Make over!

In addition to a new look with the website, I also have a new look!  I started volunteering with Imerman Angels after my Stage IV diagnosis in 2008.  Imerman Angels provides an incredible mentoring for folks at any age, any stage, any kind of cancer.  I’ve been matched with several women who are also young and Stage IV.  Those connections have been incredible and life changing.  Those connections are also a cruel reminder of this disease as I’ve watched two of my “mentees” succumb to metastatic breast cancer.

Back around Thanksgiving I was contacted by Imerman Angels about having a makeover done (hmmm, maybe I should take a hint?!)  Celebrity stylist, Eric Himel, graciously offered his services and connections for a makeover.  Since my job as a Professional Cancer Patient doesn’t offer a “holiday party” to attend, we decided the makeover would be for New Year’s Eve!  I became his project and most recent challenge.  (Note, I’m not a typical girl.  I don’t really enjoy shopping, I find it overwhelming, especially trying to fit my new body.)

After a Skype consultation with Eric, I went to Chicago to go shopping with him.  I was nervous meeting him, I only knew his snarky TV persona from the reality show “Giuliana and Bill.”  I was afraid he would deem me a hopeless cause, but he was kind and excited to get to work.  Here is a quick picture before we started.


 Jonny Imerman of Imerman Angels, me, Stylist Eric Himel

Living in the cornfields of Illinois, there isn’t an opportunity, or need, to go shopping with a  stylist, so I wasn’t sure what to expect.  Eric led me back to a dressing room at Ann Taylor on the Magnificent Mile.  He had created many outfits complete with accessories and shoes and had everything waiting for me to try on.  He said, “Do you mind if I stay in the room with you?”  I quickly replied, “Do you realize how many doctors have seen me undress?  You realize I don’t have breasts, right?  I’m totally fine with you being here.”  He laughed and started handing me clothes to try on.

The second outfit I tried on was the one.  It is a black tank with fringe all down the front.  A white and black patterned fitted pant.  Crystal clear chandelier earrings.  Five inch tall black platform heels.  And to top it all off, a new coat as comfortable and warm as a pair of Ugg boots.  He had me try on a few more outfits, but we kept going back to the one.

Now that the outfit was picked, it was time to hit the salon for my hair makeover.  I met with colorist Robert Bennett and hair stylist Josie Nevarez at Maxine Salon.  Robert dyed my hair just a tad darker then added a few Balayage highlights to give it more depth.  (PS-I didn’t know what Balayage is either, it’s a fancy word for painting individual highlights into the hair rather than using foil strips.)  After the color was complete, Josie started cutting.  Keep in mind, I have a short pixie cut and my hair is thinning from this chemo, so Josie didn’t have much to work with.  After discussing ideas, we decided on a style similar to Ginnifer Goodwin.  The combined rich color and slightly edgy cut went along perfectly with the outfit!

On New Year’s Eve morning, I headed back to Chicago where I was able to my friend Erica Strama for lunch at Joe’s.  We decided since it was NYE, we would have a glass of champagne to celebrate.  After catching up, chatting about life and eating, I headed to Exhale Spa where Eric arranged for a massage.  After a little bubbly and a massage I’m lucky I wasn’t completely mush and was able to make it to the make-up appointment.

I met make-up artist Juli Valdez.  She was a magician, I’ll spare you the “before” pictures!  Right as Juli finished, photographer Barry Brecheisen arrived.  He has photographed some of the biggest names in music for Rolling Stone, Chicago Now, and Lumino Magazine.  Thankfully he was graciously kind in snapping a few pictures and editing them to make me look like a rock star!  After my transformation, I jumped back in my car and headed to a party at a friend’s house in Champaign.

NYE makeover!

NYE Makeover!


It truly was a legendary experience and fabulous end to the year!

Today, however, I’m back to being a Professional Cancer Patient.  I met with my oncologist and had my quint-chemo cocktail.  It’s another two weeks of chemo, a two week break, then time for another scan at the end of the month.

