refashionista first chemo treatment
Ovarian Cancer & Me,  Life

My First Chemotherapy Treatment

No-Sew Dress to Reverse Triangle Bottom Shirt
How to Add Pockets to a Dress & an Update

As you’ve probably guessed by the absence of any sewing or refashioning-related verbiage in this blog post’s title, I’m not sharing a refashion today.

Always good to set expectations, I say.

Moving forward, I’m going to try to keep posts related to my slog with Ovarian Cancer separate from my sewing/thrifting/fun posts. Because nothing reads weirder than, How to Add a Peter Pan Collar to a Dress & Some Cancer Stuff Too!

Don’t worry. You’ll get a refashion next time.

Getting Ready

Last week was a quiet & stoic march towards Thursday morning, wherein I would receive a Carboplatin/Taxol cocktail via IV for six hours. I tried not to think about how bad I was going to feel while preparing for how bad I was going to feel, which is challenging.

The fridge was stocked with healthful foods and all the ginger things to combat future nausea. I went wig shopping. I bought new makeup that is said to hide a sallow patchy complexion. Prescriptions were filled and placed in a giant plastic organizer.

The day before treatment, I went to a friend to chop off my hair.

refashionista short haircut
New hair. Who dis?

Hair loss is the least worrisome part of all of this, friends. I think my new (albeit temporary until my hair falls out) cut is really cute. Months ago, I had planned on growing my hair out long, but that’s obviously not happening.

Best to find tolerable ways to let go of what can’t be kept, right?

My First Chemo Treatment

The oncology center where I’ll receive my treatments is about a mile away from my house. Convenient, eh?

For my first treatment, Brian was allowed to stay with me, but I’ll have to be alone for all future infusions (due to COVID). I was scared about the very real possibility of my body rejecting the drugs and having a reaction. I was scared about feeling sick immediately while getting treatment (I have a very sensitive stomach). Luckily neither of those things happened.

refashionista getting chemo
Just here for the free coffee!

As I watched fluid after fluid and drug after drug drip. drip. drip, I felt relieved that at least now I was in this, as in actually doing something rather than waiting.

Of course, every drip also signified a little more of my energy and health being taken away. I liken it to the scenes in The Dark Crystal where the Podlings get drained of their essence by The Skeksis.

My First Chemotherapy Treatment 3
It me.

Eight hours (!!!) after my treatment began, it was done.

I didn’t feel sick. I didn’t feel achy. I didn’t feel bad exactly, but I didn’t feel good. I wrote my last blog post while getting my chemo drugs, and noticed how spaced-out and heavy-headed I felt. My brain felt tingly…like my synapses were firing at all the wrong times.

For the next three days, I didn’t feel all that terrible. I had a tough time remembering things (like to turn on the stove after I put a kettle of water for coffee on it) and was really tired. But I managed to go plant shopping and take short walks with Mr. Refashionista, and other than needing to go to bed early felt like this was something I could handle. There was some bone pain, and I felt uncomfortable, but nothing unmanageable.

On the fourth day, I couldn’t move.

It wasn’t that I didn’t feel like moving or that I was too tired to move. Moving from the bed was impossible. If my house suddenly went ablaze, I would just be trapped there. Everything in my body ached. My hands shook and had trouble grasping things. I couldn’t remember if a conversation I had with Mr. Refashionista just moments before actually happened.

Later that afternoon, I managed to get out of bed and tried to play a board game with Mr. Refashionista, and my brain just would not remember the (quite simple) rules. I cried in frustration. I can take feeling exhausted. I can take physical pain, but no longer having control of my brain made me feel like I was losing my essence (see previous Podling reference).

Trying to find ease in a situation that is extremely uneasy

This brings us to today.

I’m feeling a good bit better than yesterday. Less heavy-headed, and only a little achy. The worst part of my first chemo treatment is (supposedly) over, and my body is going to get a break to heal and recover before it gets pummeled by its next treatment.

I have five more treatments to go, and I’ve been warned that they each get harder and harder.

Part of me says, “I don’t know that I have five more of these in me,” and another part of me says, “Anything is bearable five times.”

Much like with my hair, I’m trying to accept the things I just don’t get to have right now. My health and mental acuity are being taken away, and there’s not much I can do about that.

Instead, I’m focusing on how to adapt. When I’m feeling foggy, what tasks can I batch (rather than failing miserably at multitasking)? When do naps seem to do the most good? When do I seem to have the most energy for things I enjoy? I’m documenting all of this in a journal so I can look back and reference it as my treatment progresses.

Of course, I’m eating healthy and drinking TONS of water too.

None of this would be possible without the amazing support system I’m so freaking lucky to have. From my amazing husband (who probably wasn’t thinking this is what our first year of marriage would look like), to our wonderful family, friends (I count you as one. I hope that’s okay), and neighbors, I’m overwhelmed with gratitude.

One down. Five to go.

Oof.

341 Comments

  • Dawan

    So sorry to hear this. I was with my mom and grandma going through this disease. Having family and friends to support you, pray for you, and be strong when you can’t be is important. Know that we’re all cheering for you and sending well wishes your way. It’s ok to cry too. Being positive is a good thing but can be difficult when you don’t feel good. Let your support help you get through this. Not a sign of weakness but instead a sign they love you. You remind me a little of myself. I make fun and it helps get me through tough times. Do what makes you happy. Laugh when you want, be with the ones you love. I hope for you many happy days going forward. Your blog has been fun to read and I hope it brings you as much joy as it does those of us following it. Well wishes and speedy recovery. Dawan

  • Char Jorgensen

    I love the wigs! I enjoy how you give them personalities! Keep it up and know you are prayed for! I am a 7 year survivor of ovarian cancer. You will be too!

  • Betsi Olson

    I’ve been living with ovarian cancer since 2016. Life is beautiful. I had chemo last Thursday and just saw yoyr diagnosis. Well, crap on a cracker! Stupid cancer.

    Be gentle with yourself. Stay in the present. If you start despairing, say, “Not today cancer!” Bad times are always temporary. I had to learn all that to keep moving.

    I had Taxol first round. Bone pain was tough. Your onc will provide pain relief.

    You got this. On we grow! (Just not abnormal cells.)

    Reach out if you want a cancer buddy. I’m not a weirdo, which for sure is a clue that I might be.

  • Randall Start

    Am distressed about your cancer diagnosis. But I am a two-time breast cancer survivor—you have my total support. This is what I did when receiving TCH (what you’re getting + herceptin). Oh, BTW, I’m 67 yoa. First, I got a pink Mohawk, which I sported for 2 weeks before baldness. It was my way of saying “F.” You, cancer! It made me feel STRONG. I packed a chemo bag and put it by the front door— full of everything—magazines (chemo brain made me unable to follow plots in books ), snacks, a cozy blanket, some crazy socks, crossword puzzles, etc. I could grab it and go. Each visit, I tried my damndest to be cheerful and kind to the saint-like nurses who attended to me. And they responded enthusiastically. They work hard and appreciate being recognized and thanked Oh, iI cried, sometimes. At home. There will be tough days ahead for you—but you can do this! Good luck. Stay STRONG! Cry at home! I know you’ll get thousands of messages from well-wishers, and that’s great. If you want to email this old broad who’s been there, done that, I would be happy to hear from you. Sending good mojo your way, kid!

  • Jean Sheckler

    Unofficial follower of your refashion blog. Caught off guard today reading about your cancer treatment. Stay strong. Prayers, positive thoughts, hugs.

  • Donna L

    Oh man, sorry to hear this news. But you’re already one down, and 5 to go. You can do this! Love your refashions so much, your sense of humor, and those facial expressions!! Stay strong and know that lots of prayers, love and light are being sent your way.

  • Shannon

    I’ve been unofficially following you for years. I am a seamstress myself, and I like to use what I have to repurpose/reuse things. I called it upcycling and trashique. I like “The Refashionista” much better! Recently, I found a tank top in a thrift store. It was too small. I added side panels. Nothing big. I thought of you the entire process. Thought I’d get caught up on your latest posts…
    -What’s this I see? A new tab “Ovarian Cancer and Me”??? no. please tell me this isn’t what I think it is…
    *click*
    -Aww…suck! it is! dangit 2020…why can’t you just go away? I’m sorry.

    Hang in there lady friend! Know that you have a rally of supporters quietly cheering you on.
    Thank you for sharing.
    Your hair is adorable.
    Best of luck.

  • VRGJS

    Much encouragement! I was very interested in hearing about your experience. It is enriching to read about this subject written with detail and sincerity. Love.

  • Anna

    You’ve got this! I’ve been lurking on your blog for YEARS and just subscribed today. I’m rooting for you and your creativity and ingenuity, which you’ll be putting to good use in your body’s healing from cancer. Sending you lots of good vibes from the coast of Maine!

  • cybersecuritygrrl

    In an age of plastic “influencers”, you come across as authentic, refreshing, sweet and cute… a real person that anyone one of us around the world would love to befriend and hold close to our hearts. Sending you truckloads of positive energy from the deep South!

  • Gill Malin

    Brave, special lady! You’ve got this. Anyone as positive, creative and fun as you will beat this because you deserve to. Not a good journey, I know but you can’t make an omelette without cracking eggs and it will all be worth it in the end. My thoughts and prayers are with you, you’re strong.

