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 

March 17th, 2016 – Scott’s Entry

Happy St. Party’s Day everyone! I’ve got Some time on the train to NY this morning so thought I would post an update. 

Yes – it’s been forever since we posted. Why you ask? Cuz we busy! Ha

Life sometimes consumes you. Funny part of our life is, the better Jess feels, the more she tries to do. She has pain all the time. But her ability to push through and do what needs to be done – simply amazing. Always has been but it’s hard not to mention. 

So the Leip update…

Izzy – the power broker of the house. Smart as a whip, mental toughness like her mother and the ability to break someone down with just a look. I’ve said forever, I don’t worry about my Izzy. Well, I worry about her when her and Momma start WWIII, but that’s another story. 

She loves Kindergarden, her reading and writing is becoming SO good that now she comes in my office and corrects my “business”. Even when it’s not wrong! Little stinker. Loves taking the bus each day, her friends and her teachers adore her. She is Izzy, who wouldn’t??

Izzy also is taking Zumba classes at the Y and is all signed up for spring softball. I can’t wait to watch that. I wouldn’t exactly call Izzy “coach able” but we shall see. She is not in soccer or basketball like Hannah cuz she doesn’t want to sweat. Classic. 

Hannah girl is crushing life as usual. First grade is going so well. Reads and writes better than anyone I know (ah..Justin??). What amazes me about her is her ability to focus and concentrate on a task. House is full of us and it’s crazy and she can just sit and do her work. Such a great trait. Smart as a whip. 

She is in indoor soccer,  and yoga/basketball at the Y. This is where I see such a different Hannah this year. She wasn’t aggressive at all last season, so Jess put her in a skills clinic to help her gain confidence and become more aggressive. This winter she is playing indoors and I can’t get over her progress. Going after the ball, making plays – huge improvement. For someone who is so sweet to make that jump to being aggressive is so huge. It would be like asking me to be quiet – yeah – not gonna happen!! She is also loving the basketball skills and drills at the Y. Making jumpers and as a lefty, I know she will earn that big time D1 boat so I don’t have to pay for college. Hee hee..

Courtney, the illustrious 8th grader is almost done with middle school. She doesn’t come as often as I would like but I’ve learned to give her that needed space that teenage girls need. I went to the teacher conferences and most likely pissed off her teachers with my “this is a waste of my time” comments. Kid is a rock star in the class. Always does her work, always a top performer. She is just driven that way. Such a great trait! 

I will say what impressed me the most about Courtney when meting with her teachers is how helpful she is with the other kids. Each and every one of them told me how quick she is to help others and not just focus on herself. I don’t have to tell you how “selfish” I think this planet is to begin with so to get that feedback was just awesome. 

The Big Man, Justin just completed his senior season of HS ball. Winding down the entire HS experience (thank God!) and it’s been quite a ride. If you don’t follow me on FaceBook or Twitter, I am happy to tell you his team, Catholic Memorial won their league, the South Sectional title and played a great game at the TD Garden before losing to Cambridge last Monday night. He made All Star for the Catholic Conference and his play during the playoffs was just incredible. 

My Jess is well…battling. She has cancer. Always will. Easy to live the day to day and miss that about her. Scans are good, treatment is working, hair has even fully grown back. She gets up and lives her day like she doesn’t have cancer and all that pain. I get to see the pain, late at night, when she has over done it. I used to yell at her. “Take it easy, please”. She doesn’t listen. I get it. She is amazing. 

She volunteers at the school. Runs the girls Daisey troops. Yes – one for Izzy and one for Hannah. Trust me, as someone who ran countless basketball teams, took kids across the country playing ball, she does more for those Daisy troops than I did for my hoop kids. Crazy chick. Love that about her. 

Now the juicer. She has to juice. It’s her lifeline. Most of you know she completely changed her diet and lifestyle when this all went down. Juicing is right at the top of that list. We go and purchase all of Whole Foods – yes, we are VIP there. She comes home and does the 60 min prep work required and then squeezes the life out of the vegetables. Quite the process but so essential. Anyways, her juicer was on its last legs. Needed a new one. She got the MOTHER of all juicers. Commercial style, 70 lbs. My 1st car cost less than this animal. She has used it twice and it’s a keeper. 

