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 

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Tampa Times & Relay for Life Speech

It’s been over a week since I’ve written a blog post and it feels like an eternity. But that’s because I WAS ON VACATION! First vacation since being diagnosed. First time being on an airplane and getting to see palm trees and plop my butt in the sand and just relax. It was such a wonderful few days and something Mike and I really needed.

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We were greeted in the Tampa airport by multiple members of the fraternity I was a part of, Delta Sigma Pi. Their excitement to have me down and meet all the new members was infectious and something I felt so lucky to be able to experience.

So after deciding we no longer wanted a boring rent-a-car because we were on v-a-c-a-t-i-o-n,  we hopped in a mustang convertible and headed down to Clearwater!! The drive was perfect– the warm wind was in our faces, the music was on loud and I felt happy at its purist. We got so lucky as we were able to stay in a GORGEOUS condo that my friend Kelly’s family owns and were so nice enough to let us stay there for a few days. It’s right on the water, has a fantastic pool and jacuzzi, and the best balcony view of them all. We were so lucky to be able to have that opportunity! (so thank you thank you thank you to the Fitzgibbons!)

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We spent the next few days lounging on the beach, doing yoga in the sand, going for long walks hand in hand, sleeping with the doors open to hear the waves crash down, watching dolphins play in the water while we ate grouper sandwiches, spending time with some of my best girlfriends who came up for a day to visit, and watching the sunset go down atop the beautiful white sands! We couldn’t have asked for a more perfect few days.

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We then headed to Tampa so I could show Mike my old stomping grounds and get ready for the Relay for Life event that I was speaking at on Saturday. Friday night I got to meet all the wonderful students who have worked so hard over the past 6 months to fundraise in order to get me to Tampa and also to put on this incredible event. I was greeted by so many smiling faces, including old professors that came to support me– it was truly heartwarming. We then went out with some great friends for dinner and ended up at World of Beer for old times sake. It’s funny, WOB is right across the street from MacDittons, my favorite bar in college, and as I watched college kids go in and out, I felt old and almost like “could I do that anymore?” Funny how times change. Overall, it was a really special night to see so many close friends that I don’t get to see nearly as much as I’d like and just catch up and laugh together.

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Then came Saturday– the day we were down here for. I was anxiously awaiting my speech all day, reading it over and over by the pool and practicing too many times in front of Mike. Being the perfectionist I am, I wanted it to go smoothly and really make it worth everyone’s effort of getting me down there. The night came and my family, of course, was there to support me! Mom, Dad, Court, Stratos & Eleni were all there to cheer me on as I took the mic. With over 1000 people in attendance, I started to get pretty nervous– I haven’t public spoken like that in quite some time. But once I started speaking, I was reminded  that I’m talking about my journey– something I know a lot about. I could do this. And I did it. There was sense of relief when I ended but also real excitement. Overall, the ceremony was beautiful and so touching. It’s a night I will always remember.

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I’ve included the video below where you can watch my speech, hope you enjoy!

Again, thank you to all my brothers from DSP for making this trip a reality and to all my Tampa family who made being back so special to me. I love you all!

XOXO,

Jess