The RunJenRun 5k at Symphony Park. Proceeds benefit the GoJenGo Foundation, assisting people in their fight against breast cancer.
Our story begins shortly after the birth of our second boy, Luca, on May 4th, 2007. It was a joyous time! After many challenges with our first son, Luca turned out to be an easy baby and a great breast feeder. Due to a surgical cyst removal many years prior Jen was only able to feed Luca from one breast. This caused inflammation and other changes in Jen’s non-feeding breast and arm pit. Jen and her OB/GYN discussed these and other changes at her 6 week postnatal checkup and both thought them to be related to breast feeding. However at 11 weeks post delivery Jen was having rib and arm pain, her breast was redder and had developed a very large, hard mass. Jen was concerned at made a doctor appointment.
We went to the OB/GYN on Monday, July 30th and were seen by Dr. Wicker, the doctor that had delivered our first son. He told us “not to be alarmed” but thought we should see a breast specialist that day. He personally called the head of CMC’s surgical oncology department, Dr. Richard White, and had us go directly there for an appointment at the Blumenthal Cancer Center. After squeezing us in for an evaluation, Dr. White ordered biopsies and mammograms to be done that day and scheduled a CT scan, bone scan and an Echocardiogram over the next few days. We were terrified but still did not think it was cancer.
We met with Dr. White late in the afternoon the very next day and he told us that Jen had an aggressive form of breast cancer with a large tumor in her breast and it had spread to the lymph nodes. We were in shock. Jen could not stop shaking. He said that there was a possibility of organ or bone metastasis because of the sudden growth of the tumor. After days of despair, fear, and tears, to our immense relief, the CT scan, bone scan, and brain scan all came back clean. Jen readied herself for the fight of her life.
But Jen chooses to tell the other part of the story. She tells of the love and dedication of family, the meals in coolers, the chemo buddies, rides to appointments, legions of Go Jen Go supporters walking for the Cure. She speaks about the kindness of caregivers, doctors, and nurses. She is thankful for playdates for her kids, walks with friends, and the wonder of community.
Please read more about Jen's story at www.gojengo.org