Gloria Glickman coming from Clifton, completely new Jersey remembers the day in 2000 when her 28-year-old daughter, Jennifer called her on the telephone to tell her she felt a lump in her left breast.
YOU’LL BE FINE
Gloria’s first reaction was to tell her not to worry about the idea, in which she was sure the idea was fine, however to still be sure to get the idea checked by a doctor. Her daughter took her mother’s advice. however like most people waiting for results of a biopsy, she worried.
When she called her mom about her anxiety, Gloria recalls reminding her daughter in which she herself had once had a cyst in addition to also the idea turned out to be nothing, so she reassured her daughter in which everything could be okay.
MOM, the idea’S MALIGNANT
One week later, Gloria was at home with her husband, Don in addition to also heard the words coming from her daughter in which a mother never imagines she’ll hear in her lifetime. Her athletic, healthy, beautiful, full of energy daughter, Jennifer calling to say, “Mom the idea’s malignant. I have breast cancer.”
Jennifer was athletic in addition to also ate well in addition to also was in very Great shape. in which was more of a genetic predisposition to breast cancer than anything else. The only reason she even went in to have a mammogram was because of the lump she felt in her left breast. She otherwise wouldn’t have given the idea a second thought. Even that has a family history, she never thought the idea could affect her. Jennifer’s grandmother on her father’s side had breast cancer, as well as several aunts.
however she still saw breast cancer as something far removed coming from her own life. She was healthy. She never once imagined the idea could strike her, especially not in her twenties. She was too young. She was too active. She was too fit. She took Great care of herself in addition to also took pride in eating right in addition to also exercising regularly.
Gloria could barely hold the telephone in her hand. She remembers wanting to run as far away as she could coming from what the voice on the various other end of the telephone, however her body was frozen in time. Her heart seemed to stop.
Gloria held her breathe in addition to also fought back the tears while listening to her daughter’s courageous words:
“Mom, I want you to be brave because I’m going to fight in which.” Gloria could hardly believe how calm her daughter was at in which moment. Their roles were suddenly reversed. Instead of a mother offering solace to a child, the idea was the various other way around. Jennifer was comforting her mother. Jennifer reminded her mother in which she was a fighter in addition to also she wouldn’t allow anything change her optimistic outlook on life. She intended to live a long in addition to also happy life.
LIFE GOES ON
in which life included being engaged to be married just three months after her diagnosis. in which meant she was faced with not only telling her mother, however telling her fiance about the news. How do you tell your prospective husband in which you may die. in which question, in which life — in which future flashed before Gloria’s eyes as she hung up the phone. Her hands shook uncontrollably in addition to also shared the news with her husband, Don who knew coming from the look on her face in which something was terribly wrong. Her husband was supportive in addition to also told her, “We’ll get through in which together.”
Next, Gloria called her own mother, who was in her seventies to say, “Mom I just got a call coming from Jen in addition to also we have to be strong in addition to also support her.” Gloria’s mom, Ann Tausk, a Holocaust survivor was used to surviving the worst in life without letting the idea affect her spirit. in which time, she didn’t know if she had the idea in her to fight. Her own mother told Gloria she didn’t know if she could handle the idea.
Meanwhile, Jennifer was faced with telling her fiance. Upon being told, he reaffirmed his soon-to-be wife in addition to also was extremely supportive in addition to also offered to take care of her. Gloria thought he could have ran in addition to also said he didn’t want anything to do with her, however he stayed by her daughter’s side.
Back at the hospital, the doctors wanted to remove lymph nodes to find out if the breast cancer had spread.
They were relieved to learn the cancer was just contained in her one breast. After careful consideration, Jennifer then decided to have a mastectomy in addition to also hold the breast removed. She also reduced the various other breast, so the idea could not be in which drastically noticeable. Jennifer wanted to remove the cancerous breast in addition to also had the most aggressive chemotherapy to get the idea out of her body.
She was told she could lose her hair, however she desperately wanted the disease out of her body. Jennifer had a full head of long, curly hair down to the middle of her back. She knew chemotherapy could mean sacrificing a part of her external looks at a time when she wanted to look her best — her wedding day.