    Gill

  • Rev. Mo. Gaelyn

    Jillian, I have been reading your posts for years and have so much admiration for your talent and style. I am sorry you are going through all this and love your honesty and courage. I am praying for you.
    Holy God, lover of all you have made, look tenderly upon Jillian. Strengthen and heal her body. Give her comfort and peace as she goes through treatment and health and wholeness when the course of treatment is finished. Let her know she is loved. May all who care for her during this time be compassionate, skilled, and patient. In your loving name. Amen.

  • Lace

    You are a beautiful soul and your new hair cut really suits you. You are STRONG! and You Got This. Praying for you in your home state, SC.

  • Lara

    Hi there from Australia. Been happily following you for a little while now. Very sad to read your news. I am sure many followers/readers are praying and rooting for the best possible outcome. Hang onto each new day and look for its simplest pleasures

  • Mel from Oz

    Good work, chickadee, this first one was always going to be the worst, in some ways, and now it’s done! Thanks for keeping us up to date. If you’re not feeling together enough to do a refashion, I agree with the others – just put a post up to say ‘hi’.
    Just let 2021 pull you along through 2020 – in 2021 you’ll have done the chemo and, while not wanting to count chickens etc, hopefully it will also say that the chemo was successful and you and Mr R can focus on good stuff again.
    And yep, you’ve always rocked short hair and continue to do so.
    xx

  • Nancee

    So sorry to hear about your cancer. As a breast cancer survivor, diagnosed at age 22, I know that chemo sucks!! It wears you down . It took me a week to recover before the next treatment was around the corner. So just wanted to say keep it up. Your doing awesome! Your hair is so cute! Mine came back in pin straight with a small section that is wavy! So maybe you’ll have something different too! Can’t wait to see.

  • Reen

    Dear fellow sufferer:
    Crikey, that Taxol is no picnic. I had 12 infusions of it over 4 months. I didn’t barf, but did lose my appetite completely. The weakness was the worst thing. At one point I was so tuckered, they let me skip a dose (tacked on at the end) and just gave me IV fluids because I was so dehydrated. (Keep up your fluids to avoid the other scourge, constipation). I cried my eyes out that day and felt like a failure. Silly of course. I also became rather feeble minded, forgetful and foggy. Definitely not the best time of my life, but looking back, I would do it again. You got no alternative, really, right?
    Your new hair cut is adorable. And you are right in keeping up with creativity. It helps.
    I light a candle every day and send love and light your way.
    You will make it, you have to. Big Hug!

  • Angela

    Hang in there Refashonista! Your new hair cut looks great. And one chemo down, well done. All the best for the next one. Hoping you have days full of good energy between that you can spend doing what you enjoy.

  • Karen

    I’ve not been on social media for awhile and have obviously missed a lot!!!! I’m so sorry you r going through!!!! Prayers for strength and healing. ❤️

  • Cheryl Shipman

    Your new haircut looks great! Thank you for the update. If I lived nearby, I’d bring you my special, soothing, homemade chicken soup. Instead, I can only send heartfelt virtual hugs and good wishes for strength and healing.

  • Candy Messer

    Sending love, hugs and Prayers, I love all your refashions and I always look forward to them. Now I look forward to all your updates and how you are feeling. God Bless you sweetie 🙂 Bye the way you are Adorable with short hair.

  • Lorena Shanabrook

    Love the haircut! I was shopping at the West Cola Goodwill several weeks ago and kept looking around to see if you were there. 😛 I felt like a stalker and a fan all at the same time.
    The fact that you recognize and ask for help is huge! So many people try to go through things like this while only sharing it with their immediate circle of people. There are lots of people who want to help, but can’t unless we share with them. You got this!!

  • Rachel

    I’ve been reading your blog for years, and I know that you’re an amazing, strong woman who can totally do this! Sending lots and lots of love and hugs your way.

  • laura lynn todt

    I remember when you shaved your head for St Baldrick’s and I thought you looked great and you will look just as good this time around! Sending you lots of positive vibes, good juju and prayers. You are an inspiration to so many and we are all here for you. Just remember, YOU are strong and YOU will get through this. Love and Rockets <3

  • Kamila whiteman

    Firstly, how cute do you look with short hair!
    Secondly, if we collectively could take at least some of your pain away, I definitely would. Wishing you lots of strength and fight! You can do this! xoxo

  • Nikki H

    Girl. You got this. If I lived close, I would bring you any food that sounded good. Instead I will send hugs and prayers across the miles.

  • chicvibe1

    Love love love your hair!! For bone pain, you can take claritin d (my mom would take it) – she had nupagen shots (she called them the bone shots). Hopefully that will help. Hugs and love to you. It isn’t an easy journey, but I hope that you get strength from the love and prayers we send your way.

  • marilyn rowe

    Hi. I’m keeping you and Mr Fashionista in my thoughts; I’ve loved your refashions since stumbling upon them on Pinterest and was saddened when I read your news. But I’m also thinking positive and know everything will work out. So much love and lots of virtual hugs to you!!! You still look AMAZING!!! Keep smiling!!!
    Marilyn

  • Kelli K

    You can do hard things. We are here supporting in any way we can. Whatever you need, you just ask. We have your back and we are holding your space.

  • Casie

    I wish I could like some of these comments because I’m reading them thinking, “Yes, exactly what she said! Except she said it better than me!” I’m following your journey and praying for you.

  • Ali

    You bring so much joy to so many people. May it all come back to you in spades during this time when you need it. Thinking all of the best for you and your family <3

  • Bree

    Thank you for this post. It must have been hard for you to write. It was hard for me to read and I cried for you. You are so brave in the face of this and it was incredible that you shared your experience. I thank you for helping me to understand what you and so many others are going through. I have two step sisters who are where you are now. One breast cancer and one ovarian cancer. One finished chemo and one just starting. I worry for you. I worry for them. I feel helpless that there is not something I can do to help besides cry and try to feel supportive. I am grateful that you and my sisters have a support system that is kind and loving and caring. We all need that.
    I will continue to think of you and hope and hope and hope and wish you well. You are so loved by so many….

  • Jean Fox-Brasher

    Mega big blessings to you. Your strength, pateince and sensitivity always comes through in your blog. You have entertained inspired and made me laugh .Always remember there are people all round the world holding you with love.

  • Debbie Golding

    Thank you for sharing. I am learning a lot about this process. Journaling sounds like a positive thing to do. Please thank Mr. Refashionista from all of us. I am so glad you are in good hands.

  • Brenda

    Jillian . . .
    I have been following you for years but never made a comment. I have loved your make-overs! But, now I want you to know how much I am praying for you. You are such an inspiration to so many of us!

  • Melodie

    Yes, please do count me as a friend. Me and mine are praying for you. I can only imagine, for I do not know, what you’re going through. Your words bring to mind my grama who, like you, is taking her adaptations (she had a severe stroke 5 years ago) with grace and dignity. You are fun, quirky, and strong. You’ve got this. Many of us who enjoy your blog, and in a sense getting to know you, are praying for you and yours. Take each day as it is. If it’s a hard day, just focus on each moment until it’s over. This storm will pass. If you don’t feel like blogging, we’ll wait. If you do, we’re here for ya. Take care of you. Hugs.

  • BMK

    Your new hair style is adorable. Shorter hair is always the perfect way to highlight new and/or unusual earrings and, in your case, the earrings are perfect! I wish you the best of luck and health during the next five chemo sessions and in your subsequent recovery period. I know that it’s no fun, but you are a warrior, and you will make it through this time. Keeping a journal sounds like a perfect idea by which to chronicle the ups and downs of your journey. I hope that when you are 100, you will be able to read back upon this experience with a profound sense of having successfully slayed the beast.

  • Ruth K.

    I am a short hair fan, but I have to say that your new cut looks fantastic on you! Hugs and love to you through this journey. It’s hard, but you can do it. We are all pulling for you! Thanks for being honest and sharing.

  • Michelle

    I’ve been reading your posts out of order as I see them on Pinterest and I love your refashions. The company I work for is headquartered in Columbia. SC, so I feel like we must know some of the same people, and have felt a weird “internet kinship” when I read your blog. I came across this post today and my heart shattered, I’m sending you well-wishes and positive vibes. Having watched family go through chemo, I know it’s a tough road ahead, but your positivity is shining through. Hugs to you!

  • keri

    I appreciate you sharing this journey. Just to see you check in every now and then brings hope. We all love to hear from you, and we are all pulling reeaallly hard for you. You got this. <3

  • Sarah

    You are correct, that hair cut is too cute. My MIL went through this last year, we were looking forward to more visiting this year now tht her immune system is better, but then COVID hit, so still no dice. Maybe getting your pandemic isolation and chemo over at the same time is a positive way to spin it (or not)? Just wanted to thank you, and say I know you can do this.

  • Janine

    Much love and many prayers coming to you! the new ‘do looks amazing! I’m sorry that you’re having a tough go -you got this!

    You’re strong and have so much support. Thanks for having me along.

  • iamnolajuls

    hugs and cyber support from New Orleans hun! thank you for sharing your experience with us. positive thoughts and supportive network will be of great benefit for you and hubs. don’t be afraid or embarrassed to ask for something you need. ppl that love you will be more than willing to take care of it for you <3

  • Nancy Steuk

    First, your hair is super cute. Your beautiful face wears it well. Second, I am very sorry you have to go through all this. Giving birth Is the most pain I’ve ever been through, and I did it four times, so I guess you can say the reward for the pain is worth it. I think the life you will have after this will be that much sweeter for your pain and suffering. Hang in there knowing there are so many of your followers pulling for you and eager to encourage you throughout this season of your life. This too shall pass.

