Reflecting Back on 10 Years of Survivorship

December 6, 2012 by Jen

Today is my 10 year cancerversary.   I received very special gifts which money cannot purchase but one stands out in particular. I was greeted with joyful smiles and hugs which, 10 years ago I never thought I would be around to receive.  With continuous disappointment and despair constantly thrown my way, I just did not know how my future would end up.

In the past, I asked myself, would I be around for Christmas? Tears streamed down my face as I pondered the thought in my head. When Christmas came and went, I still felt unsettled. I asked myself would I be around for Emily’s sixth Grade Graduation. Emily is now a happy eighth grader. I asked myself would I be around to enjoy Alexis’10th birthday. Well, Lexis’ birthday celebration was low key but marvelous nevertheless. Her best bud Maria and her mom, whom I love to pieces, treated her to a very special memory… Alexis had her ears pierced with little sparkling gold earrings and I was there to be a part of history.  Alexis’ birthday fell on Thanksgiving this year which was a double blessing for me because I was thankful not only for  having my beautiful  family to celebrate my life with  but also celebrating my daughter’s day of birth. Thanksgiving this year really had special meaning for me.  As cancer survivors and as patients we also know that with the joyful and momentous beauty and milestones we reach there is also the pain felt for those that are not as fortunate as us and are not there to join us at the dinner table.   This morning, I received a beautiful white feather from none other than little Devon.  December 5 was her passing, which was 4 years yesterday.   Today is my 10 year survivorship, an undeniable feat in the world of cancer but for me, it is bittersweet.   I make every effort to speak with those who need my support. I hold 2 masters’ degrees none of which apply to anything that I speak about or do in my life. At the end of the day, my survivorship, family, friends and service to others is really all that matters.  I am lucky to have always had the innate ability to not be scared or intimidated by people in powerful positions or with a multitude of degrees, which, brings me to my next point. We  see a general consensus in our culture which admonishes bullying in our schools and at the playground.  Basically, suffice to say, nobody likes a bully.  As I look back at my ten years of cancer survivorship, there is a whole lot of bullying going on in our oncology clinics that is not discussed.  I have been bullied by many doctors and nurse care practitioners regarding treatments, in terms of alternative medicine, homeopathy, vitamin supplements and the list goes on. Just yesterday, while on my back, in an MRI machine, while completely submissive, I was forced to receive my IV for a prolonged period of time, which I never agree to.  I was at the mercy of the tech and there wasn’t a thing I could do about it but embrace the moment and suck it up.  If I argued, my head would move and the test would be a failure. No cancer patient should ever be bamboozled into something that she doesn’t agree with.  I have opened my big mouth for the past ten years and fortunately, I am alive.  I’ve been a renegade and I believe secretly respected by my doctors although they may not openly admit it. Over the past ten years, I’ve sought approval from my doctors, sometimes I look for that pat on my back but  now,  I don’t need anything but my daughter’s smiles, a big hug from my husband and an occasional white feather from my beloved Devon.

God Bless all of you! Keep hope alive…Sending Lhasa love from my heart to yours…jen

The Balance of Life

December 2, 2012 by Jen

The Balance of Life

 

