Trying to Dance

24 Oct

Yesterday Minnesota Public Radio aired an interview with me about what it’s like to live after ending cancer treatment.



As I alluded to in the interview, I received a card from my godmother Ann a few weeks ago that read, “’What now?’ he asked. “Well… I think it would be a good idea if we danced.” That’s exactly how I feel. When there’s just no place else to go, sometime I think it’s okay to kick up your heels and waltz through what you have left.

I’m trying to do that, but it has been hard. I don’t want to make all of this sound easy, because it’s not. My blood counts get so dangerously low that I’m dragging my feet. In a slow dance with Jimmy at a wedding a few weeks ago I cried with fulfillment – and then sadness and anger – that I really love my life. I don’t want it to end. It seems so far away that sometimes I think it won’t happen. For me, I think it’s best to act like it.

Here’s a link to the interview.

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16 Responses to “Trying to Dance”

  1. Katie October 24, 2014 at 9:03 am #

    You are so strong and and really help to put life in perspective. Hope you are able to continue to capture many more great memories.

  2. erika hanson brown October 24, 2014 at 9:24 am #

    Ms. Jenna:
    You knock me out; you really do. Your generosity of sharing your experience (the intimacy of YOUR LIFE) gives us all such a wonderful lesson for how we should all be living our lives.
    Jenna – your life has profoundly touched mine, even if we only see one another sparingly. Having met you (in Dallas initially) provided me with a channel of possibilities for fulfilling my life’s mission.
    Thank you, my dear friend.
    love to you and Jimmy,

  3. Jean Prochniak October 24, 2014 at 10:08 am #

    You are dancing with such grace and elegance! Your efforts will be rewarded. May God bless your journey.

  4. Kathy Kemmeter October 24, 2014 at 10:29 am #

    You are truly an amazing woman!

    Kathy Kemmeter

  5. fran Albright October 24, 2014 at 10:55 am #

    Jenna: I woke up with the hymn “Lord of the Dance” swimming in my head. It’s one of my favorites.
    Dance then. where ever you may be, I am the Lord of the Dance said he, and I’ll lead you all wherever you may be, and I’ll lead you all in the dance said he.
    Jimmy probably knows this from the Mennagerie group.
    You are in my thoughts and prayers.

  6. Bob Van Winter October 24, 2014 at 11:01 am #

    I can’t tell you how much I admire you. Grace, class, poise, humor, emotion… you are truly remarkable!

  7. Nelda LaLicata October 24, 2014 at 1:39 pm #

    Dear Jenna,

    I have been following your journey since you began sharing. I work for the small department that finds donors who are difficult to locate.

    I am so sorry that your treatment has failed. My prayers are with you, now and always.

    You are an inspiration to all of us, and continue to be so.

    Kind regards,


    Nelda Njos LaLicata
    Donor Contact Representative, Donor and Cord Blood Management Services
    3001 Broadway Street NE Suite 100, Minneapolis, MN 55413-1753
    Phone: (612) 884 8551 Toll Free: (866) 992 8931 Fax: (612) 884 8287

    The cure for blood cancer is in the hands of ordinary peopleSM.

  8. LOIS bERG October 24, 2014 at 2:39 pm #

    Your geat aunt Lois B. is thinking about you daily. Admire your courage and glad you can accept your fate as well as you do. It must be a witness to your faith in all that is good we should celebrate each day as best we can, Know you and Jimmy and Mom and Dad are in my thoughts and prayers each day. Enjoy each day the best you can and do what you can .Dance dance dance.


  9. Elmer and Lois Guggisberg October 24, 2014 at 7:23 pm #

    You are one awesome young lady. I still remember the day you left for that first appointment at Rochester. Oh, how your life changed. I have this thought that keeps me level. I imagine before I was born that God took me aside and asked me if I really wanted to go to earth. When I said of course, He told me what my life would be like and why. I excitedly agreed and He sent me on my way. The first thing I forgot was the WHY. The second thing I forgot was that I had agreed to the plan. Sometimes the plan seems a bit harsh and not really what I want. However I know that in the end, after the dance, and I return home, I will know the WHY! Keep smiling because there is a reason, and while you are smiling, the rest of the world will be praying for you, because we still don’t know what, His plan is.

  10. October 24, 2014 at 7:25 pm #

    God love the both of you… I continue to pray and hold you tight in my heart…….. Carol Schroeder. New Ulm, Mn.

  11. Rose Forst October 24, 2014 at 10:43 pm #

    Hey Jenna,
    You are forever on the A list- amazing – awesome – angel on earth,
    As always, thinking of you often.
    Rose Forst

  12. Kelli passalacqua October 24, 2014 at 10:54 pm #

    Think about you often.

  13. Linda Hornick October 24, 2014 at 11:19 pm #

    I just listened to your interview on MPR. Jenna you are an inspiration to so many people!!! You are an amazing woman with one of the most positive attitude & outlook! Love, hugs & prayers for you, Jimmy, your Mom & the rest of your family 🙂

  14. Marggi October 24, 2014 at 11:26 pm #

    Jenna- There are many of us you are impacting though we have not met face to face. I truly felt as I listened to your incredibly well-spoken interview- we were being touched by something greater than any of us can see. You are a Messenger- through all the injustice of this. You are teaching us to how to live & prioritize but also to prepare for Something we can’t see. You state you see those worse off. There must be some purpose for the suffering – God would not stand for it as my son once said. You owe us nothing yet you give. It is okay to be up & down & angry & sad & yet this beautiful beacon that you are still shines through. We will pray for you & your family when you are weary. May the Lord provide for you & your family. Save your strength to live in the moment & allow yourself rest when needed. You have given us much. I pray you feel the love that surrounds you.

  15. Mary Henle October 25, 2014 at 1:02 am #

    Hi Sweet Girl – mama Henle here – your interview was so many things – you have blessed and graced soooooooooooooo many people just by being you, the awesome redhead!!! Love and Joy to you and your sweet man, Love, the Henle’s

  16. Steve October 28, 2014 at 8:24 pm #

    Jenna, honest, humbling and inspiring. Thank you.

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