Jennifer Goodman Linn You Fearless

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 that cancer is a reality in our lives but we refuse to let it get the best of us.

Well, we’ve hit another bump in the road that makes us truly appreciate the good days. 

Last weekend we were in Indianapolis soaking up Duke’s outstanding performance and celebrating the Blue Devils 2010 NCAA National Championship.  I felt healthy, happy and really optimistic that this latest chemo cocktail was doing the job. 

I was preparing to go back into the hospital for Chemo Round #2 this coming Monday however, over the past week, Dave and I started to notice that my stomach was getting more and more bloated and distended.  I look about 4 months pregnant and am experiencing tenderness and lower back pains (I will post pictures and you won’t believe it!).

I called my Doctors to ask that they push up the CT scan that wasn’t planned until end of April (after round #2) and the results were quite frustrating.  The latest chemo cocktail does not seem to be working and my tumor has grown pretty dramatically in the last month (hence the swollen stomach).  The good news is that my surgeon is confident he can perform the surgery (which is a real blessing because it is not an easy surgery). Since the tumor is growing so quickly, we need to take it out as quickly as possible so the tentative plan is to have surgery on this coming Tuesday.  Surgery will be followed by chemo (hopefully a regimen that my body responds to).
This will be my 5th surgery of this kind but this one might be a bit tougher given the size of the tumor.  I will be in the hospital for about a week and recuperating for another 2-3 weeks at home.  While this is not the news we were hoping for, we are really grateful that surgery is still an option. 
I am in a fair bit of pain so I am actually looking forward to going under the knife (odd, I know but it is very unsettling to actually “see” your tumor growing every day).

How You Can Help
  • Check in via our Journal versus Calls or Emails - This journal is definitely the best way to get updates rather than sending us emails or calling us when we likely won’t have the time (or energy) to respond.  So, please check here for  frequent updates.  I believe I have enabled a “posting” function on the blog s you can write thoughts to us which will be great to read.  Please pass this url ( or to anyone who might be interested in getting updates.  Not responding to emails or calls really makes our lives a lot easier.  And please note that if you don’t hear from us, it doesn’t mean that we don’t truly appreciate all of your prayers and kind words.
  • Think Good Thoughts – we need all of the hopes and prayers and positive energy you can muster.
  • Please Don’t Send Flowers or Buy Us Gifts – We appreciate your generosity and you really don’t need to buy us anything.  If you truly feel better getting something for us, please use that money to make a donation to Cycle  for Survival ( . As you know, this money goes directly towards research to find new treatment options for rare cancers like the one I have.  While we remain optimistic that my Doctors will find a cocktail that works after this surgery, this research is becoming more and more integral to my long term survival.  By far this is the BEST way you can help us.
The road ahead might be long but we are ready to take it on!  We are blessed to have such a large group of friends and family who are part of our journey. Thank you and stay tuned.