As I approach my ten year cancerversary on December 6, 2012, I reflect on all the things I have done which have brought me success along the way.  The journey has not been without bumps in the road but the rewards have been sweet. My husband’s unconditional love for me, the blessings of God, family and friends have proven victorious over the original death sentence that Memorial Sloane-Kettering gave me almost 10 years ago.  As I sat in that tiny medical room, from a stranger whom I called Dr. Ass-Man, I felt my chest tighten, my breaths shorten and the walls creep in just a little closer to me.   A tall white man, with thinning hair and glasses stood before me without any expression on his face, – After answering a series of questions pertaining to our current government, currency and passing a sobriety test, he cut to the chase and discussed the nature of my cancer.  He discussed the astrocytoma that was removed from my brain and summed it all up for me.  The doctor was cold and calculated.  He offered me zero hope for my disease.  My husband was not allowed in the examination room with me and my lonely heart sank to the floor with this stranger whom supposedly had my best interest at heart.   After Ass-man coldly and without emotion, regurgitated my death prognosis/sentence in a monotone lifeless voice, I knew the game was on.  I am thankful for Ass-man only because had he been nicer or kinder, I might have believed him and ultimately died.  As he related my poor prognosis, I started to sob uncontrollably.  I only wanted to wake up from this horrible nightmare and throw myself into my husband’s arms and hold my babies.  Dave was always there to protect me.  Suddenly, I felt vulnerable and completely defenseless, as well as deceived and damaged… With some annoyance and effort, Ass-man handed me a box of tissues.  He explained how I should be medicated with an anti-depressant and proceeded to ask if I had a suicide plan.  I was offended beyond words and at that very moment, I knew I was going to prove this doctor and every other doctor who played God, dead wrong!  I knew that I would not succumb to this disease and life would be on my terms not some doctor who was heartless, and arrogant.  Over the course of 10 years, it has been a trial & error period with treatments, which is stressful to say the least, especially when the stakes are so high.  For determined, well versed cancer patients such as me, research and information, while helpful and invaluable sometimes can create tons of noise or clouds of confusion in one’s life.  Even when the path for a specific treatment is carved out, self-doubt, personal obstacles and trials and tribulations often challenge each of us in more than one way.  In other words, How do each of us facing cancer not only make the “right decisions which will give promise for the best results and longevity but how will we balance each and every decision that we make in our daily activities and choices?” Some might think I am too extreme because I never touch alcohol but for me the research shows that it’s not good for my cells and how they communicate within my body.  I really do miss my carefree spirit and free-will choices when the word “cancer” did not apply to me.  Needless to say,    I accept that I will always be a cancer patient and my life choices will impact my longevity.  Although I may not have a solid tumor, if I do the wrong thing and make wrong choices, I will face the worst case scenario. This is where my balance of life comes into play.  Each day, I count my blessings, hug my family, look at what I have rather than what I do not have and try to help and serve others in the world of cancer.  I try to never forget all the hope that I have been blessed with.  Tomorrow I have the honor of celebrating my Godson’s third birthday- an honor that I never thought I would be alive to see and share with my family. Happy third birthday Jason! You are a gift from God and a blessing in our lives!! Thank you Laura and Rudy for giving Dave and I the honor of Godparents to your beautiful son!

Until next time, sending Lhasa love from my heart to yours…  Jen

Giving Thanks

November 21, 2012 by Jen

My friend Donna told me today that I am one of the happiest people that she knows. I silently chuckled and shook my head from left to right even though I had no visible audience.  If only she lived with me! After diagnosis, the next eight years of my life, I suffered tremendously on an emotional, physical & at times a social level.  Unfortunately, my loved ones suffered deeply by watching me suffer.    Throughout my constant attempt to accept a terminal prognosis of brain cancer and deal with an onslaught of surgeries and seizures, life was anything short of a challenge.  My daughters, especially my oldest one, witnessed the brutality of cancer and were forced to grow up very quickly.  My youngest daughter learned to find motherly comfort from her sister and her aunt when I was out of commission.  Feeling bad was the norm for many years up until the past couple of years.    Previously, my negativity and depression pervaded and perverted almost every aspect of my personal life and threatened to compromise my quality family time.   Hope was a four letter dirty word in my world because anytime I thought I had gotten close to feeling it, and finally being successful as a survivor, failure corrupted my moment of peace.  I knew that I had the mother of all tumors.   I often pondered why I could never get just a little bit ahead of the disease.  Deep introspective analysis often led to periods of sadness and overwhelming grief of the loss of the life that I once had enjoyed, pre-cancer.  This self-destructive, analytical behavior, Often led to extreme panic attacks or emotional crash course episodic tantrums.   I struggled daily with finding internal peace and often cherished beautiful moments with my family, simply because I feared my own mortality was quickly approaching. I lived each day, waiting to die rather than dying to live each day!  As I searched and searched for something bigger than me, I realized that everything was just were it was supposed to be. In other words, cancer was not a punishment nor was curing myself out of the realm of my control.  So many times, doctors had made me feel that sadly, I was not in charge rather the terminal cancer was.  Thankfully with the unconditional love and support of my husband and family, we took control of the disease.  God has guided me all along but I was not always in tune with the signs.  I didn’t find Fred Eichhorn or Cellect, rather, a lovely messenger shared a powerful testimonial that impressed me one day. There were many lessons over the years, and beautiful people that for some reason or another, I was meant to meet.  It continues to happen to me and one day, I had an epiphany;   I realized that I was on a specific path with a purpose and there were many things to learn and share with others.   The light bulb turned on and everything began to almost sense.  Cancer never completely makes sense.  Every day, I give thanks to God, my devoted husband Dave, my beautiful & patient daughters Emily & Lexi who love me when I am less than perfect as well as the rest of my family & friends. I give thanks to Fred Eichhorn and Cellect.  Thank you for providing me with a product that contains proper nutrition on a cellular level that helps my body do what it needs to do in order to stay well.     All the people that I speak to each day inspire me to be a better person.  Thank you for adding to my already beautiful life.  When I became sick for the 4th time, which was one year and three months ago, I cried for a few moments and then felt surprisingly brave, mature and empowered.   Getting sick again was another defining moment in my life; similar to a divide in an unfamiliar road which splits and instinct must dictate whether a right turn is made or a left.   I wasn’t angry at God, myself or the doctors.  Instinctively, I began to devise my own plan for life and long term, drug-free, survivorship.  Plainly, I was not partnering up with big pharma and accepting a chemotherapy for life protocol.  That was out of the question.  I demanded more and I expected positive results.  So here I am today. Gratitude runs deep in my veins because my suffering was so severe.  I truly appreciate my life, my family and my friends.  Thank you for all your beauty and many thanks for all the purpose that you bring into this world…sending Lhasa love from my heart to yours…Jen

