8 years, nearly to date, to when we first learned about the Piece of Shit, life today bears little resemblance to what we knew.
Virtually everything has changed as has how others perceive and define us.
There has been change. Heaping spoonfuls for the better and a pinch of change for the worse.
We’ve shuffled, adjusted, accommodated, faked it until we made it and took risks sharing our journey.
We’ve gained and reconnected friendships while watching other friends disappear. Our journey has not been for everyone and we are and have been unyielding and uncompromising how we’ve chosen to spend our time the past 8 years.
It was an eye-opening experience recently to see how others define and identify me.
Over and over, I wasn’t Jennifer, or Paul’s wife. I wasn’t my children’s mother, a writer, photographer, a patient advocate or somebody’s friend Jennifer who lives in Atlanta.
I was, over and over… “Jennifer with the brain tumor.”
It’s a sobering moment when you realize the definition of who you are has been entirely lost.
The Piece of Shit doesn’t define who I am any more than the color of my eyes does. Who I am is not defined by what remains in my brain, nor is my life defined by my diagnosis.
Who I am and who we are as a family has certainly been shaped by life in general, through a multitude of experiences and certainly shaped by the Piece of Shit. However, I am bigger than this tumor, cancer and dismal statistics. My family is bigger than all of it and I am bigger than your judgment of how you have chosen to identify me.
I am many, SO many things than just “Jennifer with the brain tumor.”
I have worked so very hard in my 39 years to be so much more than “Jennifer with the brain tumor”.
We move on. I move on.
Onward I go as the same deeply complex individual who’s never simply been “Jennifer with a brain tumor”.
I am much, much more if you bother to take the time to let me introduce you to who I am and all that continues to remain.