Today I leave for my breast cancer retreat in Nashville. I’m excited to go, but scared at the same time.

I miss my family already:(

Will update later… for now I am making signs to leave all over the house to surprise the girls:) I even got them a little gift they will have to treasure hunt to find in the house somewhere:)

ps- also adding a picture of Sophie in her Halloween Costume. Got it for a steal! yeah! Kaylee is going to be a cupcake and it will be a whole sweet treat Halloween Family:)




Rock For the Cure

These are part of the wonderful people that raise money so we can go on the retreat to Nashville. Thank You

Martina singing a song dedicated to breast cancer with some retreat members in it:)


The post…..

Ohhhhh how I have thought about whether or not to write anything. It took me awhile, but I decided that any of the 21,000 people that had read my blog so far… love and care for me, would want to know what’s going on.

I recently deleted Facebook. I just needed a break from constantly updating my life and every event in it. I also think I just need some space. After everything that has happened this year… I just needed some breathing room. I am not against Facebook by any means, I just want to take a step back from it. And it’s also not that I don’t want to enjoy others life events and joys….I just have my plate full right now, and need to focus on me….for now. My friends and family know my email and phone and can text and so on any time they want.

More news: my leg and numbness is no better… and I have even fallen once because I couldn’t feel my feet under me…so that has been crappy to deal with. But, pushing forward and doing the best I can with the situation.

More news: before I was diagnosed John and I were off birth control. We decided to go off, and just see what happened…. well damn me!! Cancer happened! hahah… no that wasn’t a result.. buy yes, Cancer did happen. Please remember I am 32. John and I have never had super in depth conversations about having a baby, we just talked about it from time to time and one day said we wanted another… but no pressure, I’m fairly young and we’ll see how long it takes. Well, I found the lump in December I had no idea it would take me down the path of cancer…. never in a million zillion years did I expect that. So, babies were off the table, and it was time to “Heal Jennifer.” …. so that’s what we did. It couldn’t be solved in a week or a month….. it couldn’t be done when I had free time…. It was ASAP get your butt ready for a rollercoaster….we are strapping you in NOW! Double mastectomy… chemo…. and so on… months and months and months and months and months of treatment. It honestly felt like it would never end…. but thankfully it did:) It was a battle… but I live to tell the story….

So….. when I was first diagnosed I talked to all my doctors and was honest. I was worried we would never get the chance to have another baby and it was over for us. I was told I am Triple Negative Breast Cancer (no hormone involvment) so…. out of all the types of cancer to have mine was the harshest and did have the highest mortality rate…. but……. the silver lining…….I wouldn’t really be on any post treatment meds, and we could try for a baby at some point when my body was ready. So, I figured….we’ll wait a bit longer, but we’ll get there some day:)

Fast forward to now. I had some blood work done to see if I was in menopause… it was crazy ass high! 93.5. So… yes I am most definetly in menopause. 😦 I have terrible hot flashes, so i’m not all that surprised really. We talked to a few doctors and the news wasn’t good. My body, as of now… cannot make a baby. But… more than that.. it may never. (insert sobbing here) It may never re-boot and allow us to conceive and that’s just a fact. The ability to wait 5 years and “just see” is unfortunately off the table. I have the genetic deformation Brac2. What does this mean? Well…. it means I was at a high risk for breast cancer…. and got it. I’m also at a high risk for ovarian cancer, so I need to have a hysterectomy at some point to prevent that from possibly happening. So…. time is of the essence a bit. You wouldn’t think at 32, it would be an issue… but for me it is. So, where does this leave us? We heard from another doctor who talked to a fertility person and again it was bad news. I heard everything from …. “be happy you have 2 children.” “you could still try invitro and donor eggs (at $30,000+) a try.” “some women get steralized after they find out they are brac2 positive.” “we’ll see where we stand in 5 years.” So, everything was sad and not what I wanted to hear. I cried the whole time, and I’ve cried everyday since.

I look at my Drivers License from time to time and see a young woman, early 30’s… who’s married, healthy …. so on and so forth. All the basic information that makes me a “person.” …..Then I look in the mirror. I see a bald, breastless woman who looks beaten, scarred and now I have to add infertile. It’s just a hard pill to swallow. I don’t know who I am?

I agree that I found the lump in my breast on my own and did whatever medically possible to save my life. Some of it was drastic, but I wanted the very best chance to live a long life. Having no breasts and no hair… well, living was worth more to me than any of that.

