The Journey Shifts

Stage 4…….my mind does not compute. The doctor pauses for a moment. My friend in the room taking notes pauses. The room goes very quiet.

And at that moment… journey shifts.

So, what does this mean? Well first… means I am sick and I have several options of treatments ahead as I fight this rotten disease called cancer.

I started asking questions….lots of questions…..sometimes I rambled, sometimes I made perfect sense. But the bottom line is… journey shifts.

The biggest change — I am taking a leave of absence from work. So, Miss Wagner is stepping down from teaching as I have surgery and then decide on what we do next. I already miss the kids.

Also, ( will be temporarily suspended for the spring of 2019. I hope to transfer “This Is My Country” to a person who enjoys flipgrid and wishes to keep this project alive and I will make a decision about the “PICTURE IT” project after surgery.

What I need from you —
First of all, I covet your prayers.
Second of all, I ask you to keep in touch….send me jokes, youtube videos, keep my in the loop!
Third of all, I ask that you stay creative and joyous with your kids. Like me, you might be surprised when your “last” day of teaching will be….so make each day the best day!

Because of the unknown, I am setting up a “GOFUNDME” account. I have no idea of expenses that will be coming. I’m not one that is good at asking for help — but, in this case….I am asking for your help and support!

As I know more….I will let you know more.

It is my belief that with my daily routine of working changing, I will have some time to blog again.

I need you to know that my body is sick but I am OK. Many of you know of my faith in God…..and you need to know that it is sustaining me, lifting me, helping me. I am surrounded by people that I work with that are also family to me. Two of my best friends have walked this journey before and are helping me as I sort through everything.

One of my favorite hymns is “It is Well With My Soul.” and that is where my mind is right now. I sing the lyrics often. To remind myself, to cheer myself, to help me smile.

If you don’t know the song:
When peace like a river, attendeth my way,
When sorrows like sea billows roll;
Whatever my lot, Thou hast taught me to say

It is well, it is well, with my soul.

Thank you for taking the time to read my blog post. Feel free to write me at if you wish.

I wish you a Merry Christmas — and a blessed new year.

PS:  Several have asked “what kind of cancer” — and right now, I am waiting for results from a CT.
I can tell you that I have a tumor — about the size of a golf ball by my right ear.   Thursday’s CT will tell whether it has spread or not.






  1. Mandee McDonald says:

    Oh man! I’m so sorry to hear this. You do what you need to do to get better! Prayers for you – God is still in the healing business!

    • Jennifer says:

      Thank you for taking the time to write. Very Much!

    • Heidi says:

      Jen…I am so sorry to hear this news. You have been and continue to be such an inspiration to so many educators and your projects have touch so many children’s lives. I pray that God watches over you and your medical team as you go through this ordeal. Keep the faith. You have my prayers.

  2. Deborah says:

    Jen, I am so sad to hear this news for you. I will certainly keep you in prayer for healing and restoration. God bless you and yours this holiday season and always!

  3. Holly Albrecht says:

    I will add you to my small group prayer list and my daily prayers. Cancer was the only thing my former Pastor would Damn in church. We are here for you.

  4. Angela says:

    My thoughts guys are we th you. I’m sending prayers.

  5. Libbe Becker Fairty says:

    Keeping you in my thoughts and prayers. You’ll kick it,. Family members have gone thru cancer so if you have questions that I might be able to answer or want ideas just let me know. Hugs and strength sent your way.

  6. Carol says:

    Lord, please be with Jen as she travels on this journey! Keep her in Your loving arms and keep her heart focused on You and Your grace and peace. Help her family,friends and medical team as they attend to her and her needs. Give them the knowledge and wisdyto know what is best, Your will! Amen. Merry CHRISTmas!

  7. Deb says:

    I am sorry to hear this. What kind of cancer? You are strong and we will pray. Much love, Deb

    • Jennifer says:

      The doctor never definitely said — we forgot to ask.
      I have some basel on my face but also squamous cell carcinoma – and the tumor on my neck seems to be from that — which means it spread to my lymph node(s). We did a CT on Thursday to see if anything has spread to my chest but nothing back yet.
      As I know more — I will post more.

      • Bonnie says:

        My husband beat the cancer that had spread to his lymph nodes. We’ve had more than 30 great years more together. He remembers visualizing God’s healing light going through his body each day. Prayers are heading your way!

