Baby, You’ve come a long way


I’ve not had the motivation lately to update here, but this weekend was a bit bittersweet for me. This is a day that will live in infamy. One year ago today, I was placed on a ventilator and admitted to the ICU. I was lying in a bed, sedated and dying. People aren’t going to like reading that, but that’s how it was. Sometimes the truth just sucks and talking about it doesn’t always get you a seat at the cool kids’ table for lunch.
I’ve had people say I’m inconsiderate, I joke too much, I need medication, how can I take things so lightly, I need therapy, blah blah blah. I won’t apologize for anything that I have said, did or thought that pissed someone off. I’m done doing that. BUT I’ve also had people say I inspire them, that I give them hope, they admire my strength and they got out of bed because of how I coped. I’m not strong, I’m not prolific, I’m not amazing or anything else one could conjure up. I did what I had to do to survive, just like anyone else would. But for every dumb, lame statement I hear about my coping methods, I hear five amazing, smart and sassy ones. The latter make it all worth it. If one woman gets out of bed, puts on her make-up and marches into her chemo session because of my story, mission accomplished.
I’ve been through a lot of crap in my life. Two divorces, Katrina Relief, bootcamp, the death of friends and loved ones, and other things that I’m not going to get into on here. However, this past year has been THEE most difficult one of my life.
This past year, I was diagnosed with stage 3c ovarian cancer. I almost died a few times and all of my dreams were ripped out of my hands, to include the one of marrying the person I thought was meant just for me.
One of my friends asked on her facebook page if I would rather go back ten years or jump ahead five. Without a moment of thought, I stated go back ten. After all my little mind, body, heart and soul has had to deal with, I’d do it all over again. I am the woman I am today because of everything that happened; most of which happened this past year. I’ve learned to accept me the way I am. Although I struggle every so often with self image, (comon…what woman DOESN’T??) I am happy with the woman I’ve grown into. I know what I want from life now, and I refuse to settle for less than what I deserve. I’ve learned there are people in this world that love me just the way I am; sass, tattoos, morning breath and all. I’ve watched my closest friends grow into some of the strongest women I know. I mean, they not only juggled their family and careers, but stood by my side throughout the whole ordeal. Even if it was something as simple as bringing me a Sonic Coke while I was stuck at my final round of chemo, they were there to laugh and cry with me. I’ve watched my family struggle to laugh with me, even though I know they often just wanted to cry. (Although I have to admit, they often drive me crazy. BUT that doesn’t change the fact that I still love them all, no matter how pissed I may get at them. I’m sure they get mad at me, too. heh.)
So, while I may be struggling to buy new yarn for my next knitting project and can’t seem to get a leg up on a career move right now, I’d say I’m a pretty lucky girl to be surrounded by so many supportive and amazing people. It was the worst year of my life, but oddly enough, it was also the best year, too. It turned my whole world around…and I kinda like it.

Now if I could just get back out to California…everything would be perfect. ;)
Hugs and sunny surf,
Jessica & Gertrude

