Jennifer Goodman Linn You Fearless

Out of the Mouths of Babes

This past week has been tough for me. The chemo has given me fevers almost daily and I find that I feel good in the morning but by about 4PM, I am ready to call it a day. I get very flushed and need to take a nap or lie down for the rest of the day. All in all, it could be so much worse so I am relatively happy with these side effects.

The chemo seems to be pretty tough on my blood counts and blood markers this time around. Despite the fact that I am eating well, almost every nutritional marker (sodium, calcium, potassium) is low and my platelets are still very low. My doctor figures this is just the chemo doing its stuff so hopefully we will just keep an eye on it and it won’t get any worse.

I was able to get chemo this past Thursday which made me happy. I really don’t like to have to take weeks off. I also received my monthly targeted chemotherapy shot which is literally mixed like cement before they inject it in your posterior region It is amazing how sore you are for the few days after this shot. I keep on reminding myself, “It just means that the drug is working,” but when you can only sleep on one side and you can’t sit in a chair for a few days, it is not fun. I literally am hobbling around the house today because my butt is so sore. Lovely!

My CT scan is right before Memorial Day weekend and I am trying my best not to think about it. I feel OK so I hope this means that the chemo is working or at least stabilizing my tumors. As you all know, I don’t like to spend a lot of time thinking about what could be. It’s a bit nerve-wracking because this test does have a lot riding on it. But, I remind myself that my husband and doctors have done a lot of research to determine what we might try if this regimen is not working.

Granted we are really getting into experimental ground now but we will swallow that pill if and when we need to.

I find that when I don’t feel well or I am down, I love to be around children. I think it’s because they haven’t developed fears about what to say…they just say it like it is. I think we all wish at times we could just “say it like it is” but we get overwhelmed or concerned about people’s reactions and this makes our communication less honest and pure.

So many of my friends who have dealt with cancer credit their kids for keeping them sane. Some of my favorite stories:

  • My friend’s 5-year-old daughter consoling her mom after she lost her hair from breast cancer. My friend was uncomfortable going out for the first time without her hair. Her daughter held her hand as they got out of the car and said “Mommy, I think you look beautiful with OR without hair
  • My friend’s 8-year old son being told on the playground that his mom was going to die of cancer. He matter-of-factly looked at the boy who said this and he said, “She doesn’t have that kind of cancer.”
  • My friend’s 10 year old son reacting to his mom feeling overwhelmed by cancer treatments, work and raising a family. “Mom, we all have tough days. You shouldn’t be so hard on yourself”

I received a great treat a few months ago and apologize for being delinquent in posting this great “out of the mouths of babes” story. Dave and I have dear friends Kath and Adam who live in Chicago. They have two sons, Max and Ty. Max and Ty love to take ballet class. They don’t mind that they are the only boys in their class which I think is awesome. Kath and Adam wanted to reward them for their independence and their hard work so they took them to see Billy Elliot.

They had no idea that although the show was, in fact, about a young boy who loves ballet, it also contains a lot of very graphic language. Max and Ty came home from the show cursing like crazy. Kath and Adam decided to give them an assignment and encouraged them to “get out” all of their curse words in cards to Jen to wish her cancer away.

You can imagine the huge smile I had on my face when I received these cards in the mail! I love the passion and energy that Max and Ty show in their cards. After all they are saying exactly what we all want to say but being adults prevents us from being so honest and candid.

Have a great week. I would appreciate it if you don't individually email me or call me to see how my tests went.  I will update the blog when I have news to share.  Thank you for understanding.