Sunday, November 10, 2013

Mary Poppins Strikes Again

We told L and C they could stay home from school on Friday and R offered to stay home from work. L and C both felt they needed to be with their friends. I told R I would call him when I knew when the oncology appointment was. Meanwhile Baby and I watched cartoons. Nausea from my liver problems made it hard to eat anything, but I made a green smoothie anyway.

My Aunt came up (the same aunt who came in Feb and brought her Mary Poppins neverending bag of family history stuff.)  Baby and I went outside to meet and her and I kept thinking I heard my parents driving up. Seriously, I made her stay outside a long time and I kept saying, "Oh I think I hear them." Finally, we went inside and played play dough with Baby. My family doctor said the Huntsman was not responding to them so I called my oncologist's nurse and my doctor's scheduler. First I went in another room so my aunt did not have to hear me get tough with them, and set up an appointment for 5pm. I let R know.

I was having a hard time completing sentences and kept forgetting things. My aunt had a good idea to call my other aunt in CA and talk to her. So we called and told her the technical stuff my doctor gave me. She was a good resource and explained things more fully to us. She also talked to an oncologist she worked with and let us know some of his thoughts. This was nice to hear while we were waiting and they told me my forgetting and confusion was the shock. We kept shaping play dough with Baby -she really really loves play dough. My aunts were great emotional support at that time.

Then my parents came and we cried again. It was sometime during this day that my two aunts decided to do the family support coordination. I kept itching so another one of my aunts brought me some lavender oil and it was wonderful. Yes, I have many aunts and they are all awesome! My kids came home and we all got settled. Also during this day, I started using the "Cancer Card" to get out of doing anything that I was too tired to do. In addition, I used it to forego doing anything unpleasant like take the trash out, dishes, change Baby, tell Baby no, and so on.

R came home and and we went to the doctor. The doctor started out by saying it was a very serious situation and they had considered checking me into the hospital when we came and starting everything that night. Instead they decided to start everything on Monday. I told her about being Primary President and having the Primary Program that Sunday.(Just a note - they had decided to do it on Monday before I told her about Primary.) She told us that my liver failing so fast was not a good sign. On Monday they set up an endoscopy to look and see if there was an obstruction or clogged tubes and if so they would put in a stint to start my liver working a little better. Then I would also start chemo to attack the cancer that metastasized to several spots on my liver. If the chemo works, it would extend my life and stop the liver from failing. I would continue on the chemo the rest of my life. She had a patient last year in my same situation and she had a protocol that worked well for her and this patient was still alive. She told me to not worry about exercising anymore and to focus all my energy on my family. The doctor said the next few weeks would determine what road we would travel. At the end, she gave us some prescriptions for pain and itching.

Meanwhile, my awesome aunts were consulting us about what we needed and starting the email chain to end all email chains. We went home after the doctor and talked to our kids and parents again. There was more crying.

The next morning, a miracle started happening. First, there was an overwhelming humbling response to the family email chain. I cannot overstate how much the families were pulling together and lifting our burden. The next miracle was that my pain was not so bad. I took a painkiller on Friday night and I did not need one all day Saturday. I decided the love I was receiving from those around me was helping the pain. Thank you so much! It was a day of much planning and crying. Actually, we designated my dad to be the crier.

L and C went to a church youth activity and then C and Baby played with friends in our yard most of the day. Our neighbors have told their kids now that they can ask to play with our kids, but they can not come inside. All my kids needed the break. At one point we looked out and Baby was pushing around 4 or 5 older kids on the merry go round over and over again. When she came inside she told us how mad she was when the other kids tried to takes turns to push, because she just wanted to do it. L texted and had some friends who came up too.

My sweet Primary presidency members came over and visited and cried with me. The Bishop brought a group to assess our needs. One of them was the RS president who wondered who would park their big truck and trailer in front of our house. We let her know it was my dad. The Bishop asked if he could share our news with the ward and I said yes. I let them know after the Primary Program I would be focusing on my family. Also, the Bishop said he would ask the stake president if my dad could park his truck and trailer at the stake center nearby. (He asked and it is fine.)

We went to bed knowing we were loved!


  1. Jenni, I love to hear your "voice" filled with your gentle wit and pragmatic outlook. When I went to the temple Friday the overwhelming message I got was that nothing happens in this life without a plan. It encompasses things as small as primary programs and as large as your children's lives. All will be well. I love you. Aunt Marilyn

  2. CANCER IS CRAPPY! Jen I wish we could all just love your cancer away, I know it would only take a second with all the people who love you. You and your family are in my prayers and thoughts and on the prayer roll. You are one of my most favorite people in the world. I am thankful you have such great family surrounding you. I love you!