Special thanks to:
First of all, Myself. Noone ever gives themselves credit for their accomplishments and I’m putting an end to that. I rock. ;)
Dr. Kris Ghosh
Dr. Stephen Rosenfeld
Dr. Randall Hightower
the Tri-City nursing staff
Highlands Oncology Staff
Elvis (my puppymonster, not the King.)
Helen Olds
Kim Brannon
Ryann Thornton
Stephanie Reid
Lori Karis
Jen Rooney
Tyjanna Bourgeois
Troy Blakely
Jen Baker
my entire Paralegal class at USD
University of San Diego
Jessica Louise
Mike Chung
David Chen
Loc Nguyen
Diem Nguyen
Julia Nguyen
the Nguyen family ;)
Ivan’s meat Market
Crystal Davis
Tina Newport Yeager
Kelly Erickson
Arinn Westendorf
MSG Scott Baranek
MAJ John Decker
Dianne Hupp
RJ Grijalva
Kirt Reynolds
Trik Photography
Jessica Miller (Dunk)
Frederic Leclercq (Love you Kromoze!!!)
Nhung Lien
Tri Huyhn (sorry dude! I can’t remember how to spell ur last name. But miss your face!)
Camille Berry and Mattie
My military family and fellow soldiers
Chendo
Glenn Sweet
SG community (and the members who were amazing and sent me good reads and blankets when I needed them the most
Anthony Bourdain (hey. No Reservations got me through many a chemo session)
Tom Cruise (hey…so did Risky Business and Cocktail, okay?? Cut a girl some slack here..)
Tony Maristela
Charles Park
Brian Pond and family
Tom Morris and family
A.J. Cates
Tianna Priest and family
Cody Renegar (especially for making me feel beautiful without hair and for creating the most Euro-trashtastic mohawk before buzzing my head!)
Adrian Salazar, my nuudleface BMFF (thats best male friend forever)
Rooster at Prick Tattoo in San Antonio
Eli Roth and Quentin Tarantino (my chemo sessions were long, peeps.)
My grandparents
Kendra Reynolds
Playstation
Apple
Hobby Lobby
Walmart
Best Buy
eBay
Amazon
Philosophy
iTunes
Netflix
all my favorite musicians and authors
Shyaporn Theerakulstit (God I hope that is spelled right..)
Jay Thornton
The Collective Bias family
Wordpress
Anthony Waits
Jerry Murry
The entire Warburton clan
Robert Baker
Rick Yeung
The Relay for Life family and everyone who has supported me with that
Bryce Warburton
and finally,
Mike Warburton and Vickie Warburton
Most importantly, all you amazing LWG readers!! this would be a wasted effort without y’all. ;)
That’s a long long list, so if you don’t see your name, I’ve not forgotten you. There’s just been so many along the way that I can’t possibly name them all. I love you all so much!!! and Baby, you’ve come a long way.

Its peanut buttah jelly time


Heh. Yep. I came to ruin your week. This song won’t leave your left side brain for the rest of the week. Muaaahahahahahahaaaahahahaaaaa!

I also can’t believe it has already been ten days since my last update. Seriously. Time is flying by these days…

I’m going to interrupt my little spot on NYC to discuss some other happening that occurred this past week. I had my first follow up CT Scan since finishing chemo this past Wednesday.

Now let me tell ya, since we all know I’m serious about ass kickin, I wasn’t overly worried about it. I drank down my non-chalky “oral contrast” mixture like a good girl (or as good a girl as I can possibly manage to be anyways) held my breath a few times while the machine drenched my body in radiation and went about my business for the rest of the day.

I didn’t feel any inner chaos until Friday when I returned to hear the results.  I couldn’t even read, people. (Yes, they still make books! And yes, some of us still actually PREFER a book..but that may be because some of us can’t afford an eReader. Besides, there’s a certain satisfaction one gets when finishing an actual book that just doesn’t come from anything else.)  I sat in the waiting room and I could feel the carnival in my tummy start to work.  Once I got back into the private room, the roller coaster and ferris wheel were running at full power.  Most people would just call this “butterflies” in the tummy, but what kind of butterflies feel like that??? Hmmm?  Butterflies my butt…that was a full-on amusement park, complete with Funnel Cake, Carnies and fountain Coke.

Ugh. I really thought I was going to throw up all over my white Pumas. Luckily for me, a sweet, cute boy sent me a text message at just the right time, telling me it would all be okay. Funny how things like that can calm the soul, isn’t it. Just a random message, saying “Sweetheart, It will be fine.” I’ve some awesome people in my life who always seem to have the perfect timing.  A few moments later, Dr. Rosenfeld walked in.

Naturally, I tried to read his face. I don’t know why I attempt this, because he is just one of those doctors that you can’t do that with. I think he could tell what I was doing because he smirked and said “well, your scan’s clean.  Ridiculously clean”

WOOOOOOOOOOOOOTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTT!!

I knew it!

Good thing, too, because I’d really hate to embarrass canSer by kicking its ass twice..

Just sayn.

Hugs and sunny surf,

Jessica & Gertrude

PS. Like what Helen and I did to mah hurrr?

Birthdays and Panda Butt


First up, Gertie and I made the local news!!! I’m pretty excited about it still!!

