Onto 2016

2015 was far better than 2014. For many reasons, but most importantly this year brought me much improved health than the year prior. That improved health allowed for other blessings throughout the year and I’m grateful for the improvements so I wanted to write down some things down that were absolutely awesome about this year. 

1. Spent about 95 days less overnight at the Brigham 

2. Had hair. ALL year. Plus a pony tail at the end.

3. Had way less spinal taps and bone marrow biopsies 

4. Puked a hell of a lot less 

5. Did a thing I like to call “be a working woman”

6. Switched jobs and ditched the long commute 

7. Ran a 5k 

8. Went on vacations with people I love

9. Learned how amazing stand-up paddle boarding is

10. Became a God mother to the sassiest, most beautiful, most hilarious little girl

11. Made a speech about my journey to about 1,000 students at my alma mater 

12. Stood beside an amazing friend as she got married 

13. Saw my girl T-Swift with all three of my besties and a bunch of other ladies I love!

14. Bettered my yoga practice & began learning about different philosophies & teachings 

15. Last but certainly not least, became a pup mother

  

I have mixed emotions going into this night, however. I got the pic below in my TimeHop and I got thrown into a surreal feeling of looking at my happy ass before my life got flipped upside down. Mike and I had such a fun night 2 years ago. We went to an incredible dinner in the North End, drank red wine & champagne then hopped over to the best little hookah bar where we sat and sipped martinis until about 11:50. Paid our check and ran over to the water to watch the fireworks go off in the absolute FREEZING cold! It was a glorious night and I remember it so vividly and relish in those memories when I think about my “life before.” 

  
Thinking of that “before” makes me a little sad honestly cuz I’d love to live that night over again. But that’s not how life mworks, you don’t get to go back in time. You only have today and that’s what today’s still pretty good too. It’s different than two years ago… I’m already in my pajamas, we have a pup snuggled up with us and there’s a lasagna about to go in the oven that was made by my amazing nurse Andrea who makes her own pasta, sauce and ricotta!!!   

  
PLUSSS, we just got this picture of these beauties which really just couldn’t have made my heart any warmer. #ILoveBeingAnAuntie 

  

So net net is tonight’s still pretty nice too. 

I have waited 22 months and 11 days for the clock to strike midnight and my phone to say 2016. I can’t really believe it’s here, I can’t believe we’re about to hit the year that I’ll get to begin to close my cancer chapter. But I’m excited so let the countdown officially begin.

Thank you to all my amazing family, friends, nurses, doctors, coworkers, blog readers, and incredible boyfriend for your continued support and endless love. I am grateful tonight and grateful always. 

All the love & light in the world going into 2016.
Jessy 

Own Your Story 

  
I didn’t do a motivational Monday post last week because I couldn’t find anything fitting. Lately I’ve been feeling anxious. Feeling overwhelmed knowing that the end is FINALLY in sight. How if it’s not all I have dreamed it would be? How if it’s not really the end of my road with leukemia? I had spent the previous Wednesday, in a private infusion room because I needed to be alone. Because I couldn’t stop randomly crying. I hadn’t been able to sleep the night before thinking about all those what ifs. Those thoughts then lingered in my head throughout the morning and shoved me into a downward spiral to negative thoughts and depressing feelings.

 It took me three full days to get out of the slump. I took a lot of licks from Phoebe and hugs from Mike. Words of encouragement from my family. And advice/love from my incredible team of nurses. I needed everyone’s support. This time, I couldn’t do it by myself. 

So last Sunday night when I went to find a motivational Monday post, I just couldn’t do it. I felt like too much of a fraud to try to be motivating when I had been unable to motivate myself in the days prior. So today’s post is about being true to yourself, being true to your story. We all have our moments of strength which are great to embrace but we also all have moments of weakness, whatever that may be. And that’s okay. We can’t always be strong. We can’t always have a smile on our face. We’re allowed to have a bad day. Or two, or three. Or however many it takes to get your mind right. 

So while I certainly don’t wish bad days upon any of you, I also understand the realities of life and that it’s bound to happen. So my hope is that you can embrace those days or moments and allow yourself to try to really feel your feelings. Allow yourself moments of weakness and love yourself anyways.

This was my story last week and I know I will continue to struggle with this far past March 26th but I’m going to try to learn to embrace it a little more and love myself through the moments of weakness.
Lots of love & light,

Jessy 

P.S. Belated Merry Christmas to all my readers. I had a wonderful few days with Mike’s family, my family and then a day at home in our pjs with our little family! I hope your day was wonderful! I’m going to post pics later this week! 🙂

3AM no sleeps

I messed up on my meds on Monday. Somehow I took my sleeping pill before I went to work and left my steriod dosage for my bedtime packet. Freaked out, I didn’t take it because I knew I would be up all night if I took the dosage before going to bed. So instead, I waited until yesterday morning and took the amount. I felt fine most of yesterday but as the night crept along me, I began to feel more and more overwhelmed and stressed about everything. I am so excited for 2016, I have waited so long for this year to come but how if it’s not what I expect it to be? How if there’s more bumps in the road? How if I’m not able to keep my end of the bargain and make me getting given a second chance at life one that actually benefits the world. I try not to think so negatively like that but sometimes these emotions come running through my mind and there’s not much that I can do to stop them.

Right now, at 3:30am, is one of those times.

