We Need Cheerleaders!

While Jennifer is going through this awful time, I think it would be pretty awesome if we could build an online support system/cheerleaders for her! She needs a lot of motivation, prayers, love, and support during this hard time. She has a really hard road ahead and I know she would love to see the support! Follow, like, share, comment etc!

Instagram JennifersCancerFight

Facebook Jennifers Cancer Fight

Twitter @JensCancerFight

 

Next Big Project !!!

Since Jennifer’s diagnosis, she has become very passionate about raising awareness for cancer’s that don’t get as much attention as breast cancer. All women know about breast cancer self exams and the importance of mammograms but not everyone knows the warning signs of melanoma or brain cancer.

As the days and weeks have gone on, Jennifer and I have had time to think about what we could do, how her story, her struggle, and the lessons our family is learning could be used in a way to help others. We are currently working on starting an awareness group that focuses on all forms of cancer, and the metastatic dangers.

A diagnosis of cancer is a life changing experience for anyone. When a cancer patient is told their cancer has metastasized, the news is devastating. The flood of emotions and fear become overwhelming for the patient and their loved ones. We have learned this first hand. Jennifer and I are dedicated to building an awareness groups that 1. focuses on giving hope to cancer patients who are fighting the battle of metastasized cancer 2. education the general public about the warning signs of all cancers, and 3. offering the tools, information, and resource our family has collected during our journey in battling cancer. We are hoping to be able to specific reach out to cancer patients with limited financial means. The struggle to beat cancer is hard enough, when money is also a problem the fear and hopelessness only grows.

This project is in its early stages and there is more information to come!

Last full brain radiation treatment

Today is Jennifer’s last full brain radiation treatment. At this point, she can not have any more full brain treatments. 10 is the max, anything higher than 10 can cause brain damage. So, now we have to wait for 3 weeks for her next MRI. The 3 week waiting period is given because the brain may need up to three weeks to fully shrink the lesions.

In the meantime, she is seeing Dr. Diaz. He is in charge of trying to correct and remove the melanoma cancer, in her breast. Dr. Diaz is starting her on a pill form of chemotherapy and a newly approved medication that will specifically target the mutated gene that has been the culprit behind the cancer she now has. Knowing this mutated gene is the cause of the cancers has given us hope because there is a way to try and stop it. We are not sure how these two medications will affect Jennifer on a daily basis. For now, we know that the next three weeks are a waiting game, and a new step in this process.

The cost of medication, treatments, and home healthcare are beginning to worry all of us. I have made a promise to Jennifer, she will not suffer or lose this battle because she does not have money to pay for any form of treatment, whether that is pill form or anything else.

Please keep Jennifer in your prayers. She needs them!

First Day of School

Jennifer got out of the hospital today and has moved into my dad’s house with me! We have had so much help with getting the girls ready for school tomorrow, if it wasn’t for Jessica Poppell and Brittany Sorrick we couldn’t have gotten everything done! After all this, all Natalie wanted was her hair french braided for her first day. Of course I have no french braiding skills so Brittany worked it out and she looks super cute!

Jennifer has been praying so hard she could be out of the hospital in time to see her kids off to school on the first day! Well, God worked that out for her and she will be able to see them off to school! Jennifer and Natalie both have been so strong and so wonderful through all this, I am so thankful the simple little things they both wanted worked out.

We have a long road but the support from this page, the support and prayer on facebook and all of our friends and family are making this struggle a little easier on all of us!

 

Diagnosis

Jennifer first found a spot of Melanoma on her lower back in 2007. Tom noticed a mole that looked like it was getting large and odd shaped. She made an appoint with her doctor and they determined it was melanoma and needed to be removed. We were all nervous then but it was a simple procedure and removed quickly. The second time, she found a spot on her shoulder. Again, it was quickly found and removed. At the time, we did not think this would become a long term issue. We felt blessed and so thankful that we found these two spots and quickly had them removed.

This time has been different. This time there wasn’t a skin melanoma spot that we could quickly find and remove. This time, Jennifer felt a bump in her breast. We were not sure how long it had been there before it became large enough to notice. She had just had a baby, a short 6 months earlier. She focus was completely on the baby. She made an appointment with her doctor. It took almost a month to see the doctor. The doctor quickly determined a mammogram, ultrasound, and biopsy was needed. We all had to wait two painstaking weeks for the test to be done and results to come back. On Friday, July 29th, Jennifer received a call saying the bump was benign. We were all so happy, we decided it was the best birthday gift our mother, Sharon, could have ever received. That following Tuesday, at a follow up appointment with the doctor. Jennifer was told that no it was not benign, it was malignant and he was not sure why she was told otherwise. Our world was changed from that moment on.

As fate would have it, that day, about an hour after receiving the news, Jennifer began to feel numbness in her left arm and leg. She became very lightheaded and dizzy. We brought her to the ER thinking maybe she was going into some kind of shock, because of the news. The ER doctor quickly determined she was not having a stroke and admitted her because the location of the previous biopsy looked infected and sore. When he was admitted tests showed she had cellulitis in the skin around the biopsy spot. The following day she had a MRI, CAT Scan and CT scan. The doctor was worried the cancer may have spread, because the cancer in her breast was large.

After all the results came back, we received the news that would change our family forever. There are very few moments in life when you know your entire existence has forever been altered. Before receiving the test results we were very confused on how melanoma could only show under the skin. There wasn’t a skin cancer spot, like every other time. We couldn’t understand how melanoma could happen in the breast. Dr. Jones came in the room and told Jennifer the cancer has spread to her brain. Mom was on speaker phone so she could talk to Jennifer and the doctor, each time the doctor came in. I thank God every day I was sitting with Jennifer the moment she realized how serious this is. All she could do is cry, ask me what she did to deserve this and repeat over and over how she did not want to die. There was nothing I could do, besides hold her, cry with her, tell her she did nothing to deserve this and we WILL fight this together.

Since that time, all over lives are different. Jennifer is in the fight of her life. I have declined my offer to go to Jerusalem for a year. My dads house now has 7 people live there. My mom has become the spiritual adviser for the entire family, or as I like to call it “tribe.”

A few days after the diagnosis of metastasized melanoma that has spread to the brain, Jennifer began radiation treatment. After 10 treatment the doctors will determine if targeted radiation or chemo is the appropriate next step. 13924875_1216070821746083_1918320945108808144_n