Phase 1 done; Phase 2 begins

95615640Well I’m three weeks out from my lumpectomy and sentinel node removal. The good news is that there was no cancer in my lymph nodes!  This is the value of catching this early while the cancer is still localized. If you’re 40 or over, schedule your mammogram now if it’s not already on your calendar! And no matter your age, do those monthly self breast exams, girls!  This is important!

Surgery was just phase 1 of my 3 phase journey. Phase 2 is chemo and that starts next Thursday, January 16.  If I had hormone fed cancer (like 80% of breast cancers are) I would not have to do chemo because we caught it early. However, I have what’s known as Triple Negative Cancer which is only found in 20% of breast cancer cases. Triple Negative Cancer only responds to chemotherapy in an effort to reduce recurrence rates.

If you’re into all the details and you’d like to know how to pray for me and my family, please hop over onto my Caring Bridge site where I’m posting all of that info.

Today I’d like to answer some questions that have been coming my way over the past few weeks:



1) Will you be at the 2014 Hearts at Home conferences?  The answer is YES! I will be there–hair or no hair…even if I have to take a nap sometime during the day! I’m presenting two workshops: No More Perfect Kids and My Heart’s at Home.

Registration is now open for the National Conference March 14-15, 2014 in Bloomington, IL.  We have so many neat things planned for this conference–you don’t want to miss it! (If you live too far away to attend the conference, check out the Conference To-Go option!)

2) Are you still speaking?  The answer is YES!  I’m still speaking at community events, churches, moms groups, parenting conferences, ministry conferences, and women’s retreats and events.  While I’m not adding any additional events this spring, if your group is planning an event anytime after June 1 that you’d like me to be a part of, you can get more info by submitting a speaking inquiry on my website! I’d love to share with your group!  (You can find some of my more popular speaking video clips online.)

3) How are you feeling?  In general, I’m still a little sore from surgery. My recovery was slowed from a respiratory infection I managed to get about a week after surgery.  I started walking on the treadmill last week just to increase my stamina and it feels good to be “active” again, although I don’t yet my full stamina yet. I still can’t lift anything more than 2 lbs on my surgical arm and I have strict orders from the doctor not to vacuum! Now that’s a prescription I can get into!

I plan to spend at least one hour during each of my chemo treatments praying for your needs.  I’m making my list for the treatment on the 16th. So I’d love to know…how can I pray for you? 


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23 thoughts on “Phase 1 done; Phase 2 begins

  1. Please pray for our foster son baby A. God has called us to adopt him and parents aren’t doing much to get him back. Just pray for hearts to be open and God’s will to be done. Pray for his protection and for our family to be at peace with it all. Thank you! I’ve been praying fervently for you and will continue to do so.

  2. You are seeming to handle this with the same grace and class you’ve done everything else in your life. Thank you for sharing what you’re going through and allowing us to pray for you, which I will continue doing! Godspeed, friend.

  3. Bless your heart, Jill. My eyes filled with tears when I read “…how can I pray for you?”! Selflessness in the midst of chemotherapy? I am humbled. Please pray that I…that all of us would have that same motivation to serve others.

  4. My gyne just wrote my orders for my baseline mammogram, I’m 35. She does them at 35 and then again at 40, and then yearly after that. I have to substitute teach in a 1st grade class tomorrow, but will be calling on Friday to schedule it.

    Jill you are in my thoughts and prayers daily. I am so glad that you were able to catch this early. Excited to see you when we come down in March for the conference!

  5. As the daughter and sister of breast cancer survivors, your story has touched me deeply. I will continue to pray for you, Jill. My next mammo is in Feb. and I am concerned, as I know I have painful lumps. Thank you for your inspiration and your unwavering faith. You have allowed God to use you for His glory. May we all be as humble.

  6. Jill, you are an inspiration – thank you for your spirit! I will be praying for you and will be so excited to meet you at the conference – Prayer need is for my marriage and for time to be made to nurture it…..we are doing well, but schedules are just so much and especially with a husband who’s job takes him out of town. Thank you!

