Friday, July 18, 2014

F--- IT!

As I've said before, things can change quickly in Cancerland, and once again our trajectory has changed.  Last week my legs began to swell.  We saw the doc on Wednesday (our last time seeing him before he moves to Houston) and the news was not good.  I'm in the middle stages of liver failure.  The chemo can't keep up anymore.

There are a couple of chemos we haven't tried, but they are known to make people VERY sick, so we have decided to stop treatment.  A hospice nurse visited us yesterday and will start coming once/week until we need her more frequently.  The doc says I probably won't see the end of the summer.

Rory knows that I will die and that we aren't sure when, but that it's probably within a  couple of months.  The community of teachers from her school have already begun to surround her with support, for which I am grateful.

My mom was here visiting when we received the news, and I'll just say that even at 43 years old, there are times it's nice to be with your mommy!

We are working on some cool family memory-building projects right now.

Visitors are welcome! I'm still up and about and we would love to have time with our friends.  Please run all scheduling through Jason.  He has become the Master Planner of the family.  Earlier in the day is usually when I feel best, when I'm not sleepy.  Speaking of food, after the doctor appointment Wed, Jason came home with this pint of happiness for me.  I believe the name of this one should be called, "Fuck it!" because usually you eat it straight out of the container with a spoon while saying that!  Oh, by the way, I can now eat whatever the hell I want!  Hello, Cheese!



Overall I feel pretty well right now. I'm on continual pain meds that make me drowsy, but other than that I'm feeling pretty well.  None of you will be surprised to know that I've already laid out plans for a Celebration of Life to take place a week or two after I'm gone, rather than a funeral.  It will include food, fun, and activities for kids!

If you have questions that you think others might have too, I'll answer publicly if you post it here. Huge love to you all, and I hope to hear from you or see you very soon!

XOXO
Jill


25 comments:

  1. Sending you love and keeping you, Jason, Rory and your entire family in my prayers. Jill, you are a true inspiration and have faced this disease with grace and endless courage! Through your positive attitude and lust (:-)) for life - even in the worst of times - you have shown the world how to tell cancer that it can go "F--- itself!" And even though you will be leaving us far too soon, you've still beaten it because of how you've lived! I will come for a visit soon! XOXO Sarah Miller

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  2. Jill, this is one of those times I don't understand the unfairness of life, but you are the embodiment of love, laughter and light. My heart is full wishing you much happiness, empowerment and peace on your next journey. Thank you for your courage and your inspiration. We've never met, but your fortitude of spirit will stay with me always. You, Jason & Rory are in my thoughts and forever in my heart. Thank you for sharing your stories and passing along your beauty and strength through your actions and words. Thank you for being such an incredible human being.

    Alysia P
    Los Angeles, CA

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  3. We don't know each other, but I have been reading your blog for over a year now. My heart aches for you and your family, especially your beautiful little girl. I know first hand just how unfair life is and it just sucks. You are so upbeat all the time in your blog posts and you truly are very inspiring and courageous. Sending love and light and plenty of happy fun times with your daughter.

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  4. Jill, you are often in my thoughts and have been all these years since I left Dubuque in July 1989. From a teenager who was so mature, always optmistic, a fantastic hostess and friend, I am not surprised at what an amazing woman you have become. Much love to you and your family, Bia xoxo

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  5. Jill.......eat the pint then eat another. What about Reese's peanut butter cup? Thinking of you and your spirit. Abe

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  6. Dear Jill, this sucks. Love Jo xoxox

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  7. Jill, I appreciate how you have treated every day as a celebration; and whenever you're around, you're the LIFE of the celebration. You are a true inspiration and an amazing woman, who lives in our hearts. Sue

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  8. Jill... I think of you every day... You are in my thoughts and my heart. I'm so grateful that my little family had the opportunity in this life to meet you. When we met, we immediately shared something very personal, and I'm so grateful for that. You are so, so, so strong ... and eloquent, and blunt, and inspiring, and brilliant, and full of grace... and stellar.... And passionate about everything you feel and do. Although we are far away, we are sending much love and many prayers. That week we all spent together, Jason had such an impact upon my boy... who at the time, had not long before lost his dad. When I think of you, I think of that word... stellar..., star-like. We wish you peace and tranquility in your transition. And endless strength and comfort to Jason and Rory. Because of you, we will always look up...and see you above... You are and always will be --- a star. A & A

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  9. Jill- I suck at knowing the right thing to say but really there are no words... So I just keep thinking the obvious. You're a bad ass. You have amazing strength, courage and humor. You are in my thoughts and prayers every day. And here's the only thing I can think to offer- if you need any photos taken for your family memory projects, I'll do whatever you need. Wherever, whenever, I'm there. Just let me know whatever you would like to be captured. Hugs and love, Christina Weyers

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  10. I'm spinksys younger daughter Adrian, I've heard nothing but amazing stories about you & how strong you hve been for yourself and family.even though I never actually net you . I'm so blessed to be able to call you my cousin. You and your story have been an inspiration to not just me but to many people how to always stay happy no matter the terriable situation your trying to overcome. You see the bright in everything. Stay strong you have a million supporters behind you . Love you xoxo Adrian

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  11. Jill,

    My mom shared your story with me last night and told me to come check out your blog. It brought me to tears. I know you only met me when I was younger at your cruise wedding, but I want you to know what an inspiration you are. Thank you for sharing your story with everybody through this blog. You and your family and Ron and Cam are in my thoughts. Sending all my love and positive energy your way. I would say "stay strong" but it's obvious you are nothing short. xoxo

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  12. I pray for you and your family and hope that your days are pain free. Love you xoxoxox

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  13. Jill, this is one of those times I don't understand the unfairness of life, but you are the embodiment of love, laughter and light. My heart is full wishing you much happiness, empowerment and peace on your next journey. Thank you for your courage and your inspiration. We've never met, but your fortitude of spirit will stay with me always. You, Jason & Rory are in my thoughts and forever in my heart. Thank you for sharing your stories and passing along your beauty and strength through your actions and words. Thank you for being such an incredible human being.

