Running The Gauntlet

Yes…this is what I often use to describe my wife’s last several weeks…or let’s just say couple of months.  Not. Much. Fun. At all.  It’s really hard to accurately describe and even harder to comprehend. I’ll just say love has no boundaries and I’m all in, behind my star player the whole way.

As I sit to write this, it’s still early morn and I’ve woken up trying to understand how the hell my wife does this every day…every hour – and I’m reminded of two things:

1. The strongest people often endure the hardest times…because they can. I thought watching her deliver twins naturally was insanely hard…and now looking back, I know she would do it all over again compared this (something I never thought I would ever say).

2. Our kids. Our beautiful, funny, loving children.  They are my wife’s world and her true focus when it comes to our visits, texts, stories, etc.  She only ever asks me one thing upon every time I go to leave the hospital: “take care of my beautiful babies”. ❤️


So that is what I do – take care of our kids the best I can, just as I know Jo would want. It’s hard to love them like only a “mom” can, but I’m trying to make my girl proud, just as she has done every single day since she made me a dad 🙂


You never truly realize how tricky life is to juggle when you’re thrown a curve-ball…especially one thrown by cancer.  One in which I’ve seen several friends have to endure, and wow, it’s a whole other world.  I have such a different perspective on life and especially for the people who have been (and are going) through this. It’s opened my eyes to a new level of both patience and love.

There’s so much to say and share, but I don’t want to lose sight of why I came on here – to update about our favourite person – Jo, and especially before the kids come running in here, (shocked they haven’t yet).

So as many may not know, Jo was re-admitted back in to hospital on the 21st (in London).  She was attending her 3rd last radiation treatment but her vitals were not doing so well. She had a blood pressure of about 74 over 39 and having great difficulty retaining fluids, an unfortunate side effect of the radiation.  Her white cell and neutrophil levels were both very low again (needed for fighting off infections), as they were after the first two rounds of Chemo.

But as her mom and I had talked, better she be admitted now in hopes she could be home by Christmas…or so we had hoped.  We unfortunately learned yesterday that this is not going to be happening. With her re-occurring fevers, (which are supposed to be gone for 48 hours) and continued low levels, it looks like we may not get to see her home until near the end of the week. Crushing. But a reality that we were are aware of and are trying to plan the best we can…for the kids.  The hardest part for Jo is knowing how Ry will really miss having her home for Christmas, something that came up last night as I put her to bed.  I mean, when an 8 year old nervously asks “Mommy is going to be home for Christmas, right?”, that’s a hard one to take on, unless of course you have a super hard core tough mom who already knew exactly what to tell her. After telling Ry, that mommy is working really hard at getting better and is always with us in our hearts, mommy needs a big favour from Ry:  to take charge and help get all the things ready for the big day.  The reindeer food, Santa’s plate, reading Twas the Night before Christmas (to the twins)….and Jo will like this the best, “and don’t forget to help Daddy decorate the Santa pancakes (in the morning) since he can’t do it like mommy” 😉 Jo selflessly wanted to take the focus off of her and instead empower Ry and make her feel important, like she always does – and she did just that.

So, we fell asleep together again for the second night in a row.  I know Jo will read this when she wakes and I want her to know that we have the bravest (minus dark basements) and strongest little girl on our hands.  You’d be (and I know are) so proud of how she’s doing with it all.  Her love for you will bring you home soon enough, and we will have our own little 2nd Christmas when you arrive.

To all of those who have been in our corner, your love and support have been instrumental with keeping us lifted, strong and focused.  The many (delicious) provided meals and treats, the well-wishes and prayers, the incredible support and love from both of our 2nd families (Jones & Silverheights), the countless hours from our moms, the one way texts from good friends (who don’t expect a text back), the head-nods or unspoken words that aren’t always needed and many other kind gestures – the love is felt and reciprocal.

A special thanks to one of Jo’s former colleagues (who I only ever met once, but also left an impression on me then). He shared a quote with Jo that “re-focused us” and made us really connect a several weeks back when she was in the hospital. “If you’re going through hell, keep going” – Churchill. I know Jo shared this in her last blog but I loved it so much that I had to share again.  Oddly enough, another good friend (and former colleague) who knows this battle all too well just wrote me on Saturday and said “keep going, just keep going buddy“. That’s all our family has ever known and will ever know…and it means more to us now than it ever has.  So, onward we march Jo, through the gauntlet, right behind you…and into the New Year.

You are so loved


4 Comments Add yours

  1. Anonymous says:

    Always in our thoughts. XO


  2. Heather Schieren says:

    Praying for you and your family. Thanks so much for the updates, you are always in our thoughts. XOXO


  3. Cigi says:

    Merry Christmas to you guys. Thinking of you.


  4. Brenda Read says:

    Ryersyn has been the best big sister this last week. I watched her today looking after her brother and sister and organizing and planning a skit, ( which took about 6 takes, before everyone cooperated), but the show went on! She taught us how to decorate the pancakes, just like mommy, the squeals, laughter, and excitement over Santas gifts, while mommy watched on Face time….I wouldn’t have wanted to be anywhere else, except with Jolene’s babies enjoying this day….we love you Jo with all out hearts, and look forward to a day when we can celebrate together….keep on……❤️❤️


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