Thank you for all the kind comments, thoughtful emails, and countless prayers.  I’m thrilled to experience 2013!



Living legendary as a mom with Stage IV breast cancer. Author of Learning to Live Legendary and What You Might Not Know: My Life as a Stage IV Cancer Patient.
  1. Lindsay Reply

    WOWSERS! Hot Momma! YOU LOOK ABSOLUTELY AMAZING (as always)!! I love the HAIR!!! and the outfit!

    It looks really good on you.


  2. Phae Seidel Reply

    You are absolutely gorgeous, inside and out!!

  3. Pam Reply

    You look even more beautiful than usual! Definitely rock star status!

  4. Mary Ann Reply

    Just so happy you got to close 2012 in style and with the pampering you deserve! What did Corbin say about your new look?

    • Jen
      Jen Reply

      Corbin was with his dad this year for NYE, so he didn’t see it. I’ll be sure to show him pictures!

  5. Meghan S Reply


  6. Jessica Sullivan Reply

    Not sure how you could get any more beautiful but u keeping on doing it. Hope you and Corbin have a wonderful and blessed new year. You guys are forever in my prayers.

  7. stacy graupmann Reply

    Jen, you look absolutely stunning! You really radiate what is already within you…but with amazing dazzle from all the gifts that went into drawing the most out :). It makes me smile that all of those that helped you made you feel like a million bucks. YOU ARE! Here’s to better things a happening for 2013 :). Much love to you!!

  8. Sunny Reply

    Hot mama! You look amazing! What an experience!
    Continuing to pray that your body will tolerate your treatment and that Stable Mable will be your best friend.

  9. Laura Dahl Reply

    You look fabulous! And glamorous! Have a great 2013!

  10. Rachel Perkins Reply

    You look amazing and those pants are epic!

  11. Sabrina B Reply

    Beautiful!!! Happy 2013!!

  12. Barb Campbell Reply

    Jen, you look breathtaking! What an incredible “gift” you received! 30 yrs ago, as a divorced mom of two, I had surgery & 1 yr of chemo for my breast cancer. Marilyn Miglin, personally gave me false eyelashes (& makeovers) to help in my “healing”. At that time, no one considered the psychological impact of dealing with cancer—Thanks to Jonny Immerman and many others, we are now aware of what a difference it makes! May you also, be blessed with many days and years of good health! You’re an inspiration to many!

  13. Linda Peel-Brewer Reply

    You look beautiful as always in these photos! It must have been a fabulously fun trip! New clothes, new hair-do and makeup by a professional you must have been blown away! (You were in the windy city afteralll!) Your hair is soo soo cute, love it!
    You definitely have the Rock Star status going for you! Here’s to Stable Mable! Happy New Year to you!!!

  14. Barb Selby. Reply

    WOW. What a fabulous experience and how fabulous you look. A wonderful way to start off 2013. Thanks for sharing the new you! Blessings to you and Corbin.

  15. Sara Smith Reply

    MEOW!!!!! Absolutely stunning! Wishing you the most fabulous 2013 ever!!! XOXO

  16. Stacey smith Reply

    Some well deserved pampering for a wonderful person who is always giving back and fighting everyday with a smile on her face, and an attitude that is more than legendary! Congrats, Jen! This couldn’t have happened to a nicer or more deserving person! And you look “rock star fabulous”!

  17. Keli Revell Reply

    You look so beautiful!! Love your outfit!!

  18. Casey Reply

    Jen, you’re abdolutely breathtaking, if you ever get a break in your schedule I’m Pretty certain you could be working as a full time model. I’m happy to make the trip out NYC. Ford agency would pick u up in a heartbeat!
    You glow inside and out…what a way to spend New Year’s Eve!

    I will be praying for your next scan with all my heart!

  19. Sheila Walters Reply

    Simply beautiful!

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