I have made it a goal of mine to post at the end of each month but I just could not wait any longer.
Not sure how many of you all know this, but I am approaching my one year since my diagnosis date! HOW CRAZY! In this year so much has changed; I know I say this a lot, but it could not be any truer.
In this year I have learned what pain is, what it means to fight for your life, how hard it is to see your biggest dream EVER become a reality and then change in a huge way (playing college volleyball has been a dream of mine since 4th or 5th grade), how terrible chemo is, what it feels like for your closest friends to become so distant when you need them the most, how to live your “new” normal life with just one leg, how to deal with people staring, and how it feels to put ALL of your trust in Gods hand. Of course the list could go on for days, but those changes have been the hardest to deal with and to learn that it is okay.
Another thing I have had to get used to / learn is that it’s okay for people to approach me and break down in tears. At first I was so confused it made no sense to me why people would cry even though I was happy. I definitely was not happy that I was diagnosed with cancer, but I was happy that I knew I had the best doctors there was and God was on our side!
This next paragraph might seem a little harsh, but I want those who are not around me as often to know how it feels when they do see me. It is not towards one particular person, I PROMISE, it is something EVERYONE does.
When I see someone I have not seen since I was healthy, either because life has gotten in the way or they were just too scared to come see me, as if I were an alien! You read that right, AN ALIEN! Also I get asked the same question from every one, “How are you?” “Are you okay?” First off I could not be any more thankful for the prayers and concerns. I would not have gotten through this past year without them, but at the same time I AM STILL JILLIAN.
Yes some things have definitely changed – I have little to no hair and I am one leg short- but I still have two feet and even better everything internally is still the same! I still have the same HUGE heart I have always had and my smile still goes from ear to ear! I promise no matter what, you will know when I am not okay or if I am not doing good. So please remember that when you see me.
I also do not just say this for me, but for anyone fighting this nasty disease. I have talked to many patients and their families that say they feel the same way. So I challenge y’all to try and remember this. Many times when you see a patient or their family out, wherever that may be, it is finally their chance away from cancer! Try to talk about normal life situations just like you would if no one in their family was sick. I’m pretty sure I speak for many families when I say, it would not be as intimidating to get out of the house if people treated them just the same as they did before. I know for me, I would rather bring up the situation rather than have it brought up to me ALL the time!
“…Do not be afraid; keep on speaking, do not be silent.”
With Much Love,