Missing Mable

In cancerland, the best news is always hearing there is No Evidence of Disease (aka NED, aka remission).  The next best thing is having Stable Mable for a BFF.  While the cancer isn’t shrinking, it isn’t growing.  Everything is status quo.  And although I’ve never met NED, I have been fortunate enough to hang out with Mable several times.  But, as I learned again this week, Mable is unpredictable in the relationship department.

My scan in January showed this quint (5!) chemo cocktail was holding things steady and I was hanging with Mable.  Even my oncologist was impressed at how well I was tolerating the combo.

But then, a couple weeks ago, I noticed a new bump on my chest wall.  A few days after that, I could feel a lymph node in my armpit.  All the same places the beast has previously shown-up.  I met with my oncologist who called the areas “worrisome” and ordered a stat PET (full body) scan before any more chemo.  The scan results showed Mable was MIA and my enemy, progression, was there instead.  Although there aren’t new tumors in the bones, they all were brighter on the scan, meaning more cancerous activity.  There is a new spot in my liver.  There’s a nodule on my lung that is concerning and a lymph node in the middle of everything that is causing some pain.

My mom and I met with my oncologist, reviewed the written report, scrutinized the images from the scan, and had an examination to measure the new spots that are palpable.  We discussed what remaining breast cancer drugs are available.  There aren’t many and they all carry significant side effects that would greatly decrease my quality of life.

Thankfully, over the summer I had a chemo assay performed.  They were able to test tissue from the tumor to see what kind of chemo sensitivity it showed.  While the results didn’t lead to any obvious breakthroughs, it did show the cancer was sensitive to a prostate cancer drug.  Thankfully insurance quickly approved it and I will start it Saturday.   It is 4 pills daily along with 2 additional steroid pills. Be advised, I HATE being on steroids, I feel like I’ve had 5 cups of coffee, can’t stop talking, and have a hard time being still.  So, if you encounter me in the next month, please be patient as I adjust to living on these different drugs.  And although I’m missing my girl parts (breasts and ovaries), my doctor has assured me I won’t grow any boy parts by going on this drug.  In addition to this, they plan to radiate the lymph node in the middle of everything causing pain.

At the end of every day, Corbin and I share our “highs” and “low(s).”  You’ve obviously just heard about my low, but I would be remiss if I didn’t share my highs:

1. Your generosity!  My birthday wish came true and my friend has raised money to participate in the walk.  Of course donations are still welcome as are money for her minor expenses like cabs, food, etc.  The flight, hotel, and registration donation are all done!  If you want to help with the minor expenses, please leave a note below or email me directly.  I’m so humbled at the generosity of others; it’s so awesomely amazing.

2. I turned 36!  I had the most handsome date to the Taylor Swift concert in St. Louis the eve of my birthday (although he did fall asleep half-way through the concert, in the midst of 14,000 screaming fans).










The actual day of my birthday, Corbin and I went to one of our favorite places, The City Musuem.  We have been 3 times and are STILL finding new areas to explore!  That evening we celebrated with lots of sweets with my family.

3. This video.  I was contacted about being in a video for one of my favorite cancer-related organizations, Imerman Angels.  I immediately jumped at the chance.  But, while there will still be an IA related video, this is what the producer turned in for his final project for the film class.  It is beyond precious to me and I’m so thrilled to share it with you.


Thank you, truly thank you.  The last couple of weeks have been a whirlwind complete with an assortment of emotions to go along.  Thank you for a kind phone call, a thoughtful card, or a prayer.  I truly could not do this without your support.



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. Kris Murray Reply

    Love you, Jen. It breaks my heart that Mabel has left you, but I pray from the depths of my being that it’s only a temporary absence, and even more that one day you will meet NED and together build a long and beautiful relationship.

  2. Cheri Reply

    Had no idea that Corbin was such a good dancer! 🙂 Glad to hear that you had a wonderful Birthday! Enjoyed the video – you are an inspiration for many to live legendary! HUGS!

  3. Meghan S Reply

    Dear Mabel, come back soon please.

