Jess Fratrik @jfrat

31, Cape Canaveral, Stage IV breast cancer thriver. Riding the high wave of life. #researchnotribbons πŸ„πŸ’πŸš€πŸΆπŸŒ»

  • Posts
    891
  • Followers
    414
  • Following
    768
There's no way to describe the amount of love and joy I felt this weekend. Rounding up 17 people from all over the country for a wildly full day at Epcot, a slumber party, and the required morning after brunch is no simple task. Yet, this amazing group of friends managed to make it happen. I don't know how I got so lucky, but damn if I won't brag about these friends every day. My #highvibetribe. So much love for you all. #thisisMBC #lifer #stageIVthriver #outlivingit #epcot #rollinwithmyhomies #justshowup #foodandwinefest2017 #notpregnantjustonsteroids
  • Comments 2

There's no way to describe the amount of love and joy I felt this weekend. Rounding up 17 people from all over the country for a wildly full day at Epcot, a slumber party, and the required morning after brunch is no simple task. Yet, this amazing group of friends managed to make it happen. I don't know how I got so lucky, but damn if I won't brag about these friends every day. My #highvibetribe. So much love for you all. #thisisMBC #lifer #stageIVthriver #outlivingit #epcot #rollinwithmyhomies #justshowup #foodandwinefest2017 #notpregnantjustonsteroids

Advertising
#highvibetribe took over food and wine fest today. Literally rolling with my homies and couldn't be happier. #thisisMBC #lifer #stageIVthriver #outlivingit
  • Comments 4

#highvibetribe took over food and wine fest today. Literally rolling with my homies and couldn't be happier. #thisisMBC #lifer #stageIVthriver #outlivingit

They call her Sunflower. 🌻
  • Comments 7

They call her Sunflower. 🌻

Just like that, my ten whole brain radiation therapy treatments are done. And I got a Halloween costume out of it! My mind is still spinning and adjusting to my status as a metastatic breast cancer warrior but I am feeling well and still finding time to laugh every day.
There are a lot of unknowns and the worst part is having to wait for appointments and answers. Next up are some more scans and a second opinion from Mayo in Jacksonville. After that I should have a systemic treatment plan along with some more peace of mind.
The prognosis for brain mets isn't great but my doctors are encouraged by the new treatments popping up every day showing more and more successful outcomes. I have great faith in science and medicine, but I'm also refusing to focus on statistics. I'm taking things day by day.
Metastatic breast cancer will kill me, but it's not going to be today. Let's party on!
#notpregnantjustonsteroids #outlivingit #wonderwoman #thisisMBC #stageIVthriver #stageivneedsmore #lightandlove
  • Comments 7

Just like that, my ten whole brain radiation therapy treatments are done. And I got a Halloween costume out of it! My mind is still spinning and adjusting to my status as a metastatic breast cancer warrior but I am feeling well and still finding time to laugh every day. There are a lot of unknowns and the worst part is having to wait for appointments and answers. Next up are some more scans and a second opinion from Mayo in Jacksonville. After that I should have a systemic treatment plan along with some more peace of mind. The prognosis for brain mets isn't great but my doctors are encouraged by the new treatments popping up every day showing more and more successful outcomes. I have great faith in science and medicine, but I'm also refusing to focus on statistics. I'm taking things day by day. Metastatic breast cancer will kill me, but it's not going to be today. Let's party on! #notpregnantjustonsteroids #outlivingit #wonderwoman #thisisMBC #stageIVthriver #stageivneedsmore #lightandlove

Advertising
Only the best bro would volunteer to chaperon his sick sister for a 36 hour trip to NoLa for a wedding. Beniets βœ” Voodoo dolls βœ” Pat O'Brien's hurricanes βœ” #thebigeasygivesyoumansors #outlivingit
  • Comments 6

Only the best bro would volunteer to chaperon his sick sister for a 36 hour trip to NoLa for a wedding. Beniets βœ” Voodoo dolls βœ” Pat O'Brien's hurricanes βœ” #thebigeasygivesyoumansors #outlivingit

