Happy New Year friends! I hope that you had a chance to kick back last night and bring in the new year with your loved ones. I was very fortunate to spend it with some incredibly wonderful friends. Sarah was kind enough to host which was convenient because she lives upstairs from me. I might have also worn a teeny-tiny top hat that clipped into my hair because, why not? If you have the chance to wear a comically small top hat with feathers and glitter you grab that opportunity by its tiny little brim! Sarah and Maddy also pimped out my cane and decorated it with glow sticks. After a few weeks of pajamas and bad hair days it was nice to have an excuse to get dolled up even if it meant sipping on sparkling cider instead of champagne.
As soon as the ball dropped I was wiped and certainly ready for bed. Before I crawled under my mountain of blankets Stacey and Zack had an early birthday surprise for me. CUPCAKES! Stacey specially ordered them from Georgetown Cupcakes. I haven’t heard of them before but apparently this cupcake shop is a huge deal. I quickly understood when I shoved a salted caramel cupcake in my face. I was thrilled enough to spend NYE with Stack and Zack but the cupcakes were a giant added bonus. Thanks guys!
Since returning from the hospital I have gotten a little better each day. Due to the six inch long Frankenstein scar on my abdomen I’m a little hunched over. To take some of the strain off my back I walk with a cane much of the time but I can walk fine otherwise (a huge win in comparison to last year’s surgical disaster). I still have some abdominal pain but I am weening myself off of narcotics. Don’t get me wrong, Percocet makes my insides feel like warm mac and cheese (stay with me) but it also clogs your pipes. I am NOT about to have another intestinal obstruction.
What other meds am I dabbling in? I am still giving myself the Lovenox shots because I am at a higher risk for blood clots. I’m full of tiny bruises because there is a huge learning curve for giving yourself injections. It beats the hell out of “deep vein thrombosis”, “pulmonary embolism”, and all of the terrible sounding complications spelled out in the Lovenox pamphlet. Today I did a really good job of injecting myself and hopefully the remaining 21 injections go just as well. (Other fun side effects include LONG TERM PARALYSIS if combined with spinal anesthesia or epidural. Well Mom, that explains why Yale didn’t make me do this. I need to stop reading this pamphlet.)
Emotionally, it is been difficult to kick the post-surgical blues but I’m getting there with a lot of help. Last time I attributed those strong feelings to isolation in CT, removal from my normal routine, and the inability to walk. This time I realize that it’s just the nature of surgery. Your body has gone through a trauma whether you are aware or not. Now it’s time to cope. Luckily I have had family and friends swoop in and do everything in their power to lift me up when I wasn’t able to myself (especially my parents). In the past few days alone I have witnessed remarkable selflessness from my family and friends. It’s like they just know when things aren’t right without me having to say a word. I consider myself very fortunate that the people for whom I care about tremendously are in my corner . It looks like my new years resolution is going to be writing more thank you notes.
So what now? Well, I have a doctor’s appointment with Dr. Robison in Providence on January 10th. Hopefully the staples will be removed and I will look less Franketsteiny (Frankensteinesque?). At that point we will find out about any further treatment planning (swapping medication, non-chemo infusions, etc.). I will remain out of work until the beginning of February. I guess I’ll need a hobby…ugh.
Even though I’m recovering I am still thinking ahead to the great things I have planned:
- February 5th I am STILL hosting a fundraiser to benefit the Rhode Island chapter of the National Ovarian Cancer Coalition at Alex and Ani in Wayland Square. Alex and Ani is graciously providing refreshments and 15% of every purchase will go to my cause! More details to come next week. (Hey significant others! It’s conveniently right before Valentines day! grab a beautiful bracelet for your loved one and promote Ovarian Cancer awareness!)
- Tony Lanza, fellow cancer crusher and author of http://www.effleukemia.com, and I are heading to Vegas baby! At the end of April we will be ending the OMG 2014 Cancer Summit hosted by Stupid Cancer. Stupid Cancer is my favorite organization for people in their 20’s and 30’s. There will be sessions about everything from fertility to survivors guilt to practical nutrition. Plus there will be social activities like a pool party at the Palms Resort to network with other young cancer crushers. I will not let a second brush will cancer ruin this trip. Press that suit Tony! You have 3 months until game time! Tony and I were given a bum deal but this trip will mark another opportunity to “get busy living”.