    Alysia,
    Los Angeles, CA

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  14. Katherine showed me your blog this morning and I have been at a loss all day. Jill you came in to my life at the perfect moment and have been such a trailblazer for me. I am so glad to have met you and spent some seasons with you. You are truly a good person and know that you, Jason, and Rory are in my thoughts and prayers. Always, Carmen

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  15. My heart sank when I read this post. You, Jason and Rory are in my thoughts and prayers as you walk through these days. My heart is somewhat lifted as I think about the time we shared in Houston. The top of the list will always be the good books we read and great conversations that followed at Agora. The small things will stay with me too like the quick trips over to Starbucks and catching a colorful sunset through the window of your office in T2. Sydney will always have the last laugh and “upper paw” on this Texan for when she scared the hell out of me as she spat out a barrage of wicked hisses when I went over to your place to check on her while you and Jason were away for the holidays.

    Great memories that I will cherish for all the days that I am blessed to walk this earth.

    Peace-
    Van

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  16. Thinking of you and the family today with our sunshine and complaints about the heat doesn't compare to what your going through. I wish you and yours sunshine, laughter, love and prayers. Love, Karen

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  17. Forgive me if I have posted twice as I wrote one but I don't think it went through. Crap!! There aren't enough words or the right words to tell someone they have inspired people when they didn't even realize it. From the moment I met you in Houston, I knew this was one bad ass chick! I would do anything to fix this and make things healthy and happy for you and your dear family. I have missed you over the years and want you to know that I have always had the greatest respect and admiration for you. Love to you sweet girl--please know how adored you are!! xoxo Anne McElroy

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  18. Jill-
    I have just heard about your blog, and my heart breaks for you and your family. It has been 15 years since we worked in Hatch Hall, but your leadership and charm has continued to be an inspiration for me to this day. We all leave...but we don't all leave as lasting an impression as you. The world needs more people with your spirit - demonstrating how life should be lived - with joy despite the situation. Thank you for being such an inspiration to me. God bless you and keep you Jill. My prayers are with you and your family.
    - Kody

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  19. Hi Jill. I've been keeping up with you through your blog. I love your sense of humor and views on life! Your infectious smile and natural beauty have not been fazed by the hardships you've endured--You are amazing! Your response to your illness is both admirable and inspirational. Rory is a beautiful young lady---how proud you must be of her! I pray you can rest in God's love and peace--Jana Sharpley

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  20. I pray for God to give you and your family strength. You already have all the courage in the world. We will continue to keep you and your family in our prayers. - MARIA

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  21. Hi Jill. I am so saddened to hear this news. But of course you are handling it with style and sass! I love it! Thank you for making my first few years at WU easier AND fun! You made a difference in my life, thank you! For that I will never forget you or your smile. You and your family are in my prayers. I pray for a peaceful journey! God's peace be with you - Lindy Eberhardt

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  22. Jill, I sent a note to Jason yesterday. But wanted to be sure I shared this directly with you - I treasure the incredible support you and Jason have given to me during my own cancer battle. I tell my family and friends all the time - there is nothing that can compare to the understanding that another person has, who is facing the same battle. You made my journey more bearable and I can honestly say you and Jason made a significant difference in my progress and mental health. (the "crazy" comes way too easy in these circumstances! LOL) Thank you for that - and know that you have a huge church family in San Antonio praying for the three of you. You are loved more than you know and your story is my motivation. XOX - Terri Liebler

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  23. Dear Jill,

    I hope you don't mind that I've taken the liberty in learning your last name. I found your daughter's cast listing in the Tarzan program. My heart was broken upon reading your blog.

    From the moment I saw you the other night, I was taken aback by your beauty and poise. I truly meant it when I said you were glowing. I had no idea what your circumstances were then and I can't believe that the woman I am reading about in this blog is that same woman. I am in complete awe of your strength.

    I am so very sorry that cancer has intruded upon your life. It doesn't make sense and it isn't fair. I don't understand this horrible disease and why it affects so many incredible people. I've been thinking about you so much since we met. I was so pleased to see you again at Sunday's show. Your admiration for your daughter is beautiful. She is one lucky girl! She was a great ape and plant ;) You must be so proud of her.

    Your story has tugged at my heart strings in every way possible. I have prayed for you daily. My wish for you is that you are showered with peace and serenity for the remainder of your journey. I hope that you can feel the support of your loved ones.

    I wish that our paths had crossed before now. When we met, I felt as though I had known you a long while. I could have chatted with you for hours. I know that you must be surrounded by numerous friends and family, but if you do need another friend, I am here. I'm here to lean on, cry on or simply sit with and just be. I'm easily amused and love to laugh out loud. I could swap stories and chit chat for hours.

    I will continue to keep you in my thoughts and prayers, Jill.

    Your friend,
    Jody

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  24. Dear Jill, I have been reading your blog continuously since you left UH and hoped so much that you would win this battle. I always admired your quick intelligence, humor and beauty. My heart breaks at this news. You and your family are in my prayers. God's peace be with you, Sharon Lahey

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  25. Dear Jill, I've always admired your lively spirit and joyfulness - passed onto Rory no doubt! - and now am incredibly moved and inspired by your continued strength and humor. Sending hugs and prayers to you and all of your family. Callaway

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