Be Passionate

Do you have a bucket list?
I do..I’ve had it since I was 14 years old. I even remember where I was when I made it..I was sittin’ in the backseat of a car, leaving Kansas for the last time and moving to a new life in Arkansas. Since that day, my bucket list has been to a lot of places and been through everything with me. It went to boot camp, Korea, Jamaica, several weddings, a few funerals, Disneyland, Katrina relief, my tumor debulking surgeries, chemo therapy and even Relay for Life.
When I became sick, it became my mission to get as much checked off as possible. Some of the things on said list are a bit silly, as I made it when I was 14. But at this point, I think it’s fair to check some of those off. heh. Here are a few that I have marked off..
I’ve swam with Dolphins. It was well worth it

Went to the Metropolitan Museum of Art

Meet Mariah Carey

Hey..go big or go home, right?? haahah!! Don’t judge me…we all know you are secretly humming “Always Be My Baby” in your head riiiiiggghtt now..hehe

Toured Washington, D.C.
To include Arlington.
That. was. tough.

I’ve recently added a few things to the list. I do this every now and then. I like to think of it as my immortality magic. I mean, if I still have stuff to do on the list, then I can’t die. Good theory, huh.
Here’s a few things I added recently:
Surf in Australia
Skydiving (just to spite my horrid fear of heights)
Rocky Mountain Climbing
do 2.7 seconds on a bull named Fu Manchu
(Okay okay..maybe I didn’t really add that last one, but it’s a fun thought. I did add see Tim McGraw in concert, though. )

So tell me..What are YOU passionate about?
Be passionate about SOMETHING. ANYTHING. Whether it is knitting, completing a silly list, or just your political opinion. If you’re not passionate about something, you’re just a wasted bag of flesh and water; a zombie. Unfortunately, I know a few of these. Good thing I’m well prepared for the zombie apocalypse…
Hugs and Sunny Surf,
Jessica & Gertrude

Ridding the Toxic ones

I was putting some things in the trunk of my car today and I found this

It’s my old army beret. I actually teared up a bit at finding it. So many people really do not realize or understand just how much a canSer patient/survivor has ripped away from them.
Finding my beret just confirmed that I need to do some serious life toxins purging.
Most people think that a detox is simply ridding your body of the nasty goo that hangs out inside of it. I however, have come to believe that this also means ridding my life of the nasty gooey individuals that make life miserable. I know this is not going to be a fun or easy process but it needs to be done, no matter how painful it might be.
I’ve received lots of generous gifts from friends all over and I’m incredibly grateful for everything that has been done for me. However, it has come to my attention that there are people in my life who are “irked” or “upset” or felt that I was somehow disrespectful or they were even “infuriated” by the things/attention I have received.
I firmly equate this to jealousy and at this point, those sorts of people are not needed in my life. The last thing I (or any cancer survivor for that matter) needs to deal with is added drama, contributed by things that are not of another’s business.
I really think that this purging is an important part of the recovery path. Along with getting rid of the self-righteous, ignorant, know it alls, racists, etc. (whatever little adjective you may choose to use we ALL know the type of individuals I’m referring to. Misery loves company and attitude is well over half the battle. In addition, attitudes and misery are contagious. Surround yourself with those who truly care.) I’ve started eating better. I eat out less and I shop as much as possible in organic and natural food stores. I am absolutely a meat eater, but do my best to eat organic meats. Less red meat and more chicken. ;) So cock a doodle doo baby! These foods are a bit more expensive, but pale in comparison to my medical bills. Heh. I’m not trying to say “Hey you murdering meat eater, eat your organic free trade broccoli for cryin out loud.” I’m just saying that I really think a lot of the canSer and other dis-ease running around this country, eating away at our beautiful American people can be contributed to the dietary changes in the past couple of decades. 20 years ago, it was much less common to receive a canSer diagnosis…especially at a young age like mine.

So, I leave y’all with this. I CHALLENGE you to 1. look at the individuals in your life. You’re only as good as the company you keep, right? Are they supportive of you? Do they honestly care? Or is their piss poor attitude bringin’ you down?
2. Go look in your fridge/cupboard/pantry. Look at the ingredients in some of your most favorite foods. For example…your coffee cream…what should be in that? Cream? milk? sugar? Disodium phosphate?? Holy toilet bowls, Batman, this stuff is used to relieve constipation…yet it is in my very own coffee creamer??? eewwww…
See what is in your food stock and find out what the chemicals are that you ingest. Then make an educated decision about whether or not you can live without eating these things.
My body already feels better having cut out a lot of the nasty goos, both human and non human form.
Hugs and Sunny Surf,
Jessica & Gertrude

New Year New you??

