129: Emotional Grit with Jennifer Fernjack | Carrie Robaina

Jennifer Fernjack is an inspiration and brain tumor survivor who joins the show to share her story on the process of getting diagnosed, waiting, getting treatment, and how God has seen her through these challenging times. Stay tuned to learn how you can use emotional grit to strengthen yourself in everyday life too! 

Introduction to Jennifer Fernjack (1:15)

Jennifer is from northern Minnesota, raised with a mindset of rather than complaining about things, to just get through it. For over 25 years she has been in the financial business industry where she originally started out working in branch offices, but now travels to many offices teaching employees new and important skills.

Medical Diagnosis (3:45)

In the spring of 2016, Jennifer was diagnosed with a brain tumor. After receiving the results, Jennifer wondered if she would go blind, if she would ever get married again, and even if she would eventually die. As Jennifer realized this situation would have to be faced, she decided to make the most of it by writing a list on the positives of having a brain tumor. By creating a positive list, she knew it would naturally release feel good chemicals in the brain to help get through this difficult time.

Processing Emotions (7:20)

Processing worry and all the treatments coming up was a journey for Jennifer especially when she had a diagnosis in May, but wouldn’t have surgery until August. Sometimes she would lay in bed consumed by a sea of doubt, but in those times she was intentional to switch her mindset into seeing the blessings through it all.

Count Your Blessings (9:20)

Jennifer shares on the importance of having healthcare. Having access to technology and healthcare in the United States is such a blessing! 

In the Waiting (10:30)

Sometimes the waiting is the hardest part of a diagnosis.

The Medical Journey (10:45)

Carrie asks Jennifer to elaborate on her process in the waiting, during, and after recovery.

Reframing (12:35)

Reframing is a psychological word meaning it’s not always the stimulus that determines a reaction but rather how you perceive a certain situation will make the biggest difference. 

Choosing Gratitude (14:30)

The night before surgery, Jennifer and her family had a big conversation on logistics of burial, will, and wishes if she were to not make it through this surgery. That night she took a shower and decided to listen to upbeat music because it helped produce the “feel good” chemicals in her body. Music was something that helped her before and during the recovery of surgery.

The Surgery (16:30)

Jennifer’s surgery took about 6 hours and the brain tumor they found was about the size of a golf ball. After surgery, she would need to do radiation treatment for about 5 to 6 weeks.  

Radiation Treatment (17:45)

During one of Jennifer’s radiation treatments, she decided to listen to Rapper’s Delight song. The person working radiation treatment made a funny joke before they turned on the music quoting “today we have a little radiation for the ladies” and this brought a new joy and laughter to Jennifer in that time.

Random Acts of Kindness (19:25)

To encourage and help someone as they are going through challenging times can bring fulfillment in so many ways. Random acts of kindness is one way to help distract people from difficult seasons and to help switch a worrying perspective into a grateful one instead.

New Perspective (20:20)

Instead of worrying about what could of happened to Jennifer through this trial, her family decided to be grateful for the surgery and how far she had come. Perspective is the key!

A Changed Life (21:00)

Jennifer shares how she has become a better person because of this brain tumor experience. She is more grateful for the simple things, looks at everyday as a gift, thinks relationships are of most importance, and realizes the best things in life are free.

Stitched Together (22:45)

God will take the broken pieces of our lives and help stitch them back together.

The Power in Positivity (24:15)

Even though we can’t control the quantity of our lives, we can still control the quality of our lives. Not only does a positive attitude impact the person choosing to be positive, but it also impacts people all around.

Be Encouraged (25:00)

No matter who you are, what your life is, and what your circumstances are, remember that the best things in life are free.

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