Happy Thanksgiving! Happy 10th Birthday to my Thanksgiving baby girl, Lexi! God Bless!

 

 

Sandy & Athena

November 8, 2012 by Jen

As cancer patients, many of us have been through so much in terms of mental anguish and physical pain.  Personal perseverance is always tested as a cancer patient even when sickness is not apparent or blatant.  We all know lifestyle is crucial for survivorship and going back to “our old ways”, pre cancer, & making poor choices can negatively impact our lives.   Often, we believe our threshold for tolerance is quite high when dealing with disastrous health circumstances because so much of our lives include various health scares or actual life threatening circumstances.  Three brain surgeries, painful procedures and facing death four times have taught me a thing or two about myself & my level of personal tolerance. I have little tolerance for insincerity and unkind people.  As much as I try not to be judgmental, I often am.   Dodging cancer bullets aimed at my head throughout the past ten years has not been easy but has  been a life lesson for me. It has taught me to place things in perspective and to value life, family & friendship above materialism.   I choose to be around people who are genuine and helping people is a huge, integral part of my existence.  Fred Eichhorn, the inventor of Cellect maintains that attitude is 90 percent of beating cancer, while the rest of it constitutes proper mineral nourishment on a cellular level.  For me, my personal relationship with God has helped strengthen my survivorship along with having a positive attitude, a loving supportive family & drinking Cellect daily.

 

Throughout the hurricane, we stayed in our home on the North Shore of Long Island.  We were without power for Eight days but maintained our hot water and gas burning fireplace.  The inside house  temperature never dipped below 59 degrees which was  cold but once in front of the fireplace, warmth permeated our bodies.     We traveled to the harbor each day for cell service & there, I was able to log onto my face book page in order to have contact with the rest of the world.  The pictures I viewed of my friends’ homes were nothing short of disastrous. Boats sat atop rooftops and my heart sank when my close friend Nicole shared with me that her cousin died in The Rockaways during Sandy’s wrath.  As a child, I enjoyed going with Nicole   & visiting her cousins in Belle Harbor.  The loss of life from Sandy can never be understood. Death never can be understood or reasoned with.

I called the South Shore of Long Island my home for 22 years, taught there, got married there & started a family there with my husband Dave.  I lived and taught on the barrier island which includes Atlantic beach, Long Beach, Lido Beach & Point Lookout.  The destruction in Long Beach is something that is hard for me to absorb. Parts of Brooklyn & the coastline of the Jersey Shore have never seen such destruction.   I pray that we never see anything like this again.

Today, a new storm has left us with more school closings and tons of snow which is unprecedented in our history because of its’ close proximity after a hurricane.

We survived these two storms and the stormy election has passed as well.  Although so many have lost so much, the rebuilding will commence & we will come back again perhaps even stronger than before.