        • Jennifer says:

          Thank you so much for your post.
          So very much!
          Right now — that is where the cancer seems to have lodged — but it will be removed on Friday.
          THANK YOU for your prayers!

  8. Lanell Butler says:

    Prayers are lifted. I am so sorry you are going through this.

  9. Abby says:

    You will be on my daily prayer list!!! Keep your spirits up & be strong!

  10. Camille Johnson says:

    Jen, I am so sorry that you have to go through this very tough situation. You will be in my prayers! Sending much love your way! Camille

    • Jennifer says:

      Thank you, Camille. Right now…it seems a bit surreal. I know I heard the words — but I feel pretty good. Praise God for that.

  11. Denise Boeving says:

    Prayers to you!

  12. Krista Bond says:

    You have always been a pillar in the educational technology community. My heart breaks although we have never met in person. You are in my prayers and I know that your students will truly feel your absence along with the rest of the educational community as you battle this tough disease. We do, however, know that no one is tougher than a teacher-and if anyone can beat this-it would be you.

    • Jennifer says:

      Made me smile to be thought of as a pillar….also made me a bit proud….and patted myself on the back a bit.
      Your comment meant a great deal. Thank you for that comfort and kindness.

  13. Neene says:

    The tears began with the first sentence. But the sad tears turned to tears of hope. Prayers begin today and continue to surround you along your journey. To know you is to love you. Sending much love and prayers your way.

  14. Judith Fearing says:

    Even though I do not know you personally, I feel as though I should know you through the Christmas Card Project. It was so much fun. I’m so sorry that you are sick, but I know that attitude is very important. I had breast cancer 2 years ago and a double mastectomy. I will pray for your team of doctors and for your quick healing. You are not alone in this journey!!!

    • Jennifer says:

      Thank you for your post. Thank you for sharing! I can be quite a hermit and this journey is truly showing me that I am not alone.

  15. Josie Chia says:

    I’m glad you are brave to tell all of us about the new journey. I love that hymn and believe that God has now shifted your journey and path to reach others. Will be praying for you, family, doctors and for quick healing. You have done so much for students all over that it’s time for you to relax and let us help you!! Sending you a lot of prayers!!!

    • Jennifer says:

      Thank you, Josie for taking the time to read my blog post and to leave such a kind comment. Thank you also for the prayers.

  16. Tonya says:

    Praying for you!

  17. Lori Abrahams says:

    Thinking good thoughts that you will recover from this new journey. Wishing you a much happier New Year!

  18. Amybeth Kupcha says:

    I will certainly be praying for you. Stay positive and keep your faith strong.

  19. Laura Atwell says:

    Jen, I have never met you. I learned of Projects by Jen as I was earning my Masters in Ed Tech at APU. That was in 2014. I’m so sorry to hear of your new journey, but we serve a mighty & awesome God. I know He has His loving arms around you & you are cradled in His tender hands as you go on this new path. You will be in my prayers. Take care. Please let us know of specific prayers requests. With much love and prayers

    • Jennifer says:

      Thank you, Laura!
      Yes, we serve a mighty God — and is it not awesome that there is technology that can connect us all.
      I will post more when I know more!
      Your prayers are coveted and appreciated.

  20. Anthony DeRosa says:

    I am praying for you Jen

  21. Oh Jennifer,

    So sad to hear. What an inspiration and gift you’ve been to so many educators and students. Praying you continue to make a difference.

    • Jennifer says:

      Thank you, Dean. I know your faith and appreciate your prayers. Thank you also for kind words! You have inspired me many many times as well. Merry Christmas to you, your family, and that gorgeous little grand baby! Hope more and more to come!

  22. Marilyn Adams says:

    Sending prayers for you at this challenging time. You are not alone on this journey.

  23. Arohanui (much love) Kia kaha (stay strong) Jen. May you have everything you need to kick cancer’s butt!

  24. Joanne TROUTNER says:

    Jen, thoughts and prayers as you navigate this part of the journey.

  25. Margie says:

    Oh, Jen, May the joy in the journey that you’ve given to so many of us come back to you a hundredfold in prayers for your healing. I’ve “worked” with you for 18 years through your projects, but only met you in person once, at a DEN Summer Institute in San Diego. Sending lots of prayers as you take care of yourself.

