Three Years and Moving Forward

24 Jul

Jenna here

I was moved this year to re-publish the Jess Fights Back blog. I don’t know why this year, and not last or next. But it’s published and I’m glad. I’m glad that people can re-read Jess’s journey and hopefully be re-inspired by the love and hope and dedication and faith woven into every word posted in this blog.

 

I recently listened to a Ted Talk that spoke about different ways people mourn. This particular speaker lost her husband. She said people will often say “you’ll move on from this…get past this…” She said she didn’t want to move on, but she did want to move forward. I liked this. 

 

Jess’s passing very much represents the future for me in so many ways. Because of her, I have a future. Because of her, my daughters will have a future. Because of her, I can move forward.

 

I recently had to make a hard decision to move forward with scheduling my hysterectomy. The surgery is a result of an increased risk for ovarian cancer due to our family history and BRCA gene. The finality of this decision gave me pause. But after reflection, I would be putting my future in jeopardy if I didn’t move forward. And how could I take advantage of the opportunity to live a long and healthy life that Jess’s illness afforded me?

 

Nearing the anniversary of Jess’s passing, I invite those who wish to post a tribute to please do so in the comment section on any blog post that happens to move you forward.

PET Peeve and Support Please

9 Jun

Jess has her next PET scan coming up in early July. While we’re all hopeful for good results, the time leading up to the scan and the results can cause increased anxiety. During this time we’d like to ask all you Jess Fights Back supporters to step in and show Jess a little extra TLC.

Here are some ways you can show your support:

-Send a positive note via mail, text, e-mail or Facebook
-Offer to babysit so Jess can have a day to organize appointments and read up on medical research (or better yet, so she and Jonathan can go on a date!)
-Bring a healthy meal for Jonathan and the kids
-Contribute to her daily regimen by supplying her with money, gift cards (for example, Whole Foods, and other vitamin and natural-foods stores), or fresh, organic produce
-Purchase Jess Fights Back gear, take a picture, and send it to her

Thanks so much for your continued support!

xo
The Care Team

Jess Update

15 May

from Jo

Please keep Jess in extra prayer while she recovers from mercury filling removals. The champ continues to add weapons to her arsenal in her fight to win! Recently she went to see a highly recommended holistic dentist to have old mercury fillings removed. Many times women diagnosed with breast cancer found that they had mercury fillings on the same side of the body that had tumors. Many cancer patients who struggled to go into remission were able to finally conquer cancer once the fillings were carefully removed by a highly trained holistic dentist. Jess’ fillings were on the same side as her original tumors. Some patients experience allergic reactions after the procedure, especially if you have a compromised immune system. Our champ unfortunately has experienced severe side effects. She has endured unrelenting pain in her bones, muscles and head. It has also elicited debilitating fatigue. Of course my super twin sustains all of this with a smile!

She does need a lot of extra help until she begins to finally expel all of the toxins. If there is any way our team of Jess Fights Back Supporters could help her in any way, it would be greatly appreciated.

Jess has been extra busy seeing her naturopath more frequently over the last month as she gears up for testing to evaluate her progress. We are also looking into taking her to the Nava Center where they can do Vitamin C IV therapy. We want to do everything we can to boost her immune system. She does take vitamin c orally, but sometimes not everything is absorbed as it goes through the digestive process. She also needs an extra boost since tests revealed that her kidneys and lymphatic system were backed up from trying to release toxins. The procedure is expensive, but more than worth it!

Jess is more determined than ever to continue her strict, organic, mostly vegan diet. She consumes a large anti-cancer salad everyday along with an anti-cancer smoothie(filled with the top anti-cancer fighting foods and a great source of fiber). She also juices 40 oz or so of anti-cancer veggies daily. She is only allowed 1 serving of fruit per day. She usually tries to have 1 organic apple each day. Apples are high in pectin which grabs onto toxins and helps cleanse the body. She is only allowed 1 serving in order to keep sugar intake minimal. Even though it is naturally occurring and full of vitamins she has to keep it at a minimum. We do not want anything to feed tumors.

She has not missed a day of working out in months even when she felt awful. When I say exercise I mean rebounding. Rebounding is the most efficient way to cleanse the lymphatic system which is basically the garbage can of the body. Dr. Dori says that it is even more important to do when she is fighting a cold. She must keep blood, oxygen and nutrients flowing all throughout the body while promoting the transport of waste and toxins out of the body.

Another new protocol for her is foot soaks and infrared sauna treatments. Both of these release toxins and make her feel like a million bucks.

Jess has also increased her daily coffee enemas. This treatment promotes liver and colon health while boosting her energy. She needs so much energy just to do her daily regimen. It seems like a full time job to me!