  • Haley

    Sending you all the positive vibes! Of course I originally loved your blog for the refashions but I keep coming back because I like your writing, your stories, and your overall energy. Keep writing what you want to write when you’re feeling up for it!

  • Kim Huss

    I feel incredibly privileged to be listed as a friend in your Blog World!! Loving the haircut. Super cute in between style! I SOOOO Remember your older posts when you had shaved your hair off! It was and will be a fabulous look on you! On our first anniversary, we found out my husband had colon cancer. Yep. On the actual day. I understand those feelings for sure! November marks our Fifth Anniversary! I’m praying for your joy in all the moments together with Mr Refashionista. The experience of my husband’s treatment & recovery gave us such an appreciation of each moment togetherin a way few people can understand. Not that we all want to go through something like this, but a bright area in a difficult time! Looking at it from the spouse point of view, it might not have been in my mind to go through cancer, but how very blessed I am to be his wife. Sending all my support in your active work to help your body recover & beat this!

  • Alison Rose

    Super pixie cut! You know you are helping other people with your blog on your treatment and thoughts and hopefully this will help you. My sister in law is doing same thing and has been amazing too. Always a positive when you show up on Pinterest and scrolling through today’s update ,it is so wonderful to see so many people rooting for you and Brian. Love from England. Xx

  • Annie W.

    Your joyful light, your delightfully unique perspective on life and living, will get you over this unexpected speed bump like a Queen. I’m following along with your story and cheering you on with good vibes and prayers.

  • Adrienne

    Your new hair cut is adorable. It really suits you. I can’t really comment on the chemotherapy as I have never had it. Just from knowing you through your blog, I know this is something you can do. Only 5 treatments. You can do this!

  • Kristin

    Your hair cut is adorable! Your attitude is amazing. It should help you so much mentally, emotionally, and physically as you go through your treatment. I hope you are able to keep it up! I wish there was something we could do to help besides cheer you on from our own homes, but cheering is definitely happening!

  • Nancy skrzynski

    Love your haircut! I’m not a religious person but I pray for you anyway. I adore your blog and love to be considered your friend. I always look forward to the next time you write. The best to you and your husband. You are strong and will survive i know. All the best to you. Nancy Skrzynski from Jackson Mi.

  • DEBBIE WEINBEL

    Love the short ‘do! Thank you for sharing your journey. Please keep being honest. You are helping us all and hopefully it helps you to write about it. Sending lots of strength and prayers!

  • Kathy Davis

    Hello Jillian,
    Sending strength and healing vibes your way! Also to your hubster and family and friends supporting you. May the FORCE of your online community be with you all!
    Most sincerely,
    Kathy

  • Harmony

    I’m so sorry you’re having to endure cancer. I’ve followed you for many years and loved the beautiful contribution you’re making to this world! All the best and hoping the experience is gentle to you x

  • Katiebob

    Your blog has always brought me joy. I hope that my power thoughts of love and joy and healing make there way to you. You are loved all over the world, Peace – Katie from Wellington New Zealand

  • Eva

    I’m new to your blog just started faithfully following a few months ago. At first it was your facial expressions that caught my attention, then I started reading your posts and learning. So thank you for that. Thank you for sharing your journey. My mother unfortunately didn’t survive her battle, she was stage 4 when she diagnosed she fought hard. Catching this sucker early, staying positive, and relying on your support system. REST. You don’t have to do it all, do what you can, when you can. You have a huge army of cheerleaders sending you energy, love, and prayers. You kick ass!
    And the hair!!! OMG just gorgeous on you!

  • Rosemarie

    When your hair comes back in after your treatments are finished, and you are healed, you should consider keeping this gamin look. You look so cute and it suits your personality to a T. prayers for you to heal. Keep that picture in mind of the pelican swallowing the frog, and the frog’s hands are reaching out to choke the pelican…”Never give up!”

  • Jo

    I love your haircut!!! Perfect on you, you look fab! And perfect for the purpose intended. I’m so glad you got through the first one “ok”. Will continue to pray for you.

  • Cheryl Miller

    I’m so proud of you! I’ve been through breast cancer twice.. some uninvited but lovingly sent tips-
    Keep a notebook for random thoughts, questions for doctors, food diary, meds chart. Don’t fight to remember what you can write.
    You’re tiny? Remember to eat! Write it down?
    This is a mom signing off?
    I really care about you.❤️

  • Anne-Marie

    Dear Jilian, I have followed you for so long now, that after all those years of sharing your dreams, toutghtd, breakups (just before your wedding), mooving, job changing, it seems that I often forgot that I fist discovered you for your refashions. You are like a friend to me, and the first thing I always look first when you send us a knew podt, is how you doing. Then after, I look for the clothing transformation. When I learned the bad news, it made to me a shock from your home to mine, in the province of Quebec, in Canada. (… So my usual language is French, and I hope I can express myself no so badly??!) So I am writing to you today to encourage you to WRITE WHAT YOU FELL LIKE ON YOUR OWN BLOG !!! We love you all, and we are not following you just for your refashions : we are here exactly because this blog is full of your personnalty, your husband, your friends, your dogs and your experiences. If you want to share your pain and sadness, let it go !!! We know that better days will come to you in 2021, and that you will have all the time needed to catch up with refashions !!! I am here in another country, directly at the north of you, thinking of you, and sending you love and good energy. Thank you to be in my life, you-are-awesome. (You were already pretty with your really short hair back in 20…14-15?!!). BONNE CHANCE !!!xxxx Anne-Marie, 43 years old

  • Victoria a Fair

    Oh do I know the feelings you described. Last fall I went through a life upending health episode that I’m still recovering from. One of the things I did while the mental fog was worst was re-read favorite books. It made my brain feel like it was accomplishing something but I didn’t get frustrated if I missed a detail since I already knew the story.

    Best wishes as you and Mr. Refashonista make your way through this. And I think you will be just as fantastic as always in a wig or with a spiffy thrifted scarf.

  • lise ferris

    Your new hairdo is adorable! Sending thoughts of strength and healing to you and keeping you in my prayers…you’re 20% of the way to the end of chemo! Next time ; it’ll be 40%; in my mind that’s almost half way there… you’re going to do this; beautiful lady!

  • Tami Werner

    My mom’s oncologist told us that a positive attitude is the best thing to bring to the fight. You’ve got that in spades. Continued prayers, sister!

  • Ania Blaza

    Aw girl! I’ve been your fan and secret admire for a very long time, but never had the guts to comment:) As a (graphic) designer myself and a big fan of all things upcycled I could not get enough of your talent, creativity and fun ideas!
    You don’t even know I exist but please know you’re loved and cared from far away! You’ll get through this! And you look gorgeous in the short pixie hair! Who knew it was even possible to look cuter than you normally do?!

    Sending you tons of positive vibes!

  • Diane

    You will get through it, lovely lady. My mom and I both survived cancer. You are wise to reach out and talk about it. That’s an enormous help for you already. Just be patient with yourself and rest, rest rest. You’re obviously a pretty industrious person so that might be hard. Love your blog and your new “do.” The doctors and nurses I met along that journey were some of the kindest people I’ve ever met.

  • Joann Hyde

    Love your hair! You will be in my thoughts and prayers. Ask for help when you need it, get some fresh air when you can. You got this. Good vibes your way.

  • Kylie

    My mom is going through a painful treatment for her spinal nerve issues that will have to happen semi annually for the next decade or so and it’s so hard to watch her go through each procedure and manage the excruciating pain. I don’t know how spaced out your 5 chemo treatments will be from each other, but I wanted to say: YOU CAN DO THIS! Karate-kick cancer in its ugly teeth, and try to be forgiving of yourself in the process. You are battling a vicious disease, and it’ll take a toll on you, but I am sending all my positive healing vibes your way that these treatments can go by quickly and with as minimal amount of negative side effects as possible Thank you for sharing your incredibly personal and difficult journey. I am wishing for your recovery ❤️❤️❤️

  • MaryJo

    Thank you for sharing how things are going. We all want to know how you are and are cheering you on and wishing you health and strength and wellness! Love and hugs to you!

  • Lisa

    Thank-you for sharing this, like many others I don’t just follow your blog to see refashions but to see what you have been getting up to in your life, your dogs, friends and your lovely husband. I have never known anybody who has had chemotherapy and don’t know much about it, reading this has been quite informative (and hard) thank-you once again, best wishes from Western Australia.

  • Judy Ross

    I read every post. Lisa reminded me about the mint. It really did help with my stomach and breathing, but I found Young Living brand was the most natural essential oil….and only use a speck. It is powerful. Doesn’t take more than that. If you taste too much, have water nearby to dilute it down. Katie is right, too. Wednesday is my last chemo before surgery. it went faster than I thought. I also started a journal and faithfully wrote in it every night for over a month. It helped me get through the rough ones. Then I went back to computer, Facebook, etc and lost it for a while. There are so many of us here that will/have gone through this. You are an inspiration to us for that, too. When you don’t feel inspired to refashion, just say ‘hi’. We all just want to know how you are and if we can help in any way. We love you.

  • Susan

    Your hair is flattering for your face and features and I already know you will rock the wig situation when it happens. Praying for strength for you. I’ve been reading your blog for a long time, and I doubt you ever thought a stranger from Minnesota would be praying for you, but its what we do here. It may not feel brave to share your cancer journey, but it IS incredibly brave. It also opens you up to people who care a lot more about the writer than the refashions.