Anywho..I think that’s the update for now. Day to day. How we live. Trying to appreciate the time we have together. I know we are only at the beginning of our journey, especially cuz she doesn’t trust me to do most things on my own…


Until next time. Xoxo



I had my meeting with my oncologist, who is the bomb because I am a terrible patient, and got examined up and down.  My bone scan looked good and came back stable as we hoped.  The chemo and aromatase inhibitor drugs that I am on are causing some degenerative changes in my joints which are very painful but I will absolutely take that over cancer progression.  My lymphnodes are still the same but they aren’t causing me any problems so treatment is going to stay the same. Boobs, liver, bones and brain are all behaving and staying under radar which is fantastic news.  It may only give me peace and hope for another 12 weeks but that is 12 weeks I may not have had before.  Every 3 weeks, I will get my chemo infusion and some bone juice and be on my way until the next staging scans in 3 months.

September came so quick.  I think I even saw some leaves changing color.  Our pool is still open and the kids still jump in to cool off after school.

The kids aren’t the only ones who are experiencing firsts with all this school stuff.  Its a little terrifying for me as well.  New school, new teachers, new friends and parents.  I have to start off the school year by having a meeting with the school nurse, letting her know “our situation.” How do I tell the parents of their friends? I don’t anyone to feel sorry for them.  Do I just act like nothing is different in our family even though I act like a crazy person with sanitizer and hand washing in my home because cold and flu season is around the corner and I DO NOT want to spend weeks at a time in the hospital because someone sneezes near me when my counts are low? Honestly, I am always terrified that my kids will get looked at funny or treated differently because their mom is “sick.” I don’t ever want them to feel different.  They don’t have any friends who have had a mom go totally bald because of chemotherapy.  They don’t have any friends that have a parent that has a port sticking out of her chest, that is now a permanent fixture.  They don’t have any friends that have a parent go to the doctor all the time and have so many “appointments” like I do.  I will always have cancer and I will always have to be in treatment.  This concept is still hard for them to grasp but they are so well adjusted to it now.

Last night, I was having my typical nerves shot about treatment and I was kind of complaining to Scott telling him that I didn’t want to have chemo today.  I didn’t want to go to the hospital.  I looked right at him and said “This is never going to stop”.

His instant response to me was “I hope not.”

I had nothing to say to him after that.  I just laid there and thought about how lucky I was.

I am still determined to be cheerful and to be happy in whatever situation I may be, for I have also learnt from experience that the greater part of our happiness or misery depends upon our dispositions and not upon our circumstances.

                                                                                         -Martha Washington

Today, when my FIVE year old got off the bus, I asked her “How was school today, baby”? And THEN she asked – “How was chemo today”? Not sure I will ever get used to my kids asking me that but it is our life.

I will end this short post with this…

Yesterday afternoon I was sitting outside with Hannah and Izzy at the naval shipyard in Boston.  It was very windy on the coast.  For the first time in 2 years, I actually had hair blowing in my face and I could feel the wind through my hair.  I know this may seem silly to some but its a huge accomplishment for me. Its not just about having hair on my head, its about what I have been doing to get that hair back on my head.


I am posting this picture so I can remember this day and my hair blowing in the wind :)
I am posting this picture so I can remember this day and my hair blowing in the wind 🙂

God bless and Goodnight. xo

Summer is over and LOTS of firsts.

Hannah started first grade last week.  Holy Moly.  This is the first time in 2 years that she hasn’t had to wear a uniform to school so she has declared that she wants to wear sweatpants to school everyday.  Also, a brand new school and the first time taking a bus to school.  Lots of firsts for her and she has been taking it like a champ.  Absolutely loves school and is so excited!

First day of first grade August 26, 2015
First day of first grade
August 26, 2015

The bus!
The bus!

