Traces - One artist's Breast Cancer Journey. Finding wellness through art, writing, photography, and travel.
 
I included the above photos on this page, because it won't be long before Jeanmarie gets her hair back! She's all done with chemotherapy, for now, and we couldn't be happier for her! My brother, Kent, tried on my wig, and I know he will hate this shot, but it cracks me up! Catch a glimpse while you can, because it may not last!

Next week I have three more scans; a MUGA scan, a PET scan, and a brain MRI. It's my week off chemotherapy, and I'm not looking forward to going back to the hospital three more times, but I guess it's necessary. Hopefully, things will still look good. I'm a little apprehensive, not knowing whether things have moved forward or backward, but I'm not going to think about it today. I'll think about it next week.

I've posted all of my emails sent to family members and friends since I learned I have breast cancer. I hope they might bring some comfort to others who are going through rough patches. Whoever you are, just know that we all go through hard experiences - some of us just don't let others know about them. I'm the opposite, and probably (no, make that "usually") talk more than I should, but it's truly in the hope that by sharing, I might help someone else along the way to know they aren't alone.

 


Pamela Moyer
06/29/2012 5:07pm

I absolutely love your art and your writings. You are lovely, and brave, and inspriational. I--we--have come to know you over the past few years from work. Have your treatments made you sensitive to certain scents or fragrances in lotions and such?

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Jayna
06/29/2012 6:23pm

Thank you for your kind words, Pamela. I'm glad I have the chance to share with people, especially those with whom Steve spends so much of his life. He just loves working with all of you! I have noticed that there are days that I am sensitive to scents, and then other days that the same scents don't bother me, so it must all be in my head. Thank you for your support. It means so much to both me and Steve.

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Marienne Wahlstrom
07/02/2012 9:29pm

Dear Jayna,
I love your emails! And I will love reading your blog!
The races I ran for the Leukemia/Lymphoma are over. They were awesome but painful experiences. Our team did a 20 mile training run in Salt Lake 1 month before the races. It was mostly uphill, which didn't bother me . It was the downhills going back that injured my quads. I never fully recovered before the races. During the half with my team we decorated our shirts. On the back of mine I made a flower out of ribbons that had the names of all the people I was running for. Your name was among them, along with Russ and Jan Whitaker, their neice Jourdyn, and their son Chris. Russ passed away this last January, Jan a year before. Jourdyn returned from her mission last December and is still living in Cedar City with her parents. I decorated my shirt for the Utah Valley Marathon but the dumb stuff I used was not dry by the time I needed to leave so I had to clean it off. Even though it was a painful and long 6 and 1/2 hours of running, I kept going thinking of all of my wonderful and brave friends battling cancer. I knew that if my friends can endure ( and you do endure!) I can endure. I no longer cared about my time or how my race pictures would turn out, i just wanted to finish. At mile 23, my son Josh, who I spent the night with the day before the race and lives in Provo, rode up on
his motor scooter with water and encouraging words. At mile 25.5 my hubby and Joey also finished with me. My heart was full and my eyes full of tears after I crossed the finish line. I trained so hard for these races and Kenna and i worked hard to raise $2400 dollars but bless her heart, her arthritis got the best of her and she could never run past 9 miles in training. But i am so proud of her and her courageous efforts! I really wanted to enjoy the race yet it was painful. I did however, count the many tender mercies and blessings along the way. There was plenty to drink, bananas and oranges to eat, port a potties and vaseline and of course the cheers and encouraging shout outs from volunteers and people in their cars waiting for my sorry bum to get to the finish line before the race closed for the day. There were massage therapists giving of their talents to help us silly running folk recover from the run. I was so moved by a little lovely lady sitting on the grass in front of the massage tent tenderly massaging our calves and quads with an ointment before we entered the tent. She has Fibromyalgia and said she can't run but she wanted to serve those that can. Also she wanted to sell this cool ointment she used on us, and did she sell! We also got free food from California Kitchen. ( you get a lot of free stuff when you come in last , hahaha!) You can also find your clothes bag easier also because it isn't so hard to look through only 20 bags on the ground compared to 2000!

While Ken fetched the car, Joey and I sat on a bench near a man who said he watched everyone come in from the race. A couple of other men joined us and I realized they were homeless men carrying everything they owned on their backs. I asked them if they were hungry because we were sitting there with several boxes of food from California Kitchen. 2 men said no, but the black man said he was. I shared the pita and hummus with him. He wanted to share his can of spaghetti with me but he did not have a can opener and neither did I. I could tell by our conversations that he had a learning disability, it was like speaking with a 6 year old. He is the second black homeless man I have encountered on the streets of Salt Lake during my running. During a training run I passed one and noticed he had a can of peas by his backpack. He was standing outside on the sidewalk near a grocery store and someone handed him the can of peas. Canned Peas. Gross. On my way back to the park I noticed he was still standing there so I stopped and asked him what he was going to do with the can of peas. He said he couldn't eat them because he didn't have a can opener. Did I? No. But I had aTiger's Milk energy and protein bar so I gave that to him and he was very happy. I told him it tasted like a Snicker's and he smiled. I want to go to the dollar store and buy several can openers and hand them out to every homeless person I see. I have learned not to judge them and to give if I can.

I am happy to hear you are doing well. You are an inspiration to me, not just in my running but in life. You have continued to move forward and do the things you love to do regardless of your cancer and treatments. I hope that I can develop that kind of attitude and perseverence in my life. You are the perfect example for me. Be brave, and I know you are. Next Spring I will raise $3500 and run the Vancouver Canada Marathon. I will keep you updated. Have you moved to Salt Lake yet? I know you were wondering about things to do there. I know the Museum of Natural History has moved right next door to the Gardens and Bonneville Shoreline Tra

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Jayna
08/25/2012 3:02pm

Marienne, you never cease to amaze and inspire me. Thank you so much for sharing this experience with everyone. Sorry it cut off your last sentence! Love you, Jayna

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