Friday, August 24, 2012

Between A Hard Place & A Hard Place

Hi Friends. I am sorry that I haven't written in a bit. I've been depressed. I've been trying to get my butt in gear here and there, but for the most part I haven't had the energy to do much. I've been pretty shaken up by Ethan's death, then Kathi Goertzen's death which was technically due to pneumonia but was truly a complication from her brain tumor. A few days after that I heard that Tony Scott the famous director killed himself allegedly because he was diagnosed with inoperable brain cancer. When I heard that he jumped to his death I thought to myself, "Does he know something I don't know? How bad will this get? Will I regret this journey?" The concept of death has been swirling around me. It's in the air in each room slowly suffocating me. Each time it nudges me, I turn my head and try to ignore what it whispers in my ear, but just trying to ignore Death's comments have zapped me of all energy.

The worst part about the whole thing is that I'm incredibly healthy (other than Hermie obviously). I have EVERYTHING going for me. I have a fabulous life with a wonderful man whom I adore. I have a safe home. I have wonderful friends and a great family. I get it. Conceptually, I understand my great fortune. But, sometimes, I get torn between fear of the monster in my brain, about the projected future of my disease and denial. I can't seem to live in just one life (fear) or the other (denial). Instead I oscillate, fighting, fulling knowing that I if I don't accept the truth of my situation (whatever that means) I'll crumble. And that makes me frustrated. Life is too short to fall apart, and I hate that I'm in this predicament - not the tumor part, but the fact that I can't seem to come to peace with it these days. There's no point in being upset that I have brain cancer, I can't wish it away - but I can try and heal myself with healthy eating, exercise, supplements, and perhaps the clinical trial. But when I'm depressed, I don't feel like taking my pills. I don't feel like leaving the house. I don't feel like dealing with anything. I don't want to talk, or write, or socialize. And that's not me. I hate it when I'm not me. But I don't know how to fix it. People have mentioned anti-depressants, and I appreciate the suggestion, but anti-depressants have been linked to gliomas (they're not sure if it's correlation or causation) and that terrifies me. I feel anti-depressants aren't an option.

Ferry ride to FH


  1. You are SO strong. Sometimes I look at myself and think, "I wish I could be strong like Jessica." You have soared so highly above all of your hurdles. Being depressed about death? What isn't depressing about that!? Death is something that no one gets, that no one has all the answers to. When it happens like it has the last couple of weeks - so closely to you and your personal struggles - a person would have serious issues if it weren't depressing. And a girl with a heart like yours, well there you go. Allow it. Let yourself be sad over it and then you can move on with your awesome life. Once you get that part over with, you'll USE those people as all the more reason to keep fighting. It might even keep you going when other things bring you down. I think your visit to the island was a great idea, and that you will come out of this quickly. Maybe I need to drink a bottle of wine for you? Done and DONE. :) I am always here for you. You're amazing and you can do this!!!!

  2. Thanks for being real and sharing your life with us. I think this is the attraction to reading your blog for me. There is no pretense. That has been washed away by the reality of your situation. The frivolity of the many things we humans hold onto as important till something shakes us to the core is so commonplace in most of our lives. Here's hoping you find a way to shake the paralyzing forces so you can continue living the life that is you.

  3. Hi Jessica,
    Well, we all feel that way sometimes. You hold such high standards for yourself. You do not need to be superwoman. Give yourself a break every now and then and it will help you move forward the next day back to the old Jessica. Our lives change, we change, accept yourself and be as sympathetic to yourself as you are to others. When I was substitute teaching in kindergarden one of the little students explained to me why she had missed school the day before. My mom said it was time for me to take a "mental health break," she said, smiling. It worked.
    DIana Clark

  4. Thinking of you often and hope you can find peace every second of every day. Thank you for being so honest.

    J. Martin

  5. "So Cal" PattiAugust 24, 2012 at 7:24 PM

    Jess- glad that you have resurfaced but am sorry that you are going through so much fear. I would give anything to be able to take that all away from you! I have let fear cripple me since Christmas eve when a vein blew open in my left foot. Have been afraid to leave the apt. with the high steps, drive, etc. and have missed 7 months of my life due to it. I decided this week not to let fear win anymore! Hope that you can get to the same place and move forward with your healing! Love the picture of the ferry to Friday Harbor- it reminds me of being a little girl! Love you and send blessings your way daily!!!

  6. Jess, I have been through all of this, essentially you are sitting up on the ibeams of a skyscraper in the middle of it's construction, clinging to it because you are afraid if you look you will go plummeting to the earth. You will get used to it. That's not denial, that is living. Pretty soon you will be walking along those Ibeams seeing everything, pretty much hopping from one to the next like all of the others. Don't let fear freeze you. It won't do you any good. Just get up and start walking slowly, look forward, and don't look down for a while. Once you get used to it, you will feel more and more comfortable and enjoy the view. The truth is, everybody is walking around on the ibeams. You are just more aware of it. Enjoy your lunch!


  7. sorry, all of that gobbledy gook is a link to a famous picture named "lunch atop a skyscraper"


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