About 1,000 days ago I first posted this picture to announce I had been diagnosed with breast cancer. I was scared and angry and felt like I was drifting alone out to sea. By sharing my vulnerability, I was instantly rescued by the greatest of support systems: you all. 
Today, I repost this picture to announce that I have been newly diagnosed with probable metastatic breast cancer. 
Metastatic breast cancer is breast cancer that has spread to other parts of the body. In my case, they are investigating lesions on my brain, lung, and liver. They're testing me for any strange brain infections, just in case, but I also started whole brain radiation today, so I'm pretty sure we're dealing with stage IV breast cancer. Metastatic cancer is treatable, but not curable. 
I've been at Viera hospital since Monday working with a wonderful team of doctors. I've gotten my first ER admission, first brain MRI, first ambulance ride (to transport me 100 feet to the cancer center ). They have a freezer full of Popsicles. And yes, I have breast cancer in my brain. Again, there's a lot of fear and anger, but this time I don’t feel so alone. I'm surrounded by the best support system one could ask for. 
The irony of being diagnosed during Pinktober is not lost on me. If you buy anything with a pink ribbon on it, make sure the money goes to the women dealing with this disease or to research for metastatic disease. We need a cure. The best I can hope for is for things to stabilize  so I can have a few more good years with the people I love. I know there are a lot of questions and I'll be updating the best I can, but please don't be offended if messages or calls go unanswered. I'm taking things day by day and riding the high wave of life as long as I have the privilege to. Love and light, friends. 
#lifer #fuckcancer #metavivor #stageivneedsmore #researchnotribbons #outlivingit #risesisterrise
  • Comments 20

About 1,000 days ago I first posted this picture to announce I had been diagnosed with breast cancer. I was scared and angry and felt like I was drifting alone out to sea. By sharing my vulnerability, I was instantly rescued by the greatest of support systems: you all. Today, I repost this picture to announce that I have been newly diagnosed with probable metastatic breast cancer. Metastatic breast cancer is breast cancer that has spread to other parts of the body. In my case, they are investigating lesions on my brain, lung, and liver. They're testing me for any strange brain infections, just in case, but I also started whole brain radiation today, so I'm pretty sure we're dealing with stage IV breast cancer. Metastatic cancer is treatable, but not curable. I've been at Viera hospital since Monday working with a wonderful team of doctors. I've gotten my first ER admission, first brain MRI, first ambulance ride (to transport me 100 feet to the cancer center ). They have a freezer full of Popsicles. And yes, I have breast cancer in my brain. Again, there's a lot of fear and anger, but this time I don’t feel so alone. I'm surrounded by the best support system one could ask for. The irony of being diagnosed during Pinktober is not lost on me. If you buy anything with a pink ribbon on it, make sure the money goes to the women dealing with this disease or to research for metastatic disease. We need a cure. The best I can hope for is for things to stabilize so I can have a few more good years with the people I love. I know there are a lot of questions and I'll be updating the best I can, but please don't be offended if messages or calls go unanswered. I'm taking things day by day and riding the high wave of life as long as I have the privilege to. Love and light, friends. #lifer #fuckcancer #metavivor #stageivneedsmore #researchnotribbons #outlivingit #risesisterrise

October 6th is always a bitter sweet day. We get to celebrate Ben turning 40 today while also sending our love to Jeff in heaven on what would have been his 40th birthday as well. Getting old is a privilege and I can't wait for our family getaway this weekend to celebrate. Happy birthday, Ben!
  • Comments 2

October 6th is always a bitter sweet day. We get to celebrate Ben turning 40 today while also sending our love to Jeff in heaven on what would have been his 40th birthday as well. Getting old is a privilege and I can't wait for our family getaway this weekend to celebrate. Happy birthday, Ben!

Advertising
This is the face of a girl who finally got released to swim and surf and do all the things! And as much as I like him, I'm pretty excited I'll never have to see my plastic surgeon again. Feeling really damn good today. πŸ„πŸŠπŸ‹πŸ€˜πŸŒžπŸ€—
  • Comments 8

This is the face of a girl who finally got released to swim and surf and do all the things! And as much as I like him, I'm pretty excited I'll never have to see my plastic surgeon again. Feeling really damn good today. πŸ„πŸŠπŸ‹πŸ€˜πŸŒžπŸ€—