Click HERE

(this whole blog is just overall EXCITED)

This is a bit of a bittersweet write up. I still have good news to share with y’all but I gotta wait a little bit longer. I want to make sure everything is a “go” before I open my mouth and end up possibly making a fool of myself.

Today is my 29th birthday. Now…having said that, most single women my age would be doing a few things…getting ridiculously hammered and discussing their possible membership into the new Cougar club OOORRR drowning their sorrows in cheap wine, Neopolitan Ice cream and old romantic comedies from the late 80′s.  NOT this girl!! This girl is incredibly stoked to be turning 29 years old. Sure it marks the last year that I will be able to say I’m in my 20′s, but sooooo what!!! I’m alive and I’m excited about it!! Dammit!

It’s quite possible that I’m more excited than this kid

Heh..now that’s a lot of excitement, people.

A LOT

Like, so much it makes me wanna pee my pants.

In the past few weeks, I returned from a short trip to my beautiful San Diego.   I had some great times with old friends.  My girl Steph and I even got matching tattoos…

Ladybugs!!

I named mine Demi. Demi means  “half” so I felt it appropriate since..well..I have half. So Steph called hers “Moore.”  We’re a beautiful mess like that..heeehehe

As much as I love my artform, the boy didn’t. After some discussion, we both decided that it was just best for us to go our separate ways. I cannot be what he is looking for and vice versa. I’m a free spirit; especially now, and it is working better for us to just be friends. I was hurt at first, but have since realized that it wasn’t meant to be. Tis better this way. I’ve nothing harsh to say towards or about him and still respect him as a friend. We are just two different people now and sometimes life altering experiences do that to you.   At the same time, I looked at it like this: break ups are NORMAL!!! They are ridiculously NORMAL!! For that, I’m excited.

Anyway, we did go to the zoo as well!! Let me tell ya!! It was a blast! I got some pretty wild pictures, too! (no pun intended.)

Pretty rad picture, huh. I finally figured out how to use the “zoom” feature on my iPhone. heh..I gots the smarts.

Don’t ya just wanna snuggle up with these little guys???  ‘Cept…they’d probably rip your face off and you would be forever doomed to walk around lookin’ like a Splicer out of Bioshock…

I really love this picture!! That little koala looks so cozy and peaceful! I just wish I had some sort of photoshop software so I could lighten it up…Actually, it is quite possible that I do..hrmm…this is a computer that my old bosses let me use until I can pull off getting my own and I bet it has some Adobe stuffs on it..I should dig around and see, huh. Heeheeee

I’ve got a few trips planned but um…since we all know how awesome the Federal government is, I’m not sure how those are going to pan out just yet. The funds I would like to have may not be available. I don’t need much to be able to go, but still. I don’t like to worry about how my car payment will be made or where my insurance money will come from. I’ll have to just write down those shenanigans as they happen and oooohhh yessssss..there shall be shenanigans. See, the 10 year life expectancy for someone with my diagnosis is less than 10%…knowing that, I’ve decided I’m just gonna do whatever the hell I want and if others don’t like it, well, remember how I said canSer only stole a few things from me? My ass being one of those things and I was takin it back?? Weeeeeelllll…guess what I got back and is just waitin’ for the lips of haters…heh.

Suck on that, canSer…I’m STILL gonna do what I want…whether you like it or not! So HA!!!

Me win.

Anyway, for now, I’m staying put in pretty Arkansas. I’m rootin’ for my hogs, I’m freezin’ my butt off and takin’ it one lazy day at a time.  I’m enjoying being single for now, although I do not wish for that to be permanent, just like anyone else would want. Eventually, I would love nothing more than to get back to San Diego; Southern California. That’s where my life is now and that’s where I feel I truly belong.

Until then, have some Panda butt

Hugs and Sunny Surf

Jessica & Gertrude

Hatin’ on


Lately a lot of things have been getting to me. Normally, I try to not do that because, well, I just don’t have the patience for it. So, since everyone needs a good gripe session at times, here’s what’s been twisting my bra strap lately.

Wal-Mart’s “Rollbacks”

(Be sure to look REEEEALLLLY close at that one…those wonderful mathematical geniuses…)  So I know you are probably thinking something like this:  “But Jess, why on earth would you not like even lower prices?”

