Hoping Jennifer Haymore Kicks Cancer’s Ass

Book CoverAuthor Jennifer Haymore has posted on her blog that she’s been diagnosed with invasive breast cancer and is beginning treatment, which is a long, arduous and utterly not fun road. I wish her every happy ending to this story, and a collection of absolutely fabulous hats during her treatment.

To send positive thoughts her way, I’m going to give away five copies of her latest book to five random commenters. I think just about everyone knows someone who has battled cancer or an illness that requires treatment almost as bad as the illness itself. So what’s your best advice or best wish for Jennifer? Any tips on surviving the survival part? Popsicles and romance novels? Super soft slippers and macrobiotic meals? Bring it on. I’ll select five winners and send the books.

[Disclaimer: I’m not being compensated nor is anyone else funding the giveaway. Objects in mirror may be closer than they appear. Your mileage may vary. Many bags look alike. Cancer blows.]

I hope you kick cancer’s ass, ma’am.

ETA: Lisa Heermann has sent over her pathfinder entitled Cancer Resources for the Innocent Bystander, which she mentioned in the comments below. It’s a guide for anyone who faces cancer as the non-patient.

She also included a .BMP file for an easy-to-make cancer cap for patients, which she says are comfy enough to sleep in.

Right click and do the download thing, please! And big huge thanks to Lisa.

ETAII: The Mama Writers have a post up about breast cancer awareness, including breast self-exam instructions. If you’re not grabbing your own boobies, you should be.

Which inspired me to create this: Grabbin’ My Boobs. Savin’ My Life. You can customize the size, style, and color of the shirt, but all proceeds from the sale will be donated to the Young Survivor Coalition


Comments are Closed

  1. emdee says:

    {{{Positive vibes and wonderful healing go out to Jennifer in her battle against breast cancer. }}}  Sending all things positive to you from the Universe.

  2. Debbie says:

    I highly recommend the book “Why I Wore Lipstick to my Mastectomy.” It’s an uplifting look at maintaining your individuality while fighting breast cancer.  All my thoughts and prayers are with you Jennifer.

  3. Vicki says:

    Positive vibes headed out. One of my oldest friends had breast cancer as a relatively young woman and is now a 15 year survivor so there is a positive thought, too. To make it even better, a month after she finished chemo, she eloped with one of her students (she taught at the college level so he was well over age).  Don’t let cancer slow you down!

  4. Host says:

    So sorry to hear this. I know that eating a lot of fruit will help together with a positive thinking and a lot of laughs. Good Luck!!!

  5. Christine says:

    My heart goes out to you and your family. Every woman on my maternal grandfather’s side of the family has died from breast cancer. My grandmother had it as well, including the double mastectomy – we tease that now she can be any breast size she wants – the breasts are really an accessory, but it’s really the family’s and her attempt at humor. Laughing in the face of horror and fear, perhaps.

    If you end up with flakey skin from the drugs/treatment, try something very gentle like goat (or sheep or cow) milk soap. Get the homemade kind, not the mass-produced-I-added-a-dollop-of-milk-and-am-now-selling-it-for-$8-a-bar kind. It really does help.

  6. donna ann says:

    Try to stay possitive (remember it’s ok to be angry or depressed, just try not to live there).  Surround yourself with loved ones who will support you.  Try to laugh often and keep up with the at least some of things you love to do (maybe a little less than before or in a different manner) and remember life is worth fighting for.  Positive thoughts may not cure, but it sure does help the medicine work.  Best wishes, prayers, and thoughts heading her way.

  7. Fiamma says:

    My heart goes out to Jennifer and her family.
    As an Oncology massage therapist most patients welcome the opportunity to have someone with a light touch which helps ease the nausea and pain. Cancer patients are always being poked and prodded so to have someone give you a gentle neck massage or foot rub during your chemo or infusions is very soothing. I wish I was near her because I would do it myself, but the cancer center at her hospital should have therapists available.

  8. Kwana says:

    My heart goes out to her and her family. My advise is to stay focused on what makes her truly happy and know believe that she will be well. Laugh as much as she can and be happy. Take in all the beauty around her and let it feed her in the down sucky times. She will be well. Sending positive thoughts her way.