My mind can’t quiet. I keep thinking of the next thing I should do to for work- what avenue can I take to help these  people living with such a horrible disease as ALS? But what do I do to continue to put the organization that saved my actual life first and foremost? How do I help those that are going through similar situations? 

I always come to yoga and how much spiritual guidance and strength it has broughten me through this time. The moments on the mat can sometimes feel selfish but they are so far from selfish as they help ground you and allow you to be a better more compassionate person to the world around you. How do I bring that message to patients struggling? Can I teach it to children in the hospital? Would I even have the mental strength to do something like that? 

My head is spinning in a thousand different directions and I just needed to write it out. Maybe now I’ll sleep. Or maybe now something I said will spark one of you to do something amazing. It’s all in the ripple effects, I believe. Even at this hour in the morning. Maybe it’s because the waters are stillest so the effects of movement are strongest.

Thanks for listening. Sorry for the rant.

Lots of love & light,

Jess 

A Mix of Emotions

It’s 60 degrees out right now. It’s Decemcer 12th. I’m in heaven, along with every other New Englander. So, after having a leisurely morning with Mike and Phoebe, I strapped on my running gear and headed out to my favorite trail around Somerville. It’s right along the Mystic Riverand is just beautiful. So many people to see but also quiet spots to clear your mind. I stopped multiple times to do yoga in the various parks that overlook the water, including climbing up an old lookout tower that you can see the Boston skyline. It’s just perfect. 
 

  
As I was on my way back, I was running over the bridge, Boston on my right, Somerville on my left, the sun shining right on my face and the most beautiful sight of all: the American Flag waving proudly in the wind. With everything going on in the world right now, it felt like such a special moment. I am so proud to be an American. I am so proud to be from Boston, to be from the U.S.

    
 
 
I like to think I am a pretty gentle human being, I pray for peace and healing of everyone. But that’s certainly not inclusive of the monsters trying to destroy us. Trying to destroy innocent lives. The monsters that live with such evil in their words, minds, hearts and actions. 

I felt such a juxtaposition as I ran over this bridge: immense pride and immense hate ran through my body. 

So to ISIS, the Taliban and all terrorists of every kind… EFF YOURSELVES. I hope you band together and then blow yourselves up, and leave the innocent alone. Then once you’re done blowing up each other, rot in the only place you deserve to be. A fiery fiery hell. 

  
Merry Christmas, you filthy animals. 

I’m sorry, I know that’s not inspirational but it’s how I feel and I had to get it out. 

But I’ll end with this: GOD BLESS THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA. All of us, no matter what religion, what political party, no matter what region of the country we’re from. We need to be unified. We need to be one. God Bless us all. 

Lots of love & light,

Jessy 

Holiday Season Smiles

My heart was so full yesterday as I was able to bring 150 Smile Cards to The Brigham. What’s even more amazing is that I had just brought a ton about two weeks ago and I know I have about 50 more to bring next week! 

Before I left TJX, I sent out an email to the entire marketing department asking for their help in my little task, especially going into the holiday season as I wanted to be able to bring many cards as this is an especially hard time to be “locked” up there. I had thought it’d be nice if I got a few of them, hoping some people would be motivated enough to write up some. And then I got this picture….

  
The entire HomeGoods creative team, crafting and putting together some of the most beautiful smile cards that I’ve ever seen! 

   
    
    
    
    
    
   
These came in a box FULL of cards. Full of different kinds, different sayings, different notes but all the same sentiment– love and compassion. One of the amazing employees there had put a box out in the common area and encouraged people to write a few and simply drop them in the box. I couldn’t believe it. SOOO much more than I expected but what an incredible surprise!

   
 
And THEN I get an email from a co-worker who let his sister (who’s a teacher) know about the initiative and she wanted to get involved. So I’ve since been in contact with this amazing lady who’s gotten her class to do it and has enlisted many of the classes throughout the school! I couldn’t be more ecstatic! 

To all my friends, Michael, my family (and my moms school!) and all the TJXer’s and the family and friends they’ve gotten involved in this little initiative… THANK YOU. From the bottom of my heart, I am so grateful for you taking the time to bring someone else a smile, to remind them that they’re not alone in what is obviously an incredibly difficult time. You’ve chosen to make a difference in a strangers life and that’s truly a beautiful thing. 

Lots of love & light,

Jessy 

May My Heart Be Kind

  
I was so grumpy after the Pats game last night. Two losses in a row? How terrible! I was letting it make my mood on a Sunday night be spoiled. And then The President came on and spoke about Isis. And then my pissy mood regarding the game of football quickly switched to a genuine feeling of sadness thinking of the hatred that’s out in this world. I can’t fathom wanting to bring such harm to any living thing, never mind an entire subset of the human race.

I wish there was something I could do to help, to make a difference, to make this craziness stop. But there isn’t. I can’t change the evil in someone’s heart, I can’t rid the world of their monster-like actions. But what I can do is go out in the world that I do live in and bring light and positive energy to it. I can be a kind person who respects others and cares for others. I can bring others happiness. Just like their hatred can spread and infect those around them, let us infect each other with positivity and compassion and love. Your small action of kindness can bring someone else joy and in turn can make them a kinder person and so forth. Remember that as you start this week– your actions spread. So make your actions positive ones!

We may never know a world with only peace and love, but we can hope and pray for one. So that’s what I’ll continue to do and that’s what I hope to motivate you to do. Love always wins. 

Lots of love & light,

Jessy