Redefining Motherhood

Mom’s are the strongest people we know. They carry children in their wombs for 9 months, give birth (sometimes without medicine), raise those same children, juggle being a wife and worker (stay-at-home moms included), and still come home to do laundry and make dinner! They are the best jugglers and still keep their sanity. Jeana Francis is one of those amazing moms, she even added a new job; defeating cancer!

Jeana and her husband, Brian, have 4 children: Barrett, age 21, is currently living and working in Louisiana; Ethan, age 19, is a sophomore at Texas A&M University; Molly, age 17, is a Senior and track athlete at Oak Ridge High School; and Wyatt, age 10, is a 5th grader at Tom Cox Intermediate School. Jeana works as the Head of Elementary at Legacy Preparatory Christian Academy for the past 10 years. She also loves to make wreaths and other crafts in her spare time. Her life was what any mother would dream to have, then she got the call that would ultimately change her life: “I had a biopsy on a tumor that was removed which did not show any malignant cells.  So, when I received the call from my doctor, it was quite a surprise.  I would say my thought was disbelief.  I remember thinking… there’s no way I have cancer.” Her diagnosis was Non Hodgkin’s Blastoid Mantle Cell Lymphoma. After receiving such a hard phone call, things were about to become even harder, “Telling my family was one of the hardest things I’ve had to do.  They all seemed to have taken it well.  I was firm and strong when I told them and insisted that I needed them to be positive and to be strong.” So her new job would become at the front, defeating this. The recommendation for treatment was 3 rounds of chemo spaced 21 days apart, followed by 17 sessions of radiation. She says since the diagnoses life for them has been fast and difficult, putting life into perspective.

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Barrett, Ethan, Molly, Jeana, Brian, & Wyatt

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Barrett, Ethan, Molly, & Wyatt

Since the diagnoses, the love of the community shined through and when asked how she felt, “Wow!  I don’t even know how to respond to the amount of love and support people have shown me.  My family and friends have been absolutely amazing and I couldn’t have done this without them.  I stay strong every day because of my faith, my family and the people in my life.  I was always a woman of faith, but God truly answered my prayers on several occasions during this experience and has given me unbelievable strength and unconditional love, which has grown my faith that much more.  The genuine kindness and goodness of people has touched me deeply and is something I will never forget.” On October 5, 2016, she completed her last chemo treatment and was able to ring the “Last Chemo” bell, which says was an awesome feeling. She will begin her radiation treatments within the next week. Jeana feels that she is fairly cancer free now as they were lucky in that the cancerous lymph node was removed in surgery. Her PET CT scans and bone marrow test all were negative! That is so awesome!

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“My first message is to get healthy through food and exercise and to know your body.  Be persistent when and if you feel something is wrong.  I had 2 doctors tell me that it was nothing to worry about and that I could wait a year or 2 to have the surgery to remove the tumor.  I saw a 3rd doctor who said it needed to be removed.  In the end, I had surgery and it was cancerous. I wish there was a better/bigger word than Thank You!  So many people have prayed for me, brought me meals, given me gifts, and so much more!  I am forever and eternally grateful.  One thing that I prayed to God about was that if he saw me through this journey that I would be sure to give back to cancer patients or others in need.  I look forward to serving and doing some of these same things for others who find themselves in a similar situation.To my family, you all are the reason I breathe, the reason I fight and the reason I live.  Your love and continuous support is what guides me every day.  I love you all more than I could ever say and more than I could ever express.  I look forward to the many, many years ahead where I intend to do my best to show you that love.”

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Her sweet family would like me to add in these beautiful words:

“We think what has surprised everyone, not only our immediate family, is really how strong that woman is. It would be so easy for her to lay in bed all day and give up and just let it do what it does. Not the case, from the moment she was diagnosed she made a plan to eat better, exercise more and just be more healthy in general. She never once neglected her career, or her motherly duties, she’s STANDING, every single night making wreaths for people. And what has truly amazed us is that everyone was saying, “she’s not gonna feel too good after chemo, it’s gonna make her tired, she’s not gonna be herself.” We are still waiting for that to happen and she’s been done with chemo for 2 weeks now… She shaved her own head, she never wore a wig, she embraced everything, she never ran or hid from it, she put her fists up and kicked that cancers a%*, plain and simple. we never heard of her once acting outside the norm. The strength of that woman is unreal. So we believe that is what has surprised us is how she just took it on full steam ahead, never let up, never gave up, she still walk/ran miles and miles every day, she was up every night washing dishes, washing clothes, making wreaths, going to work, working from home, it’s truly amazing. She’s a beast.”

Jeana truly is an inspiration and I pray for her every single day. We love you and continue to pray for strength!

Please keep her in your thoughts and prayers through the upcoming months.

-L.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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