Throughout my family’s small inconvenience of having no power, I am so thankful to have my family safe & to not be displaced or homeless.  My heart & prayers go out to all those in need, especially those who already may be dealing with so much- like cancer.   Taking large quantities of Cellect to keep my cancer away this week was a challenge due to the lack of power so I improvised & compromised a bit.  I used a whisk to blend it in a steel bowl and most days I reduced my serving to once a day rather than twice.   I have tremendous gratitude for my family:  My dad, Aunt Helen & Uncle Mike, Cousin Patti, Laura & Rudy- Thanks for offering us the moon & more…  To my friend Margie, everybody should have somebody like you- You never forgot about me or my children! To Laura H. Thank you for checking in each day with me like you always do even though you have been displaced yourself along with your four children. A big thank you to everybody on facebook who opened their hearts & offered their homes to us or offered meaningful and thoughtful things…We are forever touched… Thank you Karen, Alison, Denise… You know who you are!

As Thanksgiving approaches & my baby girl’s 10th birthday is almost upon us, I have so much to be thankful for.  None of us can be certain of what tomorrow has in store for us but we have the power to make each moment joyful even during the most challenging times. We can choose our own company and limit negativity in our own lives.  My father reminds me all the time: “Don’t place the standards on others…Only place them on yourself”.

Thank you everybody for your love & friendship! God Bless you all… Sending Lhasa love from my heart to yours… Jen

If I can be of any help to you, please contact me. You know how to reach me.

Short & Sweet

September 22, 2012 by Jen

It seems forever since I have blogged but I have been a little busy to say the least. First and foremost, I wish all of you lhasa love, & good health as we jump into a new season. For those who celebrated the New Year, may blessings be abundant for all!

Sometimes it’s important for me to move beyond cancer & the shackles that are associated with the word “cancer”. While it was important for me to set up this blog as a way to support fellow survivors & disseminate information, I also like to use this blog as a forum for writing & as a vehicle for sharing personal information with others. I speak to survivors daily on the telephone, free of charge from all across the United States and around the world. I have spoken to people from California to India; I had the privilege of speaking to people in Israel as well as those in the Garden State.  I am truly blessed as I am a living miracle.

 

Summer came & went but left me with many beautiful memories spent with family & friends.  My cousin flew in from Indiana & spent time with us in NY.  Justin surprised my daughter for her thirteenth birthday celebration dinner.  She still talks about how surprised she was by his appearance as it was a highlight of her summer vacation.    We traveled to some cute little places on Long Island with Justin & the rest of my family. Together, we enjoyed Port Jefferson, Westhampton Beach, and my own little oasis, Cold spring Harbor. We had quality family time on Aunt Helen & Uncle Mike’s boat throughout the summer. After Justin left, we enjoyed several excursions visiting our other cousins in Southampton. Cooper’s Beach is magnificent as it is a top rated, world class beach.  We dined at Silver’s in SH where we munched on delicious food. On another day, we enjoyed more casual cuisine at the local health food store in Sag Harbor and strolled along the water & marveled in awe at all the beauty found there.   I scored a trendy Tory Burch shirt at one of the super chic Consignment shops in Sag Harbor- A very cool purchase.  So you may be wondering why the heck I am sharing all of these little details that have nothing to do with cancer & sound like written ramble. Well, truth be told, I never enjoyed my life to its full capacity until a couple of years ago.  One day, I opted to end all of my personal strife by opening my heart to God as well as committing to an unorthodox way of fighting cancer.     My life has so much to offer now and is so much more positive than it ever was in the past. My family has so much love to share and we are pleased that God has blessed us with a new little four-legged addition to our family. Now my family has grown to include a new beautiful pup, named, Jack.  My husband & I have my 2 beautiful daughters, my dog named Buddy, a Lhasa Apso & Jack, a Havapoo. Life is good & I am so lucky.  I feel such gratitude & I am truly thankful for all that I have been blessed with.

These days, I find taking Cellect a little bit more challenging. I think it is because I take so much of it as well as the fact that I’ve been taking it for so long. Cellect is my gift from God & I remain committed to the product. Next year, I will slightly reduce my servings of Cellect.   I am so happy that I found the Nutribullet because it enables me to make a shake within seconds, leaving little mess to clean. It also has been a lifesaver with multipurpose capacities that benefit my entire family. From shakes to smoothies & organic  salad dressings, the Nutribullet keeps everybody smiling at the dinner table!     Fred and Lora Eichhorn, the inventors of Cellect,  are so dedicated to helping everybody who truly wants to be helped. It was a leap of faith for me but I am blessed that the shackles of cancer have truly been broken!  I am able to live my life happily with my family because of my relationship with God & my commitment to taking Cellect. I am one lucky lady!! Reach out to me if you need to talk to someone who kicked cancer’s butt, not once but four times!  God Bless You!  Sending Lhasa love from my heart to yours…Jen

