Sunday December 29, 2013

Ok, so as Scott does so well with updating on our lives, I get the easy part. Me. Chemotherapy every single Monday. Some days I want to go and some days I don’t want to go. Some days having breast cancer is fine some days I wish I wasn’t so sick anymore. I need to have a total of 9 infusions of the current cocktail I am on before they scan me to see if it’s working. Tomorrow will be #8 and then in a week from Tuesday I get my brain, abdomen and my total bone scans all in one day. Wednesday I might have a stroke waiting for my results.

As far as how it am doing…like everyone else, I have my good days and bad days. My neuropathy is pretty bad in my hands that they had to dose reduce one of the chemos because they don’t want me to have a disability this early in the game. Last week, I got my dose reduced by 10%, which as you can imagine if you know me, I was not happy and I fought it. I hate not having feeling in my fingers but I hate more when they take my medicine away (which has happened more than once because of my inability to tolerate the side effects). Half of the time, my vision feels like I am looking through a kaleidoscope and my eyelids are constantly twitching which is so annoying. One of the chemos I am on makes me retain water and I cannot take a diuretic to help me get rid of the water because my blood pressure is too low. I got pulled off the steroids to see if that might help, but it didn’t. Sometimes the swelling is so bad that it hurts to even walk. Poor Scott has to help me put on those compression stockings, which is like stuffing a sausage through a straw and I have no feeling in my fingers to grab them and pull them up. I have random bouts of nausea but I have been able to control it without it taking me down. I still have extreme fatigue and weakness but I have to push through this, if I let the fatigue take over, I quickly lose the strength I need to take care of my kids and what needs to be done. My anxiety got the best of me a few times over the past few weeks with the holidays and what not, but we made it and everyone is happy!

I am overcome with such a wonderful feeling about people. The amazing people (family, friends and complete strangers) who have gone out of their way over this holiday season to make sure that my family and I were taken care of. My kids have had such a tough year and have been forced to grow up a little quicker than the average because they have lost the mother that they have always known. They deserved to have nothing more than the best and that’s what they got from all the love and support and generosity. I will never be able to thank everyone enough but please know nothing goes unnoticed or appreciated here.

I’m hoping to get through the next week and a half with no major events and some good news to start the new year off. Something has to give, I’ve yet to have one of these scans with good news and I don’t want to take anymore steps backwards. Staying positive is not always as easy as it sounds or seems but everyday I find a way to do it.

I wish you all a Happy, Healthy and Safe 2014! Much love, Jessica

Holiday Blog 2013

Hello folks!

I know it’s been a while since we have posted. It’s been so busy and crazy. We are so sorry for not keeping you updated. Actually Jess feels terrible for not blogging. I’ve been too busy and would tell people to bite me. But as Jess wants me to stop that, I will say I am sorry for not blogging. Everyone happy? Ha!

Jess should have a posting soon, but know that she is battling and showing all of us what the true holiday spirit is. She has been just awesome with her treatments, the kids, the gifts and all of it. At least for me, she makes me want to be better (or at least not bitch about the crap in this world) each and every day.

Let’s start with Thanksgiving. Was that really a month ago? Wow. Jess and I thought it was best not to travel and run around so we invited everyone to our place. The days leading up were crazy with the school holiday, the shopping, work being very busy for me, oh ya and the weekly chemo treatments. Just so hectic but also so much fun. I know for me I’ve come to appreciate the circus, the commotion. I love it actually.

We had my kids on the eve of Thanksgiving and there is just no better feeling to waking up with the four kids and their energy. We were going to attend the Ashland – Hopkinton football game but it was so cold, I just couldn’t take the little one’s out in it. So the little ones played while the big ones slept, then they all got some time together which was awesome. Best part of my world is those four kids getting along so well. Just makes sense of all this for me.

Jess was awesome on the day. Felt good and worked like an animal. I know I’m a broken record but Jesus the chick has cancer. I get a head cold and if anyone looks at me, I bite them. She gets chemo on Monday and it’s Thursday and she is up at 5am smacking around some bird and tossing it in the oven for all of us to eat. Crazy!

Ok so now my morning. Woke at 5am to help Jess with the turkey. I love the early morning. So peaceful, no kids and no drama. Jess and I did the turkey thing, then she went back to bed. I, of course, wasn’t going back to sleep so I got in my car and headed to the 6am MetroWest BootCamp fundraiser and workout they have very year.

What an amazing group these folks are. Yes, they are a workout facility and I’m sure they do a great job. Of course I don’t know because I don’t workout ever. My workouts have become private. Ha! But these ladies who run this faculty have been amazing over the past few years in raising money for less fortunate folks. Just the effort and energy to help others. Wow. I have been blown away by them.

