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Chillicothe News - Chillicothe, MO
How breast cancer is reshaping everything

www.takingitfromthetop.com
20,000 VIEWS! wow
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About this blog
By Jennifer Denbo
I wanted to start this blog so other women, family and friends could see a real perspective into the life of cancer. Not just what I am experiencing, but what others may experience or see loved ones experience themselves. I am a mom of two girls ...
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Taking It From The Top
I wanted to start this blog so other women, family and friends could see a real perspective into the life of cancer. Not just what I am experiencing, but what others may experience or see loved ones experience themselves. I am a mom of two girls (Kaylee 10, and Sophie 4) and married for 11 years this year to my husband John Marc. We live in Rolla, MO and all of my treatments will be here at Phelps County Regional Medical Center. I was diagnosed on January 16, 2013, at 5:15 p.m. A moment in time I believe the Earth stopped turning, and my heart stopped beating. Even if it was for a split second. This blog was started January 21, 2013 at 6:22 p.m. when I was ready to speak. (and when my S.I.L. Claire was ready to help with the tech stuff:) I hope you enjoy taking this journey with me. I WILL beat Breast Cancer! I did not want to turn to Google for my answers, I wanted to find my own. These are them:
Recent Posts
Oct. 4, 2014 11:30 a.m.
June 21, 2014 5:25 p.m.
Jan. 26, 2014 5:15 a.m.
Jan. 16, 2014 11:20 a.m.
Jan. 10, 2014 5:23 p.m.
Aug. 8, 2013 12:01 a.m.



Wow! 20,000 views… I am amazed everyday at the support I have been shown this past year. In honor of 20,000 views I will copy my very first blog post below. Ohhhh how far we’ve come:)

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INTRO to ME:

So, lets see… where oh where to begin. Should I start with the part where my life falls to pieces and I am part of of the worst misery of my entire life? Better not scare you off too soon. Well, a bit about me. I am a mother of 2 children. Kaylee is almost 10 and Sophie is 4 1/2. I have been married to my husband John 11 years this year. We live in Rolla, MO where my husband works at the hospital as a director. I am a stay at home mom. Clearly God thought I didn’t have nearly enough to do and dropped the biggest bombshell of my life on me.

Hell Has Begun:

Sept. 2012 I had my yearly women’s check up. I had my normal breast exam and so on and all was good. What most wouldn’t know is just a few days later John and I decided to start working on a third child. How fun.lol. Doesn’t seem like work at all. :) Well, months passed and sadly nothing happened. My dreams of telling the good news to everyone at the Christmas table wasn’t going to happen. Dreams shattered…No big deal right? During December while laying in bed I felt a pain in my breast and did a self-exam…and there it was. The start of the longest journey of my life. I called my doctor just to let them know and get a mammogram just to be sure. I knew we were trying for a baby, and it was the smart thing to do.

December 17th 2012 I went and did my mammogram and ultrasound. I curled my hair, wore a nice outfit and was ready to do it, and just get it over with. I go back to the waiting room and all I can notice is how old every other lady was. What the hell was I doing there ? I am fine. This is all just a big mistake…right? I go back into the room and get ready for the booby squishing of a lifetime. So, I drop my top, and it all begins. I look up at the computer screen and there it was…a huge white spot in the middle of the breast. I went NUTS! Crying and crying and crying. I called my husband to meet me at the Breast Center and comfort me. He does just that. We are told a biopsy needs to be done. Sound painful right? Seems like some sort of needle is about to be jabbed into my boob…ouch. Well, we decide to do it. To my surprise they do it right there and then. I don’t even get 5 minutes to collect my thoughts before I need to start making decisions. I lay down while they proceed. It’s not terribly painful…but by no means pleasent. Then the wait begins. Painful and horrible I actually think the wait is the worst part. The night of the 20th I couldn’t wait anymore and called the nurse and left a message crying. I had to know something…anything. Christmas was 5 days away and it was all I could think of. Then it happened. What I thought was the greatest phone call of my life. 5:30pm a nurse calls and says the magic words.The.Test.Is.Negative! Yessssss. I cry and cry and call everyone is crying I didn’t have cancer! Praise the Lord!

No Take Backs:

A few weeks later I realize that my new iphone 5′s voicemail needed to be set up. So I did. 14 voicemails pop up. Many from the doctor’s office. So I call to see what’s going on. I am told something looked funny on the mammogram and it’s best to have a lumpectomy. What??? Why?? I was told it was negative. No take backs! Basic playground rules apply. Well, after being pissed off I realized I better just go ahead and do it for piece of mind. We wern’t pregnant yet, so I might as well.

