I am so sorry to share bad news but I've been worried.
I was concerned about jelebelle who blogs at Keep The Calm. "jelebelle" is the way she signed all of her posts. Her name is Jen. Some of you know her. I see your comments on her blog posts.
Jen has died. There are tears streaming down my face as I type those words. You see, Jen hasn't posted anything to her blog since June. I left a few comments and over the past couple of weeks, I tried to contact her via email. I sent out a message on twitter.
Yesterday, I received an email in response to the last comment I left on Jen's blog. Jill, a friend who lives in Seattle and a "real world" friend, emailed me. She provided me with her phone number, offering to give me an update on her friend. Our friend. I knew. As I read those words, I knew. I spoke to Jill last night. Jill, a complete stranger who reached out just because. Because she was one of the champions Jen refers to in her very last post.
Jen died on July 18. It was just weeks after her last blog post. Jill shared what happened. It was a rapid decline. There was a beautiful service in a filled cathedral. Her burial place is near a park where her 2 1/2 year old son, Milo goes to play.
Jen was 39 years old. She was diagnosed with breast cancer and learned she was pregnant on the same day in June of 2010. She talks about that in her blog. She describes how pissed off she was to get a cancer diagnosis on what should have been such a happy day. The diagnosis came first so there wasn't even a little time for her to bask in the glow of impending motherhood.
She was treated while pregnant. Just surgery. A unilateral mastectomy. No chemo, no radiation. One year later, she was diagnosed with metastatic disease. Two years after being diagnosed with metastatic disease, Jen was stolen by breast cancer. Another dad, now a single parent. Another child being raised without his mama.
Jen's husband is not ready to post anything on her blog. I asked Jill if she felt it would be okay for me to post this here.
Jill was kind enough to send me the photo used at Jen's memorial service.
Jen... you will be missed by so many of us. You are forever loved.
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