Wednesday, July 25, 2007

No need for Hairspray now!

I went to see the movie Hairspray (reviews) tonight and I found it a little ironic that now is the only time in my life that I don't need hairspray! I also found it interesting, as the movie caused me to reflect on my own life, that I've in my own way resembled both of the lead female characters. At one time I was a beauty queen who won, second runner up and second for swim suit and then 15 years later was a 100lbs more after having my two girls. Now more than ever I really stand out in the crowd, more than ever as the bald lady. I stand out for being different now, or as I'd rather like to say, "as anything but normal." Just the way I like it, I suppose, being normal would not suit me in the least. Now I'm going to use the hairspray, I have left, for something use full; to spray my roses before I hang them up to dry and on the bottom of my feet, so they don't slip in my heeled sandels.( I learnt this trick while watching Oprah today!)
I'm off to Vancouver with my husband tomorrow for a night in city before my chemo treatment on Friday. You won't hear from me for a few days now. This is my fourth chemo treatment, adn when this one is done, I'm half done all my chemo treatments, 8 in total. Somewhat of a milestone I suppose, 13 months to go.
I'll fall asleep singing in my mind, "You can't stop the beat!!" a lyric from the movie Hairspray. Nothing can stop me either!!

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

The right Place at the right time!!

As I was speaking with my therapist yesterday, I shared with her that I feel there seems to be an on going theme to my life right now and it has to do with being at the right place at the right time. It happened again...this time heading towards the reception following the beautiful service honoring the life of Lydia Janz, Chris's Grandma.
As we headed up the long stair case, I was a little nervous as I carried Cadence my 2 year old on my hip, with a few elderly folks and in front and a few more behind. The one making me the most nervous was the gentleman directly in front of me,as his legs started to shake about half way and just as he reached the last step, and I was about to make a silent sigh of releif,he slipped and fell backwards. As I gripped the railing with my right hand, while pinning Cadence between my hip and the wall, I caught the man, with my knees locked and my left arm extended, he kind of bounced off my impants and I held him for a few seconds before an able bodied person above, grabbed his arm and pulled him off of me. What a mess that could have been, Cadence and I in the middle of old folks dominos, and not the fun game with the spots or the pizza place!! But again, I was at right place at the right time, because God only knows the injuries that could have occured if me and my strong arms and legs and my sturdy impants weren't there. Cadence had a small bump on her head, and I don't think the older gentleman even knew what happened; it may have been the most "action" he's had in years:)You are welcome kind SIR!!!


What a gorgeous night to be sitting outside with my girls. Everything is lush and green after the rain, the flowers are full bloom and the air is fresh. It's nice to be comfortable, not to hot, not many mosquitos (that bother the girls)and taking in the sights and smells around me. The faint scent of a bbq off in the distance, the fragrance of near by flora, and a dog barking playfully. Perhaps it's just this space in time that my senses are heightened, or it's because I spent time walking through a cemetary with Carmelle today, to bring flowers to Great-Grandma's new graveside. I crap, now I smell a stinky poopy diaper, gotta go, Mommy duty calls and so does Cadence's diaper!!!


Chris will be headlining the Abbotsford AgriFair on Sunday August 5th. He plays at 6pm adn 9:30pm right before the fireworks. He will be featuring different songs for each of the sets so try and catch both shows. He'll have cd's and merchandise available; hope to see you all there!!!

There will be a Janz Family Benefit Concert Sept 21st at Abby Arts Centre (directions) at Abby Sen Sec school. Tickets will be about $20 each, and all the proceeds of the night will go to benefit our family. Performances by, Kelsey, Colin and Chris Janz. Songs written by Paul Janz will also featured.

There will be Raffle Prizes, a 50/50 draw and other opportunities to support our Janz family, Feather and Chris Janz and their two little girls. For tax receipts, cheques can be made out to the Run for the Cure on that night. More info will follow, but please pass this info around and we hope to see you and all of your friends there!!

Sunday, July 22, 2007

AAhhh Bugger!

