Joy is not in things. It is in us.

Thoughts On Joy And Dealing With The Big C

In Motherhood, Parenting by Jen53 Comments

I almost didn’t write this post, but fear should never be an overriding element in our lives. Plus what is the point of having a blog if you don’t use it as a platform to share important topics with others? I do share a lot of my life here. Especially if I think it could benefit someone, but there are some things I hold back. Unless I think it is important and there is something slightly scary coming up for me and I would like you all to know about it. I haven’t been quite sure how to say it. There seems to be almost a road block in my speech when I try to vocalize it, but here goes.

I might have thyroid cancer.

There. I said it. Kind of.

I say might, because the size of the nodule in my throat is too large to really get a good result with Fine Needle Aspiration. If you aren’t familiar with the medical lingo of that, an FNA is where with ultra sound guidance, they stick a long, thin needle, in this case right into my neck to biopsy the suspect nodule. My FNA included 7 such needles. The process hurt and was uncomfortable. I was brave sitting in the chair, but I cried after I left the Dr’s office.

Jen’s Guy and I returned to my Doctor one week after the FNA to get the results. I was told the results came back benign, but due to the size and scary calcifications on the nodule, this result was actually inconclusive. My chances of it being cancerous are more closer to 50/50. My Dr. urged me to allow him to perform a partial thyroidectomy in order to determine if cancer cells are present. It took a month for me to decide, but my surgery is now scheduled for March 27th. The initial surgery is out patient. I will be sore and uncomfortable from that surgery for a few weeks, unless of course after a thorough biopsy  the nodule proves to be cancerous. Then I will be back in surgery within 5 to 7 days and go through a round of radiation.

I haven’t cried about all of this. Not really. Not until right now as I sit typing it.

It’s not devastating news. It’s just hard.

From my research I found that many people have had this treatment and gone on to live cancer free lives, but it definitely puts your mortality into the forefront.

If you have ever met me in real life, you know that I am a warm and open person, but talking about myself like I just did is not one of my best skills. I have a hard time opening up, but I think my children and family deserve an open and honest environment as we tread this new… I don’t know quite the right word to describe it, but maybe, life event? I guess.

Anyways, for the next little bit I will still be here blogging and trying to get my family ready for the next few months of uncertainties as much as I can. At best it could be one surgery. Or it could be a little longer….

Time will tell.

If in the future there are holes and lapses over here, you now will know why. If you know me in real life, give my kids and husband a hug when you see them. I will try to share as much about this process as I can.

One last thought. This one is about joy. I was reading in the Bible this week. Somehow I ended up in Proverbs. There are a few translations of this particular scripture verse, but I like both of these translations for different reasons and I thought I would share them with you.

Proverbs 31:25

“She is clothed in strength and dignity and she laughs without fear of the future.”

And here is another translation of that same verse. It kind of works for what I am feeling.

“Strength and honour are her clothing; and she shall rejoice in time to come.”

Joy is not in things. It is in us.

This is going to be my motto as I proceed, and because I am who I am, I made a printable. You can grab it here if you would like.

Hugs and thanks for listening,


Go ahead and share this post, you know you want to!


  1. Aw, Jen I am truly so sorry to read that you may have thyroid cancer. I am saying some extra prayers that this turns into just a scare and nothing else comes from it. Seriously have my fingers crossed that you don’t have cancer. I am here for you and again sending my love to you, my friend. Hugs and if you need anything, please don’t hesitate to reach out to me. Thinking of you now,Jen.
    Janine Huldie recently posted…Is Your Family Ready For The Future?My Profile

    1. Author

      Thanks Janine. There is still hope it could just be nothing and after it all is over I will have a gnarly scare that I can scare kids with by saying I got it in a knife fight :)

      Thanks my friend for your sweet thoughts and love ! I will take it.
      Jen recently posted…Thoughts On Joy And Dealing With The Big CMy Profile

  2. Oh Jen. Now would be a good time to give you a hug. Thank you so much for opening up and being real, even when it is hard. I will most certainly be praying for you and your family in the coming weeks.