I feel ungrateful to say I want another baby, when some are never allowed to have a baby of their own…. but then again I look in the mirror and see a 32 year old lady who has been to hell and back, and who’s body was ready in December to do this.

But why the guilt? Why “should I just be happy with the two I have?” Why are they saying this to me? I don’t think that is very nice to say. I don’t judge others… I don’t ask each person I meet everyday if they got on their knees each morning and thanked God himself for the gift of sight….for the gift of hearing….for the gift of life? In my eyes every second on Earth is a gift… but do people stop their busy lives and really sit down and tell all the things they are thankful for each and everyday? The answer is no. You could go on and on and on about how ungrateful everyone is. It’s just such a slippery slope where you want to have your own sadness, without others judging you on whether it is a valid reason or not.

I am sad. And I will be hearbroken for awhile if I am told at 32 and because of Cancer, the ability to expand my family naturally…. is finished. It’s a loss.

And I will grieve.

We see a doctor related to this November 1st and we’ll see what she says and go from there. But, for now… I am just going to focus on living one day at a time and making the best out of each one of them:)

ps- for those of you who don’t know, I am heading to Nashville Thurs-Sunday of this week for a Young Breast Cancer Survivors Retreat. I won the all expense paid trip with an essay I wrote, and I am so excited. I am scared, but so over the moon I get the chance to be a part of it:)

pps- enjoy some updated photos:)











Not too much I want write about tonight….. I will save it for tomorrow when I have had more sleep. 😉 I met with Dr. Bond (my oncologist) and we had many many things to go over. First and foremost my tumor marker was 20 and my labs looked great! No cancer:) He also said that I need a hysterectomy within the next few years because I am Brac 2 positive. I am at an elevated risk of ovarian and cervical cancer. He mentioned I should go to a fertility expert in St. Louis and know our options. He’s not positive that because of the Brac 2 I may be at an elevated risk for cancer to come back if I get pregnant. He doesn’t really think thats true because my kind of cancer was negative for hormones…. but we need some answers. He’s also not positive I have any eggs left after chemo…. a risk I had to take to save my life. Before each chemo I would always think “go little eggs… go hide somewhere and be safe;)

So, for now it’s all just up in the air. We need more answers so John and I can make the best choice for our family. I know it is a lot of work having another child someday…. but my heart just tells me there is this little one out there waiting for me. I can feel it in my soul.

The Good Lord put me on this planet to be an amazing mother, and wife, and have my own family one day I could love and nurture. My kids are my world. I have to believe that what is meant to be…will be:) I just need to trust in Him.

Goodnight, God Bless:)






Can’t sleep, must write:)

not sure what to really say…. It’s 1:50 in the morning and my mind is all over the place. For some reasons I’ll mention… and others I won’t. Tomorrow I meet with my Oncologist and we will go over my Meds and hopefully my lab results. Sometimes it’s hard to believe I may get my blood checked every month for the next 5 years…. sounds crazy. Although I’m not sure I’d want it any other way. The key to cancer in my mind is: find it early! So, if going once a month helps ease my mind… well it’s the least I can do:)

This has been a crazy month. The kids started back at school, I am an empty nester during the day for the first time in 10+ years…..and there are other family things going on. It’s stressfull on all who is involved and I’m really going to try to keep positive about my own life and issues. See, this year changed me. I would hope everyone would say for the better, but some may not. Myself, my husband, my kids and my family were dealt a reality this year none of us saw coming. I can’t even begin to put into words how Cancer changed everything… including me. Somedays I think, “if I can beat cancer, I can do anything!” And that is really how I feel. My children have been through hell… my husband has been through helll…. and I have been through hell. And now we are trying to find all the pieces and put them back together again. I think we are doing a pretty good job:) But, most of all… above all else… I’m really starting to feel better. I talk about cancer much less, and the more time I get past me when it comes to this the better. I’m happy about that:)

I can finally see through the fog.

But…… I need myself and my kids and my husband to stay in this happy place with me. With everything that is happening around us…. we can be supportive, we can be loving, but our goal is to keep US moving in a positive direction with love and positive energy. We have been through the darkest of times, and now I see the light. I’m not giving that up for anything.

Sometimes I want to sit and complain about all the time I lost when I was sick…. but then again I rejoice at the fact that God gave me a second chance…. and to enjoy every single day, because nothing in life is a guarantee. It’s sort of a back and forth motion on feelings.