  26. Sandy says:

    Oh, Jen. I’m so sorry to hear. You will be in my prayers and I will share with our many groups at my church. I may be retired but am still following along remembering all the wonderful projects that I had the opportunity to participate in with you. You have made,and will continue to make a difference in the lives of teachers and students around the world. Stay strong!

    Merry Christmas and many blessings yet to come.


  27. Debbie Burmeister says:

    My prayers are with you. Adding you to prayer circle as well. Though we have never met I consider you a teacher friend. I am here to help in any way I can from long distance. We have throughly enjoyed all your projects and I am sure others have as well. We are all pulling for you. One day at a time.

    • Jennifer says:

      I am always surprised to hear I have not met someone when indeed I feel that we have. Blessed to know you — appreciated by your support.

  28. JaymeJ says:

    Thank you for sharing with us. Your community, both online and off, lifts you up. If there is anything I can do to help facilitate projects, please contact me directly. I’m out of the classroom and can make time to help as needed. You are on my prayers!

  29. Lindsay Foster says:

    Jen… Your heart, strength and courage have always been a lighthouse for me. It was ProjectsByJen that inspired my district collaborative project. If I can assist you let me know. Know you are in my thoughts and prayers.

  30. Gail M. says:

    Jen, may God bless you as you receive treatment and in your recovery. You are surely in my prayers. I will think of you as my students and I return from our winter break and see the amazing cards displayed in the hallways of Greenbrook School. Be well.

  31. Tricia Fuglestad says:

    I’m shocked and saddened by this news. Of course, you have my prayers.
    Please know that you are not alone in this. Your friends are lifting you up from afar.

  32. Jo-Ann Fox says:

    Dear Jen,
    I just want you to know I am thinking about you and sending you hugs. I’m not kidding, please let me know if you need any help. I’m just down the 15 a bit.

  33. Amy says:


    I’ve never met you, but I have been participating in your projects for about 6 years now. Through these projects, I’ve learned how amazing you are! I wanted to send you these kind words and to to let you know your in my thoughts and prayers.

  34. Donna says:

    Jen, even though we have never met in person, I feel like I’ve know you for years. I consider you a friend and more importantly a sister. I know that all this may be a surprise to you, but it’s no surprise to God. My devotions this week have had me reading from Jeremiah. One of my favorite verses where a God states He has a plan for us. He doesn’t always share those plans with us, but I truly believe that He has a perfect plan through all of this. Know that I will be praying for you. I’ll be praying for the doctors and that God will grant them the wisdom to the best treatments. Continue to trust Him. Please let us know specifically how to pray for you.

  35. Lorraine Leo says:

    Hello Jen,
    I join the hundreds of educators and students who have been touched by your tireless work in the Christmas card project and in your other innovative Projects by Jen. I will be praying for you and for your strength each day. Merry Christmas to you.

  36. Tammy Skinner says:

    Jen, I have learned from you and been so encouraged by you! Praying that the God of all grace will fill you with His peace, give you wisdom, and encourage you. I pray you will know the power of His presence every moment of the day and every step in your journey. Northpoint Christian School in Southaven, MS, is praying for you!!

    • Jennifer says:

      Tammy — thank you so much
      God is good — and I am so appreciative that your campus will be uplifting me in prayer.

  37. Melanie says:

    Thinking of how invested the global teacher community felt due to your projects. May you sense these connections supporting you far and near. I am so sorry.

  38. Paula Naugle says:

    Jen, my dear friend, you have the love, support, and prayers from so many that you have touched through ProjectsbyJen, the DEN community, #NotAtISTE, and so many other ways, that this cancer doesn’t stand a chance. Sending you good vibes and prayers from New Orleans, until the next time I can see you IRL.

    • Jennifer says:

      Hi Paula —
      I feel supported by so so so many — loved by so many.
      Your kindness and friendship through our projects, DEN, NOTATISTE and more is one of the highlights of my ed-tech life.
      Thank you for your prayers and support.
      Hope to see you in 2019.