When I was first diagnosed with cancer back four and a half months ago, that first weekend the thing that bummed me out the most was that my soccer season was just going to start and I wouldn't be able to play. That's when it really hit me that this cancer was going to be a bugger! I was so looking forward to my spring season with my team, mixed league, because I'd had such a great experience with them the previous year. It felt so good to get out on the soccer field again after so many years and to feel so young and healthy (though my body often ached like the dickens after a game!) I was the most fit I'd been in years, decieving, as at the same time the cancer was plotting how to move through my system. So as my Abbotsford Rover's set off for their first practise I was at home experiencing the first thing that cancer would rob me of. I decided that cancer would get very little and that I was going to fight to preserve life as I knoew it.
I didn't get to any season games for my team, because I was afraid of sitting on the sides lines feeling sorry for myself rather than cheering them on. I was humbled by my team mates last Saturday night as many of them assembled for a Pub night in my honour. They had pink ballooons, and even the manly men from my team had no problem sitting with these pink decorations, because it was for me. They raised money for my fundraising efforts for the run for the Cure and by the end of the night I was blown away by the $400 they raised in just a few hours. Even though I didn't show up to cheer for them, they didn't stop cheering me on! Thanks to my team and it is my hope and prayer that I'll see you on the field next season, I'll be fit and ready and proud to wear my gastly yellow jersey:)
I did manage to go out yesterday and cheer for the Rovers as they played their season end tournment. They scored their only goal of the day within 30 seconds of my arrival. Perhaps I'm a good luck charm and it's sign that I'll be out next year, I'm going to take it that way anyway.
Driving home from the Pub night last Saturday night, Chris and I came upon a very drunk driver in front of us. We called the authorities as I was hoestly afraid that we were going to see someone get killed. As we followed him, as observed him head into on coming traffic half a dozen times, we kept calling in his location. (We were not leaving him until we knew he was off the road, we figured he was going to drive himself off into the ditch fairly quickly as it was) As we followed him, he got paranoid and would pull over, so we just pulled over safetly behind him. We figured this way at least he wasn't driving on the road. Finally the police showed up in full force, four patrol cars, we were requested by dipatch to stop and make a statment on site, so we did. The officer said the driver was so drunk he couldn't stand up when he got out on the car. He thanked us for quite possibly saving at least one life that night. He said, "You can sleep well tonight knowing you did a good thing. This was a deadly situation and lives were saved by you tonight."
I thank God that once again I was in the right place at the right time. I've realized more and more lately, that is my life right now, even if i don't quite understand it all the time, "I'm at the right place at the right time." My life, is God's life, My time is God's time, my plan is God's plan. It just feels right.

Check out my updated website.

There are a couple new pictures on my website. Chris updated the site for me, check it out at:

Saturday, July 21, 2007

Frankly I don't think cancer gives a Rats-Ass!!!

If one more person tells me that if I just keep positive I’ll beat this thing, I think I’ll scream!! “Frankly I don’t think cancer gives a rats-ass, whether I’m positive, negative or otherwise!” I do, however, believe that being as positive and optimistic as I am, makes living through this a lot more pleasant.
I can’t imagine going into a dark hole and just staying there, that’s not me, if I saw that hole I’m sure I’d peek inside and quickly decide it wasn’t for me, no matter how long I had to live. I’m grateful that by nature I see the upside of most situations and when I don’t, I decide that’s exactly what I’m going to do whether I like it or not. I usually realize that I do like up rather than down and that I prefer living with a cup that’s half full.
So when people infer that being negative will bring me down, possibly even into to my own premature grave, I say, how dare you! I deserve a moment of despair from time to time, without thinking, oh crap, I just put one foot in my own grave! I believe it’s possible to mourn and grieve my situation, with a smile on my face, but if I want to bawl my eyes out, so be it, perhaps I’m even crying out some of the cancer cells while I’m at it!!
I’ve know some amazingly optimistic, positive and hopeful women who are no longer with us. They were hopeful until the end, and not because they were in denial, but because they choose to live that way, no matter what! One such woman, was Cindi Esau, she was one of the most inspirational women of my life. She set a shining example to me of how to live life in that face of death, with a heart of gratitude for each and every day, even her last day. Cindi lost her battle with breast cancer when she was 35, leaving behind a husband and young child, in 1996. I think of her often as I go through my journey now and I reflect on the “bosom buddie” talks that she and I shared and I remember how she inspired me to be more.
So as I awake each day and reflect on what I’m grateful for, I also prepare to kick some serious cancer a_ _ ( you know what!!)