Well, hypothetical person that is speaking to me via my personal corner of the interwebz…those “rollbacks” aren’t REALLY good buys. If one should actually pay attention to the prices in Wal-Mart, one would notice that when WM rolls back one item, they MARK UP another to make up for the cost difference. For example, my lil’ Elvis-shaped friend loves his Little Cesar’s for breakfast everyday. This particular wet dog food on “rollback” was a mere 58 cents! Then, a few weeks ago I returned to get more and found Pedigree to be on “rollback” and guess what brand was now 72 cents–Little Cesar’s.  I hardly find that sort of stunt to be a true discount. (and yes, Elvis still gets his Little Cesar’s because that’s what he likes.  I don’t eat food I don’t like so why would I make my dog?)

Spiders

I hate these things so much that I’m not even putting a picture of one here nor is the paragraph going to be any longer than this one sentence.

Clowns

Sure that little girl is all smiles at the moment but that is because it tickles when clowns try to suck your soul out through your nose.  Just wait until she turns around and realizes what just happened!

And check out this clown!!

Now that is scary!

(okay okay. Normally I try to keep politics out of my blog and to be quite honest, I used to really like this guy..until his brain fell out of his ear.  I’m pretty sure it is floating around in the Potomac river somewhere and some little kid is now using it for fish bait.)

Heights

My guy seems to think he is going to make me do this at the San Diego fair next year.  Good luck with that because last time I checked, people can’t even make me eat stuff I don’t want to; let alone jump off a perfectly good platform with an overgrown, mutant rubber band tied to my ankles.  Remember those paddles we all had as kids that had the bouncy ball attached to it with a piece of elastic? Yea, I’m not one of those.

Your Friend’s band

If they didn’t suck, they wouldn’t be playing in your best friend’s brother’s girlfriend’s garage, now would they?

Girls who wear Uggs in July with their shorts/mini skirt

So it is 100 degrees outside and girls wear boots that were meant to be worn in Alaska during January. It looks ridiculous with shorts. Besides that, Uggs are UGLY! I cannot figure out what the appeal is and yes, I have tried them on just to see if it had something to do with how they fit. Crocks easily fall into this same category.

So there you have it for now. These things just bug me. Something tells me that one or two of them bug pretty much everyone else, too. However, since I’m not a fan of complaining without some sort of solution, here are a few things making me pretty happy right now.

First off, Borderlands and a subscription to GameInformer

My little bro and I can’t stop wasting time on this! And what gamer DOESN’T want a subscription to GameInformer?? It’s my crack, people; especially since I just got a new PS3! (don’t hate. The boyfriend bought it for me. hehe)

End of Summer clearance sales

Seriously. I hit up Belks department store today with my gramma and scored some sandals that were 89 bucks at the beginning of the season. Guess how much I paid for them? Just guess! You’ll never guess. 15 Bucks!  I would say patience is a virtue, but the only reason I didn’t buy them when I first saw them was because I didn’t have the money. Dear Kharma, I love your face.  I LOVE these sandals! Don’t you?

My Barnes & Noble and Borders membership cards

These cards give me sweet discounts and since I’ve not had much to do, I’ve done a lot of reading.

Gladiolus and Magnolias

They’re just so pretty. I want a Magnolia tree in my backyard…/looks at boyfriend with puppy eyes

Funny Yoga positions

Eagle Pose

But I think “Pink Flamingo Pose” is much more appropriate

Happy Baby Pose

I like it’s alternate name of “Dead Bug Pose” much better, but tomato tomahto.

I’m not really sure what this one is called, but I would like to recommend “Flying Eagle Pose.”  I’m also pretty sure that the BF will be excited that I can do this pose.

That is all.

