When the Chef’s Wife has Cancer

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There’s really no easy way to tell you this.   But after reading the title, it’s pretty obvious what this post is about.

I’m not the greatest at easing into things.  I just kind of say them as it is.  So here it goes.

I have been diagnosed with Stage IV breast cancer which has spread to my sternum.  It’s been a long month full of tests, waiting, more tests and Dr. appointments.  Because of this, I have dropped off the face of Social Media the past couple months. No newsletter, only a few new blog posts, no happy birthday posts on Facebook . . .  I just didn’t feel like writing and my life just completely turned upside down.

My emotions have been all over the place as we found out news (and then went on vacation for two weeks which was AMAZING!!!!  Hope to tell you about that one day soon!).

the chef's wife has cancerEveryone responds to news like this differently.  I always knew I would get some sort of cancer, I just didn’t expect it this young.  And honestly, I thought I would get a clear report like I did last year about my mammogram when I went in.  That was not the case.

Of course I wonder why me?  Why now?  But honestly, those thoughts are few and far between.  There’s more thoughts about being sick and what that will feel like and how my family will respond when I start to get sick.  I believe that in every difficult situation God allows in our lives, there is always a reason.  I may not always know the reason, but I trust that there is one.

As Tom and I walk this journey together, we both completely trust that God is in control.  He has the power to heal me if He chooses.  He might choose to do that and we will pray for that.  But if He has a different plan, that is fine as well.  Our prayer is that throughout this journey He will be honored and glorified in every situation.

I know that many of you have different beliefs in God than we do and so I might sound crazy or like I’m preaching at you. I don’t mean to sound that way if I do.  But this is my life . . . the truth about what we are feeling and what is going on.  While I will admit I am scared about the treatments to come and seeing my family  and friends struggle with this diagnosis, I have no fear of death, whether it be from this cancer or something else entirely.  You guys know you can always email me about anything, and now is no different.  I am happy to “talk” with you anytime.  🙂

As I look back on the past month it is truly amazing to see God’s hand in each part of the situation.

First, I found out just after school started (and remember this is the first year all 3 of our girls are in school full time).  I do not have to worry about getting a babysitter to go to the Dr. and do tests most of the time.  Just a few months ago, that was not the case.

Second, with all the job changes and moving around in my husband’s job, God had the perfect one lined up for him for when I got sick.  In his corporate position, not only are they very understanding, he will be able to work from home a lot of the time to take care of me.  (Realistically, between us chef wives, that will probably mean working every day for shorter hours with one very long day in the office/restaurants.)  If he was still an Executive Chef, I don’t know what we would do.  This past month and a half, he has been setting up computer systems and an infrastructure to make that happen. (My husband is AMAZING!)

Third, his current position provides our entire family with good medical coverage.

The outpouring of love and concern from friends and family has been amazing.  We have a long road ahead of us, but we are strong and will take one day at a time.

I will be having chemotheraphy for 4 months, then surgery and then radiation.  With that treatment plan, I will probably not be around much online, but I will do what I can.

I do have 40 chef wife shirts sitting in my closet that I’d love to get up on the website.  (WOOHOO!!  They turned out great.) I’m hoping to do that this week, but we’ll see if I can pull that off with all the appointments and things going on.  (If only one of you lived close enough to help me sell them!!!  Still wish we all lived near each other to support each other!)

I have started a blog (big surprise, I know) as a way of keeping family and friends updated about what’s going on.  You can find it over on LeavingCancerBehind.com.  I’ll be updating it as much as I can as I go through treatment.

I guess that’s it for now.  Hugs to you all.  I know the holidays are fast approaching.  Please keep supporting each other.  We are all in this crazy chef life together!

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From one chef’s wife to another,

Jennifer

 

 

22 Comments

  1. Chelsea

    Oh Jennifer, I just wanted to send my support and healing from across the seas.
    I’m so glad that your chef will be able to take care of you. We will all be here fighting right along with you
    xo

    Reply
    • Jennifer

      I am still kind of in awe about this new/not so new anymore position. #sothankful

      Reply
  2. Tiffany

    Oh Jennifer! Hugs and love and all sorts of kindness and good vibes to you and your family. I know I’ve never met you, but your blog and FB group have been a wonderful outlet and support for me and for so many others. I’m glad your hubby will be there for you, and in whatever way I (we) can, we’ll be there for you too. <3 to you and your family.
    Tiffany recently posted…Cough/CoolMy Profile

    Reply
    • Jennifer

      Thank you Tiffany. So funny how many of us have never met, but yet if we did meet in person, I’d introduce you as my friend. Love technology that helps us connect with others with whom we have so much in common!

      Reply
  3. Alisa

    Hope you know I am here for whatever you need. Just wish I lived closer so I could actually do more. Hugs and prayers!!

    A

    Reply
    • Jennifer

      Thank you so much Alisa. Wish we lived closer SO I COULD MEET YOU!! One day!!!

      Reply
  4. Joanne

    What a blog! You have amazing strength! Once again you open up and explain to us all how life is, talking about the experiences and fears that we all think about but do not necessarily express, whether it be about dating a chef or this time your fight against cancer! You truly are an inspirational woman who has a very realistic view with an amazing ability to write even when the content isn’t always one of joy or laughter! I wish you all the best for your treatment and your future, time with your chef and your family and a successful recovery x

    Reply
    • Jennifer

      It’s interesting . . . the more I write, thinking I’m alone in what I’m going through, the more I learn I’m not. We all just need to speak up more so we don’t feel so alone!

      Reply
  5. Gail

    Jennifer, I received the email from Cathy N about this news and I’m so sorry to hear it. We will be praying for your complete healing because God is good. I pray you keep your positive outlook as the days ahead will be trying. I’m happy you can see blessings in the midst of trials. God bless, love to you and your family, Gail

    Reply
    • Jennifer

      Oh Gail, thank you so much! 🙂 I hope I can keep a positive attitude too!!

      Reply
    • Jennifer

      I was hiding under the covers in our bed . . . literally. They didn’t miss it in the mammogram last year though. It wasn’t there. Crazy to go from nothing to a lump almost 6 cm in diameter!

      Reply
  6. Shannon

    Jennifer… I’m so sad to hear this, and so glad to hear that your husband will be able to be there. What a blessing. We’ll definitely keep you in our prayers.
    Shannon recently posted…How to Inspire Wanderlust with CaseAppMy Profile

    Reply
    • Jennifer

      Huge blessing! Thanks Shannon!

      Reply
    • Jennifer

      Thank you so much Juliana!

      Reply
  7. Elizabeth

    I just discovered your blog because I’m currently dating a chef. I am so sorry to read your latest post about cancer. You will certainly be added to my prayer list.

    Reply
    • Jennifer

      Thanks! Make sure to come find us in our closed Facebook group! I am still around, just not sure about publishing new posts right now. 🙂

      Reply
  8. Debra Wolowitz

    Hi, Jennifer. I’m the mom of a chef and he’s the one who told me about your blog this morning and I’ve reading it ever since. It’s honest, funny and inspirational – all qualities I would apply to you, the author, as well.

    My thoughts and prayers go out to you and your family for your recovery. Deb

    Reply
    • Jennifer

      Hello. 🙂 Thank you Deb. I think you might be the first Chef Mom (besides my mother-in-law) who has commented on my blog! 🙂 Thanks!

      Reply

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