one year cancerversary

A year ago today, I knew I would get the call. I kept myself busy while I waited. I met Michele at the Minneapolis Farmer’s Market (it’s open everyday). I bought flowers, mostly annuals. We enjoyed fancy coffee drinks, took our youngests to Wild Rumpus bookstore and parted ways. I took Phoebe to an afternoon camp and drove home. I grabbed my gardening gloves, kept my phone close and planted flowers. I’m so glad I planted one perennial. A bleeding heart. It came back this year. Just like me. I called Brent and let him know. He came home. We cried and held each other and then picked up Phoebe. And then I went back to gardening.

It was Pati’s birthday that June 1st. She’s my good friend, neighbor and she’s in my book club. She brought dinner and wine. Michele brought fresh-from-her-garden salad. We didn’t tell the kids. We cried and spoke of the future in hushed tones. We laughed loud and hugged and I felt more joy than sadness. (Let it be noted that I was probably in a bit of shock.)

This morning, I announced to the kids that it was my cancerversary. After the kids went to school, Brent and I stopped at Dogwood Coffee and got fancy coffee drinks. Then we headed to the Minneapolis  Farmer’s Market where we picked up flowers, mostly annuals. Brent had to run to work after chopping down an insanely overgrown bush.  Molly and Rachel came by and helped me clear out the mostly abandoned garden. We stopped and enjoyed a meal together delivered by BiteSquad courtesy of Jen and Kari (I combined gift certificates, ladies). Neighbors stopped by and chatted for a bit. Megan came and planted flowers. Pati brought a bottle of Sauvignon blanc (on HER birthday). It was a wonderful day, not too different from the day I got the call. I felt much more joy than sadness. (Let it be noted that I have experienced MUCH more joy than sadness this past year. And the deepest sadness had nothing to do with my cancer.)

These names. They are just a few. There are so many. Sometimes, I think I just want to write a list of names as a blog post to say, “Thank you. I remember you. You made hard days lighter.” But I’m so afraid I’ll forget someone and they will feel like it didn’t matter to me. Just know that every note, every gift, every silent prayer that I didn’t even know about, all of it was so kind. I’m so grateful. Beyond words.

Today on this Cancerversary, I just wanted to check in and let you know that I am well, and busy with life like normal people. I started working at Steller Hair Co. My parents still live with us and we are enjoying multi-generational living. That could be its own blog…or reality tv show. I’m still treated in various medical ways to prevent cancer, but we are hopeful that there is no cancer actively growing in my body. I pray everyday that I get to have many more years. And, as strange as it might sound, I’ll always be grateful for this last one.  


4 thoughts on “one year cancerversary

  1. Jenna: You are in our constant thoughts and prayers and will remain so, read Deuteronomy 30:9 this week if you get a chance. One of my favorites, maybe because it has livestock in the verse, but I think for other reasons as well. Keep on keeping on and we will keep those prayers going.


  2. Jenna. I say it again. Thank you for blogging. Little did I know this would help me as my good friend was told yesterday his bladder cancer has likely reappeared. God bless you! Keep the joy!


  3. God bless you and your family! Just as you’ll never know how many people were out there praying for you and sending their most loving thoughts, so you’ll never know how many lives you touched and blessed by sharing this journey so honestly and generously. Thank you! And blessings for the years to come!


  4. Jenna, I’m so glad you are back!! I have been missing your writing. Can you please keep Lemons going? ❤️ One of the things I want to do when I move to Minne is drink a tall glass of sweet lemonade with you. Then I want you to cut my hair! 🙂 Congratulations on your special day of triumph and grace!!! Can’t wait to hug the boogers out of you!!!
    Love you ❤️


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