Well my fellow canSer kickers, here we are at the start of a brand new year.  So far, Twitter is still running but Facebook is the preferred social networking source, Justin Beiber is stealing the souls of 13 year old girls everywhere and Lady GaGa is planning her next wacked out wardrobe ensemble made completely of dried cat food.  Yep, nothing has changed.  To honor this irony of some sort of a “new beginning” mumbo jumbo that is about as real as Dolly Parton’s boobs, Imma tell you a few things I WON’T be doing this year.  Maybe a few of my way rad readers might even join me.  We can start a trend or two.

1. Making Stupid Resolutions for the New Year

Comon…what’s the point of “I’m going to eat better” or “I’m going to be more green??”  We all know that those of you who actually made resolutions like that have already broken them. Helloooooo…that last glass of champy you had after midnight at your boss’ New Years party? That counts. It was in the new year. All those streamers and paper confetti tossed around and left to blow in the wind?  That counts. It was also in the new year.  So I’ll be saving the disappointment of utter failure and NOT making goals that I can’t keep. I am a firm supporter of that; make goals that are realistic and obtainable.  Then, no one is disappointed and we all win.

2.  Number Watching

That’s right. I said it.  Number watching!  That is my doctor’s job.  I mean, what am I paying them for at this point? Imma eat whatever I want and do what I want.  If there is a problem, the guy with the “M.D.” after his name will let me know.  Number watching might also include rushing around to be places that other people are requiring of me.  Obviously, there are extenuating circumstances, but for the most part, life will be on MY  timeline these days and NOT the timeline of others.

3. Buying into end of the world/2012 conspiracy theories

What a bunch of bull honkey, people.  Did it ever occur to anyone that maybe the calendar simply starts over?  You know, similar to how it does every single January? Juuuuuusssstttt sayin’…

4.  Getting into extreme couponing and stockpiling for the upcoming Zombie Apocalypse in 2012

Have you seen these nutjobs?   Sure, they get all those groceries for free, but good lord…how many sticks of deodorant does a man need? Aside from that, I’m pretty sure I’ve got better things to do with my time than hunt down free spaghetti noodles.  I dunno…maybe I’ll regret that in 2012, when the end of the world happens and the stench of dead Zombies is so overpowering.  Guess I’ll just have to hunt down an extreme couponer and try to buy some air freshener for two Coca-Colas, a pack of Ramen and a bag of Twizzlers.

5. Eating chocolate

Honestly…I swear…

6. Joining your best friend’s garage band

I believe this has been covered in a previous blog, but your best friend’s garage band only plays at your mom’s house because she makes the best Hot Pockets on the block.  If it weren’t for those microwavable beef and cheese filled flaky goodness, that garage band wouldn’t exist. Why? Because they suck. Otherwise, they wouldn’t be a “garage” band, now would they…

7.  Making lame comments on Twitter, Facebook, (social networking site name goes here) that make no sense.

I’m not talking about the ones such as ” I’m chillin at blahblahblah with DahDahDah” type of comments. I’m referring to those ones people post that are fairly cryptic and it starts a big game of “guess what I mean and who this is directed at.” No one likes that damn game anyways.  It’s kinda like a game of Dodgeball. The only person having any fun is the person throwing the ball. Everyone else gets to go home with a belly ache.

8.  Letting People walk all over me

Yeah, this is a bad habit of mine. I have THEE hardest time telling people I care about “No.”  This often leads to me getting walked on and my heart often feels like it was taken for quite a ride.  Not anymore.  That girl is long gone, peeps.

9.  Taking a dead end, pencil sharpening, paper stapling, lame ass job

Matter of fact, I would recommend that one to just about anyone who isn’t happy with how things are turning out in their life.  I firmly believe that I have a right to work a job that I love and am passionate about and so does every other human being.  I’ll be pursuing those passions now. No more mail room sorting for me.  (that’s generic for “crappy job.”)

10. Falling out of remission

I like to think I have complete control over this and guess what? It ain’t gonna happen. Not as long as I’ve got somethin’ to say about it.


and now…

10 Things I WILL be doing

1.  Breaking some of those “resolutions” above, because, well…We AAAALLLLL know I’m fully prepared for the Zombie Apocalypse that will occur in 2012…

2.  Playing less videogames

Buuuuuuuttt…since I’m NOT number watching, I refer to number one on this second list.

3.  Using my sword

That started out as just another inside joke between an old friend and I, but maybe there’s a bit more to it.  I tend to use my pen; probably too much.  Time to start standing up for myself and my goals.

