Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Matters of the Body and Heart

I am delighted to tell you that I am writing this from my patio where I am enjoying sunshine, 60 degree weather and flip flops on my feet. Spring is coming!

We had our follow up appointment with our oncologist, Dr. Gupta, this morning. My heart is full of things to share so first I'll give you the medical update and then I'll give you my "heart" update.

After reviewing the results from my PET scan, Dr. Gupta was very pleased to inform us that I am in stage 1. (can I get a "hooray"?!?!) This is the best news we could've received today. The cancer is only present in the mass we were already aware of. The other huge praise from today's appointment came from a conversation between a fertility specialist and Dr. Gupta. With my particular type of chemo, I am at a very low risk and have a low chance of losing function in my ovaries. Look out world, there could be little Tuggles running around wild someday!

Next steps: I will have my first chemo treatment one week from tomorrow (Thursday, March 18th). After seeing how small my veins are, they decided it would be best for me to have a "port" put in. This is sort of like an IV that will be put in my chest and will remain there until I am finished with my chemo treatments. This makes me excited because it means less needles! My chemo treatments will be every other Thursday. After four treatments I will have another PET scan to see how the cancer is responding to the chemo. Once chemo is completed I will begin radiation which will occur daily. I am ready to get started!

Now for my "heart" update. I started thinking about what I wanted to write on here days ago - long before we received such great news today. Regardless of whether it was stage 1 or 4, my words below were going to be the same.

For those of you who know me, you know that I've kept a journal since I was a little girl. In flipping back through a few days ago, my eyes were drawn to my entry from October 24, 2005. This day was a huge day for me in my life, a day where God had big things planned. I had been wrestling with God for years over one issue in my life. The specific issue is irrelevant but can be boiled down to who I was going to let be in charge of my life - me or God. This was the night that it finally clicked. I had been reading Joshua chapter 4 - in my opinion, this is one of the most powerful chapters in the Bible. The more you dig into it the more you will find layer after layer of God's hand and faithfulness. In my journal I wrote seven truths that I learned that night - truths that made me smile as I have read them the past few days because of how they resonate. I share them with you now because every single one of you reading this blog has some sort of trial/tribulation/problem that you are going through, big or small. It could be something going on at your work or your school, something in your marriage, a hurt, a disappointment or a sadness. Life is full of these and it is good to always come back to what we know.

1. You speak to us. (all of my journal entries are written to God so that is who the "You" is!)
2. You take us on journeys that will challenge us to our very core.
3. You've already cut the path You want us to take.
4. The halfway point or "middle" (Joshua 4:4-9) is the point in time where You call us to mark, an important place. This can be a place where doubt and indecision can creep in as it is hard to see where we began and we cannot yet see the end. This is the place that requires FAITH.
5. It is vital that we take note of Your action and Your doing in our lives.
6. You are always FOR us.
7. There is no place that You will take us that you have not already prepared for us.
Under these truths I wrote, "I trust You and my walking by faith will be my guide as I am honored and purposed with being Your daughter. You did not call me to a life of mediocrity, but a life of passion."

I echo these words tonight and they are still as true to me today as they were then. I am praying for each and every one of you that God would bless you in your circumstance and that you would have the faith to trust Him.

"Because Your love is better than life, my lips will glorify You." ~Psalm 63:3


  1. Jenny, I am in tears reading this. I am humbled because I was hoping that through your blog I would have an opportunity to be an advocate in prayer and an encouragement to you and John. But so far, I have just been blessed immensely by your attitude, your faith, and I am amazed that you would write that you are praying for your readers - Jenny, we are here to be praying for you! And we are. God is really using you and John as a testament to his love and faithfulness. You are in my prayers. I am so grateful for the good news!!

  2. Yeah! Praise God and may there be many little Tuggles in future years!

  3. Reading this has brought tears and me to my knees in praise for the second time today. The first time was when I heard this wonderful news, and I was totally overcome with gratitude. And now I'm just in awe of your faith and your testimony - and your prayers for others! Sometimes I can't believe the infinite blessing God has given me in allowing me to watch you become who you are. I couldn't be prouder of you - and I couldn't love you more.

  4. Jenny -- HOORAY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Such awesome news! Stage 1 - HOORAY! Fertility doctor news - HOORAY! Not lots of needles - HOORAY! Getting started soon and getting this behind you - HOORAY! My heart is full of praise and thanksgiving. Beth Moore says she claps when she witnesses God doing amazing things and I feel like clapping right now, but I'm at the Library and people might frown on that! :)

    After reading your old journal entry above, I definitely believe you should write a book someday. I'm serious! I know you and Sam once emailed about the Joshua "middle" part -- reminding us of David Crowder's song lyrics "come to the water's edge" -- "come and listen, come and listen to what the Lord has done". Actually, Sam was so moved and inspired by your thoughts and insight on this topic that he retyped your emailed thoughts and they are framed and hanging in his apartment still today. You have such a gift for writing!!
    Most importantly though, thank you for sharing your journal -- what a blessing and source of encouragement to me, and an example of your faith! I'm going to type out your seven truths as a reminder to me.
    You are so awesome, Jenny. I came to the library to send YOU love, but have received, instead, love FROM you and love from God just reading your words. You inspire me.

    Sleep well tonight. love you, Aunt Lisa

  5. Jenny: You too inspire me. You keep me going by reading your blogs daily. What an inspiration you are sweetie. Such wonderful news. NO AWESOME!! GOD IS GOOD ALL THE TIME, ALL THE TIME GOD IS GOOD. I remember that so many times but I'll tell you what through all your writings you are truly an inspiration. We love you Jenny (and John of course). You're like the daughter we never had. We are so happy for you. Looking forward to celebrating you kicking cancers butt!

  6. I am beginning to think that Hodgkins causes pregnancy :) since everyone I talk to that knows someone that had it says now they are fine and just had a baby! Here's to darling little Tuggles!(And thank you for your faithfulness to our Awesome God).

  7. I'm going to try posting a comment AGAIN! Guess the last one went out into cyber-space somewhere! I am ALL FOR little Tuggles running around! You certainly inspire me, my beautiful daughter-in-love! You have encouraged me to read more of the Word, study more and TRUST more! I love you! J'net

  8. I'm ALL FOR little Tuggles running around! Bring 'em on! Jenny, you are such an inspiration to me. You encourage me to read more of the WORD, study more and TRUST more! I love you my sweet daughter-in-love! J'net

  9. Dear Jenny, My heart both breaks and rejoices for you as I read your notes. Ryan told us over the weekend and I hope you won't mind if I follow your journey. You are a great inspiration and blessing and I am and will be humbled and honored to lift you and yours to the Father. Thanks for wearing your faith and love for our Awesome God so well and openly. Blessings, Pat Hart

  10. I can't count all the people I know who are praying for have a shield about you...........look about you, the Army of the Lord is here to battle for you. Dad

  11. I love this, Jenny. Thank you so much for sharing your heart with us.