As an introduction to this blog, there is one special person I have to thank for encouraging me to write it. Well, maybe encourage is not the right way to put it, since she doesn’t yet have a clue I’m writing it. It’s probably more accurate to say she has given me the courage to do this. Yes, Jen, I’m talking about you. Jen Schmidt, daughter and oldest child of my oldest cousin. In our family cousins aren’t “second” or “third” or “once removed.” They’re just cousins. Cousins for life? You can’t get away from it. So Jen, this is for you, Cousin Jen, sister-friend! Jen, the quiet one. Reserved, in a good, New England kind of way. Introspective. And a damn good writer. A good person. And a cancer survivor. Hell, not a survivor, a conqueror. An I’ll kick cancer’s ass and help others while I’m at it kind of conqueror. While undergoing treatment, Jen blogged about her experiences. She didn’t hold back. I followed from afar, distance wise. But I followed closely. I joined in sometimes. I’m a sucker for comment sections. (As you’ll learn I have an opinion on everything, including a fine opinion of myself!) But back to Jen. I read her blog. And I learned. I learned about Jen and I learned about myself. And now I find myself in a somewhat similar position, and having learned so much from Jennifer, I’ve decided to take on this project. If it can do even a small amount of the good Jen’s blog did, I’ll be satisfied.