I Can Say I Can’t

I could feel it coming on; the physical reckoning and the acute awareness that I really couldn’t take much more. The good days between Chemotherapy cycles were diminishing and the ability to maintain energy for consecutive days was proving to be difficult. Nausea and vomiting was increasingly difficult to control and eventually only managed with a last resort medication (Olanzapine – FDA approved for Chemo Nausea) that should really just be named “Whale Tranquilizer”.

Unable to keep anything down, dehydrated and crawling to the safe in our bedroom to retrieve the “whale tranquilizer”, I had reached a point where I could barely take care of myself, let alone my family, and sedated in bed was no longer acceptable.

I have preached for years that quality time was more valuable than the quantity of time and I feel confident I have managed to put up a good fight enduring 6 weeks of Proton Radiation, 9 months and two days of Chemo and surrendering the majority of my time since December 2018 to Cancer.

On September 24, two days into my 5 day chemo cycle, I said “I can’t”, quit and acknowledged that I had reached my breaking point. I needed to allow my body to heal; to recover my immune system, give my platelets a chance to rebound and my psyche an opportunity to step away from drowning in everything cancer.

I said I can’t and I chose me. I chose my children and I chose Paul. I chose quality in the face of an unknown amount of quantity of time. It is a decision that feels as fiercely empowering as it is terrifying.

There is no official timeline for my “No for Now, Not for Always Chemo timeout”. Scans and monitoring the tumor will shed light and force our hands as we move forward. Some days I’m a little more scared than others; however I know deep in my soul that I have made a decision that is best for now.

I feel stronger today. I no longer have a calendar overflowing with medical appointments, I am sleeping better and my energy is coming back.

Thank you for supporting us and continuing to walk this path alongside us. We are grateful.

8 thoughts on “I Can Say I Can’t

  1. Bless dear Jen. Thankful that you are a little stronger already. Your own decision. Sending all things positive and hoping you are surrounded in peace, and love, and strength. Most of us can only just try to imagine dear one.

  2. I first met you when you were on a patient panel for the Institute for Patient and Family-Centered Care. I was impressed with how articulate you were then as you described your experience as a patient with that “piece of shit”. You continue to be articulate in your blogs. You have helped us see the strength and courage you have in traveling the journey you’ve been on. I continue to be impressed by you!! May God wrap his arms around you and give you continued strength to have quality time with your family for a very long time.

  3. It’s been a long and physically draining year+. This disease has been greedy but you remained a force to be reckoned with. Rest, recover, rejuvenate, and replenish both spiritually and physically. We are all here not just to walk the path with you but to carry you. hugs, prayers, and much love

  4. Jen, you are so generous to share your journey with us. I applaud you on knowing your limits and choosing “you”, for now. You are the epitome of a brave warrior ❤️❤️❤️

  5. Jen, you are an amazing person. I wish I had great words of wisdom to say but just know I think about you often and you are the bravest person I know!

  6. Thanks for the update. I admire you so much, Jen. And just want you to know you have always had my love and support. You are in my thoughts and am keeping my fingers crossed for you. Xox, Suzanne

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