  3. Oh my goodness. You are doing something I’ve yet to do. I have a biopsy for a nodule in my breast. I’m not freaking, but I’m worried.

    I’ll be praying for the both of us. You are an amazing woman and mom and we will both keep a positive attitude.

    Have a blessed day, my friend. You’re in my thoughts and prayers. ♥♥♥
    Comedy Plus recently posted…Wordless WednesdayMy Profile

  4. No!!!! I’m crying with you today. I could not have dealt with that needle in the neck part. Gracious, why don’t they give out anesthesia for this stuff??? Adding you to my prayer list this month. I have a friend who went through this a couple of years ago. She did have to endure the radiation, and I’m sure it was hard, but she is cancer free now, which is amazing. So sorry to hear, Jen. Thank you for sharing with us.
    April recently posted…Military Marriage Retreat at the CoveMy Profile

    1. Author

      I think there was an anesthesia needle, maybe. But it hurt worse than the actual needle. I can’t remember, because it all just hurt and was a blur. There are many good stories like that of your friends. I like hearing them. Thanks for sharing yours with me and for your prayers. I will take all of that I can get.
      Jen recently posted…Thoughts On Joy And Dealing With The Big CMy Profile

  5. Thank you for sharing. That took courage and I think it will help others out there facing similar struggles. Big hugs to you and your family!

    And, here’s a verse of encouragement, Isaiah 40:31:
    But those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.
    Katy recently posted…Lessons From a Losing SeasonMy Profile

  6. I am praying that the tests all come back negative! It is so brave of you to share your story when I am sure you are probably under so much stress from all this right now! I will be thinking of you and your family!

  7. Jen, I adore you and I am glad you shared! I know I can’t do much, but I am here, should you ever need me.

  8. I’m so sorry to hear this. I would be probably be crying all the time, which is totally fine! It’s good to let it out. I hope that the surgery reveals it to NOT be cancer, but you have a lot of people rooting for you and thinking about you regardless of the outcome!! I had a friend in middle school who had thyroid cancer but she’s completely fine now – many years later. Cancer is scary regardless, but this is one that has MUCH better odds!

    ShootingStarsMag recently posted…The Best We Could Do: An Illustrated Memoir by Thi BuiMy Profile

    1. Author

      How scary- middle school?! I am glad to hear she is fine now.

      I have a friend who is going through this type of cancer right now, and the radiation is hard when you are wanting to start a family. So I count myself lucky where I am at in my stage of life to be going through something like this.

      Hugs and thanks for being a great friend!
      Jen recently posted…Thoughts On Joy And Dealing With The Big CMy Profile

  9. Many prayers and hugs for you, Jen. I am so sorry you are facing this. You’ve chosen a beautiful verse, and I will be praying that with you. ❤️

    1. Author

      It’s funny, but when I started thinking about not writing this post, I realized how angry I would be at a blogging friend who didn’t share something like this so I could support her. I guess that was the tipping point. Hugs my friend and thanks for your sweet support. It means a lot.
      Jen recently posted…Thoughts On Joy And Dealing With The Big CMy Profile

  10. Thank you so much for sharing. I can’t imagine how frustrating having such a huge unknown such as this. So much love and prayerful thoughts for you and your family. You know we are always here for you to listen and to be whatever type of support you may need.
    Tarynn Playle recently posted…Fool Proof Cake BallsMy Profile

    1. Author

      The not knowing is indeed the hardest part. I am a planner at heart, and right now there is kind of this huge gaping hole in the coming months that I don’t really know how to process. I guess time will tell. Ah, time. I guess that is the real key, no?