Friday, July 20, 2007

Don't wake me up!

I have a prayer request...I'm having trouble sleeping at night. Both falling asleep and then waking in the night and not being able to fall asleep again. Sometimes it has to do with pain and discomfort but mostly it's because I can't shut off my mind. My mind races with everything you can imagine. It's hard when I've tried everythig I can think of and I end up turning to sleep aids. I don't want to take more drugs, my body has plenty of drugs in it as it is. I've tried some herbal sleep remedies and so far no luck. If anyone has any ideas, let me know, that would help. I'm up now at 6:30 am and not by choice, I've been awake for an hour and half already so I thought I'd make myself busy doing something. Now that the sun is up and it's day, I shouldn't have much trouble sleeping now. It's the night time that eludes me. I've always been a big sleeper, 9-10 hours a night, and now more than ever I need my beauty sleep and the 4 and half hours I just got, isn't going to cut it. I need what little energy I can muster up for my family during the day. I'm off to my bed, wish me luck, I pray that big huge Z's are in my very near future!

Thursday, July 19, 2007

In Loving Memory

A tribute to Lydia Janz by her Grand-daughter in-law:

Early this morning, Chris’s Grandma (and my Grandma for the past ten years) went to be with the Lord and her loving, awaiting husband Leo. Lydia Janz slipped away peacefully with her son Paul, Chris’s Dad, present. My in-law’s arrived, from England, in a timely fashion last night and Paul got to be with his Mother through the night and by her side till the end. Her daughter, Phyllis, had also been able to arrive from California a couple days before. Grandma was able to look into the eyes of her children and sense their loving presence. What a gift for everyone to know that Lydia received a passing that was in the midst of God’s guiding and caring hand and on her terms; as it seems as though she waited to say good-bye, and then took her last breath when she was ready. She verbalized to all of us for quite sometime that she was ready to go to Glory and to see the place God had prepared for her. I’m sure her home coming today was everything and more than she had dreamt. She lived a life of love and service, to her husband, family,friends, those around her and to the world wide community through the Ministry of Janz Team Ministries.
As my four year old daughter Carmelle said today, “Great-Grandma has a new body now and she is dancing. She is dancing like a ballerina.” I can see it, as Lydia was not able to walk for the past few years, and I’m sure she wouldn’t just walk when she could dance!
I reflect myself this day, on Lydia’s life and passing and I feel myself emotionally long for what she has had. It is my strong desire, the longing of my soul, (my plan actually), to also get to be 86 and to take my last breath with loving family by my side and on my terms.
Great-Grandma Lydia Janz will be missed by so many. Her witty sense of humour, her honest approach to daily living, her unwaivering faith and her love for those around her will be cherished always. Her life legacy has reached the hundreds of thousands if not millions,(through her daily life and the work of Janz Team Ministries) Hers has been a life well lived. She has been an example to us all and she will keep a special place in our hearts always. We love you Grandma!

Sunday, July 15, 2007

My second Journey

For those of you who haven't heard the story from the beginning here's quick over view of my situation, that I just wrote to add to my web page. It's not up yet so you have a preview. I intend to update the webpage with this and some bald photos soon.