I hope this year continues on a positive path for the 4 of us. I want to always strive to spend as much time with my kids as possible. They are young for such a short time, I want to embrace every single moment I can. Whether it’s a snuggle in bed watching tv, or playing in the hot tub…. I just want to see them smile and enjoy their young carefree lives. They are just kids.

I also want to make more time for my husband (that is not work related;) We get very little time alone, and it’s something we are always working on. Sometimes weeks and weeks go by and we are never away from the kids for a single second, and that’s tough. So, carving out more time just him and I needs to happen. We have to make US a priority. I want him to look at me each day the way he did 11 years ago when I walked down that isle:)

It is 2am… time to wrap things up:) Nothing in life is easy…. but I’m not sure it’s supposed to be. But, I will love my family till my last breath is taken. They can look back at this blog when they are older and realize one thing is for sure…. I am nothing without them. I fought this fight because I wasn’t done with them. I needed more time with them, and I would do whatever needed to be done to get to that Goal.







I made it!

Well, the day has come. In just a few short hours (because I can never sleep;) both my girls will be off to school. This summer went by so fast, and I wish I could get some more time. I wanted to spend as much time as possible with them. I know they are both getting older, and this time is precious. I feel like I had to give up so much time while I was sick, I didn’t want to be away from them anymore. So, it was a wonderful summer:) I know the girls enjoyed all the stuff we did together as a family. There are some things in life you can get back, but sadly time is not one of them. I started to get back to the “old me” again… and it felt good. I have so many memories of a great summer with them I wouldn’t trade for a million dollars. Down deep I know my girls better than most anyone else… and I know they needed me. They wanted their mommy to wake up everyday, and tuck them in at night…just the little things I use to take for granted….never again. Life is precious, and I’m not wasting a moment.

So, tomorrow I will no doubt shed some tears. My little girls are growing up infront of my very eyes. I am not exactly sure why I am so emotional… but I am. I think for awhile it will just be fear….. that maybe tomorrow was a day I wouldn’t have made it too if I didn’t do that breast exam and find cancer. I was told my kind of cancer was the most aggressive and it gets very bad…very fast. It was enough to scare me. I guess to be honest, I’m still scared:(

I was 8 years away from getting my first needed mammagram…. the doctor said it would have been 7 1/2 years too late for me. So…at 32, with a husband, a toddler, and a 9 year old… this wasn’t something I expected. But, I did it! With the help from the most wonderful friends and family. I kicked cancers ass… and this bald mama will proudly walk into school tomorrow with a smile on my face and realize just how lucky I am to be here.

God had mercy on me, and I am forever grateful. I went through the pitts of Hell…. but tomorrow when I see Sophie & Kaylee walk into their classrooms, I know in my heart I wasn’t ready to leave this Earth. I still had more to do. My family and my children are my whole world. I wouldn’t have done any of the things I did if it wern’t for the fact that I needed more time with them. Moments like tomorrow are the reason Cancer survivors fight every single day…. through the pain… through the hurt…. through it all. At it’s core, making memories is what it is all about. We don’t want that cut short because of cancer. So we continue to fight…. and never stop.











20,000 VIEWS! wow

Wow! 20,000 views… I am amazed everyday at the support I have been shown this past year. In honor of 20,000 views I will copy my very first blog post below. Ohhhh how far we’ve come:)



So, lets see… where oh where to begin. Should I start with the part where my life falls to pieces and I am part of of the worst misery of my entire life? Better not scare you off too soon. Well, a bit about me. I am a mother of 2 children. Kaylee is almost 10 and Sophie is 4 1/2. I have been married to my husband John 11 years this year. We live in Rolla, MO where my husband works at the hospital as a director. I am a stay at home mom. Clearly God thought I didn’t have nearly enough to do and dropped the biggest bombshell of my life on me.

Hell Has Begun:

Sept. 2012 I had my yearly women’s check up. I had my normal breast exam and so on and all was good. What most wouldn’t know is just a few days later John and I decided to start working on a third child. How Doesn’t seem like work at all. 🙂 Well, months passed and sadly nothing happened. My dreams of telling the good news to everyone at the Christmas table wasn’t going to happen. Dreams shattered…No big deal right? During December while laying in bed I felt a pain in my breast and did a self-exam…and there it was. The start of the longest journey of my life. I called my doctor just to let them know and get a mammogram just to be sure. I knew we were trying for a baby, and it was the smart thing to do.

