8.02.2009

the other side

The story that I have for you today is hard for me to tell. I fear that it may also be difficult to hear. It’s a story about me, but it’s also about you. For a long time, I wasn’t sure that I would ever tell it here. But now, I think I want to. I’m ready. So here goes:

Last August, while running on a treadmill, I suddenly fainted. When I awoke on the floor, the paralyzing pain in my head was too big for my senses. Something was terribly wrong. I lay there and tried to make sense of it: I was in the best shape of my life. I had just completed the New York City half-marathon. That was me, nailing those hills in Central Park; running through a car-less Times Square; smiling up at the towering billboards, the lights blinking only for me. Until the moment I fell, I felt strong, healthy, and fast. My body was used to ten-mile runs. Why, after only three miles, was I now on the floor?

An aneurysm had burst in my brain. I spent the next month in the intensive care unit, and underwent surgery to clip and seal off the ruptured aneurysm. When I was finally allowed to get out of bed, my muscles had weakened so dramatically that I could not take a single step without assistance. “But I’m a runner,” I would whisper, through tears, to the nurses. I entered rehab, and regained enough strength to walk short distances. In late September, I came home.

Let me pause here to say that the majority of people who suffer ruptured aneurysms die on the spot. Those who survive are typically left with life-altering physical or mental deficits as a result of either the hemorrhage or the high-risk brain surgery. Somehow, I escaped all that. Statistically speaking, I am supposed to be dead, or at least severely disabled. I am neither of these things. The doctors told me that my recovery would be long, measured in months. But, miraculously, it would be complete. I was grateful, to say the least. It’s not that I wasn’t devastated, but for some reason I felt that I had the constitution to handle a thing like this. I knew that the only way out was through. With my family and friends beside me, I would make it.

Then came round two.

It started with a high fever just a few days after I arrived home. My head and face swelled, and soon we were back at the hospital. I had contracted a dangerous infection in my brain. Surgery was necessary to scrape out the infection and remove the infected part of my skull. I spent another month in the hospital fighting the infection and other complications, the details of which I will spare you. The infected bone could not be saved, and so I now sport a several-inch indentation above my left eye. Depending on the angle and how I’m wearing my hair, it looks anywhere from mildly disturbing to pretty darn creepy. Because I am missing a piece of my skull, the doctors gave me a helmet (it’s actually a hockey helmet!) to protect my brain from injury. (If you’ve seen a girl walking through the streets of Cambridge in a sticker-covered helmet, no bike – or hockey stick – in sight, that’s me!) The plan was this: Wait one year to make sure that the infection would not recur. Then, I would have one last surgery to replace the missing bone with a synthetic piece. I would look and feel as good as new.

But when I returned home in early November, I had trouble believing it. I had lost twenty pounds from my already small frame. I was so weak that I needed help with the most basic and private tasks. I faced powerful, intravenous antibiotics three times a day for weeks. While I knew in my mind that everything would one day be okay, I lacked the visceral feeling that it was so. I was afraid.

Coming home was more difficult than I had imagined it would be. It may sound odd, but I felt that my apartment had certain expectations of me. And I could not meet them. There was my little office with its piles of books, its highlighters and colored pens. My office chair demanded that I take a seat, that I turn on the computer and pick up where I had left off. But I could not sit up in a chair for more than a few minutes; I could not look at the bright screen, or even read more than a page of text without discomfort. And then, most of all, there was the kitchen. The Japanese knives and wooden spoons, the heavy pots and squeaky oven door. Where there had been noise and laughter and motion, now there was silence. I knew that in order to reclaim myself, I would need to reclaim my home.

I started this blog when I was strong enough to stand at the stovetop and stir for several minutes at a time.



In the early months of my recovery, people suggested that I write about my experience. I couldn’t. For me, writing is a process that brings me closer to my subject. But I was already there: I was living my illness. I didn’t want to be any closer. Then, one day in late December, I mentioned to my friend Megan how much I missed my kitchen. She asked, “Have you ever considered writing a food blog?”

A what?

Megan tossed out the names of her favorites, which I promptly forgot. At home, I typed “food blog” into Google and hoped for a few hits. Well. Two million search results later (in under .18 seconds, Google informed me), I realized that I was likely the last person on earth to discover this lovely creature, the food blog. I poked around to find out what this blogging thing was all about, and the next day, Sweet Amandine was born. My very own aneurysm-free zone.

I think you’ll understand when I say that Sweet Amandine has both nothing and everything to do with the aneurysm. Starting this blog was my way of saying, “I’d like to talk about something else now.” I was tired of being upstaged by my illness. Here, in this big, white, open space, I could look away from the pain and fatigue, and begin to remember who I am. I could celebrate the people I loved, and what nourishes us. I could celebrate my life, my living. Because, aneurysm or not, this life of mine trembles with joy, beauty, and love. I can’t help but to see it, and take note.

The last thing I wanted was to shroud this space in mystery, so I purposefully avoided vague references to exploding brains and holes in the head. Those in the know no doubt picked up on subtle nods and hints to my illness, to the quiet courage and profound kindness of the people closest to me. (When I said that in matters of life and death, Eli swoops in and saves the day, I wasn’t kidding.) But mostly, I trained my eye on more important things. Things like cake, and a tableful of friends who make me laugh my dented little head off.

A week before my twenty-ninth birthday, I told Eli that I wasn’t sure I wanted to celebrate. I felt cheated of twenty-eight. How could I celebrate twenty-nine? Eli took my hand, and said, “Erase this year, and there would be no Sweet Amandine.” That just wouldn’t do.

The way I see it, we’re always broken in one way or another. I just happened to wear my brokenness on the outside this year. Sweet Amandine gave me a place where I could feel whole in my brokenness. And this is where you come in. Although we have never met, by reading these pages, leaving sweet comments, and dropping the occasional e-mail in my box, you helped remind me who I am at a time when I felt least like myself. It’s hard to know how to thank someone for a thing like that. So I’ll just say thank you, and tell you that in those two little words lie galaxies of gratitude. Without you – all of you – this recovery would have looked very different. I shudder at the thought.

In the spring, we learned that my final surgery would take place sooner than expected. I was doing so well that I wouldn’t need to wait the full year. Tomorrow, August 3rd, I’ll check into the hospital for one last surgery to repair the hole in my skull. We’re calling it Humpty Dumpty Day, in deference to that tragic nursery rhyme figure whose run-in with a wall left him far worse for the wear than my measly aneurysm. Given the poor track record of all the king’s horses and all the king’s men, we’ve opted for a neurosurgeon to do the job instead. It’s major surgery, and it won’t be pleasant. But after where I’ve been in the last year, all I have to say is bring it on. This time, recovery will take weeks, not months. And once my head is back together and I’m fully healed, well, that’s just it: I’ll be fully healed. I’ve been on medical leave from school this year, and I’m scheduled to re-enroll in the fall. (In case you’re wondering about all of those exams you have been hearing about recently: Once I regained the stamina to study and write for several hours, my advisors allowed me to take them even though I am officially “off the clock.”) Soon, so soon, I’ll run again along the Charles. I’ll get all dressed up for dinner and leave the headgear at home. Tomorrow, I’ll hang up that helmet for good. I can’t wait.

