Bring your brave. 

Dearly beloved, 

We are gathered here today to get through this thing called life…

Rest easy prince 😢🙏🏻

I’ve missed blogging and it’s not like riding a bike for me. It takes a little more effort to get back in the swing of it all. In the past 6 months or so, I’ve made some changes by purposely not carrying my phone with me at all times. I also took a big break from Facebook and only experienced a mild withdrawal. 

Here’s my life right now:

I want to talk about what it means to me to be brave. I’m not afraid of dying at all, I just don’t want to die. I am walking around every single day for the rest of my life with cancer eating away at my insides. I know that I am always going to be searching for tools in my toolbox and hoping there are still some left that aren’t broken when I need them. Cancer is always making decisions and choices  for me BEFORE I get to make them on my own. Unless you personally go through this, you will never know the ultimate strength it takes. The number of friends I’ve lost in the last 6 months to metastatic cancer is more than the fingers on both my hands. A couple of them, hit me very hard. 

My hourglass may be on a faster speed than most and I may also be standing in front dead center of that bus that everyone may hypothetically get hit by but I don’t consider myself “brave”. I am strong and I am one of the most stubborn people you will ever encounter. 

I was sitting next to my 7 1/2 year old daughter yesterday while the TV was on and there was a commercial about an upcoming breast cancer race. A race for the cure for breast cancer. Now, my kids know all about breast cancer. My youngest could probably name all the chemotherapies and treatments I’ve been on in the past (almost) 3 years.  She looks at me and says with a questionable tone “there is a race for the cure for breast cancer”? And I just nodded my head and she says “do they know what breast cancer is”? She’s 7 1/2. My sweet little Hannah Ryan, age 7 1/2 is the definition of BRAVE. 

She’s been by my side and she’s been part of conversations and knows that you don’t die from breast cancer. Metastatic breast cancer is the one the kills and she knows eventually it’s going to take her mother.  She knows the difference. At her age, she shouldn’t be so knowledgable about this stuff but she is and she does it with such grace, I am so proud to be her mama. 

This is not a negative post at all. Just some reality here. 

My little Izzy evens answers questions for me before I get the chance to. Ones like “Why do you have hair”? She will blurt right out, “her chemo doesn’t make her hair fall out anymore”. 

I have the bravest kids and if you haven’t met them, I hope one day you will. Just watch, they have got big things in store for them in the future. They are strong willed just like their mama (and stubborn too). 

So a quick update on my health. I have had so many tests and scans since I’ve last posted and while there have been some incidental findings unrelated to cancer that are a pain in the butt, I’ve got some movement with cancer in the wrong direction. 

So far we’ve got Breast ✔️ Lymphnodes✔️Bones/spine✔️Liver✔️and now I’ve got a freaking spot on my lung! 

I’ve also got a little bit of activity back in my liver but it’s not bothering me right now. What bothers me the most is the side effects from all the drugs I’m on. The worst one is a drug called Herceptin and mixed with Perjeta for almost 3 years it is doing quite a number on my heart. I get so winded when I am engaged in a conversation that I have to stop talking and catch my breath. It’s more embarrassing than anything. Since my progression isn’t a lot (considering) right now, I am going to continue my current cocktail of drugs and see what my next set of scans and my tumors markers and liver functions show. You see, being a lifer on treatment, there are only so many drugs in the pipeline so I am going to squeeze every last drop of what I can from my current meds before its time to move to the next. I will have a full set of scans in June and see how things are looking then. 

This is what I do on a weekly basis to get rid of my pain. It’s called wet cupping or blood letting. My acupuncturist, whom I love, sucks all the stagnant blood from my neck and back that just sits and pools up and causes painful knots. Although it looks like a murder scene afterwards, it is instant pain relief for me. 
And if you haven’t met Rachael and Lauren at Beauty Parlr and RLR studios, you should! 

I will end this quick post with I couldn’t be happier with how I am now, with all things considered. I don’t look like the pale, bald cancer poster child anymore. I look like myself and I may not feel like myself inside but I look like “mom”again to my kids and that is the most important thing ever. The hardest part about it is trying to tell people that I am still sick and I still have terminal Stage 4 cancer. It gets exhausting and sometimes I can’t be bothered so I just pretend like I am okay and be on my way 🙂
Much love, peace and harmony ❤️🙏🏻

Jessica and family