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Daily Inspiration: Meet Jasmine Pettross

Today we’d like to introduce you to Jasmine Pettross.

Thank you so much for sharing your story and insight with our readers. To kick things off, can you tell us a bit about how you got started?
In March 2016, I was diagnosed with stage three Colorectal Cancer at 23. I went through many procedures/surgeries throughout the process. I had started having symptoms in 2015 but disregarded them because I did not think much of it. Some signs that I went through were fatigue, blood in my stool, and abdominal cramping. I was about to go on a cruise with a close friend but had to cancel because I had to start treatment immediately. I went in for a colonoscopy and found out that I had a tumor the size of a peach! I was in complete shock and just praying to my God for answers. I was amazed because of how young I was, and it felt like life had to get put on hold.

I went through radiation and chemo throughout the whole process, which was a very trying process. I felt like it was a full-time job to have my bladder full every day from radiation. Radiation and chemo made me feel very weak, and it felt as though I was deteriorating. I lost a lot of my taste buds from the chemo, and many things that I would typically eat daily I no longer consumed. The hair on my head and eyebrows thinned out a lot. I knew that I wanted to have children in the future but did not know precisely when. Over time, I had to freeze my eggs and get one removed, and one moved up. I probably would not have frozen my eggs if it were not for my mother. It’s a blessing I did. Unfortunately, both fallopian tubes were removed, so if I want to have children in the future, I will have to have a surrogate, but I can use my eggs.

Throughout the whole process, I was a believer in God and did not let the devil get the best of me. I knew that God was working behind the scenes. When my tumor was removed 5 months later, I had to get an ileostomy bag on my stomach. It was very different, but I knew that I needed to take things one day at a time. I had many complications from the bag, such as leaks, smells, etc. I had to learn how to get adjusted to it. I had people disappear from my life when they found out I had to wear a bag on my stomach, but I knew that those were the people I did not need in my life.

I thank my God, Family/friends, and treatment team! I was told that the bag would be permanent but little did I know, I was able to get it removed almost a year later. I have life-long complications, but I am proud of myself and became closer to God through this process. I am so happy to be here and share my testimony with others and help others encountering the same illness. I have been working on something special and will soon present my journey in a short story book.

I will say that through it all, I remained the same and kept my faith. I ended up getting an illness called C-diff after my Cancer was removed. I did survive through that but was fighting the illness for two weeks. Once my cancer was removed, I took time to heal and start a fresh beginning. I did have to keep taking chemo for many months to ensure that the illness would not come back.

I am now 6 years Cancer FREE!!! Since I have been given a 2nd chance, I have decided to live my life to the fullest and do things for myself! This process has brought me peace and a different mindset. I get my scans and colonoscopy every six months, changing my eating habits. I have been a pescatarian since I was diagnosed. I just turned 30 In May of 2022, and I feel incredibly blessed to have another chance! I wake up every day thanking God despite the daily complications I face. P.S the complications that I have issues with are having a number 2 a lot!. Food goes right through me because I only have half a colon now, so I have to be careful what I eat and consume more fibrous foods.

Would you say it’s been a smooth road, and if not, what are some of the biggest challenges you’ve faced?
My faith in God has made things clearer for me, although not every day was and is peachy. I had trouble with acceptance and accepting my body. The surgery gave me marks on my body that I will live with forever.

However, they show what a warrior looks like and has gone through. The scars only remind me of how far I have come and persevered through it all. There were people that I had to dismiss because they showed their true colors. Some people did not even reach out to ask how I was doing or even visit.
Dating was complicated because once people saw the bag, they ghosted me! Thank God, me and God are super close; otherwise, I would not have been able to go through any of this. Faith pushed me, and God kept me alive. People used to say, “omg, you don’t look like what you are going through.” People should watch what they say because you don’t know what someone is experiencing.

After the ileostomy bag was taken off, I had to learn how to have a bowel movement all over again. It was tough, and I had to go to therapy to strengthen my muscles. Another issue that I had was the handicap parking placard. I used it one day, and I returned to my car with a note that read, “You are a piece of shit. There are real people in need of handicap spaces–you suck. I still have a pic of that note. It truly hurt me. I was crying for days. BUT, Just because they judged me did not mean I had to judge them. God is the only judge at the end of the day. Sometimes you have to let go and let God. & that is what I did.

Thanks for sharing that. So, maybe next you can tell us more about your work?
I am a cancer advocate and soon-to-be author. I want to motivate and inspire people to walk in their purpose! I hope that my story touches one, and I am here to provide mental, emotional, finding your identity, and self-love support.

I want to share my testimony and move people with my story to provide support to any background. I am a colorectal survivor but also want to provide support to any other cancers.

I want to start saving lives the best way I can. Many people going through this disease tend to lose their ability to move forward. Providing one with hope and a new mindset could potentially help one. Maybe someone is going through the same situation or has known someone. I want to be able to give guidance and love and be of some support. Many people do not have enough love in their life. Still, as a Stage three Colorectal Cancer Survivor, I want to get to a level where I can help people and surround them with happiness despite any complications they’re going through. I have lost a lot of friends through this illness, and it makes me want to better myself and my health, and I want to start helping and bringing others’ confidence up! It is easy to lose motivation, but I believe everything I have gone through has only made me stronger and wiser, and this process will help me help someone else!

“And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap if we do not give up.”

Is there a quality that you most attribute to your success?
I was involved in a person’s life. Understanding them and not judging them because they are not making a decision that I would make. For ex: some people do not want to go through chemo. You cannot make anyone do what they do not want to do. I am a believer in being there the best way I can. I do not judge anyone. I always call myself an earth angel.

Listener. Being able to listen to someone is extremely crucial. Messages can get misunderstood. I always have been a great listener and want to learn so much about one to understand their opinions and aspects of life. I will never twist anyone’s mindset. I only do what is best for you. Many people only want an ear, meaning they do not want advice. I am not here to change anyone’s opinions, only to be of some support and to make them feel loved.

Contact Info:

  • Instagram: jazzminnae
  • Facebook: Jazz Pettross

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