I don’t usually write blog posts for the Epilepsy Blog Relay because I feel it is an opportunity for the community to share their stories. But so much has happened in the past year and I’m feeling grateful to be able to even be here for Thanksgiving. So, I wanted to share a little about my perspective on gratitude.
Gratitude for my epilepsy
Last October I was diagnosed with Stage 3C Ovarian Cancer. Since that time I have had multiple surgeries, undergone months of chemotherapy and my body has been through torture. I am thrilled to say that I am several months Cancer free. Also, I responded so well to treatment that I don’t need to be on maintenance medications. However this experience clarified for me how important epilepsy advocacy is to me. And the stark differences in the way we as a society treat people with different diagnoses.
Gratitude for the epilepsy community
I had the opportunity to talk to hundreds of families living with epilepsy at Epilepsy Day at Disneyland in California. This was an opportunity to validate their feelings and experiences, and remind them they are not alone. These conversations reminded me how grateful I am to have seizure control as I could very easily have switched places with any one of the families I spoke to had the fates allowed.
Gratitude for my family
This was a very difficult year for my family. My sisters and I buried my Father and Mother in January and February respectively. This impacted not only my immediate family, but also my Aunts, Uncles and most importantly my cousins who are like sisters and brothers to me. My sisters and I have become closer as a result of managing my parents health and this loss. I can never express how grateful I am to my sisters and my cousins. I am grateful for their support, for their leadership and knowing I can always count on them.
Additionally, my in-laws have been there to support me through this loss and through cancer in ways I could never have expected. The love they have shown for us is unsurpassed.
Gratitude for my husband and daughter
Above all, my husband and daughter have essentially supplied the air I breathe. They bring positivity into my life and relieve worry whenever they can. They are the best things that ever happened to me. I am lucky to have them and I am grateful to have them in my life.
Gratitude for me
I have worked hard to focus on the positive despite my circumstances. I believe we have an opportunity to be grateful for this life. It’s not always easy – life and the being grateful. But if you give it a second and you start appreciating the little things, eventually you can begin to appreciate you and the space you take up in this world. I will leave you with a quote that is currently my daily reminder:
“We have no cause for anything but gratitude and joy.”
Founder and CEO
Jessica brings a unique perspective to this leading epilepsy blog as she was diagnosed with epilepsy as a teen. She also brings 20+ years experience in marketing.