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It's been a year since my last post.

Lots of change.

Ocho and I broke up last August. The breakup actually started the prior summer in 2007, a month after my first reconstruction. I was headed to the beach with the kids and called Ocho to see if he wanted to go surfing with us. He couldn't as his old girlfriend was coming over. They were hoping to find closure... It took me 12 more months to realize that his feelings for me had changed and that he didn't know how to end the relationship. We broke up in August 2008.

I miss Ocho. He was there for me in a significant way during my cancer year, for which I'll always be grateful. It was actually a magnificent year. Life was magnified; rich with meaning and full of love. Ocho would tell me over eggs and toast on foggy Saturday mornings why he loved me.

I had my second reconstruction in October 2008. The day after I got fired from my job. The reconstruction, done by a great surgeon in San Francisco, Loren Eskenazi, looks amazing. But the right side developed a low-grade infection that caused the stitches to pop open four separate times, requiring four mini-surgeries. In January of this year, my surgeon decided to redo the right side. It's been good since.

One last surgery: hysterectomy this past July, due to some funky side effeccts of Tamoxifen. That surgery was a piece of cake. Great surgeon from Portola Valley. I had a total laproscopic hysterectomy on a Tuesday. By Sunday I was digging up a tree root in my front yard.

2009 has also been full of good change.

I landed a new job in February, and I love it. The work is meaningful, the people are genuine, the atmosphere is fun, and my boss makes me feel valued. I feel blessed.

I've also immersed myself in AA: discovering the power of prayer and service. I'm still the same girl, full of the same fears and character flaws, but I have a new peace.

Love? I am happy to hold out for that person who just totally wags my tail. I've come close. But I want closer.

The past 12 months, I've hurt, I've healed, I've learned. Have I changed? Yes and no, but the point no longer is to become something different. The point is to go down the road with as much hope and grace and love as I can hold.

My love goes out to Jenni Ballantyne at She recently entered hospice. And she still sees the good in the world.

Send Miss Katie, aka KT from, your e-love. She, too, is in hospice and loves connecting with friends. She is one totally good egg.


SweetAnnee said…
I am so glad to see you posted. The change is for the better!!! It's so important
to love your job.

A year can change things dramatically.
I think of you often and always pray for the

lahdeedah said…
Hey girl,

Life is nothing if not surprising :) I am good. All the change is positive. Difficulty is now a welcome event. It takes me deeper and brings me closer to God. Always.

I pray for your continued happiness and sparkling spirit!

Anonymous said…
Deena sent me your site update.
Haven't spoken to her in months!
My life went into a 360 and is still sorting itself out.
Marriage, career....the whole SHEBANG! I'm still standing and moving forward. SO GREAT TO READ HOW WELL YOU ARE DOING!!! Congrats on AA!! Proud of should be.
lahdeedah said…

I'm really surprised and sorry to hear about your total tailspin. Good grief...

But I am not surprised to hear that you are still upright. You're one of the strongest chicks I know.

Let's reconnect already!

Much love.
Anonymous said…
Bring it on babycakes! Tell me when-where and time! Don't worry, all the changes are soooooo much better for me. I was sitting on my butt too long in the illusion. Finally said, well...ya gonna live it or complain about it?! So live it is, you know the C awareness's all we have promised. I feel great! E your # Plllleeeeasssseee! ;)
Jen Ballantyne said…
Thank you friend, I appreciate your support.
Tina said…
Since October is Breast Cancer awareness month, I am looking to raise awareness and money for this great cause.

I will be putting links in the sidebar of my blog that will allow visitors to donate to Susan G Komen and Keep a Breast.

I am looking to have some guest bloggers leave posts about their own interaction with this disease. Whether it's about surviving, losing a loved one, informational, poems, etc. Anything breast cancer related. If you could be a guest blogger on my site, that would be wonderful.

My mom is a breast cancer survivor which is why I have gotten involved with this charity.

Thank you so much!


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