Happy News Year…

The Clouses definitely send love and wishes for a Happy New Year. And, in addition, it’s fun to share Happy News in a new year.

I had chemo again yesterday (every 3 weeks). Chemo seems to be effectively stabilizing the tumor activity as far as we can tell with the ‘tumor markers’ they measure from my blood. I’ve recently learned that ‘healthy people’ would have a number between 1-6 and when I was very first diagnosed (02/2012) my number was 1.2. Mine is ‘down’ from mid 40s to mid 30s and has been stable over last couple of weeks. In our highly defensive strategy with the simple goal of keeping cancer at bay as long as we can, this is a win. It’s not necessarily a game changer in the big picture of my prognosis but until my cancer figures out how to work around this plan of attack we stay the course because liver numbers are better/stable and I tolerate the chemo pretty well. I have intermittent, unexplained and often hard-to-pinpoint abdominal pain. At times (unfortunately one of those times was Christmas Day…) that means I am horizontal with my eye on the clock planning for another pain pill. Thankfully, that’s not every day. My more common everyday-burden is fatigue. I become winded (to the point of needing to sit down immediately…) with just one flight of stairs or any quick burst of effort. I’m pretty much in complete disbelief that I could have ever possibly run a marathon. Or a mile. Or around the block. Jennifer Lewis who?

The other good news around here is probably another reason that I could cause some of you to struggle with jealousy. Especially if you go to Watermark. Or Northpark. Or pretty much anywhere in Dallas. Can you appreciate the greatness of this signed paperwork? 

I am soon to be the proud and unashamed owner of a handicap parking pass. While many of you had your eyes on PowerBall last night  (including Clouses who were easily persuaded to join the office pool) I feel like I had my own little ‘jackpot’ moment when those signed papers were in my hand. Friends will line up begging the Powerball peeps for their new money and I think my friends may line up asking for a ride to church. Don’t blame em. Come on!

Our Christmas was really sweet. Lots of time together with our little family but also enjoyed sweet time with all of Lincolns grandparents too. Thanks to the friends who decorated our tree for us again this year we also discovered, on Christmas morning, that Lincoln had also hit the jackpot. And that was very helpful for Scott and I since Scott had said, as he cooked breakfast, “Babe, did we get Lincoln anything?” I had to rack my brain to tell him what (chemo brain isn’t so sharp either) and it certainly wasn’t much but based on the generous provisions of our friends, he wouldn’t have even noticed if we hadn’t wrapped (or should clarify ‘if Sterling hadn’t wrapped’ because I also had a last minute wrapping fairy after I had declined other help thinking I could do it … not so much) anything. Again, another way our friends bless and care for us in unexpected ways.

As we talked to Dr. Osborne yesterday, she thinks it is time for another CT scan in the next few weeks. And we find it interesting (she agrees)that now my left breast (not the ‘problem girl’) shows noticeable redness that reminds us of the inflammatory breast cancer I most recently had in the right breast. And for those of you who have been reading and walking and praying along with us for a while, can you appreciate my big girl vocabulary in using breast instead of boob? It still feels awkward. I am starting to think it always will.

Here’s another ‘action shot’ from yesterday. We’ve given up on my tired veins to give blood so now each time I go in I have to bug our ever-helpful nurse to take blood from my port (I love and will miss the girls in the lab but they are only trained to take it from veins). She’s a tall girl and both Jamie and I squealed (as awkwardly as we’ve done since high school) when she raised me so high. Who knew this table could be a ride?   You need to know that Christina is almost 6′ (unlike Dr. Osborne who is so petite that she wears children’s shoes) to appreciate that at this point I was towering over Jamie and Amy.

The bald pics remind me that my friend Becky hooked me up by restyling my old wig and I think our Tuesday Bible study girls would agree (since they’ve only ones who have seen it in public yet) that it is soooo cool. Human hair and well colored and cut and if I didn’t reach back to pull hair out of my eyes and inadvertently pull it off my head while in Bible study I think they would agree that it looked completely natural.

