Jean Marie Keenan-Johnston
At age 36, mine was the life found in dreams! I met my husband, a teacher and former Army man, on Match.com. Anxious for children, we were elated to learn we were expecting shortly after our wedding. I had found my dream job as a teacher, and my two siblings, a brother and sister, were also expecting! In one year, my parents welcomed four grandbabies, and we were all thrilled! Our own little family of furbabies (two cats) grew when we brought home Mackenzie, an adorable Bichon pup who stole our hearts (another dream I was waiting to make happen in adulthood). Life was following a perfect path until a curve ball hit…
I was diagnosed with severe fibromyalgia when my baby was eight months old. I lost my dream job when I was permanently disabled from work only months into my pregnancy. Other health problems followed that limited what I could do with my children as well as my hobbies and interests. One blessing came to us despite all this; our daughter Jessie, who is now 3 years old. My oldest daughter, Kerrianne (now almost 5) had a sibling after almost two years of worry that it wouldn’t happen. Then, I was diagnosed with stage 3 breast cancer just before my 40th birthday. However, after a year of treatment to include chemotherapy, a double mastectomy, radiation, and continuing Tamoxifen, I’m happy to report that I’m enjoying life in remission! Today, as I celebrate each day as a cancer survivor, I live life looking for the positive and support others raising children despite chronic pain and cancer through my Facebook page and blog. Princesses, Playdates and Parents In Pain seeks to support chronic pain patients and their caregivers and provide information they may find useful in their daily lives as parents.
I’m excited to serve as the Chapter Head for the Bucks County, PA Chapter of Motherhood Later! My entire family has been blessed to have moms’ groups be an important part of our lives. The support we’ve received as well as the wonderful social events we’ve attended have helped us maintain a fun life filled with friends, despite the limitations imposed by my health. I’m grateful to have the opportunity to pay it forward and share that with moms who join the Bucks County Chapter!