I Still Can’t Believe It

I have this theory which I not-so-brilliantly call the two thirds theory. It’s the idea that whenever I am two thirds of the way through something, I seem to reach my breaking point.

Whether it’s painting a room or helping my son through cancer treatment, two thirds of the way through, I can’t see the light at the end of the tunnel, and yet I’ve been going long enough that I’m starting to get exhausted.

That’s how I felt at the dawn of 2014 as I sat down to write about my son’s cancer.

And as we prepare for the much-anticipated end of treatment on June 5, 2015, I thought I would share this post with you once again.

It expresses in such raw honesty how I was feeling as I attempted to adjust to our new reality.

I hope you will enjoy I Still Can’t Believe It which originally appeared on Genuflected January 2, 2014.

“My son is fighting leukemia.” I still can’t believe those words are mine. Those are words that belong to someone else’s sad reality. Someone I feel bad for and simultaneously believe I will never be.

But now those are my words. Sometimes it’s hard to wrap my mind around it. Do you ever get used to saying something like that?

“My son is fighting leukemia.”


We started this battle at the dawn of 2012 with a baby who had just turned two. Now he is four, and he doesn’t look so much like a baby. When you look at him now, running around with an ornery sparkle in his eye and hair on his head, you would never know that he is two thirds of the way through one of the longest cancer treatments in existence.

You wouldn’t guess that he takes oral chemo every night, sometimes two kinds, and he goes to Omaha once a month for spinal taps and IV chemotherapy. He looks healthy, even healthy enough that some days you can forget for a moment. You can lie and tell yourself that those words aren’t your words, “My son is fighting leukemia.” But the truth is, they are.

Before bed tonight, out of the blue, Cooper told me, “Mom, if I die then I will be with Jesus in heaven, and I will still love you.” I blinked back tears. I’m glad he knows about Jesus. I wish he didn’t know about death.

Cooper in bed Jan 14

But we talk about death in our family. I suppose that’s not normal; however, when you are praying for a friend’s baby and that baby dies of cancer, you talk about death. We don’t dwell on it, but it is a part of our life.

In our life, kids can die. In our life you raise money for cancer research, because you’ve seen the face of kids, like baby Knox, who needed more research.

So we won’t forget that those words are our words: “My son is fighting leukemia.” Although those words bring pain, they also bring strength. They bring the ability to talk about the hard things in life and focus on the true life that comes after this one.

Those words remind us that we are on a journey, however unwillingly – a priceless crash course in life. And that crash course has handed us countless hard-won lessons.

And those lessons we have learned amidst the suffering are the truest; the most filled with wisdom. That is why, when I feel them starting to slip through the sands of my memory like the face of a loved one who has passed, I sit there until I can remember what I don’t want to forget: what’s important; who’s really in control; the true good that lies in every person; God’s breathtaking ability to bless in the midst of sorrow; the understanding that my kids belong to Jesus, and through His mercy He is allowing me to take care of them for a little while.

So this year when I say our words – “My son is fighting leukemia.”- I’ll know what I’m actually saying. Life is hard, harder than I ever thought it could be, but it’s also more meaningful and rich with blessings than I ever dreamed possible.

Click here to donate to childhood cancer research in honor of Cooper.


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This post is linked up with my friends at Inspire Me Monday, Purposeful Faith, Testimony Tuesday, Coffee for Your Heart, Beloved Brews, Tell His Story, Counting My Blessings, and Friendship Friday!

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20 thoughts on “I Still Can’t Believe It

  1. I am REJOICING that you are 2/3 of the way through cancer treatments and that your son appears like a “normal” healthy boy some days. Praise Jesus for the precious time you have with Cooper, that he knows The Lord, and that he is here with you on this earth making memories, giving hugs and kisses and being a light with his faith. I am praying that June 5th is here in a snap and these two weeks go by quickly for you Jenni!

  2. I agree, praise the precious time and moments you have with him, as much as you can. I believe you already do that, more than I can even imagine.

    You know…It is very hard to find something to say to a mother that struggles with such a serious problem. Anything I might write will sound preachy, generic and downright annoying.

    I am sorry I haven’t got something truly substantial to say other than things you already know and do, like “hug him all the time”. But I hope June 5 proves a beautiful day for you guys.

  3. This post touched me deeply. May our God touch Cooper, keeping him strong, restoring health to his little body. May God continue to deposit a faith into his heart so that he always believes our God is able. And may He make you, his mama, as strong as steel so that you endure to the end of this battle & experience victory in knowing the cancer has been beaten. Praying for you all this morning!

  4. Wow, you’re almost to June 5th. May the Lord continue to give you grace and strength, joy for your journey. May His hand rest upon Cooper and continue to strengthen. Visiting from #TestimonyTuesday.

  5. Praising God with you, Jenni – not only that June 5th is right around the corner but that you can look back and see His hand so clearly over the battle you have faced. What a powerful testimony over your life and Cooper’s – God is a God who keeps His promises! Swinging by from the #raralinkup today. Hugs to you!

  6. “Mom, if I die then I will be with Jesus in heaven, and I will still love you.” I blinked back tears. I’m glad he knows about Jesus. I wish he didn’t know about death. <—- This brought emotions to the surface. Wow! Jenni, your sweet son has wisdom, and I am completely on your side concerning death and every bit of its ugliness. You're almost there, 2/3 of the way. I'll be your Aaron or Hur, holding your arms through prayer in the battle. It's almost over. Praise God.

  7. You make me laugh! Thanks for your honesty. Yes, we do cherish the little man. He’s quite a miracle in so many ways!

  8. Hi Tiffany! Yes, I see His hand. Now to remember all those lessons in trust He has taught me over the last few years!

  9. Thank you, Kristi! Yes, it’s time to finish strong in faith and trust. Appreciate having my sisters beside me in battle!

  10. You have a beautiful and wise little boy. I can see here, that He is blessed with a wonderful mom and dad. I will keep you all in my prayers. : )

    God Bless – I’m visiting from the ‘TellHisStory’ link-up.

  11. so beautiful and raw. How hard it is to watch our babies struggle and fight diseases we wish had never entered our families. praise God you’re nearing the end of this part of your journey and for healing for your son!

  12. Rejoicing with you as June 5 approaches. What a wonderful day that will be!!! And so glad you are nearly over the finish line. Praising God for His carrying you all successfully through this wretched ordeal and especially for all the blessings rendered. Sending love and hugs and continued healing your way. Thanks again for letting me share Cooper’s story. xxoo

  13. What beautiful words of strength and grace. Praising Him that He has brought you this far and will continue to bring you all through to the end! Praying for Cooper and your beautiful family! Yay for June 5th right around the corner! Stopping by from Holley’s place! Thanks for linking up and sharing!

  14. It doesn’t get any more real than this, Jenni. I can’t pick out a sentence or two to highlight … every word is powerful. Thank you for posting this again … I’m praising God with you that the end of Cooper’s treatment is in sight.

  15. We never think we can make it on a long journey, but you are almost there! May God bless your family richly and pour out His love and mercy like you have not seen.
    June 5 will be an awesome day!

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