A Slap of Reality

It’s been almost a month since I’ve been back at work. I’m coming in early, leaving late, chugging through long days. Overall, just really feeling the stresses of being a working girl again. And I have to admit, I love it. I don’t like waking up early (obviouslyyyy) but I like waking up with a day full of productivity and socialization in front of me. That was something in the past year I struggled with so much. I often laid in bed for long periods of time after waking up because I simply couldn’t reason with myself of why I needed to get up. So it feels incredible to be making my to-go coffee and heading out the door in the morning. Beyond work, I’ve been back to practicing yoga and going to the gym. Exercising feels awesome because I know it’s something good I’m doing for my body. With so many harsh toxins going into me every week, it feels only fair that I would give this body of mine something to feel good about. Another piece of really exciting news is I got a new car— WOOO HOOO!!!! I’ve only ever owned sh*t boxes (proud owners of them though since I saved my own money in both high school and college to be able to purchase them), but after rear ending some lovely lady that also works at TJX (another story, another time), I said goodbye to Carmen Elantra and got my dream car…a 2012 Hyundai Sante Fe- beep beep! New car, back to work, back to exercising, and back to eating and drinking! My pancreas has really done a 180 and I’ve been off pain meds for over a month and am eating practically a normal diet again! Mike and I even had nachos the other weekend and after over 6 months of not having them, we were in HEAVEN! I’ve also been able to have some drinks lately, which if you’ve read my blog in the past year or know me even slightly, you know that that’s a big deal. It makes me sound like a lush but so be it… I like to have drinks. I like drinking beers and watching the Pats. I like having a glass of red after a long day of work. I like having margaritas with my tacos or going to hotel bars with Michael and getting house snack mix and martinis. I like being Champagnes Moran. And Champagnes Moran I was two weekends ago. Mike and I had an awesome night just the two of us going out to dinner then heading over to a new bar for after dinner drinks…it just felt normal. And that feeling of normal gave me such a sense of pure happiness, from the top of my head to the tips of my toes, I felt amazing. I felt like “Jessy” was finally back in action!

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!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!HAAAAAAAULLTTTTTTTT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
That’s what it felt like. That’s what getting pancreatitis and being hospitalized for it for the fourth time a week ago felt like. A W-T-F moment. A “no! no! no!” moment. A “this can’t be happening” moment. It felt like a punch in the gut…literally. My life had just gotten back to my new normal. I was feeling like me again. Life was being good to me. And then I go in to have my stent removed on Friday and the stent gave the doctors trouble coming out. So much so that it broke in half while they were in there. So with that much struggle going on, my pancreas got “upset” and pancreatitis hit me again. I spent 28 hours in the emergency department before being transferred to a hospital room and another day asking when I could get transferred to 7D. We watched the Pats game on a 13 inch TV with no apps and no beers. (but with the company of some of my favorite people, Mike, my mom and Dr. Mandy!).
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I sat in a hospital bed trying to get as much work done as possible as I couldn’t bear thinking I was taking more time off after just coming back from being out for 11 months. I’m back on pain medicine and wearing my stupid heating pad day and night. I got released Tuesday night and was back to work by Thursday. It was such a hard week and I’m so glad it’s Saturday. Having a taste of my normal life again and having it taken away again is a lot to handle. I started crying really hard when I got home from work yesterday while I was talking to my mom… I just couldn’t hold it in anymore. It feels SO unfair this time. Everytime has felt unfair but this time just seems like too much. Having what I’ve wanted back this entire year— normalcy— and then having it taken away one more time is more painful than I can really put into words. Mike came home just as I was sitting there sobbing on the couch and for the millionth time this year, he gave me a hug, kissed my forehead and talked to me about it until I felt better. I had been trying to just “keep marching along” and pretend like this was something “I’ve done before, I can do it again” but it’s more than that this time. It’s frustration to a whole new level. But after crying and talking it out, I felt better. I’m already one week down. I’m already out of the hospital which is a lot better than the first three times. I’m back at work and have something to keep my mind off it. It’s likely that it won’t take as long to heal this time. And there’s no more stent in me which means no more endoscopies which hopefully means this truly is the last time I’ll deal with pancreatitis.
AND lastly, the Patriots are Super Bowl Champions. So really, life is still pretty good.
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Happy weekend everyone!
XOXO,
Jessy
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Tomorrow, Tomorrow, I’m Excited for You Tomorrow

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Tomorrow I go to the Dana. I go every Wednesday and I never look forward to it but tomorrow, tomorrow I’m excited. Weird to say that I’m excited to head to the hospital but I’m hoping that tomorrow is the start of a long stretch of pain coming to a close. I meet with my pancreatologist and hopefully get the all-clear to begin eating again. Now I know it won’t be an “eat whatever you want” conversation but even being able to have a fruit smoothie or grilled chicken breast will be such a big deal. Like I’ve said over and over, I’m so hungry. Hungry and beyond crazy with cravings. All I can think about is food…sandwiches, pizza, angel hair pasta, sushi. I’m a ways away from all that but a girl can dream. I also start on steroids tomorrow for five days which make me absolutely insane when it comes to eating. They make me so hungry and able to eat like a growing football player. So tomorrow as I meet with my doctor, I will be putting on my persuasive pants and begging him to allow me to start my journey back to the real world of food. Wish me luck.