  9. Victoria Dahl says:

    What wonderful suggestions. I am keeping you in my thoughts, Jennifer. And if you ever need a laugh, let me know. I’ll break the ball embargo every day for you.

  10. ktg says:

    Good friends who make you laugh and hold you when you cry.

    Kick cancer’s ass Jennifer!

  11. Bianca says:

    My heart truly does go out to Jennifer and her family. I dont know if its some sort of co-oincidence, and it sucks, but today my Grandma has been diagnosed with breast cancer too. She lives in England, I live in Australia, so i cant offer guidance through being there in person, but i can through words. I hope that Jennifer can kick cancers ass and so can my Grandma because Cancer is just truly horrible and i wish it on no person, so stay positive and ask for help from the people who love you if you need it. Life is a beautiful thing, so stay positive, even when you dont want to, or when its hard and know you have the support of the people around you, because i support you too. So all the best, hoping that you kick its ass and be able to enjoy life.  Bianca xxx

  12. Mary Beth says:

    Take care of yourself and let others take care of you too. Nap if you’re tired, drink chocolate shakes every day if that’s the only thing that appeals to you, watch silly movies and TV shows, buy a few coloring books and crayons. Only hang out with people who are supportive, loving and honest.

    Kick cancer ass.

  13. Liza says:

    Keeping Jennifer and her family in my prayers.

  14. Penelope says:

    Sending good thoughts.

    I’d go for girls’ night with someone doing her nails and chatting, laughing and drinking.

  15. Linda says:

    I think that a love story between a man and a woman fighting breast cancer would be the sexiest most romantic thing out there. Keep up the good fight!!

  16. Brooks*belle says:

    Saying a prayer and cheering for her to wipe the floor with cancer’s arse! =)

  17. Sharon says:

    It doesn’t matter what advice you read or anyone gives on how to cope. Do what works for you!

  18. Kristin says:

    Damn…I’m so sorry Jennifer is facing this challenge.  I have had a few friends who’ve survived breast cancer and something I can recommend from watching them is educate yourself, talk to your doctor, and make sure everything is fully explained to you.  Chemo is a bitch but it doesn’t have to destroy you.  If you feel like it is zapping your last bit of strength, talk to your doc.  There are things they can give you to help with chemos side effects.

    Oh yeah, go get Geralyn Lucas’s book Why I Wore Lipstick To My Mastectomy

  19. Isalys says:

    I saw her post too and was heartbroken by her news – but I admire her optimism and strength!!  She’s gonna show that cancer who’s boss ;o)

    PS: Don’t worry about entering me for a copy of the book.  I already have it and loved every page =)

  20. Stelly says:

    My grandmother is living with cancer right now.  She says that the best thing for her is spending time with friends and family.

    Good thoughts being sent your way Jennifer.

  21. Fedora says:

    Jennifer, you and your family are in my thoughts and prayers—focus on taking care of yourself, and don’t worry about all the rest!  We’ll all pulling for you!

  22. Cathy says:

    I’m so sorry to hear this. Here are some things I remember from helping a friend through chemo:

    – audio books, especially humorous essays which you can listen to in small doses—Robert Krulwich, David Sedaris, etc.
    – lemon drops to suck on
    – funny movies where you already know the plot, or the plot doesn’t make sense anyway, so it doesn’t matter if you fade in and out—think “A Fish Called Wanda”.

  23. Venetia says:

    Good luck Jennifer!

    A 30-year-old friend of mine was diagnosed with invasive breast cancer last year. Her baby was 6 months old at the time. She had a double mastectomy, chemo, radiation, she was horribly ill – but she’s now doing really well. Her mother and aunt also survived breast cancer.

    My mother was also diagnosed with breast cancer late last year. She had surgery, chemo and radiation and while it exhausted it her, she’s now doing just fine!

    Top tip? Everyone’s experience is different so do what works for you, not what other people say should work for you.

    Having said that, somthing highly reccomended by Mum’s radiation people – pawpaw ointment is hard on your clothes but it is excellent for radiation burns.

    Also – my mum and our friend enjoyed discovering wigs. They lost their hair, yes, but they got to try whole new looks and Mum now has three wigs and she plans to keep wearing them! It was somthing that made them smile even when they were feeling horrid.

