Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Believing The Butterfly

You know what's stupid? Me feeling bad about Hermie. It's just me borrowing trouble which is a completely waste of energy. It's frustrating that I can't seem to just ignore this prognosis and enjoy my life. I hate that. I had a hard day yesterday, full of fear about death, brain tumors, radiation, supplements, diet, prescription drugs, and things in my environment. I'm worried that I'm overlooking things. I'm only doing some supplements, metformin and low dose naltrexone along with the restricted ketogenic diet and the newcastle disease virus shots. I keep researching things to see if I should add stuff and time after time I keep falling into brain tumor websites where people talk about their experiences with specific drugs and treatments. The postings live on in the interwebs even though so many have since died. It's terrifying. I watch and read in horror as so many who fight valiantly, lose their battle, as almost all do when up against brain cancer. In sifting through the helpful information, I also learn of what the end looks like. Loss of bodily functions (urine, feces & vomiting), increased seizures, lack of cognizance, lack of control of the body - arms, neck, everything. I could go on, but I know you get the idea. Each life is different, each body has a different breaking point. You never know which lovely symptoms will be yours. I've had my share of having my mother or Danny have to wipe me and I'm telling you it is the most humbling, embarrassing, heartbreaking vulnerability that I have endured.

I'm sad that my future scares me. I'm sad that I'm not strong enough to just breathe and enjoy this moment. I'm sad that I'm not convinced that I can beat this. I'm sad that I believe Hermie will kill me. I'm sad because I believe this could be the best I might have that it will inevitably go down hill. It's just basic statistics and so far, the statistics have been accurate for me. A recurrence one year after the first brain surgery has a bad prognosis. I tried to fight it with diet and supplements, but it didn't work. Now, with two brain surgeries under my belt in only 2.5 years, and a possible progression of disease within only 6 months after surgery, things aren't looking great. I feel defeated, and nauseous, disheartened.

I can't take every drug, every supplement, every treatment, in fact some drugs can actually cause accelerated growth - but you don't know which camp you're in until you are desperate enough to try anything. Then the drug can extend your life a bit, or it can kill you faster. And the western doctors almost always want you to just go for it because they don't think you're going to live long regardless.

Just as I did yesterday, I'm going to grab Emma and go for a walk. I'm trying to walk everyday, it makes me feel connected with life. I watch the squirrels, the birds, the baby ducks, the fish jump, and the turtles sunbathe, even an old crotchety raccoon walk down the street. Yesterday as I walked the lake, a butterfly swirled around my head, then flew across my path and headed over the water. I don't know what possessed me, but I pulled out my phone and Googled, "What does a butterfly crossing your path mean?" And this is what the first website that came up said...

Animal Spirit Guides : The Butterfly

To our past ancestors, the animal held great spiritual power and symbolic meaning. In Native American culture, mythology and ancient civilizations, each animal is embodied with its own symbolic meaning and held its own unique spiritual power.

A particular animal crossing your path had deep significance to your life and indeed a strong message to impart. The presence of animal wisdom may appear to you in a dream, on the physical plane or intuitively.

The Butterfly

The butterfly is the symbol of metamorphosis and transformation.
The symbol of new life, letting go of old cycles and finding your true inner expression.

The butterfly calls you to expand your awareness, spread your wings and call forth your inner joy.

Let go of limitations, and free yourself to express your own beauty within.

It is the time of spiritual transitions. Symbolic of moving from one phase of life to the next reaching higher, reaching outward, leaving the safety of the cocoon and finding your own place among the flowers of life.

Allowing the wind to carry you forward to your goals and dreams. A time of self-discovery rebirth. The butterfly shows you the beauty within.

Go forth with joy.


I recognize my true beauty within,
I value and cherish all that I am.
I have the power to transform my life.
To experience true joy.

I wish I could absorb the goodness of those words, but so far it hasn't soaked in.


  1. The Butterfly...that is beautiful. I'm a stranger to you but your story and you have touched my heart. I've learned lessons from you simply by embracing the thoughts you share in your blog. I wish you joy and the strength to keep being a warrior. You are in my thoughts and prayers. Thank you for sharing. You are touching many people.


  2. Jess, I'm sorry you've been having a rough time. I know how heavy it can be living under a dark cloud day after day. I have a beautiful one year old daughter and it tears me up in my core to think of to leaving her fatherless. Everyday, I try to fight in my own way, the best I know how. I've gone through long periods when I've been very focused on the threat in my head, and it's very hard to let go of sometimes. It's hard to carry around. I often find myself researching for hours, thinking it's bringing me closer to an answer. However, I TRY to remind myself that although I need to be concerned and think about the future, I don't want to waste too much of the present on gloom and doom. If I live another year or two, or decades more, I want to try to enjoy whatever amount of time I have left. It's sure not easy sometimes, but I try to maintain that attitude. I AM alive now and that is a gift. Abraham Lincoln said, “And in the end, it's not the years in your life that count. It's the life in your years.”

    I try to recognize the beauty around me and soak it up. I find it actually fuels a positive outlook. It makes me feel healthier when my mind is at peace. I don't know if I believe that mental attitude can affect the outcome of a disease like brain cancer, but it sure can't hurt. I like to breath in the fresh air, feel the sunshine, and feel connected to life. I imagine that all the goodness around me is seeping into my body and helping me to fight the good fight. Maybe it sounds nutty, but it helps steer my mind from bad thoughts and find some peace. Nature, soothing music, silly videos, kids, animals, etc. There are a lot of things out there that may help you to find some peace of mind and goodness. If my tumor cuts my life short, that sucks, but I only have so much control over that. What I can control is how much I enjoy life while I'm living. Good luck making each day count and on those days you can't, cut yourself some slack. It's normal to struggle through this. I hope that instead of mourning for the time you might not have, you can celebrate the days you do. Easy to say I know, and not always easy to pull off. This is my daily goal, sometimes I hit it, sometimes not. All the best, Scott

  3. Jessica, There is always hope:
    This means you don't need eligibility to be able to access this treatment even if you didn't qualify the first time.
    Oh,and by the way, butterfly schmutterfly. I think that I saw that one splatter on my windshield just yesterday.

    Keep on kicking ass girl!

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  5. Hey, Angel-baby! Funny-yesterday I felt the need to buy butterfly license plate frames-no good reason-I'm a horse person-odd, eh? Now I know it was to support you. I'm thinking about the butterfly as being sent from Aunty Myrt and I thank her for the wonderful way she set you up for good thoughts on a day you were especially sad. LOVE YOU SO MUCH-Aunty Lynn


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