While I wait for all of these wonderful events to happen you can find me in my jammies watching ungodly amounts of Parks and Rec.
Happy, Healthy New Year Jess —
Wee hours of morning, just reading your blog. I am a friend of your mom and dad, a fellow drummer. I met you at your mom’s 60th bday. I follow you to stay in the know on you. You are a fabulous writer, though another turn in the road is difficult. For about six years or more I drove a friend of mine to monthly gatherings in Simsbury to see and hear Bernie Siegel! Do you know of Bernie? He lives here in CT in the New Haven area and is a leading doctor/ man on cancer and has written many books. ‘Love Myths and Miracles’, being one of most famous. I may have title wrong, but google can set Mathis straight. He writes anyone back who writes him, for any reason. He is world known for at one time considered unconventional, but is a go to guy now. Ecap, I believe is a blog site of his as well. I know the young people’s organization because of him and good for you going to it. You are an inspiration to me, your parent’s age. Well written thoughts and feelings that I can relate to. I have been traveling thrhrough medical practices, dr. appt. and medicines with Graves Disease. Never being sick, other than Lymne Disease, it’s been a trip for me as well. I’m doing well, however it has opened a door of such understanding for myself and others on situations we go through in life and how we coop with them, one hour, one day at a time. Thank you for your positive thoughts and updates. I am among those out here praying for you and sending all good wishes for a healing and health filled 2014 for you.
God bless and forge on in the spirit that you carry so well.
All the best to you,
Hi Delores! Thank you very much for reading and for your support! I do recall meeting at my Mom’s birthday. I am sorry to hear about the medical challenges that you have experienced but it sounds like you have a great attitude! I hope 2014 treats you well.
Hi Jess – Thinking of you and I’m glad to hear you are on the mend … it’s great that you have some events to look forward to in February and April! I think you’re right about being a bit down after surgery – your body needs to mend and it takes a toll on the mind too. My husband had to inject himself with the same stuff you are using after developing blood clots following knee surgery, so I get how you feel about that! He hated it too but it was important, that’s for sure. Take care and watch the beautiful snow out there today. I love your blog and will continue to send you positive energy. Love and hugs – Happy New Year! 2014 is going to be a great year for you. 🙂
Thank you for the continued positive energy and love Karen! I hope you and your family had a great holiday and a very happy new year.
Hello Jess!! Cousin Rob here. I’m happy to see that you are up and about. Hey I’m home recovering from a second hernia op then it’s back to work Monday. I will take my gym bag with me and start out in senior citizen mod. The surgeon was considerate and cut the same spot then glued me back together, yup I came unglued but everything stayed. So HAPPY NEW YEAR and keep looking to the next horizon! Best wishes.
Hi Rob! I’m so sorry to hear about your hernia. I hope you are doing well! Don’t over do it at the gym tiger!
Happy New Year! I love you and I hope to visit you when I’m on the mend.
Jess! I would love to buy some Alex and Ani jewelry in support of your event, but will not be able to actually attend, Is there a way that I can order something through you and still have the 15% donated? This sounds like an awesome event and I LOVED the bracelets that you wore this summer. Miss you!!
Thanks Tracey! I love them too. Alex and Ani is a great company and do a lot for the community. I will provide the phone number to the store. You can pick out what you would like to order from their website: http://www.alexandani.com then call during the hours of my party and order it over the phone. More details to come!
Thank you again!!!
Happiest, healthier New Year, Jess! Hope you receive more celebrating cupcakes!
I am a fellow RWU alum and have been following along since ADas shaved her head. Live in PA now but would love to buy for your cause. Think I can do what you suggested above?
Of course!! I will provide details by early next week at the latest! Thank you so much for your support. It is great to hear from a fellow alum and blogger.
Thank you so much Lee! Happy New Year!