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An Update

April 21, 2012 by Momma Bear

It has been an emotional day.  I’ll start with with an “up” for those of you that might have been a little concerned about the cubs’ teeth with some of the previous posts.  We just came from the dentist and they are both proud members of the “No Cavity Club”.  Helped ease some momma bear guilt, that is for sure.

And a serious down.  One that could drain the life force right out of me, actually.  I can’t even really process this yet.  A good friend has been a member of the CC (remember that’s the Cancer Club) with me, and received the news today that his MRI shows an aggressive growth of his cancer, Glioblasoma Multiforme.  And it FUCKING SUCKS.  I want to pull a Cub 2 right now and throw a monster tantrum, and when my momma bear asks me if I’m being “mature or immature” (new phrase courtesy of the counselor we will never graduate from), I will answer like him, “IMMATURE AND I DON’T CARE!”  Because this is SO UNFAIR.  (If I could be hopping up and down while I yell that, I would… but it would suuuure make me breathless these days.) Now his kids are in the predicament I hope to everything mine never will be, he’s having to think about and face everything that I don’t want to.  I guess this is real.  And it hurts.

I went to see a pulmonologist to get ready for this most recent biopsy, some torturous procedure where they intubate and do whatever it is they do for a biopsy.  Sometimes anesthesia is really the best way.  Anyways.  He was a very nice man, about my age.  It occurred to me that we should be sitting over a beer discussing mutual interests, not talking about a lung cancer recurrence.  He said, “You know, it always gets the good ones.”  I asked him, “Hey – how do you know?  I could be a total bitch!”  (Sometimes I think I am funnier than anyone else does.)  I have to say, though, in this case, cancer is after a reeeeeeally good one.  I’m toasting you tonight, Dustin.  You and your family will be in my heart and mind and prayers.

I spoke with the doctor from OHSU this afternoon.  It is such a blessing to have the people I do on my team.  No REAL news… we are going to use the time waiting for the genetic testing to plan the next step.  Whatever is going on with me, it is early.  I have been told several times there is no prognostic benefit to treating a recurrence early but it is taking all my self-control to not rush the chemo suite and jam some chemicals in my port by myself.  I will explore clinical trials as it takes time to enroll etc.  And I’m not taking my blue bracelet for Dustin off.

You know, you never really know how you are going to impact someone.  There are so many gifts in my day-to-day life.  One today was having lunch with my grandma.  The other came from a soul-sister’s mom, who not only embroidered me the MOST adorable dishtowels you’d ever see, sent along this note:


I want to tell you a story, a true story by the way, that occurred in my family.  When I was young, starting 1st grade actually, my mother contracted Rheumatic Fever.  After some time hospitalized, her doctor told my family that there was nothing else medicine could do.  However, the Army had an experimental medicine that he wanted to try with our permission.

Well, permission was finally given to the Army to try their medicine on a civilian.  My mother lived long enough to see the two grandchildren I gave her, and many others as well.

The experimental medicine was Penicillin.

Enjoy the towels, and maybe they will remind you of how we all pray the blessing my mother received will be passed on to you.


They will remind me.

No more words.  Except…
Hey Cancer?  FUCK YOU!!!!



  1. Michelle Zepeda says:

    I’m so sorry to hear about Dustin. I follow him on Fb and I too am worried for his boys. My prayers are with him and his family…and with you my friend. Keep up the great work, blogging. It must be therapeutic for you, cuz it helps me when I read it. Blessings to you my dear.

    • Momma Bear says:

      Blessings back to you and your family and mom too. I love my quilted wall hanging, thank you so much for that. It is sooo therapeutic for me I can’t even tell you – I am glad it helps you too.

  2. Kimberly Kyllo says:

    (((( )))) no words..just (((( )))).

  3. Wendy Tinseth says:

    I truly love your honesty on the posts! Fuck you cancer get the hell out of Jess’s body NOW!!! I’m here if you need anything at all!!!! Xoxo wendy

  4. Cat Strickland says:

    Jess, my heart is so breaking for Dustin and his entire family, especially his cubs… hardly any words suitable, but just so unfair, I am screaming with you!!! Really so touched that you would post my mama’s letter… and it’s true how we are all praying for you to beat this. You not only impact each and everyone of us lucky enough to have you in our lives… but it is my sincerest belief that you will impact the world of cancer fighters everywhere… YOU are a beacon of hope for us all. I love you, my soul sister!

    • Momma Bear says:

      And I love you. Your mom’s letter was amazing and will always be a treasure (as well as the adorable towels). I really couldn’t have done all this and come so far without my amazing friends. xoxo

  5. Gretchen says:

    I loved the note. It gave me goosebumps. Great post Jess.

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