(Jennifer and I – December 2014)
This might be the hardest post I have ever written. We knew 2017 was going to be hard. We knew it. We even signed up for most of it. But… we didn’t know it was going to be THIS HARD. We knew that we were adding a new edition to our little family, but we didn’t know how hard the end of pregnancy would be. We knew were changing jobs, we knew we were moving, we knew we were living in a temporary location until our house was done being built… we knew these things. We mentally prepared for them. But, we weren’t prepared to hear the gut-wrenching word CANCER in 2017.
Kevin’s sister, my sister-in-law, Jennifer, has been diagnosed with Stage 4 Breast Cancer that has metastasized to her bones. She received the diagnosis days after delivering her sweet new baby boy into the world.
(Jennifer and Baby Kevin – July 2017)
I share this with you, because over the past five years, you have all become my friends. I have shared countless blog posts on my faith, our marriage, our kids, our joys, our failures… our life. And, I share this with you to ask for your support and prayers for my sister-in-law and our family.
This has been what seems to be a long journey so far with lots of highs and lows. Re-wind to a year ago August, you may remember that my sister-in-law got married in Hilton Head. We had such a fun wedding vacation. We watched her walk down the aisle as a beautiful bride, then in March, we found out she was expecting. We were over the moon excited to add a new little niece or nephew to the crew.
Then, in April, the same week we found out her little baby was a boy we got the horrible news. The biopsy and scans revealed that Jennifer has breast cancer. Amidst the joyous time of pregnancy, she faced the agony of chemotherapy. She experienced her sweet baby kicking in her belly and losing her hair in the shower. She was not able to undergo all scans due to her pregnancy, but her team of doctors were confident in her treatment plan. At this point, she was officially diagnosed with Invasive Ductal Carcinoma Grade 3 Stage 2A based on the scans they could perform.
Baby Brody made his entrance into the world October 12, 2017 at 11:51pm. We were all relieved and excited for a healthy baby boy. There were plans for a mastectomy and radiation in the next few weeks, then everything changed. Our world halted. Day after day, we kept finding out they were doing more tests, another scan, more blood-work, another biopsy, more needles. It was bad news after bad news. They found that the cancer had spread to her bones in her spinal and pelvic area. Then, the surgeon confirmed that if one spot on her spine was not removed, it could paralyze her. Surgery was scheduled and completed successfully.
They left the hospital with a new baby, a 14 inch incision down her spine, a confirmation of Stage 4 Breast Cancer and a rather bleak outlook from the doctors about her future.
Friends, my heart just hurts daily and my mind is anxious for the future. Jennifer is in good spirits and her constant joking self. She is leaning into her sweet husband Rick, son Luca, new baby boy Brody, our family and her friends. We are surrounding her with lots of love, fun, and positive attitudes. She will fight, she is fighting. But, we are all scared. We are all fearful. And we need your prayers.
If you have any questions or comments you can feel free to share them and share her story. I want to ask again for you and anyone you know to pray for her. Our family would truly appreciate it. I hope that sharing the details of our journey will not only help her but help others, just as the goal of this blog has always been.