Author Archives: Ryan

Season 2, Episode 1

The first time, cancer was scary because we had no idea what was coming. This time, it’s scary because we do.

Last week, Facebook surfaced this photo from four years ago. Happy memories, it turns out.

Last week, Facebook surfaced this photo from four years ago. It sparked surprisingly happy memories.

It’s been four years since Jen was diagnosed with breast cancer. She beat it back with a mastectomy, chemotherapy, and radiation, plus a long recovery that included suddenly curly hair and unexpectedly messy (but ultimately successful) reconstructive surgery.

It was very, very hard. I know it was, though looking back now, it’s hazy and hard to remember everything. I know it tested us, and even broke her, and me, a few times.

But we made it through. Our kids made it through. And these last four years have been some of the best years. Continue reading


On Writing

I’m having trouble sleeping. Jen is in a deep slumber, snoring with gusto. Tonight, the second night after her first chemotherapy session, I wouldn’t have it any other way. She may be mortified to read about her noisy sleep session. But she’s been urging me to write, and to write honestly. So here we are. Continue reading




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Zero Day

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Tuesday in Pictures



Today Jen had her CT and bone scan. We spent most of the day at the hospital. There was a lot of waiting, and between the tests, Jen said she had seen Tripler Hospital up the hill when we drove in and wanted to take a picture of it. So we walked out and across the parking lot so she could. She processed her shot with Camera+ and posted it to Instagram.

I posted this to Twitter, and Caitlin observed, “Even in a scary time, she sees beauty.” That’s my girl!

We also walked up the street to the First Assembly of God. But Jen deemed it not particularly photogenic, save for a plumeria tree in the parking lot.


Flashback. Though we got an official diagnosis on March 8, 2012, it comes after several nerve-wracking phone calls and an escalating series of doctor visits. We were hesitant to share what was happing, given the constant hope that nothing was happening, but it was definitely a challenge given our usual habit of oversharing. The only signs we’d shared publicly (which did not go unnoticed by some friends) were a distinct uptick in geolocation app checkins at medical facilities. I think this March 2 checkin and photo on Path is probably the first digital artifact of this experience.