December 17th 2012 I went and did my mammogram and ultrasound. I curled my hair, wore a nice outfit and was ready to do it, and just get it over with. I go back to the waiting room and all I can notice is how old every other lady was. What the hell was I doing there ? I am fine. This is all just a big mistake…right? I go back into the room and get ready for the booby squishing of a lifetime. So, I drop my top, and it all begins. I look up at the computer screen and there it was…a huge white spot in the middle of the breast. I went NUTS! Crying and crying and crying. I called my husband to meet me at the Breast Center and comfort me. He does just that. We are told a biopsy needs to be done. Sound painful right? Seems like some sort of needle is about to be jabbed into my boob…ouch. Well, we decide to do it. To my surprise they do it right there and then. I don’t even get 5 minutes to collect my thoughts before I need to start making decisions. I lay down while they proceed. It’s not terribly painful…but by no means pleasent. Then the wait begins. Painful and horrible I actually think the wait is the worst part. The night of the 20th I couldn’t wait anymore and called the nurse and left a message crying. I had to know something…anything. Christmas was 5 days away and it was all I could think of. Then it happened. What I thought was the greatest phone call of my life. 5:30pm a nurse calls and says the magic words.The.Test.Is.Negative! Yessssss. I cry and cry and call everyone is crying I didn’t have cancer! Praise the Lord!

No Take Backs:

A few weeks later I realize that my new iphone 5’s voicemail needed to be set up. So I did. 14 voicemails pop up. Many from the doctor’s office. So I call to see what’s going on. I am told something looked funny on the mammogram and it’s best to have a lumpectomy. What??? Why?? I was told it was negative. No take backs! Basic playground rules apply. Well, after being pissed off I realized I better just go ahead and do it for piece of mind. We wern’t pregnant yet, so I might as well.

Surgery, no big deal right? January 10th 2013 I go for my lumpectomy. I’m scared, I’m a bit pissed, I’m everything all at once somehow. I get through the surgery and go home. Not only am I still pissed off… now I’m in pain too. A few days later something happened in our bedroom. It happened with my husband, and sadly it was not fun… …it was sad. As he stood in the bedroom changing my bandages I began to cry. I had a huge scar that I didn’t expect to see. Then he cries, and now I’m hysterical. Something has changed. He’s looking at me like he never has before. He is scared I really am indeed sick.

Positive for what?

January 16th 2013 I am called by a nurse that I need to come in and have them check my incision at 4:30. I say are my results in? And they say…not yet. Okay, no biggie. I’ve waited before, it’s nothing new to me. During the day my mom keeps telling me to make sure John was with me. All I kept saying was “mom it’s just a bandage change, stop worrying.” I drove myself to the doctor and waited for John. I went back, they looked at my incision and John came in. We sat there waiting to see if we could go home or not, and here comes my surgeon. He walks in the patient room, sits on a rolling chair and begins to tell my the lumpectomy came back positive. The next words out of my mouth are “Positive for what?” Cancer he says. That was it. 5:15 on January 16th 2013 ….the entire world stopped. I didn’t hear anything, I didn’t see anything… nothing. Just me looking at John. A few minutes later the blood rushed back to my brain and reality was back. I have CANCER. How the hell did this happen? I am 32 damn years old. What was going on??? The only words I remember are: Aggressive. Mastectomy.& Chemo. He tells me other words, but I don’t remember any of them.

Time To Show Your Cards:

My mom was already in town, and my dad was coming through Rolla on business and was at my house. I had John drive me home and we barely spoke a word. We had a plan, I take my parents to the bedroom and tell them and he keeps the girls in the living room. I tell my mom and dad to come to our room and the only thing I remember is my dad saying “well, this can’t be good.” I sit them on my bed and say it for the first time ever. Here it is, the end of the card game. All the cards are out and there is only one thing left to do…it’s time to show your cards. I say the words… I.Have.Cancer. They look at me, they look at each other…and then it’s all a blur. I know they said everything inspirational possible… I just don’t remember. I was far away in another world where I didn’t have cancer. So, then it begins. We tell family, and we start to absorb it all.

Bring on the Tests:

We already have an appointment setup with the Oncologist who will decide my fate on the 23rd of January. We even have a surgery date set for the following day the 24th. The days leading up to this is filled with tears, panic, anger, sadness and everything in between. What a mess this was. God, just make it all go away. Please.