And then this happened! We made it! When I got diagnosed with breast cancer, my VERY first thought was I may not see my youngest child on her first day of Kindergarten! Off she went (very happily)! Yay for her and I!

Watch out world, Izbomb is coming!

First day of Kindergarten August 27, 2015
First day of Kindergarten
August 27, 2015


Okay, so I just had to do a backtrack to figure out where I left off.  My goodness.  Here is a quick rundown in (semi) chronological order.  Turns out my port was busted and frayed and leaking.  Toxic drugs were leaking out of the tube into tissue instead of going to my heart, totally explains the pain I was having for weeks.  The pain from the cracked port is gone.  Thank god, that nightmare is over.  I hate my port so I am very sensitive with the issue.  My biggest fear has always been that it would /will get infected, I never thought that it would crack.  Anyways, they told me that if they opened me up and discovered that it needed to be replaced, they would put a new one in my jugular vein (up my neck), I said 100% No.  I told them to just remove the broken one, close me up and I would schedule an OR time with my surgeon to have one placed in the subclavian where I had my previous one, even if it had to be on the other side.  They even gave me the option of having one in my arm.  For those of you who knew Sarah, she had one in her arm and always told me she liked it better there.  I contemplated that. They ended up being able to feed the new tubing through the tract of the previous one and put a new port in pretty much the same location as my previous one.  I definitely got knocked on my butt for a couple days and there was no way around just laying there and recovering. I did not want a catheter sticking out from under my skin up my neck, not for vanity reason, only for the reason that it would have totally freaked out my kids and if I can avoid anymore traumatizing things to them when it comes to my cancer, I will do just that.  So, the new port seems to be working just fine! I still hate that I need it for the rest of my life.

First treatment with new port!
First treatment with new port!

We then took a family trip to Pennsylvania to visit Sesame Place and Hershey Park. So fun! We were all still talking to each other after the drive there and back so trip = successful!

I just love this picture of Hannah and Izzy loving on Ernie and Bert.
I just love this picture of Hannah and Izzy loving on Ernie and Bert.
Kids, Hershey Park, May 2015
Kids, Hershey Park, May 2015
Sesame Place!
Sesame Place!
We celebrated Isabel Jae's 5th birthday while in Pennsylvania... pretty safe to say it was an awesome birthday!
We celebrated Isabel Jae’s 5th birthday while in Pennsylvania… pretty safe to say it was an awesome birthday!

Then came some milestones for the littles….

Hannah graduated K5 at MetroWest Christian Academy. So proud!!
Hannah graduated K5 at MetroWest Christian Academy. So proud!!
The future is bright...
The future is bright…
Izzy's Graduation from Pre-K at Holliston Christian Preschool :)
Izzy’s Graduation from Pre-K at Holliston Christian Preschool 🙂
So Proud!
So Proud!

And then comes our unbelievable trip to Moorea, French Polynsesia, Tahiti…

I had chemotherapy on Friday morning and (of course) hadn’t packed for our excursion half way around the world as of then.  So, I drove myself home from the hospital and juiced a ton of Bok Choy, lemon and ginger and I instantly felt like I didn’t have poison running through my veins anymore and I got us all packed and we left Saturday morning for our trip to paradise.  The flights were so long and a little hard on me just because of the timing of my treatments but I managed fine.  We flew into Tahiti and then took a ferry over to the island of Moorea which put us on the island at like 7am.  Amazing.  Simply amazing and words can’t do it justice.

