Sunday, August 12, 2012

On The Up & Up

Things are getting better, I just have to get out of my head. I'm not sure if that makes sense. The seizure issue, for me personally, is a mind game. I can easily work myself up into a very fearful state, or I can calmly remind myself that I'm doing fine, that I'm just overheated, maybe it's very sunny, that my heart rate is up because of the conditions, not because I'm about to have a seizure.

I'm getting to the point where I feel "normal" and much more strong physically, and mentally. I still have fear, but Dan and I have been working on pushing my limits. I went for a walk with my friend Lauren the other day, Dan and I made it to PCC and Home Depot (both driving), and Dan and I have even gone running a couple of times. It might sound silly, but each time I'm out of the house is a major success. I'm excited to try and get out of the house on my own. I bet the first time I do anything will be a run around the neighborhood. So far, running has been my rock. It removes anxiety, gives me strength physically, and emotionally. It puts me back to my roots, grounds me, and empowers me. The florescent lights of the real world, the sirens and traffic, all give me (and probably a lot of people) anxiety, but when I'm out breathing fresh air, eying the various plants, birds, random pets, and vibrant people out there, I always end up smiling and feeling human, alive, happy, and grateful. I should clarify, normally, when I don't have seizure activity I am absolutely fine with sounds, bright lights, hectic situations or life in general, but when I'm on overload I have to be really careful.

Thank you for your patience as I've been horrible about emailing people back, and posting on the blog. I've definitely had a lot on my mind, not just with the attack, the landlords, and seizure stuff, I'm also incredibly nervous about the future brain surgery. The first brain surgery was not an option so I felt like I could just accept my fate, and release all (or most) of my fear. This time, this brain surgery, is optional. That is intense! What if something goes horribly wrong? It would be my fault for subjecting myself. Dan emailed Dr. Liau to see if she would prefer that I get on anti-seizure medicine for the surgery. I hated taking it last year, but if it will eliminate a complication, I will do it. I will do anything in my power to eliminate all complications. I want to get in tip-top shape, create a cancer fighting, surgery healing machine. My goal is to be running 3-4 days a week, weight lifting 2-3 days a week, and doing yoga 2-3 times a week for at least a month before surgery. It might sound excessive, but I'm not as intense in the workouts as you might imagine :) It's mostly a stress reliever, and the more you work out the more fun food you can eat :)

I've added delicious food to our diet, lots of legumes, whole grains and of course the usual veggies and lean meats. The difference, is that I'm playing around with new recipes. Tomorrow night I'm making a spinach burrito. It includes sauteed spinach, onion, and bell pepper then of course, a mix between black and pinto beans (seasoned with hot sauce), then long grain black rice (seasoned with cumin & a little turmeric), with chopped green onions, chopped romaine lettuce, and shredded sheep cheese - you wrap it all up in a whole grain tortilla and it's DELICIOUS. And it's much more fun than the typical salad and steamed/grilled veggies that I usually make us. With all of the stress in our lives right now, I'm enjoying the relaxation of food rules. Life, literally, is too short to get crazy about maximizing the nutrient content. Keeping everything in the whole foods, or whole ingredient, category is good enough for me these days. So what if a whole grain tortilla is technically processed. I'm over it. It's still whole grain (of course, you still have to read the ingredients to make sure there's nothing funky), sprouted spelt tortillas are my fav. Some may disagree, but I do believe that there are some processed foods that aren't that bad for you.

Photo of the day taken last Friday...I have a new buddy, and I keep feeding him which is strengthening our bond....


  1. Jess,
    Sounds like you are finding your way. I'm glad to hear your spirit returning. The burrito sounds wonderful! I make veggie burritos like that often but I haven't used the spinach so I will have to give that a try. As far as the seizure meds, I was scared to death to get back on them for my last surgery because they made me feel so horrible but it actually wasn't as bad because I was put on something different per my request. I was admitted to the hospital the night before surgery and given them through an IV so I wouldn't have to be on them any earlier. I was on them in the hospital and then was weaned off over the following couple of weeks. Much better than the time before. I was on Dilantin this time instead of Keppra. My surgeon usually uses Keppra of the two, but I told him I didn't want to get back on that and I wanted to try the Dilantin instead. I totally understand how you feel about the second surgery being "a choice" but I finally came to the point where I knew I needed to do it and I then wanted it done as soon as possible because the waiting was just killing me. It's so hard to explain these feelings to others because the emotions are so raw and hard to talk yourself down from even when you think you should be able to do so. Keep pushing forward and know that I continue to think of you and pray for you every day. Your brain tumor friend, Jessica

  2. I love the above comment...lots of good stuff there. I think Jessica is right in that you'll get to a point [or not]where you really want to move forward in this direction and then if will be less anxiety producing and you'll feel positive about it. Meanwhile you are doing your very best and that's all you can ask of yourself. Love to you, Jennifer

  3. So great to hear things are in an upswing. Always thinking of you and sending prayers and positive energy. All the best, John and Steph

  4. "So Cal" PattiAugust 13, 2012 at 6:56 PM

    Love it how you always bounce back Jess! You are AMAZING! Enjoy running outside again and the good meals that you are planning. That burrito sounds delicious- I always enjoy your recipes. Your new little friend is so cute having his lunch by the Buddha. Keep moving forward sweet lady in typical Jess fashion!


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