Dear reader, are you still there? I hope that I have not completely traumatized you. I’m guessing that you could use a piece of cake right about now. I know I could. Fortunately, I’ve come prepared.



In my kitchen, banana bread is a food of departure. Before some time away, I always try to use up any remaining fresh produce that might otherwise go to waste. I blend berries into smoothies, chop greens and peppers into omelettes and, if I’m lucky enough to have a couple of overripe bananas lying around, I make banana bread. It’s only fitting that I baked a loaf this morning, since it may be a while before I’m able to stop in here again. I find that a slice (or two) and a cup of tea settles the nerves when, say, you’re about to go in for brain surgery.

I’ll do my very best to return just as soon as possible. In the meantime, I’d be grateful if you could keep me in your thoughts, and send some positive vibes my way.

cautious smile

See you on the other side.

[p.s. Since I don’t want anyone to worry, I’ve asked Eli to sign into my Twitter account and send out a post-surgery report tomorrow evening. You can check in here.]




Banana Bread with Cinnamon Crumble Topping
Adapted from Bakesale Betty, as seen in Bon Appetit, September, 2008

For the bread:
1 ½ c. flour
1 c. granulated sugar
1 t. ground cinnamon
1 t. baking soda
½ t. salt
1 c. mashed ripe bananas (2-3 medium)
2 large eggs
½ c. vegetable oil
¼ c. honey
¼ c. water

For the topping:
2 T. granulated sugar
2 ½ T. packed golden brown sugar
1 t. cinnamon

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Butter and flour a 9x5x3 inch metal loaf pan. (I use cooking spray in place of the butter.)

Prepare the batter:
In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, 1 c. sugar, 1 t. cinnamon, the baking soda, and the salt. In a large bowl, whisk the mashed bananas, the eggs, the vegetable oil, the honey, and the water, until smooth. Add the dry ingredients to the wet, and stir. Pour the batter into the prepared pan.

Prepare the topping:
Mix together the 2T. granulated sugar, the 2 ½ T. brown sugar, and the cinnamon. I use my fingers. Sprinkle the topping over the batter.

Bake the bread for about one hour, until a tester inserted into the center comes clean. Cool in the pan for 30 minutes. Then, turn the pan on its side and gently slide the loaf out onto the rack. Easy does it – you don’t want to dislodge the topping.

214 comments:

1 – 200 of 214   Newer›   Newest»
Shannalee said...

Jess. Sweet Jess. You have tears in my eyes, friend, and a whole lot of love and hope being sent your way. I think the best people in this life---the ones who have impacted me most, loved best, known what it was all about---are the ones who have suffered. Things like these change you, age you, but make you deeper, more beautiful and able to teach the rest of us. Thank you for being brave enough to share it.

Julia said...

Jess, I remember the evening a few months ago when we talked about the possibility of this post. I am so, so proud you went for it. Good luck tomorrow. xo.

Nathan Karol said...

Jess, Whether we realize it or not, we are all put on this earth with a purpose, and everything that happens, happens for a reason. For some it takes a while to realize what that reason is, if they ever realize it. For you, it hasn't taken so long. Thank god for you, for Sweet Amandine, and for your bright and humorous outlook on an otherwise devastating topic. Rock the surgery boat tomorrow and come back online soon! Maybe you can auction off that helmet for a good cause?!

heidileon said...

God bless you my dear, (and he's doing it). You will be in my prayers.

And no my darling, you haven't shocked us with your story, you just have show us how important is to live and enjoy every minute of it.

Tons of hugs, love and good vibe girl!

Julie said...

Wow. It's amazing what goes on in the lives of people you know, if even just a little. (Your story reminds me of that of one of my best friends, from the collapse on the treadmill to the several-inch dent in her forehead. But that's a story I'll share with you later.) It's difficult to not allow this stuff to define you, but instead add it to the pile of stuff that makes up who you are. We all accumulate scratches and dents over the course of our lives - wear them with pride. Glad you're able to fix yours! Happy Humpty Dumpty Day; I'll be thinking of you.

dwcc said...

Hi Jess,

I'm a new-ish reader to your blog - drawn in first by your whimsical and heartfelt writing and your simple and delicious photos. Thank you for sharing your heart so profoundly in this post, and for making me grateful that the internets exists for such moments like these! I'm glad to be a reader and a witness that this process has been a source of comfort and healing to you. May you continue to write and live strongly.

God bless you,
D.

Barbara said...

I'm new to your blog but I wanted to say good luck for tomorrow and I look forward to reading more after you recover from surgery. I started my blog whern I was diagnosed with cancer 4 1/2 years ago. Through blogging I've met the most amaing people who have become great supporters during all my medical adventures. Hugs from Oz.

Engineer Baker said...

Wow, I had no idea, and now have goosebumps from reading this. What an amazing way to reclaim your life and say "I'd like to talk about something else." Because that something else has been pretty darned awesome, just so you know. Hugs and prayers for the surgery, I expect to be hearing about you running in the near future :)

Tory said...

Hey Jess. Best of luck and I'll be checking in to see how you're going. Massive hugs from Cait in Australia.

(wife.) said...

This is the first post of yours I've ever read, and I'm weeping. Thank you for sharing your story and for having the courage to do everything you do. You're inspiring. You've gained a loyal reader and I wish you the best tomorrow and all the days that follow.

Jen Yu said...

This is my first time visiting. I found you through a tweet from Barbara (winosandfoodies) who I met through food blogging. You have discovered, as I did, as many others have, that food bloggers are a most amazing bunch and that food blogging is a way for those of us with ailments or problems to reach out to others and be Not Cancer, or Not Disabled, or Not Damaged. I applaud you for sharing and I will be wishing you the very best as you enter surgery tomorrow. Brava for not letting your ailment define you. We are so much more than a disease, than a medical curiosity. xxoo

megan said...

Ha! Thanks for the shout-out - I'm glad I usually say the random ideas I have when spending time with you. As ever, the thanks should go to you, for your warmth and beautiful writing -- and also because I've been eating basically only Sweet Amandine recipes this summer. I love this blog, and I love you! Good luck tomorrow and always -

xx
megan

The Food Librarian said...

Thank you for being so honest and open. My thoughts are with you in your surgery.

Tartelette said...

I have been reading your blog for a couple of months and you find me speechless and grateful. Thank you for sharing this with us.
Hugs and best vibes for the surgery tommorrow!
Ah yes, and I leave hungry for banana bread now!

Azúcar said...

I don't know you, and this is my first time here, but I'm wishing you luck, and a lightening fast recovery.

Good luck!

Marilyn said...

Jess, this is both a beautiful explanation and exploration. Thank you for sharing your life so generously - and I'll not only be thinking of you, there will be banana bread made in your honor. Good luck, and much love.

Kamran Siddiqi said...

I just stumble upon your blog through twitter. While reading each and every word that you have written, I have come closer to realizing the true meanings of life- to live it to it's fullest and to enjoy it no matter what happens. And one of the biggest lessons- to never give up.

