Scott, USA – I always thought we’d beat this

December 4th, 2014

I married the love of my life, Jennifer Arellano on December 5, 1998. Yes, we had our problems; what couple doesn’t? But our love for each other continued to grow.

We lived our lives the best we could, raising our kids Cody and Sami (my stepchildren), and finally bought our house in January 2007. We were so happy; finally a home we could make our own. Everything was going well, decorating, painting, new furniture; again making it ours.

Then in August of 2007 Jen found a lump on her left breast and our world came crashing down. We went to the doctor’s and she had a mammogram and ultrasound done. Next came the biopsy and the most horrible words of my life, “Jen, you have cancer”.

Jen then underwent a mastectomy and reconstruction, with eight rounds of chemo to follow. Every six months are hearts would stop as she had her CT scans done, but they came back clear and we thought we had it beat. In 2010 Jen had another CT scan done but this time the results showed the cancer was in her lymph nodes. Five weeks of radiation and six rounds of chemo this time, she lost her hair again and she cried.

This time as a precaution, the doctor put her on chemo pills after her regular chemo was done. Once again, we thought we had cancer beat because the scans came back good.

In February 2013 the tests showed the cancer was again back in the lymph nodes so chemo again. Then six weeks later the scan showed the cancer had spread to her lungs and third and fourth ribs.

We looked at each other and said to the doctor, “now what do we do?” He changed the chemo. I thought that would take care of it.

In April of 2014 Jen complained of having headaches and even though I thought it was probably a side effect of the chemo, I mentioned it to the nurse who then set up a brain MRI just to be on the safe side. The very next day we got the call that the cancer had spread to her brain, so five weeks of radiation followed along with her current chemo.

Once again I thought we would get through this. A brain MRI and CF scan six weeks later showed that the lesions in her brain had shrunk but now cancer had spread to her liver. So we changed chemo again.

I looked at Jen and said “it’ll be alright, we’ll get through this”. The next brain MRI and CT scans were scheduled and this time showed the cancer was growing again in her brain, as well as in her lungs and liver. Change in chemo again, this time to attack the cancer in the brain. But in doing this the lungs and liver cancer would have to wait.

Next scan showed that it looked like the chemo was working, the lesions shrunk a little.

Jen was very sick for her next chemo appointment, she was falling, having a hard time walking and breathing, and her blood pressure was low. She was admitted to the hospital on Wednesday, November 5, 2014 at which time a CT scan was done which showed she had blood clots in her lungs, left femoral artery and that the cancer had grown in her liver.

On Friday, November 7 she had a screen put in to stop any clots from traveling and again I thought we could beat it, that it was just a bump in the road. I took Jen home on Sunday only to have to run her back to the doctors on Monday afternoon because her eyes had a yellow tint and she was very confused. The doctor thought it was her medication causing this because the liver wasn’t functioning properly.

He had blood drawn to see what else it could be but decided to cut some of the meds in half and stopped the others completely. On Tuesday morning November 11, 2014 at 11:30 I got the call that Jen’s liver was failing and that there was nothing that could be done. The doctor actually came to our home to talk to us and tell Jen later that evening.

I couldn’t believe it, after seven years of truly believing that we would beat this and grow old together I was going to lose my wife of almost sixteen years! He told me that in his opinion it would be around two weeks, but boy was he wrong. I lost my wife, my best friend, the love of my life Jen at 8:21 Saturday, November 15, 2014. Jen was only 38 and missed her 39th birthday by two days and our 16th anniversary by two weeks.

Throughout all the years of fighting Jen never gave up, our love continued to grow for one another, and although I always thought our love would conquer everything and anything thrown our way, I’m happy that I had the time I had with her!

I love you and miss you Jennifer Arellano — forever in my heart, always my love.