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The Daily Guide - Waynesville, MO
How breast cancer is reshaping everything

www.takingitfromthetop.com
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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
Dec. 14, 2014 5:20 p.m.
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.
Dec. 19, 2013 11:20 a.m.



I am having a difficult time. I’m trying to push forward, but feel like something is always pushing me back… including fear it will happen again, or pain that I fear is cancer coming back. Do i wear my cancer sucks shirt and be an advocate? Do I catch the attention of even 1 young girl and she asks me about it and then goes home and does her self exam? Or do I put them up and move on with my life and act like i’m just some regular girl in a baggy shirt with short hair? It sucks. I have stuck to the first thing because I genuinly care about other people. I will always want to be an advocate and spread awareness, even at my own expense I guess. I have been let down by people I care about and how they could care less about how I am. This year was the most awful, horrible, horrific year of my life. I had a run in with death and my own mortality, and also dealing with the scars and consquences that came with keeping my life. I don’t think many things can compare to that. So, I am a bit more sensitve to the fact that I just wanted the people in my life to reach out and see how I was….. see how I am now. As of now I have a broken hand, broken toe, sore back, neuropathy, lymphodema, brittle bones…. and so on. I want to get better… and it’s so hard to keep moving in reverse:(

Ughhhhhh is there always a reminder?

Today Kaylee is testing at taekwondo for the very last time hopefully before her blackbelt test. She will do amazing, and afterwards they always have a Christmas party and it’s lots of fun.

Last year testing was December 20th. A day I will never forget. Three days before on the 17th I had a very large painful needle jabbed into my breast to check the tissue for cancer. It hurt…a lot. At that moment I had so many things running through my brain. I was told that over 80% of these come back negative and to not worry myself into a tizzy. Well…. I did anyways. For three days John and I barely spoke. It was all we could think about at the time, but neither of us wanted to admit just how scared we were. Fast forward to taekwondo night. It is Dec. 20th… 5 days before Christmas and I still hadn’t heard anything. Nothing is more frustrating than waiting for a phone to ring. Well, on this date I was so worked up I called my doctor in the afternoon and practically begged and pleaded for answer. Whether good, or bad… I couldn’t wait any longer. So I called and left a message sobbing and sobbing to please call me back.

I took Kaylee to taekwondo that night for testing and the party. At that time it was after 5pm and I still hadn’t heard back. John is worried… my parents are worried….we are all trying not to think about the big elephant in the room. I tell my friend at the front desk at taekwondo that I am waiting for a call and hopefully it will come soon and I’ll have to step outside to take it. Mind you John was on his way there…but hadn’t arrived yet.

So, 5:30 or so the phone rings. This is it….this one call I thought was about to control my destiny. I gave the signal to my friend that I was stepping outside and all I remember is how bitterly cold it was. Even with a coat on I knew I wouldn’t be able to stay for long out there. I stood on the cold snowy sidewalk and I answered my call. I had no idea who was on the phone…I think it was my doctors nurse? Whoever it was, I didn’t recognize the voice. All I heard was the words I had prayed about….

Biopsy Is Negative For Cancer.

I stood in the cold rainy air and my fingers were starting to go numb. I asked the nice lady one quick thing….Is there a secondary bad thing they were checking for.? She happily said “no, cancer is what they were checking for…and it was Negative.”

As I stood in the freezing cold by the taekwondo studios doors I had a call on the other line…it was my Parents. I didn’t intend to tell them yet, but I just found out and had to. I tapped on the glass windows with my nail, and my friend looked up at me. I gave her a “thumbs up” signal…and immediately she flashed me a huge smile. I was starting to get very cold and wet, but I knew with my parents calling in, the tears were about to flow. I walked down a bit and stood under an awning to a train store next door. It was still cold out there, but atleast I wasn’t getting wet. I took a second to catch my cold breath..and said the greatest words ever….”I Don’t Have Cancer.” My dad was on the phone and I barely heard any words after that. Just sobbing. Sobbing and sobbing and thanking God…and sobbing more. He said “Baby, this is the greatest Christmas Present you could ever give me.” I talked to my mom a bit and she was crying too. I told them I need to call John and would call back. All I heard was “I love you baby.” and more crying.

By this time I am almost totally numb…from the weather…and also the news! I walked near the door to come in and call John, and at the same time he pulls up out front. I blurt out “it was negative for cancer.” and ran up and gave him a very very freezing cold hug:) We didn’t say much at all, but not sure we needed to. It had been so stressfull waiting those 3+ days we were exhausted! We came inside where it was nice and warm and John began to make his calls…and I went into the Taekwondo office to do mine….insert crying and sobbing here;) I don’t have a clue who I called that night, but I remember just being so relieved. It was 5 days before Christmas…and I did not have cancer. I received the greatest gift of all that year….even if that joy was a bit short lasted. At that moment in time I was more at peace than probably ever before in my life. I made my phone calls, cried a bit more…then walked out to watch my little girl test.

I had no idea a mere 28 days from that cold blistery day, I would receive news that I did indeed have breast cancer. It was agressive and I had to move fast and make some big decisions.

So next week as testing approaches at taekwondo I can’t help but tap on that glass once more and give a “hand signal.” Will it be a thumbs up? maybe something else;) we’ll have to wait and see……. It is a day to remember…and will always be part of my journey.

Add all this up with the emotions of Christmas and what it means to me this year, and hopefully everyone will understand why I am more emotional. Who wouldn’t be? Back track one year ago and I would have never imagined any of this. It leaves an imprint on your soul.

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