Your story is truly inspiring and I really applaud you for sharing it with us! You are very strong and inspiring. And people really need to know about it!

You are in my prayers. Tons of good vibes to you!

♥Deeba @Passionate About Baking♥ said...

Got here through twitter & admire your spirit & strength. You are inspirational beyond belief. It is never easy to put thoughts into words. I have this lump in my throat...good luck for the surgey. Sunshine & ♥ from e in India. Good luck to you, my dear!

Marc @ NoRecipes said...

I too came over from Twitter. A great blog you have and truly inspiring tale. Best of luck with your surgery and lots of good vibes for a speedy recovery!

Bria said...

Like others here, I am a first time reader today. Your story astounds me, and is familiar in parts. I didn't start a food blog to talk about something other than my health, but I did do so to talk about something other than the big piece of unpleasantness that rules most of my day. I completely understand using a space like this to remind yourself of who you are, and to find joy. I do it, too, and I'm so glad you have been able to create such a beautiful vehicle for sharing yourself with the world.

We can do so much to affect our own joy. Bravo, girl, and the very best of luck tomorrow.

Tea said...

Oh my goodness, I find myself so impressed and moved by your story--and at the same time, I can relate to so much of it as well. My blog was also born out of illness, and while I've often wished I didn't have to deal with the health problems I've had, I wouldn't give up the site and all it's brought into my life.

I know you read the post I recently put up. Perhaps you too can relate to the Hemingway quote: "The world breaks everyone and afterward many are strong in the broken places."

I'm imagining just how strong you have become. I'm also imagining you running along the Charles again. Here's to finding our way through the obstacles tossed at us. You are amazing.

♥♥♥Ria♥♥♥ said...

Dear Jess,
I got here through Twitter.I am sure you will be perfectly fine soon :) And we all are praying for you!

Thanks for sharing it with us! Will come back to hear more from you :) Good luck dear!

Good bye Helmet :)
xx

Connie said...

So, how are you doing? I checked your Twitter messages and there's no post-surgery update there. I hope you're well.

Gastronomer said...

I'm a runner with a food blog too. You'll be killing it on the Charles in no time ;-) Good luck!

the sugar behind the sugar said...

Wow! A truly inspiring story. Life is so precious and it sometimes takes reminders like this to make me realize that. Hope you have a speedy recovery. First time visiting your blog, but I'll definetley be back. Sending up a prayer for you...

Anonymous said...

My prayers go out to you and I will be baking your banana bread tomorrow because the recipe sounds delish...be strong you have ALOT to look forward to.

Kimberly said...

Jess, I'm also here for the first time via Twitter. Best wishes for tomorrow, and for a speedy recovery. Like Tea, I'm imagining you running along the Charles again soon.

marlenaspieler said...

you've told your terrifying, devastating yet hopeful, uplifting amazing story so well. you're a wonderful writer, and its a priviledge to read todays very very touching blog.

thank you for sharing this, and also the banana bread with cinnamon crunchy topping looks v appealing....i'm into the kitchen to make a loaf within the hour..

Katherine said...

That Twitter. Changing life every day.

I found out about you a few minutes ago via Elise Bauer from @simplyrecipes.

I'll be thinking about you all day tomorrow. I know it's risky surgery but how wonderful that you've taken care of yourself and can get it sooner than expected.

I have a food blog. And then I got sick. And I stopped writing because food was my enemy, or so I felt. Some food really are, but I was having a hard time loving the ones that work for me.

And then I came back and was overwhelmed (still am) to find so many people in my same position.

I think when you come back you're going to have a whole host of new friends looking out for you, all because you had the courage to write this.

Helene said...

Reading this story brought back so many memories. My grandma died that way and there was nothing the doctors could do to save her life. I miss her dearly. I wish I could still hold her hand and hug her. I'm thanking God that you are alive and all of your dear loved can still be by your side and simply hug you. Wish you luck tomorrow.

Hugs,

Hélène

MsGourmet said...

Dear, brave, amazing Jess all the best for Humpty Dumpty Day xoxo

Aparna said...

Got here through Twitter, like many others.
Best of luck for the surgery. Remember many of us have you in their thoughts and prayers.
God bless.

Emily said...

This is the first time I've visited your blog (just found you via Twitter). You have a great writing style & I'll look forward to breezing through your archives :)
Best wishes for your surgery,
Emily.

Murasaki Shikibu said...

"For me, writing is a process that brings me closer to my subject. But I was already there: I was living my illness. I didn’t want to be any closer."

I can relate to this. For many years people have suggested writing about my experiences as a TCK which were positive in some ways but very painful and I felt the same way. I was already there and living the pain and I didn't want to be closer.

I wish you all the best.

Laurie Ashton Farook said...

I'm also a new reader by way of Twitter. Amazing things Twitter can do, eh? ;)

None of what you wrote is at all shocking to me. My father, at age 45 in 1980, had four aneurysms. He had 3 surgeries to repair 3 aneurysms, but one was too deep in. He ended up with 6 metal plates in his head - substitute bone didn't exist back then - and he has dents and visible holes in his head. He's still alive, btw. Brain damaged, not as functional as other people. He was the first person in recorded medical history to have survived from more than one aneurysm.

In our family, aneurysms are caused by a genetic collagen defect called Ehlers Danlos Syndrome, which I have and which makes me high-risk for aneurysms.

I understand some of what you're going through from a different perspective, both from observing how it affected my father and from the perspective of someone who's greatly affected by chronic illness caused by the genetic defect. I blog when I can, but there are days, weeks even, when I can't manage much at all.

Getting through what you've experienced isn't easy, but you've managed it. Kudos to you. :)

Good luck with your next surgery. I hope it all goes well and you recover quickly.

Liane said...

Hi there! This is my first time to visit your blog and I am so blown away. Thank you for sharing your life. Will be praying for your complete recovery...and will be sending you golden light...
Take care.

liane

Alma said...

Thank you for the honesty and the delicious-looking recipe. This is also my first time here, and I couldn't help but think I just "met" a kindred spirit. Sometimes, I feel like I was born broken--but I've slowly come to realize that we all are--and life is about seeing the similar shards and sanding down the edges a bit. I hope your surgery goes well.

Alma

peabody said...

Wishing you the very best tomorrow...and the future.
Great looking bread as well.

Bethany (DirtyKitchenSecrets) said...

This is my first time coming accross your blog. I have goosebumps and tears after reading your story! I wish you all the luck and blessings. I look forward to visiting here often!

Anonymous said...

hi! a friend passed along your blogspot to me and - by some urge, which i do not usually have - opened your blog....i am sending you all my positive vibes...thank you for sharing your "other side"...get well soon, and i hope to read your next entry!

elly said...

Wow!! All the very best for a full recovery...you've taken my breath away with the courage you're showing in handling all that has been thrown at you. I've not known any of this until now....you keep up your fight...I want more of the recipes from that kitchen of yours :o)
Stay strong, there'll be a great many thinking of you. xxx

Agnes Tan said...

