Just Keep Going

It’s Tuesday after Memorial Day Weekend which is always a bummer. A long weekend long awaited for is over. And even though I’m not currently working I still somehow feel the “Monday blues” (or in this case the Tuesday blues). Weekends I’m not alone, I’m not in the hospital, I get to “get out” and do things. So with or without work, I’ve learned that weekends are always the best. This long weekend seemed extra awesome— I felt so grateful to be feeling strong and getting to spend time with my love, my friends and my family. What more can you ask for?
This Sunday, Mike and I did something we never really do… we went to church. My Grammy had mentioned that the Old North Church in Boston (“One if by land, and two if by sea” church) still holds masses so we decided to go to the 11am. History and a little spiritual pick-me-up… not a bad combination. Plus, today’s a big day (stilllllllll anxiously awaiting to hear from my doctors) so I thought putting in an extra prayer in the big man’s house might not be too bad of an idea. After scurrying in at 11:05, we sat down in our own pew (which in this church is like your own little penalty box. Big fan). I always dreaded church growing up, couldn’t get myself to pay attention (gotta be honest, still have a hard time), and never really understood what they were talking about. But this time felt different since I chose to go myself. So as I sat there in a little pew right next to the windows, in a place that I don’t think has been updated since 1772, I was surprised as I realized how much I was enjoying myself.
The minister gave a quick homily as there was a baptism also during this mass.  To be honest, I don’t exactly remember what the whole homily was about but I do remember this: she told a story about how Jesus had said to his disciples to just keep going (regarding what, I have no clue. Exhibit A of my attention span). She looked out to all of us, and urged us too, to just keep going. That line rang through my head the rest of the mass, “just…keep…going.” I felt like she was speaking directly to me… I felt like I came to this mass specifically to hear those words. I needed to hear those words as those three words are exactly what I have to do. I need to keep pushing on, keep moving forward, keep keeping my head up, keep being positive, keep being happy, keep being thankful…. I need to just keep going.
The past few weeks have been hard. I’ve been so anxious about whether or not the leukemia has come back that I’ve felt like I’m sitting on pins and needles.  But at the end of the day, the results I’ll get tonight or tomorrow are out of my control. Letting the “what if’s” take hold does nothing but bring me down and cause chaos in my head. Those fleeting moments, however, create a feeling like I can’t keep going, like this is all just too much. But then I do things that make me smile, like going for long walks, doing yoga, dancing around by myself to One Direction, accepting nightly back rubs from Mike (he really is the best), or even taking out my aggression on a Bozo the clown blow-up doll. Those things, as trivial as they are, make me feel good, they make me feel alive, and rejuvenated. And because of those little things in life, I’m able to realize I can absolutely do this. That this is A LOT but it’s not something I can’t handle. I can keep on keepin’ on.
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I hope you all had a wonderful Memorial Day Weekend and are able to make it through the work week. But if you’re feeling the Tuesday Blues right now, remember…JUST.KEEP.GOING.
XOXO,
Jessy

Until Next Week

LK;ADKFJAD;LAJD;LKJA;LKJDF;LKJ AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!!!!  

 
That, my friends, is how I’m feeling right about now. Today went NOTHING like how I thought it was going to be. I had planned to write a post tonight from my hospital room, instead here I am sitting at my kitchen table again. I’m home with a packed suitcase and another hospital stay pushed off. Good news, I didn’t get the bone marrow biopsy. Oh wait, that’s just because I’m getting it next week instead. Today I got a better understanding of what my doctor didn’t “like” last week. Basically, when my blood’s been drawn the past two weeks, things called “blasts” have appeared which indicate that the leukemia could somehow have come back (could, keyword there). Luckily, although still there, that number has decreased since last week and all my other counts were in the normal range. So both my doctors are leaning towards that these “blasts” are just immature cells that my bone marrow has produced while it’s been replenishing itself. However, the possibility of the leukemia coming back is real and therefore, until we know exactly what’s going on, we can’t move forward with my planned treatment. 
 
As my doctors were explaining everything, I started getting emotional… I was instantly overwhelmed, I felt like a ton of bricks had just fallen on my shoulders. Consoling me, Dr. Mandy talked to me about how healthy it is to get “out” my feelings and said something that really hit home. She said, “You’re dealing with death, 50 years earlier than you should. You have the right to feel the way you’re feeling.” I hadn’t thought of it like that until this moment. I had been coping by categorizing this in my head as a “sickness,” a sickness that is awful and unfair but something I would get through and undoubtedly live to tell my kids about. I’ve done a good job telling myself that the ‘d’ word is not an option. And I really still don’t see it as one. (I have way too much to do in my life to let it be an option.) But the fact that it’s ever even mentioned or considered is terrifying. The reality is, this most likely is all just a big scare; the hope is that I’ll go in next week, get this bone marrow biopsy done and find out a few days later that everything is fine and continue on with the action course we’ve had planned all along. But the possibility, as small as it may be, that the results could come back next week and things could get “more serious” than they already are leaves me a little speechless. I am, however, reassured that if the results don’t come back the way we want them to, there are still different treatment options we can try, all of which are of the goal to cure.
 
