Thursday, June 14, 2012

One Year

This Sunday, June 17th, officially marks one-year since my last chemotherapy treatment.  (Note: I wish I could say that it marks one-year since finishing cancer treatment, but technically I'm not done with treatment.  I still take a daily Tamoxifen and will officially be done with cancer treatment mid-July 2016).  A lot has happened in this year.  Life is different, but very much the same.

I'm pretty content with my life, and unlike many people who are diagnosed with cancer, I don't feel the need for a drastic change.  Why would I?  I adore my husband.  We have the raddest dog and cat,  a home that feels like home, a cycling community that feels like family, and arguably some of the best singletrack imaginable.  I enjoy my job and I love to ride/race my bike.  Cancer has forced us to change some plans, but I suppose plans are meant to be changed, and we will adapt and are happily moving forward.

As for one-year updates, I am very pleased to say that I have hair.  Being bald is very simple and I'm all for simplicity, but looking like a sick (bald) cancer patient just wasn't for me.  So yeah for hair!
Anyhow, here's what my hair looks like (sans helmet and/or visor) one-year after finishing chemo and five haircuts later.

Yes, the curls are new and the color is darker.  The plan:  grow it out to pony tail length and hope the curls stay!

In honor of our one-year anniversary of health, Shannon threw a surprise party at Trailside Park in Park City.  Despite the wind and cold temps, it was fun celebrating with friends.   Apparently Shannon was pretty stressed about keeping it a surprise, but he was even more concerned with how to get me to the park without raising suspicion.  He always says that I never do what he says (usually I do the opposite) so he was in a bit of a predicament.  Being the creative dude he is, though, he had my coach put a skills ride at Trailside on my training plan.  Since I always follow my training plan, it ended up being pretty easy to get me to there.  We'll be laughing about this for a while:)

As for what I've been up to since my last post.  Well, I returned from Mesa Verde, rested for a few days, and then spent the next three weeks ramping up the training and racing five times.  Nothing like making up for lost time!  Needless to say, by my last race I was pretty spent and it showed in my performance.

Deer Valley, UT

Enjoying a midweek race at Corner Canyon

Our new Epic Brewing/ kits

I also finished up my last four weeks of work and am now officially on summer break! Since Shannon and I both need some rest, we took a staycation this week.  This entails sleeping in every day, going on  some chill mountain bike rides, and taking Dizz on some hikes!

It's pretty easy to have a staycation really feel like a vacation when you live in mountain biking paradise!

Up next is a boatload of mountain bike racing as I ease myself into some longer distance events.  Oh, and it is that time of year for more 6-month check-ups.  I'll keep you posted!


  1. Nice Jen! Great update, I can't believe your hair. You are certainly an inspiration.

  2. AWESOME POST, Jen. Love reading it :) Anna Costa

  3. Sorry I missed the party, but congratulations on 1 year post treatment! If we told your coach to add into your training plan a day to scowl and feel sorry for yourself, I am positive you would not be able to follow that plan!

  4. I love the hair! It looks about 8 miles longer than mine (I think my hairstylist gets a little too choppy with the scissors...). Congratulations on one year post chemo, it was worth the party and many more celebrations! Good luck on your races!

    1. Hehe. My stylist knew from my very first haircut that we're growing out as fast as possible:) Right now, we're not cutting anything off the top and just trimming the bottom so I don't get too much of a mullet!

  5. What a cool posting! Congratulations on everything! Sorry I couldnt make the party....I cant believe how dark and thick your hair is. I love it! <3 Christie Johnson

  6. Jen, You are awesome! It was a great day to see you celebrate 1 year post chemo. Sally F

  7. Hello Jen,
    Your story is very inspiring. I would very much like to hear about your SonoCine experience and any feedback you would like to offer. Keep up the great fight! Hope to talk with you soon!
    -Daniel Perisho

  8. Hair looks great Jen, glad things are going well :)