By God’s grace He gives her strength to take care of two energetic kiddos, take care of the house and help promote their remodeling business. It amazes me how disciplined she is to do all of this daily. She does it with a smile because she wants to be there for her family.

I witness her at parties turning down cake, declining social events in order to get her required sleep, getting up before the kids to make sure she she preps her smoothie, juice prep, supplements, exercise, all day clean ups(tons of dishes from cooking, juicing, etc). It takes Jess several hours a day just to clean up after her protocol. It was taking so long that she recently started having young Rachel and Seth help with the dishes. It is so cute to see a 5 year old and a 2 1/2 year old do dishes. Sometimes it creates more of a mess, but even their little hands can help.

I thank God everyday for giving her the strength to be so disciplined and determined. I watch her take a fist full of what looks like horse pills day after day with such a great attitude. I made this special anti-cancer tea for her that looked incredibly disgusting and she looked at the cup, then looked at me and gulped it down fast. I think I threw up in my mouth just watching. The look on her face told me “this is gross, but I will do it for you. I will do whatever it takes.” It means so much to me that she is willing to do all of this in order to get healthy.

If Jess is not healthy then I feel like I am so lost. I thank God all day everyday for my sweet twin.

I cannot thank everyone enough for their sacrifices for our family. We know this journey has been so long. We could not do this without you.

Before I close I want to share how much we enjoyed the Believe Big Dinner last weekend. God is using Ivelisse Page to help make the world a better, healthier world! I was so touched by how many friends and family members have volunteered to help Believe Big with their time or through donations. I was brought to tears as I heard stories of how Believe Big gave cancer patients hope and direction. I honestly don’t think Jess would be here today if we had not talked to Ivelisse and Jimmy Page. They were the first ones to give us hope when the oncologists said it was hopeless. They helped guide our steps and taught us to become experts on our own care. Jess and I now own dozens of books on cancer fighting strategies and we have consulted with multiple naturopaths, cancer coaches and wellness centers. If you or anyone you know is battling cancer I urge you to contact Believe Big! Later this month we test her progress. We appreciate your prayers.

As always we are Believing Big!

Jess Update

21 Apr

From Jo

April has been a busy month for our champ! She met with her oncologist last week and had a great visit! Jaws dropped at St Agnes when they saw how good she looked. They were amazed with how energetic and vibrant she was and with how long her hair has become. It is so curly! I think I might start calling her “Curly!” Since I am Jo she might call me “Mo” and we can be two of the three stooges.  Her oncologist told her to keep up the great work. The other doctors and nurses were so happy to see her. They had missed her so much. The chemo lab always had a much better feel when she was there. I remember the nurses always putting her next to patients who needed more encouragement.

St Agnes called Jess two weeks ago to see if she could put together a list of her regimen so other patients could see it. They want Jess to share what she eats, her vitamin plan/schedule, exercise regimen and any other tips for success. It is such a blessing to be able to give back.

Jess has had several holistic dental appointments this month. Many people are slowed in the healing process if they have had mercury dental work. She is getting rid of any and all dental materials that could lead to the release of toxins. We are leaving no stone unturned! Also, Jess was not allowed to have any dental work over the last two years until now.

This week she is getting her port flushed and is making a plan for removal. It causes her a lot of pain and makes for awkward conversations when kids see it! Jess always has a funny response when asked.  Blood work at St Agnes is coming up before she goes to DC to see a special doctor about another scan that has no radiation involved. Please continue to pray for great results, encouragement, strength for each day in doing her regimen, etc.

Next month we are going to the Believe Big Dinner on May 10th, hosted by Ivelisse Page. We will get to learn about the groundbreaking mistletoe trial at Johns Hopkins, hear stories from cancer patients and more.

Thank you for helping Jess Fight Back and WIN!

Climbing High

10 Apr

The only climbing must of us do is climbing out of bed in the morning. Jess never fails to impress us, here she is doing the rope climb at Jo Ann’s gym. Jess fiercely climbed that rope and wouldn’t stop until she reached the top. She kept saying “I’ve got this, I’ve got this!” Just another example of when Jess sets her mind on something, she is unstoppable!