Hi sweet Jess,

I am new to your blog, how are you doing today? I discovered you via facebook from David Lebovitz, yes the handsome American pastry chef in Paris. I am very happy to have read your account, beautifully written words. I had a minor stroke 5 years ago but could not get myself to write about. Reading your experience, word after word, reconnects to the past. Thank you for sharing, God bless you Jess.

SDFoody said...

I was so touched by your story... really glad you shared it with us, though I know that must have been very tough for you. I hope you will get better soon =)

I have always wanted to bake bread, and what better way to start than with banana bread! Thanks for sharing your recipe!

andaoana said...

This is the first time I've visited your blog (just found you via Twitter).
I am keeping all my fingers crossed for you. You are just so awesome that I know everything will be fine.

Alli411 said...

Thank you for sharing your courageous story. Wishing you a speedy recovery.

jayasree said...

I too got here throough twitter like many others.
God bless you and you will remain in our prayers and thoughts. And shall come back to read ur post after surgery. By God's grace,everything will be fine.

Jamie said...

Great good luck and all the virtual prayers that you'll need to get through the final step. WMany of us have something tragic hidden behind the happy face that is our food blog. Blogging and the people we meet, our cooking and baking and sharing what we've made is truly a way to face it, deal with it, live with it day to day.

Lisa said...

I too am new to your blog (via David Lebovitz.) Your story is so touching. With moist eyes, I send you wishes for a successful surgery and smooth recovery. I look forward to reading your blog.

Elise said...

Thank you for sharing your inspiring story. I know how difficult that can be, wanting your blog to be about something that provides a peaceful escape from difficult personal challenges. Thinking of you, sending wishes of a successful surgery and a smooth recovery.

HoneyB said...

I found you through a post that David Lebowitz put on his Facebook page. I can't read this and not leave you a comment. Your post made me cry. Not a bad thing. But a good thing there there are people like you out there who go on with their life after tragedy. I lost my grandfather to an anurysm. I know how devastating it can be. I hope you come through the surgery with flying colors and my thoughts and prayers are with you. Many times I will read a blog post and sure, the food sounds interesting, but the person behind it is even more so interesting so I will come back. Your little place here is one that I definitely intend to come back to. I am very happy to find there there is a Sweet Amadine.

Elizabeth Mosier said...

Beautiful and brave writing. I'll check your twitter entries with the hope that good news will be posted about your surgery.

Rogue Unicorn said...

Jess,
Thank you for sharing this-and when I say "this" I am not only referring to the details of your story- I am referring to your honesty, bravery and wisdom. I, like you, believe that we are all broken in one way or another,(myself included) but it is the rare person who has the courage and clear-sightedness to give meaning to that fracture by talking about it.
Thank you for thanking us. In the few weeks I have been visiting your blog I have found it to be the most welcoming and hospitable spaces on the internet.
I'll be thinking of you today.
Heal well.
Tiki

jillian said...

I have to echo the thanks for sharing your story. I'm so glad that this blog has been therapeutic and a joy to you in such a difficult time. Thinking of you today, and sending good vibes for your surgery and recovery.

Kristen said...

What a remarkable story! we are so glad you are still here and your lovely blog is with us. I'll be praying for you, your surgeons and your family.

Blondish said...

Darling Jess, I am SO PROUD of you,and everything you've done this last year. I am thinking of you with all the love in the world today, and will be there to hold you as much as you need in the coming weeks.

Nandini Vishwanath said...

Got here through Twitter. I do hope all goes well, will be waiting for an update.

Stay the way you are: strong.

EEJ said...

Oh, Jess, you did it. I'm so glad you shared your story with your readers! They already appreciated your lovely writing and quick wit (and delicious recipes), but didn't know the half of your strength, resilience, and irreplacable good humor. As soon as I can, I'll be there to watch (dumb, happy) movies and help get your kitchen warmed back up again. Much love always, but especially today. Happy Humpty Dumpty Day!

Ciao Chow Linda said...

What a courageous young woman you are. I just have a good feeling that everything is going to work out just fine for you. But I'm sending you my prayers and good vibes just in case. Keep on blogging and doing what you need to do to heal. You have a wonderful spirit.

Erin said...

Jess,

Thank you so much for sharing this extremely painful yet beautifully crafted personal story with us! You'll be in my thoughts tomorrow. I admire you for having such incredible strength and perseverance through all of the medical issues you've undergone over the past year and I look forward to seeing your smiling face again very soon!

Paula Murphy, Houston TX said...

I came to be on this page via a post on Facebook by David Lebovitz. Today, August 3 is the 5th "anniversary" of my neurosurgery, so it is interesting that I am reading this today of all days. While I was not the victim of an aneurysm, brain surgery is just darn scary anyway you get to it. My surgery went just great and I would have likely gone home a day after but because I leaked some spinal fluid during the surgery, I had to have a spinal tap and be in NICU for 4 days. Four long days with no walls (just curtains) between me and other patients, no TV or phone in the rooms and limited visitation. I was fine...but so many people around me were not...so many WERE there because of aneurysms and so many of them did not live. The floor was alive with the sounds of bells and alarms from screaming machines, and it made me realize how lucky I was to have made it through my surgery and be doing so well. I wish you the best of luck on your surgery and for the rest of your life. You have made it through something amazing, and when that happens, you cant just keep it to yourself...you must SHARE it. That you have done, and it has touched and will continue to touch people.

Anonymous said...

jess,
my thoughts and prayers are with you. sarah has told me much of what you have written here and I wish you all the very very best tomorrow and always.
~rachel (willen) azrin

Katie said...

Jess, I myself am also a food blogger, new to the scene. I have been struggling with a chronic illness. I was diagnosed with Hypopituitary on July 4, 1995, a few months after my 15th birthday. It was a struggle to understand my body and its odd habits, some of which started when I was just a baby.
My surgery was a craniofaringioma. Brain surgery that left an ear to ear scar (like a headband) across my head. I have recently thought of publishing my story, quite similar to yours, but i have been terrified of actually reading it, writing it, and seeing my life though someone else's eyes. After all, its a food blog, about a girl in Indiana. Who wants to read about heartache and pain! So thank you for being a role model to me. I know one day, my story will be on my blog. Something other than recipes and fun. I find it funny, that this is the first time, since the blog, that I know that it is also my serenity. Away from doctors, away from migraines, away from my ''other life'', thank you. Joy, and health to you. Kate

Andrea [bella eats] said...

Jess,

I have goosebumps. What an amazing, inspiring, beautifully told story. Thank you for sharing this very difficult time with us, and for doing so with such grace. I will be thinking of you today and each day until I see Sweet Amandine pop up in my RSS feed again soon.

All the best,
Andrea

Adrienne said...

Jess, you will be in my thoughts today - and your banana bread will be the first thing I bake in my new oven tonight. Wishing you a speedy recovery!

oneordinaryday said...

Thank you for sharing such a personal part of yourself with all of us. It's a brave thing to do and you did it with such grace. I'm in awe. You'll be in my prayers and I'm wishing the best for you.
~Michelle

Jennifer said...

