New news…reality bites

Hey guys, this is Jamie (aka Aunt B, B, etc.).  I’ve been tasked with updating Jen’s blog again today.  Let me just start by saying you know the feeling you get when you have to follow someone completely awesome at something?  (Probably like how Brock Osweiler feels when he comes in for Peyton Manning during a Broncos game or like when Solange Knowles performs after Beyonce.)  Well, that’s me right now.  Jen is so amazing with words and following her feels a wee bit intimidating.   But here we go nonetheless.

Yesterday Jen started feeling nauseated, had a headache and started vomiting. Today, it started all over again and Aunt Liz and Gigi were quick to come to her aide.  This is typical behavior for Jen’s body after chemo, but she was unable to have chemo this week due to a low platelet count.  Because of that, she texted Dr. Osborne, who suggested she come in for an MRI to rule out anything going on in her brain.  I picked Jen up and we headed to the hospital around 9:45 to see nurse Christina who helped access her port.  We then made our way over to a different building to check in for MRI, where we were joined by Scott.  While Jen went back for her MRI, Scott and I walked over to join many of Jen’s close friends and mother who had already planned to meet at Baylor with the child life specialist that morning. (She will update you on that part later I’m sure – such a gift in so many ways).

Our instructions were to contact nurse Christina after the MRI to see if she had the results.  She had told us previously that she ordered the results to come back STAT.   Now listen, I’ve seen enough Grey’s Anatomy to know what that means.   However, that must only work on TV because this particular STAT allowed us enough time to eat a leisurely lunch with the group in the hospital cafe AND play a round of monopoly in the waiting room.  (Or maybe it just felt like that).  Christina even came out to the waiting room to let us know there was a glitch in the electronic transfer of the results.  She told us we could either stay there and wait it out, or go home and she would call Jen once she had the results.  Um…have you MET this crew?  We debated for a millisecond, planted firmly in our chairs, and decided to wait it out.

Eventually, Christina called for us, and the group (Scott, Jane, CC & Gigi) headed back to the exam room.  At that point, she let us know that the MRI show a ‘met’ (short for metastasis) in her brain.  The mood of the room suddenly changed and we all settled in to that place we don’t like to go.  I think it’s called reality.  Further explanation revealed that the ‘met’ was small (under a centimeter) and that there were also spots on her skull.  The skull spots weren’t too alarming because we already have the knowledge that cancer has spread to her bones. (And even though this was new information to us, it wasn’t as significant of a finding according to Christina.)  The ‘met’ in her brain, however, was a new character we didn’t want to introduce to this already sad story.  We don’t know, nor will we ever, if this ‘met’ is new or has been there awhile.  Up until this point, Jen’s brain hasn’t been scanned.  But what it confirms is that the cancer is spreading and will likely continue to surprise us in unexpected places.  Reality, does in fact, bite.

The next course of action will be for Jen to meet with a different doctor (who deals primarily with brains) on Wednesday to get scheduled for radio surgery.  From what I understand, this is radiation to eradicate the ‘met’, and will be an outpatient surgery.  It can last anywhere from 1-3 days total (meaning she may have to come several days in a row).  She will stay on the same chemo treatment for now, and will possibly have a scan sooner than anticipated to check the rest of her body (as of now, insurance only pays for a scan every 3 months and her last one was at the end of May).

As you might expect, Jen, in typical fashion, began seeing God’s goodness and provision immediately despite this setback.  She saw how the Lord allowed her to get sick, really sick, on the day her family & friends were already scheduled to meet at Baylor allowing some sweet fellowship while receiving difficult news.  She saw how he allowed her to get sick, really sick, despite the fact that she hadn’t even had chemo so her doctor’s wouldn’t dismiss it as just a side affect.  (Side note: they believe Jen may have a virus of some sort, but the nausea and vomiting are not necessarily related to the ‘met’).  She saw how he allowed connections with her friends & family to the child life specialist helping Linc and to the nurse coordinating the surgery.  In other words, she saw how He is in all of the details.  And she continues to acknowledge that at every turn.  It’s a beautiful thing to watch her share God’s sovereignty with every single person involved in this process without her even knowing that she’s doing it.  She loves the Lord and trusts Him with each step.  And even though that seems impossible given her circumstances, I’m here to tell you it’s consistent and it’s real.

In closing, I hope you understand that processing all of this, for me, requires some element of humor.  I would hate for you to mistake my somewhat cavalier prose above for lack of concern or understanding about the serious nature of what we are facing.  Jen and I are together a lot and can joke about even the most serious of things.  It’s how we do it.  It’s how we’ve always done it.  But I also really hope you understand that I love my friend with all of my heart and I wouldn’t wish this journey on anyone.  It’s been the most excruciating thing to watch someone I love being poked and prodded all of the time and land in countless exam rooms never knowing what she’s going to hear from the doctor.  But this is where we are.  And this is where she is.  And I rest assured knowing that our Lord and Savior has a master plan that will eventually bring glory to His name.

Jen just texted and asked that I share this verse in my post, which I found extremely appropriate to my aforementioned point about Jen. (Also, she likes to have the last word, so this proves THAT point. Thanks Beyonce.)

“We now have this light shining in our hearts, but we ourselves are like fragile clay jars containing this great treasure.  This makes it clear that our great power is from God, not from ourselves.  We are pressed on every side by troubles, but we are not crushed.  We are perplexed, but not driven to despair.  We are hunted down, but never abandoned by God.  We get knocked down, but we are not destroyed.  Through suffering, our bodies continue to share in the death of Jesus so that the life of Jesus may also be seen in our bodies.”  I Corinthians 4:7-10

Thank you for your continued prayers and support.

