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A Letter to Family & Friends About My Journey – Part I

Letter #1
October 5, 2010
A letter to my family & friends

Pink EelephantPeople have said for centuries that if you look hard enough you will see that the world is made up of love, hope, happiness and amazing blessings every day. I have always tried to be a person who looks for those small moments (when they randomly pop up). Until one week ago, that is how I would have defined myself. That’s all changed.

After being diagnosed with breast cancer at the age of 36, I’d now define myself as someone who has been blessed to see the world in a completely different way. I now know that this world is made up of the most amazing, kind, loving, brave and brilliant people, who perform blessings and acts of kindness ALL THE TIME. These are not small moments that pop up (as I once believed) — they are everywhere, and they are for everyone.

Over the last week, so many of you have emailed, called, texted, emailed again, called again, texted again — over and over — with a single message, “We are thinking of you, Jen.”

I felt every single one of you — every single time. I have never in my life felt humanity wrap itself around me like it did (because of all of you) and say “you’ll be okay” … and because of that and because of all of you … I am doing well.

I came home from the hospital after my bilateral mastectomy surgery last Wednesday around noon with a huge appetite (not surprising) and went back and forth between naps, eating, small outings outside and more naps. The best way to describe how I felt during the past week is as though a huge pink elephant was sitting on my chest with no intention of leaving, nor losing any weight.

But, thanks to my wonderful parents and my beyond-amazing husband ... my pink elephant and I began a dance of recovery together. Some days the pink elephant had the upper hand, and some days I did … but we moved slowly together in unison.

Today is an important day — today is the day that my drains were taken out. For those of you who don’t know what surgical drains are — God bless you and I pray you NEVER find out. For those of you who do know — say a cheer out loud for me because all I can do is cry in happiness that those God-awful things are gone. (I think the pink elephant even did a celebratory dance today.)

And to all of you — I could feel your wishes, prayers, cheers and words of encouragement from all around the world. For that, I will be eternally grateful. I am doing well. I feel okay. The pink elephant and I have become friends.

I love you all, thank you.

If I can leave you with one thing … look for those blessings. They are everywhere … trust me … I can see them now.