Jess and I even had the chance to have lunch with them. Truly wonderful, caring people. With families and their own issues to handle, yet they all find time to help others. We should all be like this.

So I head down to Framingham and figure lots of women working out, I’m looking good so I can be some eye candy for them at 6am. My way of giving back I figure. Hee hee!

The place was packed. What an event. Of course Jess’ girl friends Emily and company were there. Rocking some Rally For Jess T shirts. Just incredible.

The event lasted until 7am. It was definitely wonderful and emotional all at the same time. I’ve said this to many people who have asked me about Jess. I think at times I’m too close to it. Too many things to handle and worry about. To watch others rally around Jess is about the nicest thing I’ve ever seen.

I drank coffee and caught up on some work. Oddly enough no one hit on me and I was able to leave in peace. Not a bad way to kill an hour on Turkey Day.

The day itself was awesome. We ate around 1pm and had Jess’ Dad and his clan over. Stuffed ourselves, watched football, drank a bit. It was a typical day for a non typical family.

Jess and I even got to go out a few weeks ago and head to Natick for a holiday bash. Grady, Chamberlain, Proia clan. Been doing it for a while. Her friends and that click are so close, so genuine. They have all been through so much together. It was a great time.

As we are just getting over Christmas, I’m reminded of how nuts the last 4/5 weeks were. We had so many people help us with the holidays, I probably had 3-4 times I just cried like a baby at all the help we got.

I have to point these folks about. As you know our family has been incredible. Watching the kids, spending time with Jess, even taking her to chemo when I couldn’t but I’m going to make sure I get everyone.

But we just had some holiday miracles on Spyglass Hill which just blew us away. Metro West Boot Camp, The Zipse family, Ellie Fund, Holman family, Ashland Class of 88, Cara Tirell and the Ashland Fund, my close crew from 88 as well. People helping people. Maybe what I have learned the most through this. Incredible

Everyone should know that all of it will never be forgotten. Ever!

Now on with the show. Jess was an Amazon shopping maniac over the last month. She is nuts like me when it comes to the kids. She wanted to make this the most amazing holiday every and boy did she ever. The house decorations, the tree, the endless nights of wrapping. Chicks just gets it.

The six of us even took a trip to Avon, MA and the Jordan’s Furniture holiday circus a few weeks back. We didn’t get in to all of it but it was an awesome time. Even swung by Millis to see this incredible light display. Holiday season. Nothing better.

Christmas itself was out of a dream. Izzy and Hannah woke up to loving the room full of presents. You could barely sit on the floor with all the gifts. I forget how excited the littles ones get around this time. They loved that Santa ate the cookies and drank the milk. Santa also left them a note saying how proud he was of them for being so good this year. Izzy seemed a little shocked that she got that feedback. Perhaps Santa isn’t a wise as she thought. Ha!

The girls then went to their Dad’s with Auntie Lisa and they had a blast. Came home with all sorts of gifts. While they were gone, we wrapped some of the final gifts, and cleaned up the morning tornado had left. I can still see all the wrapping paper in my head when I go to sleep. Crazy.

My kids actually came to us at 11. I was suppose to get them at 3, so that was the only gift I needed. Courtney and Justin opened their gifts and Courtney has a new wardrobe which should last her 3 years.

Around 5, Jess’ family came. Her Mom, who got MVP of the day for all the cooking and effort, came with her side and Jess’ Dad and his side came over. It was just awesome. Place was packed and we had all the kids. It was the way it should be. Jess even had a glass of wine, got to eat and was smiling all day. I’ve had 16 holidays with kids and by far, this was my favorite.

As we venture towards the end of 2013, while the cancer is certainly a pain in the ass, our life has so many things to be thankful for. So many true friends. So many blessings. Our four healthy kids. I choose to see the positive.

As for the cancer, while Jess is great at the medical crap, here is my take. She has been so much better. No fevers. No trips to the ER. We have scans in Jan. Thats the monster. But she is doing better. Her blood works looks real good. She will be the miracle. Truth is we will never be done going to chemo and never be free of the cancer, most likely. But Jess will watch her kids grow up, she will be here for me to drive crazy and help with my kids. She will be here. Period. So the road is long and hard, but it’s a road filled with love and honesty and great times. I wouldn’t trade it, it’s our adventure. It’s our life.

Have a great holiday and New Year’s everyone. Have a toast for Jess. Her coverage, her strength, to great scans in Jan and to all those who love her and have helped her!

Until next time..