Batter Up

About 23 years ago, me, my dad and my Bumpa had a special day at Fenway Park– I was lucky enough to be taken into the dugout and meet Johnny Pesky. I got an autographed bat and ball that Mo Vaughn had just practiced with. Being a NH girl, I’d like to think that was the day I fell in love with Boston and all of our sporting greatness. In two weeks, I’ll be back in the dugout. This time, waiting for my chance to take a swing at home plate on the best baseball field in the world. The amazing individuals that work at the Jimmy Fund reached out to me a few weeks ago and asked if I wanted to participate as they offer this experience to patients at  DFCI. At first, I was a little hesitant because although I was quite the softball player in the 90’s, I haven’t swung a bat in many many years. But then I thought, what the heck is the matter with me? When’s the next time I’m going to have the opportunity to bat at Fenway? The answer is probably never so time to pony up and make some memories..

As cool as it is that I get to do this, what’s even cooler is that it’s all in part to raise funds for the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute. This amazing day is put on as an effort to raise money for one amazing institution; one that is obviously very near and dear to my heart.

If you can afford to make a donation, please consider doing so. This is an incredible organization, one that not only saves the lives of its own patients but conducts research that is paving the way for treatments, preventions and cures to every kind of cancer– not just in our own backyard but all over the world. By donating to the Jimmy Fund, you are putting dollars towards putting an end to this dreaded disease once and for all. I’d say that’s a pretty great thing to put your hard earned dollars towards!

Here is the link to my fundraising page: http://www.jimmyfundfantasyday.org/2015/jessicamoran

Thank you so much for your support, I appreciate it more than I can put into words.

XOXO,

Jessy

p.s. In honor of my 21st century batting debut, I thought I’d throw it back to my younger years!

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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

Thought Explosion

Today might have been a snow day in the office but there’s no such thing when it comes to staying on track of your chemo regimine. So this morning, we bundled up, put on our boots and brazed the snow-laden streets to get over to the Dana Farber. It was a relatively long day as I had to meet with an anesthesiologist for a day-surgery I’m having done on Friday, in addition to getting my normal dose of chemo.

Over the past month, I’ve began losing my hair… again. It’s obviously a lot less drastic than when I originally lost it, but it’s been slowly falling out and I’m starting to stress out. I just can’t imagine having to be bald again (even though #baldisbeautiful. S/O Michael!) Oddly enough, some days are better than others; there are days I barely lose any and others that it falls out each time I run my fingers through my short locks. Today was one of those days. Every morning, I look on pillow to see how much is gone and this morning, there was a bunch. It sucks… flat out. I have been so excited about having hair back. Do I miss my long hair? Absa-freaking-lutely. But I’ll take when I can get and have felt so good about not having to wear head wraps or hats or wigs every time I step out of the house. Plus, being back at work, I want to feel as normal as possible and head wraps are just not normal… reality of the situation. I’m hopeful that it’s just thinning and it won’t be too noticeable but I really don’t know what the future will hold. And that’s enough to overwhelm me each and every time I look in the mirror.
More importantly, in the past few months, I’ve had three close people in my life get diagnosed with cancer; a good friend who is a new mother to the most handsome little boy, my beautiful, hardworking cousin and my loving, funny and beautiful Nanny. This sounds crazy and I know that it’s not how life works, but I almost felt like when I was diagnosed, I must’ve “taken the bullet” for my group of friends and family. But as I learned quickly, that’s just not the case. As I chatted with my cousin this week who is starting to lose her hair, I was catapulted back into the harsh reality of the day I buzzed my head. It was so hard (as I mentioned above, it still is), it was so shocking to see myself in that light… to truly look in the mirror and see a sick person. It’s just so unfair. Why during all these hardships, do patients have to also lose something that defines them so greatly, too? It makes life harder in an already extremely difficult time. But what I’ve also realized while watching these amazing women battle through their own struggles, is where I obtained my own strength. I’ve got a a hell of a lot of tough people in my life, including these three and they inspire me everyday. They’re beautiful and strong and true warrior princesses. Cancer is everywhere, it truly affects everyone in some way or the other and I’ve learned that as cancer survivors (because that’s what we all will be), we need to stick together and find a cure for this terrible, terrible disease.
Cheers to living life to the fullest. Cheers to beating cancer. Cheers to a cure.
XOXO,
Jessy
p.s. throwing it back to my #baldisbeautiful days and to hoping that those days are only a thing of the past. #KissMySass
Photo on 8-11-14 at 1.28 PM #2