Gloria remembers asking her daughter when she could take her wedding photos knowing she could lose her hair. Jennifer didn’t care. She said she’d make a turban since she could be completely bald. Jennifer did just in which. Even though she was completely bald on her wedding day, she was a radiant, beautiful bride.
So beautiful in which she was featured inside the January 2001 issue of MAMM Magazine, Women Cancer in addition to also Community. The title of the article was fitting. the idea was called, “Bald is actually Beautiful” in addition to also the idea featured many women
IN HER OWN WORDS
inside the magazine, Jennifer was quoted saying, “On March 30, 2000 at age twenty-eight, I was diagnosed with infiltrating ductal carcinoma. My fiance in addition to also I had been planning our wedding for nearly a year. People were traveling coming from all over the country in addition to also as far away as Australia in addition to also I was going to be inside the middle of chemotherapy. My hair began to fall out a month before the wedding. After trying wig after wig, I gave up. I was afraid in which without hair, I’d be an ugly bride. however I looked in addition to also felt beautiful. With the love of the people around me in addition to also the strength I had inside, we went through with the wedding.”
Jennifer was inside the middle of her chemotherapy, in addition to also took a few weeks break coming from the idea so she wouldn’t feel nauseas during the wedding.
She got married in addition to also finished her chemotherapy two months following the wedding. in addition to also then she continued doing what she had to following doctor’s orders. She was on tamoxofin, her hair grew back in addition to also she kept the idea short. Yet, her hair wasn’t the only thing in which could be short.
Her completely new marriage did not survive. Relatives in addition to also friends noticed Jennifer was nervous in addition to also unhappy. They didn’t know if the idea was the cancer or the marriage. Jennifer seemed irritable. Everyone assumed she wasn’t happy because of the illness.
5 YEARS LATER
In 2005, when she passed her 5 year milestone of being “clean”…the idea was called NED…No Evidence of Disease…a common term within the cancer community, Gloria received another call in which made her heart skip a beat. Jennifer called to say, “I just reached my 5 year milestone in addition to also my marriage isn’t working. I’m getting divorced”
She was married 5 years in addition to also had been cancer-free for 5 years. Jennifer told her mom in which she needed to move on. Since she had begun therapy at in which time, she realized in which she was unhappy inside the marriage. Jennifer felt she could live another fifty years in addition to also she wanted them to be happy in addition to also healthy. She went through marriage counseling, however had the courage to leave a marriage in which wasn’t right for her despite everything else she had gone through.
Gloria, her husband Don, in addition to also the family, including her step-siblings Howard in addition to also Jennifer all supported her in her decision. Her daughter also decided to change jobs. She switched careers in addition to also went coming from computer graphics for another engineering firm to work in marketing for an engineering firm instead. She said she could rather be alone than not be happy within the marriage. Gloria wasn’t a stranger to divorce since she had been divorced coming from Jennifer’s father when Jennifer was four- years- old.
Soon after her divorce, Jennifer met Greg Hoffmann who was to be her second husband. Jennifer also decided to get active inside the Susan G. Komen for the Cure Foundation. She met her future husband through participating in in which foundation, in addition to also he could become the love of her life. They fell in love in addition to also Jennifer was happier than she had ever been.
THE CANCER RETURNS
Two years later, in 2007, Gloria received another dreaded call. Gloria was inside the South Pacific with her husband in addition to also she hadn’t spoken to her daughter for three weeks because they had been vacationing on a freighter. Jennifer said she wanted to wait to tell Gloria the latest news until she got home, however couldn’t. The breast cancer was back however in which time inside the liver in addition to also ovaries. Gloria wanted to die. Jennifer told her not to worry, they were going to zap the idea in addition to also get rid of the idea. Gloria got off the phone in addition to also felt paralyzed. She remembers sobbing. Again.
BACK TO LIVING
in which same year, Jennifer was planning to climb Mt. Whitney in California to put up a banner flag for cancer in addition to also she did the idea in between radiation treatments. Her completely new job was going well. She never missed a day of work. She got promoted in addition to also was thriving professionally. Greg was as courageous as Jennifer. His sense of humor helped. Jennifer felt supported, happy, in love in addition to also in which she could conquer the entire world.