My Second Journey

If someone had told me that I would face breast cancer, not once but twice by 35 I would have never believed them! But here I am…35 year’s old and facing a second diagnosis of breast cancer. (My first being at 23 years old) I immediate thought is that the first cancer I had came back again, but no, this is an entirely different case of breast cancer. This kind is even considered a different disease, it’s so different! So I still will have to be tested in the future to be sure the original cancer doesn’t return, while continuing to fight this new bought with this new disease. The first time I had a sarcoma in the breast tissue, this time I have a carcinoma in the ducts that spread to my lymph nodes.
I’d been going for tests for years consistently, especially for the last 4 years because I felt that my breast tissue felt thick and odd. But since the first feeling of this came while breast feeding Carmelle (who’s now 4 years and was 4 months then) it seemed to the Dr. that the change I felt was due to that. Whether it was pregnancy, breastfeeding, weight gain or weight loss, there always seemed a reasonable explanation for the way my breast was feeling, especially since no tests (ultra sound, mammogram, CT scan or Chest X-ray) showed anything. Until March 2nd, 2007 a little something showed up on Ultra sound, which then also could be found on ultra sound. (Confirmed to be breast cancer by needle core biopsy done March 12th, 2007, pathology report in on March 16th) The little something was invasive breast cancer that had spread out side the ducts and to the lymph nodes, what didn’t show but was later confirmed by pathology, was that basically my entire breast tissue was full of DCIS (ductal carcinoma in situ) Thankfully the invasive BCA seems to be relatively new, infecting only 3/11 nodes. These 11 nodes were removed by lymph node dissection during my right breast Mastectomy on April 5th, 2007. I was fortunate to have immediate breast reconstructive surgery at the time, with a silicone implant placed under the muscle during the skin sparing mastectomy. My surgery wasn’t free of complications; necrotic tissue had to be removed in surgery on May 3rd (12 years to the day of my left breast mastectomy) and then infection set in which hospitalized me for 4 days. This left me with an open wound on my right chest mound for 5 weeks. Thankfully all healed well, even though chemo was put off by two weeks.
Chemo therapy started May 26th, 2007, the first of 4 treatments of AC every 21 days, then 4 treatments of Taxol with Herceptin. When that is complete after 6 months, I face 28 radiation treatments over 5 and half weeks. Herceptin continues for 9 more months, totaling 12 months, and once every 21 days. My final diagnosis was that I have invasive ductal carcinoma that is Estrogen and Progesterone negative but Her2 positive and node positive. From beginning to the end of treatment is 18 months. For my two young girls ages 4 and 2, this is a large percentage of their lives at this point. Though I’m grateful that they are young, and this hardly seems to be affecting them. It is my hope that when they are older they will only vaguely remember that “silly” Mommy shaved her head bald once. I’m glad the fear doesn’t get to be a part of this journey for them and I choose that fear doesn’t get to be a part of my journey either.

Friday vs. Friday

I have had two incredibly great friday nights in a row! Last Friday night, July 6th the day of my 3rd chemo, Chris was in concert that night. He was great and performed a new song I'd never heard. He just keeps getting better and better if I do say so myself. In the midst of his gig he announced that because his wife who is fighting cancer showed up with no hair, that he was going to leave with no hair. Two hair dressers walked on the stage and in less than a minute shaved Chris’s head bald I’d tried to talk my dear husband out of it, but once he got it in his mind that he was going to do this for me I couldn’t talk him out of it. But like I suspected, every time I look at him I remember that I’m bald to. It’s kind of nice to just forget how my head looks, until I look in the mirror. His hair is growing back very quickly, thankfully. Even though I’d had chemo that day I felt okay, the first two days on chemo aren’t too bad because the steroids keep me up, but I only take them for two days. I found out that night from Mr. Van Dogen (our local MLA) that our Preimer Gordon Campbell would be sending me a letter. Which I did receive the following Monday. I felt honoured to receive a personal letter from my Premier recognizing my involvement in my community and encouraging me in my fight against breast cancer. That letter has gone in the scrapbook along with all the other stuff I’ve collected over the last 4 and half months of my journey thus far.
This past Friday night, July 13th, we had another adventure heading into the city. In the car on the drive in we heard on the radio the announcement that Sarah Mclachlan and her husband welcomed their daughter Taja (sister to India age 5) on June 22nd , three weeks earlier. We discussed this news item at the time, figuring it didn’t apply to our world at all. Now we were heading into the city because Chris was playing with his brother Colin for a benefit concert, benefiting Sarah McLachlan’s charity, Music Outreach, so I guess this is why we took a particular interest to this news on this day. The boys played great! Colin sang amazingly as usual and Chris shone while accompanying on acoustic guitar. Then Chris was introduced to Ash, Sarah McLachlann’s husband! It sure came in handy to congratulate him on the birth of his second daughter and to let him know that we also had two little girls. We ended up engaged in conversation for the better part of an hour and Chris had the opportunity to give him a copy of his CD. We couldn’t believe the way the evening had played out, what a great second Friday night in a row!

