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My Newest and Most Important Battle Ever…

October 9, 2014

One year ago today marked our first full day of living in Dubai. The boys and I had arrived very late the night before, which also happened to be my 40th birthday. Starting a new decade of life on a new continent halfway across the world made the move especially poignant, I remember thinking. I felt so positive, so “renewed”, and yet so anxious all at the same time.

We came home in June for the summer, with plans to return (and to a new school with a much better contractua/housing package and a seemingly much better academic program for the boys).

We never made it back to Dubai. In mid-July, a routine doctor’s appointment led to a diagnosis of Stage 4 cancer that had spread into my lymph nodes.

After hearing a couple of treatment options, I decided to go with having chemotherapy before the radiation (as opposed to the other way around). And I’m currently halfway through the 6-session treatment cycle.

So far, the news has been positive. The doctors feel the chemo is working. I had a tumor in a node on my neck that was easily noticeable. It looked like half a boiled egg, but has shrunk down to the point that my oncologist can’t even feel it anymore, never mind see it. This makes us optimistic.

And I have to be optimistic. I have three boys who are only 7, 8, and 10 years old, and need a mother. So I try my best to stay positive. I stay away from Web MD and those other sites. I ignore the statistics. Because I have to.

I wasn’t sure whether to take my battle public via this blog. But I do have a fairly significant followers by now – enough to warrant an explanation as to why I’m not back in Dubai.

So there it is. Hopefully this post will prove to have cured my writer’s block. For most of the time between chemo sessions I’m feeling well enough to be writing and taking action against corporate reform, and now I feel like I can get back to it!

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  1. John Odell permalink

    So sorry to hear about your condition. I believe a good attitude is essential for your survival. Also if I may prescribe something, start watching a lot of comedy and funny shows. It is my belief that laughter is a key factor when facing a problem and your body will respond to laughter.

  2. jonpelto permalink

    Warmest thoughts Jill – we are sending waves of healing blessings!

    • Thanks Jon, and best of luck with the campaign…I don’t know what I can do from Boston, but please let me know if there is anything at all I can do to help your run. Good luck again!

  3. Amika Kemmler-Ernst permalink

    Thank you for telling us about what’s happening. My warmest wishes for strength and patience and a full recovery.

  4. EconomicDemocracy Coop permalink

    Jill – your blog is so very much appreciated and so very needed (even if I only participated about 5% of the time I wanted to in commenting..), I was extremely sorry to hear this news and wish you the very best! My grandfather died when his prostate cancer spread to his lymphs, but that was almost 20 years go…we know more today, and please forgive me if I share my views but it’s out of trying to help you – I’m in neither camp of “maisntream is bad, alternative is good” NOT in the opposite “only mainstream medicine is good”

    Lifestyle including diet can do a LOT…See 4:10 minutes into this 5:49 min video for the exciting findings of a UCLA research team of how exercise and a plant based diet changed the very BLOOD COMPOSITION of the participants in just two weeks so that growth rates of cancer cells (at least in vitro) with the blood dripped on them, were slowed significantly.

    That is, the cancer grew significantly more slowly when exposed to the blood of the women on the healthier diet-and-exercise regimen. If that can happen in just TWO WEEKS, imagine what long-term healthier lifestyle might do to improve one’s odds!

    This site shows all the reserach papers they cite, here’s the video mentioned above:

    Feel free to email me privately for more links etc, I’m not sure how much it will let me here

    P.S.I met Dr. Greger, M.D. in the 1990s before he was an M.D. and before his website (somewhat) fame grew….

    PPS: Search for “breast cancer” on his website for more…there’s lots of good news in alternative/complimentary medicine that is not quack and is Science based and includes diet…and you don’t have to stop mainstream approaches (glad you reserach those carefully before deciding which order) and can easily do them side by side….Hugs and well-wishes to your soul as it works to heal your body!

    • Thanks a lot for the well wishes and advice about food choices! I will definitely check out the link…I’ve heard tons about diet and it’s effect on cancer, and i’m curious to see what this has to offer. Thanks again, and thanks for supporting my blog too 🙂

      • econdemocracy permalink

        I guess its been close to a year since I posted my above comment. Was updating my Ravitch subscription and was reminded of (and kept; did not delete) the one to your blog. My message is boring I suppose, and I’ll post the same boring message again in the future be it in 12 or 6 or 18 months, but boring as it is, I think it’s important to say it: We haven’t forgotten about your or your most important personal battle, we haven’t forgotten about you Jill. Sometimes our spiritual growth comes from helping others, sometimes it is by struggling against adversity, follow your river, and as they say on airlines: you have to put the mask on yourself first (take care of yourself) or else you won’t be able to take care of others if you don’t care for yourself first. “Life is mostly froth and bubble; two things stand like stone: kindness in another’s trouble; Courage in one’s own” (Adam Lindsay Gordon). Happy to share more about plant-based healing nutrition I’ve followed for 25+yrs if you have questions. In either case: I/we haven’t forgotten, and we’re still rooting for you 🙂 Peace and well-wishes, -H (Econdemocracy at gmail)

  5. All the best to you Jill!! All good wishes going your way!! You are a very courageous person!!!

  6. Margaret Benson permalink

    Wishing you the best Jill. Keep reading and learning about your form of cancer — you have to know what to ask doctors, they don’t always tell you everything.

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