Notes From Supergirl

My Diary from the Trenches



I wanted to add this to my Inspiration page because this video made me smile like I haven’t smiled in a long time. Additionally I am adding Burning Man to my vision board. Who’s with me???


I wanted to update this page because there have been so many things that have inspired me since I originally created it. To start with I want to share a YouTube video that my friend John posted this morning:

Additionally, I have started a journal called “Listography.” I originally bought this for Brian a couple of years ago, but he never used it. I already keep a one-line journal and the blog, but I wanted something that might be more interesting for my kids to read in the future. Something that they could compare apples to apples to. For example, each page of Listography prompts you to list important things in your life – everything from Places You’ve Lived, Pets You’ve Had, Favorite Bands, Proudest Accomplishments, The People in History You would Like to Have a Conversation With, etc. Some are easy lists, some are very though-provoking and some, if answered honestly, would provide a sincere look into who I am as a person (the good the bad and the less than glamorous). I’ve been enjoying rediscovering things about myself and trying to evoke memories of past 35 years in a list or two each night. If my kids ever decide to read it, they can compare their favorite bands to mine or might find that their are items on my “Bucket List” that we could do together. There are a number of books in the series, including one designed for younger children and one designed for “Future Lists,” which is what I plan on working on next. It would make a great gift for yourself, a friend, a child or family member.


These are things that have been providing inspiration and motivation over the last few weeks – and those that I will be continuing to read, watch and listen to in the coming months. I would love to hear what inspires you.

I’m also made something called a vision board. You can see it below in my wall of inspiring faces – many of you are missing and need to send me pictures. I learned about a vision board while reading O Magazine (Oprah’s) on one of many doctor’s visits. The idea is to create a vision for your life that is inspiring and tangible. Martha Beck, the author, explains it here. In my case I’m envisioning the end of my chemo and walking away cured as well as drinking lots of wine with my friends among other things. I add to it as I find things that inspire me. Oh, and Gigi, those fortunes are on there too but they don’t make any sentences :)

Additionally, a few wonderful friends have been kind enough to share personal stories of cancer experiences and send poems that inspired them. I plan to post them all but this is one of my favorites from Chip. Chip has been a mentor to Brian both professionally and personally and, most importantly, a dear friend.

William Ernest Henley

Out of the night that covers me,
Black as the Pit from pole to pole,
I thank whatever gods may be
For my unconquerable soul.
In the fell clutch of circumstance
I have not winced nor cried aloud.
Under the bludgeonings of chance
My head is bloody, but unbowed.
Beyond this place of wrath and tears
Looms but the Horror of the shade,
And yet the menace of the years
Finds, and shall find, me unafraid.
It matters not how strait the gate,
How charged with punishments the scroll,
I am the master of my fate:
I am the captain of my soul.

I wanted to update this page to include two photos that a dear friend of my brother and sister in law’s, Anne Chan, took for us the day before we went to the hospital. Anne did a great job capturing two of my favorite moments – being hugged and kissed by my kids and laying in the hammock with Bri. These two photos now take front and center on the inspiration board.

If you want Anne’s contact information, just let me know. She’s really terrific.

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8 Comments to


  1. Avatar June 3rd, 2010 at 12:11 pm Amy Says:

    YOU inspire me. More every day.

  2. Avatar June 4th, 2010 at 12:32 pm Amanda Strama Says:

    When Olivia was in the hospital my husband and I found inspiration in each other and the friends and family that surrounded us. It helped that the doctors and nurses were nothing short of amazing and always had a plan even when things were at their worst. I somehow came to think of the hospital as Oz because you get that sense like you have already met all of these people…dejavu in a way. I read Kidnapped (Robert Louis Stevenson), Alice in Wonderland, The Oz chronicles all to her while we were there, it was a nice way to quiet my mind while she was in a coma. We are all touched by inspiration every day, but it takes so much for us to see it, touch it and give it a name. My life changed so much from Olivia’s illness, but the positive changes are what I try to focus on. I feel my eyes have been opened to a world that I had shut off before, that I couldn’t see. Now my biggest inspiration is Olivia and her donor, really all of the transplant recipients and donor families that I meet. Thank you for sharing your story, it seems as though you have grabbed this ugly monster by the back of its head to show it who is in control. I am a new parent at Free State so we have only met in passing but if you need anything don’t hesitate…443-226-6534…

    Amanda Strama

  3. Avatar June 9th, 2010 at 8:47 pm Anne Chan Says:

    aww, thanks for the shout out Jess! Great blog – inspiring and hilarious! Keep kickin’ ass!

  4. Avatar June 11th, 2010 at 11:42 am Paul Says:

    WOW Jess! When this whole thing started, and I found out you were writing a blog, I didn’t quite get the whole “Notes from Supergirl” thing. I get it now… you are incredible! Robyn has said that about you for a long time now, and I’m like,”ya ya she’s great…”, but now I get it. You are great. You are truly incredible. I am so proud of you… I am so proud to know you.

    I don’t think I can find the words to describe how your Day 10 post has moved me. Yes, the nutty guy with the silly poop stories has been moved. Shaken really. You have welcomed us all into a place perhaps none of us deserve – straight into the heart of a living Angel. Thank you for letting me in too. Through your struggles, fights and victories, we will all come out of this feeling like champions. Team Jessica grows every day, and I am so proud to be on it. Thank you for sharing what’s in your heart, and thank you for the inspiration. You truly are a SUPERGIRL!

    Lots and lots of love,


  5. Avatar June 15th, 2010 at 7:35 am Joe W. Says:

    Hey Jess:

    Peace – Love – Family!

    Joe W.

  6. Avatar June 15th, 2010 at 8:31 pm Martha Says:

    You are beautiful…hair or no hair. Uncle Bob agrees!

  7. Avatar June 23rd, 2010 at 9:28 am Adele Says:


    I came across these and said to myself Jess has done this and done it well!

    “Between stimulus and response, there is a space. In that space lies our freedom and power to choose our response. In our response lies our growth and freedom.”

    - Viktor E. Frankl

    “The most important thing is transforming our minds, for a new way of thinking, a new outlook: we should strive to develop a new inner world.”

    - Dalai Lama

  8. Avatar July 26th, 2010 at 4:42 pm Steph Says:

    Jess, I don’t know if you’re familiar with the blog, but it inspires me. It’s about living a life free of clutter, both physically and mentally. It’s not about getting rid of all of your stuff, it’s about finding what works well for you. For example, the author asks, Do I really need 6 pairs of scissors? Shouldn’t I only have one? But actually, for her and her family, having six strategically placed scissors throughout the house is actually more efficient than just having one. So no emotional clutter of frustration is ever experienced at hunting down that one pair. She posted a good one today about mental clutter. You should check it out. It’s right up your alley!