Hugs and Sunny Surf,

Jessica and Gertrude

We did it!!


dooojadodododooddododoooojaa wanna scooch on over herrreee…i will nibble your eaaarrrrrr

I can’t stop listening to this song lately. Not really sure why. Maybe because it reminds me of the laid back surf atmosphere of the San Diego area that I fell in love with in 2003 and still love very much to this day. Nothing beats that sort of lifestyle. I can’t even describe it…one just has to EXPERIENCE it. Take it in. All of it..the crisp, salty ocean air, the coconut-laced breeze, the taste of the street tacos from the little dude with a cart that are three for a buck, the feel of the warm, golden sand between your toes and in your crack and the ever tantalizing, fruity scent of your favorite surfwax melting into the floorboards of your brand new car. This might sound not so good to some, but to me, it is better than ice cream with Oreos mashed up in it.

.
.
.
Seriously, people…I have SURFBOARDS (yes, that is pluralized form…as in, more than one) in the middle of Nowhere, Arkansas, where they are quite possibly THEE most useless they could possibly be. In addition, the Arkansas summer heat has succeeded in melting the wax off of them and now I will be forced to strip them and re-wax them at some point. This process usually involves taking an old credit card or a device called a “wax comb” and scraping off the melted bubbles. Then a base coat must be applied and it takes a while to get a surf-worthy coating of bubbly wax on a board. /cry
Small price to pay for getting back to the surf, I suppose. Three months ago I wasn’t healthy enough to surf so I really can’t complain too terribly much. Heh.

Random funny-ness:
So my friend Adrian has this app on his phone that allowed us to prank call people and successfully spoof the caller ID system. We decided it would be pretty good laughspasms to call my boyfriend in Cali and Rickroll him. See, this app records the conversation and the person on the other line can’t hear us or anything in the background. When we replayed the recording, we heard Loc say “oh I cannot believe you just did that…I hate you.”
Wanna know the best part???? LOC SAT THERE AND LISTENED TO THE WHOLE SONG! I laughed so hard I literally had to get up and run to the girls room because I almost peed my pants! I’m planning a visit to San Antonio in September, so I’m sure there will be more of these calls coming. Hopefully, I can score some of the recordings to put on here to delight your ears and vocal cords as well. Laughter is definitely a drug that should be shared. Puff puff give, mofo!

Remember how I said I was raising money for The American Cancer Society via Relay for Life? Weeeellllllll everyone can still make last minute DONATIONS and keep my team in first place for the most money raised!!! Yes, that’s right!! MOST MONEY RAISED!!! Think of how many birthday beers cancer survivors will get to have because of the money raised! Now that is seriously awesome and humanity never fails me. I LOVE my readers, family and friends for making it happen! Y’all rock my socks in a huge way!! (seriously..my socks are now made of cement; the awesomeness is soo awesome..)

One of my best homies came up from San Antonio to help with the event. We totally had the chillest set up at the event.

We had our very own rednecked white trash paradise right there. We borrowed it from these people who actually lived there.

Okay okay, I’m kidding. Those are my grandparents and they came out to watch the opening ceremonies. Had I been thinking, I would have set up a good ole round of Cow Patty Bingo behind it. See, this is where squares are spray painted into the field or grass. Everyone puts in five bucks and their initials go into a square. Whichever square the cow drops one in gets the money. Only, since there were no cows around, I would have just used my Elvis dog. Heh. I can’t make this sorta crap up, people. A true redneck olympic game right there, for your laughing pleasure.

These are our luminaria. Had I been thinking when I got these, I would have gotten one for my surgeon in Cali as well; Dr. Kris Ghosh. Because, as far as I’m concerned, he fights canSer, too, and these are in memory/in honor of those who have fought or are currently fighting. Therefore, Dr. Ghosh deserves one for kicking canSer out of my body. So does my onc out here, Dr. Stephen Rosenfeld. Just sayn.

I brought sidewalk chalk and the CSI chalk body outline was by far my personal favorite. Some people gave me funny looks about it, but I really don’t care. That made it all that much more funny to me. Get over yourselves, people.

Then there were these guys. They wanted to take a picture with “the girl with purple hair.”

.
.
.
Later we sat and tried to scare each other with alien and UFO stories. Fun times, fun times.

And here’s my dog

.

