Did Cancer Push PAUSE or FAST FORWARD?

I’ve been having one of those weeks where I feel like I’m not doing enough. I don’t mean on a daily to-do list scale, but on a BIG PICTURE LIFE scale. I just had a birthday, and it was an undeniable reminder that time keeps rolling along, no matter what life is asking of us.

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Jessica Walker
Survivor Struggles: The Post Treatment Mind Game

Yesterday was World Mental Health Day. I wanted to take the opportunity to speak out about the mental mine field that survivors and their care givers face post-treatment. When we think about cancer, we often focus on the physical struggles: nausea, pain, hair loss, surgeries, scars. But, the unseen struggles can often be more debilitating than the visible ones.

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Jessica Walker
Step 1: Get Up Off the Floor

I'm often asked how we stay positive through the difficult days. This question always takes me back to a specific moment where I found my self sobbing in a ball on our bathroom floor. Not quite the image of optimism or strength, but it's where it started.

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Jessica Walker
Gratitude and Moving Forward

In the wake of the overwhelming support and encouragement we have received this week after HeartThreads Docs shared our story on Facebook, I have been pulled into reflection on the year we have had. Some days it's easy to wake up and feel like it never happened. Some mornings the unseen marks on our minds and hearts show up a little deeper. Sometimes I feel like I've fully processed the fears and stresses we experienced, but most times I feel like I haven't even begin to see the impact that has been made.

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Jessica Walker
Crossing the Finish Starting Line

Tomorrow is the six month anniversary of Tommy's diagnosis. I won't share the statistics connected to this feat because they make me queasy, but just know, this is a HUGE milestone for esophageal cancer. We've been fighting for six months, and most days now it feels like we've beat it. He can eat normally, is working like crazy, and even performed in an Off-Broadway show this past weekend (it's unreal I know, he's a superstar).

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Jessica Walker
When You Can't Check It Off

I'm the kind of person who loves making lists. I love the feeling of completing a task, and checking it off. It's finished. I don't have to think about it again. I become very one track minded in my quest to complete a goal. I do not like to rest until a project is finished in every way. 

Cancer is not like that.

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Jessica Walker
Scanxiety

The scan seems to hold your fate. Did the tumor shrink? Has it returned? Are lymph nodes lighting up? Will you need another round of chemo? Did the surgery work? It can be maddening. It’s not uncommon for people with cancer to develop PTSD because of this anxiety. I can absolutely see why.

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Being a 'Cancer Wife'. Can't I Just Be a Regular Wife?

I am still trying to figure out what it means to be a wife. What does it look like? What does it feel like? How can I serve this marriage, and how can this marriage serve me? I had less than two months before the term “newlywed wife” turned into “chief caregiver”. 

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The Hearts Behind BETTER

Our newlywed story looks a little different from most. If you made your way to this blog, it's possible yours does too. Different is not bad. Different can be powerful, strengthening, binding, and illuminating (albeit frustrating, confusing, and often, tough). 

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