On Friday night I found myself sitting on the couch, crying like a blubbering idiot and I blame it all on my good friend Joanna Lord and the amazing SEO community.

But let me go back a bit. You may remember that back in September I found out I had colorectal cancer. Yea.. I know, that’s crazy. But it’s true. The thing is, I had surgery, they removed the cancer and they said it was all gone. However the doctors kept mentioning the possibility of “further treatment.” Although I knew it was always a possibility, I somewhat ignored it and focused on just getting better.

About a month ago though, I finally went to see an oncologist. We talked for well over an hour as he explained to me that my stage 2 cancer made it difficult to say whether I absolutely needed chemotherapy treatment or not. He explained everything to me, the pros and cons, we talked about the psychological aspect… everything. Then he left the decision up to me. I left his office on a Friday afternoon, more scared than I had been when I found out about the cancer. I had to decide whether or not to have preventive chemotherapy treatments for the next 48 weeks (oh yea. fun.). Holy. Fucking. Decision.

That night and the following Saturday, I pretty much sat around and cried all day. I just kept thinking about how hard it would be on my family and on my co-workers. I had just put everyone through hell during and after my surgery, and this would last almost a year!? My husband was absolutely amazing and attempted to reason with me that I needed to stop thinking about everyone else. That they would be fine, and that he was behind me 100%. I suppose I just needed a “woe is me” day to get it out of my system. I knew he was right (and amazing… have I mentioned that?).

When I woke up on Sunday morning, I felt at peace about it and had more or less decided that yes, I would start chemo. It really wasn’t until I had a conversation with my brother that afternoon that I completely made up my mind though. As I sat in the parking lot of Barnes and Noble, waiting for the rain to stop, and talking with my brother on the phone he said to me, “Ok Jen, you’ve explained it all to me, now let me ask you this: What exactly are you waiting for? And why aren’t you starting this tomorrow?” Uhm. Well. Oh. For some reason, those words made sense. From that point on, I never looked back.

I needed to do this for me and for my family. Right now we can handle this! What if in 5 years I get something worse… how would I feel if I hadn’t tried everything?! I would be pretty pissed at myself, that’s how I’d feel.

That same day I also had an epiphany. While I felt good, I was going to take advantage of life. I would run around and play with my daughter, I would kick ass at work, I would make awesome dinners, and on and on. So that when I feel like crap and don’t have the energy to do those things, I wouldn’t feel bad about it.

I’ve now had 3 chemo treatments and honestly I feel great! It’s crazy, but I actually am feeling better now than I have for months.. probably years really. I’ve lost weight, I’m eating super healthy and I’m happy. :) I know it’s going to get harder, but right now it’s good.

Oh wait… now I lost focus for a few minutes there. So what made me cry like a baby this past weekend?? Well Joanna brought me a bag full of goodies. It had everything from healthy snacks to luxurious cremes. But what made me bawl, were the many many letters and cards from my industry friends. It was amazing. I honestly have no words! I’ve read every one of them 3 or 4 times and each time I end up crying.

Reading all the positive thoughts and words of wisdom from my friends just means the world to me. I’ll be keeping these close by my side and will read them on those days when I’m feeling blue. Again, a huge huge thanks to Joanna Lord for pulling everyone together. :) But I’d also like to thank Kristy Bolsinger, Kate Morris, Michelle Robbins, Monica Wright, Dana Lookadoo, Annie Cushing, Lisa Barone, Kenny Hyder, Alan Bleisweiss, Taylor Pratt, Peter Meyer, JD McCartney, Aaron Wheeler and last but certainly not least Danny Dover.

I’ve a very lucky lady to have such a HUGE support group. Thank you my friends, thank you.

12 thoughts on “A Heartfelt Thank You”

  1. no, Jen, you’re not lucky. You’re blessed. You’ve got God watching over you, and it’s your love pouring out to all of us that resulted in our letting you know how much of that love we feel from you every day. We’re the lucky ones, to have you in our lives.

  2. As Alan wrote, the luckiest are us that were able to find you. And especially people like me, who without our job would have someone so caring like you.
    Let me tell you: no Mozzer or any other human being can simply think at as a “professional contact”.
    Remember, behind Rudy there are us supporting you and your family in fucking the cancer.

  3. Thank you for sharing what’s been going on. The one thing about cancer is that “it could be any of us” and so when one of us has it, or has had it, EVERYONE stops for a moment and thinks about life.

    PS: It sounds like you have an awesome husband and awesome co-workers.

    E.

  4. That Joanna Lord girl is a good egg. ;)

    Glad to hear you’re feeling strong and to see how many people are rallying behind you. We’ve got your back and this thing trying to slow you down has no chance. :)

  5. Holy shit, Jen–you’re so strong. What a scary thing to tackle. Although I just met you guys and haven’t even started working in the office yet, I can tell that SEOmoz is a super-supportive group. I’m sure we (including me!) will be doing everything to make sure you’re getting what you need to recover. I’m empathetic to your condition because I was recently diagnosed with a GI disease, as well: Crohn’s. It’s not fatal, thank god, but I’ll definitely have to undergo treatment to keep it in remission. I tried to not beat myself up over it because… shit happens out of nowhere that you can’t control, you know? You just have to do what you can and the real friends in your life will understand.

  6. Oh, shit, I feel bad to take you out of home, and I feel good to have you in Spain for a few days. Hope to had a nice trip and enjoy Madrid and Valencia

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