Wednesday, October 6, 2010


A few weeks ago, Danny and I grabbed a few copies of files from my medical file at the UW. In the paperwork, the doctors stressed the high probability of seizures. In fact, seizures are typically the first symptom of my type of brain tumor. Reading about the seriousness of a possible seizure on paper was sobering. It's one thing to have a verbal warning, and it's a completely different thing to read it from your file.

In the documentation the radiation oncologist said, "She understands that if she is to suffer a seizure that she would be restarted on this medicine, or a similar one, and that she would likely be taking that for the rest of her life. Furthermore, she understands that in the event of seizure activity, she could not drive for six months afterward."

Since I had to take seizure medicine for weeks before and months after the surgery, I'm acutely aware of the side affects. In fact, at the time of this documentation, I was still on the anti-seizure medication. Here's more which I found kind of funny, "Her parents and significant other, who accompany her today, state that she's been more irritable than usual, and endorse that she acts as though she has a 'shorter fuse.' She states that she has not acted out against anybody, however generally feels that she has less patience and notes that she used the phrase "I want to kick a puppy," for the first time in her life a few weeks ago. She is uncertain what precipitated that statement, though generally she is concerned that she is 'not acting like herself.' "

So there you go. I remember taking that horrible medicine. It caused irritability, which isn't something that I normally have to deal with. I dread and fear the onset of seizures. Although the doctors said that since I haven't had any seizures, it is probably unlikely that I will have them. And though that is reassuring, I feel like there are no guarantees in life. I've seen enough surprises to knock me off my feet.

After reading that document a couple of weeks ago, I started subconsciously tapering off my running. I got scared. I don't want to lose my independence, or my positive attitude. Those are two things that I can't live without.

Luckily, with all things, I have a tendency to get scared and analyze the situation, and then I get back up on my feet. I ran twice before the run last Saturday, and I got back into the gym Monday, and Tuesday. Today, I'll do it again. It's the only thing that keeps me sane. I've even been working on my man push-ups. I've gotten up to 12 at a time. I'm hitting about 25 man push-ups a day. My goal is to 100 a day (it doesn't have to be all at once). It's a little thing that I can do when I'm stressed. I do them in the kitchen, in my office, even in the bathroom. I once bet my friends Matt and AJ that I could do 10 man push-ups in the middle of their going away party at Brouwers in Freemont. It's a real crowd pleaser.

Anyway, I get scared sometimes, but I'm not going to let my fears define me.


  1. I like reading that you're not going to let your fears define you and doing the man push-ups is impressive. Next thing we know is you'll be pushing up and clapping your hands before your way down. You go girl! xoxoxox

  2. You post just made me see if I could do a man push up in my office. I'm not going to admit the results here. :)

  3. We have to do man push-ups in our kickboxing class every Wed and the push-ups are really hard. I must give you credit - because they are tough.
    Sidebar here - I live near Milwaukee WI and I was reading an article in the paper today about someone tearing up the gold course near you. When I saw the name of the town I thought "It's a small world, I know where that is and I know someone that lives there". So it reminded me to visit your blog and also say a prayer for you. :) Jim

  4. It is Ok to be scared and then get back at it. Never heard them called man push-ups. A little story...I used to do allot of push-ups. I would do them when commercials were on the Jonny Carson show (he was an old gut on late night TV). Well he had many commercials so I did 100-150 push-ups during his show. Now that I can't lay my hand flat on ground I don't do push-ups but I still can talk about them. Also did you know Hershel Walkers only workouts in high school and college were push-ups? He used to put people on his back when doing them. A little trivia in case you find this come up on future trivial pursuit game. Have a great Day!

    GO TWINS!!
    By the way your dad taught me to use spell check offline so I look smarter:)

  5. The only bad part of doing man-push-ups in the office is I keep tripping over you. Quit hiding behind the corners.


  6. Ha, I remember that well, and yes, you were the biggest hit of the night! I have photos to prove it. You are the strongest, bravest person I know. I love you Jess. Thanks for making our going away party, and every day that is spent with you, an unforgettably special moment. AJ

  7. Jess, you don't know me - but I'm friends with Jen Gilbert; she shared your story with me. I've been following your blog, you're such an inspiration.

    I saw "1 a Minute" ( last night, and a quote from Deepak Chopra reminded me of you: "Believe the diagnosis, but don’t believe the prognosis." Stay strong ... you have people cheering you on that don't even know you! :)


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