About Jessica

JessicaMy name is Jessica Rice, and I was diagnosed with terminal lung cancer at the age of 30.  Prior to November 2011, I was an established project manager for a Fortune 100 company. I’ve never smoked and have no family history of the illness.  Nothing ’caused’ my cancer.

I started this blog because I was tiring of telling my story over and over again. As I wrote the first posts, though, I felt some of the burden lifting from my shoulders. Some days there is a fine line between sharing my honest feelings and depressing the hell out of my friends and family. Most of the time, though, I just tell my story and hope to make my readers laugh more than they cry.

To see how it all started, please read my first blog entry.  You may also click here for a complete timeline of my cancer milestones.

Thanks for joining me on this journey!



PS: If you would like to help offset my mounting medical expenses, please consider donating to The Jessica Rice Fund.

49 responses to “About Jessica

  • Carrie Creed

    Jessica –

    You will get through this! I am a strong believer that all things (even the crappiest of things) happen for a reason and there is “Good” that will come out of this. You may not believe this now and you may not find out what this “good” is tomorrow or the next day, but eventually something “good” will come out of this and if you didn’t go through this crap, this “good” would have never been able to happen. Hang in there to find out what the “good” turns out to be. There is a light at the end of the tunnel. Stay positive and you will find the “good”.

  • Jessica Reigner

    Jessica – I am just hearing this now, and I hope you don’t mind, Carrie shared your blog with me. First, I am incredibly saddened to hear about how agonizing these last few months have been for you. What a disgustingly terrible thing to happen to someone so wonderful! But, I am so thankful to see that cancer can’t trounce your buoyant and positive spirit. Your blog is written as you speak, I can hear you saying these things in my head as I read it. I am so moved by your candor and honesty, and I’m inspired by your optimism. This is a textbook for how to face and conquer any horrible situation. You are loved and you are admired.

  • Rachel Brown

    When you have a moment, will you send me your email address?

  • Darby Anderson

    Hi Jessica- Your blog is really beautifully written and inspiring. You seem like a really amazing woman blessed with a lot of strength. I lost my best friend, 22 year old Jill Costello, to lung cancer in June of 2010. We were both UC Berkeley grads and Kappas together. I now work for the Bonnie J. Addario Lung Cancer Foundation raising money and awareness for Lung Cancer. As I’m sure you know, the disease needs attention NOW! I would love to get in touch with you and hear more about your story and see maybe where we could help you. I’d love to hear from you..darby@lungcancerfoundation.org
    Lots of love and hugs your directions, Darby

  • Lucy

    Jessica, I just discovered your blog. I was diagnosed with stage IV lung cancer when I was 31 too. I’m now 33. I hope to still be here in another two years, and then some. Hang on in there. x

  • Martha Janeski

    Jessica, we’d love to feature your story on our health blog. blog.itriagehealth.com. If you feel inclined to share your story as a guest blog, please get in contact with me.

    I look forward to hearing from you.

  • Michael Richardson (@timeglider)

    Hey there Jessica. I’m Michael Richardson, founder of Timeglider. We recently came across your blog, and I wanted to send you warm wishes for the new year, and hope that things get better and brighter for you every day. If you have any thoughts or questions or need any assistance with your timeline, please let me know: michael@timeglider.com. Best, Michael

    • Jessica

      Thanks Michael. I only wish I could put my timeline on its own page on my blog. Unfortunately, WordPress will not support the embed and similar tags.

      I appreciate you stopping by and taking the time to read.

  • Jennifer

    Jessica, I spent this afternoon (at work) reading your blog. Your personality and outlook project beautifully through your writing style. It felt like a conversation with a friend. I am 36 and live in Philadelphia with my husband and two beagles. After months of feeling terribly unwell, 6 spots have now been identified in my lungs with some worrisome activity in my lumbar spine currently under investigation. I was wondering whether you would mind offering some advice about Philadelphia doctors. I feel so lost, terrified, and overwhelmed and don’t know where to begin.
    Best to you,
    p.s. – I was amazed to see that you have been out to Best Friends in Utah to volunteer. That is my dream vacation….been wanting to do it for years.

    • Jessica

      Hi Jennifer,

      I’m glad you found my blog, and I’m sorry to hear about your diagnosis. I’m going to email you to share some information on doctors. I certainly haven’t seen even a fraction of them, but I can tell you my experiences with 3 or 4.

