Christmas Gifts

written by: Jamie Kraus

Hi everyone.  It’s Jamie again reporting on Jen’s behalf.  (I so wish I had one of those cool caricatures to let you know it’s me writing today {Hite, can you help me out?}) .                          IMG_2297.png

Today was a good day at the hospital.  Yay!  After experiencing some really hard days in November, it seems that we are increasingly more appreciative of the good ones.

In light of the Christmas season, I thought I would list the ‘gifts’ that the Lord blessed Jen with today.

  1. Jen started the day off with a chest X-ray due to her shortness of breath.  Thankfully it was all clear.  Gift #1.
  2. Jen’s labs showed that her liver tumor markers are down, which is also good news.  (We have to remind ourselves often that the numbers being ‘down’ are all relative when they are in the 40s and should be <6, but at least she’s trending in the right direction).  Gift #2
  3. Jen’s white blood cell count was down so she is fighting anemia (other possible explanation for shortness of breath).  She may need blood in a week or so if her energy (which is the greatest issue) doesn’t improve.  But TODAY she did not need a transfusion.  Gift #3
  4. Dr. Osborne opened up Jen’s exam gown today and exclaimed ‘AWESOME’  when looking at the ‘girls’.  There had been some evidence of inflammatory breast cancer, however, that appears to be decreasing and we hope that means chemo is working.  (Let’s be honest, ladies.  What girl doesn’t want that reaction when opening her gown?)  Gift #4 (Oh & Gift #5 I guess too).
  5. The fact that Angela took a picture of the aforementioned exposure and I am not posting that picture.   Gift #6
  6. Lastly, the nurse who had to access Jen’s belly for a shot after chemo immediately said, ‘You have no fat!’.  We both grinned at each other and our former fatty selves gave each other an imaginary high five and a wink.  And although Jen would not recommend cancer as a weight loss strategy, she might as well enjoy those skinny abs if she’s gonna spend Christmas Eve’s Eve in the hospital for chemo.  Gift #7

Jen and I both agreed that today’s post would be short, but I know she would want to continue to express her gratitude for your kindness, your prayers, your errand running, your cards (both the ones she received and those you designed, addressed with her and stamped/stuffed for her to send to many of y’all), your decorating, your selling, your babysitting, your counseling, and your friendship.  (She would have used many more paragraphs to say the same thing. You’re welcome).

For now, the course of treatment will remain the same.  She will have chemo again in 3 weeks, and we are praying the numbers continue to go in her favor.  The side effects seem to have waned a bit, which is fantastic.  Jen has lost her hair, however, but found some snazzy hats to up her style.  I wasn’t surprised when I showed up this morning and she was in head to toe pink.  I couldn’t resist taking a pic.

For those that really know Jen, she loves her some pink almost as much as she loves her new flat tummy.


It takes a special person to pull off a free pink crochet beanie from a basket in the waiting room.  Just in case you’re wondering.

As 2015 comes to an end, it seems natural to look back and reflect on the past year.  And wow, what a year it has been.  But the Lord has shown us favor time after time in unexpected ways with unexpected gifts.  Jen would be the first to highlight not only those gifts, but also/especially the Giver of those gifts.

I think it would be fair to say that the Clouse family wishes you a new year filled with knowing and experiencing the ULTIMATE gift: a relationship with Jesus Christ.

Merry Christmas with love,

Jamie (aka B)



24 thoughts on “Christmas Gifts

  1. Dear Jen:
    I am a friend of Debbie Jeffers and Jen Dawkins… Praying for you daily in Amarillo! Merry Christmas to you and your family.
    Janie Irwin

  2. So thankful to read an update! Jen, you have been on my mind so much lately:) Wishing the Clouse family a very merry Christmas, and celebrating with you on these gifts! Another gift would be these incredible friends you have!! Thanks so much for posting Jaime, continuing to pray 🙂

  3. Love your perspective on gifts when it could be so easy to think otherwise. Jenn – you are beautiful and amazing and continue to teach me and challenge my own perspective. Continuing to lift up you and your family. May y’all have a sweet Christmas celebrating our Savior’s birthday. Hugs!

  4. Oh, what a friend you have in Jesus and add Jamie to that song.
    I wish you both a merriest of Christmas and continue to pray for you.
    Jen, have fun with Lincoln. He really will love Christmas and Santa this year. And, I hope you will be able to enjoy the day with him, Scott and friends and family.
    You are precious all in pink– hair or no hair.
    Bless you all and praying for a wonderful 2016. Anisse

  5. Hi Jen!

    We met at Bluebonnet Retreat. I think of you often. Sending you healing light. I love your attitude. You are so inspiring and courageous.

    Jamie, thank you for keeping us informed. Your attitude and humor is as delightful as Jen’s. What a an amazing support you are.

    Merry Christmas to y’all. May your celebration be filled with love!
    💜 Nancy

  6. Every day, many times a day I am lifting you up to the Lord so I am grateful to get the update.
    Love, love , love the pink-definitely your color!
    Sending so much love. Praying for a fun week for you all and the strength to enjoy it.
    Happy Jesus Birthday!

  7. Praying you are continually and even increasingly covered in His Goodness, Peace, Wisdom, Faithfulness, Strength, Joy, and Love, dear Jenn! Lifting up you, your family, and those so Abidingly along side… that ya’ll’s hearts be yet more Fortified by Christ in the Ways only He can through this Season and Always!
    <3<3<3 xxx ooooooo 🙂 🙂 🙂

  8. Thanks to all of you who keep us informed via the blog when Jen is not able to! So appreciate it! Every entry either by Jen or you blesses my heart beyond blessed! Your words ‘spur me on’, convict my heart when I whine, and give me the purest picture of God’s incredible love!
    Merry Christmas Jen! Merry Christmas to Scott and Lincoln! (Bet there is one excited little boy at the Clouse house tonight!) Merry Christmas to all you who serve Jen with abandonment.
    What a portrait of God’s mercy and love!

    Hang in their Jen! Sending a few “Ho Ho Ho’s” your way!🎅



  9. Oh my Dearest Jen,
    You are the light of Christ on this earth… Thank you for your strength, fortitude and unending belief in our God Almighty.. You alone have saved many many souls. I am honored to have only gotten to be with you a few short times in this life.. You are the example of a Job Well Done!!! Merry Christmas to the three of you.
    I will love you and that contagious zest for life forever!!
    Richie R

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