Surgery, no big deal right? January 10th 2013 I go for my lumpectomy. I’m scared, I’m a bit pissed, I’m everything all at once somehow. I get through the surgery and go home. Not only am I still pissed off… now I’m in pain too. A few days later something happened in our bedroom. It happened with my husband, and sadly it was not fun… …it was sad. As he stood in the bedroom changing my bandages I began to cry. I had a huge scar that I didn’t expect to see. Then he cries, and now I’m hysterical. Something has changed. He’s looking at me like he never has before. He is scared I really am indeed sick.

Positive for what?

January 16th 2013 I am called by a nurse that I need to come in and have them check my incision at 4:30. I say are my results in? And they say…not yet. Okay, no biggie. I’ve waited before, it’s nothing new to me. During the day my mom keeps telling me to make sure John was with me. All I kept saying was “mom it’s just a bandage change, stop worrying.” I drove myself to the doctor and waited for John. I went back, they looked at my incision and John came in. We sat there waiting to see if we could go home or not, and here comes my surgeon. He walks in the patient room, sits on a rolling chair and begins to tell my the lumpectomy came back positive. The next words out of my mouth are “Positive for what?” Cancer he says. That was it. 5:15 on January 16th 2013 ….the entire world stopped. I didn’t hear anything, I didn’t see anything… nothing. Just me looking at John. A few minutes later the blood rushed back to my brain and reality was back. I have CANCER. How the hell did this happen? I am 32 damn years old. What was going on??? The only words I remember are: Aggressive. Mastectomy.& Chemo. He tells me other words, but I don’t remember any of them.

Time To Show Your Cards:

My mom was already in town, and my dad was coming through Rolla on business and was at my house. I had John drive me home and we barely spoke a word. We had a plan, I take my parents to the bedroom and tell them and he keeps the girls in the living room. I tell my mom and dad to come to our room and the only thing I remember is my dad saying “well, this can’t be good.” I sit them on my bed and say it for the first time ever. Here it is, the end of the card game. All the cards are out and there is only one thing left to do…it’s time to show your cards. I say the words… I.Have.Cancer. They look at me, they look at each other…and then it’s all a blur. I know they said everything inspirational possible… I just don’t remember. I was far away in another world where I didn’t have cancer. So, then it begins. We tell family, and we start to absorb it all.

Bring on the Tests:

We already have an appointment setup with the Oncologist who will decide my fate on the 23rd of January. We even have a surgery date set for the following day the 24th. The days leading up to this is filled with tears, panic, anger, sadness and everything in between. What a mess this was. God, just make it all go away. Please.

The next couple days I have many tests run, but the important one is the Pet Scan. You get inside this long tube and this machine is going to tell you if you are Screwed. Royally Screwed. or Totally Screwed. I did the test, came home and took a hot bath. Through the entire test I had this horrible feeling it was going to light up like a Christmas Tree. Cancer Cancer Everywhere. Well, as I lay in my bath John comes home and tells me finally something positive. The pet scan was clear. It didn’t show the cancer had spread. What does that mean? I don’t really have a clue. But, it sounded good…and about now I would take anything that sounded even slightly positive.

Jan. 21st 2013

Get Prepared!

I wish I could just bury my head in the sand until this is all over… but that’s just not reality. Sadly, the day someone looks at you and tells you that you have cancer doesn’t mean you can stop your life. I soon realized this. It has been 5 days since I was told this news and it’s not getting any better. I just need to buck up and get things done. And that’s what I’m doing. Laundry… cleaning… emailing … mentally preparing… etc. etc. I’m about to have a major surgery with 2 kids and a husband at home, I have to prepare. In preparation I had to send an email to my husband, parents and in-laws. It’s as follows:

What a crazy 4 days it’s been. Thank you to all of you who have helped, and will continue to help. My mind is clear that I want Dr. Voight to do the surgery. I have trusted him before, and I will trust him again. I looked into his eyes and I have to listen to my heart when I saw him look back at me that he will protect me.

John has been hiring pcrmcs physicians for many years now. Every dinner I go to I look at these doctors and tell them how Rolla became my home. How I hated this place, but then how I fell in love with it.

How the Doctors and their families and spouses became our friends. I have to trust my heart and know these same people will keep me safe. Dr. Voight said I just need to start getting some of these things under my belt and behind me…and that’s just what I’ll do.I have to give up control, and that’s not easy for a Sicilian ;)

I will beat cancer and maybe somehow someway along the way I will impact the lives of other women to self-check and save their own lives too.

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