  • Jennifer Ward

    Jillian thank you for sharing your creativity, resourcefulness and now your new reality with us. Sending you strength and love. Keep doing what you need to do for you and know that we admire and support you.

  • Simone R Russell

    Girl, you got this! Working at the cancer center for almost 20 years, I have seen miracles everyday. Having a positive attitude is the key to beat this. Continue with your walks even when you feel like you can’t do anymore. 50 steps it’s better than nothing and you feel like you are in control. Keep it up and I will be here praying for you.

  • Lyn Edington

    OMG! Your hair is adorable! Perfect for your tiny pixie face. You will look just as beautiful without hair. Please accept help when offered and ask for help when needed. Screw cancer!

  • Lynn Segleau

    I like “I can do anything 5 times”. Keep going with that one. You are being realistic, not unreasonably perky nor unreasonably panicked. Good for you! Wishing you as smooth sailing as possible.

  • Jo Becker

    Thank you for sharing your experiences so openly and still with your wonderful sense of humour. Sounds like it’s time to give yourself permission to ease back on the doing stuff and take more time to just be? Stripping back tasks, accepting help at home, and nourishing your health and your heart, so your body can get on with the big stuff. You’re in my prayers. Sending lots of love from Sydney xx

  • Natalie Hill Alaburda

    I have followed your blog for years and I can’t even sew a button on . My friend was diagnosed with breast cancer in January and I have been through it all with her. She had 16 rounds of chemo, a lumpectomy a double mastectomy and reconstruction to follow in a month and then a hysterectomy in 2 more months. I have read, researched , and learned for her. Definitely a yes on the Claritin as I saw someone else mention. I shaved my friends head for her but there are tons of tricks and tips for that and so much else I learned going through this with her. She had taxol for some of her treatments. The “crash” you had 3 days post chemo is typical due to the steroids you either receive pre chemo or sometimes the taxol is mixed in steroids. Your first treatment typically is the longest one and after they see how your body handles it they titrate at a faster rate. Please feel free to email me [email protected]. I feel like I could tell you so much! I went to every round of chemo with her ( and due to COVID I had to sit outside the window of the unit in the South Florida heat for 14 of them) it’s a long road but it sounds like you have an amazing support system. ❤️

  • Dinah

    I love your work and look at it all the time on Pinterest. I’m so sorry to hear about your struggles. A year now I have been battling breast cancer I wish you all the best with your journey. A book was given to me which gave me much needed hope “Radical Remission” author Dr. Kelly A. Turner. It is possible! You can do it!

  • Ann Harper

    Wishing you the best and strength for future battles. I love the new hair cut you look so cute. Glad to know you have Not lost your spunky sense of humor.Treat and spoil yourself, you deserve it. I know your husband is taking good care of you lean on him. Know you have friends that you have never met, that feel as if they know you. You have touched and influenced so many lives. I have a enjoyed and learned so much from your posts. You are now a part of a STRONG GROUP (a group no one really wants to belong to cancer survivors and patients). We are a strong, stuborn,determined,reliant,surviving group. You Will Make It!!!! PS the bone and muscle pain is normal as is the GI issues fun! ha ha. I also had brain fog ( commonly called chemo brain) at least you were not trying to teach with chemo brain – made for lots of interesting experiences lol. My poor students. Take care and remember to laugh a lot of helps . Hugs

  • Micki

    You got this! You got through the first one, and look at all the positives! You didn’t barf, and that’s a big one in my book. You’re already ready for the new hair and makeup look-that’s big too. I’ll warn you- as ready as I was for no hair-mine went slowly and got to where I shaved it because it was just too much to keep worrying about. Something I found helpful- was to count how many chemo’s I had finished as opposed to how many were left. A girlfriend said her mom did that, and it was just a more positive way of looking at things. I even made a bunch of cute fridge magnets, so every time I completed a chemo, another magnet went up. I had crystal butterflies all over my fridge when I was done 🙂 Thanks for sharing how you’re doing,, and know that we all lift you in prayer. Oh and great haircut! ❤️❤️

  • Leanne Wong

    Napping is good. Sleep if you feel like it. Turn on the tv and let it play. Watch movies and shows you have seen before. Let your body take all your energy to heal. We will still be here when your brain functions again. I am glad you have a good support system. Remind the Mister to use the support because he needs it also!

  • Sue

    You have always been so stinkin cute! That hair cut looks perfect. You truly are inspirational. Many prayers your way, you’ve got this!

  • Deborah Johnston

    I’ve never commented on you blog for some reason I don’t know. You are an inspiration to all women and bless you. I will be with you during this time.

  • Susan W.

    Your new haircut is adorable and you look beautiful. Sending lots of prayers and good thoughts your way for both you and your husband.

  • Wendy McGraw

    I hate cancer, all cancer. When I first read your words about the possibility of having it, I was saddened and then, you would have thought it was ME…getting ready to wage war against a foreign invasion!!! I got all jacked up about how you, of all people SHOULD NOT have to go through this, but on the other hand, you, of all people are in a really good place to wage war mentally, spiritually, emotionally, and physically!! You are STRONG! You are DETERMINED! You are SMART! You are BEAUTIFUL! You are LOVED! So LOVED!!! You must give yourself grace during this time of healing and just feel the love being sent to you over the miles. We are all praying and seeing you well and healthy soon. Take care. I’m so happy you found the love of your life to help get you through this!

  • Sandra Wood

    Like many others I don’t know you, but I do in a way having followed your delightful Refashionista blog. I know very little about ovarian cancer but through you I will learn. You are a natural teacher and while I’m sure you’d rather have another topic to write about, this has been assigned to you for some unfair reason. You have such a wonderful approach to life, I believe you’ll get through this and your loyal readers are all sending you their good vibes and loving prayers.

  • Marda Skepper

    Personally I think you are very brave by going through this awful treatment and for documenting it. Collectively Im sure most of us would forgo fashion transformations just to know you are coping as best you can and recovering from this hideous disease. We are all sending our love and prayers for your healthy future. Love the pixie haircut. sending love from Australia

  • Jennifer Kirksey

    Jillian! You are super duper strong! Absolutely LOVE your new haircut! I have been following you for years! I always say you are my sewing friend from Carolina (never can remember if it’s North or South)…but your my friend from Carolina. I have shared your refashions with family and friends who are non-sewers! Love how you pop into my Inbox at the right time! Yes, you are my friend! Praying and cheer-leading you forward to the next few treatments! One treatment at a time! You DO have a great support group! You DO have friends ALL over the world! Even if it is not a refashion, we are here for you!!! : )

  • Mea Cadwell

    Your haircut is superb! Really brings out your facial features.

    As a person with rheumatoid arthritis, I can tell you that brain fog is what you’re experiencing. Many chronic illnesses (and medication) can give it to you.

    Speaking from experience (20+ years with brain fog) – keep a notepad with you and jot down everything. It will help you to remember things while you’re going through chemo, it helps to ‘cement’ things in your head. Questions for the doctor that you might forget if you don’t have paper and pen handy. Did you turn off the iron? Timer for the oven so you don’t leave it in there too long. Etc.

    I carried a notepad with me for many long times until I got Alexa on my cell phone and for my house. It helps me with reminders (water plants, is the washing machine done, etc.), timers (when to take the food out of the oven), and shopping lists. It is a wonderful tool.

    That being said, I’m sending you many hugs and well wishes!

  • Mary Scott

    You go girl! You can do this, and short hair is a signature look for you!!( sorry, its the hairdresser in me)
    You are in our thoughts and prayers, and the reason why i am sewing again! Love ya!!

  • Elizabeth

    Strange isn’t it that someone you don’t know could mean so much to you? I missed your blog when you disappeared and was excited when you returned, was excited to see you had found a Mr. Fashionista – the other ones didn’t deserve you anyway – and hurt for you when you shared this news. Thank you for sharing so much of your life and talent w all of us! Keep your head to the sun … blah blah blah shadows.

  • ANITA A TARLTON

    Haircut is so cute!! Thanks for the update. I vould relate to 4th day situation, with MG.
    Stay strong. You are surrounded with prayers.
    Anita

  • Meredith Deaton

    Your hair cut looks adorable !

    So sorry you are having to go through this, but I admire the courage you are showing to all of us who care about you Sometimes we don’t know what we’re made of until something major requires us to explore that. I admire you and your attitude

  • Karina

    Love the haircut, Jillian! It looks great on you. I am thinking of you and praying for you every day. I don’t know your religious views, but I hope you feel the presence of the Lord, even in these unfair, hard times. So glad you have such a wonderful support system to be there for you. Thanks for the updates. I feel like I am checking in with a friend.

  • Nicole

    Love the haircut and nice to see you still smiling even tho it’s hard. Sending hugs and good thoughts. I think the waiting would be excruciating because we can imiagine all the bad things. My sister was just diagnosed with incurable pancreatic cancer that’s spread. After I spent time crying thinking how unfair it was (and it’s not even my diagnosis), she found out if she does chemo, she can have hopefully another 2 years.
    Thankyou for sharing your journey with us, love your refashions and will love them in the future. 🙂 big hugs to your support system as well.

  • Michelle D.

