1am rant session

It’s one o’clock in the morning and I can’t sleep. Is it the steriods or pain medication wearing off? Am I nervous for tomorrow’s appointment? Or maybe it’s the fact that I found out today I won’t be getting my position back at work when I go back in a month? I think it’s all three, mostly the latter. My whole life, I’ve always worked my damnedest to keep moving forward, to be the best I can be, put myself in the frontline and that’s exactly what I did when I got into the workforce. I worked my ass off at an agency to get a better job for a corporation and then worked my ass off for a company to prove that I was great at my job and prove myself I did. I got promoted to a position that I was excited about and proud of myself for obtaining. And then leukemia struck like the bitch it is and took my career train right off its tracks. Almost an entire year I’ve been out of work, out of touch with my coworkers and what’s going on in the industry. Instead of digital media marketing, my job became keeping me healthy, keeping me alive. So now that the light is finally creeping in the tunnel and I’m this close to getting back to work, I find out that I’ve lost that promotion I worked so hard to get. Now that’s
a hard pill to swallow. I understand the business decision behind it, but it definitely feels like a kick you when your down type of moment. I didn’t expect it at all and I am so frustrated and upset I barely know what to say. I know after everything I’ve been through this year, something like this shouldn’t rattle me so much (it’s just work, right?) but it’s more than that to me, it’s my career path and having cancer rear it’s ugly head at me one more time and take one more thing away from me just feels so unfair.

It’s 1am and I still can’t sleep. Too many things racing through my mind. But there’s one thing I know for sure, when I get back in my little baby cube land, I’m gonna kick some ass and take numbers doin it!

End rant.

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Hard Day Down, One Step Closer

Disclaimer: This is not a sunny post. I need to get out how I’m feeling right now and right now, I’m a little cloudy… cloudy with no chance of North End meatballs.

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Yesterday I received extremely positive news— I’m officially in remission! REMISSION!!! Meaning that when they pulled my bone marrow on Wednesday, it came back clear of any cancer cells. Hallelujah! However, factually, they know that if we do not continue to fight the cancer cells they will absolutely come back. So continue to fight we will.
But I found myself unable to truly feel the excitement that should have accompanied this amazing news. News that my body is kicking some serious ass. News that I am going to live. L-I-V-E. This is huge news, obviously, but I felt so little relief. I had become overwhelmed with emotional and physical pain yesterday. Wednesday, Thursday and Friday were, to say it simply…a lot. I had prepared myself for Wednesday but not Thursday and Friday. I hadn’t understood that I would be back in the hospital so quickly and was feeling so frustrated about it. I also hadn’t been able to prep myself for how I would physically feel… which was terrible. My whole body ached. Every joint hurt when I moved, or laughed. My head felt like a tractor trailer was sitting on top of it— and the only thing that brought any relief was to sit in the dark (and lets face it, I’m all about that light!) And then the nausea started and I couldn’t keep anything down. And throwing up sucks. No better way to put it.

So after blood being drawn, an ultra sound of my stomach and back, a check-in with my doctor and six hours of being in one out-patient room to get a few rounds of chemo, I finally was being transported by wheel chair to the overnight room I’ll be in for the next few days. With a splitting headache and my mom holding my hand, I began to get extremely nauseous and became “that person” getting wheeled by a stranger while puking their brains out into a plastic bucket. Crying. It was one of those moments. A moment I don’t think I’ll ever forget because I’m not sure I’ve ever felt lower or more beaten in my life. Not because of the pain but because of the way it made me feel about myself. It was embarrassing and down right demoralizing. I wanted nothing more than to grab Harry Potter’s invisibility cloak and hide. Better yet, I wanted to wake up from what I feel like is a horrible nightmare. But I can’t. Because it’s not a nightmare, it’s my life right now. And as much as that sucks, it’s life. It’s my life and it’s still a good one. In fact, it’s a great one. And I’m lucky to be here. Even in low moments like that one.

Around midnight I was able to get on medication for what was causing all my symptoms and it’s helped a lot. At 3am I got hooked up to a type of chemo that runs into my veins for 24 hours straight… so I’ll be here at the Brigham for a while but feeling much better today am going to try to do some things I enjoy. Like blog. and paint. and sleep— hopefully!

