All You Need Is Love…and Friendship

I haven’t written a blog post in a week. I’ve started them, but haven’t been able to finish. I’ve wanted to write one but haven’t been able to find the right words for how I’ve been feeling. Because quite honestly, I’ve been feeling just about everything but inspirational. I still don’t know if I have the “right” words to say but I do know that it’s healthy for me to get out how I’m feeling and that’s what I shall do. Because my hope is that one day, I’ll read this back and it’ll be just a reminder of what I went through and how far I’ve come. And I gotta be honest, I can’t wait for that day. So March 26, 2016 (two years from remission)— get at me.
Last week, I received an email from Dr. Mandi (one of my two absolutely fabulous doctors). I had asked for some sort of outline of the next two years so I could get a better understanding of what was really ahead of me. So I got it, just like I had requested, and it scared the absolute hell out of me. Two years of treatment spelled out in front of me. Two years of a lot of procedures, appointments and chemotherapy. Two years of my life not being my normal life, not being the one I want to live. And being not even two months “in,” it pushed me over a cliff of anxiety, sadness and anger. This past week was hard… both physically and mentally. My body is achey. My head is still pounding from a spinal tap I got 10 days ago. I’m tired, really tired. But worse than the physical annoyances, I’ve been mentally struggling to stay above water. I felt so many emotions and none of them were positive. I felt sad, lonely, overwhelmed, confused, and honestly, pretty pissed off. Pissed off that so many important things in my life have been pushed back or paused. Pissed off that my whole life I’ve always tried to make healthy choices for myself and this still happened. Pissed off that things like taking a shower is a production. I found myself being jealous of complete strangers for reasons like they have long hair or are jogging or walking a dog. I was finding myself having to talk myself out of bed in the morning. And so when Dr. Mandi’s email came and I read, line by line, how intense the next two years will be, it scared me, because I felt like I can’t handle two years of weeks like this.
All in all, I was having a big pttty party for myself and I knew it. But I couldn’t snap myself out of it.
But then Thursday night came and for the first time in days, I went to bed with a big smile on my face. Not because I felt physically any different than the rest of the week, and not because I magically was feeling more positive. Thursday was different because it was the start of a weekend with three of my best friends… one who lives in Boston, one who lives in Chicago and one who lives in North Carolina. And the excitement of spending an entire weekend with my girlfriends was just the medicine I needed. Our time together was different than a typical girls weekend, consisting mostly of ‘lounging’ and relaxing but simply being together took my mind off of everything else and made me happy. So the power of friendship prevailed over anxiety, anger and sadness. Prevailed just when I needed it to. Just when I couldn’t pick myself up on my own. Friends and laughter and love picked me up and gave me something to look forward to and be thankful for and to simply enjoy. Because snuggling on the couch, watching trashy tv, eating candy and making each other giggle is one of the most enjoyable pastimes a girl could ever ask for.
Now my girlfriends have all gone home and it’ll be just me again this week but I feel different than I did on Thursday morning. I feel different because I’ve been reminded that these next two years won’t all be like last week. Some will be, yes. But there will also be a lot of days that are happy and fun and enjoyable. And those are the days that I’m going to think about and look forward to when I begin to put on my pitty party hat again.
So CHEERS to fabulous girlfriends!
p.s. this Sunday I’m thankful for 1. my girlfriends (duhhh), 2. Uncle Fred (my adorable stuffed bear), and 3. the weather finally starting to warm up (but lets face it, I could use another 20 degrees warmer).

11 thoughts on “All You Need Is Love…and Friendship

  1. Friends are the best medicine ever. Glad yours gave you a boost.
    (And I could use another 20 degrees also–even though it’s about 50 degrees warmer than only a few weeks ago!)

  2. My Dear Granddaughter, you are so special and so strong. You will conquer this and be stronger than ever.
    Love you, Gram

  3. Hi Jessica, We may never have met (though perhaps when you were a baby) but I am a long, long time friend of your aunts, Madonna and Dotty. Have followed your every blog and just wanted to let you know of one more person who sends you “energy” over those invisible connections. Also to tell you how much energy you send to those of us with whom you have been sharing your life. Cannot tell you how much it is appreciated…surely dozens of others feel the same. And…when those two years are up and you compose your book ( you are a gifted writer) based on all of the blogs, your words with energized thousands. Keep up your heart. Love, Mary Aileen

  4. Dear Jessy,
    I just read your blog today, brought tears to my eyes, tears of sadness for you that YOU do have to endure the next 2 years with that big mountain to climb. I also have tears of joy, when I continue to read on Jessy. For someone who is 25, you are wise beyond your years, and you are truly amazing.
    You are not alone on this journey, and I know you know that, but at times no mattter how many people are there, it is still you….a strong, determined, fiesty 25 year old.
    I wish I could ease your struggles. Continue to do what you are doing, drawing strength from your wonderful family/friends/”Uncle Fred”/Yoga and your gift of writing. It is a gift.
    ….We are all thinking of you Jessy, I am keeping you in my prayers.
    All our love, Connie/Mark/Holly and Allison

  5. Hi Jessica,

    I learned off your blog thru my son, Ryan Kok. Its my hope that you will gain strength by knowing you will never be alone in your journey. Sending healing thoughts and prayers, Tracy

    Whenever I am afraid, I will trust in God…Psalm 56:3

  6. I loved this post and its so so true

    When life has its downs, your friends and family can put a smile on your face that can shine a light through those dark days and remind you that you can smile and how good it feels to laugh.

    Its the little things that make the best difference

  7. Hi Jessica,
    We haven’t met but I know your Mom through her journey to becoming a Mercy Associate. Just want you to know you have been in my prayers and in my heart as you journey. This post was open, honest and real. Way to go for being willing to let the feelings, pain and frustration OUT! Know you don’t walk alone ever.
    Take each day one step at a time.. and know you are wrapped in a great big hug. (I’m Italian and I love hugs) 🙂

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