Living with Cancer

by Jenny Peterson on December 14, 2012

in Healthy Living

As many of you may have noticed, I haven’t been as active on my blog this year, or online in general for that matter. I’ve kept it quiet until now, but I was diagnosed with breast cancer this past May. I had two surgeries in June, took July to recuperate, started chemo in August and radiation in November. My prognosis is excellent, but it’s been a tough year, to be honest.

My friend, Theresa Loe, sent me this bracelet after my diagnosis. It reminds me to stay hopeful and dig down deep.


I’m not the only one going through illness or treatment — my friend Jean Ann Van Krevelen has been dealing with fibromyalgia and a laundry list of mystery symptoms that we hope will get a name sometime soon. Because of her experience, she started a blog called Health Adjacent where she talks about what it’s like to live with a chronic illness, disease or treatment. Jean Ann and I have been friends and colleagues for several years now, and she invited me to share some of my experience as a guest blogger this week. Yesterday, in Hair Today, Gone Tomorrow I talk about how I handled my hair loss due to chemotherapy, and today I videoed my Top 10 Ways to Cope with Change From Chronic Illness. If you or someone you love is experiencing anything similar, I invite you to check these posts out. I hope they help you.

I decided to begin talking and writing more about my journey with breast cancer here on J. Peterson Garden Design, too — I know it’s not really about gardening or plants, but because I see things as all inter-connected, I’m going with it. I’ll have a new category called “Healthy Living,” where you will find posts about dealing with illness and treatment, ways to cope and thrive, and links to other sites that have great information on how to live the healthiest life you can, no matter what you are facing.

Please join me in this  — it’s not a journey to be walked alone. I may have gotten through this on my own if I’d have had to, but I never would have thrived and found such beauty along the way without my cherished family and circle of friends. I hope this blog can be a part of your journey as well.

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{ 14 comments… read them below or add one }

Julie Gomoll December 14, 2012 at 12:25 pm

Glad you decided to write and video about it, Jenny. Courage indeed. I sure miss you!

Jenny Peterson December 14, 2012 at 12:31 pm

Thank you, Julie — you have been one of my biggest champions in terms of my writing, and I so appreciate everything you have done for me. I miss you, too, and would love to see you in the new year!

Miriam Goldberger December 14, 2012 at 12:46 pm

I am so very proud of you! You are a true warrior! Sending lots of love and hugs!!!

Jenny Peterson December 14, 2012 at 12:59 pm

Thank you, Miriam! You are a very encouraging friend.

ChrisG December 14, 2012 at 1:13 pm

Jenny – I had no idea you were battling cancer. Thank you for sharing and I know you’re a strong soul – you can kick cancer’s ass. I look forward to your blog posts about health – hugs to you!

Jenny Peterson December 14, 2012 at 2:06 pm

Thank you, Chris–I am doing well and looking forward to wrapping up treatment by New Year’s. 2013 will be a better year!

Pam/Digging December 14, 2012 at 2:31 pm

Jenny, you totally rock — by sharing your hard-won wisdom and experience with others who are going through it, or may one day go through it, you’re also sharing your courage and empowering goodness knows how many people. You have my admiration.

Vicki @ Playin' Outside December 14, 2012 at 2:37 pm

I thought you were absolutely beautiful with the buzz cut! Please let the Austin blogger group know how we can help. Just had a small taste of what a huge difference a little support can make and would appreciate the opportunity to pass it on.

Jenny Peterson December 14, 2012 at 2:47 pm

Pam and Vicki–thank you for your kindness! I’m hoping to be able to sport the buzz cut again soon, as my hair is just now coming back in. :-)

Cat December 14, 2012 at 5:06 pm

So proud of you Jenny. Your courage and joy through this fight has been astounding. This is a beautiful way for you to share and encourage others … way to go! Hugs.

Dawn Engel December 14, 2012 at 9:13 pm

Jenny–I watched your videos this morning, and have been thinking about you nonstop today. I’m so glad to hear that the treatments are almost over–now it’s onward and upward towards a fresh, new beginning! I hope you can feel the positive energy I’m sending all the way over to Austin!

Ally December 15, 2012 at 11:31 am

I read your article Hair Today, Gone Tomorrow. After I dried my eyes, I thought, you are so incredibly brave. I just know that your brave words will bring comfort to someone in need. I’m very happy to hear that your prognosis is so good. I’m sure your positive attitude is a big part of that. Please accept my heartfelt wishes for a better year in 2013 for you and your family!

Charlie December 19, 2012 at 8:42 am

I was told this month I have leukemia. I am through that moment when you absolutely loose it and have developed a Plan A, a Plan B, and yes a Plan C. I will continue to watch with interest, I need to be able to cheer your successes.

Linda Lehmusvirta December 19, 2012 at 6:10 pm

Dear Jenny, I’m so sorry that you must travel this journey, but your upbeat attitude and stories to share impact us all. Your strength is a valuable lesson that will encourage so many.

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