It's Party Time!

I'm having an Arbonne party at my house on Monday night July 16th at 6:30pm. You are invited to check out the products, sample some and possibly win some. Arbonne is my new home based business that is Swiss formulated pure,safe and beneficial products. Hope to see you here!

32744 Nanaimo Close, Abbotsford
604-853-2966 RSVP:)

Come for food, fun and fellowship!

My "Birds of a feather fighting together" T-shirts are IN! Only $20

Thursday, July 12, 2007

What Life is Really about....By Feather

As I laid in my bed last night, praying, meditating, pondering on Life, my life, these phrases came to me and I want to share them with you.

What Life is Really about...

Living Life Right, without being righteous
Saying Sorry with a truely forgiving Heart
Obeying without being Told
Being Called Humble with full Humility
Believing in ones self without Hesitation.

It is my desire that my life reflect these things. I suppose it is my mandate, that this is what my life is really about.

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Freak Accident?!?!

The question is…were we at the wrong place at the wrong time or the right place at the right time? Though my first instinct was the previous, I realized it was in fact the later…as the large truck tire flew down the road at our van. This occurred last Friday morning, as my good friend Caroline and I were headed to the cancer clinic for my appointments. We’d just spent a fun girl’s night in the city and the last thing we’d expected to encounter was a flying tire at our van. Unfortunately for Caroline we’d decided to take her van to the city instead of mine thankfully the tire didn’t hit my passenger window, or the windshield, better yet we were grateful that the tire hit the front passenger side of Caroline’s van instead of all of the pedestrians that were crossing the street at the time. We realized fairly quickly how tragic that could have turned out and we were so glad we didn’t witness that. Though the initial impact was shocking and very unsettling, we knew we were fine right away. The young man who lost his tire while driving, was shaken and worried about us. I think the driver of the truck was relieved that the damage wasn’t greater. His vehicle suffered the worst damage, as it turned out, he’d gotten new tires put on at a shop the day before and they forgot to tighten the lug nuts. So for all those pedestrians crossing Oak and 12th at that moment, we were at the right place at the right time.
Thanks for coming to Vancouver with me Caroline, sorry your van got squished Other than that, it was a lot of fun!

Monday, July 9, 2007

Just to let you know...

Just to let you know...Chemo makes the best mosquito repelant:) They come near me, hover, get one whiff of my chemo blood and they take off. Do not attempt this at home!!

Lucky number 7!

Our friend shot a hole in one on the golf course on 07/07/07 with a 7 iron on the 7th hole!! If the #7 wasn't her lucky number before I'm sure it is now!!

We attended a wedding on 07/07/07 at 4:44pm! Her lucky numbers are #4 ande #7!! Go figure!!

I heard that Vegas had more weddings on this lucky day than any day in the history of Vegas weddings!

Just some fun info as I recover on Day four of Chemo #3!

I'll write more when I can sit up longer to write, days 3-5 are the hardest.

Sunday, July 8, 2007

Is this my Chrysalis?

Late last week my dear Carmelle, just 4 years old, started screaming out for help from the living room, “It’s too tight, the cocoon I made is to tight, get me out! She was wrapped up in a blanket on the floor, flailing around, I assured her I would get her out as she continued to shout out, “I was just pretending to be a caterpillar and I wanted a chrysalis so I could become a butterfly!!!” She’s crying and kicking as I continue to try and unravel her, she got herself in there very well. Once she was released and in my arms, she sobbed, “I just wanted to pretend I was a beautiful butterfly, and my cocoon was to tight.” I was just so imprested that she knew and understood the process of chrysalis, that I found it hard to get the big grin off my face. As I consoled her, it occurred to me that I could relate to my young daughter with my own life experience.
Is this experience with breast cancer my chrysalis, is this my time for transformation?!?! Will I come through this with “new wings”, beautiful color and a new high flying view?!? I believe so. I can feel it already taking place. And I don’t think a “moth” is in my future, but rather a “Butterfly”, with wide spanning wings, (6 legs) more movement, a high flying perspective on all of life and floating grace. I can feel it already, even as I lay in my bed now, recovery from my 3rd Chemo treatment.