Other than those first few days, emotionally this was definitely one of the hardest/scariest days. But, just as they were there to comfort me in those first few hours and days, my doctors were there to comfort me and be honest with me…to let me know exactly what’s going on and in terms a marketing major can understand. They make such an incredible team and are so unbelievably knowledgable about this disease. I trust their decisions, whole heartedly and completely. That’s a priceless feeling. Beyond all their brilliance, however, they are caring, kind, compassionate people, and those qualities have continued to make all the difference for me. When I look in their eyes I can see how much they want this too, how much they truly care about me, almost as if I’m a loved one of theirs. I’m not though, I’ve only known them for 3 months. But they care about me a lot and they take care of me to a level that I can’t describe. I am and will forever be grateful to Dr. D and Dr. Mandy– best doctors a person could ask for.  
 
So my update today wasn’t the brightest of ones. Today was a tough day. This week will be a tough week… my mind is inevitably going to wander and I’m going to have to try really REALLY hard to stay focused and positive. I never thought I’d say the words “I’m excited to get a bone marrow biopsy” but I’m excited to get a bone marrow biopsy. I want next week to come because I want to know what we have to face. Once we know what we’re facing, we can map out our plan of attack and get back to kicking some cancer ass.
 
But before I get back to kicking some ass, I’ll take a few extra prayers this week if you’ve got ’em. 🙂 
 
XOXO,
Jessy 
 
p.s.  a shoutout to my shitty friend leukemia— go eff yourself. 
p.s.s. another special shoutout to my lovely grandparents and great aunts and uncles– apologies for my cursing. 

Cinco de No Drinko

This blog post I’m going to come off as a real lush. I’m pissed about not being able to drink; plain and simple. So if you think that’s wrong, click the X button now.
 
Yesterday was Cinco de Mayo and I wanted a Caronarita. Bad. Unfortunately for me, it will be 2016 until the next time I’ll get to suck down one of these festive yet aggressive drinks. This holiday comes on the heels of a weekend that I got really bothered about not being able to have an alcoholic beverage. Mike and I went to a wedding in NH. I was so excited for it…. so excited to be out of the house (and not at the hospital). So excited to use the jacuzzi so that I could put some use to the bathing suits originally purchased for our Domincan trip. It was so fun to get dressed up and see a bunch of friends. The ceremony was beautiful, bride looked so angelic and the groom was grinning from ear to ear- it was a magical moment to watch. Then the cocktail hour started and the drinks began to flow. Okay, I thought, no big deal. Then we sat down for dinner and there’ a glass of champagne in front of each plate. Ugh, maybe I can have just one sip? I’m a few days off chemo and have a few days before the next round. One sip it is. Woopsies, that made it way harder. I wanted the whole glass. But one sip is all I knew I could “sneak.” And then the drinks continued to come flowing all around me. Everyone was indulging, as they should be at a wedding, and I slowly became saddened by the situation. I enjoyed dancing with my boyfriend who goes borderline insane but phenomenally impressive on wedding dance floors. (It’s almost like I’m dating Vince Vaughn from Wedding Crashers.) I was honestly having fun and enjoying this special night but as everyone else around was getting tipsy, it ate away at me that I “couldn’t,” that I’m not “allowed.” I decided not to go to the after party and just head back to our hotel room after the wedding ended. I laid in the bed wanting to go downstairs to the bar but couldn’t push myself to do it. So instead, I laid in bed and thought a lot about why the absence of alcohol in my life is bothering me so much. Coming up with an answer didn’t make me necessarily feel any better but I started realizing that I think it relates to the importance of being part of the group. I’m bothered about not being able to drink because it makes me feel isolated, it’s a reminder that I’m not a normal 25 year old right now, it’s a reminder that I’m sick, it’s a reminder that I can’t just do whatever I damn well please. And you know what? I like to do what I want to do, that’s for absolute sure. 
 
Honestly, I have felt embarrassed or ashamed about really communicating how sad or left out I feel about not being able to have a drink. It’s easy for me to say “oh well, shouldn’t be my biggest priority right now” or “things could be worse.” And those both are true, but the reality is it’s harder than that. The reality of actually hanging out when everyone else is drinking is not the easiest, or the funnest and it’s going to be like this for two years. That’s a long time to feel like the odd man out. At this point in my life, having some drinks with friends is a huge part of social life. Whether it’s Harpoon Fest, having Sunday Funday bloodies, beers at the Sox game, tailgating before a summer concert, or having a Caronarita for Cinco de Mayo, lots and lots of the events that go on outside of work consist of drinking. And I’m not looking forward to not taking part in these things for the foreseeable future. 
 
Tomorrow morning I head to Dana Farber and will be admitted at Brigham & Womens later in the day for my next round of chemo and will stay for five days. Definitely not looking forward to being in the hospital for five nights but hey, I’m guaranteed that there’ll be no temptations. I mean, unless my nurses decide to celebrate National Nurses Week with some cocktails. 
 
Okay… end rant. 
 
Olé!
Jessy
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“In the depths …

“In the depths of winter, I finally learned that within me there lay an invincible summer.” ~ Albert Camus

Today has been one of the harder days that I’ve had so far. Mike and I were supposed to be leaving for the Dominican Republic this morning for a week long vacation at an all-inclusive resort that we had planned for over 6 months. I had so looked forward to this trip…seeing a beautiful new place, relaxing, and spending some quality time with my little love bug. I’ve been trying not to think about it too much but it’s definitely hard. Trying to keep my head up and remind myself that I’ll be going on lots of vacations in my future… just need to take care of a few things first.

One more day closer to winning.

XOXO,

Jessy