4. Eating meat

Yep. I’m a meat eater. Far from being a hipster. Go eat the dead carcass of an animal, you hippie.  Just make sure it is organic and free -range..

5.  Thanking aiport Security guards

I want them to know how lovely the frisking felt.

6. Doing less laundry

Hmm…I’ll just call that extreme couponer guy and inquire about expanding my uses for deodorant.

7.  Call/Text people in the same room as me

Admit it. It is quite a riot to watch everyone else in the room wonder who you are both talking to.  Then, once the other people realize you’ve not included them in your “secret” conversation, they think you’re talking about them.  Yes, I speak from experience. I can’t make this stuff up, people.

8.  Writing more often

I’ve really neglected my little private corner of the interwebs due to the holiday season and extreme traveling, but those days are behind me. I’ve got a rather large list of ideas and aim to keep this a happy, canSer-free laugh joint. Word.

9.  Marking things off my bucket list

I had one years before there was a movie about it. I made it when I was 14 and it stays safely tucked away in my wallet. It has been through high school graduation, Boot camp, Hurricane Katrina AND Rita, several weddings and drunken pub crawls, a few trips to various foreign countries and even my tumor debulking surgery.  It takes up valuable wallet space because I never know when I may have the opportunity to check something off it.  Always having it with me prevents a lost opportunity. I even add to it every once in a while.  Yep..I found the REAL way to be immortal. Heh.

10.  Doing what makes ME happy

Why SHOULDN’T I do what makes ME happy?  I’ve done so much to keep everyone else happy. Well guess what? Now it is MY turn! (and I think you should do the same.)  I don’t mean be selfish, but if I wanna decorate cupcakes all weekend, knit ugly green and yellow doggie sweaters or eat cookies in bed, Imma do it. Is it really hurting anything?

So, here’s my challenge to my readers. Be selfish every so often. Do something for you just because you deserve it.


it’s fun. I promise

Hugs and sunny surf,

Jessica & Gertrude


Christmas and canSer

Got a few friends going through the canSer blues this holiday season? Weeeeeheeheeheeeelllll ne’er fear!! the canSer Avenger is here!! AND…

She’s got a few good idears about what to give and what NOT to give your homies who are a temporary home to a one such previously mentioned parasite.

First off, let me start by saying this.  People with canSer DO NOT want scarves, hats, turbans, wigs or any other sort of head covering you can possibly conjure up in the smallest part of that non-creative mind.  First off, these sorts of items are extremely personal. Everyone likes something different and what one person picks out to give, the receiver may find incredibly unflattering. (I mean, helloooo..not everyone wants to rock a blonde mullet wig; white trash style…don’t lie…I know that’s totally what you were thinking to give..)  Secondly, those of us who dealt with or are still dealing with the harsh effects of chemotherapy already have a million of these items. Chances are, whatever you find, we’ve got three of the exact same one…one to wear, one to be dirty and one to wash. So three.

Also, please don’t give us gift cards to places like KFC, Chili’s, etc. Not that these aren’t great gifts, but really; does a person who is fighting canSer and is probably nauseated from chemo really want to eat this stuff?? Should they eat this stuff???? Nope. Not really. So save those for your other grease-eatin’ non-calorie countin’ homies this year.

Having said all that, how bout some things canSer patients would really love??

“But Jess, you already slammed out everything I got. Now I have to return stuff and my Black Friday shopping was wasted!” so you say.

Ne’er fear! The canSer Avenger is here!


Your Black Friday efforts were not in vain! Take those items to your Local American Cancer Society and donate them! They will give them to a new canSer soldier who will love them dearly and you will receive a tax write-off.

Anyhoo, moving on..


One Year subscription to NETFLIX

It was also one of Oprah’s Favorite Things this year, if that helps any.

Netflix is a life-saver for any individual going through chemotherapy.  Normally, one would think that the chemo is the life-saver, but that is far from the truth. Netflix is saving canSer kickers every day. Saving them from death by BOREDOM! My chemo sessions were on average, six and a half hours long. Netflix allowed me to not only have a couple of DVD movies to bring, but also instant watch thousands of movies and every single episode of My Name is Earl and The IT Crowd. Laughter is the best medicine and you will find that lots of these gift ideas provide just exactly that!

And don’t be stingy! Opt for at least 6 months and if you’re really awesome, hook ’em up with the 2-dvd at a time option. Word.


ALL of the Disney Princess movies!  (even for a guy. They like them, too, although many won’t admit it.)

