We’ve set up this blog to help family and friends learn about, and keep up with, Jen’s fight with breast cancer. We also wanted a space to document and track everything for ourselves. If this is the first time you’ve visited this site, we know it might be overwhelming. We’re overwhelmed, too! But most of all, we’re grateful that you’re interested in learning more, and might join us on this journey.

Since the few weeks before Jen was officially diagnosed on March 8, 2012, things have started to move very quickly. As we begin to share the news, we know people will have many questions and may want regularly updates. We’ve also had our own questions, leading to a dizzying amount of information that we’re struggling to process. We hope this online space helps everyone stay informed and up to date, so we can focus most of our energy on Jen’s health and well-being.

We’re quickly learning that cancer brings many contradictions. The desire to tell no one, and the desire to tell everyone. Wanting to talk about it one moment, and the next, wanting to talk about anything else. Seeking out prayers, support, and encouraging words over here, but over there, wishing people would just drop the subject. Sometimes we’re wracked with fear, afraid of how our world may change. And sometimes we feel incredibly blessed to have the lives and friends that we do, almost eager to take on this harrowing adventure, full of resolve to charge straight through to the rest of our lives.

Often, we won’t know what to say. We may not say enough, or too much, or even say the wrong thing. We imagine this may be true for you, too. We promise to be as understanding as we can, if you promise the same.

Most of all, thank you for being here.

20 thoughts on “About

  1. I appreciated your words of support while I was dealing the diagnosis of my son’s brain tumor so I hope my words can help. Take them as you will, either with a grain of salt or as advice or not at all. This is not a death sentence as many people who are diagnosed with cancer and/or tumors believe it is at the beginning. Yes, there are going to be a lot of changes and unpleasantness but always try to remember you are never alone. How you feel and think are very valid emotions and try not to let anyone tell you that how you deal with this information and what you do about it is the wrong way. Your husband and children will always be there for you no matter how you feel, even if it’s depressed and sad or angry. The people I appreciated the most were the ones who didn’t run away when I was ‘going through it’ as a friend called it. They stuck by me no matter how I felt and that helped me be stronger dealing with the difficult times. Do your best not to push anyone away.I’ll be watching this blog and facebook posts and eagerly look forward to the ones that say things are going better. I know they will be soon. Your friend, James.

  2. While our paths have crossed for the most part, virtually, we’ll have you and yours in our thoughts and prayers. @jamesburke54

  3. Sending you both many many positive and warm vibes. Have spent years listening to your podcasts and even though you don’t know me , you welcomed me into your world through facebook, twitter and yes your podcasts. Your positivity and zest for life will conquer this hurdle too. My prayers and best wishes are always with you.

  4. This just made me cry. We’ve never even met in person, but I feel like I’m standing right there with you. (My daughter just walked in and asked why I was crying.) I will be checking in with this blog often and hoping for some good news. I know that when terrible things happen it’s when we’re most likely to pull ourselves into a shell. I tend to yammer on incessantly about nothing, but when something serious has happened in my life, I shut almost everyone out and keep it to myself. What you’re doing is far healthier and really will help with your process. If more people did it, we’d all know we weren’t alone.

    You’re in my thoughts, Jen. Take care, both of you.

  5. March 9th was the 7 year anniversary of my fathers untimely death from brain cancer. While it was an awful experience and I wouldn’t wish that on anyone there were a couple of life lessons I walked away with. One of them is talking publicly about what we were going through was critical to dealing with the emotions at the time. Holding those emotions in proved to be very destructive, and it was freeing in a way to discuss openly, like you had more power over the situation. Talking about cancer Lance Armstrong said “We have two options, medically and emotionally: give up, or fight like hell”. Choose the latter and you have an army backing you up. Give um hell!

  6. I second Neenz. And, when it comes to your sharing, there is no “wrong”. Fire away. Write whatever it takes to help all of you get thru this.

    Much love to ALL of you…Tutu Sue

  7. My daughter was diagnosed with Breast Cancer and underwent DM surgery. I have to tell you as a parent it scared the begeezus out of me She is doing well. So you will get through this. We have never met except through FB but my prayers go out to you and Jen.

  8. Promise promise promise… Do want to hear as much as you can possibly bear to share… Hugs and prayers— Please reach out for what you need as you have shared so much of yourselves over time..

  9. I promise as well. Although we have never met, I have “known” you for so many years through tweets and posts. May sound strange – but at the same time, in this day and age, it doesn’t. I have always known you to be a strong and courageous woman. You and your family are in my prayers. Imua Onipa’a – go forth, be strong.

  10. You put it exactly right. It is much easier to talk about this on your own terms when you feel like it. It can be exhausting repeating the same information over and over for people. Then, somehow you get in the position of reassuring them that you are okay. It’s also exhausting to be the one with the illness, labeled and treated differently sometimes. Being treated normally is the best gift you can be given at times. I know you have a wonderful support system and the prayers of hundreds of people. Thank you for sharing your journey with us. You’ve already helped me. I never knew that itchy breasts were a sign of something wrong. Now I know what to watch out for.

  11. Jen, thank you very much for sharing your story. It must have been terribly overwhelming and scary going through this until you found out your diagnosis but thanks to your husband whose encouraged you to have this blog and writing about it helps you to deal with this and to receive the support and prayers from your family and friends and also to let them know in this way what you and your family are going through without having to repeat your story many time over.

    I wish you success with your treatment and praying for a speedy recovery. Thank you again for having the courage and sharing your story so others may be informed of what to look out for and that you need to follow up with your doctor when something is unusual.

    Love and Aloha,

  12. Jen & Ryan,

    I’ve said many times that listening to you guys is like hanging out with old friends. It should come as no surprise that all this love and all these prayers are headed your way.

    Valerie and I will keep you in our thoughts and prayers and we know you will beat this.

    And we will see you in Oahu on our next trip!

    All the best,
    Mike & Valerie Ruggieri

  13. This doesn’t seem real but your blogging about it so it must be. I can’t imagine how crazy and scary it is for you both (and your family). Your cyber-family is with praying for you. Take good care.

  14. Jen stay strong you will survive and grow from this horrible experience. I am a cancer survivor. I had a complete hysterectomy one year ago and I am. Now cancer free I have been a fan of you and ryans since the transmission days and I love popspotting I will be praying for all of you. Linda

  15. I “know” your family through your podcasts, and have been wrapped up in my own world since late 2011, so I’m just catching up on all of this. Sending strength, faith, and hope.

  16. Thanks so much for this blog–it’s good to know how you guys are doing as well as finding out more about what this process is like! As a 40 year-old daughter of a breast cancer survivor the possibility that I too may contract this disease is higher than normal, so it’s good to know what I can expect, scary as it is. Better to be informed than not. I’m sorry you guys are going through this, but you really are helping a lot of people out there! Keep writing and I’ll keep reading.

    – A friend since The Transmission days (how I miss them!) 🙂

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