I am so glad you decided to take a peek into my journey! I am a mother (my wonderful daughter; and yes, we do share the same name); “JuJu” (Grandma) to Julie’s daughter Olivia; a cancer survivor; friend and fighter. I am strong, brave, hopeful, and optimistic.
I’m also a music lover, and believe that anything is a microphone! So many road trips have been filled with rock-out sessions that make my heart smile! My motto is: ” laughter is good for the soul and kindness will always win.” Random acts of kindness are my jam!
If you have ever watched the TV show The Gilmore Girls, you have a pretty good idea of my relationship with Julie and who we are. Lorelai could sew and I’m lucky if I can sew a button on, but besides that, we are very similar!
It’s just been Julie and me since she was three years old, and I’m blessed to have this beautiful young lady as my daughter. She is the brightest star in my sky and constantly inspires me. Julie gives me hope in the most difficult of times, and is the kindest person I know. I love watching her be a mother to my precious little “Livy Goose,” who brings me so much joy and is the best medicine!
There isn’t enough time to explain how blessed I am with all Julie does. This blog is dedicated to her. I love you, Julie!
My daughter has flown in for almost every surgery (19 and counting!), and on the rare occasion when she couldn’t, my amazing son-in-law Ryan was with me. Ryan is a neurosurgery resident and does so much for me – changes my bandages, provides emotional support, and is always there when I need him. I am so grateful they found each other and appreciate all they’ve done for me.
Throughout this journey, so many people have touched my heart with the overflowing kindness they’ve extended to me. I thank each and every one of them for their encouraging words, thoughtful cards, lovely flowers, and generous donations to help with expenses. The list goes on….
My friends have been such a great support system, and I have to mention a few who have truly gone above and beyond to help me.
Patty and Brad, you have touched my heart in a very big way and I am incredibly grateful for your generosity. Nattie, thank you for the endless rides back and forth to Boston for scheduled surgeries; emergency surgeries; for staying with me while I recovered, and sleeping on a cot in the hospital when I was nervous to be alone. (Just remember when our eyeballs are leaking, plot twist!)
Mary Ellen, (aka, Fritzy), thank you for filling my fridge so when I came home from the hospital that was one less thing I needed to worry about; for doing my laundry every week, and for always being there when I need you. You are the shoulder to cry on and the kindest soul. Erin, thank you for changing my bandages, rides, dropping off dinner and a million other things.
Shawn and Sue, thank you for getting me to Boston and to countless appointments! Chris San, our 32 year friendship means the world to me. Thank you for bèing such a great source of support! Chris and Eric, thank you for friendship and kindness. Thanks, Mom, for staying with me several times after surgeries and taking care of me.
Amanda, (aka, Gerb), you have a special place in my heart. We were lucky to meet 32 years ago at Boston Children’s Hospital. Thank you for your generosity, thoughtfulness, and friendship.
Patty, thank you for your support, friendship, surprise packages, daily text messages or calls. We started as coworkers and have become such good friends.! I feel so blessed to have you in my life. Becky, you have such a big heart and I thank you for the visits, conversations, dinners and your kindness.
Marcus and Deneen, thank you for the rides to Boston, your friendship, and your generosity. Izzy, thank you for picking Julie up at the airport very late that night so she could be there for my first surgery without even knowing her! Thank you for the hospital visits, handmade cards, delicious food, books and magazines!
Disco Diva and Christina, thank you for the last minute rides to therapy and running errands for me! Rosie, thank you for 25 years of friendship. My cousin Amy and her team at DigitalWire360, thank you for creating the banner and answering my endless questions!
Dr. Burns of New England Orthopedic Surgeons: I was lucky to meet you at the beginning of my journey! Thank you for caring for me in the hospital, for coordinating efforts with my doctors in Boston, and allowing me to discuss treatment plans with you along the way.
My amazing visiting nurse, Kim, thank you for being a constant in this journey, for taking care of me on your days off and for all of the little things you do that are big things to me!
To the staff at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston: what a dedicated and wonderful group of people you are! My surgeons: Dr. Guzman (who I call my hero while he humbly says it is “a team effort”); Dr. Iorio (who has had the daunting task of healing my foot); and Dr. Anderson. Each of you has been such a big part of my life these last two years. Thank you for never giving up on me and for showing such compassion.
To the residents (“The Dream Team”) who cared for me: Bill, Brian and Brady, you are simply fantastic! Even in the early morning or late hours, you were always kind, caring and funny! Kenny, (the OR tech who has become such a wonderful friend), thank you for always keeping me calm and for the visits with ice cream, magazines and flowers! Serena, the nurse practitioner who always goes out of her way to make my stays as comfortable as they can be. Thank you for your friendship, guidance, support and CVS runs.
Lee Ann, Cindy and Ruth, the best PACU nurses hands down! Y’all are wonderful and kind. We still need to go out for Margarita’s! The nurses and PCT’s on the orthopedic, vascular and trauma floors: I extend my deep appreciation for all you do each and every day! I’m so lucky to be in your care and to be able to call you my friends. Caroline, Tracy, Nancy, Magen, Christina, Jill, Jocelyn and Bitsy: you ladies are all sorts of wonderful!
Life is a beautiful journey. Appreciate each and every day regardless of what it brings. Be kind to each other and help others when you can. Never give up and remember: tomorrow is a new day filled with new possibilities.
Until next time,
Julie (or “Jewels” as my friends call me!)