Tomorrow also marks the restart of my chemo regimen. I’ve been paused for two months because of the pancreatitis but tomorrow I start it up again. It will feel good to restart as I have been worried to be off my planned track for this long…for obvious reasons. Chemo’s no fun but progress is. The start of this next round of chemo means I’m one step closer to getting my life back, one step closer to being cured. And those things are something to be excited about, really excited about.
XOXO,
Jessy

Three Months Hungry

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My first pancreatitis attack happened on August 13th. It’s now November 14th. That’s three hospital stays in the books, about 100 pounds in fluctuated weight, an incredible amount of pain medication down, a stent placed into my pancreas, two months behind on my chemo regimen and three months in the past of simply not eating or not eating the foods I want to eat. In fact, right now, I’m unable to eat anything but “clears” for the next two weeks (clears = broth, apple juice, jello, water). It sounds unenjoyable but not the end of the world, right? I would have guessed that too but not being able to eat is more than that. I’m having such a hard time with it because it’s something that I enjoy doing so much. I enjoy cooking it, I enjoy snacking on it, I enjoy going out to restaurants with my boyfriend and friends, and I enjoy eating it! Food was one of the last things that not much had changed since my diagnosis. And I so revelled in that. So the fact that it got taken away from me just seems unfair. Now, instead of eating, I have a feeding tube that I attach to every night for 14 hours. Not exactly a pasta dinner.

In general, these past few months have left me really down. I’ve been in the hospital 45 days of the three months which is nothing short of miserable. Being in the hospital is a mind game. It’s draining and sad. You become like a hamster. For the majority of the time you’re kept in your little cage where people are constantly coming in and out to either visit, poke you with something or give you medication to take. The latter is my favorite as it hopefully will make me sleepy and I can dose off to kill an hour or two. If I’m being honest, sleeping has become one of my favorite things to do in these past few months because it takes me away from everything. I know that doesn’t sound very inspirational but it’s the truth. Trying to stay positive and keep my spirits up has proven to be harder recently than it had been in the past. I think it’s a combination of this big bump in the road I’ve had (aka pancreatitis) and also the sense that I’ve been at this for almost 9 months now and I still have so much further to go. Today, however, my mom and I are staying in our pajamas all day since it might snow and making Christmas crafts for the holidays. It should be fun and I’m grateful to be out of the hospital and doing something I enjoy… crafts! Now, if I can just get to eating by Thanksgiving, I’ll be making positivity strides all over the place.
Much love for listening to me vent… I had to get this one out.
XOXO,
Jessy

Back at it Again

On Thursday I found out that my pancreas had suffered a leak in it during the first two pancreatitis attacks. So my doctors quickly scheduled an endoscopy procedure for the next day to place a stent where the hole is. I was so nervous about it as I hate being put under and I’m anxious about a foreign object being in my body. But I trust my doctors so I knew it was what I had to do. Friday morning came quickly and with Mike by my side, I had a stent placed in my pancreas. Everything went smoothly and the doctor was really pleased with how the procedure went. I was even able to go home that night in time to pass out candy to the trick-or-treaters!! (Huge deal to me cause I had been really looking forward to that so I would’ve been really sad if that got taken away from me). Anyways, Saturday morning I woke up with intense pain in my stomach, I was rolling around and just could not get into a comfortable position. So I took pain meds that typically help and waited an hour. No such luck. After a call to my oncologist, Mike and I were on our way to the emergency room (which was filled with drunk halloween goers. Woof). My hope was that I would be able to go in, get some IV pain meds and head home but that wasn’t the case. After being in the emergency room for 6 hours, I got admitted, again, to the Brigham 7D. I am so frustrated because I had been doing so well. I was eating, my nausea was starting to go away, and I was overall just feeling good. So being back in the hospital bed hooked up to 100 different machines and unable to drink or eat…I feel more than discouraged.

On the bright side, it’s freezing out (I saw snow flakes out my window-ahhhhh!!!) and I’m inside all day. My amazing doctor made me two “pancreatitis” playlists to listen to (how sweet is that?!) My family and Mike have been by my side the whole time. And I got onto my favorite floor which makes things so much more enjoyable and comfortable. Definitely not an ideal situation but I’m trying to positive because things could definitely be worse.

(Here’s a pic of me and my TPN feeding tube at home! Fun, fun, fun!)

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XOXO,
Jessy

PS this is not a pic for the faint. So if you don’t like bodily functions, I’d X out now. But below is a pic of my pancreas before with the hole (on the left) and it now with the stent in it (right side). I thought it was pretty cool so wanted to share with you guys!

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Back at It

It’s been a rough go at it lately. Really, it has. Although my attempts to limit foods have been the best to my ability, I somehow found myself in an ambulance by myself to the hospital on Friday afternoon due to my pancreatitis coming back.

Painful and Scary. No bueno.