 

jessfightsback

Peapod Grocery List

3 Apr

For those of you who are willing and able to send groceries via Peapod, here is a list of items that are sold through Peapod:

PRODUCE

5 LB Natures Promise Organic Carrots

Natures Promise Organic Salad Spring Mix 16 oz

1 Bunch Beets Organic

Celery Hearts Nature’s Promise Organic 16 oz

Mushrooms White Whole Nature’s Promise Organic 8 oz

Nature’s Promise Organics Broccoli Florets 16 oz

Nature’s Promise Organic Salad Baby Spinach and Spring Mix 7 oz

Cauliflower Organic 1 Head

Nature’s Earthly Choice Premium Quinoa 100% Whole Grain Organic 14 oz

Organic Tomatoes 1

Nature’s Promise Organic Green Peppers 2 ct

 

OTHER

Blue Diamond Almond Breeze Vanilla Almond Milk Unsweetened 64 oz

Nature’s Promise Organic Cage Free Eggs Large 1 Dozen

Nature’s Promise Organics Almond Butter 16 oz

 

Thanks in advance for helping! Please send Peapod orders to: 2039 Deering Avenue, Baltimore, MD 21230. Please schedule deliveries for Sunday evenings.

xo
The Care Team

Jess Update

2 Apr

From Jo

Last week Jess and I went to the Wellness Center to see her new naturopath. The visits are usually pretty lengthy. One visit can take up most of a day, but it is always productive and educational! Jess had to endure a long series of tests. The questioning is so intense it can feel like you’re on trial. I love that at this center they leave no stone unturned. Results revealed that Jess has been hard at work and it is paying off!
I am so proud of how dedicated she has been with her diet! She has had to get super creative since being on the vegan diet. She was also not allowed to have any gluten, no sweeteners, no fruit, no dairy, etc. The diet is time consuming when it comes to prep and clean up! After one day it could easily take up to two hours just to do the dishes, clean her blender, juicer, and kitchen! Jess has been juicing up to 40 oz of organic veggies/day and has a 40 oz organic, anti-cancer smoothie/day! Thank you to all of you who have sent her groceries. Her grocery bill is astronomically high from buying so much organic produce! Since she is so dedicated she was rewarded with being allowed to have 3 servings of organic, cage free chicken or wild caught salmon/week and 1 serving of low fructose fruit per day! Jess has missed having fruit! I cannot imagine not being allowed to have so many food items. Jess took it like a champ. So proud of my Super Twin who happily eats like a rabbit!!
Jess has been required to exercise 30min/day 7 days a week. Her naturopath was very firm about this. She reminds me of a boot camp instructor! She will turn people away if they are not willing to make extreme sacrifices. These sacrifices are so worth it! Jess showed signs of improvement, but her doctor told her she has a long way to go. Dr Luneski was not happy that her liver is still bogged down by toxins. She increased some of her supplements and is now requiring 40min minimum of exercise per day with no rest days!
Dr. Luneski increased some of her supplements, which means that it will be more time consuming. The supplements she takes require special prep before she ingests them. She also has all of these breathing exercises she has to do. The doctor really wants Jess to eliminate stress. Dr luneski told us that lowering Jess’ stress should be our primary goal right now. We are researching yoga, meditation and other methods used for relaxation.
Extra prayers are needed right now because while Jess is progressing nicely, she is experiencing a lot of detoxing symptoms. Over the last month she has a record number of colds and headaches. Dr Luneski reminded us that these symptoms are normal. In the past she wasn’t healthy enough to release toxins. The toxins were trapped in the cells. As she improves, the cells will release the toxins and cause temporary symptoms. Jess makes me smile when she is super excited about these brutal symptoms because it means she is healing. I have never known a happier person while in pain. This joy definitely comes from the Lord! Even though Jess is so chipper she needs extra encouragement. This road has been long and hard, but God has been faithful. I pray all day everyday that God will provide continued support and encouragement for the Rehns. Their tank needs to be filled to keep going. A kind word of encouragement in the morning can give her the strength she needs to keep giving this battle everything she has all day long.
Jess is also experiencing painful spasms in her abdomen and hip area. We believe it is due to adhesions forming after her ovary and fallopian tube removal surgery. She has to see the doctor to be sure this is the cause for her pain.
Pray that Rachel and Seth continue to adapt well. They are showing more and more concern over mommy. They wonder how much longer will mommy have to see so many doctors? How long will she be so tired? Jonathan has been working extra hard to take the kids away during these times so they only see their mommy at her best. Pray that God will provide extra strength for Jonathan.
This month is a super busy month filled with extra appointments. She has two holistic dental appointments, lab work, oncologist visits, thermography tests to check her progress and a scan. Rachel and Seth finish school at the end of this month too. Jess has been hard at work taking them to school(she is required to go and help teach) and going over daily school lessons. She might be more excited about the Summer break than Rachel and Seth! Rachel turns 5 this month! She is growing up so fast.

Thank you for taking the time to read this update. We are blessed beyond measure. If you have a spare moment please encourage Jess and Jonathan any way you can. While Jess is experiencing intense/painful detox symptoms and gearing up for testing they could use the encouragement more than ever.

-Jo

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