the Phase 1 Trial this past Tuesday. The first few days were fairly challenging in terms of side effects (heavy nausea, strong reactions to food smells) but by Friday, I felt like some of those symptoms I had under control.

My abdominal area has expanded to about 35 inches so I look about 7 months pregnant. I haven't been able to get out much due to the pain but I am thankful that no one has made comments yet such as

Congratulations, when are you due?

Do you have a name picked out? or the worst possible comment I can imagine

I thought you were …

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10.16.2010 Posted 3:03 pm

Hoping for a Home Run

Hi everyone. We’ll do our best to keep this short and sweet, yet informative.

Given my distended belly and back pain, it has been very hard to sit at the computer for very long. You probably noticed that I haven’t returned many emails or written lately in my blog.

The past week has been extremely trying for us. We have been at the hospital almost every day treating intense pain, getting blood transfusions, administering drugs to build up my blood deficiencies, and managing fevers. The tumors are pushing on many of my organs causing me to have severe back pains, stomach distension and significant water retention (I haven’t weighed this much since putting on my Freshman 15 at Duke!)

Trying to find some humor amongst all of this pain, we joked that this was the week that everything really had fallen apart; our oncologist caught pneumonia, our toilet broke and our cleaning lady quit with no prior notice. When it rains it pours (and it has been raining a lot …

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10.3.2010 Posted 5:34 pm

Even the Bunny has “low energy” Days

I am sorry that I have not written sooner but it has been a very tough week for me.

I started the new medical trial on Tuesday and it has really wiped me out. To be honest, I can’t tell if it is the chemo or the fact that I am still very much recovering from surgery but I am very zonked.

I have been sleeping a ton and trying to take short walks and eat to get my energy back. I am hoping that the more I recover from surgery, and the more my body gets used to this new chemo, I will start feeling a bit better.

It’s hard to hold the Energizer Bunny down but this week I have been a bit of the “anti-bunny”. Dave joked around that he was going to take a video of me snoring in bed all day and send it to the Energizer folks telling them that my win was a big hoax!

The highlight of the week was that my parents …

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09.26.2010 Posted 8:43 pm

Just Call Me a Post-Surgery Zombie

Hello! I am still coming down off the high of the Today Show last week.  I had such a great time and it’s amazing what adrenaline and a fistful of Vicodin can do for your spirits! I felt so great that day that I assumed that I was going to recover really quickly from surgery…unfortunately, not the case.  

I took a huge nap when I returned home on Wednesday and since then, I have averaged about 13 hours of sleep a day! I am a total zombie.  Everyone tells me that this is great news and that I need to sleep because you heal best when you sleep. That’s great…and I feel like I am the opposite of the Energizer Bunny (don’t tell them, they might take the prize back!)

It’s also hard to sit for very long at my computer so I apologize to anyone who has emailed me and I haven’t returned your messages.  I so appreciate all of the well wishes and they really keep me going. However, …

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09.22.2010 Posted 3:22 pm

Announcing the Latest Inductee into the Energizer Keep Going Hall of Fame – ME!

Just 8 days post-surgery, I managed to drag myself out of bed, take a fistful of Vicodin, and head to The Today Show for what I thought was simply a very exciting opportunity to talk about Cycle for Survival ( How could I possibly pass up this amazing opportunity?!

NBC extended the V.I.P treatment. A limo picked Dave and me up and brought me to the set to have my hair and make-up done. I kept on hearing rumblings about a “mystery guest” but I had no idea what anyone was referring to. Needless to say, I was very surprised when that mystery guest turned out to be MLB Hall of Famer Carl Ripken Jr. announcing that I had won the Energizer 2010 "Keep Going" Award!

It was such an exciting moment! I could NOT have done this without the support of each and every ONE of you who voted every day (sometimes multiple times a day!)  What is so fantastic is that this award has opened so many doors …

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09.19.2010 Posted 10:28 am

Surgery 6 Update – 5 Days In

Hi everyone! It’s Jen. Thank you so much for all of your well wishes. I am sorry that Dave and I have not sent another update sooner but we have really been focused on my rest and recovery. This will be very short as I am still in a lot of pain and am finding it hard to sit in one position for very long. This hospital stay has truly been the best one yet.

An anonymous friend of mine pulled some strings and got me my own room which makes a huge difference. I also have had the most wonderful nurses. The staff at MSKCC is great but this is the first time I can remember that I have had 100% amazing nurses. They have all had a wonderful spirit and have been so caring. They have made these past 5 painful days very bearable. I also had a good friend unfortunately in the hospital with me at the same time. So, we got to go on walks together, …

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