    Best wishes to Jennifer.

  24. Ah, hell. 🙁

    I haven’t read any of her work, but I have every sympathy for a fellow breast cancer survivor. I was fortunate, mine was non-invasive, but I still had to have radiation treatment and a mastectomy. My mother was a cancer victim as well, so I know from cancer sucking.

    Hang in there, Ms. Haymore.

  25. Beki says:

    My girlfriend, Kim, was diagnosed with cancer when she was thirty-one.  She kicked its ass all over the place for seven years before she just f-ing wore out.  And in all that time, she was such a revelation of good humor about it.  She was Uncle Fester for Halloween one year, Charlie Brown another.  With her type of cancer (she was diagnosed at stage 3b and was hellabad already), she was lucky to live close to Duke and she swore up and down the only reason she made it so long was the option to take the experimental treatments.  We just lost her in January, just after she turned 38.  But I watched her fight for every good day, every smile, every opportunity to do what SHE wanted to do instead of what that cancer wanted her to do.

    So, advice?  Eat whatever tastes good and you can keep down.  Drink LOTS of water, juices, again, anything that’s yummy.  Read what makes you feel positive.  Stay away from horrible doomsayers.  Journal every morning to get out the feelings and get on with your day.  Best, best, best of luck to Jennifer.  I’ve never read her, but I will now.

  26. Toni says:

    I am a 13 year survivor of cancer and my best advice for surviving treatment- sleep when you are tired. I tried so hard to stay on a normal schedule that I made myself sicker. If you feel like a nap at 3pm, then take it.

    I also recommend not stressing yourself out about what other people were or were not able to accomplish while they went through chemo. Everyone reacts differently to the drugs and no two people have exactly the same experience. My aunt and I went through treatments together with all of the same meds; I lost all of my hair and she didn’t, I threw up after treatments and she got the munchies.

    Take care of yourself and best of luck to you and your family while you are kicking cancer butt!

  27. Victoria Dahl says:

    I also recommend not stressing yourself out about what other people were or were not able to accomplish while they went through chemo.

    I love this. Great advice, Toni.

  28. My stepmother has breast cancer. And I do know several others who are near my age who have dealt with it.  It’s insidious. My heart goes out to Jennifer and all who love her. Hopefully, she’ll kick this cancer’s ass without too much struggle.

  29. Just remember, you are a strong beautiful woman inside and out. If there comes a day when you question that, come talk to us and we will help you remember. Hugs to you and your family.

    Spam word: Mass47. The Mass of our love is 47 times greater than you could ever imagine!

  30. Stephanie says:

    Be proud of your accomplishments and realize that you have many, many more to go.  Use this time as a time of learning, and you’ll be the better for it.

  31. Babs says:

    Stay positive. Eat healthy. Don’t ever be afraid to ask your doctor why, what, when, etc.

    Most of all, surround yourself with the people who will support you and be positive. And let them help you in any way they offer.

  32. Lisa Heermann says:

    My best wishes to Jennifer

    After I survived Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma (8 years and counting!) I went back to school.  One of my assignments was to create a pathfinder (for finding books and resources in a library)  Mine was called “Cancer Resources for the Innocent Bystander”  It is more aimed at the people around the cancer patient.  This snippet is the ‘advice’ I included at the end.

    If you live with the cancer patient, make sure that you have a support network too.  There is no shame in asking for help.  If you burn out, you cannot help your loved one.

    Write down questions that come up between appointments.  Bring the questions and a notebook to all appointments to record details of meetings with the medical providers.  The Lance Armstrong LIVESTRONG website offers a “Survivorship Notebook” that can help store and organize important treatment information.  You will only be charged the cost of shipping.

    If you do not live with the cancer patient, keep the following in mind:
      DO stay in touch – call or email regularly.
      DON’T drop in for a visit – call ahead of time.  Allow them
          to say no.
          DO offer to relieve the primary caregivers: cooking,
          driving, keeping the patient company so they
          can take a break (even if it’s just in the next room).
          DON’T visit if you are sick.  Even a minor cold can put a
          cancer patient in the hospital.