I am crying inside for you, teary eyed and prayerful for you!!!

Shayne said...

Go get 'em tiger! You're a superstar, a lil' Paula Radcliffe in the surgery recovery world. Rock it!

Anonymous said...

g-d bless & positive energy from all your sweet amandine peeps!

browniegirl said...

Dearest Jess, you move me....you inspire me to carry on!!! Thank you for sharing your personal story with us all. You are in my thoughts and prayers today....looking forward to some good news. You are a very brave and very fortunate young woman. God bless you xxx

Elizabeth said...

Wow. That's the most amazing story. I too, just arrived here for the first time and actually read through all that. Amazing. I am hoping for a fast recovery for you! Good luck!

Anonymous said...

Oh my goodness, how strange that I would find your blog today, of all days.

Bright blessings to you, and thank you.

Anonymous said...

Wishing you a successful procedure and a speedy recovery.
May the force be with you!!

Winnie said...

Jess,
I found your blog via David Lebovitz on Facebook.
I am so glad I did.
Thank you for sharing your story.
Your blog is beautiful and I am looking
forward to reading more of your posts after your surgery.
Good luck with it and see you back here soon!

Anonymous said...

This is the first time I've been to your blog and this entry is the only one I have read from it. What you wrote resonated with me. It was so powerful, honest and brave that I had to respond.

I wish you all the best in your surgery and a quick recovery. Come back soon.

Jason said...

Dear Jess,
The word that comes to my mind as I read your words is "grace." You are a graceful writer and you have achieved a state of grace through your hardships and your self-awareness.

I'm sending positive energy out to you.

Continue to be strong, girl. You are an inspiration.

Carol L Silva said...

I found this post from a link in elise's (Simply Recipes) Twitter.

Thank you for sharing. Today I will be sending vibes of peace, healing and strength. I will anxiously look forward to updates.
Best,
Carol

momMe said...

Did you ever know that you're my hero.....? love you sweet Jess --- can't wait to be with you on the other side and seving as your sou chef in the kitchen

Amanda said...

Stories like this make me believe in fate and miracles. There is so much sadness and negativity in this world, and it's hard to focus on the positive. But when I hear that you are making a full recovery from a deadly condition, it gives me hope that we aren't the ones in full control of our lives. That there is a path predestined for us, and to make the most of it. I hope you get all the rest you need. And shoot me an email because you are just such a sweet gal :)

Josh said...

Hi Jess - we have met, but it's been a long time, since high school! Ahhh... OHS choir... good times. Your sis passed your blog on to me some time ago, and I've been checking it out since. I had no idea what you've been through, and your story is both frightening and inspirational. Best of luck to you on this Humpty Dumpty Day, and thank you so much for sharing your story. I'm sure it was difficult.
-Josh Friedman

Anonymous said...

I just found you via David Lebovitz, and I wanted to wish you all the best. I know everything will turn out great for you today and the following weeks, and I can't wait to start following your blog!!

Cheers, good thoughts, and loads of cardamom!!
Karen
New York City

Anonymous said...

How fortunate I am to have found your wonderful post through Roz Cummins, who put this up on Facebook. And doubly fortunate to have some ripe bananas begging to go into your banana bread. I will bake it today and the mashing, mixing, and pouring will all be a prayer in action for you and your health. Peace.

Jen said...

This is my first time to your blog. Your strength just blows me away!! I will be praying for you and your doctors today!

Anonymous said...

You blog was forwarded to me by a friend and your strength is inspiring. I wish you all the very best and look forward to reading future blogs.
You will be in my thougths and prayers today. I wish you all the best for a speedy recovery.
Gillian

Steve said...

Wow I remember reading this last night and seeing two comments... now you're up to 83+.

You and your family are in my thoughts. After hearing about you from Kasey, talking with you directly, and then reading about you above, it's obvious you've shown amazing strength. I can't wait for all this to be behind you.

Hope to see you out running on the Charles soon!

Rupinder Bisla said...

My dear, sweet Jessica!

I'm so proud of you. You are one amazing woman.

All my love,

Joel

Colin's Mom said...

And now it's time for us to thank you for providing such a wonderful, often inspirational, blog. A place to come to find scrumptious looking (and tasting, I'm sure) delights straight from your kitchen and mind. Thank you for persevering for us, your lowly audience of no-names. Finally, thanks for sharing your story with us. You've not only delved into your personal space for us, you've also educated us and you never know, you might have helped give someone the insight they needed to have their symptoms diagnosed and/or treated.

I think I speak for most of us when I tell you that we'll be praying for you. Best of luck with your recovery and we'll all be waited with baited breath for your return!

Char said...

what an incrediable story of survival - so inspiring. Happy, warm and healing thoughts are sent your way to a speedy recovery.

Caitlin Morgan said...

A friend of mine died of an aneurysm many years ago. I am so glad that you lived to tell your tale and, better than that, continue it. You're a brave soul, and I'm thinking/praying for you today as you go into your surgery.

Dolce said...

This is amazing that you keep such good faith in things and life altogether and your blog is indeed fantastic. I will keep my fingers crossed until you get back on tracks :)

Bella Baita View said...

Sunny wishes coming your way from over in the Italian alps, knowing that there are many more stories and recipes to come our way from you. Brava bella....

Jennifer said...

Jess,
Your generosity of spirit and adoration of life is admirable. You are brave, strong, talented and beautiful. I wish you the best tomorrow and will send along many vibes of healing and strength. Let's plan for a jaunt around Charlie when you're healed. Until then, be well, lady.

Rosiecat said...

Oh, Jess, what a story you and this little blog of yours have to tell. You are a mountain of strength and inspiration. You probably won't see this comment until after your surgery is done (whew!), but I'm knocking on wood right now and sending banana-scented wishes to your hospital bed. See you soon, friend.

ketchuptochutney said...

Hey Jess,
I've been reading your blog for a few months now and your writing and cooking is entirely inspiring. You completely deserve every ounce of luck you've had with this entire ordeal, and I know I am not alone in saying we can't wait 'til you're back and at it.
Kate

Anonymous said...

I wanted to thank you for sharing your story with us. You are inspiring, courageous and beautiful. I am going to make this banana bread today and send good thoughts and prayers your way. I'm also going to look for you along the Charles in a couple of months. God Bless.

Kristin said...

I used to work with your dad in Columbus, and he posted this link on Facebook. You are a beautiful writer and your attitude is inspirational. Sending positive vibes through the San Francisco fog.

Kasey said...

Wow, what an heartfelt and inspirational thing to read on a Monday morning. It's so courageous of you to share you story--it gives us all strength. Coincidentally, I made this banana bread yesterday...it has so much more meaning after reading this! All the best to you.

jacqui | happyjackeats said...

thank you for sharing your story, jess, and so beautifully. you truly have a gift with words and food, and your blog is an inspiration. isn't it lovely, how something as simple as a food blog, started to merely get back in the kitchen, can become so, so much more?

my thoughts are with you and your family today.

RecipeGirl said...