    First of all, absolutely adore the new hairstyle! I’ve been an avid follower of yours for many years. I’m a local and actually work with your friend, Phillip. I was diagnosed last year with Adenosarcoma of the endometrium (one of the rare ones). After two surgeries including a hysterectomy they couldn’t find any cancer. My cancer was just 6 mm away from metastasizing. My recovery still took roughly 4 – 5 months. I hope that you are using SCOA and that perhaps Dr. Williams might be your physician. He helped the sister of a coworker through Stage IV ovarian cancer and she has been doing great for a few years now. He is also my physician and with regular scans I trust that my cancer hasn’t returned. I was diagnosed after being married for not quite two years. My husband and I grew so close during my illness. It’s hard to not be able to be independent but I thank God he was there for me every step of the way. Please know your body will do amazing things. So much of the time I was on autopilot. I kept going. I had no choice. And I found that I was so much stronger than I ever knew. I wish you and Mr. Refashionista the best during this season of your life. Will keep y’all in my prayers. Courage and strength to you both. And one final thing, thank you so much for writing about your cancer journey. It helps so many women to see they aren’t alone. You are offering so much to the world by doing this. You are an inspiration. Michelle

  • Kay

    Your hair is adorable! Sending prayers of health, strength and peace to you. I am affirming for you that your body and soul are strong enough to endure that which will permanently rid your body of this cancer.

  • Sarah Dawson

    First one down, so now you know what to expect and you know how you’ll feel. And while is stinks, getting the first scary thing done helps a person feel better since the mystery is gone. I’m so glad you have lots of support and love. Thanks for keeping us all updated on your health. It’s funny how people you follow, but have never met, can become people you care about. Lots of positive vibes, prayers, and well-wishes from way over on the west coast!

  • Kathy

    Thank you for claiming us all as your friends! With all the years you’ve inspired us and shared so many pieces of your life so beautifully here, you certainly feel like a good friend. We are absolutely rooting for you, and praying for you, Mr. R, pups, and friends. Stay determined, and on the lookout for moments of grace!

  • Amy

    Thank you for sharing your thoughts, experiences and feelings during your first chemo. You are stronger than you know and will beat the crap out this!!! My thoughts and prayers are with you and Mr. Fashionista. You rock the new haircut!

  • Isabel

    Hi darling Jillian – so much love in this space for you, wonderful inspiring lady. Best wishes and much love from Bathurst Australia. PS Your new hair is the cutest!!

  • JayEl

    Jillian, I, along with a thousand or more, are sending positive vibes and prayers to you. We pray for your recovery & your strength to get through your chemo. Let your body and mind guide you in your daily activities. To Bruce, may he continue to be your rock and your biggest supporter. I know that this journey will truly make your marriage and the life together stronger. ❤️

  • Johanna

    You can do this! We are all right behind you,cheering you on. Sending you strength to keep going and a tight virtual hug. I am thinking of you a lot and loving the new haircut. I also got a fringe cut last week so I consider you my fringe twin. Lots of love to you and B!

  • Karen

    Your new hair do is gorgeous, you look beautiful ! I know you are strong enough Jillian, look how many of us are here cheering you on, we’ll be here for you xx

  • Susan

    Please keep adding updates to your blog (if you are up to it) even if it is not about refashioning at all. We want to know how you are doing.
    You’ve got this, Jillian. You will conquer cancer with the strength and grace I know you have. Prayers coming your way from Washington State.

  • Nina from SoCal

    Jillian, hang in there and pray daily for encough strength to get through one day at a time ! It really is true what the song says ! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hz2L1v7Wkx8 Enjoy the music ! It will bless your life.

    With your new healthy diet, be sure to eliminate all dairy/eggs/sugar/free oils. Meat/seafood also if you can. Go to Dr. John McDougal’s website to see how this can help you. Read some of the testimonies. Be extremely informed Jillian. This is a time of learning for you. https://www.drmcdougall.com/

    You are still in my daily prayers !

  • Beryl Elaine Johnson

    Thanks for the health update. I have been reading your blog for quite some time and regard you as a friend. I think you are so brave to document your experience and share it with us. I love the new hairdo – even if it wasn´t what you originally wanted- it looks great. I know from the positive way you write your posts that you are a strong person and you and Mr Refashionista will get through this together. My thoughts are with you both. Stay strong and best wishes for a speedy recovery. xxx

  • Grimm

    With all the comments I’m not sure you will get to read this but I will offer something that helped me 20 years ago when I was battling cervical cancer. I did as you did and cut my hair in a short pixie cut and used ice packs on my head to help with the hair fall out. I was still working freelance in the film industry on set so I tried to work before a treatment so I could stay home and be ‘sick’ after. My partner on set would take me out for some retail therapy when I felt better. With COVID that may not be doable but some online retail therapy may be needed. 😉

    Allowing yourself to feel bad is okay. You need to take care of YOU. And smile. Smiling can make you feel better even on your worst day.

  • Sara P

    You are so brave to share your journey with us. I know you’re not necessarily trying to be, but you are inspiring 🙂 Whether you are blogging about refashions or your cancer treatments. We are all thinking of you.

  • Patty Doscher

    I’m so sorry you have to go through all of this. I am thinking of you and sending good vibes. Hopefully the time will pass quickly.

  • Janice Tinch

    Jillian,

    I have every confidence in you kicking cancers butt!!! With your spunk, attitude and support system you’re going to be just fine!

    Hugs to you and Mr. Refashionista,
    Janice

  • Jenny Woodward

    Big hugs to you… and truckloads of positive vibes. I have been an enthusiastic follower for many years.. from Brisbane in Australia. I love your writing style and your positive vibe. Let that lovely man of yours spoil you rotten. This too will pass, although I know it won’t be easy, and before you know it you will be out the other side. Be easy on yourself and take care. Jenny xx

  • Chica Andaluza

    I don’t think I’ll ever find the right words to say that will help you get through this. I can only tell you my husband and I have been through this twice (two different cancers, un related, both his) and it’s shit for both of you. You will have good days and bad days. The best days are the ordinary days. But you have each other, in sickness and in health, and one day life will be almost normal again and you’ll still have each other. One day at a time you lovely lady, sending love xx

  • Sandy Young

    Thanks for posting your journey. I am so sad that you have to go through this. I don’t know what your religious views are, but I am a Christian and want to encourage you with this: “I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” Jeremiah 29:11 Be strong, dear one! And rest in the lving arms of your Father!

  • Wilmoo

    Your hair is very cute on you. Heck! Every thing looks good/cute on you. My prays are with you and your husband. That you both remain strong during this time.

  • A

    Jillian, I’ve read your blog for years but have never commented before. Skills learned aside, your gracious spirit and humor have always been a bright spot in this stranger’s day. I hope against hope that the powers that be will cut you break after you’ve paid your chemo dues.

    A pragmatic suggestion:

    It sounds like you and Mr. Refashionista have prepared as best you could, which is wonderful. I hope that you two also have Legal Power of Attorney sorted out for each other, because if not, you need to do that ASAP. Without that magic paper, he won’t be able to tangle with insurance, hospitals, etc. on your behalf while you recover. I learned this the hard way when my otherwise healthy husband had a stroke at 36. We’d only been married five months and, my being even younger than him, Power of Attorney wasn’t even on our radar. Cue the stroke, and I couldn’t do jack**** on his behalf (though I did get VERY good at finding loop holes!). Power of Attorney and Living Wills became the first order of business when he was well again. He recovered fully–thank anything and everything!!!–but POA makes such a difference. If you and Mr. Refashionista haven’t gotten it yet, please, please do so as soon as you feel well enough.

    And now, to balance out the dour note above, a FUN suggestion!

    Do any of your friends paint with henna? Online, I’ve seen several galleries of chemo patients with designs painted onto their scalp. You could also branch out into refashioning hats and fascinators, all of which you would rock. You look great no matter what you do–your sense of style is stronger than any hair loss. You’ll rock bald just as you’ve rocked countless mumus, and it will be grand.

    HUGS and strength to you. You’ve got this.

  • Naomi

    God bless you, sweetie, even as you have blessed us all these years. There are more prayers going up on your behalf than you may know! Lots of love and virtual hugs to you.

  • Karen

    Oh honey bun, I am sending you so much good juju from Texas and lots of prayers – YOU’VE GOT THIS! Plus, your hair is super duper cute, i think you should keep it short when you’ve finished everything and you are back to healing – YOU WILL GET THROUGH THIS! I don’t know you personally, but I know we’d be awesome friends if we did – so glad you have such an awesome support system <3

  • Sabrina

    Thank you for sharing. I’ve followed you for a long time, and I am sending positive thoughts your way. Remember that many people are thinking of you! One down!

  • Tanya

    My dear you are an amazing woman. I love your attitude towards your cancer and treatment and your honesty about your fear. Keep that fighting spirit! Your positive attitude and determination is vital for the fight you’re in. You are in my thoughts and prayers. BYW….that haircut screams Jillian. It is so sassy, just like you.

  • Eileen

    Hair looks amazing actually! and really suits you. I would rather hear about how your doing and following your journey, after all, we are in this together in just the same way as your refashion blogs. So dont worry about posting the sewing things right now and concentrate on you and Mr R. Very best wishes from Manitoba Canada!

  • Lisa

    I loved you when you shaved your head years back. I loved you when you grew it back. I loved you through the “meh” attempts, and the awesome successes. We will all continue to love you. Prayers for a speedy recovery and that you experience the peace that surpasses all understanding. Comfort, strength and guidance, dear virtual friend.

