Since the CNN piece aired, I’ve been asked to explain how I found the courage and strength to face all this.
How do you explain something that you’re not even sure your successfully accomplishing?
What I feel and believe is that I am working with the cards I was dealt and I’m moving forward. I take life one day at a time, plan for the future and appreciate the present.
I gave myself time to grieve and time to piece my life back together. It has been a process. A long process.
I found courage and strength because I had to and because no one was going to do it for me. I’m honest with myself and I chose acceptance over anger. It was my choice. I’ve taken risks and I relish and rejoice in everything in life that I actually do have control over.
I don’t believe in luck. I believe in reality.
Over time, I’ve created my own life rules and my own expectations. It has taken time.
However, there are times, like now, when I feel anxious, nervous, scared, full of dread, introspective and mentally exhausted. Times like now when I couldn’t feel farther from being courageous or strong. For a period of time every so many months, I feel vulnerable and weak.
We live our lives, our “normal” lives, in a space of time between my MRI’s. An existence we’ve become accustom to and is simply how we operate. As the date on the calendar creeps closer and the weeks turn to days, my heart gets heavy and I struggle to find my courage and my strength.
There are no guarantees and we’re always prepared. Prepared for what we have no control over. We know the risks and we’re comfortable with what is to come. We love our life, but hate what has caused us to prioritize and truly live our lives.
Moments happen in our journey, out of the blue, that bring me to tears, challenge every shred of emotion and leave me grasping for any shred of courage and strength I can hold onto.
Moments like when I drove past two well-dressed elderly women, driving along in a big Oldsmobile with smiles on their faces, heading somewhere together. As I passed, glancing into their window, I thought about my friend Sarah visiting from Tucson and our friendship. The image of these two women was endearing and simultaneously brought a smile to my face and tears to my eyes. I wished for a moment like that to be a part of the story of our friendship and yet I was humbled at the possibility it wont be.
A delicate balance of emotions which can be very hard at times to digest especially when you are questioning where your courage and strength are.
We live our life between MRI’s and we’re very good at it. It’s the finite time leading up to the scans where I struggle and flounder. As magical magnetic adventure 14 is on the calendar for next Friday, bear with me as I reveal my vulnerability and my emotional weakness. This too is a part of the journey. Good, bad or ugly, our journey is filled with it all and embracing and sharing it is who I am.
On a side note… Aside from my expectation of a clean scan Friday, I’d like to know when my magical powers from all this magnetic crap take effect. Am I asking for too much?
You don’t know me, I’ve been following you since the CNN story. My husband is a 20 month survivor of Anaplastic Astrocytoma and we know too well about “Life In-Between.” I’m having one those sleepless nights and I thought about you. I think your MRI is today and I hope for a great report! May it be a smooth appointment and a peaceful day!
Thank you Michelle and I wish your husband continued stability. I am very touched that you are following our journey and sincerely appreciate your kind words and support. Cheers to you.
Beautiful. I think sometimes we don’t accept credit for being called “strong” about things that we feel don’t present an alternative. But it IS a choice, and you are choosing strength. Courage doesn’t mean “never scared”, courage is being scared and moving forward in spite of the fear. Just the fact that you are willing to expose such intimate vulnerabilities shows strength that most people only could *hope* to muster. Your bravery is one of the reasons I love you so much.
I have put this post on hold because I was not able to give it the time it deserved until now. I am so proud and thankful you are in my life. I remember that day vividly and wish I was there now. Miss you Mama Jen…xoxo Sarah
Your post brought tears to my eyes. I totally understand your experiences with anxiety and worry. I just went for a post-surgery MRI and EEG yesterday. Although I have been seizure free for 4 months. I do get muscle twitches in my legs and hands and I worry that they will progress into something further in the future. I miss being able to go out and drive. To share moments seasonal moments with my daughter at the pumpkin patch or apple picking without the accompaniment of family or friends. I am hopeful for the future that my daughter and I will have these moments.
I think of you and pray for you often.
Lots of Love,
You are an amazing woman and I am so thankful to call you my friend. I may not talk to you as often as I’d like to but you are always in my thoughts and prayers and I always look forward to hearing what you are thinking! You make me burst into laughter and sometimes into tears. I am thankful for every word and moment of your time and for sharing it with all of us. Love ya!
Holly, I cherish your friendship and thank you. Looking forward to seeing you soon!
One foot in front of the other. Every day. Trust the momentum — and the power of friendship 🙂
Laura… looking forward to sharing Thanksgiving with you! Hugs.
Once again Jen, a beautifully written honest piece of writing that gives me pause. Thanks for sharing your life and journey with us. Sending you a big hug!!!
Thank you! Love a virtual hug.
Despite what you might think and how you might feel at moments like this, you are one of the most courageous women I know and quite an inspiration, ESPECIALLY when you write with such raw honesty. (HUG)
Many thanks and I appreciate your support Tracy.