The next couple days I have many tests run, but the important one is the Pet Scan. You get inside this long tube and this machine is going to tell you if you are Screwed. Royally Screwed. or Totally Screwed. I did the test, came home and took a hot bath. Through the entire test I had this horrible feeling it was going to light up like a Christmas Tree. Cancer Cancer Everywhere. Well, as I lay in my bath John comes home and tells me finally something positive. The pet scan was clear. It didn’t show the cancer had spread. What does that mean? I don’t really have a clue. But, it sounded good…and about now I would take anything that sounded even slightly positive.

Jan. 21st 2013

Get Prepared!

I wish I could just bury my head in the sand until this is all over… but that’s just not reality. Sadly, the day someone looks at you and tells you that you have cancer doesn’t mean you can stop your life. I soon realized this. It has been 5 days since I was told this news and it’s not getting any better. I just need to buck up and get things done. And that’s what I’m doing. Laundry… cleaning… emailing … mentally preparing… etc. etc. I’m about to have a major surgery with 2 kids and a husband at home, I have to prepare. In preparation I had to send an email to my husband, parents and in-laws. It’s as follows:

What a crazy 4 days it’s been. Thank you to all of you who have helped, and will continue to help. My mind is clear that I want Dr. Voight to do the surgery. I have trusted him before, and I will trust him again. I looked into his eyes and I have to listen to my heart when I saw him look back at me that he will protect me.

John has been hiring pcrmcs physicians for many years now. Every dinner I go to I look at these doctors and tell them how Rolla became my home. How I hated this place, but then how I fell in love with it.

How the Doctors and their families and spouses became our friends. I have to trust my heart and know these same people will keep me safe. Dr. Voight said I just need to start getting some of these things under my belt and behind me…and that’s just what I’ll do.I have to give up control, and that’s not easy for a Sicilian 😉

I will beat cancer and maybe somehow someway along the way I will impact the lives of other women to self-check and save their own lives too.




Too sweet…

All about the kittens:)

Wow! What a crazy week. School is about to start back up again and things are getting nuts. We went on a quick trip to Branson with John’s family and that is when our little family expanded:) We were staying at a fishing lodge and soon after arriving the kids came running up to us saying they found kittens. They were hiding behind a metal diesel drum out in the cold and rain and it was so sad. I would have never told the kids to try and get them out, but I wasn’t sure they would survive where they were. So, one by one we got them out. There were 4 total. We brought them in and cleaned them up and then went to the Office to find out if they belonged to anyone. He told us that weeks before someone had kicked a dog and a pregnant cat out of a moving car and dumped them on his property. He asked us if we wanted any of them and that he was going to put them in a box by the Office marked “Free” the next day.

I am 32 years old and have never owned a cat as an adult. We had one as a child, but I barely remember. So, taking any of them home was no where on my radar. But as the days passed, and they just looked so sweet and helpless, we just couldn’t resist. We told the girls we’d take 1 home. Well, after a Facebook post about it I learned that they are better off if you keep them as a pair because it gives them someone to play with….and snuggle with:) So….. that was it…. Pickles and Cucumber (the girls named them) were coming home to Rolla. When we got them home I set up a vet appt. and found out they were around 1lb each and between 8-9 weeks old…. oh and they are both girls:) 🙂 More good news was to follow because John parents decided to keep the other 2! Who are also both girls.

So….. long story short, our little family expanded and welcomed 2 little kittens. They may have been tossed aside, but we are ready to show them what a loving home is all about. I was so scared bringing them home that they would be a pain. But, honestly they are so sweet. They use their litter box, and roll around and play with one another and it is just too cute! Peanut is being introduced slowly and he is not being too bad.

I had it in my mind that cats were these smelly little creatures with claws…. but they arn’t so bad. They have been so good so far and I barely notice them around. No smells at all:) lol. Anyhow, I guess my heart was open and ready and that feels so good. Everything in me said “don’t bring these things home.”….. but there was just something about them I couldn’t walk away from. Maybe down deep I know that my heart was open because we wanted another baby and that had to be put on hold for awhile…but whatever the case is, we helped save these little girls….and that feels great:)

ps- still having trouble with my legs and feet from chemo and that is taking a toll… but I’m not going to ruin this sweet and adorable post with that stuff:) Another day.








This Free App puts a reminder on your phone to do your monthly Self Breast Exam.

Self Exams=Saved Lives

This is how I found my cancer, so any tool to promote self exams is a good thing. It’s a free App, so download it now!



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