  39. Katie Warren / Techy Nana says:

    Dear Jen,
    Your blog post is amazing, as are you! I see/read the many responses and see how much you are loved and the impact you have had on so many of us. You’ve touched us with your teaching, your guidance, your friendship, and your faith. May you now be touched by God’s healing grace.
    Love and ongoing prayers,

  40. Amy Vejraska says:

    Jen- I am so sorry you are going through this! Though we have yet to meet in person I feel we have known each other for so many years, and I will be praying for you my friend. Focus on you, the healing power of God, and kick this things butt! Wish we could revive the bloggers cafe in SL so we could sit around the fire pit and keep you company through the fight! Prayers to you from Missouri❤️.- tansmom

    • Jennifer says:

      Ahhh Amy —
      We have known each other so long yet never Face to Face — incredible isn’t it.
      THANK YOU for your kind words and making me smile with SL memories.
      Your support and friendship mean a great deal to me.

  41. Jackie says:

    Thinking of you. Thanks for all you have done for students around the world.

  42. Lisa Mims says:

    You have given so much of yourself to us, please take care of yourself. And of course, our prayers are with you!

  43. Pat Hensley says:

    My heart hurts for you! You are in my thoughts and prayers. I know you are a fighter and I’m glad that you taking the time to fight this thing! Please keep us updated on how you are doing when you can.

  44. Kimberly says:

    Jen, thank you for sharing about your situation. So sorry to hear it though. I’ll be praying for you to be healed, comforted and finding rest in God. Thank you for all you’ve done over the past years with your projects….you inspire many everyday educators to do things that are out of the ordinary , bringing a freshness to what we do, and providing great experiences for our students. Praying for you – take care.

  45. Carisa V Koch says:

    You are in my prayers. Sharing with my prayer networks.

    10He delivered us from such a deadly peril, and he will deliver us. On him we have set our hope that he will deliver us again. 11 You also must help us by prayer, so that many will give thanks on our behalf for the blessing granted us through the prayers of many. – 2 Corinthians 1: 10-11

  46. Pamela Spann says:

    Thank you for sharing. My heart goes out to you. I HATE CANCER.! I just went through 7 month battle with my husband. I pray the treatment does not make you so sick. Keep the faith,

    • Jennifer says:

      Thank you, Pam —
      I saw your post on Facebook — and you have been in my prayers.
      I have a few prayers.
      1. That things don’t hurt (though it seems that I have a high tolerance of pain)
      2. One of the treatments that they want me to do is in Los Angeles….but also offered 10 minutes from my house but different hospital) — I hope they will handshake and let me stay close to home rather than move for 6 weeks.
      3. That I continue to smile — praise God He made me a happy one!

  47. Elisa Waingort says:

    I am so sorry to be reading this. I will keep you in my thoughts and am sending lots of healing energy your way.

  48. Christine says:

    Praying for God’s healing hands to be wrapped around you this Christmas season and beyond. Hugs.

  49. Dianne Shapp says:

    I am so sorry, Jen. You are strong and if anywone can beat this, I have faith in you! I will keep you in my thoughts and prayers and wish you strength and healing. Xoxo ❤️Dianne

  50. Audra Gragg says:

    So very sorry to hear this. Keep up the fight! Praying for you! Merry Christmasl!

  51. Sangeeta Gulati says:

    Prayers for you Jen!

  52. Cheri Toledo says:

    Praying for you.

  53. Sherri Silva says:

    Praying for you as you take this journey in this season of life. I understand the distance for treatment, my bestest friend walked this journey with her late husband and she would say…go the best no matter the distance, it is worth every mile. She has remarried and low and behold, her new husband diagnosed with brain cancer. He and she have traveled to the best, Nebraska to Chicago, and are rejoicing with the best.

  54. Charlene C says:

    Praying for you too! May God hear our prayers and bless you during this journey ahead. My younger brother is also battling brain cancer. I know that miracles happen and I hope both he and you will receive God’s healing! Hugs!

  55. Ruth Ann Craft says:

    Jennifer – My prayers are with you. You described in accurate detail what goes through ones mind upon any C diagnosis. Mine was small compared to yours. I was diagnosed at the end of last school year and just returned to the classroom at the end of November. Keep your positive outlook, and lean on those who offer. Prayers are powerful. You are strong. My hugs and prayers will continue to fly the airways.

