The rollercoaster

The below post was written the day I received some not-so-great news in early February. I’ve been sitting on this news, sharing only with a few and as the weeks have passed, sharing more in person with what’s on the horizon, which essentially is a giant bag of shitty unknowns.

I told myself I didn’t want to burden anyone with the emotional rollercoaster that is my health. What I realized was I didn’t want to burden myself with the stress of having to repeat, over and over again, that we don’t know anything yet, that there’s nothing to be done, and that we just have to wait. And we know my feelings on waiting are: fuck that.

Thank you for giving me a space where I can be honest — I’m overwhelmingly grateful for the support you have provided. Fact is, the emotional roller coaster of living with cancer is overwhelming. The highs and lows take a toll. And, since we’re being honest, getting news I can do nothing about until I have more information made me turn inward, instead of outward.

No “RALLY THE TROOPS!” this time around. We’ve been here before, and while its devastating to consider a third round of treatment, that’s not what I’m facing. Yet. Or at all.  We just. don’t. know.

I needed the space to be alone with my thoughts and to sit with the feelings that come. Frustration. Sadness. Hope. Anger. Gratitude. Fear.

So much fear. Because the unknown IS fear and vice versa. So, before I share my news (which you may have already guessed is not the great), here’s a reminder from Elizabeth Gilbert, about allowing emotions into our lives, but not letting them control it.

” Fear: I recognize and respect that you are part of this family, and so I will never exclude you from our activities, but still — your suggestions will never be followed. You’re allowed to have a seat and you’re allowed to have a voice, but you are not allowed to have a vote. You’re not allowed to touch the road maps; you’re not allowed to suggest detours; you’re not allowed to fiddle with the temperature. Dude, you’re not even allowed to touch the radio. But, above all else, my dear and old familiar friend, you are absolutely forbidden to drive.”

February 13, 2018

One minute, you’re celebrating one lab result; the next, a gut punch of another. This is cancer. Hell, this this life.

Peace of mind is an illusion. It’s an imaginary space we build inside to protect ourselves from an impossibly unpredictable world.

My CA-125 levels doubled in the past month. My oncologist is concerned. The next step is a PET scan, which is scheduled March 1.

We’re hoping the PET simply confirms the accuracy of my clear CT from last month. The problem with a PET is that it shows minutia, and radiologists tend to report anything and everything they see within it.


My oncologist told me he has another patient whose CA-125 levels are over 300 (far above where mine were when I was first diagnosed) and her PETs are negative, so there are false positives. A glimmer of hope, perhaps.

As I said to my doc, it’s obviously disappointing to receive this news.

But of course, what I really mean is, this fucking sucks.

I have a follow up March 9. We will go from there.

34 thoughts on “The rollercoaster

  1. Jess- I’m thankful for your honesty and hope you know you’ve got a wonderful network of friends and family who care about you. While this is shitty, you sharing your experience with us allows us to shoulder some of the burden and make things easier of you, our dear friend.

    You’re not going through this alone. We are all here for you.


    Liked by 1 person

  2. I admire your ability to be candid and the willingness to share your journey. It brings hope to so many. Kick some PET scan butt today ~ prayers for you Jess! ❤

    Liked by 1 person

  3. All I can say is let it suck! But let it be known you have impacted my life with your bright eyes, beautiful smile and words of wisdom that make me think about my own raw emotions and feelings and what can I do to make the world a more wonderful place ! Thank you for having the courage to share what we all fear … our feelings … you make me a better person. Thank you kind lady and be kind to yourself ! Love you

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Oh Jess. This sucks! I hope today goes ok and March 9 is Karlis 11th Bday-may her special day bring a gift for you also. Here and praying for you amazing friend 😘🙏

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Jessica, we are thinking of you and sending positive thoughts and prayers. You are one of the bravest, courageous women (people) I know! Sending nothing but positivity your way and a clear PET scan. I know all the punches and set backs are not easy but always remember how strong you are and that you got this!!! Prays for positive results… We love and miss you!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Jess, Thank you for sharing …. your posts usually make my day in so many different ways, let me tell you girl, you have already changed so many peoples understanding and perception about this disease and i want to thank you for that. There a lot of wrongly claimed heroes in our days of social media. You are in my top 3 of real heroes ! Big hug my dear !

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Jess- You are so strong to share those words, of course so hard to believe. And very tough to find the right words. Just know you are always in my deep prayers, and keep fighting you are truly a warrior!

    Liked by 1 person

  8. I don’t know you personally but I am sending loving prayers your way for peace and healing. This sucks and that is the truth but you are better and stronger and you will kick it’s ass!

    Liked by 1 person

  9. I have always loved your transparency…no matter what it is…it’s you and that’s so special and important to me. I love you friend and we are always praying for you…


  10. You are not just any rock star, you are THE Rock Star, Jessica.
    Ditto Chris’ words. I could not say it better.
    XO Teri


  11. I hope this finds you with good news, and in peace regardless. You’re an inspiration and guiding light as I navigate my journey.



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