  • Jennifer

    Thanks Jessica. That would be great. I am swinging back and forth between Penn and Jefferson.

  • Jill.Ann

    Hi Jessica,
    I was wondering if there was a website where I could find more information on your farm for sale. I keep up with your blog and think of you daily and wish you all the right ammo and an abundance of strengnth to wage this horrible war. Thank you.
    Jill Ann

  • Robin

    hi Jessica
    First I want to say you are so beautiful I am so proud of you You are such a Strong woman A brave women we are thinking of you and sending lots and lots of love and prayers you are in our hearts

  • Chuck

    Hey Jessica, this is my first time of coming to your blog and i must say i have been touched by your bravery. how are you doing now? I believe you will get through this. I have lost two family members to cancer and have recently started http://www.terminalcancerinfo.com/ to create more awareness. hopefully, others will find it useful. my thoughts and prayers will always be with you. Take care,

    • Jessica

      Chuck, thank you for taking the time to read my blog. Cancer sucks, and it sounds like you know that more than anyone. I couldn’t ask for a higher compliment than to be called ‘brave’ by someone who has witnessed everything cancer has to “offer.” I surely don’t feel brave most days!

      I look forward to reading your blog.

  • marcy westerling

    Phew….what a journey. I am so sorry. I started on this path at age 50 and that felt too young! But thank you for being a vibrant and determined new face of stage iv!

    I also am trying to make community among those of us staring at mortality. In 2013 more and more of us are finding the words terminally ill and chronic illness co-mingle. We are living longer and better despite a dire diagnosis/prognosis.

    But how do we maintain a conversation about walking towards death or having death walk towards us? Creating peace with death is now a huge part of my daily life – but not a topic seen as fit for polite conversation. So where do we talk? I am not willing to muzzle this large part of my reality.

    Here in Oregon we have started a peer to peer support group called It’s a Dying Shame – we meet in each other’s living rooms to chat, laugh and sigh.

    Three years into this passage and I have started a blog called LivinglyDying – notes and essays on daily life with terminal cancer. If you have suggestions on how this can be of value, please share. I know there are many of us on this path.


    warmly, marcy

  • Shawn Hopkins


    Thanks for putting your thoughts and experiences out here. I think cancer is something that has touched everyone, but I was never aware of these details. It gave some insight into family members who have endured similar struggles. I have been an avid reader of your posts for a while now and I just wanted to let you know that you and your family will continue to be in my prayers.

    Thank you for the thought and effort you put into this blog.


  • Jenna Gulyas

    Hey Jessica, my mom was diagnosed with stage 4 lung cancer 2 months ago, it was completely unexpected as she had no symptoms and we had to find out after she had a tumor removed from her brain. Ever since then our lives have completely changed and no matter what anyone has said about it being difficult, no1 could have prepared us for what we are going through. Im 21 and the thought of losing my mom before my life has even really begun is one that haunts me every single day. She is busy with chemotherapy and the affect it has on her is horrible to witness.

    Your strength through what you are going through really encourages me to stay strong and be positive for my mom even though it feels impossible at times. If you have time I was wondering if you could please share with me what you did to feel better both physically and emotionally during chemo as i feel completely useless right now and would really like to help my mom out in anyway possible.

    All the best, stay strong and brave, you are doing a really great thing by telling your story.


  • SRS

    Hey Jessica – its been such a long time! am sorry to hear about all this! I met Vasanthi earlier this hear and heard about all the changes thathave happened….But I am sure being the tough cookie that you are you will show this thing the boot! I have been looking for your links for sometime now and I finally found it!! My prayers are with you. Looking forward to meeting the “cheerful” Jessical with her dear Blossom sometime in the future….xoxo – Shweta

    P.S – I am bookmarking this blog….

  • Hanna

    Dear Jessica,

    I saw your site and related with your story. I just wanted to say that I wish you all the best.

    Some friends of mine are using this site live forevr, that allow users to leave messages to be delivered in the future.

    Keep believing,

  • Flemming Rasmussen

    Jessica: Nicely chronicled and wonderful from the heart blog. Wishing you the best of each day and a supportive network of friends and family


  • zoeenglish

    Jessica, my heart goes out to you, and your mom. I’m Kiara’s mom, from Words from Ward Four. We’re also horse people. Feel free to email me anytime.

