Time Goes On

3 years ago on this morning, I was in a hospital bed being woken by doctors and nurses. I was about to start one of the most physically painful and emotionally draining days of my life. I had just been diagnosed and rushed to the hospital the night before and today was the day I had to undergo multiple tests and procedures to determine just what kind of leukemia I had. January 21, 2014 was a day of absolute unknown and terror of what lie ahead. 
3 years later I’m waking up in my own bed with no beeping machines or nurses poking me for blood. Instead I can hear my wind chime outside, birds chirping and Phoebe is snuggled up next to me demanding for scratchies. I’m wearing an engagement ring and get to marry the love of my life in 5 months. I’m going out to dinner with my best friend of 25 years tonight for her birthday. My life is in such a different place than it was on this day in 2014, it’s almost mind boggling. 


3 years from today is still unknown. However, this time, fear has been replaced with excitement. Where will Mike & I be living? What will I be doing for work? Will I be a mom? There’s so much more living to do. There’s so much more I’m looking forward to and I feel beyond blessed that I get to feel these feelings of excitement and joy. 
The beauty, and tragedy, in life is the same. You never know what life has in store for you. You never know if the hopes and dreams you have for yourself will be realized. But you do know that you have today, and this moment and this breath. So make the most of it. Enjoy it, savor it and soak up the sunshine that is your life. 
Sending each and everyone of you – those who have my followed my blog from the beginning and those who have just found it- so much love and gratitude. I am thankful everyday for the prayers and positive energy that you have sent my way to get me to this day. 
Love & light,

Jessy 

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 

Strength from Within

Sometimes I dread working out. I’m not in the mood. I’m tired. I’d rather do something else…like shopping for example (“shopping is my cardio,” anyone?) but once I make myself do it, I’m always happy I did. My whole life I’ve been “an exerciser” but it means more to me now. It’s one of the few times I feel in control. So much of my life right now is out of my control; work, getting a dog, being able to drink (or smoke hookah apparently– just got that put on the banned list recently), and my diagnosis and treatment in general (soooo out of my control). I don’t have control over what’s getting pumped into my body each week. I don’t have control over how I feel afterwards. I should, but I often times lost control over my emotions. My emotions about how my life has changed, how work is going, or “what I’m doing with my life.” My emotions are all over the place lately.

So to feel that sense of control that I’m missing in so many other aspects of my life is empowering. What’s more is that I feel strong when I workout. Not as strong or conditioned as I once was but I’m getting there. Just a few short months ago, I was in the hospital going through physical therapy to regain the strength to walk again. Thinking of that makes me think, damn I’ve come a long way. Exercising also helps clear my mind, I get to listen to music and get out my frustrations from the day. It helps put the worries of my world on hold, even if just for a little bit.

I debated putting up the picture below because my hair has thinned so badly and you can really see it in this shot which I feel embarrassed about but at the same time, I’m doing a yoga pose, called Crow. I’ve been working on and struggling to be able to do Crow. Long before my diagnosis, I couldn’t do it. You can barely see, but my feet are elevated off the floor and I’m balancing solely on my hands. It takes a lot of balance and even more upper body strength. I still need to work on being able to stay there for an extended period of time, but I felt such gratification this weekend when I was able to get into the position a few times. It shows, once again, that if you truly put your mind to something, you can achieve it.

That’s all I have for my lecture today on the benefits of exercising. Sorry if it was preachy but I’m just feeling so grateful to be strong enough again to have this piece of my life back.

Plus, let me not fool myself… bikini season is fast approaching and I’m all about being ready.

XOXO,
Jessy

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Foggy Days

Foggy. You can’t see clearly. You can’t think clearly. You can’t feel clearly. Just like with fog on an ocean dock, fog inhibits you from seeing what lies ahead of you.  And that’s how I feel. My whole being feels foggy. Unable to see the brightness of days that inevitably lie ahead. Bogged down by sadness and frustration; physical pain and exhaustion.

Last week was hard. Really hard. This week is better but still hard. It all seems like SO much. So overwhelming. So many medications, chemotherapy and brain radiation sure has a way of making you feel out of it, making you feel not you. And that’s exactly how I’ve felt, not myself. In a way, I feel disconnected to my own life. Like I am in somebody else’s crappy body. Somebody else’s negative mind. I’m a happy person. To my core, I’m happy. I love life. I love smiling. I love laughing. I genuinely enjoy being positive. I get excited over little things. And I love that. So when I feel unhappy, when I feel like it’s an effort to smile or to laugh or to get excited, it doesn’t feel like me. And that hurts. That’s a pain that no spinal tap can replicate.

As Mike and I were watching Father of the Bride 2 and Nina was just about to have the baby, she looked up at George Banks and said “Isn’t this just so amazing?” I instantly got emotional. Not because I was so moved by the film but because I felt so jealous of Nina. (she’s a character, I know.) But I felt so jealous that she was lying in a hospital bed, just like I had been all week, and that she got an incredible baby at the end of it. I want a baby, I thought. Because a baby is a miracle, a blessing. A baby truly is amazing. Now, don’t go all “omg she wants a baby?!?!?!” on me because clearly I don’t want a baby right this second but watching this character receive so much joy brought me a sense of sadness because that “amazing” feeling seems so far away. Sounds so dumpy, I know, but it’s how I felt.

But then I sit here, writing that paragraph out and I know in my heart it’s not true. It’s exactly how I felt. 100% truth. Whole-heartedly how I looked at that moment. But as I reread what I write, I know that although it’s sometimes so hard to remember that there’s an end to this race, that there’s a light to the end of this tunnel, I have faith that there will be brighter, happier, fog-free days ahead. In fact, those special, amazing moments, although they may not be as obvious or glamorous as some of life’s big moments, they’re still here. Despite it all, amazing things are still happening to me.

Like when a complete stranger came up to me at the Michael Buble concert on Friday and told me to be strong and that my hair would grow back more beautiful than ever. That she had “been there, done that” and that everything was going to be okay. That’s amazing. She doesn’t know me, she doesn’t know my story or my diagnosis but somehow this woman knew that I needed that little push last week. I needed to be reminded that this too shall pass. I needed a little miracle. And in that moment, my mind felt anything but foggy. It felt clear and precise and happy because I was meant to be there, finding comfort from a complete stranger. That was meant to happen to me. Now that, that’s amazing.

XOXO,

Jessy

p.s. Speaking of amazing, here are some pics from our family vacation on the Cape last week!

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