I debuted it the night before for Scott and Lincoln. Scott doesn’t care if I wear it or not but continues just to say “that’s almost creepy” because it looks so real. On the other hand, expecting Lincoln would think it was cool at the least, his first words were “I hate it.” Pretty strong words from a four-year-old. Too bad he is short on opinions like his Mama. He went on to elaborate and say “I like it when people ask you why you were bald.” I thought this might be some deep thought about wanting us to live in the honesty of our reality or that he liked me bald or that maybe it explained some things that he wanted explained. Nope. It all came back to him. He said “I like it when they ask because you can tell them that I shaved it off.”

   True that. Love this boy.
Scott, Linc and I have started grief counseling for him. Hard reality but thankful for the finances to do it and friends like the Monroes who connected us with counselors who focus on families in these situations. And it’s a bonus that it is Theraplay so Linc loves it! Scott and I are learning tons too. Would would cover your prayers for this as well.

And I would love continued prayers for Scott. He is currently making some pretty big changes in his schedule to be more available for me and take on more of the primary caregiving for Lincoln. Taking him to school and preparing his breakfast and getting him dressed and a day or two  away from work so that we can be together as a family. I know that’s not easy on him or his partner or Redo (their construction company) but I am thankful for all and confident in the Lords provision for our family. As I told Scott the other day, and I get tears as I start to type, I’m confident in the Lords provision of Scott as my husband through realities we would never have ever chosen and I am also confident in his ability to be both mom and dad to Lincoln. Mom is not a job he ever intended to backfill but I see that the Lord has ordained him for these roles and he is faithfully walking in them. I would covet your prayers for continued strength for him, confidence in his roles and the gift he is to us, and for the Lord to bless Redo’s labors and work even without him there all the time.

It’s been sweet of several of you to ask for an update. This is been slower than I intended. I really wanted to include some sweet pictures of our Christmas but my pictures from the couch aren’t so impressive. Thankfully, Scott and my mom saved the day and I don’t think it ever occurred to Lincoln that his mom was either miserable or drugged for most of Christmas Day. Again, as we experience so often, grace upon grace.

This is sent with much love and many thanks for all the ways your prayers and efforts and service to our family continue to sustain us.

Our God is good. All the time. And we trust Him.


35 thoughts on “Happy News Year…

  1. Thank you so much for the update Jen! We will be praying specifically for Scott right now as well as you and Lincoln as all 3 of you journey through the grief counseling together. And for this chemo to keep working!

  2. Love you all dearly. Thank you for this update. I look forward to each and every one. Tears of joy as I see the Lord providing time and time again and holding you all ever so close. Continued prayers from the Violis

  3. So thankful you are feeling well. It was such a blessing for you to lead bible study this week (even tho I had to scoot to Hannah’s dr appt :(). And the wig was beautiful but so were you au-natural when you ‘accidentally’ took it off!!!

  4. As I was praying yesterday I mentioned to God my Father that I have not seen an update from you. And today my prayer was answered. I Pray for you Scott and precious Linc every day. Lots of love and hugs! You are amazing!!! ❤️❤️❤️

  5. Good to have the update. I have been looking for it and continue to see the Lord’s faithfulness in your lives. So thankful for the wise and lovely people guiding you, Scott and Lincoln through these times.
    With love and prayers for you all!

  6. I started following your blog when Big Mama mentioned you in her blog over a year ago. Your postings are all so inspiring and I think and prayer about/for you often. You came to mind this morning as I was finishing up the 2nd part of a bowel cleanse for a routine colonoscopy today. I thought I was dying as the chemicals you have to put in your body are very harsh on your digestive system. But, then I thought of you and the many tests, chemos, and other violations of your body and I threw off the self pity. And then I spent part of my prayer time lifting up you and your sweet family. I got a blessing because it took my mind off my own discomfort. I also was wondering how you were doing and voila!, I received your post this evening. So happy to hear about the answers to prayers. Will continue to keep you and your family in my prayers. Oh, and loved all the pics! Bless you.

