All I can Do is Smile

Life after with cancer


I know I’ve been all-keto-all-the-time the past few months (when you make a big change like that, it has a way of taking over every facet of your life). Still, as we come to the end of another year of life with cancer, I’m finding some time to reflect on how far we’ve come.

I have fond childhood memories of the holidays. So much so, that Kenji tolerates my decorating for the season, despite the fact we aren’t religious. To me, the holiday season is less about the birth of a certain individual, and more about the magic and wonder of the season. It’s about being together as a family, reading stories, playing games and laughing.


That’s a sweet Okidata 126 printer right there. It came with my first computer, a Commodore 64 (green screen and all)!

Intermingled with these recollections are adult memories of recent years passed.

Two years ago, life turned on a dime. Kenji and I went from trying to expand our family to trying to save our family.

Last December, we celebrated the hard fought battle be believed we had won.


Playing Cards Against Humanity (Olivia’s reaction in the lower right corner to one of the cards) was the highlight of the evening, in my opinion.

This December, we have much to celebrate and be grateful for, not least of which is my health at the moment, but it’s tinged with a bit of sorrow.

It’s a weird place to be in… one of limbo where your health isn’t guaranteed, but you still have to keep living your normal, everyday life. Back to our regularly scheduled program, right?

Just as suddenly as everything begins, it ends. The chemo is over. Your hair grows back. You start working again. Your cyclical routine of doctor’s appointments, cat scans, lab work, and infusions is no longer. A new routine of grocery shopping, exercise, and activities emerges and fills your life.

But, in the back of my mind, there always exists that “what if?” If I linger there too long, the feeling of despair and fear overwhelms me. It’s not something I can completely ignore, but I’ve done a lot of work the past year and a half to be able to live simultaneously for today and with a precarious future in mind.

Every single day is work. And every single day, you have to be believe it’s worth it.

2017 has been one hell of a roller coaster — for the whole world, not just my little speck of dust in the universe. If I’ve learned anything from this past year, it’s that the roller coaster isn’t stopping anytime soon. So, we better just learn to enjoy the ride, right?

2018, we’re coming for you.


12 thoughts on “Life after with cancer

  1. Beautiful post Jess, thank you for sharing.

    *Arms held up*
    Let’s keep rolling ✌️

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Love you so big.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. We are grateful for you everyday ! Celebrate your 2018 knowing how loved you are !

    Liked by 1 person

  4. So very proud of you Jess for overcoming such incredibly tough challenges! Thanks for sharing your stories, they are super inspiring. Super stoked to have you as a friend!! Keep chargin in 2018. Cheers

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Love you friend!

    Liked by 1 person

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