I'm grateful that I had the opportunity to read your story, and that you had the courage to share it in the first place. It sounds like you've had a number of tremendous tragedies happen to you and are taking it day by day to life your life. Your strength shines through... I'm thinking good thoughts for you today, and I look forward to your return. ((hugs))

Sean said...

Go you! One of my dearest friends suffered an aneurysm shortly after her 26th birthday, on Christmas Eve no less. She was not so lucky -- though she did not die (and it was close there), she has severe mobility issues and her language is fairly broken. Miraculously, though, after her lengthy recovery, she retained all her graphic design skills. The brain is a mysterious and wondrous place, indeed.

Best of luck to you, and speedy healing!

sitasantos said...

Prayers and thoughts are with you as is God and his omnipotent magnificence! ...Good food and inspiration will be waiting for you as will we, your readers, on the other side :) Best of luck tomorrow!
(Just another) hug!

Eli Schleifer said...

Long time reader first time commenter. I love this lady.

dt said...

I followed a link from another blog to visit here today for the first time. I will now be back, regularly. thank you for your courageous spirit and the willingmess to share, on your own terms. Very inspiring.
best of luck.

Anonymous said...

this post is even better the second time around, knowing that you're out of OR and responding. my love to you.

slschleifer said...

Hi Jessica -
I was so moved as I read your post - sharing with your readers what was such a personal and difficult time for you. Your courage during your recovery never ceased to amaze me - but your words describing it left me speechless. I am sitting here now in the Family Waiting Room and waiting to see you. We are praying for your speedy recovery - and looking forward to cheering for you in your next marathon. Love always. Sarah

Elle said...

I'm new to your blog, but wanted to let you know that it's Aug 3rd, and I'm thinking of you, saying prayers for a routine surgery and speedy recovery.

Susan said...

First time commenter. I'll be holding you with my most positive thoughts now and through your recovery. Starting this blog was the perfect way to take charge of your life again. I'nt the net great therapy?

Rebecca said...

Jessica...
This is my first time reading you -- I've just heard via an Eli-post that your surgery went well, and while we don't know each other almost at all, I'm a puddle of tears knowing you are on the way to healthier days; best wishes for your recovery. Your words inspire me, and I can't wait to keep reading. Thank you for your brave honesty.

Yvonne said...

Thank you for sharing your story, it is incredibly inspiring!

All the best for a speedy recovery and return to Sweet Amandine!

steve said...

Jessica, Awaiting what we hope and pray will be a magnificent conclusion to your painfully beautiful saga, and having actually tasted the sweetness of your Banana Bread---one can only marvel at what you bring to us all. Awaiting, then, the reinvention of sweet amandine...your return to running and climbing...the scaling of scholarly peaks...the creation and the sharing of happiness and happy times with Eli, your many old and new friends and family...the recovery of grammar and syntax....and I love you. Steve

Krystal said...

You are such an inspriation!! Best to you in your speedy recovery!!

SD said...

Jessica, my love, you amaze me (as always).
There are wallops of positivity and glittery sprinkles coming your way.
Gentle--yet giant--hugs to you, Eli, and family, and I'll see you soon.
Viva Yom Humpty Dumpty!
Love,
Steph

Collins said...

God Bless Jess, I'm thinking of you today and praying for a speedy recovery.

Sarah said...

Oh my God... I had been reading your words over the past few months and never could have imagined someone becoming so empowered, so determined, to create, embrace and really become yourself after something so devastating. Your story gives those of us who have had challenges of any sort hope and a reason to continue what it is we do, whatever it may be - blogging, cooking, crafts, music, or simply enjoying the fact that we are still *here* even though the world seemed to have other ideas.

I think you had it right when you wrote "we're always broken in one way or another", and that it can be as much an inner fracture as a broken bone or disease. Speaking as one who is dealing with both, it is a kind of solace. Thank you for helping me, for one, feel not alone.

I've gone on far too long here, but I wish you all sorts of luck and love for a speedy recovery from this final physical trial. I wish with all my heart that the next thing to break for you is nothing but an eggshell.

~Madeline~ said...

So Twitter is good for a few things afterall :) I came across your post from a tweet from Elise of Simply Recipes and I'm so happy to have found your blog. This is a beautiful post, so honest and open. Thanks for sharing something so personal. Sending good vibes your way. Can't wait to read more.

high over happy said...

What spirit and courage - thank you for sharing your courageous story. I'm keeping you in my prayers and hope to see another post soon.

Carmie said...

Oh my gosh. Somehow, somewhere, I came across your blog and just read your post. I admire your courage and strength and will keep you in my thoughts and prayers. Awaiting your future blog posts..........

squirrelbread said...

Thank you for sharing such a difficult and tremendous story. Best wishes for the future, and I'm sure all of your other readers will join in me saying, "come back soon!"

Cheers,

*Heather*

Patti Londre said...

God's speed, sweetie. Looking forward to your future blog posts, too.

Anonymous said...

Something compelled me to read your story when I was browing FoodGawker. I actually read everything and I must say it was extremely moving and it made me realize how lucky I am to be healthy. You're a very strong person and I believe you will make it through for sure.

Anonymous said...

to your speedy and full recovery!!

I found your story thru Gesine's blog--sending you positive healing thoughts and best wishes....along with our 5 cats' purring meditations to soothe you along the way.
~flashofbeauty

Lindsay said...

Yikes, I had no idea! Get well soon...I love your blog!

janeh said...

I found your blog through Gesine's blog - I am a traumatic brain injury survivor and I understand your story only too well. Take good care and many blessings to you. xxxooo

Staci said...

As a nurse, I am sending my thoughts and energies to those who will be caring for you before, during and after surgery so that they will give you the best that nurses have to give, as you deserve it. Your writing is wonderful, your photography great, and your recipes inspiring. Thanks to the universe for keeping you here to share your brilliance. Good Luck on Humpty Dumpty Day!

junglemama said...

with tears in my eyes, i wish you health and strenght and beauty from within

Mark said...

I was referred to your blog by a reference in another blog. I was touched profoundly by your story. I'm a 55-year-old man who recently started a blog as a distraction from a different kind of pain, as an outlet, as a way to create postive energy; although, my challenges in no way equate to yours.

I'm writing two days after you posted your story, but I know you're fine. Your story -- and your spirit -- are inspirational.

Thank you. And God bless you.

Sonia said...

Ah, darling! Thank you for sharing your story, wish you the absolute best. Will bake this banana bread tomorrow, and think of you, and send you the most powerful strengthening vibes I can muster!

Kate said...

just checking back in... keep refreshing your twitter. hoping that all is well and twitter just got left by the wayside. i'll keep refreshing for that update...

Sprouted Kitchen said...

such a gorgeous and strong woman you are! I hope that when you come back to the plethora of comments you have, that you will be filled with the encouragement you so dearly deserved. We all love reading your entries, and look forward to your wellness. Take your time, we will wait for you! Warm wishes

aedrbf said...

Jess, you and Eli are an amazing couple. So much love and support. I've known you your whole life and continue to be amazed at your accomplishments and abilities. I know you will be back in the kitchen soon...those of us who love to cook know just how theraputic playing in the kitchen can be :) Sending hugs and kisses.

