6 Weeks In

I used to count how many months “down” I was. But tonight, I can say I’m a month and a half “in” and headed back to Dana Farber for the first time as a “graduated” patient tomorrow. It’s already been 6 weeks since I got my last dose of chemotherapy and my body and mind are finally beginning to truly heal. After two years of a tingly tongue and numbness in my fingertips, those underlying & continuous feelings have gone away. So have much of my fatigue, headaches and nausea are gone. I no longer have to stop eating two hours prior to going to bed because of a daily chemo pill. I’ve gotten to lift life restrictions.

I’ve had a dirty martini. 🙌🏼


I’ve eaten sushi.


I’ve gone in a public pool and hot tub and not worried about getting an infection.


And had a mani/pedi day with my best without worrying about going against doctors recommendations not to in order to reduce risk of more infections.


I’ve gone to the Red Sox game with friends and stayed out too late on a work night.


I’ve become obsessive over the new Beyonce album. (Download ‘Freedom’ and then try telling me she’s not my soul sistah)

I’ve done yoga and felt strong the entire time.


I’ve had a 24 hour get-away with Michael


I’ve lived six weeks of a “free me” and damn, it feels good.

I still have so much to work on and mentally get through; some days I’m good and some days I’m emotional. I still don’t know what I want to do with my life, I still don’t know exactly why I was given this second shot but I’m so grateful for it. I’m so happy to get to live my life!
Lots of love & light,

Jessy

Dancing Yoga

Sometime’s when you just can’t decide between dancing around your living room or doing yoga, you should mix the two together for a workout that’s fun but still makes you sweat!

So that’s what I did. Turned up my Beyonce Live CD, rolled out the yoga mat and grabbed my 5 pound weights. Mix the three together and my worries were long gone, smiling as I shook my rump, and peaceful as I got my namaste on. What a perfect combo!

Happy Saturday everyone!

XOXO,
Jessy

When Life Hands You Apples, Make Applesauce

Just before my first pancreatisis attack, I met with a few girls from work for coffee. It was so great to see them and feel a part of the team again. They had asked to get together so they could give me something a whole group of people had put together for me. As many of you know (and working with me every day, you can imagine how much they heard about it!), Mike and I had a trip planned to the Dominican in March. Unfortunately, I was diagnosed just a week and a half before and we weren’t able to go. Really, really disappointing. So my coworkers, being the amazing and thoughtful people that they are, all chipped in to be able to send Mike and I on a little get-away weekend to Peaks Island, Maine to make up for it! Peaks Island is right off of Portland and Mike and I had discovered it last summer. It’s about 3 miles wide and the cutest, most quaint little island I’ve ever been to. We had had such a relaxing and special day there; biking around the island, laying on the beach, watching people ride horses along the water, drinking summer beers on an ocean deck restaurant as we let one more ferry come and go, not wanting to head home. It was a day that for some reason really meant something to me and I have often thought of it when I’m feeling down. It’s become kind of like a happy place for me when I need to think of something good. (I digress!) So when so many of my co-workers (some that don’t even work at TJX anymore!) came together to surprise me with this, I was floored. It was so over-the-top generous and thoughtful, I truly was touched. So Mike and I picked a weekend, made the reservations and started making plans for our little fall getaway to Peaks Island, Maine.

It was scheduled for this weekend. We were in Somerville this weekend. Boo. We felt like we had to cancel because I’m still recovering from pancreatitis, I’m still on the feeding tube at night and it probably would have been too much to be gone for the whole weekend. I was so disappointed as I was really looking forward to a relaxing weekend, out of the house, out of the city, just with Mike, in a place that really meant something to me. It felt unfair that something else got “taken away” from me. But as Mike reminded me, we have next summer and maybe at that point I’ll be feeling 10x better (hopefully will even be able to have a beer on that deck) so I’ll be able to enjoy it even more than I would have this weekend!
So we turned apples into applesauce (I actually did that today! But I meant the expression! ) and had ourselves a pretty fun filled weekend for a “couple with cancer.” Friday we stayed in but cooked turkey burgers together (yes, I was able to eat a turkey burger— wahoo!). Then Saturday we went to the largest corn maze in the world with two of our best friends and 2 1/2 hours later completed that. Came home and went out to a fabulous Italian restaurant near our house that we haven’t been to in a while and had a great meal together (I’m able to eat pasta now too — even bigger wahoo!). Sunday we walked around the Boston Public Gardens and window-shopped on Newbury St. just for fun. Came home to watch football, nap on the couch with the fireplace going and make another pancreatitis-approved meal— turkey tacos! And then we had one more day- Monday! Mike had taken it off originally for Peaks Island so he kept it so we could have a three-day weekend. We kept the fall-fun going and trucked it up to North Andover to a great little farm that we could  pick our own pumpkins. And that we did. Picked them and then came home and carved them— pretty decently if I do say so myself. 🙂 Overall, it ended up being a fabulous weekend. I hadn’t expected it to be because I was angry about not being able to go away but as life has taught me this year, sometimes you just have to roll with the punches and make the best of what you’ve been given. And this weekend, I was given a great few days.
Hope you all had a lovely fall weekend as well!
XOXO,
Jessy
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What a Week Can Do

