One day while Jessica was still in the hospital she decided she was going to get up and get out of the room. For the first time in a week, with help, she got dressed, straightened her hair, and put on make up. Instead of getting in the wheelchair she pushed it out on the floor and felt invigorated. And, if you know Jessica, of course, that wasn't enough. She was going to push herself as far as possible. She pushed the wheelchair to the elevator; went downstairs and she pushed it all the way to the exit door. At that point, I insisted she get IN the wheelchair. I rolled her out into the sunshine and fresh air for the first time in days. Others were enjoying the outdoors as well. I pushed her up to some chairs and sat down beside her. Soon we struck up a conversation with a man whose daughter was also at MD Anderson. He looked at Jessica and said, "You don't even look sick." Now mind you she was in a wheelchair and we were rolling an IV pole with five IVs going. "But I am. I am very sick."
This week Jessica had her second chemo treatment and her third radiation treatment. They are radiating her lower back from hip to hip. It is a very intense and aggressive radiation. Jessica's abdomen is swelling and pants are uncomfortable. Yet everyday she
It is somehow appropriate though that Jessica should wear her make up and pearls. Pearls are made out of adversity. A grain of sand gets into the "stomach" of the oyster and causes pain and irritation. To ease the pain the oyster begins to envelop the painful irritant with a liquid. Layer upon layer it smooths out the rough edges and turns its pain into something valuable and beautiful.
Make up and pearls are Jessica's way of beginning to smooth out the rough edges of something painful and heartbreaking into something valuable and beautiful. Each day things are getting easier. Today the girls, their daughters, will arrive in Houston. Just in time for Mother's day! (Thank you Nana and Papaw. :) ) She will complete her radiation on May 21. She will have her third chemotherapy treatment on May 24. Somewhere along the way they will put a port in place. And then on May 25 we hope will return home! That's right, she is coming home!!! The edges are smoothing.
She will continue chemo treatment in Newnan once a week. And return to Houston the end of June for three days of followup scans and medication adjustments. This routine will continue every six to eight weeks UNTIL a cure is found! And while we search for a cure and as Jessica continues to live with hope and peace, and pearls and make-up choose this day how you will live.
We may not be able to choose what life throws at us but we can choose how we respond.
Jessica, Jason, their families and friends with God's help are going to turn this experience into a beautiful pearl! And, it is our hope that many will see in that pearl a reflection of God's glory and grace.
20 You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives.
(with whatever you are wearing as a reminder of one of Jessica's favorite Bible verses,
"You are all together beautiful, my sister, there is NO flaw in you." ~ Song of Solomon 4:7