  56. Allene Horton says:


    Sending positive thoughts and prayers for you as you face your battle. Naomi Harm shared your story in an email and I am familiar with your projects as I work with staff and students in our district integrating technology. I pray that your doctors will find the right treatment to get you back on your feet and that your students will send messages to keep you smiling. Prayers from Wisconsin!

  57. Lori Fischer says:

    my precious friend Jen, hubby told me the other day about your diagnosis! my heart was sad for you! I wanted to run and find you and give you a hug! so bummed I couldn’t heres some virtual love xoxoxoxoxoxooxoxoxoxoxoxooxxooxoxoxox!

    Remember this although you must travel this unexpected journey know wou will not walk it alone1 we will be there praying and calling to check in, but most of all God will never leave you or forsake you…He will provide everything you need physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually! you are loved my friend.and you are a warrior and child of God! you got this! prayers and love from the Fischers!!

  58. Adeola says:

    I don’t know you in person and I haven’t followed your blog for too long but the coolcatteacher shared the link to your blog and here I am. I am praying for you that The Lord will hold your hands through this espère and lead you safely to the other side. I pray that the Doctors will know what works and offer you only the best. It is well with you. I love your blog and would like to have one like this too someday so I will continue to Ray and look forward to your recovery. I may be faraway in Nigeria but thank God because his arms are. It shortened and he can still reach you from here

  59. Sanchita Ghosh says:

    You are in my prayers Jen. Wishing you a speedy recovery!

  60. Christy Cate says:

    Ahhhh… “It is well with my soul!” And with that profession, I know Who holds your future and I pray for unmeasured peace that passes all understanding as you walk with Him on the journey. May 2019 be filled with blessings you cannot imagine.

  61. Nancy says:

    Jen, I just saw this and I am so sorry. I hope you are doing well and that your doctors have been taking good care of you. I will continue to pray for you. If you are still in need of someone to take over the This is my country project, I might be available to help. Let me know.

  62. Mark says:

    So sorry to hear this. Sharing your projects with my students has been one of the highlights of my teaching career. It takes a special person to reach out to teachers and organize these memorable experiences for our children. Thank you for being that person. Wishing you the best.

  63. April says:

    I was just introduced to your projects by Jen recently and was very excited to find intriguing and fun ideas. You have inspired me and have helped me to think differently about collaborative projects. I wish you well on your journey as you figure out your next step and then the step after that, remembering to take one step at a time. Life is precious. Life is as long as we need it to be—fill it full with what is most important. God Bless!

  64. Lisa Gatewood says:

    How loved you are, Jen! Holding you up in prayer,, and I just know you will be watched over from God above. You are a special gem of a person who gives so freely. It’s our time to give back for all you do for teachers and kids. Thank you! Healing hugs and blessings!❤️ Lisa

  65. Yolanda says:

    Oh nooo …. so sad to hear of this.

    Dear Jan,

    THANK YOU so much for being an inspiration and letting your light shine before men!! Even in this unexpected event, your faith manage to inspire me!! It is Well with My Soul is one of my favorite hymns, as well. I’m praying for you and believing for your COMPLETE Healing.

    Here are some scriptures to meditate on:

    “For I am the Lord who heals you.” – Exodus 15:26 NLT

    Jesus said to the woman, “You are now well because of your faith. May God give you peace! You are healed, and you will no longer be in pain.” – Mark 5:34 CEV

    Beloved, I wish above all things that thou mayest prosper and be in health, even as thy soul prospereth. – 3 John 1:2 KJV

    BTW – Last year was my first time participating in one of your projects (Holiday Card Exchange), and it was a Success!! Thank you for the experience.

    Hugs & Kisses

  66. Barbara McMillan says:

    I’m so sorry that you are battling this rotten disease. I have had breast cancer twice (1st one 20 years ago, most recent 5 years ago). I’m currently 57 and enjoying each and every day. Sending you prayers for God’s Peace. Please reach out if you need encouragement or just need to hear more of my journey. Bunches of Blessings. Barbara

  67. Diane says:

    Sending you positive thoughts and good wishes! Stay strong! I have walked in your shoes. Prayers from New Jersey.

  68. Kathleen Diane Bacer says:

    Truly praying for you – may you be encouraged, surrounded by the incredible presence of God in ways that are unimaginable as you journey through uncharted territory that only our Master knows.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *