Lemons Into Lemonade

Lemons into LemonadeEveryone knows I love me some Bey. I tend to get a little crazy with it and I know this but the reality is, her music got me through some really tough patches and so I feel connected to her, as crazy diva as she may be. 
Her new album Lemonade came about about a month ago and I was lucky enough to hear it all live at her concert in Foxborough last Friday night. 
The more I listen the more I relate. No, I’ve never been in a romantic relationship that someone’s hurt me so badly- I’ve never dealt with infidelity but I know what it feels to be cheated on. 
When I was first diagnosed with leukemia, I felt like my body cheated on me. It let me down, it betrayed me. I had loved it and taken good care of it for 24 years and that’s how it repaid me? Her album talks about all the emotions that she felt during her struggle with her husband- how she felt angry, sad, overwhelmed, then went through grieving and forgiveness and the important process of feeling free again. 

My favorite verse from the album goes like this…

“They say true love’s the greatest weapon

To end the war caused by pain

But every diamond has imperfections 

But my love’s too pure to watch it chip away

Boy nothing real can be threatened

True love breathes salvation back into me

With every tear came redemption

And my torturer became my remedy”

And that couldn’t be more true. To me, it’s saying- SHITTTT that was hard. But you know what? I’m strong and the love that I have for myself (or in her case, him) is much stronger than any pain I could ever feel. It was my body that “tortured” me but it is me treating it with love and respect and understanding that has been my remedy. I honor it. 

I think the story of infidelity and betrayal is one that any human can relate to. We’ve all experienced it on some level or another. Betrayal, whether it be with a lover, family member, friend, workplace, or in my case, my body can be infuriating and beyond upsetting. Betrayed, in any form, hurts the soul. But if you can come to terms with it and choose to move past the negativity, it can make you a stronger person because of it. 

Now this is not my way of getting you to go listen to Lemonade but instead I hope that it’s just a good reminder of an important lesson in life… When you’re served lemons, always always make Lemonade. 🍋🍋🍋

Lots of love, light and SLAY BEY SLAY BEY,

Jessy


p.s. If you are looking for a pump-me-up song, you NEED ‘Freedom’ in your life. I literally March as if I’m in a step crew every time I hear it. 💃🏻💃🏻 sue me. 🙌🏼

P.p.s the video is her ending the show with Halo- the song that I sung to myself over and over and over during hard procedures or times during the past two years. Seeing her sing it live, with fireworks going off in the background was a moment that felt very surreal and one that I’ll never gorget. Very grateful. 

Advertisements

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

IMG_4013

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

Dance Like Everyone’s Watching

Today is my last official day “off” before heading back to work, and reality, this coming Monday. It has been a long eleven months of being either in the hospital or in this house watching as the time goes by. But one thing that always seemed to make me smile and make me laugh was to dance around the living room to one of my favorite songs. It brings out happiness even if it’s just for a few minutes. So today, in honor of my last day of getting to dance around by myself, I made a video dancing around to the one and only “Girl Almighty” by One Direction!

People always say “Dance like nobody’s watching.” Well, today, I’m dancing like everybody’s watching. And so should you! I challenge each and every person who reads this to dance today. And dance like you MEAN IT! And if you’re feeling up to it, make a video and tag it #dancelikeeveryoneswatching! I wanna see your moves! 🙂

Love you all!

XOXO,

Jessy

Music Miracles

Early in the summer, Jessie and I bought tickets for the Sam Smith concert that would be at the House of Blue. It’s something I’ve been so looking forward to as the venue is awesome, the artist is incredibly talented and it would be a fun “night out” with one of my best friends (something that doesn’t happen nearly enough anymore). So as the days creeped closer to September 15th and I did little to no improving here on 7D, it became clear making it to this concert was going to be a stretch. However as soon as I mention this to my wonderful team of doctors, nurses (and Mike), an action plan is sprung into place. House of Blues is called so we can get disability seating since I’m constrained to a wheelchair right now, Mikes boss (who’s a frequent goer of the HOB) reaches out directly so Mike can be given a free pass to come in and be able to assist me getting settled, my social worker calls the venue to get an exact time of the setlist so I can maximize my time out, my doctors and nurses do a bunch of extra paperwork to allow me to be “discharged” for a set amount of time, and my dad who stayed in Boston until 1030 at night so that he could drop us off and be right outside the door when we got out to drive me right back to the hospital.

There was so many people that went into making last night possible for me. Something that I arguably will be able to do plenty of times in my life. But last night was different. I had been looking forward to this night with my best friend all summer. So if I hadn’t gotten to go, cancer would’ve taken that away from me. But the amazing people I have surrounding me didn’t let that happen. So many people went into making last night a reality for me and it warms my heart to know they all did it for nothing other than my happiness. That’s pretty incredible. That’s a mini miracle. That shows you that people are good….people are kind, and thoughtful and considerate. I am truly lucky to have been able to witness something like that first hand.

So to everyone who made last night such a special night for me- thank you! It’s just what I needed to keep on pushing forward!!!

Xoxox,
Jessy

IMG_5818.JPG

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!

photo-47

Crazy for the Carter Family

I haven’t written in for what feels like forever. Mostly because I really have had no updates…nothing that I felt was worthy enough to write about. Each day has been generally the same. I’m home, I’m tired, I’m sometimes nauseous and I’m still dealing with a headache that has been here for literally over a month. On a “good” day, I have a visitor or have the energy to make dinner, maybe do some laundry, go for a walk or yoga. Nothing exactly over-the-top exciting. Well, except for my new-found talent of knitting– teaching myself this craft has actually been super exciting! So it sounds negative but I’ve felt like, what do I really have to say? And honestly today didn’t start much different than the rest but today took a turn for the fabulous and I now have something to say…something really really exciting to announce and it has absolutely nothing to do with cancer. TODAY MIKE AND I SCORED TICKETS TO THE “ON THE RUN” JAYZ AND BEYONCE SUMMER TOUR!!!!!!!!! WOOOOOOOOO WOOOOOOOOO!

Image

It sounds so silly but this is the most excited I have been over something in a few months. I love Beyonce. I love JayZ. I love Blue Ivy. Plain and simple, I love the Carters. They are the best and I’ve been chirping about how the two of them need to go on tour together for quite some time and FINALLY my dream has come a reality. And this is just what I needed– I needed something to put on my calendar besides my next hospital stay. It’s something fun, it’s something exciting and something I really am going to get to look forward to!

So a big thank you to my wonderful boyfriend for coming through and getting me the best form of medicine I could ever ask for! I might not be Drunk in Love lately but I’m certainly still Crazy in Love (see how I did that!? hehe)  

All hail the Queen Bey,

Jessy   

p.s. I need to learn this move before June 30th. 

Image