  • Liz

    Hi Jessica, I am also in your club, and it isn’t much of an honor to be here. But, I wanted to reach out and say hello. I found you through Kim W’s blog. Since our universe is pretty small, it never hurts to say hi. I write at blizzardd.blogspot.com. Wishing you lots of good things.

  • Mary

    Hi there. We met in DC back in May. I am the “crazy purple lady” LOL
    I just wanted to pop in and send some virtual hugs to you and yours. Even though I haven’t been here, you have been in my thoughts and prayers.

  • Antican

    As a lung cancer researcher, I should say you are strong enough to fight with Stage 4, no hope? no light? no money? You have your unique life experience.

  • Sonya Anderson


    I really enjoyed reading through your blog posts on Stageiv.wordpress.com. I got a real sense of your enthusiasm and passion in each post.I write Herfitnessjournal.com – a blog about diet, medicine, a dash of science, and my personal exercise habits. If you’re interested I would love to have you on as a guest blogger. Just shoot me quick a e-mail and we chat about it. Looking forward to hearing from you.

    Sonya Anderson

  • Margie

    Hi Jessica. Just found your blog. At chemo now. Haven’t had a chance to read it yet. Will be here 6 hours hope to read later. Also at stage 4 started last june at stage 3b. Good luck with your treatments.

  • Roy


    You’re doing great work, both for yourself and for others. Congradulations and Thank You. I would really love to spread the word about your blog. Drop me a note if you are interested in a Hangout visit.

    Kick it the rear!


  • Karla

    Jessica. I just found your blog and find it inspiring. Thank you for sharing your journey. I am a stage 3c ovarian cancer warrior in second round of thechemo battle. My Ca 125 is leveling off now inthe low 50,s just finishing cycle #9 of carbo/gemzar. Next CAT scan mid Feb. and probable a new regimine will be recommended. In your travels through this I was wondering if you canrecommend a friend, fellow blogger travelling the ovarian cancer path I am on. Thank you Jessica. I look forward to reading your posts and any info. you may have on the ovarian cancer blog.

    • Jessica Rice

      Hi there, I’ll reach out to my Twitter friends and see if I can find you an ovarian buddy. I completely understand wanting to identify with someone as closely as possible. xo

  • Venissa Xiao

    Hey Jessica! I’m a 19 year old trying to come to terms with my stage 4 Ewing’s sarcoma diagnosis. I guess you could say I’m a little overwhelmed with everything that’s going on. Because of my age and the type of cancer I have, I find it hard to find other people to connect with. If you would like, I would love to walk this journey with you and share your feelings and thoughts. Anyways, keep fighting, keep going. You can do this. (I also have a blog, if you’d like to check it out sunsunsjourney.blogspot.com

  • Ross


    Our professional paths briefly crossed a few years back. While we did not have an opportunity to create a personal relationship, many have told me about your spirit and unrelenting courage. I admire your fight and will to live. I do not pray often, but I will for you.

    Stay strong,

    Ross Freedman

  • Mary

    Seth, I am so sorry for you, and Jessica’s mom and other family and loved ones. I was the purple lady at the DC conference last Spring. sending hugs n prayers.

  • Paul Wright

    Hi Jessica, I am proud of your efforts to take your message to the world.

    Thank you!

    Your power and courage will strengthen your ability in overcoming this challenge.

    Helping others understand will also help you, as the universe cares for those who care.

    I will find you on Twitter and keep in touch with your progress.

    XOX 🙂 Paul

  • MikeW

    My heart goes out to you all. Peace and prayers from here for the comforting of all.

  • Tangled Thoughts from a Restless Mind (a reblog) | Gray Connections

    […] patient died of her disease.  Jessica Rice, age 33, who tweeted as @stage4blog and blogged at stage iv.wordpress.com, gave hope and inspiration to many lung cancer survivors before succumbing to multiple brain […]

  • Isabella

    Jessica, Seth and her family are still held in my thoughts, and, I’m sure, in the thoughts of everyone who read here. I hope the coming Spring brings new light and comfort to everyone who knew and loved Jessica.

  • cancercurepharmacy

    Hi Jessica, just read your blog,honestly what and how you have written truly needs epitome of strength. Hope, you are doing fine and on the verge of winning the battle. All of us from cancercurepharmacy.com wish you a speedy recovery and pray to god for giving you more strength to be as genuine as you are now. Once again best of luck.

  • John Curtis

    Hi Jessica
    How are you now.
    I’m from Ireland. My dad has lung cancer.


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