This was our
This was our “house” for the week!
Moorea sunrise, the best
Moorea sunrise, the best
My seat on our deck! Incredible.
My seat on our deck! Incredible.
This was breakfast being
This was breakfast being “delivered” to us on an outrigger canoe, Tahitian style! They came right to out deck and set up a beautiful table and everything was just incredible. They even brought me fresh green juice!!
Best sunrises ever.
Best sunrises ever.
Tahitian tans :)
Tahitian tans 🙂
Tahitian life... not much clothing worn on the island. As a matter of fact, I left 2/3 of my luggage there for the locals because I thought they needed the clothes more than I did.
Tahitian life… not much clothing worn on the island. As a matter of fact, I left 2/3 of my luggage there for the locals because I thought they needed the clothes more than I did.
I took this picture looking down through the glass window in the floor of our cabaña. Pretty sure the neighbors kept a blanket over theirs at night out of fear of the peeping Scott.
I took this picture looking down through the glass window in the floor of our cabaña. Pretty sure the neighbors kept a blanket over theirs at night out of fear of the peeping Scott.
Our Cabaña was the last one at the end of the boardwalk. The view we had from our deck was breath taking and I will never, ever forget what that was like.
Our Cabaña was the last one at the end of the boardwalk. The view we had from our deck was breath taking and I will never, ever forget what that was like.
My love!
My love!
The very last sunrise I will ever see on that side of the world... in the palm of my hand :)
The very last sunrise I will ever see on that side of the world… in the palm of my hand 🙂

We had such an amazing trip together and made some wonderful memories but we honestly couldn’t wait to get home to the family.  We returned from our trip and then within a week and a half…. bought a new home! I swear, we never stop.  I have new address cards that I have been meaning to send out, its on my list.

We have settled in just fine!
We have settled in just fine!
Justin turned 18!!
Then Ms. Courtney turned 13! Teenage girl :)
Then Ms. Courtney turned 13! Teenage girl 🙂
And then I turned 39.... Hannah was so sweet for leaving this for me, I couldn't get upset that she wrote
And then I turned 39…. Hannah was so sweet for leaving this for me, I couldn’t get upset that she wrote “Jessica”.

So this brings me to July 26, 2015. I was diagnosed with breast cancer on July 26, 2013.  I get the chills just typing about this right now.  WHAT THE F^@K?!? I got cancer?! 2 years ago?!? Let’s just leave this at this right now and thank God that I was able to celebrate another birthday because every year, I just wish for another birthday to come.  (and all the love, support and prayers… I obviously would be struggling without those)

This picture is me (on the left) at my VERY first chemotherapy treatment ever and me (on the right) pushing my 65th treatment and wearing the same exact shirt. Time to get some new clothes.
This picture is me (on the left) at my VERY first chemotherapy treatment ever and me (on the right) pushing my 65th treatment and wearing the same exact shirt. Time to get some new clothes.
Birthday Chemo :)
Birthday Chemo 🙂

And then my sidekick just turned 45…I just don’t have any pics to prove it!

So, as many of you know, I just has some recent scans (as I do, every 12 weeks).  These ones were exceptionally stressful because of my 2 year “anniversary”.  When you are originally told that you have a 15% chance to live 5 years, you NEVER forget those words.  EVER.  Do the math.  As I type this now, I still don’t have all the specific results and the follow up that is needed but I do know this => My liver is STABLE!

I honestly don’t care about any other body part right now except the freaking liver.  If my liver starts being a jerk again, I am screwed, bottom line.  So, cheers to my liver!

My brain is clear, of tumors right now, that is.  Also great news!

There are some findings in my neck and thyroid but I need some follow up imaging on that and I also don’t have all the specifics of my bone scans yet, but I am not too worried at this point.  My bones hurt all day, every day, so hopefully the tumors are behaving themselves and staying under radar.

There is no manual to living with metastatic breast cancer.  We write the script as we go, and no two are the same.  The support groups I have found are amazing and I am so grateful for the love and support they provide.  The one thing we share, without question, is the stigma of “you don’t look sick”, “you must be cured”, you can beat this”, “you don’t look like you have CANCER”.  Sometimes it gets frustrating to explain why I don’t look sick and sometimes I feel like I have to justify why I have hair on my head now.  I will always have breast cancer, its never going away but I can be “stable”. The nature of metastatic breast cancer is progression.  I am prepared to expect it.  I’m hoping I have some more time before that happens but I’m prepared.  I feel pretty good, not too much pain.  I don’t get into all the side effects of my chemo drugs, but I do have them and I have figured out how to manage and live comfortably with them.