One week ago today, I was running on about an hour of sleep, crushing a 101+ fever, puking up anything I tried to consume, sitting in a hospital bed, and thoroughly pissed off. 

Today, I’m getting things down around the house, sipping on green tea, watching birds enjoy my bird bath (so chute), enjoying being in my house, listening to Sam Smith and feeling thankful for having just had such a wonderful weekend. What a difference a week can make. 

I got out of the hospital on Friday and it weirdly took me the whole night to mentally “feel better.” I couldn’t really kick the anxiety I felt from being locked up in the hospital for five days. For some reason, this stay really kicked my ass and even Regina’s pizza couldn’t get me out of my funk. But Saturday was a new day, a better day and the start of the weekend hit the “reset” button. Mike and I walked around Harvard’s “Arnold Arboretum” on Saturday which was perfect. In the city, but I felt so far away from the hustle and bustle of Boston. There were gorgeous flowers, endless walking trails, and my best friend holding my hand– couldn’t ask for much more. I even removed my baseball cap for a bit (which felt amazing) and we walked around as the beautiful bald-headed couple we are right now. 

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After walking around for two hours, we headed to my old stomping grounds in Brookline to enjoy an early dinner on the outside patio at Barcelona, the same restaurant we went on our first date in Connecticut. Meat & cheese, soft shell crab, grilled cheeses with “jamon,” salad, and mussels… we rolled out of there.  

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Sunday, Mike went golfing went with his brother and a few friends as I contently cleaned up around the house and did some errands (one week of getting nothing done makes cleaning such a fun thing!). I then headed to Mansfield to spend the afternoon with Mike’s sister-in-law and nieces. Elle, who’s almost three, loves princesses, reenacting Disney movie scenes and is the sassiest little thing around. I’m obsessed. There’s nothing quite like playing in a “castle” tent, pretending everyone else are monsters and chatting about earrings, pink dresses and dolls. So lucky am I to have that little nugget in my life. Doesn’t matter if you’re having a bad day to a 3 year old, she’ll make it better. 

I hope you too had a wonderful weekend and got to do things that made you smile. Happy Monday! 

XOXO,

Jessy 

Embrace Today

Tomorrow is a big day. Tomorrow I’ll finally get the bone marrow biopsy to find out if the leukemia has come back. But it’s Tuesday, not Wednesday. It’s not tomorrow. It’s today.

And today I’m enjoying my life. Doing yoga and dancing half way through. Dancing so much my head-wrap comes off, but it’s okay cuz I’m bald and beautiful, betches. Listening to music and singling along. Sipping slowly on ice coffee and putting my feet up. Making this video just to learn something new and have fun.

Today is a good day.

XOXO,
Jessy

Oscar Night…Hospital Dorm Room Style

After a physically tough weekend, I’m happy to be feeling a bit better tonight and have a night off from the chemo cocktail. Therefore, it’s time to celebrate being fabulous and partaking in all the Oscar craziness.

Cheers to having fun just about anywhere.  

After suiting up in my most fashionable attire, I took a walk down my own red carpet filled with nurses and doctors in their finest scrubs. 

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Then, just in time for the “real” red carpet, Mike and I dined on some delish cheese and crackers and some sparkling Ginger Ale. It was divine. After chowing down on some snacks, it was time to pamper myself and do my nails. 

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They look good if I do say so myself. 

As it was time for Ellen to take the stage and get this Oscar party started, it was time to put my tiara on and be a 25 year old princess. Nothin quite like wearing a tiara…makes you feel like a real winner. 

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The ironic part about my excitement for the Oscars is that I have not seen one of the nominated movies so I really don’t care who or what wins tonight. Except for one very important award that I shall be giving out myself… 

The Oscar for Most Supportive Boyfriend Goes To (drum roll please)……

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XOXO,

Jessy