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Jewell’s story of survival shines

Posted Mar 01 2010 12:00am
March 24, 2010 - Posted by tamilb
Jewell (left) and her friend Stephanie Menifee, my best friend from high school who stood by her during her senior year and beyond

Jewell (left) and her friend Stephanie Menifee, my best friend from high school who stood by her during her senior year and beyond

Sometimes God gives you a little lift when you need it. I was having a tough time last week–my friend Maria died of breast cancer and my brother was rushed to the hospital for a stroke. (He’s doing fine, by the way.) In the midst of my sadness and stress, I received this message on my blog:

My name is Jewell Mimms Ridley and I have started my own publishing company, Butterfly Publishing, to publish my book of poetry, “The Life I Was Supposed To Have – The Beginning, The Aftermath, The Reconciliation.” The book is my memoir about my life as a twenty-five (and counting!) year survivor of acute lymphoblastic leukemia. I was diagnosed in October of 1984 at the beginning of my senior year at Walnut Hills High School.

I have remarkably been in remission since completing 30 months of chemotherapy and radiation treatments at the Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center in 1987.

Adversity struck again in November 2008, when I was laid off from my position of twelve years. But what could have been tragedy instead became an opportunity for me to examine my experience as a long-term cancer survivor and share lessons learned from my perspective.

…I am still unemployed, but I am determined to make this publishing company come to life. Your website has inspired me to keep moving forward with this project despite my financial circumstances.

Of course, I followed up with Jewell to learn more. She shared a story of her first time receiving Cytoxan, a powerful chemo drug. It’s a perfect example of the power of positive–and negative–thinking when facing illness.

My nurse kept telling me “you will be sick after this” over and over again.  You hear eight hours of this you and start to believe it.  As soon as it was over, I was sick for most of the night. 

Four months later, I had my second go-round with Cytoxan.  The same nurse tells me the same thing.  But this time I told her, “I’m not going to be sick.” Something in me knew these drugs would rule me no longer.  I saw her the next day, and she asked me how the last night went.  I was so happy to let her know I was okay. From that day forward, I never became ill from a chemotherapy drug.

Jewell’s  book is available  at with free previews, and for a limited time, a free download in PDF format. Jewell also created a line of inspirational cards from the most requested and popular poems from the book. These cards are also available online at .

This entry was posted on Wednesday, March 24th, 2010 at 9:56 AM and is filed under . You can follow any responses to this entry through the feed. You can , or from your own site.
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