Jennifer Goodman Linn You Fearless

A Once-In-A-Lifetime Weekend

Cycle for Survival has already raised over $2MM with a few weeks to go! If you haven’t donated already, please donate to my team at This will be a short but sweet blog post since I am running out the door to begin chemotherapy cycle #5. Let me set the context for how special our weekend at Duke was… I have been feeling really great since I left the hospital last week. I think that I am hitting a turning point in my treatment.  The tumors are continuing to shrink and I am slowly but surely getting some energy and strength back. We visited my oncologist the morning we were scheduled to leave. My doctor looked at my files and said, “I see you have a big birthday coming up in March, what are you going to do for it?”  I looked at him and said, “You know Dr. Maki, I am just thrilled to be here.  Back in October/November, I really didn’t think I was going to make it to my 40th birthday.”  He looked at me and said, “Neither did any of us here.”  Wow…if I wasn’t grateful already to have the opportunity to go to Duke for the weekend, I definitely was now! As many of you know, this was a special Bar Mitzvah gift for my nephew Ben who has become a very huge Duke fan thanks to his aunt’s constant influence.  When we got on the plane, I didn’t know who was more excited, Ben or myself!  As you may recall, Coach K had personally reached out to me when I was in the hospital last April and had invited me to a game (see blog post I was so happy to finally make good on that offer. We were treated like such V.I.P’s.  We got a private tour of the team facilities and got to watch the team warm up in Cameron a few hours before the game.  We had 2nd row seats right behind the scorer’s table.  We were so close to the team that I could have been shouting plays to them and they would have heard me (luckily I didn’t since they might have lost if I did!). We were sitting right in front of John Scheyer (the Captain and MVP of last year’s 2010 NCAA Championship Team).  Everyone could not have been nicer and it was an amazingly wonderful experience. The game itself was great.  Duke came from behind to beat UVA by 16 pts.  Mason Plumlee had a career high of 16 rebounds and Nolan Smith set a new personal record for points scored in a game (26!) The Cameron Crazies were so loud that my ears were plugged for hours after the game. My favorite story from the weekend is that I sat next to Coach K's daughter's Grandmother-in-law.  She must have been at least 75 years old and told me that she had been religiously coming to Duke games for the past 3 years since her grandson married Coach K's daughter. Duke was behind by 10 pts. and suddenly Andre Dawkins hit a few key shots and the game changed.  The grandmother looked at me and screamed, "ANDRE IS IN THE HOUSE!"  Priceless! I am so grateful for every single day.  I am so happy that I was able to have this once-in-a-lifetime experience. Fingers crossed the chemotherapy cycle #5 is manageable!