There is always a sad passage to every story

It has been difficult as of late. I’ve been writing but not here. Writing letters to my son, wishes for “if and only if” the time comes, letters to my husband, journals about my hopes for Milo. So, yes I’ve been writing. When the pain comes, doubt filters into my mind. So, I wonder if it is the end to my story nearing, the devil on my shoulder telling me to be angry, or just the damn radiation that is doing in my spirit. I hadn’t read much about how awful the radiation feels, except for the skin issues. The ironic part is that my skin is fine. Perhaps, it is the strength of the olive skin, the olive oil of which my mother swears keeps her youthful. My experience I guess, much like this whole cancer approach my body has taken, is a little bit different. Exhaustion doesn’t seem to be a strong enough word to describe the level of tired I feel. I cry a lot, and am in pain. I feel as if my insides are burning. I can hardly read my son his night night book because I am more tired than he is by 7pm. When my pain meds wear off, I have severe sadness, no energy, fevers and I can’t eat. I’m thinking this is the sad portion of my story yet the devil on my shoulder tells me it’s never ending.

My intentions are not to give up but the realities of my situation seem to be closing in and I do not want my son to see me so weak and tethered to the bed. I see Hank, my doctor, on Wednesday to discuss new options. Thankfully, the big brains are back in my corner as soon as they heard the ‘a-fortune-for’ drug is only working in some areas. There is hope, life isn’t perfect and things take time. I am grateful for all measures that are taken to sustain me, yet I want to live fully. I want to be able to walk the block to Healeo for my juices, have some energy to celebrate my husbands upcoming birthday, take better photos. I feel as if every time I write or speak of my hope it gets kicked to the curb. Shortly after I wrote, Such is Life, my life started to become more difficult to live. This is what makes me sad. With all of this calm fighting and staying the course, have I used up all of my energy? Slow and steady wins the race, and yet at a snail’s pace I barely make it around each corner these days. I won’t let my life come to this, I’m going to cross that finish line one way or another and make it to an age that my son will remember me, and remember me happy. We can create a full life, make it through unremarkable troubles, heartaches, and pain, and yet still have learned and enjoyed each passage. The sad passages give me the courage to move through the painful ones, and embrace the beautiful times. Gratitude always, I try.

At one point during this cancer battle, someone said to me that it is not uncommon for cancer patients to feel entitled. I balked and was angry at this statement and message. I don’t believe I have had an entitled day in my life. Have I said “I don’t deserve this”, why yes, but does this make me entitled? I’ve worked hard to be a loyal, honest and graceful woman. So, no, I don’t believe those of us going through cancer are, or feel entitled. We get to use the cancer card for sure, much like a handicap pass, or like the pregnant or old lady on the subway…I should get a seat before a healthy young person tweeting their complaints for the day. What I do seem to take issue with as a cancer patient are the people on the outside who have zero presence of the journey I am taking, those who are not mindful and undermine my decisions. The people that bitch every day on FB or Twitter about traffic or the weather, as if cold rain or snow in winter should be surprising, or the traffic on the LIE in NY at rush hour is a shocker. These things annoy the heck out of me. Should I waste my energy thinking of it, no, but it brings out the anger of which I must feel for my diagnosis. I have a new appreciation for the action of complaining. I have new advice to those experiencing cancer as a bystander to a loved one. Shut the fuck up. If you are not a close friend, don’t bitch to me about anything, at all. I have unbearable pain to shoulder and just enough energy to pretend I feel okay to my kid. I’m over listening to you people talking about your boss, the cold snap, or election results. Accept what is in front of you and take it like a man/woman. We all have a sad passage hiding within our stories, must we simplify them with the baseness of social media venting?Teaching courage and gratitude might be a better outlet. I request you fight for it, feel it and let go of the mundane blues. Perhaps this is me feeling entitled that some of you should change because of my journey. I am not sure, but with gratitude I try…can you?