      Thanks for your sweet comment and support. I appreciate it.
      Jen recently posted…Thoughts On Joy And Dealing With The Big CMy Profile

  11. I will send positive thoughts and energies to you. I had a similar scare a few years back (possible colon cancer). Kind of scary to wake up from a colonoscopy and be asked by the doctor if you still worked at MD Anderson Cancer Center. That’ll make the drugs wear off in a hurry. Not cancer, but the growth was large and the cells were precancerous. It was nerve-racking to be sure. Maintaining a positive outlook when I just wanted to curl up in a fetal position and feel sorry for myself. Support is everything. You have plenty it seems both from your genetic family and your internet family. :)

  12. Oh goodness, bodies doing odd things as we age is always new and many times uncomfortable or scary. You’ve got all your family who will fast and pray for you, myself included. If it’s of any help, I once dated a guy who wouldn’t beat a cold, and a sore throat, just wouldn’t go away. After week, he found out he had stage 4 thyroid cancer. And he was 25. Fast forward now, even with a hiccup during surgery with his vocal cords being nicked, (he’s a recorded artist and musician) he not only had his full voice back, he beat the cancer with no radiation and using organic treatments and now is a daddy to a 7yr old little girl! Technology is advanced in the medicine field and helps thousands. I love you! ? you’re in my prayers as is your family. Xoxox miss you.

    1. Author

      Oh my goodness, that is quite a scary diagnosis to come at you all at once! I am happy to hear that his treatment worked well for him. I have read and heard that this is one of the best types of cancer to have. Kind of weird to think that way….

      I appreciate your sweet comment, love, thoughts, and offers for fasting, I will take all of it.
      Jen recently posted…Thoughts On Joy And Dealing With The Big CMy Profile

  13. We’ll be praying for you, Jennifer! It was good that you posted this and shared it! You’ve been very brave, and we’ll pray for your continued courage!

  14. Hi Jen, it is hard sharing certain things about ourselves and you have been very brave sharing what you have been going through. It must be a very difficult time for you all right now. I am sending you plenty of happy vibes and virtual hugs, as you need them. You have always come across as a warm and friendly person in your posts and I would like to think that one day you may make it over here to see what I share in my photos for real. It may happen, it may not, but right now it is important for you to focus on you and your family.

    I hope to be reading a post in April saying that this was all a horrible scare and you are in fact fit and healthy, with a nodule or two that you can name and live a long and happy life with.

    You take care Jen and step back if you need to. The world of blogging will still be here to welcome you back when you are in a better place.

    Debbie recently posted…Monday Morning Blog Club 06/03/17My Profile

  15. That’s a great motto, my friend. I’m so glad you shared this scary news so all of us who have grown to care so deeply about you can join your family in prayer. Much love to you, Jen. Please keep us posted! Writing about these tough issues can be the best therapy :).
    Candace Playforth recently posted…3 Tips to Get Your Marriage Out of a RutMy Profile

  16. That is a very inspirational post. LOVE that verse. You hang in there. I am sorry that you have to go through this, but you got this. Prayers to you.
    Barrie Bismark recently posted…The MomtrumMy Profile

  17. Recently, I wrote a post “Parenting with Cancer: 7 Unforgettable Life Lessons” shared by another tuned in mom with an indomitable and inspiring spirit like your own. And, yes, because you’re you, you’ll not only continue to inspire others, but you and your family will get through this as I suspect you’ve gotten through many trials. ~Elle

  18. Oh Jen, what a difficult time it must be. Thank you so much for opening up and sharing with us all and thank you for that fabulous verse. I will remember you in my prayers. God bless you #happynowlinkup
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  19. Jen, I am so sorry to hear this news. I had a cancer scare once and although it turned out to be a false alarm, it was still an experience that I remember as a dark time in my life. The worry, uncertaintly, and general mix of emotions is so hard to bear. I know you’re probably not looking forward to your surgery but at least you will soon know what the future has in store. I will be sending out my best hopes and wishes and hopefully you will get the same result as I did. Good luck Jen. #happynowlinkup

    1. Author

      The unknown is always so scary isn’t it? Usually I push it back, no sense fretting, but this time I have to plan a little for my family, and just not knowing how much to do is so hard. Luckily, several of them are older and fairly confident, so they will have to pick up where mom used to take care of things. Maybe that is one positive to come out of all of this. Increasing self reliance in my children?

      Thanks for sharing your own experience and for your sweet comment. I appreciate it.
      Jen recently posted…Birthday Thoughts: Life According To A 4 Year OldMy Profile

  20. Wishing you lots of strength, support, and love as you go through this. You are so brave for sharing.

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