  • Judith

    Love the hair cut! You are strong and can get through anything one day at a time. Sleep helps to heal and is a great way to pass the time when you are feeling sick and worried. So glad Brian is in your life to be your caregiver. Much love to you both. God Bless

  • Marie Z Johansen

    I am a long time reader of your blog. I applaud you on sharing this most difficult of journeys so openly. I send you light, prayers for a full recovery and that the chemo gods will treat you gently.

  • amanda

    Sending positive vibes your way!! Thank you for being your lovely, unapologetic self, and for continuing to post updates with grace, humility, and humor. I’m sure I’m not the only person here you’ve helped get through a difficult time, so let us return the favor. We’re all here with you!

    Excellent Dark Crystal reference, by the way. Nothing describes a treatment more accurately than a disturbing scene from a probably-not-appropriate-for-children movie from the 80s.

  • Diana

    I’ve been reading your blog for years now, but I think this is my first comment. I just wanted to thank you for being brave and sharing this personal, scary, and difficult process with us. It’s weird to think of a blogger in a different state as a friend, but I do! We are here for you! I loved the suggestion in an earlier comment of you getting a PO box so we can send you cards and trinkets of encouragement. Emails and comments are nice, but there’s something about opening and holding a physical card that’s just SO much better. Also, your new hairdo is seriously cute! Though I follow you for YOU, no matter if your hair looks cute or not. You’ve got this!

  • Linda G Willis

    Praying for your physical and mental health. My oldest daughter is an RN with decades of experience. (Yes, we are old ladies) She often talks about chemo brain. The good news is that it gets better. The brain fog is normal. I agree with the resting. I have bought a ton of fleece ‘from the remnants bin of course’. I make chemo caps out of the softest fleece that I can find. My friends all tell me that they love fleece caps because their heads get cold at night. The other patients will give you tips on feeling well and getting through this. Women can be so helpful.

  • Patricia Hoffmann

    Are the docs able to give you steroids with the chemo to help with nausea? And “Chemo Brain” is a thing, but I’m sure the nurse at the infusion center can fill you in on what to expect. I had breast cancer at 37, and at 62 I’m still here to talk about it – and my hair is long now, so there’s hope! Hang in there!

  • Joan

    I am so very sorry that you are going through all of this. You have an amazing attitude, but don’t forget that it’s okay to let your guard down on occasion and throw yourself a good pity party. I made several of these slouchy hats for a friend when she was having her chemo. She loved them. Many were made from old Tshirts as the material can be so soft. So I’m wishing you well, and sending you a refashioning idea. Make them a little tighter than you think you will need. all the best to you. I have loved your blog for years. Joan

    https://sewing.craftgossip.com/free-pattern-kids-slouchy-beanie/2014/11/12/

  • Martha Pruitt

    Sending all good, good, good vibrations to you and your support team. Can’t pretend to know what you are going through bu this I know for true: whatever you can do or feel like doing is enough ~ a gracious plenty even.

  • Jenny

    Just early today I was reading one of those terrible internet links on Facebook with a collection of “great pieces of advice you heard from actual people” and one of the advice pieces that I adored was “Be afraid, do it anyway” and although I haven’t been through cancer, I’ve been through hard things. I won’t compare the things but I went through a miscarriage and had to get a D&C and when I went to the hospital I remember thinking “I can’t do this!” and the thing is, I had to. I dreaded it. I was afraid of it. I did it anyway. Sometimes that’s all you can do. Just keep swimming, just keep swimming . . . like Dory. Look at the terrible thing right in the face and say “I don’t want to face you, but I’ll face you.”

    Hang in there. I’m praying for you.

  • Tonna Chavez

    Just look at you and your very cute self! That hair cut is so you…bubbly and sparkly! You are one very strong and very blessed lady and above all, my dear, you are so very loved!!! And when you feel like you just do not have it in you to be one smidgen bit stronger…you are so blessed to have your precious husband there for you!
    I understand the “not having your husband with you while in treatments”, I was only allowed to actually be in the hospital for my husband’s surgery, but I not for any of his radiation treatments. At the beginning I drove and sat out in the parking lot, but for his last few weeks of treatments he was able to drive himself! Today was his last day of his six weeks of treatments…and he was soooooo happy to “ring the bell” that all the VA’s cancer patients get to ring at the end of their treatments. So I’m praying that these remaining treatments go well and quickly for you…and that soon you’ll be “ringing the bell”!!!

    Prayers and strength being sent your way from Texas!
    Tonna Chavez-Ott

  • Mia

    Thinking of you and wishing that you didn’t have to go through this. Just know there are a bunch of us out there sharing the (mental) journey with you and sending support.

  • Robin

    I’ve been following your blog for so long that you feel like the daughter I never had. And, I haven’t been able to stop thinking about you since your announcement. I pray for you, your husband and family. So many people love you. I am amazed at your strength and grace while going through so much. You are truly an inspiration. Your hair cut is adorable on you. One down, five more to go. You got this! If I was there, I would do anything to help you and your husband, but since I’m not and I’m sure you’re not able to accept gifts or cards due to Covid, is there a way we can send a donation to help with expenses? If so, it would be my pleasure.
    Take care,
    Robin

  • Jan

    You are amazing! I’ve never been thru anything like what you are going thru now. It sounds as if your hubby and family are right there for you when you need them. You are in my prayers and I am sending virtual hugs to you for healing and comfort.

  • Jean Samuel

    Love your straight forward posts and your courage. Although it’s ok to not be brave all the time. We understand as I am sure your family and friends do. And your hair is darling! What were your first symptoms? Inklings that soemthing wasn’t quite right. If you don’t mind me asking. Take care. Be kind to yourself.

  • Jacklyn

    I’m praying for you Jillian ❤️. If you feel like it, please send posts with your updates mixed in with refashions, as we look forward to your refashions but care even more about you.

  • Jenni

    Long time reader – first time comment-er. I consider you a friend as well. A crazy talented, much better than myself at refash sewing – but also just so darned fun, and entertaining friend. Please know that I’m sending lots of love and prayers for strength and healing. Get well soon friend! <3

  • Murielle

    First, only because I noticed it right away, your hair is adorable! I love it! It totally suits you! Sophisticated and cute at the same time. Win! Win!
    Aw, hon. I’m so sorry you were feeling so awful and sick and out of control. I have heard that the first day or so isn’t as bad as later when the chems hit your system properly. ((Gentle hugs for those days))
    I love that you’re taking control of as much as you can. I love that you’re keeping records of what’s what for you during this time, what works, what helps, what needs you have, so that they can all be dealt with next time.

    My very best wishes my dear. My very best thoughts and love to you.

  • Carol Foushi

    Thanks for keeping us up on your treatment.
    You are a very brave young women and you give us so much joy. I’m praying for you!

  • Susie

    I wish so much that you didn’t have to go through this, but I appreciate you sharing your story and experiences with us. Keeping you in my prayers! By the way, your hair looks absolutely adorable! Stay strong and know that you are loved and appreciated!

  • Jole Dillard

    I also went through 6 chemo treatments. They do get harder, but they also end. Do what you can when you can, and when you can’t, then rest. Resting is doing something too, it is allowing your body to spend it’s energy healing. My thoughts are with you.

  • Emily Ann Dietrich

    I sure wish you didn’t have to go through this, but I’m rooting for you as you do. Sending love and strength from the Pacific Northwest. Love, a non-sewer who just reads your posts for the magic of YOU!

  • Tammy M

    You have a beautiful fighting soul. You will conquer this. And, one day, you will look back and think about how strong you really were during your weakest hour. Sending prayers and positive vibes.

  • Charlotte Shackleton

    Sending you healthy, restful thoughts from sunny England ❤

    I think the new hair is really cute! It’s very 60s mod girl! Just crying out for a scooter dress and go-go boots!

  • Dominique

    You are so strong and you WILL beat this ! Your haircut is adorable and thank you for sharing what you are going through. We all know that a good percentage of people will have to go through this and it is nice to read about what happens. So thank you.

  • Claire

    Thank you so much for sharing your journey with us, as this is bound to be a huge help to others going through the same or a similar situation. You constantly astonish me and if anyone can kick cancer in to touch, you can! Your hair looks wonderful by-the-way – but then you would look amazing wearing a shower cap!! Sending love and positivity from the UK. Xxx

  • Ann

    The pixie is adorbs! So sorry that this has happened. It sounds like you are very prepared. Sending positive vibes and healing thoughts your way.

  • cljhansen

    I am all in, team Jillian! You can do this, I admire your approach to your treatments and their affects. Your blog-friends are pulling for you! Virtual hugs and love!

  • Claire

    U r amazing. Your strength, mental health and courage r to b admired. My daughter-in-law went through chemo, survived, and hit her 5 year mark a few years ago and continues to thrive. BUT, not without terror, lots of crying, and determination. My heart aches for you, but take each day at a time. U have a wonderful support system, due to your caring and upbeat personality. I admire u so.

    I have always thrifted, but years ago, you started me on my thrift refashion journey and I continue to this day – at 80 years old! Thank u so much, friend.

  • Susan

    Your new hair cut is so cute! There is so much love and support for you from all your readers, you are blessed.
    We are all rooting for you and sending positive thoughts and prayers.

  • Aleyda

    Actually you are the only blog I fully read. I have been thinking of you all this month. I don’t mind that you write about this on your sewing series.

  • Louise

    I love your haircut, you look adorable! Slow down when you need to. Rest when you can. Try to focus on getting through each day. Keeping a journal is an excellent way to stay focused. You got this. You have a great partner. I’m pulling for you.