Heaven On Earth

July 28, 2012 by Jen

 Light droplets of rain gently coat the large window of my living room door.  The noise is soothing and soft, almost melodic in tone.” O how I am pleased with the rain as I know our land and animals thirst for it”.  Selfishly, I desire a day of rest; to write, as well as take the children for some arts and crafts at our local library & the rain will give me the perfect break from outdoor activities.  What a gift today truly is.

 

Years earlier, really not too long ago, rain created stress in my life and internal strife on my mind. The damp weather created extreme headaches, including a “tug of war” effect on my brain, between the scar tissue from my numerous surgeries and healthy tissue remaining in my brain.  This tugging and pulling sensation would be enough to send me straight to bed, often causing a very poor quality of life…all because of rain.  Snow, hurricanes and any other weather carrying a pressure system were always enough to send me over the edge.  It was hard not to be depressed at times as I often felt the tumor had recurred.  In most instances, my headaches were not any cause for concern. They were the result of all the surgeries performed on my brain.

Today as I watch the rain fall and look at my journey as an almost 10 year terminal brain cancer survivor, I smile at the rain and take in the moment as one of personal greatness & achievement.  As I look back, rain made me cry, cancel plans and compromise living my life with family & friends.  Today, I love when it rains and will often play like a little girl in the rain with my two daughters.

Healing has occurred in my life on a biochemical level as well as an emotional & spiritual level.  I live each day to the fullest because I feel really well. That’s not to say that I don’t exhaust easily as well as occasionally rap my head on my left side, where I lost all lower peripheral vision. The main thing is that I don’t live each day waiting to die or waiting to receive a poor scan result, like I used too.  I thank God for these blessings, as they are monumental.

If you are a new visitor to my blog, you may not have heard me sing the song of praise regarding Cellect, a mineral based shake. It has saved my life, allowed me to take charge of my life and heal myself along with the blessings of God, family and friends.  I feel God has a plan for me and my purpose is to share my testimonial and lend support to others, free of charge.

August 6, will mark one year since I made the decision to solely take Cellect and refuse chemotherapy and/or Gleevac. That was my fourth relapse & chemo had failed miserably.  After taking Cellect for one month, 14 scoops per day, I received great news that I had “no evidence of neoplasm”, or cancer. Since August, I have reduced to 10 scoops, continue to pray for healing as well as receive healing prayer.  The mind body connection as well as being in touch with the Holy Spirit has been the complete package for me. Some exercise, and a healthy diet are all part of my equation.  Until we meet again, sending lhasa  love from my heart to yours…God Bless You! jen