I have been spending a lot of time researching and getting mentored with Essential Oils.  The ones that I have been working with have had a tremendous positive impact on my health as well as my family.  I may have become a little obsessed but for the little ailments that rear ugliness around here, I have been able to soothe them with oils whether its topically, diffusing them, spraying them or ingesting them.  That is a whole other blog post, along with some of my juicing recipes that people keep asking for.  I will have a lot of time on my hands when the kids are all back in school and that is when I plan on getting into depth about some of the things that we do around here.

Be well! Thanks for all the love and support. I meet with my team on Monday before I have chemo treatment so I will have more to offer after that visit! xoxo


So, awhile back I was looking for someone who had the talent to crochet mermaid afghans for my babies. It was a project that I knew wasn’t going to be easy but it was something I had to have done for my kids. The response I got was incredible and my babies had such the surprise of going to Chat Noir to get their nails done and got presented with these AMAZING mermaid afghans!!! The two women who made this happen for my children were complete strangers and I met them for the first time today and I honestly cried the whole way home because my children have been through so much. Jillian and Emily, I will never be able to put in to words what you have done for my children but please know that we are so grateful and you have made my children feel so special and that is the most important thing in the world to me. (By the way, these aren’t just blankets, they are like sleep sacks and the kids legs are actually inside the mermaid tail, they are AWESOME)

Emily with the girls and their blankets.
Emily with the girls and their blankets.
So happy!
So happy!


Long overdue..7/1/15

Hello my peeps…

I am so sorry we haven’t posted in so long. Jess has actually mentioned on several occasions how she is so upset that we haven’t posted. I, on the other hand, am not sorry at all. But with that said, we do owe everyone an upset on our tornado, so here it goes!

Where to start..ah – we bought a house. Yup, the two people who didn’t have 2 nickels to rub together 3 years ago when we met, actually found a way. Really isn’t that hard to figure out. Man has great job, works in an industry where companies need the help and value. Woman has the ability to love, support and motivate the man to go way beyond his “usual”. This isn’t rocket science. Ha! Oh and add in a huge level of karma and we bought an incredible home!

Part of me doesn’t want to talk about it. Part of me thinks I am dreaming. From where I was to where I am today. Joke. Incredible. Not even I, and I think I’m fantastic, would have imagined this. So proud of my wife, my kids, my family. I have said over and over, my family is my fuel. My reason for trying to be the best I can. Also the reason I spend so much cash. OMG, think of the cash I would have if I was single and no kids. Ha!! Big time at the Hard Rock in Vegas. Yup. That would be me!

So..on to other news. Wife is battling. I’m not supposed to say she is doing “great”. Wouldn’t be accurate. She looks amazing. Hair, all of it. Chick is on FIRE!! But she has cancer. Had chemo Monday. I know to keep it real on what the reality is but man, she fools us all. So tough. So strong. She hides her pain. Like an absolutely warrior, champion – fill in the blank. I’m so proud of her. 

My being proud goes way beyond that I married her. That just makes me smart. She is absolutely the best person I’ve ever met. She is so honest, so strong. It’s easily the most important message which we will leave to our kids. Momma was an animal and no matter what, she got it done, got it done with a smile and hugs and never used the cancer to not handle her business. Truth is, I’m in awe of her. Always have been. 

The kids are doing great. Like the proud Papa’s just a joy to watch them all grow. Izzy just turned 5, she is her momma. Head strong, tough as nails, but also hugs me every day. Crazy combo. My Hannah, 6, reading, absolutely brilliant, reading everything in site. Courtney just turned 13, beautiful, smart, my little baby. Justin is now a man, 18, senior year coming up. So proud of him. Going to be an interesting year. 

Jessica will post a very detailed update but I wanted to kick it off. Summer 2015, a new beginning for the Leip Family. We feel so blessed. So happy. Grateful for everyone for all their support, love and well wishes they have sent us over the last 3 years. We thank you with everything we have!