Dear Friends and Readers,
I was hoping to take a moment from my beauty posts, and share a very personal project with you that I have started with my best friend. She was recently diagnosed with Metastatic Breast Cancer Stage 4 – at age 36. She was having a very hard time with how negative all the websites about her diagnosis were, and how there was nothing on the Internet that she could relate to. So, we started our own site.
It follows her journey, and chronicles our new determination to complete her (and our) bucket list together…although Nikki hates the term “bucket list”, so we are calling it our “adventures”. Our site is called www.jellybeanandbeanhead.com. Those were our nicknames for each other in high school, and we found it perfect for the name of our little addition to the web.
We have tried to make the site a place where other cancer patients can be inspired by our journey and her journals. We also created a forum where other women can join as well, and share their own adventures, inspirations and struggles.
Below is an introduction to our site, from both of us. I truly hope that you can share it with someone you know who is battling this disease and needs a place to find laughter and hope.
Nikki – Beanhead
“The first time I was diagnosed with breast cancer I stayed off the internet. Not because it was filled with all the things I can no longer eat, do, and drink; but because I’m computer incompetent and have never been a friend of technology. When I was told I have metastatic breast cancer, I took a peek on the internet and very quickly turned off the computer and walked away. It was filled with things such as chronic bone pain, loss of overall sense of health, advanced directives, living wills; oh, and the icing on the cake….palliative care. There is a saying which I really believe is true, that attitude is 90% of the battle. I find it difficult for even the best attitude to withstand 20 minutes of cancer research on the internet. So Christina and I made a plan; we decided that if we couldn’t find a positive, hopeful, inspiring website with a youthful approach to cancer, then we would have to create our own. I know there are lots of young women out there like me who have had their worlds turned upside down. Trying to keep your spirits up and find joy in things becomes increasingly difficult when your thoughts revolve around being sick and/or dying. Our mission with this website is to create a place where young women can go to get answers, share information and experiences, but mainly reclaim our joy!!”
Christina – Jellybean
“Nikki and I have been friends for over 22 years. There has never been a moment when thoughts of my future didn’t include her in it. We have always created lists of things, and “adventures” we planned on doing together; yet, they always got filed away in the “someday” drawer. As we got older, the excuses and life piled up, and those adventures became less of a priority. Until a month ago. When Nikki shared her diagnosis with me, we went over the adventures and things that we had once said we would accomplish. Nikki is, and has always been a fighter. Her strength and dark humor is a force of nature, and she is looking at her cancer with the same fortitude. So, naturally, she immediately wanted to revisit and restart our lives with the intention of tackling our “want to” list, and no longer putting the plans on hold. Our adventures start now. This website is meant to share our crazy experiences and misadventures, in hopes that Nikki’s journey can inspire and encourage other people who are facing the same battle. We want this website to be a resource for those facing Metastatic Breast Cancer, or any type of Metastatic diagnosis. We want this website to be a resource that doesn’t focus on the fear, but instead encourages everyone to share their own adventures, and to find a joyful place to learn about the personal side of Cancer.”