Friday, May 13, 2011

"I knew I had too much to live for." by Rachel Jantzi

I am overwhelmed, to be able to share this post with you all!

Rachel, like I said before, I am beyond words to express how thankful I am that you took the time to put the entry together. The way you shared your heart, not only encourages us to embrace life and the moments we are given but it is also an incredible reminder that no one will go through life without trials. We will all go through, difficult and sometimes traumatic circumstances... but man o man having prayer surrounding you, family by your side and choosing not to throw a pity party is vital to getting through it in a such a beautiful and inspirational way!!

"I knew I had too much to live for."
by Rachel Jantzi

I'm pretty sure Nicole asked me to write this a month ago and I've been delaying and trying to think of something spiritual or profound to say. All I can say is, I love my family.

I was diagnosed with stage 3 ‘locally advanced inflammatory breast cancer’. Its a very rare, aggressive cancer that most often affects older, African American women. I remember the day we met the oncologist. My mom, mother in law, Dan, Alysia (designated note taker), and I all sat in a room listening. Everyone left while the doctor examined me and when they came back to the room all of their eyes were red. I remember shaking my head and moving my chair to face the door saying ‘if you guys are crying I'm not going to look at you!’ it seemed like they all thought I was going to die. I knew from the beginning that wasn’t going to happen. I knew I had too much to live for. Jack was only 6 months old and wasn’t about to start changing diapers on his own. And Dan only knows how to make one thing in the kitchen: spaghetti . I love them so much and decided I'm not ready to say good bye to anyone for a long time. I haven’t seen any of Europe yet, I don’t know how to surf and I haven’t mastered a souffle yet. There's just too much I want to do in life!!

(Dan and Jack about a month after being diagnosed)

Jack is absolutely the best, cutest, most amazing baby and he was AWESOME motivation. I love teaching him things and watching him learn and grow. I know that I am the best mom for him and gosh darn it I am going to be the best!! I remember at one chemo treatment I was thinking about being a crazy ‘soccer mom’ - I'M SO EXCITED!!! You better believe I will be at all of his hockey/soccer/baseball/whatever games cheering, wearing the team colours and probably bring baked treats for the team after the game!!

I didn’t really start thinking about actually having cancer until one day when I was in the waiting room at radiation. I thought, holy balls, six months ago I had cancer, real life cancer and now I'm fine (almost, new boobs coming early 2012). For me, not focusing on actually ‘having cancer’ was huge. I tried to live as normal of a life as I could during treatment. And I'm so thankful that everyone tried to keep it normal too.

The biggest thing I learned in all of this was to enjoy life. This is lame, but life is short!! I don’t want let days pass by while I do nothing. we made a list of things (I’m into making lists) that we want to do. Some are exciting like visiting New York and Chicago and some are lame like walking with Jack at night. My favourite one is the European cruise we are planning for September!!!! It is going to be EPIC!! That's the name of the ship. Epic. I would never use that word in real life.

Don’t get me wrong, chemo was very hard and having a bilateral mastectomy was not easy either. Having the most amazing family EVER made it bearable. Dan was so great through everything. He really loves me. Even with no hair, no boobs and going through menopause. He was awesome. Thanks Dan, I couldn’t have done it without you.

(Dan and I getting ready for the ‘chemo is over party’)

p.s. thank you so much to anyone and everyone who participated in the fun Friday gifts, called, sent a card, flowers, email and facebook messages. I cant even handle how many people encouraged us throughout all of this. Thank you


  1. LIFE is profound!!! Life IS spiritual. Sharing your life with other women, is something that far out weighs fancy words. Your blog absolutely shines of Gods hand in your life!! The peace you had to know that it wasn't your time is something that not a lot of people get a chance to experience unless they have been through something difficult. Thanks for setting such a fantastic example for all of us!
    Love you lots!! Nicole

  2. Well Said Rach! Very inspiring!

  3. Awesome Rach! Y
    ou have taught me sooo much through this...starting with "what do i have to complain about? Get up and face the day. There is so much we have to be thankful for. So many people complain about so and so....or she was such a _____ or the weather etc. In a season when you had the "right" to vent, complain or even stay in bed. You didn't got up everyday and made the most of it....and planned for the next day (with a list of course) You're an inspiration to all and have touched so many lives, including mine...ALREADY! Way to go! I will be forever thankful to have witnessed your journey first hand. love you!

  4. Rach you are our star. We just want to tell you how much we love you and how very proud we are of how you handled this. We were so devastated when w heard that word "cancer" BUT you turned it into something so very positive if that makes any sense. You are truly an amazing person and an example of when something goes wrong in somebody's life they can get through it. I know it hasn't been easy for you and Dan - but you made it. Look at how happy Jack is. You have two terrific men in your life. Thank you for being our daughter and being so strong. We love you.

    Ma and Daddy

  5. Thank you for sharing this. Powerful testimony and determination!