She rolled over, reaching across her chest to turn off the bedside lamp when she felt it.
The lump. The mass.
She was 25 years old and having an ultrasound and a biopsy and someone was saying "you have breast cancer."
She describes those moments with an animated "what in the world?!" and she says then she was numb, protecting herself from thoughts of her fate.
Jen embodies a contagious joy, truly. A wife and mother, a daughter and sister and friend. Oh, the throngs of friends she has! She is all the things women are and she has been fighting cancer for 8 years. Today marks the anniversary of her first day of treatment.
There's always been something extra special about her, this Jennifer. Even before all of this, this thing that tears her up and somehow changes her perspective in ways that make her grateful and even more positive than she was before it. Jen is one of those people that brings joy into every room she enters, her eyes sending beams of light with her always genuine smile.
But even she has not always been able to stay positive and anyone could understand why. Just when she thought she had cancer licked, she miraculously had her daughter, Kaiya and then heard more life-changing news, all in a moment...
After her necessary c-section, in the moments she should have shared simply holding her daughter and reveling in joy, she was told the fight was not over. She was hearing them again, words that didn't make sense and could not be but were. She told me about those moments..."They eluded to something with cancer going on but I wasn't sure. They didn't even know if I'd make it through surgery, there was no head's up, it might have been better for me not to know... I had come through surgery (c-section) and I got to see them hold up Kaiya...Then Luke held my hand and the doctor said "you have cancer all over your ovary and your liver" and they started to look through my organs...Then they lifted the table up and put me out. I had simply agreed...take out ovaries...yeah."
After having endured intense treatment to beat it, it was back and it was taking her over, stealing and stealing some more. Again.
I want to tell you Jen's story to honor her journey and to raise awareness and support for the millions and millions of women fighting the breast cancer fight.
Would you take a moment today to sign up with the Army of Women committing to do something, to be a part of the cure? This is a unique opportunity to keep yourself informed and playing an active role. (Click on Army of Women or the photo above for all the details.)
Jen's story will continue here on The EO on October 28th...for today, why don't you take a moment to congratulate her on 8 years of kicking cancer's ass. (SORRY MOM. I SAID "ASS") (Click on 'comments' below to give Jen a shout to the out.) (Thank you, friends.)