    Dear Corbin: awesome, awesome robot move.

  4. Diana Burnsides Reply

    Prayers and hugs from california, Jen. I am praying specifically that this new treatment bring back stable mable STAT and that you handle the steroids ok. I am so, so sorry you are in pain from the lymph node. 🙁
    I love the video~ it is so fun to get to hear your voice since I don’t get to over the computer!! And seriously impressed with your mad Lego skills~ my kids WISH I could do that, miss smarty pants! Tell me the video guy jumped in there and helped assemble? That would take me DAYS to accomplish! :). And lastly~ Corbin’s got MOVES!!!
    Xoxo~ Di

  5. Dana Reply

    Praying Mable will show back up and not be a fair weather friend. Love the commercial. Xoxo

  6. Chantelle Walker Reply

    First, I had no idea Corbin had such mad skills on the dance floor. Second, that video is absolutely beautiful. No dry eyes here!

  7. Annie McManus Reply

    A lovely video. Thank you for sharing.

  8. Keli Reply

    Keeping you in my prayers!! The video is just beautiful! Corbin can sure dance!!

  9. Brock Royer Reply

    Happy birthday month! Great video too! Cancer or not we can all learn a lot about living life and raising our children through your words. Grace sure thinks its pretty neat to see Corbin on video too.
    Way to go!
    Never quit!

  10. Carrie Reply

    So love the video. What a precious gift. Through tears I’m laughing so hard at Corbin’s awesome dance moves….has he been getting lessons from Uncle Eric? I swear I’ve seen them before;) Love you times 100!! Praying the prostate drugs will knock down Senior Circolo!!

  11. Kari Leisure Reply

    I continue to pray for you everyday, Jen!

  12. dstizzle Reply

    I have been praying for you a lot this week… now I see why. Thank you for making your birthday wish make one of my dreams come true. Thank you for being you, and for letting yourself be known (i.e through this blog, through videos, through speaking, through writing books, through friendship, etc.). You are such a blessing in my life and I can’t wait to see you in just over a month.

  13. Bethany Kandel Reply

    You are legendary and inspiring and Corbin will always know that! You rock, girl!! Here’s to many more birthdays.

  14. Tammi Clifton Reply

    Always praying for you Jen!! Happy to hear the prostate cancer drug may help!! Always hopeful!! God bless you and Corbin!!! Much love, Tammi and my Mom Linda xoxo

  15. Kelly Bost Reply

    Jen, I am praying for you every day and I am glad that the prostate cancer drug looks promising. Fantastic video with you and Corbin!!! I also love the Imerman Angels!

  16. Tori Stierwalt Reply

    Always in my prayers Jen….Mabel better get her a** back here quick

  17. Teresa Majers Reply

    What a beautiful video that Corbin will cherish one day!

  18. Karen Andrews Reply

    Jen, so glad you had a wonderful birthday. Great video of you and Corbin! I will keep praying that the new drugs will help Stable Mable to return immediately.

  19. Kate Reply

    I feel for you. I fear Mabel will leave me. I’ve never even met Ned (but I’d like to). I wish you all the best, mommy metster to mommy metster. Terrific video!

  20. Beth Schwendeman Reply

    Dear Jen, Love you and hope your day is good. really loved your video. Thank you-you bring the world into perspective!!

  21. Shirley Kolb Reply

    Hi Jen, So sorry to hear the news. I will continue praying, as I do every night. Praying now the new cocktail brings Mable back.

    I talked to your sister about her wedding – coming up so fast! So happy for her and Noah. She said she is of course looking forward to the wedding, but so much more looking forward to being with him all the time and living life together. What a wonderful way to start a marriage!

    The video is wonderful. Thanks for sharing it with us, as well as all the other sharing you do.

    Sending lots of love and prayers your way.

  22. KELLI Reply

    Thank you so much for sharing your story. I especially love the video – giving your son permission to go on and live his life b/c you love him no matter where you are! So selfless.

    Praying for you and a call for NED to come back ASAP!

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