    If you bring food, make sure the patient can appreciate your gift.  A good source of information is:
    “Betty Crocker’s Living with Cancer Cookbook: Easy Recipes and Tips through Treatment and Beyond”
    By Kris Ghosh, Linda Carson, and Elyse Cohen.
    Published in 2001, it offers recipes and menus specifically tailored for the cancer patient’s altered nutritional needs.  It also explains what side-effects are common to the different treatments.  Many libraries carry this title, and it is still available for purchase.
    LOC: RC271.D52; Dewey: 641.5/631

    An observation from the inside:  We are far too accustomed to ‘instant gratification;’ doing something and seeing results right away.  You are very unlikely to ‘see’ results.  But please know that your efforts are not wasted.  Even if your cancer patient does not have the physical resources to thank you, your actions support them mentally – and that is often the harder battle to fight.  Knowing that I had people wishing me well helped me a lot.  It often helped me to get through each day.
    if anyone is interested in the complete pathfinder, let me know and I will either upload and link or email it.

  33. lisa says:

    and some advice specifically for Jennifer

    get in touch with your dentist NOW!!!  Dry mouth is a side effect of nearly all cancer treatments, and dry mouth contributes hugely to tooth decay.

    I didn’t think to coordinate with my dentist and I had to have 11 fillings and 2 root canals after I recovered from my treatments.

  34. Katherine says:

    Accept all help (that is helpful). Meals, tidying, ferrying kids, groceries, company at appts, etc. You’ve built up a great support network – allow them to help.

    Best of luck. Cancer sucks.

  35. meoskop says:

    I completely agree with ‘drink, drink and then drink more’ Rediscover Kool-aid. Chemo is a rollercoaster – the bad days build up and then plummet back down into good days, nothing about treatment is eternal, even when it feels that way. Get energy in you anyway you can. even if it’s Lay’s chips for breakfast.

    Best advice I got was from my surgeon. “You didn’t ask for this, you didn’t cause this, and you don’t deserve this.” People talk about ‘fighting’ cancer like if things progressing you are ‘losing’ or you didn’t fight ‘hard enough’. Let all that bullshit go. Your treatment is your treatment and however you get through it is the right way. I met women who’d been on insane health food diets, I met women who had lived on Twinkies. Everyone will look for the ‘cause’ of your cancer.

    F em. F em all. Nobody know what really causes breast cancer. We’re all stumbling around in the dark with with pieces of the puzzle trying to figure out what the whole looks like. Let that go. Treatment is just something you have to go through to get through. Let yourself be low, find a way to enjoy the ride.

    Take notes. You’ll forget what happened, how you felt, and when you need to – looking back at what you’ve already gotten past will remind you how strong you are.

  36. SB Sarah says:


    if anyone is interested in the complete pathfinder, let me know and I will either upload and link or email it.

    If you send it to me I’ll amend the entry and host it here, if that is acceptable. That sounds like an amazing and truly necessary resource. Mad props to you for putting it together.

  37. Lisa J says:

    We have had too many people to count at work with cancer in some form.  My thoughts and prayers go out to Jennifer and her family.

    My best advice from all those here who have been through it, dress warmly when you go for chemo.  Bring a blanket, shawl, whatever, you will need it.  Everyone has said they are freezing while in the treatment room.

  38. Donna says:

    Lovely advice, all of it. I don’t know what to add, except that you should feel what you feel, laugh when you can, cry if you want, scream when you have to. For the rest of you: My email acct -walkin607- was created when I signed on for my first Avon 2 Day, June 2007. Alone we can comfort and support the people we know. Together we can change the world. Get up, get out and do something.

    position82. Yeah, that’s my position.

  39. BTW to SB Sarah: please leave me off the random draw for Ms. Haymore’s books, because speaking as someone who’s had to throw tons of money at medical bills due to cancer and other medical crap, even WITH good insurance, I figure that the best show of support I can give her is to actually buy her books.

    After reading the descriptions of them on Barnes and Noble’s site, and seeing there’s an amnesia plot involved, especially. 😉 I am TOTALLY putting her onto my Nook.

  40. Stephanie says:

    Oh. Good thoughts to Jennifer and her family.

    I don’t have any advice for Jennifer, but for her family: Don’t bury it. Talk to people. Don’t pretend it isn’t happening, because it’ll backfire. (Trust me on this one.)

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