Anonymous said...

JESS
my goal: keep this short and to the point.

i hope you feel better and i love you so much. you are a great sister and i know you are gonna get through this crapola.

love,
your favoritest brother on the entire planet

Kate @ Savour Fare said...

The best of wishes to you, Jess.

Valerie said...

Jess-
I am not a first time friend, I knew you half your lifetime ago, but I am a first time reader. I saw this post on Kasey's page today and was floored. You have always had the inner strength, beauty and passion to achieve anything. My prayers and thoughts and tears are with you today and I look forward to hearing of your recovery soon. I saw the self-taken picture on this post and it reminded me of when you cut your hair for South Pacific, so that you could actually "wash that man right out". You are an entirely and completely stunning person and I miss you intensely at this moment. I look forward to being reacquainted someday soon--- and sampling some of this amazing banana bread!

All the best to you,
Valerie

chika said...

like some others up here I've followed a link here and am in awestruck. you'll never imagine how you've inspired, encouraged and empowered someone like myself, who's never met you and being thousands of miles away. just checked your/Eli's tweet and am so glad the operation HD went well. best wishes to you for a speedy recovery and looking forward to coming back here and reading more of your adventures in the kitchen.

Lindsey said...

I read this post too late to send you words of comfort and to let you know you are in my thoughts, and I hope you are currently recovering well. Thanks so much for sharing your story, and it's amazing to think about how the blogging world can change your life in one way or another.

aviva said...

Jess,

You have been in my thoughts all day! And I just checked the twitter account - my first time using twitter and am so relieved to know the surgery went well. I have been a huge fan of your blog and of the glimpses into your life that i get from it. Thank you so much for sharing it all!!

And I made the sour cream ginger cake and it was divine! I think next time i will skimp even more on the sugar and maybe put in more ginger.

Aviva

Malinda said...

Not that you'll ever make it to the end of these ZILLIONS of comments -- but know that we love you and are so happy that HUMPTY DUMPTY is on the mend. LOVE. Mary Hall, Kevin and Malinda.

Nishta said...

you are amazing and absolutely in my prayers. glad to hear from Eli via Twitter that you are recovering. can't wait to see you again here when you're ready. xx

Anonymous said...

Long time lurker, first time poster here.

I have always loved your blog, but I had no idea as to the story behind it until now. Your story makes this blog even more special for me.

Glad to see that Operation Humpty Dumpty was a success. Wishing you a speedy recovery.

You are a hero!

Anonymous said...

Dear Jess,

In our combined 156 years of living, loving enjoying & enduring all of life's offerings, never have we known anyone who has been able to "put Humpty Dumpty together again" as beautifully as you have. With all our love we look forward to your next banana bread.
Pop & Jill

Susan said...

This post was beautiful, I am so glad I found your blog - you are truly inspirational.

I wish you the quickest recovery, and you will be in my thoughts and prayers.

ttfn300 said...

oh wow, what a story! i am so glad that this year has come quickly, and i will be thinking of you during your recovery :)

Julie said...

I read your story through a RT on Twitter, and I was so moved. I am a first time reader to your blog, but now you are on my list of favorites. You're in my thoughts and prayers!

Andrea said...

Looks like God and Love can put back together what "all the King's horses and all the King's men" couldn't quite imagine.

You have my admiration, and prayers for a complete and smooth recovery!

Pat Connolly said...

Jess
You are obviously a very special young woman.
I heard about your illness from Jonathan & Katie (my daughter)
You have been in my prayers for time now.
I pray your recovery will be swift and gentle.
Pat

tara said...

Oh Jess. Heal quickly, heal well. We'll be waiting, with smiles and cheers.

Lynn Marie said...

Sweet Jess:
I am new to your blog, but I have learned a great deal about courage, fortitude and love over the past year. I held the hand of my sister of the heart as she battled 3rd stage breast cancer. She has been declared to be in remission as of April, and the joy and celebration in beating the demons and the doctor's diagnosis is better than winning the lottery for millions.
You are an inspiration to all of us. Food nourishes not only the body, but the soul, and your sweet recipes are aimed at the sweetness of life.
Good luck... the banks of the Charles await your presence.

lettersfromlordship said...

I came here through Colin McEnroe's blog "To Wit."

What a writer you are, and what a brave one. Thank you for opening your heart to us. Our arms are around you.

Patrice

Anonymous said...

just check in on eli's twitter...thank goodness everything went well......you are truly an amazing writer!

Shauna said...

Jess, thank you.

Thank you for sharing this beautiful, broken story, one that has made me feel more whole.

You have inspired me to sit up straight and meet the day with more joy, to taste everything I can, for you, for me, until you are up and running again.

My god, this is such a beautiful piece. And you are an incredible writer. I've been reading you for awhile now, without comments. Life has felt too busy for comments lately. Not anymore.

yes to you.

and big huge hugs and helpings of banana bread as soon as you can.

Linda said...

dear sweet amandine,
thank you for sharing this journey with us. as a first timer to your blog i am touched by your courage & amazing strength. sending you positive energy for a wonderful recovery. we know the surgery was a success...thank you eli! please let us know when we can begin baking for you!!!

Clare said...

Thank you so much for sharing this. What a beautiful and inspiring story! I am sending you lots of good, healing thoughts and know you will be up and running in no time. :)

Danielle said...

This is a beautiful story. Good luck.

Yazmena said...

Beautiful. My eyes are wet and I have not other words except good luck.

cptexas said...

I read your amazing story yesterday. I thought about you this morning while on the treadmill. God Bless and God Speed.

jen said...

you have courage and strength for tomorrow and we'll be anticipating your every step!

its a glorious thing, this food-blogging and I can't wait to read more.

thank you for sharing your story with all of us out here. you are endlessly inspiring.

Catherine A. Mulligan said...

Oh, lovely lady, thank you for sharing your story. Be well. We look forward to your return.

Betty said...

happy healing!

Lo said...

Wow! What a story. Thanks for sharing such a HUGE part of who you are.

I arrived a bit late -- but I got the happy news that your surgery was a success! Will definitely look forward to the time when you can get back to blogging. Until then, I send you warm healing wishes!

Anonymous said...

I hope for your speedy recovery. While you may be forever changed by what has happened to you, realize that you possess the courage and the power to be great and to make lemonade. You can do anything.

Angela said...

Hi Jess,

I've been a reader for a number of months now, but this is my first comment... It is amazing how much a sudden health issue can entirely change your life! Thank you for the beautiful post, and I'm happy to hear (via tweet) that the surgery went well. Congrats on what must have been a hard fought battle and on being on the other side!

Nurit "1 family. friendly. food." said...

Oh my, this is my first time here visiting your blog.
All the best to you. I'll think about you.
Sending you a big hug.

Celeste said...

God bless you.

nina said...

jess, just wanted to let you know that as i mentioned before, i'm a regular reader but rarely comment. thank you for sharing such a personal and inspiring story. i'm so glad you started this blog and now i have a better appreciation as to why you did. wishing you a speedy and full recovery. we will all be here when you come back.