33 comments on “There is always a sad passage to every story

  1. Jen…

    Your words are so upsetting and so sad to read. I have nothing great or wise to say to you. The only thing I can say is that I DO love you and I am So ANGRY this is happening to you. I will continue to hold you gently and close to my heart.

    Much love,


    • jelebelle says:

      Thank you. But lets not let the anger consume us, right….
      I adore you and appreciate so much, the comfort you give. Hope things are better with you and yours. Lots of love xo

      • NEVER… the anger never consumes me. I just have to feel it and acknowledge it and then USE it as the force that keeps me pushing for change… for better research, better treatments…. I cherish you. xoxoxo

  2. billgncs says:

    I hate cancer. Our world is engineered to be so safe and sterile that so many are conditioned to be unable to view the world through eyes that have seen hardship. I am keeping you in my thoughts and prayers.

  3. lmw says:


    I am so sorry to hear of the pain in your body and your heart. I’m glad I was able to give you a real life hug and continue to send as much positive energy your way as I can. I am thankful that you have this place to vent and I validate your anger towards the trivial complaints that inundate social media. I have truly admired the way you continue to fight for and cling to gratitude no matter how difficult it can be to find at times. Hugs xx L

  4. Jill says:

    I felt such a visceral reaction while reading your post. For the first half, tears and an overwhelming sense of the injustices of the world as well as a big love for you, your son and husband. But then I felt an empowering call to duty. Your words cut straight through the bull and stab at the core of our purpose. I could feel my jaw set. I could see the superficial and the mundane more clearly. You convey a sense of the big picture, a sense of life’s meaning. You made me stop what I was doing and forward your post to several people I know. I think everyone should read it, but you know, some just aren’t ready yet. In the meantime, I hope you don’t mind if I borrow your phrase “as if cold rain or snow in winter should be surprising . . .” I just love that. Thank you for your post. I find it incredible that as you speak of indescribable fatigue, you are simultaneously such a commendable force of power.

    • jelebelle says:

      Oh Jill, your words have such powerful meaning to me. I appreciate you pointing out the force that keeps me going, reminding me to keep going. Your perspective is important to me. Share what you like, it was a difficult one to write because i don’t want to shut everyone out, some people might not understand the directness or indirectness of my path. lots of love to you and your family as well. I will especially cradle you in my heart next month. xo

  5. Andrew says:

    Unfortunately, part of human nature is complaining, no matter how minor the complaints. Equally, unfortunately, far too many people lack perspective and context; what might be normal water cooler talk is not appropriate with someone with cancer or other form of trauma. Not easy, and I find one learns who one’s true friends are. Best wishes.

  6. Paula says:

    It’s a rough go for you, I am sorry you’re hurting. Please stay strong, everyone can have a sad passage, but just make it a passage through and not a bridge from one negative thought to another. I feel such sadness for you and I’m sorry you are going through this. Hang in there. I know exactly what you mean by *shut the *** up*. I too have friends and family that bitch just about everything, I think they forget what we are going through because we choose to suffer in silence. Stay strong. Your family needs you.

    • jelebelle says:

      Thank you. I like that…a passage through, that’s what this will be. I do believe that I still have strength and hope left. Your thoughts are appreciated and welcome. Best to you!

  7. bornbyariver says:

    I wish I could save you, and every other young mother who struggles to raise her children in the storm of serious illness. But what I can do, what I will do, in honor of you and the others fighting the good fight, is shut the fuck up. Thank you so much for spending a bit of your energy in sharing your journey with us. I’m sending you love from AZ.

