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Wow! It is nice to back to a “normal” life. Boy is it great but BOY IS IT CRAZZZYYY! It has been way to long since I have updated you all but I hope you understand it is because i am back on the go and back to the good old Jillian.
Today I finished my first semester back at Texas Lutherans Univeraity. It was a bittersweet day and I will explain that a little farther down in my blog.
It has felt so nice to be back at TLU. I am living off campus and have the best roommates God could have ever placed in my life, Christie and Kara. These girls have been my biggest fans through everything this semester and poor girls have gotten to learn all about scanxiety and ALL about the side effects of chemo. I think they had my schedule down better than I did. (Thanks to chemo brain) and no matter how many times I ask the same question over and over and over they answer it as if it was my first time to ask.
They have adopted Olive as their own and have been such a great help with her!
As far as school it has been rough. I will say I got a little to used to not having to study as hard when I was home. Taking 18 hours my first semester back was not the smartest idea but my idea is, the more I take now the less I will have to take later! (Good idea right!?… kind of)
It felt great to be back around amazing life loving people as well as old and new friends. I will say cancer has definitely taught me a lot about life. It has helped me understand that friends will come and go but those who stay forever and never leave are the ones to cherish the most. Unfortunately some have come and gone but fortunately MANY have stayed. Gods plan is one we may never understand so, it has taught me also to stop trying to understand it and just live it!
This year has been amazing! I have gotten to slowly fulfill my dream of being an inspirational speaker. I have had a chance to speak at multiple schools and to many amazing foundations and share my LEAP through cancer. Every time I speak I hear the words “you are such an inspiration!” But little do they know they are my inspiration to keep sharing my story, making people aware of Ewing’s Sarcoma / rotationplasty, and most importantly keep living the life God has planned!
This year I have also started my dream non profit, Live n Leap Foundation. Our goal is to grant needs and dreams to adolescence and young adult patients, ages 18-29, with life threatening illnesses. In 6 months we have raised $35,000 but our goal is $50,000 before we start granting LEAPS. We would love for you to keep us in mind as you prepare your end of year giving. We are a tax exempt 501(c)3 as well.
These last couple of months is where my statement on ending school being bitter sweet comes in. In September, I was invited to training cramp with our USA Womens National Paralympic Team. Going into camp i was unbelievable nervous, not only were scans the day I got back but, I was getting to train with the BEST of the BEST! Prior to camp it had been mentioned to me multiple times how beneficial moving up to Edmond Oklahoma would be for my training. Edmond is is where the training center for USA sitting volleyball is.
Well in November, I attended camp and decided I was ready to make that move. The camp was so refreshing. I felt like myself again! I was training not only with the Best of the Best but with girls who loved the sport just as much as I do! They pushed us new girls and treated us as if we were their own. I have been craving that feeling and if your an athlete you know that having that excitement takes some special people and special coaches and that is exactly what this was! There were definitely frustrating times but all in all I had the time of my life.
With all of this being said I will be deferring from TLU once again and headed to Oklahoma in January to hopefully fulfill one of my biggest dreams and goals! This road will definitely not be easy but in the end I know it will all be worth it. (No matter what the outcome is) I have prayed long and hard about this decision and I have never been more excited and ready to make a move. Again, trust in HIS plan.
I do want to graduate from TLU so I will be taking some online classes at University of Central Oklahoma to stay on track! I ask that I prepare for this for many many prayers. Prayers for comfort, continued great health and for my goals and dreams to come true.
Thank you for following my leap through cancer and now my leap through life! Your continued thoughts and prayers are what has gotten me where I am today. I hope y’all are just as excited to read this post as i was to post it. Dad and I were on our way to MD Anderson and I thought, Why Not!?
Jeremiah 17: 7-8
“But blessed is the one who trusts in the Lord,
whose confidence is in him.
They will be like a tree planted by the water
that sends out its roots by the stream.
It does not fear when heat comes;
its leaves are always green.
It has no worries in a year of drought
and never fails to bear fruit.”