  • Sara

    Wishing you an easy time and all the strength you need to get through your treatment. You are so brave, so kind and loved by so many people around the world! Good luck and good health always xxx

  • Wendy Bassett

    Your post is bringing me back to my chemo days, so sending you tons of love from NM! I just love your outlook, you will get through this because of it!

  • Michele Morgen

    You’ve got this, Jillian! Eff cancer and kick its ass. In style, I may add. Sending you love and healing light for an outcome for the greatest good.

  • Sharon Lewin

    I’m so impressed with your organisation and forward thinking – noting everything down to use it the next time. You’re some girl! My family and I in Durham, North East England send you our love and strength- you’ve got this sweetie xxxx

  • Carla

    I too am a cancer survivor. At 38 I had breast cancer and found i was BRAC1 positive. I later had my ovaries removed. I understand your fears fully but hang in there. You’re doing great. I’m now 66 years old and am more physically fit than when I was a college cheerleader. And life has never been better.
    You will certainly come out on the other side of this with many great lessons and stories to share. Lots of love and prayers headed your way.

  • Lacey

    That’s got to be the cutest hairstyle I’ve ever seen…. excellent choice for any upcoming ‘styles’ that you’ll be wearing. Girl, your beauty will always shine through so you got nothin’ to worry about.
    As for your treatments, we’re all cheerleading for you because YOU GOT THIS. Yeah, it f**king SUCKS, but with your support group and your incredible courage, you will see this through.
    You go girl and, in the meantime, nap like your life depends on it. It does. Your cells and body regenerate in a healthy way during sleep and it’s the absolute best medicine ever.
    And please thank Mr. Refashionista for us ~ he’s one in a billion, and his own bravery will help you both win this race.Sending love and healing your way, and big giant hugs to the pups, too!!

  • Didi Sprague

    Your new haircut looks fantastic but I have no doubt you will look adorable with no hair as well. I have no advice just a strong virtual hug.

  • Mary Lou

    You look great! Hang in there! Sorry it has been so difficult for you. Look to the future.
    Thanks for the update and for thinking of us during this difficult road you are traveling.
    In our thoughts and prayers
    .

  • Cathy L

    We are all doing the wave.? Remember that from when we could all be together – like for real! This one goes all around the world and back to you with tons of positive energy. Glad you are keeping a journal. It’s ok if some days it’s just a line or two. And your hair looks great! I will pick some sweet peas today amid our wildfire smoke and pretend I’m bringing them to you.

  • Veda Hamrick

    Your haircut is adorable! I’ve been following you since way back when you shaved your head and I’ve always thought that your do’s were great! You are such a strong woman and an inspiration to so many. I will keep you in my prayers. Thank you for being you! ❤️

  • Elaine

    Thank you for the update – we fans of the Refashionista do appreciate you updating us. It speaks to your strength that you can remember your fans during a time such as this.

  • Mary

    1- Your hair looks great
    2- don’t apologize for your blog being true to you. We fell for you because of you sass and get style but we are all rooting for you! Refashions will happen when they happen. Focus on you.
    3- Make sure you load up your iPad with a good show/movies for next time.
    4- I’m a runner, my life advice is stay in the mile you’re in. Don’t focus on the 5 more. Focus on the now, as small as it is, making it through the day, eating dinner, whatever, no matter how small, is a victory. You got this.

  • Amy

    You’re new haircut is adorable and suits you well! We don’t know each other personally of course, but I definitely consider you a friend! I continue to pray for you. Keep up the fight!
    BTW, I was so scared watching The Dark Crystal as a child! I haven’t even watched it as an adult, lol.

  • Marcia Gilbreath

    Your hair looks so cute! It really suits your face. Don’t look back, don’t look ahead at the next 5 treatments, just take one day at a time. You can do it for one day, then one more. You are strong, you are loved. And for heavens sake, don’t blog if you don’t feel like it–we understand. If you feel you must, just say,” I don’t feel like blogging today.” Take care of YOURSELF.

  • Elizabeth Aulsebrook

    Your honest and articulate writing is an inspiration. And look at the online community you have built! I donʻt know any other online group with this kind of caring. Well, you earned your fan club. You are dearly loved by your family and friends and widely cared about by people you may never meet. My husband is a stage 4 cancer survivor and his chemo lasted 6 months. I will never forget that time. Of all the memories from that time, my favorite was his doctor saying that our marriage was one of the reasons he responded so well to the treatment protocol. Yup, 12 years later, he is right here, next to me. Hugs to you.

  • Marla

    Eat cold foods like sherbet and watermelon. Drink hint watermelon flavor water. Somehow these things taste the most like they used to. For a while tomato soup was the only thing I could taste that tasted normal. Ginger ale is your friend! You will get through this. We believe in you. ⚘

  • Carrie

    Even though we’ve never met, I consider you a friend (oddly this seems normal). So much talent in your tiny little self! You have hundreds (thousands?) of people pulling for you. ❤

  • Another Jillian

    Thank you for sharing. I hope it helps you to share it (dont just do it for us!) I’m glad you are feeling a bit better today and cheers to Mr Refashionista for taking great care of you. I’m sorry you are going through this. I am happy to see your positive energy and humor in this post, though! Sending positive vibes your way….

  • Jan

    Your hair cut is absolutely fantastic! I am a two year uterine cancer survivor. Mine was stage I and I was blessed to only have two surgeries to remove all necessary parts/cells. I can’t imagine your next step in this process. I am keeping you in my thoughts and prayers each day! Blessings to you and your hubby!!! Jan

  • Kimberly Shakeri

    Just when I start wondering how you are doing…you post! These are hard days. Very hard. I know 5 more times seems impossible, but there’s nothing to be done but to just get it done. And you are so good at getting things done. You’ll ride the wave and then be aces…I am sure of it! Sit with Mr. R and find a way to celebrate each chemo as one step closer to cancer free: plant something, burn something, make something together. That collaborative planning will give you something to mark each treatment and something happy to anticipate. And remember, just because they say each treatment is worse, doesn’t mean it will be. Everyone is different. My brother was told he’d live another 6 years at most…that was 20 years ago. 😀 Prayers for you, sweet girl!

  • Loretta M Mitson

    Yes, your haircut is adorable! Thanks for sharing the intimate details. Your journey may help others, in time, Your sharing of the process is educational for us and helps us to understand what this is like. We hold you in our hearts and hopes. Lots of love and strength to you and your family! Much thanks!

  • Victoria

    Thanks for sharing. So many people need to hear what you are going thru. You look adorable with short hair and will probably look adorable without hair so no worries there! What ever happens you have made my life a bit better reading your posts and seeing what you were getting into. Life has ups and downs and I hope that this down is followed by a great big up for you. Many blessings on you and your mister and of course the dogs as well. Take care of yourself, don’t overdo and let what happens happen. This too shall pass. I love you Jillian.

  • beshelley

    I admire your courage. Stay as positive as you can. You look like a spunky fighter with that haircut…and so cute…so give cancer a knock back on its butt! My thoughts are with you.

  • Jenny

    What you are describing is completely normal! I’m sure you’ve been told to be mindful of germs and such (not that we aren’t all thinking of that during a pandemic). You will get through this one day at a time. Prayers for a complete remission. The hair is adorable. ❤️❤️❤️

  • Hayley Trotter

    I think it’s so important to document how you are feeling. I hope to continue to read these kind of blog posts. We are all rooting for you!

  • Melanie McMurphy

    Super proactive approach to take! Prayers and wishes for you to persevere through the next 5 treatments, that they be effective and fly by!

  • Jeri Massey

    Your haircut is adorable! You have such a way with words. I feel like someone out there needs what you’ve written with so eloquently & with such transparency to help them through their next 5 treatments! <3

    Keep on keeping on!
    Jeri

  • Joan Groe

    Bravo to you my friend. I am a 12 year survivor of breast cancer, went through 2 surgeries plus removal of lymph nodes, so know about some discomfort with chemo, etc. Looking back, I wish I had psyched myself into thinking how fortunate I was to have treatment and medical staff to rely on, at a very early stage. I remember intense fatigue, pain, hair loss, etc with my spouse and family nearby to help me with total love and care. I remember feeling sorry for myself and then asking God to help me be humble and thankful. I needed to make that request quite often and He always blessed me and continues to do so.
    I continue to lift prayers for you and your loved ones and ask God’s blessings on you. You are very brave and resourceful and it is okay to sometimes be discouraged with the pain and other effects of the treatment. Sometimes it is hard to feel “normal” and courageous. You have already proven your courage with your “re-fashionista” work that is so very important to so many of us who need guidance and encouragement. My very best wishes to you.

  • Sharon Lentz

    I’ve been following your blog for years and have always admired your talent in both sewing and writing (and how doggone cute you are!) I’m so sorry that you are going through this. I have learned though, from a few tough things that I have gone through, that we are strong and resilient! Be gentle with yourself and don’t try to be strong all the time. Many, many blessings to both you and Mr. Refashionista!

  • Lisa

    When my friend had chemo fog during her ovarian cancer treatment, she found being outside in nature, away from other distractions, really helped the fog lift quicker. She was lucky to live near a lake and state park. I hope you are near a park or other nature preserve and can try this, if you like. FYI- Mint is also good for nausea. It worked better for me than ginger. You are in my thoughts.

  • Janie C.

    As a cancer survivor also, I know how frightening this can be, but you have a good attitude and that is a lot of the battle. Sending positive thoughts, energy and much love your way!