  8. No words, just incredible love for you.

  9. I remember those times that you are talking about…my boys were 1 and 3 at the time I went through breast cancer and it wasn’t easy. Just know that you have a hand to hold onto when you need it. Hugs to you xo

  10. Very powerful words! God Bless.

  11. dear jen,

    the raw and heartwrenching words of this post where you wonder about the “sad passage” moved me so much. you wrote so powerfully about what it is like to suffer fools who natter inanely about stuff that’s just minutiae – “shut the fuck up” seems to me to be a perfectly apt admonishment.

    in my heart i will align with your resolve to create a life lived fully, rich with courage and gratitude. let me follow your example and tell you, jen, how grateful i feel for you and for your incredible writing, your ability to express such heartfelt emotions and share what you are going through.
    and know, always, that you are not alone.

    love, XOXO,

    karen, TC

    • jelebelle says:

      Thank you thank Karen. I am happy my words resonated and that I am validated somehow that it is okay to say shut the fuck up 😉 it feels good to say so maybe it is a grand release of tension. I feel your support and carry it close. Xoxo

  12. If energy and love can be sent over the world wide web, I’m sending it now! Keep writing…you are wonderful.

  13. Barb Snow says:

    Powerful words that provide a lesson to all of us – stop whining about the little things and reflect on those who are facng real issues. I’m beaming you and your family good thoughts, peace, calmness, and above all, love.
    Barb in Minnesota

  14. exiledtyke says:

    “It has been difficult as of late”. Talk about using the power of understatement! I have to admit it did make me smile.
    Hopefully the big brains have come up with a plan which will let you and your son read your inspiring writings together.

  15. Carol H says:

    Sending you lots of love sweet Jen.xo

  16. khp says:

    i love you, you courageous woman! as mentioned so many times…you inspire me to be better on so many levels. before cancer and most assuredly during your journey through all this crap. i hate that you are taking this all on. i wish there was something more i could do. i love you, i love you, i love you!

  17. Wow…what a great blog post. I understand some of what you feel, I believe cancer – and the pain and sickness it brings – gives us a whole new perspective on the small crap people complain about. Social media has made everyone a star in their own mind, and they feel if a thought appears in their mind, they should share it, no matter how trivial, self centered, or stupid. I believe that my cancer battle has opened my eyes to a whole new life, and you are right – if you need to share something – make it positive and uplifting – not self centered and ridiculous. My heart breaks for you and your family and I just have to tell you – but you already know – I hate cancer. *&^$$^&*90)(*^%^

  18. YAPCaB says:

    Cancer has brought on serious depression issues for me. The two combined sap me of energy. You might want to talk with your doctor about anti-depressants. Cancer is trying to steal your life. Depression -will- steal your present. On the energy front ask your doctor about adderall. It might be a bad fit for you, but then again it may help significantly with energy.

    If you haven’t already, you really need to listen to “Get Over It” by the Eagles.

  19. Girl, this post is beautiful. And haunting. And terrifying. And gut-wrenching. And beautiful. Did I say beautiful?! While I hate that cancer brought me to your blog (and you to mine), I am glad that I’ve read your words and shared your emotions. Don’t shy away from telling it like it is. It’s good for you to get it out, and it’s imperative that the world knows what this wretched disease is really like–the reality as opposed to the pink-ribbon drivel we’ve been fed. You’re a source of strength and inspiration, my friend, and I hope that helps keep you strong and that it keeps the fight in ya. Lots of love coming to you from Texas. xo

  20. Kimberly Patterson says:

    I just got done reading this and I wanted to tell you how many times I would of liked to say what you just wrote. I’m young, a wife and mother, and battling late stage ovarian cancer. I’m starting to read your blog and what you are saying really hits home. I am wishing a better year for you and you are in my thoughts and my prayers. Sending you love from Pittsburgh, PA.

    • jelebelle says:

      Oh sweet girl. So sorry to hear this…too many of us oing through this shit, so young. I hope my words offer some kind of help. Let me know if you have questions. Best to you and yours and brighter days ahead to both of us. xo

  21. melissa says:

    I lost my mom to BC in oct 2011 and I just wanted to say I wish you the best and will pray for you and your family!!! XO

  22. […] There is always a sad passage to every story ( […]

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