Sunday, April 13, 2014

Four More Years

Today is my four year anniversary from diagnosis. We have endured so much, our mental and physical strength have been tested. We've had three brain surgeries. We've moved three times. We've re-learned how to read, and walk, and run. We re-learned how to write and use utensils. We expanded our vocabulary. We've lost the ability to drive, then earned our way back behind the wheel. We've had adventures, completed races, tried every brain tumor diet on the planet, researched and gone to the edge of our limits. We've traveled across the country, even the world, to seek the best treatment. And through it all, I can't help but enjoy every moment (even the tough times). The longer I'm alive, the more grateful I am. It's exponential. I've heard new parents say that they couldn't even anticipate how much they love their new child, and that's how I feel about life. Every day my heart swells with gratitude. I love it here. I love my life. 

This weekend Danny surprised me with several fun things. My favorite was a cat video festival. I laughed so hard that I cried. For about an hour. Anything that can make you cry in joy is a great thing. 

Of course we got out to celebrate our muscles, and legs, and strength, and crazy ability to overcome the effects from the first brain surgery. I can't believe that they told me I probably wouldn't jog/run again. Fooled you guys. Ha!

Dan surprised me by setting up our patio stuff so that I could read my book in our triangle park. I can't believe that spot used to be dirt. You can see Emma's outline under the umbrella toward the back of the trough garden. She's a big fan (left side).

You guys, I'm so happy to be here. I'm so happy to wipe the crusties out of my eyes each morning. I'm so happy to do my chores, to try a new recipe, to have the fortune to run and jump into Dan's arms, and call my parents just to say "hi". Thank you for joining me on this journey. There are lots of statistics out there, but I remember reading one in my first year out. It said that a person my age, with my type of tumor, had a life expectancy of 4.5 years. Statistics used to really scare me. I didn't know what to expect, how quickly I could deteriorate. Now, I know that life isn't about statistics, or where you fall on a bell curve. Life is about how you feel, and how much joy you experience in each moment. It's about throwing numbers, and expectations, out the window, and just going for it. 


  1. Sounds like a great day!!! you go for it Jess!! Love you. L

  2. "So Cal" PattiApril 13, 2014 at 8:50 PM

    Here's to many more happy years Jess! I have followed your blog since the beginning and have cried and laughed with you and cheered you on all the way! I have said all along that you would beat this and I still just know it!!! I think of you everyday when I look at my Jess Hope magnet on the fridge! Love You! "So Cal" Patti

  3. You are such an inspiration Jess! You make the world a better place. Thank you!

  4. God absolutely has a big plan for you. It is the small things in life that add up to being the big things. Enjoy all your little moments, and joys, and victories, and most of all your beautiful life. It really is what we make it and you are making it wonderful in the face of adversity. Hip, hip, hooray, you are doing life right! One day at a time is all any of us have, to be able to be in the moment is such a gift. That is why they call this day "the present!". Sending much love and many prayers that you feel how very much you are loved :)

  5. I read your blog every week. I rejoice in your health and well-being. Cancer nurses say that they can usually tell who will do well and who won't based on the patient's attitude. Based on that criteria, you are going to walk and run on this earth for a long, long time and to that I say, thank you, God! Keep on running, Jess!

  6. You may or may not recognise and remember me as I follow you silently most of the time, I want to say again that you are inspiring, I hope I will eventually be more constant in maintaining an attitude of living in the present enjoying what I have, as you demonstrate here. But it is very difficult to be consistent and I have whole days of feeling pretty discouraged at times, including today, a year from diagnosis of a gyn cancer, and feeling radiation pain at the moment. I am still engaged in treatments ranging from RC-Ketogenic diet+glycerol phenylbutyrate +(soon)2DG+hyperbaric oxygen to mistletoe and more, and just had radiation treatment #12 of 25 today. I follow you with great hope and am glad you are doing life so well! Looking forward to more posts!

    1. Oh yes, curious as to how your diet looks these days?

    2. Good luck with your radiation today! And until it's complete. You should be proud with all that you're conquering. You are taking that cancer by storm! My diet is off and on. I love diving into restricted keto, or at least playing around with ketosis, then I'll get sick of it and need greens and I'll eat exclusively green smoothies, or I'll burn and eat two quesadillas. I'm just not that good about diet anymore. I love healthy foods, and I love bad foods too, and it's all part of life, and pleasure, and exploration. I vacillate from feeling guilty when I eat poorly, to being defiant. I don't think my tumor was caused by my diet. Do most foods feed cancer? Yes. But, I also want to feel alive, not constantly afraid of calories, and carbs, and sugar.


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