Unfortunately, the event was called off around midnight due to Hell’s heat finding its way to the surface of the planet and several individuals were getting symptoms of heat exhaustion. Granted, canSer doesn’t go away when one gets sick from heat, but then again, it just wasn’t worth people ending up in the emergency room. It was still a good time and a damn good cause. As I already mentioned, keep the donations coming!! (the cut off is August 31) Keep my team in the top spot for moooooooolah raised and I won’t make you play Cow Patty Bingo with me!!!

Hugs and Sunny Surf,
Jessica and Gertrude

P.S. A few quick things…anything y’all wanna hear my thoughts on?
I also joined the Formspring movement. Ask me anything you wanna know!!! ANYTHING!!

You can’t steal Pretty


My song this time, doesn’t really fit my blog ideas that I will mention, but it really shouts out what my heart has been feeling lately. So I’m sharing it. Besides..it’s a good song..and now…
for the rest of the day..and maybe tomorrow..
it WILL be stuck in your head. I guarantee it. heehehehe You’re welcome!!

Was gonna save this for tomorrow, but after MUCH searching I finally found these!!!

I SHALL be thoroughly entertained. AND if you HAVEN’T seen these movies, YOU ARE A BLASPHEMER!!! HOW DO YOU NOT LOVE TARANTINO??? YOU HIPPIE! pfffttttt. Get outta my interwebz space.

Juuuuussttt kidding…about the space thing..you’re still a blasphemer..good god..
heh.
.
.
.
.

And now to business..I went out with quite possibly my VERY best bestie this past Friday and made a new friend at that.

OH YEA. We are hotness. We know. Geez I really look like Barbara Eden in that blonde wig! I’m lovin’ it! Is it bad if I told the one douche that wanted to buy me a drink to just give me the $7 because I wanted a cheeseburger?

This cute blonde is Ashley, but Imma call her “Smashley” because had I been able to drink, we woulda been all kinds of hopped up on some yummy wine!!! This girl had me crackin up all night. She will quickly become a partner in crime I do believe..
At Kingfish Dive bar we saw this dude who looked like this..

I swear it! Tall n skinny n everything! So, while Kim was talking to one of his friends, Smashley and I stood right beside him and sang this with our mouths..In my retardedness, I didn’t think to pull it up on my iPhone while we were standing there..dang it!! That woulda been sooo much better!!! heehehehehe

(You’re still singin “I just keep chasin pavements…” aren’t you.. Don’t lie..Blasphemer.)

So while we were out, or rather, on the boring yet sober drive home for me, I started thinking about some things. See, recently the Grams got me this kick ass coffee mug. It says “When the going gets tough, tell me I’m pretty.” Of all the fears I had when I got this cancer diagnosis, being ugly WASN’T one of them. I’ve tried my damnedest to prevent the cancer from stealing too much from me and have been fairly successful. Really, all it got were my ovaries, uterus and my ass..and between you and me..I’m takin the ass back! See, I’ve decided, that, after all I’ve been through and after all my best friends have been through (which I won’t go into in detail on here because that is their biz..but my dearest and closest friends know who they are and know the crap they’ve dealt with too.) one of the few things that cannot be stolen from you is Pretty. Pretty is obviously in the eye of the beholder and know what?? Even though I’ve NO HAIR and a huge scar down my belly, I felt damn hot in my jeans, faded leopard print top and I Dream of Jeannie hair. I saw dudes checkin me out. I saw dudes checkin my girls out. We are hotness and WE have attitudes and those attitudes keep us all goin. We feed on each other’s energy and laugh at each other’s stupid jokes. (erm…maybe they just laugh at MY stupid jokes..or even.. AT my stupid jokes.. but that’s okay by me. hehe)
And, looking at these pictures completely reinforces my belief in that.
(Thank you Kim. I’d be damn lost without you! Got this in a fortune cookie and it reminded me of you. So I saved it. :)

So suck on that one, canser. YOU CAN’T STEAL MY PRETTY!!! I WON’T LET YOU!!!
You blasphemer.

Hugs and Sunny Surf,
Jessica and Gertrude

.
.
.
.
.
.
.

P.S. Shoutout to the fam at Ivan’s Meat Market. Some old man I know said y’all love readin my blog. heeheheee That made my heart smile! This beautiful mess loves writing for y’all!!! Keep on keepin on yo!!

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 368 other followers