“Stronger”- Kelly Clarkson

July 10, 2012 by Jen

As an almost ten year brain cancer survivor of a very aggressive brain  tumor known as an Astrocytoma, my prognosis was very poor back  in 2002.  Having gone through the medical  system & continuing to be a patient, I  survived  3 brain surgeries, one awake & took  poison chemo pills against my better judgment  for way too long. In total, I am a four time survivor.   I certainly have walked the walk and feel compelled to comment on the current state of affairs in Washington regarding Healthcare in The United States .  For me it’s personal, not because I don’t have healthcare or because I can’t afford health insurance. For me it’s personal, because I know how different my life would be if I didn’t have health insurance.   I know a thing or  two about healthcare in the United States. Throughout my survivorship as a young adult, I walk into the Robert Tish Brain Tumor Center in North Carolina  every 4 months not as a visitor, but as a patient.  Since I live in NY, I must take an airplane in order to get there. Naturally, this is my choice because I am choosing one of  the best brain tumor centers in the nation- in my opinion, of course.  Some days the waiting room  has fairly healthy looking people while other days, my experiences through my eyes are enough to make  the most heartless, cry.   As Kelly Clarkson’s song says: “What doesn’t kill you, makes you stronger”, a truly  profound statement for cancer survivors of all ages.  As a  young mom of two babies back in 02, I was devastated by  a diagnosis  of terminal  cancer . I felt blindsided by the disease, as if  the rug was pulled out from beneath my feet.  I was completely  unable to balance myself physically or emotionally, at times, completely losing it.    I convinced my mother, whom I am presently  estranged from, to call hospice since I was convinced the end was near.  I had no desire to live & had no team of doctors early on rallying behind me or cheering for me in support of my survivorship.  I mainly received a doom & gloom prognosis with very little hope.   Team Jennifer was & remains comprised  of my husband, 2 beautiful daughters, my aunt, uncle, Justin & countless others…You know who you are.   Years later, 7 to be exact, I managed to pull myself up by my  boot straps so to speak, thanks to God and the loving support of family & friends.  Suffice to say, even though the support from my doctors and the hospitals was not always the complete package for me, I am thankful to have had the accessibility into our healthcare system.   I had to venture outside the box in order to heal myself but I am happy I had the complete package. First,  healthcare, traditionally speaking  is a necessity that I definitely would dare not want to live without. Second, having been diagnosed with a “terminal disease, I can tell you firsthand that I would be deeply devastated if I were denied insurance due to my “pre-existing”condition” Third, I feel a real sense of security having health insurance for myself and my family.  My well being is dependent on my positivity, attitude, my mineral supplement called Cellect  as well as my annual MRI Scans, which I receive every  2 months.    Finally, I truly feel that healthcare is a human right for all to share.   We all need& deserve a quality  level of health insurance, preferably the same quality that our elected officials in Washington have for themselves and their loved ones.  I don’t think this is too much to expect.  As Americans, our elected officials need to make quality  healthcare for all a priority.  I am saddened by the statement made today by GOP Congressman regarding the sick in our country. I think he owes all of us who have suffered with brain tumors, diseases or any other ailments , an apology. He promotes the institutionalized discrimination against the sick by insurance companies.  I need to be reminded, what year are we living in? Who are we?  I got confused for a moment & I don’t think it’s from the hole in my head or my blonde hair… Check out the link below- If you are offended as I am by representative Dreier.
Contact Info for representative Dreier:

233 Cannon HOB
Washington, DC 20515
Office (202) 225-2305

Washington Office

233 Cannon HOB
Washington, DC 20515
Office (202) 225-2305
Fax (202) 225-7018

District Office

510 East Foothill Boulevard
Suite 201
San Dimas, CA 91773
Office (909) 575-6226
Toll Free (888) 906-2626
Fax (909) 575-6266

http://thinkprogress.org/health/2012/07/10/513735/republican-rep-i-dont-think-someone-who-is-diagnosed-with-a-brain-tumor-should-have-health-care-provided/

Reflections

June 19, 2012 by Jen

As I look back on my numerous encounters with death and despair as I battled this brutal disease throughout the past 9 1/2 years, It’s moments like last night that make everything so worthwhile.  Survivorship is the sweetest thing and offers some of the greatest rewards and proudest moments for all of us battling cancer.   As a guest last night on: “The Stupid Cancer Show”, I experienced one of those “sweet moments”.  For one, I reconnected with an old friend Matthew Zachary, whom I reached out to almost 6 years ago because I was so impressed by his remarkable feats and survivorship.  In such a short time, his organization, I’m Too Young For This has rocked the mainstream world of cancer.  The underage, underrepresented young warriors who battle cancer each & every day now have a voice because of this organization.  Matthew Zachary, Lisa Bernhard, Kenny Kane & the rest of the Stupid Cancer Crew represent the lost voice of the young who are stricken with cancer & now because of their voice, WE will be heard loud and clear! As a young adult survivor, I wanted respect, options and I wanted hope.  When I couldn’t find hope here in the most obvious places like well known medical institutions,  I left with my husband David, often times without my babies, in search of  hope elsewhere  until I found it.  I learned from my miserable experiences that beauty always can be found in the most unexpected places.  As we search for what we long for, we often find exactly what we need.  The universe & God often provides…  For me, I needed hope that was tangible &  realistic.  I knew I was looking for what seemed to  be impossible, yet somehow, my family always reassured me that we would find the next best thing in order to get us one step closer to the cure.  At times, life was stressful, seemed unfair but always a blessing nevertheless. I always knew I was lucky to be alive and our search for that holy grail would indeed  prove successful.  Thank you for reading my blog.  I encourage you to always keep hope alive.  In fact, keep it on fire in your heart and in your soul. I also encourage you to contact me if I can ever be of any assistance to you.  God bless you.  sending lhasa love from my heart to yours…Jen

Tune in! The Stupid Cancer Show on June 18 @ 8 PM at www.stupidcancer.org

June 1, 2012 by Jen

Hi Everybody! Tune in on Monday, June 18, 2012 at 8 PM to The Stupid Cancer Show Featuring  Matthew Zachary & Lisa Bernhard. I will be a guest on the show & discussing alternative therapies listed here  on my blog.  I am super excited to be on the show!! Sending all of you lhasa love from my heart to yours…Keep fighting the fight!!!