I stumbled upon THIS BLOG for those of you who think that the Princess movies may be degrading to women. Quit reading too much into things. You ruin it.  Just enjoy the movies.  Every girl, no matter what age, wants to be a Princess; particularly a Disney one.   I mean, who WOULDN’T want to be one of those chicks up there?? They get it all! The guy, the palace, the crown, the cupcakes..hey. In my mind, they get cupcakes.


The Michael Jackson Experience Game!

This is probably the coolest thing to come out in video gaming this year.  Word to the wise: make sure your canSer kicker has one of these gaming systems and that you purchase the game for the CORRECT system. I can’t tell ya how many xbox games I have and no xbox to play them on.

Also, don’t gimme that crap about child molestation, blah blah blah. Don’t act like you don’t know the words to Thriller or Billie Jean..You’re so humming them in your head riiiiiigght now and you know it!  Whether you want to admit it or not, the Man inspired the world.


One of previously mentioned gaming systems!!

Or, if the gift receiver already has one of these systems, the xbox Kinect or PS3 Move are nice additions and are required in order to play the MJ Experience game. My personal pick would be the Kinect if that person has all these systems as it provides an overall experience. If the individual does not have a system at all, go for the PS3. It is a better overall entertainment console; as it can surf the web, play blu-rays, etc. the xBox is a better overall gaming console and has a handful of games that are full of WIN that are not available on the PS3. (Left for Dead 2 anyone???)

Anything Zombie related is always fun. So let’s see…
We have..

I have to agree with this guy’s love of zombie games; although I rather liked Left for Dead 2…just sayn.
However, he’s left out such greats as Plants vs. Zombies (which is also available as an iTunes app game for iPhone) Dead Space, Rock of the Dead; a game where mad guitar skills are used to destroy the hordes of undead, Red Dead Redemption: Undead nightmare; cowboy up, zombie killers..and the Siren series.
HERE’S a whole list of ’em!  If there’s too many to pick from, I would recommend 28 Days Later,( although, this is arguably NOT a zombie film, as the people are consumed by the rage virus and are not really walking dead but whatever. It’s still a fun watch.)  anything by George Romero, Fido, and my two personal favorites, Zombieland and Shaun of the Dead.


Or ANY Max Brooks novel, for that matter

See?  A little something for everyone in the Zombie genre. If there’s nothing here, just google “Zombie stuff” and TA DAAAAAAAA!!! Magic!


A nice, quality blanket.

No really.  One has no clue how comforting it is to have an amazing blanket that is aaaalll your own. No one else but you has puked on it.

See? Now you know WHY it’s so terrific. heh.

I received one of these when I was in the hospital and it is AH MAH ZING! It goes pretty much everywhere with me.

I actually had two blankets. My homegirl, Kim gave me one as well so I had one to wash and one to take with me.







Need I really say more about this??

Gift cards to iTunes
These can be used to purchase music, apps, ringtones ebooks and other whatnot for said iPod/iPhone. They’re lovely and kinda get around that whole “impersonal” issue most have with a gift card. It is actually quite thoughtful in my opinion because nothing is worse than when someone buys you a CD or DVD that you already own or really just can’t stand.

# DEKA (ten in greek, but I thought it looked like “deku” ten cool points if you know what that is from..)
Donation to The American Cancer Society in our name.
No really. That’s pretty cool. Just accompany it with some cookies or a pumpkin pie and there you have it..a gift worthy of tears.
You’re still humming Billie Jean, aren’t you..

Hugs and Sunny Surf,
Jessica & Gertrude

P.S. I left out something..did you notice? hehehe

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”


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?

Wild Angels

I believe in Wild Angels. Do you??  Here’s Martina’s actual video..just because I think it’s pretty rad so you should too.  Without those guardian angels, I wouldn’t be telling you about the awesomeness I just experienced recently and we all know that ONLY wild angels would be assigned the hefty task of dealing with this girl. heh.

So most of y’all probably know that I just went on a big road trip to a few cities. My better judgment tells me that I should give it to ya in the order it all occurred which would mean starting with Washington, D.C. but my ability to empathize and place myself in another’s shoes tells me that I should start with what I would really want to hear about…NEW YORK CITY!  And, I just bought a box of happy but promised myself not to use said happy until I get a blog update out.  So let’s get this goin’ because I’ve got secret missions to do. That’s all I can tell you. I’ve probably already said too much..

Charles and I got to The Big Apple around nine p.m. on a Wednesday evening. The air was chilly yet carried a warmth. The skyline was lit up in all it’s bedazzled glory.

