about

“Place Your Oxygen Mask On First Before Assisting Others”

jen wr--3

It’s not what happens to you, but how you react to it that matters.  Epictetus

I’m Jennifer.

Wife to Paul and mother to three children and three rescue dogs. I’m also an advocate, volunteer and Domestic Goddess (I jest) of everything in-between in a place I fondly refer to as “crazyland”.

Oh, yeah… there’s this: I’ve got a brain tumor. Well, let’s be honest…shit happens and it could be worse. 

An Infultrating Grade II Astrocytoma that was removed from my right temporal lobe August 18, 2008. As I gracefully referenced above, shit happens and you just have to clean up the disastrous mess, jump back into the thick of it and live life.  Life keeps on going and laundry needs to get done…and damn if that’s not true! 

I’m a lucky woman. I have Paul.

My profoundly supportive and optimistic husband who is my rock; providing me with the clarity and calm I need on a daily basis with an incredible sense of humor to boot. When I came home from the Neurosurgeons office having learned of my diagnosis (yes I went by myself) and shared the news with Paul, he looked at me calmly, perked up and said

Is that it? …Just one tumor? I thought you were going to list six or seven things that were wrong. That’s not so bad, just one thing to fix.

His response was certainly unexpected; however he made me laugh and lightened the moment after which the news felt more manageable.

We invite you to join us on our journey while we share our adventures, highs and lows and general life chaos as we navigate the newest chapter in our lives. This is a chapter, not the entire story. My tumor is not who I am and not what my life is about, it is simply a chapter in the book that is my life…there are better things to come.

We’ve moved on from the post surgical recovery and the first year of reassembling our lives. Which meant it was time to move my writing from Caring Bridge to a new format that made me feel less like a recovering patient and more like a currently “stable” brain tumor patient, mother, wife and a someone who was accepting that life with a brain tumor is the new standard of normal.  

I have to give credit where credit is due. The tag line “Place Your Oxygen Mask On First Before Assisting Others” came directly from my friend Stephanie Prevost. While going through a difficult time on this journey, she shared that quote as a reminder that I had to take care of myself first before I could help others. She’s right and the sentiment fits perfectly with the title of the site.

Thank you!

Cheers

 

Questions? Comments? Send me a line… jennifer@greymatterlife.com

YOU CAN FIND ME HERE TOO! 

JKeenan Photography


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