Carolyn's Mom said...

Jess, you are an inspiration. You may not have known it but for the last year I've kept you in my thoughts and prayers. I'm glad this year-long ordeal is almost over for you. You are a very special and courageous young woman.

Thanks for all the wonderful recipes and the stories that went with them. They've caused me to pause at times and reminisce about my own memories of food and the family celebrations that surrounded them.

We've never met, but even though Kasey has kept me informed whenever I inquired of you, I feel like I've come to know you a through this blog and like everyone else who's posted, I'm routing for you too!

janna said...

Oh my goodness. I wish I had read this on Sunday, but I see from comments that you are doing okay now. You'll be in my thoughts -- and I just so happen to have some bananas on the counter. Tomorrow night, I'll use your recipe instead of my usual ones

Kerstin said...

Thank you for sharing your story - it was truly an inspirational post. I'm glad your surgery went well and you will be in my thoughts, I hope you have a speedy recovery.

Rebekah said...

Like so many others, I'm here for the first time (through a post from Shauna). I'll be back!

Nicole said...

Blessings, intentions, vibes, thoughts, prayers. They are for you.

A said...

Jess,

On the few times I've checked in with Eli to see how you're doing, he never let on the severity of your illness. The two of you are so strong and I'm so glad that you've had each other through this incredibly difficult time. You are in our thoughts and prayers. We wish you the speediest recovery and are in awe of your strength!

Ariele M and David H

Gaelen said...

Jess, and Eli--so good to hear that the surgery went well. The days ahead will not be easy, but they will be worth it. My strongest thoughts to you both.

Science Bloggers Association said...

Nice Blog. Congrats.
-Zakir Ali ‘Rajnish’
{ Secretary-TSALIIM & SBAI }
[Editor- Children’s Poem & Adult’s Poem]

Ellie said...

I just found your blog through a #followfriday post on twitter. Best wishes to you for a swift recovery from Humpty Dumpty Day!

I am going to make this banana bread and post it on my blog this weekend in honor of your story and your courage to live it out loud and share it with the world!!!

Irene said...

I just came to your blog today and really, I am at a loss for words. You are such a strong, such a beautiful person. Everything is going to be okay. I will keep hoping and sending good vibes for a speedy recovery. And, of course, coming back often.

Gretchen said...

You are SO BRAVE. Stay strong. I hope to see you passing me on the Charles soon.

Linda said...

sweet amandine...
sunday a.m. &
thinking of you & eli...
the positive energy continues flowing to you!

Lisa Stone said...

Jess,

What a beautiful post. With respect for your gift with words, Jory Elisa and I have voted you BlogHer of the Week: http://blogher.com/blog/blogher-week-sweet-amandine.

We send you best wishes for your speedy recovery -- and many thanks for your writing,

Best,

Lisa Stone

Judy said...

Just stopped by to see what's new and this post was truly so much more than I expected. Thank you for sharing - this really touching and amazing (even more so than your previous touching and beautiful posts.) My positive thoughts are with you as you recover. Looking forward also to more of your wonderful writing, photos and recipes.

Ryan McLeod said...

Found this post through taste spotting. Hope you are on the road to recovery. Thanks for such a moving post and delicious recipe (the entire family approves)!

Kasey said...

Jess. You are amazing. I love you.

Stephen said...

There's nothing I can say here that you don't already know. Love you, Jess. Dad

Kelsey B. said...

This a great post, congratulations on your recovery and beautiful work.

Jolene said...

Good luck in your last leg of this race. From one 1/2 marathoner to another, you just passed the 13 mile mark and you are cruising into the finish line. Hopefully, everything went better than expected and you are already feeling healthy and terrific.

Rosemarie said...

Wow, you are an incredible woman and stronger than even you knew. I applaud you. Food is a language spoken by all and one that gives up never ending comfort. Good luck to you and keep plugging away.

janna said...

I made your banana bread this weekend, and took it to work, where it was promptly devoured. I never thought to put cinnamon in banana bread before - it was wonderful!

I hope you're feeling better, and that you'll be back blogging soon.

danisoul said...

oh, how very special you are. so much you give to us with your words and spirit. thank you. wishing you the very best recovery jess.

Vandana Rajesh said...

Got here from food blogs. My first time here...loved your blog and your immensely positive attitude towards life...best of luck for your surgery and looking forward to reading more of your wonderful posts.

Anonymous said...

You sure are a beautiful young woman inside and out. What a joy to read your insights and inspiration. Thank you for being one of those true gems that make the world a better place.

Beth Urban said...

I was directed to your blog by tipnut - i send you smiles and best wishes. I look forward to an update on your recovery and look forward to more wonderful insightful entries.

Amanda said...

I've long since left the Boston area, but my memories of the streets and alleyways linger. Reading this post makes me imagine that had I seen you, I'd have played my girlhood game of scripting a story to flesh out the person before me. I'm wishing your story will end (or begin) as sweetly as I would have made it in my mind.

Good luck, sweet you.

Lucy Meskill... said...

the very best to you sweet amandine! i am so happy that you are back and am happy to have found your beautiful and inspiring blog.

have an ever so beautiful day,

lucy from no gluten eaten

Linda said...

hi sweet amandine! just checked in on tweeter (even though i do not tweet) & was so happy to learn you are home! best news! keep getting stronger each day....& the offer still stands...when do you want us to BAKE for YOU!

Kelsey B. said...

Sending you great thoughts and well wishes for a speedy and sweet recovery. I just left an award for you here... http://www.thenaptimechef.com/2009/08/napping-and-getting-to-know-me.html

We look forward to your return and wonderful writing and recipes.

Amanda said...

I came here from BlogHer and didn't know about your story or your blog until today. I am now following you on twitter and have subscribed to your blog. I have a dear friend who survived brain cancer and several surgeries, though she is paralyzed on the right side of her body now. Yours is definitely unique, I've heard that usually takes your life. You are deeply blessed! :)

Anonymous said...

Sending smiles and strength to you. What an incredible journey you've been on. You've got more courage than most of us have in our little pinky.

Tina

-K said...

Wow. Just discovered your gloriously well-written, inspiring, and wonderful blog from Tartelette.

I'm very glad to see from Twitter that all went well with your surgery, and am looking forward to hearing more from you when you're back to it!

Wishing you a speedy, complete, recovery. Blessings to you.

Nithya said...

I came here from Tartelette too. You are inspiring. Thank you.

Maybe said...

I was completely in shock when I read your post ! Helen informed us that you're fine and at home. I hope your recovery will be quick and that you can have you life back ! Get well soon !

Deeba @Passionate About Baking said...

Welcome back home...it's good to hear that you are on your way to recovery. Sunshine & good wishes to you. Get well really soon!

Van said...

<3

Anonymous said...

Wow Im lost for words! Amazed by your strength and love for life. Wishing you the best in your road to recovery, stay strong keep up that beautiful smile of yours, and please keep up that splendid way you have of writing that has us all falling in love with your blog.

Warm wishes and happy thoughts from Spain.
Bianca.

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