That feeling in your chest right now? That excited, breathlessness…that’s exactly what I had. Upon seeing the city lights, I felt my throat tighten up but managed to control the water works.  The first evening was spent catching up with old friends and viewing the city skyline from Tia’s terrace. Fortunately, I do not have a view like this; I would never leave my house. Or maybe, that would develop into an addiction for me…constantly leaving, not returning calls and exploring a city that I’m fairly sure has never been fully explored by but one single individual person. I’m pretty sure it would take several years to see absolutely everything there is to see in NYC.

We rose early the next day to get a terrific start and attempt to beat the city at the sleep game. Breakfast was coffee and doughnuts from a Japanese bakery in Bryant Park.  If one wishes to attend a doughnut shop that has no cops in it, go to the Japanese-type ones. haha!

Next stop, Rockefeller Plaza.

I knew this was meant to be as I turned around and saw God hovering above the doors rockin out with his Samurai swords…

We spent most of the morning walking around the NBC Experience store where Charles rocked it out by getting me a Central Perk t-shirt. For those of you naysayers, Central Perk is the fictional coffeeshop that the crew of “Friends” hung out at all the time. Anyone who knows me, knows that I LOVE me some Friends. I even have the complete boxed set, people.

Since I’ve several hundred photos from this trip and sooooo much to tell, this will all come as a sort of…mini-series. Yeah. That’s what Imma call it..a mini-series.  It will be my “Makin you bitterly Jealous” mini-series.

So, what do I have in store for y’all then?  Weeeeeeehhheeeheeeheeeellllll…

Museum of Modern Art (MOMA) Random acts of silliness and laughter, Natural History Museum, (got gumgum?) Cute boys, Sightseeing cruise, my inherent search for a pretty scarf to wrap my cold head in, breakfast at Tiffany’s, (okay okay..maybe that was just in my imagination..) and sooo much more. So, over the next week or so, I solemnly do swear to love and cherish my readers, to faithfully devote attention to my blog, in sickness and in health, till trip end do we part..

Hugs and sunny surf,

Jessica & Gertrude



If you look carefully, I’m pretty sure there’s a reflection of a wild angel in that Alexander McQueen store window…heehee


Dear Airport

Dear Airport,

I love how utterly difficult you’ve become to maneuver these days. Or rather, maybe this should be entitled Letter to a terrorist..but, it’s not so we will just talk about you, airport.

Don’t get me wrong…I love that you get me to where I want to be fairly quickly and much more safely than driving across the country alone, however, there’s a few things about you that just irk me and I think you should know about them.

For starters, what the hell is this crap of charging me for having luggage?? I already paid half a grand for the stupid ticket and obviously I’m not going to wear the same stuff everyday for a few know how nasty my underroos would be?? Get real.

Also, I wear a headscarf because I had a medical issue. Has nothing to do with my religion whatsoever, you ignant mofos!

All my love,


Okay, now that we have that out of the way, as you can see, I’m on a much needed vacay. I’m hangin’ with a friend and we are roadtrippin’ it in a  few days! Remember how I’ve said one should get out and do the things you want because life is seriously just too short not to? Well, that’s exactly what I’m doing right now! I may not have a whole lotta mooooolah for this, but thatis’ aight. I got great peeps to see and be with and a terrific attitude about it all. Nothing a digital camera can’t fix, holmes. hehe.

I fully plan to see my Kirtface and Rick while in NYC. I’ll also have to get ahold of a few other people I know up there, as I absolutely owe them a personal thank you for all their continued support with my recent triumphs in life. (Tianna, that means you girl!)

Charles and I plan on doing all the typical NYC touristy stuffs like, standing in line overnight with our Starbucks and muffins to get tickets to the Jimmy Fallon Show, crying at Ground Zero and pissing off the “Soup Nazi.”

I know this is a short update, but I wanted to get it out there. I’ve got some funny ideas and some great content to come and I promise, I’ll get to updating a bit more. I’ve been pretty fail as I’ve been trying to cope with the bullsh!t life handed me the past few months. Of course, I’ve done my best to keep the positive thinking going and I think it is paying off.  I’m a fan. Posi thoughts for the win.

So…soon I’ll be bringin’ you Gertrude live from DC, Philly and NYC, bitches! MOre to come in the next few days! I promise!

Keep doin’ what you do, ya’ll because YOU DAMN DESERVE IT!

Hugs and Sunny Surf,

Jessica & Gertrude

P.S. I want to send a special thanks to a few people.. First off, the folks at Ivan’s Meat Market in Rogers, AR..THANK YOU!!! I LOVE the gift coupon y’all sent me for mah barfday!!! wooooT!!!

and, to Mr. Glenn Sweet and his wife. I can never thank you enough for everything y’all have done for me and I promise to continue to pay this forward in every possible way that I can. I love y’all!

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