Saturday, December 31, 2011

Happy New Year

I received the perfect gift on the last day of 2011. I was able to spend the morning with my brother, his wife Courtney, and their two children Isla and Wade/Toby (mom calls him Toby and dad calls him Wade). 

Courtney, Wade/Toby, me & Isla

 Isla & me down by Green Lake

My newest nephew Wade/Toby

This year has been a serious journey. It started as I finished up my final speech therapy sessions. Then, I had the chance to visit Jess & Dre in Abu Dhabi. In February, Dan and I shared vows beneath the Eiffel Tower during a 24 hour layover in Paris. In the spring I was able to create a presentation and share my brain cancer story with three different Rotary clubs around Washington. In the summer, I had the chance to visit my Polish relatives, and hug, bond, laugh, explore, and fall in love with them. Soon after, arriving home, Danny and I signed a legal marriage certificate. He's all miiiiiiineee!! Woo hoo!! Three days later, unrelated, I started having seizures and worried that my health may be declining. The next MRI showed our worst fears were correct. Little Herman, the tumor in my brain, was getting taller and fatter, faster than most of his peers. Instead of following my radiation oncologist's recommendation, I refused radiation and immediately started an alternative supplement program with artemisinin, completely changed my diet, amped up my cardio, and added strength training. Within 9.5 weeks I'd lost 19 lbs. I'm currently feeling wonderful, and I'll find out in less than two weeks, if my program is effective in keeping little Herman at bay. 

Along the way I've had friends support me with fundraisers, loving emails, text messages, cards, photos, hugs, and laughter. Even though I know that I am a person living with brain cancer I feel happier than I ever have in my life. I have everything to live for, and I am so grateful for all of your support. Thank you for helping me have another wonderful year! I enjoyed every single day. Even the challenging ones. I hope to share many more stories in the coming twelve months. 

Please have a fabulously hilarious and awesome New Year's Eve! Please be safe, and know that you're loved. So don't do anything stupid like drive drunk! :) 

Cheers to another amazing year!!


  1. what a wild ride Jess...thanks for sharing the ups and downs with honesty and brilliance. Not a day goes by that I don't think of you and immediately say a prayer for your health and peace of mind. Life could end for any of us today but most of us have not come to a place of gratitude and appreciation like you. Love to you and Danny always, Jennifer

  2. Happy 2012 to you and Danny. So glad you were able to spend some quality time with the kiddos.
    Love always,


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