So I’m back in the Brigham, not getting to eat or drink, on rotating pain meds, and just overall itching to get out of here. Luckily, I’m not getting pumped with nearly as much fluids this time so I haven’t gained the 40+ pounds I did round 1. I do, however, have some pretty amazing news. My doctors have finally approved Mike and I being able to get a dog so there’s something for us to be very excited about and something to very much look forward to! So while Mike’s at work, I’m over here lookin for someone to call our little baby! If you have any frenchie breeder or rescue suggestions, I’m your girl!!!

Quick post today but just wanted to give an update about what’s going on here on my end! Hope you all had a marvelous weekend!

XOXO,
Jessy
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Can’t Sleep

I do some of my best writing at 4:30 in the morning…on steriods. And that’s what’s going on right now. It’s exactly 4:37am and my mind is racing and I can’t sleep. So instead of laying here in bed with my eyes open, I thought I’d write down how I’m feeling and what’s new.

It’s been a little while since I’ve written a post, the frequency of the posts have slowed down in the past month and I know it. It’s not because I’m getting bored with my blog or anything of that sort but rather because I’m bored with my life right now. The past 3 weeks have consisted of not eating or making bland, “soft” meals, throwing up, napping, being curled up in pain, going to the doctors, watching tv, sleeping. Repeat. I’ve felt anything but inspirational. I’ve felt bad for myself quite honestly and that’s really it. I felt bad for myself that Mike and I had to cancel a trip to Newport this weekend that we had looked forward to nearly all summer due to my condition. I felt down for myself that I’ve felt so sad lately, it doesn’t feel like me. But as I sit here in bed in the wee morning of hours, I am thinking about everything good that has still happened over the past three weeks.
– I got to see two of my best friends, one from high school and one from college, that live in California and Florida and I very rarely get to see. It’s always rejuvenating to visit with friends, especially those you haven’t seen in quite some time.
– I got to spend time with my family and Mikes family. Both by the pool. Both with our little nuggets. And I’ve said if before but I’ll say it again, there’s no better cure than hanging out with children you love. They put a smile on your face no matter how crummy you may feel.
– I got to slow dance with Mike to Frank Sinatra.
– I got to dance crazily to “Shake It Out” by my girl T Swift with Mike (yes, there’s a lot of dancing in this house). Works for a good belly laugh every time.
– I have been reminded how strong I really am. I have learned how much my body can be put through and how I will bounce back and come out on top, even if it takes a while.
– I got to start back up on the chemo cocktail yesterday. Now this may not be traditional “fun” but being paused is a stressful feeling as you know it’s just pushing back the end goal. So I was thrilled to continue back on the march.
– I’ve learned that the guy sleeping quietly next to me (thank god, it’s a snore a lot of the time!) is the best thing that ever happened to me. That even at my lowest and grumpiest, he loves me unconditionally.

So for a crappy few weeks, there’s still a lot of good that has come out of it. And that’s important to remember, even at my lowest lows. Sometimes, I just have to write it out. I hope you all are having a wonderful and blessed week!

XOXOX,
Jessy

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Hunger Pains

I’m so hungry. Literally, all I can think about is food. And that’s because I can barely have any.

Tomorrow will be two weeks since I got pancreatitis and one thing I learned is that it’s no joke and it’s no fun. I’ve been home from the hospital for 3 days now and my stomach is no better than it was a week ago. There’s a constant feeling of uncomfortableness that hums throughout the day and then after I eat I get sharp stabbing pains. This type of suffering would maybe be worth it if I was eating delicious food… pizza, nachos, mac n cheese…. things of that nature. But instead I’m only allowed to have low fat, fat free and dairy free. Things in the realm of low-fat soups, saltines, fresh fruit, steamed broccoli, grilled chicken.. none of the above are worth a painful aftermath. I’m still not sure how long that regimen will last but I was told that it could be up to a year until I’m fully able to eat everything I once was. Here’s to hoping it doesn’t take that long. I’m a buff chix nachos type of girl and having that taken away really bites the big one.
Although my thoughts are being consumed with “I wish I could eat this” and “Ughhh my stomach hurts so bad,” I also am thinking about what tomorrow will bring. Tomorrow is another big day as I meet with my doctors about where we go from here. Since one of the main chemotherapy drugs that I have been on is what caused the pancreatitis, the risk is too great to continue on with that specific drug. I was scheduled to get ten doses and I had only gotten four so far meaning I won’t get 6 of the scheduled treatments sessions. And not finishing up a session of my treatment plan, well that’s scary. Scary because if that’s what my doctors knew to be the best chance of beating this, what does it mean now that I won’t be getting them all? Hopefully there are alternative drugs and avenues we can take but it definitely makes me nervous to think we’re not going with the strongest option. So tomorrow I’ll once again be at the hands of my doctors.
On a positive note, I’ve been working on a homemade chicken noodle soup all day that I will be having for dinner tonight. The chicken is shredded, the veggies look soft and I used whole wheat egg noodles that look delicious. So cheers to it turning out good and me getting a yummy meal in my tummy.
XOXO,
Jessy
p.s. in honor of being unable to crush food, here’s a pic of me mowing two breakfasts before treatment a few months ago!
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