  7. Hi Jill, you are an inspiration!! My famy is in a very “unsettled” place. We lost our 13 year old daughter in March 2013. We are still trying to figure out our new normal, if that exists LOL! We have another beautiful, funny, compassionate daughter who is 9. We need wisdom, guidance and clarity in some family decisions we need to make (schooling). Your prayers are appreciated!! Thank you and (((hugs)))

    • Tricia, I am so sorry for your incredible loss. Losing a child has to be one of the most difficult journeys in this world. I’m praying for whatever your “new normal” will look like. Bless you.

  8. Thank you so much for sharing your journey so openly. I admire you greatly, Jill. And I am completely humbled that you asked for our prayer requests. To know that you will pray for my needs means a lot.

    We moved from CA to CO about 6 months ago with kids at the ages of 15, 12, 11, and 9. As you can imagine it was a big transition. (We had moved from MN 3.5 years before that.) Although we really like where we live, we are struggling to find a home church. We have visited many and nothing seems quite right. I feel lost without a church family and subsequently very few friends. Could you please pray that God will guide us to the perfect place for our family? And that we will know it without doubting? Thank you so much.

  9. Jill – I will be praying for you as I know exactly what you are going through. I was diagnosed a year and a half ago at age 40 with breast cancer. I also had a lumpectomy and 3 lymph nodes removed. I was so lucky that the cancer was not in my lymph nodes, but further testing indicating the need for chemotherapy followed by radiation. I won’t lie to you, it was the hardest year of my life, but I learned so much through my experience. It showed me just how strong I could be. I know you are a strong woman – as I have heard you speak many times, at my Mom’s group in Washington, Illinois and at Hearts at Home. You have many supporters and God will guide you on this journey. Please know that I am thinking about you and praying for strength for you during your treatment. You can do this!

    • Thank you for sharing and praying, Heather! I’m so sorry you had to walk through this too. But glad you are on the other side!

  10. Jill, praying your chemo goes well and you don’t lose your hair! Praise God you caught it early and I am glad you are advocating mammograms! I humbly ask for you to pray for my daughter, Claire. I thought we got her on the right medications to help control her mood swings, but this week has been really tough. (Not sure if it’s from meds or from raging hormones!) Sometimes I feel like such a failure as a Mom and there is just not a lot of support for parents with managing children with any kind of mental illness. (Other than the support that’s $175/hr!) Thanks!

  11. Praying for you, Jill! My journey was somewhat similar~cancer at 34, not in the lymph nodes, sentinel node biopsy. My journey did not include chemo. Praying for you and all who love you! Encouragement~I am coming up on 12 years. Did have a mastectomy, tram flap reconstruction, multiple surgeries for this and my mom having died of ovarian cancer at 54! I am pulling for you…isn’t the no vacuuming a great prescription :)! Wishing you more prescriptions like this! <3

  12. I will be praying for you! And what you can pray for me for is that you and Mark will come stay with us in the DR for some relaxation after chemo and Hearts Conference! 🙂 Love ya!

  13. Jill, I will be praying for you as well. I have been a mammographer for 16 years. I have seen so many woman over the years. The doctors forget to tell you that you may be sore up to and over a year in the surgical area. My prayer is for your healing on weak days.
    My marriage and family can use prayers

  14. Jill, you blow me away! Your faith and strength are what I can only see as truly The Lord’s work. Thank you for sharing your journey and inspiration with us! My Mama went through this 1 1/2 years ago so I witnessed the challenge you face. I will continue to pray for perseverence, healing, strength and peace for you and your family! And our Moms group Moms By Faith is praying also! May God bless you fully.

  15. Jill,
    You are in my prayers daily. Your faith especially during the not so easy times inspires me everyday. Keep on doing what you are doing. You are an inspiration and a voice for Jesus to so many. Love you!

  16. Jeremiah 31:3
    Living Bible (TLB)
    3 For long ago the Lord had said to Israel: I have loved you, O my people, with an everlasting love; with loving-kindness I have drawn you to me.

    Praying God’s drawing you to Him as you look to and walk through Phase 2. Thanks for loving Him and trusting Him and showing us what this looks like even on the toughest of days.

    We have been so thankful to adopt our almost 14 yr old daughter from China! She has some mental delays and so figuring out the right fit for her educational needs is our prayer request as she adjust to so many new things. She was prepared to join our family and we are so thankful to her call us “mama and daddy.” She is our faith-bug.