Between Hope and Joy

{Original Art Journaling by Jennifer LeBlanc 2012}

I've been in really rough shape. You know that if you read this blog much. 

A month ago, after a full spine MRI done to evaluate my Ankylosing Spondylitis, I was told that my MRI had shown something concerning. They recommended I have another MRI. If they saw what they thought they saw, they said it was potentially serious and unrelated to AS.

It was sixteen days of waiting and anxiety before the 2nd MRI. It took 90 minutes, and it was difficult. The pain had been at an all time high, and lying on a flat, hard table and holding extremely still for that long was really hard with AS.

I tried to breathe evenly and I prayed. I thought about my girls and my life. I thought about what life might be like with the serious disorder they were trying to rule out or confirm. I thought about how much worse my life could get, and how hard it already is. The pain was bad but I didn't want to blur my images or make another MRI necessary, so I held completely still and bore it.

It was dark outside when my husband and I drove out of the parking garage at the building where I had the test. I knew news would be coming in the next 24 hours -- news that might make me feel extreme gratitude that "all" I have is AS, or news that my life was going to change yet again, and not in a good way.

Throughout the 16 days I told very few people. I didn't want to worry anyone. But it made it difficult to journal or blog or even update my Facebook status. I was holding my breath. My last post was during that time. The fear was so strong.

The day after the MRI, I received two sets of news. One, the serious disorder they thought they saw I do not have. They ruled it out. Just to give you an idea of the fear I was dealing with, one of the potential results of that disorder is paralysis.


I also found out I have more issues with my spine than I previously knew. That news was hard for me to process, but two+ weeks later, I'm at peace with it.

A lot has been changing in my life, and I'll post again soon. But for now, I've come out of the dark, and I wanted you to know.

I'm somewhere between hope and joy, and it feels tremendous.


  1. Sending you love, Jennifer. Being between hope and joy is a beautiful place. Rest there, my friend.


  2. I'm sorry it's been so hard. I'm sorry for pain and fear and dark. I'm glad there's less of all of that, and that things are getting better and you can breathe. Thank you for sharing your journey. I love your art at the top! Love you, my Brave Best Friend Forever.

  3. I think of you often and am so sorry this path had led you into darkness and pain and hurt and despair. I know that He walked with you the entire time and through his grace you are able to walk back into the light! You're so courageous and endure so much! Peace and love to you and yours!

  4. Yes, rest in this peace-FULL space my dear friend.

  5. So glad to hear that you got good news.

  6. It is so good to hear from you, Jennifer. You've been in my thoughts a lot lately, and I've been wondering how you were doing. I'm so thankful that the risk for paralysis has been ruled out. I can only imagine how frightening that must have been. I'm sorry that the issues with your spine are worse than previously thought. I pray that you will continue to have peace, joy, and hope. You are such an encouragement to me. Keep fighting the good fight! Your light shines brightly for Jesus, and it is a blessing to all who know you.


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