Jennifer began writing a blog in December of 2007 called, http://www.laceupyourgloves.blogspot.com where she gave a day by day description of her experience. So many people wrote on the idea when she passed away in 2009. Jennifer came up with the name for the blog because in which was her motto: “Time to lace up my gloves in addition to also keep fighting” when she got diagnosed.
Again, Jennifer surprised her mother by announcing in which in April 2008 she in addition to also Greg planned to go to Sante Fe in addition to also marry in a Chapel there. Just the two of them. Gloria supported her decision, even though she could have loved to have been there.
Jennifer had MRI’s every three months. In November 2008, she could learn in which the breast cancer had gone to her brain. She had to have radiation. Jennifer told her mother they could zap the idea. Gloria couldn’t believe the news Once more. Jennifer had the radiation in addition to also went for another MRI inside the beginning of 2009 in addition to also she was told they got most of the cancer by zapping the idea with the radiation.
Gloria remembers going coming from completely new Jersey to Phoenix, Arizona to see her daughter in February 2009. She just wanted to hug her daughter in addition to also be with her in person. Gloria saw in which her daughter was fine on the surface, however also knew in which Jennifer was Great at hiding any weakness. At in which time, Jennifer only confided in her husband in addition to also didn’t want her mom to worry, so she put up a brave front during her visit. Gloria saw a vibrant daughter in addition to also returned to completely new Jersey feeling Great about her daughter’s health in addition to also future.
Two months later, on the evening of Friday, April 10, 2009, Gloria could get a call coming from Greg saying in which the idea was urgent in which she in addition to also Don come to Phoenix because Jennifer was inside the hospital. Gloria, in addition to also her husband, Don dropped everything in addition to also flew to Phoenix, as did Jennifer’s siblings, Howard in addition to also Jennifer in addition to also their significant others.
There were no flights going west in which same night due to the lateness of the hour in addition to also Gloria was so frustrated in which she couldn’t teleport herself there. When Gloria arrived at the hospital, she saw her daughter hooked up to a lot of machines in addition to also on painkiller drugs. Jennifer asked her mom why she was there in addition to also in which she was going to be okay in addition to also didn’t know why her mother had traveled there.
Jennifer’s oncologist told Jennifer in addition to also her husband Greg in which there was not much they could do. Jennifer’s response was in which she wasn’t ready to slip on the banana peel just yet, in addition to also she could be alright. Jennifer didn’t want to hear anything negative.
The doctor spoke to Jennifer in front of the whole family. The doctors wanted to do a spinal tap to see if there was cancer there, however the idea was risky in addition to also against odds. They tried the idea, however they didn’t find what they were looking for. They wanted to do the idea again, however then Greg, Gloria in addition to also Don made the decision in which there was nothing to be gained to do the idea again.
Gloria believed in her daughter in addition to also in which she could live a long time. Gloria never said goodbye. Instead, she told her daughter, “I am so blessed to be your mother. You have shown so much courage in addition to also inspired so many people. Thank God I have a daughter like you.”
Her daughter told her the past 5 years had been her best ever. She said she had such a wonderful, blessed life. Gloria said, “I love you, Jen.” in addition to also Jennifer replied, “I love you too, Mom.”
in which was the last conversation they had.
The day before, Don called Gloria’s sisters to tell them to tell Jennifer’s grandmother in which Jennifer was inside the hospital in addition to also the prognosis was not Great. Gloria asked her sisters in addition to also her mother to come to Phoenix to see Jennifer. At 82-years-old, Gloria’s mother arrived in addition to also told Jennifer, “We’re survivors in our family. You have to be strong.”
Four days later, Greg in consultation with Gloria in addition to also Don agreed in which allowing Jennifer her dignity was paramount at in which time in addition to also they made the decision to stop aggressive treatment in addition to also transfer Jennifer to a hospice.
Once they brought her to hospice, Jennifer was in a coma. Even though she wasn’t conscious, Gloria felt her daughter knew she was there sleeping by her side 24/7 every night. Gloria whispered to her in which the idea was okay to let go.
