Then.

Written on September 14, 2018

I’m just going to write.

I’m going to start off when it all began. 

I have imagined that moment hundreds of time.  I see mom in her doctor’s office.  After Vanessa was born, she had contemplated getting her tubes tied, and not have anymore children. I mean, why not, she already had her first-born son and two beautiful daughters.  She held off, and in that time, she went through some hardships with my dad.  The day she found out she was pregnant, it was so unexpected and so unplanned.  It wasn’t the right time, and she was in shock.  From the womb, it was always a battle for my life.  I started fighting before I even realized it.  There was a night, when I believe the enemies plan was to take both mine and my mother’s life. At the time, my mom was deep in her own sadness that she wouldn’t have thought twice about her own life, but she knew that she had a life growing inside of her that deserved a chance to live.  She prayed and prayed, “Lord, not for me but for my baby, save us.” God showed up. And the plan that had been orchestrated to harm our lives was completely blocked, and we were home safe.  There was another time when my mom’s life was in danger, and despite the danger, at 8 months pregnant she did everything possible to protect her womb, to protect her baby. 

Fear became so intertwined within my soul, that it would take decades to be able to finally overcome the paralyzing, terrifying spirit of fear.

I’m 35 years old now, and I have lived a life full of obstacles, challenges, heartbreaks, and devastation but the best part about this story is despite it all, I can smile, and love, and believe, and laugh and most of all, overcome any and every obstacle that stands in my way. I stand here today with a heart full of faith, love, joy, peace, and assurance knowing that I am loved by someone greater than the things that are tangible.  Loved my someone that is extravagant, beautiful and so all powerful; protected and cared for by the Creator of the heavens, the earth, the stars and the galaxies.  The One who saw me before I was even born, who called me with a purpose and a plan that would be bigger and greater than anything most have ever seen in their lives.  A Lord, who has carried me through every storm this life has thrown at me, and who has always shown up in one way or another. He has been like that knight in shining armor, I always dreamed of, ready to love on my very soul, caress my face, and comfort me in every season of my life.  I live a life of being loved by a God that has moved mountains and galaxies and oceans for me since the day I was born, and I know He will do it again and again and again for His glory.

It was September 11, 2018, exactly two years from today that my life took a turn.

What a significant date to begin with.  I laugh now because God has always spoken to me through numbers and dates.  Anyone who truly knows me, knows this, and may even chuckle a little because when I’m about to share an experience that is so supernatural and crazy, I always say, “I told you! Numbers and Dates is OUR THING.” It is how God tells me, “Jess, that’s me! I’m here, I’m working, I have it all under control.”

What seems to be “coincidences” in my life, are actually, I believe, the greatest God Winks of all time. Just 17 years ago, America experienced its own devastating tragedy and on this same date, I would experience my own unexpected devastation.  My doctor came into my hospital room as I sat in my bed with my sister and my mom by my side. He walked in with two of his interns wearing his glasses and long white lab coat. He came to deliver the preliminary results of my biopsy that had just been performed the day before. 

Having this biopsy alone in this hospital was a miracle within itself.  God moved mountains through these doctors, just to get me admitted into the hospital, to get all the tests done that I needed, and to go in and find out what this thing in my groin was. During the biggest crisis of my life, I was placed in the palm and hearts of some of the smartest most incredible nurses and doctors that I had ever met (Except Mom, She is my #1 NURSE).  From the moment they met me, I felt like I somehow pierced their hearts, and they risked so much to help me.  It was this well-orchestrated master plan to find the answers I needed as soon as humanly possible. As soon as the biopsy was completed, they walked the tissues down to the pathology unit and a frozen sample was analyzed.

I remember that moment as if it was yesterday. He came to my room and said, “It looks as though it is a Malignant Sarcoma.” 

Wow, talk about the world coming to a standstill in that moment.  I have this defense mechanism that when I begin to hear things that my mind and spirit do not like or agree with, my whole face changes.  Although I was listening, and I can recall most of what was said, in the moment, my mind was so perplexed, trying to remain calm, and at the same time trying to process all of the information that was being given to me. 

He came to deliver the message that would change my world. A message that would try to change the world of my children.  A message that would devastate my family and those that I love most.

“I have Cancer.”

Aventura Hospital, From September 8-12, 2018, I was admitted and diagnosed. Most of these pictures were taken after I had the biopsy. I was told that the mass in my groin was a malignant synovial sarcoma. The love and smiles of my boys and my family kept me anchored to the ground. Being surrounded by them on such a devastating day filled me with so much HOPE.

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