So all-in-all, not my favorite few day but those days are now in the past and that means I’m one step closer to winning this game. I thought I’d leave you with a fab quote that my dad said yesterday as he sat by my side all day, 9am to 10pm. As the true sports announcer he is, he compared my remission news into a perfect Boston sports analogy… “When the C’s were murdering the Lakers in Game 6 of the 2008 NBA Finals, they didn’t stop playing hard at the half when they were ahead by over 20. They kept fighting and kept playing their asses off until the buzzer hit 00:00 because they knew that’s what they had to do to win the game.” And win they did… by a NBA Finals’ record of 39 points. And that’s what I’m going to do too— keep on kicking ass and keep on playing as hard as I can. Because I’m a competitor and I’m gonna win this game.

Thanks for listening. I’m jumping back on my positive party in just a few minutes.

XOXO,
Jessy

Day 22

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Today is the twenty second day of being here at Brigham & Women’s Hospital, floor 7D. Today I cried. Today, like almost every other day, I woke up to doctors coming in my room to examine me and ask me questions. It really wasn’t unlike most other days but for some reason today I hit a wall. I hit a wall of “I want my life back.” I don’t want to be here. I don’t want to have a thousand people pop their heads in “my” room. I don’t want to be in this room. I don’t want one more hospital or frozen meal. I don’t want to poked at and given shots. I don’t want my vitals taken. I don’t want write down how much I’m peeing. I don’t want my fingertips to feel numb. I don’t. I don’t. I don’t. 

I am closer than I have been to going home but I’m feeling farther away from it today. I need to remember all the good things that I have my life and that’s exactly what I’m going to do with this blog. Number one good thing in my life? The people. I am so fortunate to have the most amazing support group and they have helped me get through these twenty two days better than I ever would’ve expected myself to.

I’m lucky that every morning I’ve had a card to open with my breakfast, filled with loving and meaningful words that brighten my spirit and help me feel rejuvenated. This has something that truly has made such a difference in making each day better and I know that not every patient is as lucky. For that, I am so thankful.  

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I’m lucky to not only work for a fabulous company currently that has been so incredibly supportive during this hard time and have sent me gifts, well-wishes and most importantly VISITORS but I’m lucky that that I also have worked for another unbelievably thoughtful company in the past who although I no longer work there took the time to create the most beautiful gift. An origami mobile filled with words of inspiration and encouragement from coworkers. It’s bright, beautiful and unique –I can’t wait until it’s hanging in my home.  

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I’m lucky that everybody wants me to have soft lips….

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I’m lucky that I met the most amazing group of girlfriends in college. Friends that will last my entire lifetime. Friends that make me laugh harder and smile bigger than just about anything. Friends that, although scattered literally across the continental U.S. somehow were able to work together to all pitch in and surprise me with the most beautiful bracelet I’ve ever seen. A bracelet that is engraved and corresponds with the longitude and latitude coordinates of where we all met– Tampa. This gift literally took my breath away because how could it not? How blessed am I to have people this thoughtful in my life? So to my Tampa Betches, you girls have and will always have my heart. 

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I’m lucky that I have the two best friends by my side through this whole thing. Who are more like sisters to me than friends. They’re both always here. Both always have been and always will be. And there’s nothing better than that. 

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I’m lucky that people have, simply put, spoiled me. Spoiled me with the softest blankets to ever touch a BWH bed, the fluffiest stuffed animals in all the land, copious amounts of candy, reading material to last me a year, endless tools to make me the craftiest Somervillian of all time, and most importantly my own personalized bottles of Sweet Baby Ray’s Buffalo Wing Sauce.

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I’m lucky that I have the most supportive family I could ever dream of. A sister that’s my best friend and talks to me every day and sees me every chance she gets. A brother-in-law that makes even hard situations a funny one. A little brother that has traveled back from NYC too many times to see me and be with me. Grandparents that text with me everyday (yup, that’s right. Every single one of my grandparents text!) Parents that have been to this hospital almost every single day to give me hugs and kisses and the love that I need more anything else right now. And of course, a niece that sends me stupid adorable pics of herself every day that make me happier than I can even describe. 

(I’ll take any chance I get to show off how adorable this baby is. seriously. she needs to become a baby model— get on that Courtney.) 

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I’m lucky that this guy has slept next to me…in a cot. Every. Single. Night. All 22 days. He didn’t need to do that, but he does it because it makes me feel safe and happy. He does it because he loves me, a lot. And that makes me the luckiest girl in the entire world. 

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So I started writing this blog a little down in the dumps and now, now I feel better. Because how can I not? I have SO much to be thankful for and to feel lucky about. 

I’m off to paint. 

XOXO,

Jessy 

p.s. Here’s the last thing I feel lucky for…I feel lucky that I didn’t choose this 1980’s Metal Band Rockstar Wig. 

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