Beyond honored to make my debut as the Here for the Girls Florida Sunshine and Good Health Fairy at our Brutes, Bras, and Bowties event tonight. Hurricane Irma threw us some curveballs, but it ended up even better than expected. All the linemen working in Brevard county are staying in a tent/trailer city on the grounds of the American Muscle Car Museum, so we opened the doors up to the workers for a $10 donation. One group from the northeast went even farther for us and passed the hat at their safety meeting raising over $600 for young women diagnosed with breast cancer! Guys, it's been a really long week for everyone around here. Yesterday I wasn't sure I had the spirit required for the Sunshine fairy. But I showed up and my cup was filled watching the outpouring of love and community right here, in my little county, and I was reminded again of the importance of living life with an exclamation point! #hereforthegirls #beyondboobs #sequinshoeseveryday #thankyoulinemen
  • Comments 2

Beyond honored to make my debut as the Here for the Girls Florida Sunshine and Good Health Fairy at our Brutes, Bras, and Bowties event tonight. Hurricane Irma threw us some curveballs, but it ended up even better than expected. All the linemen working in Brevard county are staying in a tent/trailer city on the grounds of the American Muscle Car Museum, so we opened the doors up to the workers for a $10 donation. One group from the northeast went even farther for us and passed the hat at their safety meeting raising over $600 for young women diagnosed with breast cancer! Guys, it's been a really long week for everyone around here. Yesterday I wasn't sure I had the spirit required for the Sunshine fairy. But I showed up and my cup was filled watching the outpouring of love and community right here, in my little county, and I was reminded again of the importance of living life with an exclamation point! #hereforthegirls #beyondboobs #sequinshoeseveryday #thankyoulinemen

Moon shadow.
  • Comments 0

Moon shadow.

Advertising
Last Thursday, I had what will hopefully be the final major surgery related to my breast cancer diagnosis. 934 days after my initial diagnosis, my plastic surgeon picked and placed the implants I’ll be sporting the rest of my life. Today, I finally made my walk down to the beach and breathed in the salt air and squished the sand between my toes and let the tears stream down my face.

While everyone around me seems to be thrilled that I’ve made it to this point, I’m still struggling with looking at the scars, dealing with the weight gain, fatigue, cognitive effects, and constantly thinking of my sisters who never made it this far. I am thankful and I try to live each day with grace, but fuck, this is still hard. I may have had the final surgery, but this is a life sentence. I used to measure things by the seasons. Now I measure them by days, sometimes hours, one foot in front of the other, finding the smallest things to be grateful for, like being able to make the walk to the beach. I am happy to put this surgery behind me, but I still have a long way to go until I’m whole again. Today, I’m thankful for the chance to get there.
  • Comments 7

Last Thursday, I had what will hopefully be the final major surgery related to my breast cancer diagnosis. 934 days after my initial diagnosis, my plastic surgeon picked and placed the implants I’ll be sporting the rest of my life. Today, I finally made my walk down to the beach and breathed in the salt air and squished the sand between my toes and let the tears stream down my face. While everyone around me seems to be thrilled that I’ve made it to this point, I’m still struggling with looking at the scars, dealing with the weight gain, fatigue, cognitive effects, and constantly thinking of my sisters who never made it this far. I am thankful and I try to live each day with grace, but fuck, this is still hard. I may have had the final surgery, but this is a life sentence. I used to measure things by the seasons. Now I measure them by days, sometimes hours, one foot in front of the other, finding the smallest things to be grateful for, like being able to make the walk to the beach. I am happy to put this surgery behind me, but I still have a long way to go until I’m whole again. Today, I’m thankful for the chance to get there.

We lost another Virginia Boober! sister today and I'm reminded of how grief is so much more than just grief. Especially when the losses are stacked on top of each other as is sadly typical when you're thrown into the cancer support network. I don't have the patience or strength for "stay strong" and "keep fighting" today. I have exhaustion and sadness and guilt and anger. And while we may not want to admit it, that's part of the process too. 🐘
  • Comments 4

We lost another Virginia Boober! sister today and I'm reminded of how grief is so much more than just grief. Especially when the losses are stacked on top of each other as is sadly typical when you're thrown into the cancer support network. I don't have the patience or strength for "stay strong" and "keep fighting" today. I have exhaustion and sadness and guilt and anger. And while we may not want to admit it, that's part of the process too. 🐘

NEXT