  7. Loved just getting to hear from you, and I can “hear” your voice as I read your words which I love! I will be praying for you, Scott and Lincoln. Miss you all so much and love you dearly.

  8. Oh friend. Tears here knowing that the lord has specifically entrusted Scott with his job. Love you and praying for wisdom and clarity for you guys with new roles, schedules, demands, and needs. 💜

  9. You look so great bald!!! haha, no really, you are gorgeous! So thankful for this update ❤ and will be lifting Scott up in prayer, as well as his company.. and for Lincoln as he takes part in grief therapy. Those parking papers?… *swoon*! 😉 Much love coming your way from across the miles!

  10. “Let the beloved of the Lord rest secure in Him, for He shields him all day long, and the one the Lord loves rests between His shoulders.” Rest sweet family, rest. Praying for you.

  11. So grateful as like your other followers who will know you one day, I await updates. I smile, I laugh, I cry. And I pray with gratitude that you show us how it’s done.

  12. I started following your blog when Big Mama mentioned you in her blog over a year ago. So good to hear from you. God is good all the time, even when we don’t understand.

  13. So encouraged with this news! Just prayed for Scott and the blessing of his business in his absence! Thank you for the pics! They are precious and warm my heart so much! Happy New Year, Clouse Family!

  14. Praying specifically for Scott and Lincoln and you. Praying for someone(s) I don’t really know forces me to rely on my head knowledge that God knows your (as in all those who know and love you) every need. Stumbled on you from Melanie’s blog…all the way from B’ham, AL

  15. Jennifer- it was so good to sit at your feet and learn more of God’s goodness and mercy on Tuesday. Your deep abiding intimacy with our Savior radiates from you!! I love your wig:)
    Mary Wall

  16. Praying for you and Scott and Lincoln. Thank you for your update and sharing God’s faithfulness. I can only imagine how hard it is. You continue to be such an inspiration.

  17. Prayers for all you asked for and more. I love to read your updates and am always amazed how upbeat you & your friends are. God bless you all.

  18. You are such an inspiration! Your faith in the Lord and in life have helped me in my relationship with our Lord. I continue to keep you, your family and friends in my prayers!

  19. Love the dooo!. Think about you oh so often and am so glad you haven’t lost your sense of humor. So we need to get Linc together with the Megan Pattie boys, aka–little MODs. God love you.


  20. Sweet friend, praying for all you asked right now. So thankful the chemo is working and praying it continues to for a long, long time. Thank you so much for this update and will continue to pray. Also, you look so pretty in all of these pictures! Love you so much!

  21. Praying faithfully in Houston!!!
    You are perfectly performing in His Will and He will honor your witness for eternity.. To Lincoln, Scott and your family and friends!!!
    So proud of you!!
    Because Eternity Matters,

    Suzette Estes

  22. Jen, Scott and Linc …… your family time is precious, you never cease to amaze me and give me strength for my own family journeys. Much love and prayers for your families time to be sweet and savored.

  23. I continue to read your story and share with others. What a wonderful, consistent vessel you are being for our God. Inspiration at it’s greatest. Thankful to know you, pray for you and with you as the Lord continues to write your story.

  24. We love you Jen. I remember our marathon days so know your strength then and perseverance to finish the race sees you through every day. It’s just your DNA. Your grit was so enviable all those miles we ran together. And you could talk the whole way. Seriously cool while the rest of us wanna be’s could only suck wind following in your footsteps. Keeping pace with you was just to painful. Such good days we shared. Thank you as always for continuing to inspire. I hate that you are suffering so much and continue to pray for relief. Love you.

  25. Love you my friend! Praying for each of the Clouses in the specific ways you mentioned!

    p.s. Can y’all pick us up for church…..we are kind of on the way : )!

  26. Thank you for the update – continuing to pray for you, your sweet husband and precious Linc. You are such an inspiration!

  27. Glad to receive the update and good news. God is watching over precious you and giving you strength and courage. Prayers are said for all (“mama ” ) Scott
    And the (“barber )” Linc.

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