Up and Around (a bit)

Clare had a better rest last night. Getting her meds balanced early, and after her maiden long walk, she was sleeping deeply for 2 1/2 hours. Then, more intermittent good rest throughout the night. She’s just had another walk this AM, and is now in her new (non-ICU) room!
The ICU staff had never seen a Dr Ma patient walk around the unit as Clare has. We may have to slow her down.

Moving Experience

Clare took a walk around the perimeter of the Intensive Care Unit this afternoon! The staff are ‘not used to seeing this kind of behavior in the ICU’. Moving got her blood and spirits up for the best evening yet. She was actually considering another walk this evening, but maybe keeping the lights low and stomach settled will let her slip into more rest. No need to push it.

But going into this surgery, she was in very good shape from regular exercise, four days a week. She could do a six minute plank! ( I’m lucky to do a minute and a half.)

So the lights are low and she rests. Your prayers and best wishes surround her. She knows they do.

Jay Schexnyder


I spent the night with Clare, 6p-6am. It’s been a challenge resting, because she’s had a warm air-filled pad on her chest, ever since surgery Friday (it’s like a small pool float). She needed a cold washrag-dabbing regularly. Her circulation is doing very well (tiny arteries in her chest had to be reattached in surgery; really amazing work). So, at 5am, Dr Ma ok’d removing the hot pad, and Clare slept so much better; about 90 min straight through!

Last night, she stepped about two feet to a chair for supper, and spent about 45 min there. A bit more walking is scheduled for today. Many thanks for all well-wishes and prayers! -Jay

Resting Still

Clare is spending her first hour in a chair, next to her bed. She’s coping well, but not eating much, as can be expected. Now she naps.

The outpouring of love and support for Clare, and us all, is heartening. We do feel your well wishes and caring. It does make a difference! So, thank you all and have a fun Halloween!


Clare spent the evening trying to get comfortable and settled after the day’s stress. What a thing to put a body through! But when I left at 10:30, she was finding a balance in the medications and heat pads and…everything. I think she wasn’t long for being awake, once her stomach settled down. She’s grateful for all the well-wishes I read to her. And thank you to Andrea and Jenn and Guy for keeping vigil in the waiting room while family rotated and rested.
Tonight, (all night) good friend Lisa Landry is close by and comforting our Clare. She’s a wonderful oncology nurse in her own right. Thanks Lisa! And good night to a good day! Thanks everyone!


Surgeries Complete!

Dr Boutros has told us all the procedures have been completed! Clare will go to ICU to begin recovery. We will first visit her in maybe two hours (7pm, Eastern), to give her time waking up from a full day of surgery and general anesthesia. She’s been run-over by a very Good ‘truck’, but a truck nonetheless.

The outpouring of love and support for Clare and family (and blessedly skilled Piedmont Hospital staff) has helped greatly, I’m sure of it. Prayer and beloved intentions work wonders. Now, on to healing.

Endless Thanks,

Mastectomy Complete! More to go.

Dr Bill Barber has informed me that Clare’s double mastectomy is now completed; she is doing very well.

Clare is now facing a few more hours of reconstructive surgery to rebuild her breasts, using her own tissues; much of it from her abdomen. She did not want implants.

For procedure details:
DIEP Flap – Breastcancer.org
Breastcancer.org › types › autologous

So, maybe 5+ more hours ‘on the table’ for Clare.

Checked In (by Jay)

I just left Clare in the pre-op area. She is in good spirits, and thoroughly enjoying a ‘bear hug’ blanket: an inflatable comforter filled with warm air. After last night’s (family) meeting with her reconstruction surgeons (Drs Boutros, Ma and Webb) we are even more assured of her safety and recovery.
Surgeries will begin around 8AM and may continue for 9 hours. The mastectomy (Dr Barber) and reconstruction surgeons begin at the same time.

Jay Schexnyder

I Am Full of Wonder (10/28/15)

I’ve been attending yoga classes at my favorite workout place, FitWit, over the past several months. Our instructor, Valentina,​ has the world’s best playlist to accompany her yoga classes. Every once in a while, she plays this song “Wonder” by Emeli Sande.

The lyrics strike me to the core:

“I can beat the night, I’m not afraid of thunder
I am full of light, I am full of wonder.

Whoa, oh I ain’t falling under
Whoa, oh I am full of wonder

Though our feet might ache, the world’s upon our shoulders
No way we goin’ break, ’cause we are full of wonder

Whoa, oh we ain’t falling under
Whoa, oh we are full of wonder

This light is contagious, go, go tell your neighbors
Just reach out and pass it on, ooh yeah”


I liked the song before I was diagnosed with breast cancer, but now, it’s my personal theme song. Every time I hear it, I get stronger.

For me, the song speaks to me sharing my story.  I’ve had sooooo many notes, texts, emails and phone calls of support and love because I decided to share what I’m going through.

Sharing my light has made me stronger. Every note, every hug, every kindness has helped. I feel every prayer and good vibe sent my way. It’s incredibly powerful.

If I hadn’t shared my story, I might have missed out on all this amazing support and energy. Thanks to each of you for that.

WE are full of light! WE are full of wonder!

This light is contagious, go, go tell your neighbors
Just reach out and pass it on!


My surgery is Friday, October 30th at 7:30am. It will last for 8-10 hours. Jay​ will post updates here and on my new blog: www.clareschex.com.

In the blog sidebar, you can sign up for updates via email too. Thanks to Nancy​ with Dabbled Studios​ for setting up my nifty blog. I have the most talented and wonderful friends!!