The last day, the hospice nurse said she could tell by Jennifer’s labored breathing in which the idea could be 24-hours before she could pass away. Jennifer had her entire family there. Jennifer’s family in addition to also Jennifer’s husband’s family were there when she passed away.
Greg stood by the bed in addition to also Jennifer tightened his hand, kicked her foot in addition to also then she was gone. Gloria feels so blessed in which her daughter allowed her to be inside the room for her last breath. Her love of her life was there. April 21, 2009 next week is actually the one year anniversary of her passing.
Today, Gloria continues to keep her daughter’s memory alive. Jennifer’s husband, Greg is actually a crusader for cancer in addition to also began the Desert Cancer Foundation of Arizona, which raises money for The Banner Desert Medical Center in addition to also Mobile On-Site Mammography, a mobile way for women to get their mammograms.
The On-Site Mobile Mammography is actually funded by The Jennifer Hoffmann Memorial, the charity set up by Jennifer’s parents, husband, friends in addition to also family specifically for women who can not afford mammograms.
On April 10, 2009, they had a screening in addition to also 45 women who signed up were given free mammograms. These are women who do not have medical insurance.
Jennifer wanted to be cremated in addition to also have her ashes scattered at the Grand Canyon because she loved going there to hike with her husband, who followed her wishes. He did so alone.
Her husband, Greg Hoffmann is actually going there on Wednesday, April 21, to commemorate Jennifer’s passing.
He plans to continue Jennifer’s fight for a cure.
Greg is actually at in which point on the board of the Foundation. Each November, his team, THRIVR, walks inside the Three Day Walk for Susan G. Komen Walk for Cancer, as do various other members of Jennifer’s family.
Despite her diagnosis, Jennifer went on with her life. A life in which meant divorce, marriage, work, family, friends. She continued to live. The message she gives is actually in which illness does not have to prevent someone coming from living as if they could live forever.
After Jennifer passed away, Gloria received so many letters telling her what an inspiration Jennifer was to them during in which time.
Jennifer’s friend is actually a photographer named Jill Stafford in California has made an exhibit with Jennifer’s sayings coming from her blog in addition to also she gifted the photograph with the saying to Gloria. The saying reads:
“…in addition to also then we go on with the business of living whether or not the scenery has changed. We have no choice in what we are dealt, however we have a choice in how we deal with the idea.”
in which saying keeps Gloria going. the idea also keeps Jennifer’s husband going. He wrote the following tribute.
In memory of Jen…
On April 21, 2009, the entire world lost one of the Great ones to breast cancer. My wife, Jen Hoffmann, after a 9-year battle with the beast, elegantly unlaced her gloves in addition to also did what all of us should aspire to do — she left the entire world a better place.
Much more than just a survivor, I called her my “thriver.” Literally in addition to also figuratively, she climbed mountains, in addition to also while doing so, she inspired thousands, courageously fighting a disease in which just wouldn’t let go, reminding us all what a precious gift the idea is actually just to be alive. Never a woman dying of cancer, she was always a woman living with cancer — in addition to also oh how she lived.
She was a 5-time participant inside the Arizona Breast Cancer 3-Day, in addition to also the team she founded, Team THRIVR, will Once more hit the pavement in November 2009, determined more than ever to raise money to find the cure.
We’ll walk with heavy hearts, in addition to also we’ll walk with the sweetest memories of a life well-lived. We’ll walk, because everyone deserves a lifetime — in addition to also because far too often, not everyone gets one.
Godspeed, beautiful girl. Thrive on.
Gloria Glickman in addition to also Greg Hoffmann want to keep her daughter’s spirit, courage in addition to also message alive. They encourage women to get regular mammograms. All women are at risk of breast cancer with advancing age, regardless of their age.
however like her young daughter, Jennifer — if your family does have a history of breast cancer inside the family, she wants you to make sure you schedule an appointment in addition to also if you don’t have health insurance, she wants you to know there is actually someone you can contact.
The Mobile Mammography Screening was set up in honor of her daughter, Jennifer to help others who may not be able to afford early detection. Gloria Gickman continues to in which day to raise awareness about breast cancer in her daughter’s honor, which is actually exactly what Jennifer could want.