  • Cynthia Miller

    Your new haircut is adorable. I think of you often, and I appreciate you taking the time and energy to keep your readers up to date on your journey. You are brave and strong. I hope you can feel the prayers that your readers are sending up on your behalf.

  • Donna Gettings Apperson

    There are so many of us out here pulling for you and feeling with you. Five times is possible. Then four times will be possible, etc. Then you ring that frickin bell and tell the world you’re done with chemo. Love the pocket tutorial. I put pockets in every derned thing.

    Many healing vibes being sent your way. Napping is good food.

  • Tina

    Hello lovely. I went through 8 treatments when I fought breast cancer, and I am telling you a simple truth; YOU GOT THIS. Seriously, I know you got this because you are walking into it with a determined attitude. Not positive. If anyone tells you to ‘stay positive’ you are allowed to throat punch them. Thats impossible and people need to stop with that #$%&. You got this because you know that you have a village, hell, you have a globe of people rooting for you. You got this because the universe put Mr. Fashionista in your life at the exact right time. You got this because even in the time of COVID cancer treatment is so very advanced that winning is no longer a question. You are doing all the right things, and you are allowing yourself the grace to feel your sad, before reminding yourself of the happy. Keep doing that. We will continue to hold space and celebrate each and every treatment. You. Got. This. -Tx

  • Jen R in Ottawa

    I think of you – you pop up in my head and I hope that you’re doing well. I really hope you’re gentle with yourself. I’m pulling for you.

    Virtual hugs from Ottawa, Ontario.

  • Tiffany

    I’ve been a longtime silent follower of your blog, but I am so moved by your recent posts that I had to comment. I just want to say first that I’m so sorry this unfair situation is happening to you. No one deserves this.

    Second- and more important- for years your blogs have shown just how strong a person you are. You have overcome a lot of difficult things in the past using your own steadfastness and the incredible support system of people around you. These things were your allies then and they will be your champions now. Sending you all my best wishes and positive energy. Big hugs!

  • Laura Ly

    Absolutely love your new hair cut!!! So adorable and makes your eyes shine! Praying in Jesus name for complete healing and to sustain you through every chemo treatment and the after effects. So glad you have a sweet husband to help you through this! God bless!

  • Janet Hasselblad

    Sounds like you are taking very good care of yourself, which includes letting others take care of you too. You’ve got this sister!

  • Lynda

    Your are being so proactive! Awesome! Don’t worry, the chemo-brain will pass. They told me to take a good walk every day, as much as possible. I know–it’s counterintuitive when you’re so tired. In my experience, I also found it most helpful to shave my head as soon as clumps of hair began falling out. That way I wasn’t cleaning up the fallout every day. A shaved head is just another step towards wellness. Prayers going up for your complete healing, and for Mr. Refashionista and your “team”.

  • Macha Bennet-Shephard

    I love your haircut- I’m sending tons and tons of love and healing energy to you!!! Keep up the good fight- you’re doing it!! Yay!!!

  • Lori B

    The most IMPORTANT thing you can do to help yourself heal is share the journey.
    Good, bad, ugly, painful, stressful, funny, mind numbing, we will all be here to support but more than that, we will be LEARNING from you.
    Please share as much as you can when you can.
    And yes, you were made for short hair.

  • Nelle Woodruff

    Take cheer in the fact that your head and face are PERFECT for the bald look. Have fun with it. My sister embraced it and looked adorable with no hair.

  • Karin Rylander

    Hey, this is a scary time and I feel scared for you. Please lean on your friends and support network. You may need to give up control of when and where you need a nap, or need to eat etc. it’s important to pick your battles because you already have a pretty huge one you can’t get out of at the moment. Sending hugs and love.

  • Amy L Alley

    You are amazing. I have something I would love to send to you, if you feel comfortable please email me a mailing address [email protected]. Even though we have only met once (that time at Warmouth!) I feel almost like we are friends. You are remembered in all the good vibes, prayers, etc. daily. Hugs!

  • Alison Deluca

    Let’s all hold (metaphorical) hands and say “By all means, we can do this. We’re going to kick cancer’s ass.”

    Also, your new hair is absolutely adorable. I’m hoping for a wig refashion? A scarf refashion? Oh the possibilities.

    Or just keep giving health updates. I love those too. xoxo

  • judy Jahncke

    love the new pixie cut and looking forward to your future posts. I love your blogs and feel honored to be one of your friends and family contacts. Hang in there kiddo, you got this.

  • Katie K.

    I’ve been thinking about you a lot lately. (I really hope that’s not as weird as it sounds since we don’t *actually* know each other.) I’ve been reading your blog since before I started sewing…the idea of altering something to fit me (not to mention become something I like) was hugely inspirational and how I justified purchasing a sewing machine before actually having any idea what to do with it.
    Sending you love and good mojo from WI. <3

  • Jennifer Mullin

    You are in inspiration. I recently discovered you on Pinterest and it makes my heart happy when I see your creations pop up in my feed. It’s sounds like you have a loving support system. Lean on them and you’ll get through this. And thank you for being brave enough to share your story. We will all be wiser for hearing it.

  • SuZe Fashion

    Jillian, my heart goes out to you as you go through this. I continue to pray for you, for strength, for peace and for overwhelming love to surround you.

  • Kat

    <3 Thank you for sharing so openly with us. It’s good to get to be part of your cheerleading squad, even as a stranger who lives across the country. The on-the-ground view of cancer treatment is also something people often don’t talk about except with their immediate circle and doctors, which is understandable but also can leave many of us unsure how to support folks who are going through it. So thank you for the gift of honesty and information here, and I hope you can feel us pulling for you and the irrepressibly vibrant being you are!

  • Susan

    So glad it’s going well so far. You have, and had always had, a sharp and sassy wit, and despite what you’re going through, your mettle and determination shine through in your writing. ~Sincerely, one of your very extended ‘family’!

  • Vickie

    You look so cute with that pixie hair! We are all thinking of you, praying for you, and waiting to hear that you are better. May angels watch over you and give you strength. You can do this!

  • Chrystal

    You have such an amazing outlook on this. You can do it!

    I’m not sure what kind of chemo port you have, but seatbelts used to really hurt my MIL’s port site, until someone sewed her a little pillow that velcroed onto the seatbelt, just above the port. It helped tremendously and made outings a little more bearable.

  • Beth Morgan

    Love Love Love you hair!!!! You look gorgeous! Praying for you and your family, friends and Mr. Fashionista. One down. Five to go! Woot! Woot!!! You’ve got this gurl! <3

  • Becky S Williams

    Honey, may I say, you were born for short hair! That cute face should not be hidden by (although also cute) long hair! You can do this. If it helps you to feel some bit of control in an out of control situation, the by all means plan. But when I had cancer, I realized that I really had to hand over control to all those around me. It gave me a sense of peace to just center myself and pray for calm and let others do what they needed to do and I did what I needed to do at the time. If I felt like taking a nap, I took a nap. If I wanted to snack, I ate what I felt like I needed, healthy or not.

  • Jennifer Mead

    I just want to give you a big hug and tell you everything is going to be okay. You are in my prayers. Thank you for sharing your story with us, it is so good to know what you are going through, and that you are doing what you need to do to fight this horrible cancer. You are an inspiration. Take good care of yourself, be a little selfish and know there are people all over the States praying for you and caring about you.

  • Laura

    My heart aches for you and anyone who has to go through this. Thank you for sharing this very personal story. The world cares about you! Keep doing what helps your body and brain to get to the other end. You are in my thoughts and prayers. <3

  • Wanda T

    You look amazing with short hair! Sending strength and patience vibes your way. Also, thanks to you and your incredible blog, I bought my first sewing machine and made my first official stitches yesterday – I’ve been meaning to do this for years and finally took the leap because of you. Now my pile of things that were going (back) to the thrift store are going to be edited into new creations, and I’m so excited about it. Thank you for being such a HUGE inspiration to re-imagining clothes and reducing waste. You’re a truly special person.

  • Martha

    Hi Jillian! Love your new hair! Thank you for the update…..one down, five to go. You are right, you can do anything five times. Sending you virtual (see…hugs that won’t make you ache!) hugs from Canada and lots of healing energy too.

  • Phyllis Rose

    Good for you! With your journaling, you are refashioning treatments for cancer and helping people understand that there is such a thing as chemo brain. See? You’ve still got this.

  • Stephanie Staltare

    I am sending you positive vibes…..your hair cut is so cute! You can do it ! I had major brain surgery 2 years ago it was tough but I am still here! I am pulling for you doll.

  • Katie

    Not sure if you’re having to do the steroids and anti nausea stuff I did, but the day before chemo, day of, and day after take some Claritin and it will help with the bone pain from the little on body injector thing. Idk if they mentioned that which they might have. I didn’t the first time and I was so uncomfortable but it really does help. Also I didn’t have a reaction to the carbo until my very last infusion, so hoping it continues to be no reactions for you. Wishing you all the best and so many positive thoughts!

  • G

    Ms. Refashionista…thank you so much for sharing! I am saying prayers of healing and overall sending you good vibes…could we please have an address to send you cards or something cheery? You have been part of my internet life for so long, and your posts are so fun and entertaining…it seems time we do something for you…and, I know, creepy internet stranger danger, maybe a PO box? Asking for a friend (a lot of your internet friends!)

  • Edith Rodriguez

    I am sorry to see this news, and send you much love and good energy to give you continued strength. I think it is safe to say that your readers are rooting for you and that we’ll follow you along this journey.

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