Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Pursed Lips are a Bad Sign

I've been sitting in front of this screen for a while now, so long in fact that I'm considering changing my medium to interpretive dance because there are no words. There are no words to describe the shock, the sorrow, the loss, the determination, the hope or the love.

Last week Dave and I travelled down to Victoria General Hospital for what was supposed to be the removal of an ovarian cyst. In retrospect, maybe I should have seen it coming, but in all honesty, there was not a cell in my being that thought for a second that this was cancer. I had visualized for days, the smooth white surface of the benign cyst. In my mind I watched as the surgeons delicately removed the mass and nodded at each other, satisfied that the job was straightforward, ordinary and routine. I envisioned coming home excited, because I had decided that the removal of this ovary was a sign. It was a clear sign that now was the time to have another baby. I wasn't going to wait out another three years on Tamoxifen, my anti-cancer drug, I was going to have a baby followed by a hysterectomy and possibly the removal of my other breast. And then it would be over, no more worrying.

But then I woke up to pursed lips. Trust me, that when you are coming out of the anaesthetic fog, the last thing you want to see are pursed lips. Pursed lips, reserved welcome backs, teary eyes.

They removed the cancerous cyst and the ovary that it was attached to, they scraped the fatty layer that covers my intestines, they biopsied, they shifted, they explored and discovered upon further inspection two cysts on my aortic artery, a lump on my neck and ultimately that the cancer has seeped into my lymphatic system.

We have not seen the breast cancer oncologist yet, but the surgeon told us that chemotherapies may be available but they would not be designed to cure the cancer that I have.

We got home on Sunday. Exhausted, overwhelmed, broken, scared, stitched, stressed and parents of a three year old.
And then there was love.

The sheer bombardment of support that we have felt in the past three days has been a miracle in itself. We feel lighter, hopeful, contented and loved.
Opportunities for healing are showing themselves quickly. I am trusting and willing to let things fall into place. I feel calm, patient and part of a bigger plan.

A close friend of mine told me that the trick to life is realizing that this world is not our home, we come from something bigger, more beautiful. We are in this world for a short time and our purpose is to show one another love, and when our journey here is over, then we go home. If you can wrap your head around that, she said, then there is nothing to worry about. I can find peace in that, I'm just not ready to go home yet.

I've got miles to go before I sleep.

19 comments:

Reesh said...

No words really. Thank you for your honesty. I give you you all the love and support you and your family needs, as well as $100 towards whatever treatment you feel would be best for you and yours.

Love the Agnish Neslings

Anonymous said...

Jenn,
You have such strength, wisdom and inner peace. You amaze me on a regular basis. Cherish the love and know that you have touched the lives of so many.
Thank you for the beauty that you brought into this world.

Love,
Denise, Raymond & Julia

Binky said...

Dear Jenn,
Our thoughts and prayers... Your strength and articulate clarity come through as you write about this awful news.

All of us are with you.

Bruce

Anonymous said...

You're amazing Jenn. You're so loved and surrounded by amazing people. To have that much love and support is a true gift. I think of you and your family every day and I'm sending all my positive energy your way.

Love,
Jane

Gina Kramp said...

I am saddened to be reading this blog again...I wish I had some fantastic advice, some amazing comforting words, something, anything.
You are in our prayers!
xo Gina

Tracy Cameron said...

Jenn,
You always amaze me with your candid writing - you really do have a gift. I think of you very often and send all of my positive energy your way! I will find a way to contribute to your journey of better health and happiness ;-)
Much love,
Tracy

Anonymous said...

When you write you are teaching all of us. You are beautiful and so amazingly honest. When you say you are not ready to go home yet, all I could think was that we are not ready for that either. You have this gift of giving that words cannot describe. Your energy and love is so powerful. I love you Jenn.
Love, Michelle Peffers

Anonymous said...

There is a song I heard this evening,it made me think of you.
When I Get Where I'm Going by Brad Paisley and Dolly Parton. Enjoy.
Hope it touches your heart and soul like you touch all of us.

Anonymous said...

Jenn you are strength. You are courage, and you are beauty. You are such an amazing woman, and IM sure, everyone reading this blog, can only hope, they have just a touch of the strength and courage you have one day. I think of you often, and want you to know that Coady, Dave and you are in my thoughts, prayers and dreams. I send you all the love I have, all the energy I have and all the strength I have. Please let me know if there is ANYTHING I can do to help. Im sure we would all go to the moon and back if it would help. Love you lots,
Erin Springford.

Anonymous said...

I am another "Double N Jenn" and am scheduled for an ultrasound on Monday after feeling a lump in my breast. My doctor says he is not worried, but I am; naturally. Your strength, courage, love, and spirit provide buoyancy over this shaded weekend. I offer you love and support in return.

Anonymous said...

Jenn, as others have said, you really have a gift in your writing. You are an inspiration to everyone who reads it. Our love and prayers are with you and we are sending lots of PEI love and positive energy your way.

Lotsa Love, Heather (Murphy)Doiron

Tammy Garrett said...

Jenn, I don't know you, but know your story. I am at this moment recovering from my 3rd spinal cord surgery to remove the cancer that never seems to leave me. I too have children. My son is 8 and my daughter is 3. I have had to learn to walk again this time, but really hope this will in fact be the last time. I am sure you have done your research and have great doctors but don't be afraid to venture elsewhere. I was given a 5 year death sentence here in Canada and found a doctor in the states who told me he could help. I have been there twice now and have been cancer free for 3 weeks now...only forward from here. Sometimes it helps to know that someone does literally understand. I do. Love and luck to you.

Janet Whitehead said...

So much love to you and your family, Jenn. I'm working on a book for my daughter, 29, (who as of this minute, is healing from chemo and hospitalized with complications).. the book is called "Four Billion Faeries coming your way". I am sending four billion faeries your way this minute. If you are so inspired, imagine them like a milky way of magical gentle loving energy doing whatever it is that is perfect for you. Again, love to you!

Little M said...

You have grace, wisdom, experience, creativity and loving support.

Surely, every cell in your body will glow with radiant health. Where there is love, fear cannot exist. Just watch and be amazed.

Amanda said...

Hi Jenn,

You don't know me, but I know Erin Springford and started reading your blog through her facebook. I just wanted to say that my prays and well wishes are with you. I truly enjoyed your honesty and you are an inspiration to us all.

Babalouie said...

Such a circumstance! Such a response!
Wow - the strength and beauty you exude. My prayers are with you Jenn.
from a teacher and friends who's life and classroom you have graced. BB

Shellyann said...

Jenn, Even though our lives have only passed each other from time to time, you are always in my heart. Some people touch our hearts in a special way in life and I just wanted to tell you that. I always knew that you are this most amazing incredible human being. You "glow" with strength, wisdom and beauty. You are my inspiration. Prayer for you, Dave and Coady. love you lots, xxshellyann

Anonymous said...

You are in my heart and my prayers, your strength and courage amazes me....

Jill Marie said...

Sending you some love & prayers as you fight your battle with grace & dignity... from another hot, bald chick who's fighting the good fight too... xxxx