Much love,

B

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26 thoughts on “New news…reality bites

  1. Sweet, funny, and faithful Jen…love you and praying for you and your guys. Still praying that His hope is the anchor
    of your soul.

  2. Oh Js – both of you. How do people face life when reality bites without God? Thank you for sharing This Walk Theough The Valley of the Shadow of Death. Obviously, prayers over you.

  3. This news is hard. I am truly thankful for the humor, Jamie, and for the reminders of God’s faithful sovereignty even over this. I am truly thankful for the presence of so many friends, for the provision of the awesome child life specialist, for the countless deposits of scripture carried in Jen’s heart, for fun in the midst of heartache. I will continue to pray-not changing my ask of the Lord for complete healing. I love you Jen, Scott, Lincoln and Gunner!

  4. My heart broke when I read this. Thankful that you shared this verse to encourage our hearts. Love you, Jen, so much.

  5. Saddened for this news, prayers continue for healing, both for the cancers and this virus that God allowed so you could get a jump start in dealing with head met. Prayers for Lincoln and Scott and the whole family if friends supporting you day in and day out. You all are pointing the world to Christ and encouraging us to draw near to Him

  6. Jamie, I don’t think anyone would misread your love and devotion to Jen. You guys are so blessed to have each other — such a special friendship. Such a tragic experience but all I ever read about is the positive. Jennifer, you continue to teach me through your journey. Continued prayers for you and your family/friends.

  7. I don’t know you all but wanted to share that I’ve been following. ..and praying. .. I had cancer and went through all of the chemo and such. . not easy…when my girls were 5 & 8. I don’t think mothers fear dying but I think they feel loss perhaps in leaving their little cherished ones. Love and hugs. I can certainly empathize!  Sincerely, Robin Drennon

    Sent via the Samsung Galaxy S® 4 mini ™, an AT&T 4G LTE smartphone

  8. Thank you, Jamie, for filling us all in so we can pray clearly and directly. Jen continues to be a bright light during some of these darker days. What an inspiration to us all…love and hugs.

  9. Thank you for the update, Jamie. You did great. My heart hurts for all of you close to the Clouses. I pray for you as I pray for them as you journey together on this holy ground.

    Sent from my iPhone

    >

  10. My heart just breaks to read this too. Thank you Jenn for always being a shining light no matter what the circumstances. I miss your face. I am praying for you and your precious family.

  11. Continuing to pray for you Jen and your family. Thank you for your testimony to the Lord’s faithfulness despite unbearable circumstances. You are a blessing to me and so many others.

  12. Jamie, I think you might be Beyoncé Junior! You do your dear friend proud! Also, your parents! Much love and continued prayers for all!

    Sent from my iPhone

    >

  13. Thinking of your sweet family today… Sending prayers your way. Thank you for sharing your cancer fight. I am truly humbled by your faith in the lord and ability to see the positive. I have no doubt that at some point in my life I will be in a bad circumstance, and I will think of you Jen and how you love the lord no matter what. Your story is changing people’s lives.

  14. I’m so sorry. I can’t wrap my head, sorry, around this. I am amazed at this woman who I don’t even know but feel as though she and all of you are my family, which you are. Praying for God’s will and Love in all things. Love and Hugs.

  15. Sweet Friend,
    That’s a great title! Yet, you keep your eyes on him and keep encouraging us in the midst! LOVE that verse!
    We are praying for you and your family.
    Love ya,
    Christi & Brian
    Deuteronomy 31:6 Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the Lord your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you.”

  16. Jenn, I’m so sorry for this latest news. I continue to pray for you and your family. Thank you so much for your faithfulness and always pointing us to Jesus.

  17. I’m so sorry to hear this. Praying and praying and praying. I just can’t thank you enough for modeling to all of us the way you do. Your grace in this situation is amazing.

  18. Jamie – beautiful words – thank you for the update and the glimpse into the love you have for and show to Jen consistently through this.
    Jen – we are so sad to hear this news – and we are praying for clear steps ahead – love you.
    Meredith and Scott

  19. Thank you Jamie for updating us all on specifics so we can know exactly what to pray for. Your friendship with Jen is just so precious and seeing all of your friendships in action in both good and bad times is truly something to behold. Jen – I am praying fervently for you, your doctors, your family, and friends. And I’m praying for BIG miracles!!! Lots of Love, Sheaffer

  20. Another stranger here, who found this blog via another. I believe that God pointed me to this blog so that I could have the privilege of praying for Jen and her sweet family. I am sorry to hear this news. I started to write to say that hearing it reminded me that all any of us have is today, and today Jen is loved and held close by so many. But then, I realized that Jen would probably disagree, because we also have tomorrow in Jesus Christ. And she would be right. So, I will rephrase my reply. I am thankful that Jen is so loved and held so close by so many today, that she has the promise of tomorrow, and that she reminds us all that God is good all the time.

  21. Just read this and am so sorry. Just tonight at Bible study we were talking about Ps 84/6 which, in French, reads like this (I find it has more meaning than the English translation) : “when they walk through the valley of Baca (tears), they transform it into a place full of water springs, and the rain covers it with blessings” We talked about how when we go through hardships, we have this choice to make. We can either grow bitter and depressed, or transform it into refreshing waters by paying attention to God’s goodness and love. Jennifer is such a wonderful example of someone who does exactly that. Such an encouragement for all of us !

  22. On Jun 26, 2015 6:51 PM, “Pink. Pray. Love.” wrote: > > theclousefamily posted: “Hey guys, this is Jamie (aka Aunt B, , etc.). I’ve been tasked with the job of updating Jen’s blog again today. Let me just start by saying you know the feeling you get when you have to follow someone completely awesome at something? (Probably like ho” >

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