A quote from Dr. Marla Shapiro: “This is a journey that should never be taken alone. When we are confronted with such a journey, we must draw strength from each other. Courage finds you and, in turn, you find courage.”

I love that I can find courage, comfort, strength, insight and love from even my young children, What a blessing!

May you find blessing and strength from someone around you today!

God Bless.

Thursday, July 5, 2007

Chris Janz Live!

Come and see Chris in a full length, full band concert at the Abbotsford Berry Festival in Downtown Abbotsford, this friday, July 6th at 7:30pm. We'd love to see you out. Chris will be shaving his head, all his decision, to show support for me, to raise awareness about breast cancer and to promote the Run for the Cure on Sept 30th, 2007. Chris will be giving $5 from each of his $20 cd sales to my fundraising efforts for the run. I'll be there even though I have chemo that day. I'll be in my lounge chair resting and enjoying great music. Come and join me and bring a friend! Chris has written some new songs that I'm so looking forward to hearing them. I know you'll love it and I'm not just saying that because he's my husband. If you are interested in hearing some of his music log on to his website:

Tuesday, July 3, 2007

The good with the bad!

I recently had someone question my decision to receive chemo therapy. They felt that anything that kills healthy cells with the cancer cells, isn't good. I feel that like most things in life, you take the good with the bad. I also feel that I'm committed to the decision that I've made, I don't have room for doubt. I have faith that I'm doing the right thing, and I'm committed to the process that I've started. And I fully intend to see it through to the end. I don't feel that it's healthy for me to not trust what I'm doing is in my over all best interest. I view the chemo as being my fighting power, in liquid form. I feel that my job is to surrender to the process, especially during that first week, and to let the chemo win the battle. Each and every day I do what I can to fight this cancer and I fully intend to win!
I have no doubt!

Well I'll be!!!

I've just finished reading the auto-biography of Dr. Marla Shapiro, Dr. Marla from CTV's show Balance and from Canada AM. She wrote of her journey througbh breast cancer. The highlight of the book for me was reading about her life mentor and elementary school teacher Gwen. She wrote of Gwen giving her a book that she's helped to co-write with 12 other authors. One of whom is me!! The book is called "You are not Alone", it was published 3 years ago out of Montreal. First in French and then in English, Chris and I were invited to the book launch in Montreal in 2004 I was asked to speak and he sang. It was there that I met Gwen and had her sign my book. It was a neat full circle moment for me to read about my book in Dr. Marla's book, I felt a "small world" connection to her. The book has 13 chapters all written by women who have experienced cancer. My chapter is one of the 13. The book is available through Chapters/Indigo book stores. If you by it I can sign it for you:) The book will need to be updated with my new story of my new journey. I'm also working on updating my website, we hope to have that done in the next week or so:
Over all I'm feeling fairly well. My energy level is low, which does get frustrating for me, I'm use to having so much energy. I wish I had the energy to work out and feel in better shape. I've also been having restless nights, I suppose I'll make up for the lost sleep next week when I'm sleeping 20 hours a day after chemo. My next chemo treatment is this friday. I feel like I just had one and now it's less than three days away.
I'm planning a ladies get together at my place on Monday July 16th, at 6:30. Come and bring a friend, but only if you are not sick. It'll be time to visit (so I can feel like I have asocial life) it'll give me something to look forward to after a week of chemo abd I'll be introducing you to fabulous Arbonne products. So come over for snacks and fun! Hope to see you here: 32744 Nanaimo Close Chris is performing this Friday night for the Abbotsford Berry Festival. Friday July 6th at 7:30pm in Downtown Abbotsford. We'd love to see you there, I have chemo that day but I hope to make it still. Chris will be shaving his head for Breast Cancer ( to show support for me:) and he'll be donating $5 from the sale of each of his cd's sold that night, to the Run for the Cure ( my fundraising efforts). So come and hear some great music, he'll have his full band, and buy his cd! He'll also have his T-shirts, hats and buttons for sale.
Thanks for your continued support!
Bring your friends and tell some more!

See you soon,

Feather Janz