zeroing in

Respond “unsubscribe” to the e-mail in your inbox if you would like to stop receiving my blog updates. Though there will be new cancer related updates for the next few years, that information will be available on my facebook page. My blog is going back to being my blog now. A place for me to decipher my thoughts, record my intentions, and a reminder of how far I’ve come. I’m so appreciative to all of the support I’ve received over the last 7 months, and cannot say “thank you” enough times.  <3



Life moves on in a fluid, strange, crazy way. As my life’s visible perils pass and fade, those around me seem almost obtuse to my new reality. It’s difficult to know people think you’re lazy or selfish, when in fact you’re just bone tired, having spent your day’s energy in the first four hours of the day. I guess it’s difficult for people to see, as my hair grows back and I do my best to move on. A smile on the outside doesn’t mean there is a smile on the inside.


When people ask you how you’re doing, there are people who just want to hear that you’re doing fine, so you can move on and talk about something else. Then there are people who actually want to know. Then there is that weird group that should be the latter but have morphed into the former. I don’t know what to say to people any more, do people get bored with my responses? Shouldn’t I just magically be better now that I’m done with the drugs that… killed off my entire immune system and messed with every system in my body? I find myself sympathetically shrugging as I try to pass off my struggles as “nothing”. Wouldn’t want to burden any one with my problems.


I am guilty of apologizing when I’ve done nothing wrong.


It’s already the end of July. The trips I’d idealized in my head while I struggled through the last seven months didn’t go as well as planned. It shouldn’t be a surprise, nothing is ever as perfect as you imagine it. For a realist, letting my expectations get out of control was nothing short of irresponsible – but the alternative was having nothing to look forward to. If nothing else, I made it through my trips, and was able to spend some much needed time with Brandan and Ginny. A mental reset, time on the open road, and a week without mountains dishes and laundry has left me feeling better. Our summer travels ended on a high note – so I’ve decided that is what matters.


Now that my first “something to look forward to” has passed, it’s time to create a new one. It’s a little bit more abstract, but a lot more “my style”.


My goal is to be happy with myself. I’d be interested to know what first comes to mind for other people, when you think about transitioning into a state of personal peace. For me it involves de-cluttering my house, establishing a new schedule that works with my new (although forced and hopefully changing) pace of life, and always improving my well-being. I won’t say “lose weight” or even “get healthy”, because I don’t think that goal has an end point. Just a constant journey of re-evaluating myself periodically and making sure I’m doing good things.


In with the good, out with everything else.


You would be surprised how much energy it takes to just stand. I spent a good portion of my day re-organizing my pantry, cupboards, and drawers. Walking five feet in one direction, then five feet back, then three feet to the left, then three feet back, wash, rinse, repeat. It’s not done though. My pantry looks great, my counters… not so much.


Why is minimizing so difficult?


Establishing a new schedule is almost a joke of a goal. What I really want is to have my house on a schedule, so that all of the monotonous things are done and I have time to do the fun things. In the near future there will be potty training. I want to spend my weekends out in the fresh air. There is something so renewing in a gentle breeze.


will spend more time doing things I enjoy.


Lastly, being well. I know I need to lose weight. The drugs I used for the better part of this year added an unwanted 40 pounds to my body. It is completely demoralizing to look in the mirror at this point. I have never hated my body more. It’s actually a very unhealthy mental state to be in, and it is difficult to fix the physical problems when your brain isn’t in the right place. I’m working on it. It goes back to establishing that schedule, making time to get out and move. Making time to menu plan, grocery shop, and cook healthy meals. To be honest though, and this shouldn’t come as a surprise, it is not the lack of time but the lack of energy that is the worst.


My doctor said I should expect my energy to take at least 6 months to bounce back.


It’s only been 2 months, and everyday, normal things still drag me down. I know that if I’m going to make it through the grocery store I can’t go up and down the stairs before I leave. I know that if I’m going to stand and make dinner at five I need to be sitting and resting at 4. It’s not my ideal schedule, but it is constantly evolving. As my energy increases, my schedule will evolve to allow for more of the healthful things I want to incorporate into my life. It’s a slow, arduous process.



I am happy with my life.


It seems counter-intuitive, considering everything I’ve been through this year, but I love my life. I trust that the decisions I’ve made for myself and my family are the best decisions I can make. I am constantly fact-checking myself. Thought I realize my decisions affect other people, I cannot live my life for the masses. I have realized that it doesn’t matter how many people around me are happy, if I’m making myself miserable. I realize that sometimes my decisions might not sit well with people who have my best interest at heart. It’s a hard place to be – knowing that people worry and fret over me, and I am notoriously bad at standing up for myself. But I have come to realize that as much as I cannot control the lives of others, I must take responsibility for myself, and for my happiness.


When all is said and done I snuggle into bed with my sweet husband, the whirring of the overhead fan slowly fades behind the steady rise and fall of his chest against my back, and I know that everything that happened today was the best it could be. Sometimes the best isn’t that great, but I can’t lament the past. I can only plan for the future.


Course corrections beats perfection.



Continue the fun!

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  1. Jessica,

    it's so good to read about your getting back into "normal life routine" again! 🙂 I am so happy for you that the Lord has blessed you to overcome your (unexpected) illness!! 🙂

    I can totally understand the feelings you're having now! This is so absolutely normal, believe me! 🙂 Now, you're on the edge to getting back to what should be done in daily life, to a routine everyone else seems to follow – and yet you're only at the edge of it because your body still has to struggle with the medicamentation of the past months and with everything else. Even the psychological stress still tears on you – and the hope and expectations towards your future (family) life – and the patience you not only have to learn but you've been living for how many months now?? You WANT to do more, WANT to change more, NOW and not in a couple of months, maybe… You WANT to see changes and sometimes it's hard to be satisfied with only little chicken steps, right? 🙂

    But you know, it is YOUR body, it is YOUR time, it is YOUR energy level, YOUR seize of steps etc.! 🙂 Because it's YOUR life that was given back to you. Therefore enjoy it the way it is NOW. And tomorrow you'll start all over again with tomorrow's timetable and seize of steps and energy level. 🙂

    Don't worry: Just take each day, one after the other. Don't think too far ahead. Just take today and make the best, YOUR best, out of it! That's all you've got to do! 🙂

    You can do it! I love you, admire your faith and courage! The Lord loves you, your family loves you. What else is important? 🙂

    I pray for you. When being in the Temple I write down your name. Everything will work out according to the Lord's will for you. Always trust in Him!


  2. Thank you for continuing to share your thoughts and struggles. My advice to you (even though you didn't really ask for it) is to take each day as it comes and remember the 3 most important people in your world are you, Brandan, and Ginny. If the 3 of you are doing OK, then that's all that really matters. Let the rest fall away if you need to.

    Hang in there – I know you are going to make it through this phase of your life and I have confidence that you and your husband will only become stronger together.

  3. I am so proud of you! I know the struggles of being OK one moment in time and now some of the easy stuff you used to do just isn't "easy" anymore. I am so glad God answered the prayers of many to make the bad stuff go away and to keep you with us for many years to come. I love you and all of this stuff will pass and you will get to where you can feel normal again, but your normal will always be different from the past because you now have other challenges to add to your normal life. Enjoy your life. I love you always!!

    Aunt Sue

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