A Good Reminder: Thursday, November 19, 2009

Sorry for my M.I.A. status since last Friday. You know the reason for the extended silence by now, don't you? That's right. Sometimes I'm just too darn busy being busy, happy, and healthy to write everyday. And actually, I hadn't planned to write until tomorrow with my "Week in Review" update (there'll be photos, MPR!) but I got this note in my inbox this morning and it served as a good reminder of one of the main reasons I blog.

The two main reasons I started blogging two months into my diagnosis and treatment were: 1. for my mental health, as I found/find it extremely therapeutic, and 2. to keep friends and family updated on my progress in a (somewhat) entertaining and efficient manner. However, a third reason has emerged and it is now just as important as the first two were in the beginning of the nightmare. Now I blog to provide comfort, hope, and information to the thousands of women also dealing with the shit that is gyncological cancer. I've received several notes like the one below but I thought I'd share today's with all of you so you can see the inspiration I get from the brave ladies who read and want to learn more. Here it is:

Hi Jennie,

My name is Cindy. I have been following your blog for the past couple of months (love it!). Thank you for sharing your journey. It has been an inspiration and a comfort to me.

In July I was diagnosed with Stage II Endometrial cancer that had spread to my colon by way of endometriosis through my fallopian tube. I had a full hysterectomy and colon resection (sigmoid colon) on July 20. My surgical oncologist and my chemo oncologist disagree on the staging (chemo guy says stage 4) and I have chosen to go with my surgeon's diagnosis. In 5 days I will have completed 5 out of 6 chemo treatments (paclitaxel and carboplatin). So really, I have only about 3 /12 more weeks of chemo to go!! I have just started doing research on radiation (which is recommended for me) and I have managed to completely freak myself out about the side effects only one of which is severe lymphadema. Up until the surgery and the chemo, I have been super active in running, yoga, skiing - all the stuff that makes life fun! I am worried that the long term effect of radiation will take all of that away.

I remember in one of your posts that you were considering radiation or talking to your doctors about it. Did you decide not to do it? If so, would you mind sharing your thoughts with me?

Keep up the great blogging - it is so great to watch you heal!

Best Regards,


See? That's pretty good stuff, isn't it? I'll be in touch with Cindy (whose real name, by the way, isn't Cindy; I protect identities when necessary) to let her know that, fortunately, I didn't have to endure radiation as well as chemo. I understand why she is freaked out because I was freaked out by the side effects of radiation I read about as well. I'll also tell her that no matter how bad it is during/after radiation, things will get better physically and emotionally after her treatment is finished. I'm thrilled to report that with each day that passes by, the nightmare of the past year is a more distant memory...AND that with the exception of the pretty awful looking scars I've got on the outside (still need to work on those!), everything else feels great. Hang in there, Cindy! This, too, shall pass and YOU will heal!


  1. It's really cool to see how you have been an encouragement to many women, even one's that you don't personally know through your experience. You have a gift of touching people's lives!

    Love, Jori

  2. I knew you would be an inspiration to strangers, just as you've been to your friends. If Cindy wants to talk to someone about radiation, I'm sure Jim would be happy to talk to her. Maybe it would help her to hear about his Ironman, etc post-radiation?

  3. Hi, I am Cindy, really Kathy. I am outing myself!! Thanks for protecting my identity! I felt very stealth ;) And thank you for the words of encouragement. I have just one more chemo treatemnt to go and my Chemo Oncologist is now on board with the Stage II diagnosis after reading the updated path report from the Mayo Clinic! It is nice to have everyone on board with the same diagnosis.
    I would love to chat with Jim about his radiation and his Ironman. I have an Ironman at home as well - a little crazy and super cute! Could you give my contact info to Michell or Jim? Or you could give me their info.
    Hope you are having a spectacular week!