Monday, October 6, 2014

Life On My Terms

I had an epiphany last night. It was profound, and yet seems so simple, so clear. I feel like that's the story of my life. My mantra should be, "Look again, there's probably something obvious that will make you feel better."

To preface, I have to explain that I don't sleep well. Actually, I'm a horrible sleeper, one of the worst. Always have been, but of course now post diagnosis it's worse. If Kevin Hart was judging me, instead of Dancing With The Stars, he would give me a 2 out of 10 (and we all know how easy he scores). Most nights I start to fall asleep, and just as I'm on the cusp of slumber, my right hand goes numb, or tingles, or perhaps it's my right leg, and I snap out of bed afraid I'm about to have a seizure. Naturally, this is not conducive for sleeping. The other day, I shared how afraid I've been about my upcoming MRI. And how much I hate that. I hate being afraid. But what occurred to me last night is that my deep fear isn't the MRI, but what the MRI could set into motion, like another brain surgery, or radiation or chemo. But, while I analyzed those fears I thought to myself, I've already gone against doctor's wishes, and it has proved to be better for me, both mentally, physically, and even longevity wise. That I have been rogue for a few years with my treatments, and instead of being afraid of what doctors could tell me to do, I've done what I want, even though their words hovered, and have permeated my psyche instilling fear. But you know what? I'm the only one who can control the thoughts in my brain. I choose to allow fear in, therefore, I can also remove the triggers that instil the fear.

This cancer will be on my terms. I will no longer have that deep rooted fear because I will know that I will only do what I want. I will not be pressured out of fear. I will do standard treatments if that's what feels right. But if it doesn't then I won't. I'll cross that bridge when I get there. This is my life, my one shot. I don't want to regret a thing. And if that means I die young, then that's what it means. Truthfully, if I am going to die young, then it was probably going to happen anyway. But it will be my journey, and I will be true to myself.

Man it's a relief to realize the power I have. But, that power will be diminished if I stray from my heart. We all have our own paths to take, but we also have to blaze alone.

I mean, what is the purpose of this life? Could it be to remain true to yourself? Can that really be summarized in a one-liner? I don't think so. Life is vast, and minute, full of variables, and surprises, and gifts, and challenges. I don't have the answers, but I do know that when I finally fell into a deep sleep, lips upturned in a subtle smile, it was from the rolling thought of, Thank you for this life. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.....

This morning, born out of the ashes of my new found strength, I made the most delicious smoothie in the history of Jess smoothies! I even made some smoothie friends.

Matcha Latte
1 tsp ceremonial matcha
warm/hot unsweetened almond milk (enough to fill the cup)

Fill the mug 1/4 full with the warm/hot milk, add the matcha, whisk vigorously. Once it looks nice and creamy, fill the rest of the mug with milk and do a final whisk or two.

Apple Cider Vinegar Aperitif 
1 tbsp ACV (with mother)
filtered room temp water

This one's pretty self explanatory.

Spicy Salty Sweet Green Smoothie
coconut water (add as you blend to the consistency you desire)
1/2 cucumber (with peel)
1/2 jalapeno
1/2 green apple
1/4 lime (skin and all)
1 large handful of spinach
2 leaves lacinato kale
2 inches of ginger (peeled)
2 tbsp fish oil

Blend it all together until it's creamy (it's the fish oil that gives the great consistency, but you can substitute flax seed oil, or coconut oil if you prefer, it may change the taste a little though). This batch fills two glasses.


  1. Jessica, we are so alike. I have a really hard time sleeping-for the exact same reasons. The fear of seizures always sends me into a panic. After my last doctors appt. I came to the realization that when I first got diagnosed I had no time to think about whether I should do surgery or not, radiation and chemo or not. I was on auto pilot. Now I know that I don't have to act immediately, I can think about my decisions if it comes back and make choices that feel right to me. There is even the possibility that if it comes back I may not have to do anything but watch and wait! My biggest fear as well was having to do more surgery etc..but now I feel a bit more in control. I don't know if the fear will ever go completely away, but I'm working on it :)

    1. Yes! Atta girl! Exactly. I'm so proud of you! I love it when we figure out that we're in control here. :)


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