 

http://www.blogtalkradio.com/stupidcancershow

 

http://www.facebook.com/l.php?u=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.stupidcancer.com%2F&h=dAQFIPNgb

 

http://www.ncrf.org/jenn/

 

 

 

Birthday Wishes

May 4, 2012 by Jen

The manifestation of my “perfect” birthday wish

Turning 40 for some of us can be bitter, while it can be sweet for others.   Still many of us are indifferent regarding age.   The big 40 can mean it is time to hit the gym more often or join one for the first time.  As age spots proliferate on my face I am reminded of the chemotherapy that aided them like a real estate agent in finding permanent residence underneath my eyes.   However, as I scrutinize my face further, I am reminded of the many blessings and have feelings of gratitude for the appreciation of life that I feel today, a feeling I regard more strongly than ever before.

In 2002, I had little regard for my life when I was diagnosed with terminal brain cancer almost 9 ½ years ago.  I was 30 years old, struggling to accept the horrible diagnosis &preparing to battle the unthinkable.  All along I struggled with my inner demons  tirelessly trying to convince  myself that my life was important not only to myself but also important to my  2 week old,  3 year old and my husband.  It took me seven years to realize that I deserved to live and needed to muster up the strength to fight in a race for my life even though the odds were so heavily stacked against me.  Doctors often shrugged their shoulders, dismissed my questions regarding natural supplements yet here I am turning 40 next week, alive, well & tumor-free.  The struggle is ongoing but the blessings are abundant.  Each year, my birthday wish remains the same.  My message to God is to protect my entire family, keep them healthy along with all of my loved ones.   I seek protection for:  Emily, Lexi, Dave, Justin, Aunt Helen, Uncle Mike & my dad.  Each year as I close my eyes, my wish includes a call for longevity:   to live as a healthy mother and witness my daughters grow up & to grow old with my beloved Dave who has stuck by me through thick & thin. Sometimes, just like previous rude doctors, I too shrug my shoulders- perhaps I am asking for too much & the entire birthday wish is just ridiculous.  Is it though? Maybe it’s the doctor’s words that are ridiculous when they condemn people with terminal diseases to a numerical time frame in which they will supposedly terminate & take their last breath.  While my current doctors admittedly recognize the dismal aspects of brain cancer they remain broad and never get too personal with me regarding my own mortality.  Perhaps it’s the doctor’s words that often times reduce our fighting spirits and pave the way to our own graves.  Words are very powerful & as patients, we must create our own, positive reality.    I travel all the way to North Carolina to Duke Medical because my doctors don’t discuss numbers.  Considering back in 2002, I was condemned to a 4-6 year life expectancy, I certainly have a guardian angel and I have taken charge of my own destiny.   Ultimately, I am here…Thank you God and a big thank you to my supportive family who loves me so much.  Everybody should be as blessed as me!

After blowing out my candles on my 37th, 38th & 39th birthday, I realized that I wasn’t going anywhere.  I was needed here.  God has a plan for me & I have a purpose.  Remaining healthy & tumor-free takes commitment & dedication.  It’s not always easy being so committed to doing what is necessary for one’s body.  Put it this way, I will not be sipping any alcoholic beverages on my birthday or any day for that matter.  Coffee, microwaves, processed foods, MSG, artificial sweeteners, smoking or drinking are not allowed either.  It’s all about having a healthy lifestyle-now if I could only have that super model figure.  Well I guess being 40, free of any tumor and feeling good for the most part is certainly good enough.  No forgive me, the best part is living my life with my beautiful family & not thinking about dying.  It’s all about the living part now…Thank you Fred & Lora Eichhorn for Cellect & Angelina K who convinced me to try Cellect.    I am eternally thankful to all of you.  Hmmm, I wonder what I will wish for this year as I blow out my candles.

Until the next time, sending lhasa love from my heart to yours…Jen