Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Will this ever end?

I'm going to be a bit guarded about this story because I'm not sure it's (yet) my story to tell.  Last week Friday, a good friend found out his 8 year old daughter has leukemia.  Over the weekend and testing on Monday, they found out that she has B cell-ALL which is the most common and treatable leukemia, thank the heavens.  She's had technically two chemo treatments already and may be able to have outpatient chemo going forward, which, while still stressful and still chemo, will provide some comfort of being at home.  I'm praying for her (according to my definition of prayer). ;)

So, here I am again asking for awareness.  Awareness that childhood cancer is diagnosed 46 times every weekday.  And, SEVEN children die of this disease.  If that's not enough for you to consider donating to finding a cure, of those 12000+ kids who are in treatment every year, 98% (NINETY EIGHT PERCENT) will have secondary cancers or other chronic diseases.  Read that again.  Ninety Eight Percent.  Also, I've read statistics about too-high percentages of childhood cancer survivors who live only about 20 years beyond diagnosis.  So, think about that.  Diagnosis at 3 or 5 years of age.  Considered "cured" at age 8 or age 13.  BUT, because of secondary cancers or other complications/diseases, their LIFE EXPECTANCIES is about 20 years.  So...they die at 23.  Or, 25.  REALLY???  And, THIS is progress in curing this/these diseases?

Please consider donating to organizations that support finding cures for CHILDHOOD CANCER.

Here are some links:

Please donate, please cure our kids.

It's important to note that while there are other very good and important cancer fund raising organizations, they DO NOT support childhood cancer cure research.  The links I provided above focus on these diseases specifically.

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Fixing me...part II

Yikes, look at my sad, lonely little blog here.   No posts since July?  Eh, not that anyone really notices, right? ;)

Well, I wanted to document an update on my "fixing me" mission.  Since I wrote my last post about this, I have not been back to the naturopathic doc.  Not because I didn't like her, but moreso because she decided to no longer take insurance for office visits.  I just couldn't justify the $100 a pop out of pocket costs ON TOP OF the supplement costs when I wasn't feeling overwhelmingly better.  Don't get me wrong, I would recommend her or them to you... in a heartbeat.  You find out a lot about yourself.

What I have done since posting:

  • I began eating very high protein, very low carb  (DO NOT READ "no" CARB...just LOW.)
  • I lost 16 pounds.
  • I have had only ONE headache since August.
  • I exercise 4-5 days per week...consistently.
  • My skin, while not perfect, is FAR clearer than it's been in YEARS!
I'm still working on all of this, but I stumbled onto the fact that my body cannot, apparently, digest carbohydrates like it used to.  I am so, so sad.  But, I also got over it. :D  I also somewhat stumbled onto the fact that soy makes my body angry - in the form of ovarian cysts. :P  I'm not saying they're the cause...but they certainly have some impact on triggering one.  I'm sure of it.

The carbs that I do allow myself these days are from natural, unprocessed sources.  Nuts.  Cream.  Honey. That kind of thing.

My typical food for a day looks something like this:
Breakfast:  3 eggs.  (Yes 3.)  I fry them in a pan with some olive oil (or not, depending on the pan) and add salt/pepper.  Sometimes I put some cheese on them.  Or, if not eggs, I'll have a Kind bar...holy delicious!  Oh, and coffee with almond milk + stevia.  Lots of coffee.  Sometimes, I'll put whipped cream in my coffee - Reddi Whip.  YUM!

Lunch:  Salad of romaine + spinach with grilled chicken, feta, egg (sometimes), olive oil, and S&P.

Dinner:  (2) Turkey burger patties with cheese.

Snacks:  Raw almonds (Or I roast them myself.  If you've ever looked at the ingredients of already roasted ones, there's a bunch of crap I don't want - namely, vegetable oil.)  I also sometimes snack on a spoonful of peanut butter.  Or, I just squirt some of that yummy aforementioned whipped cream on a spoon and shovel it in. :) 

What I really try to do is eat the carbs early in the day.  I shoot for before 2pm, but sometimes its a little a later.  I also guzzle the water.

Alcohol is very, very rare.  And, when I do, it's a glass of red wine.

I certainly am not saying this is the answer for everyone. But, it's working for me.  I feel better.  MUCH, MUCH better.  And, I'm losing weight.  My skin has cleared up considerably.  I'm not exhausted constantly.  I still don't like mornings, but I'm not death-warmed-over before 10 am.

Yay!  I hope that I can give an update in another 3 months and tell you that I have another 15 lbs gone and have met my goal.  I'm halfway there!  I can. do. it! :)

Friday, July 20, 2012

Gun rights?

Today, America is mourning the loss of at least 12 innocent people after a senseless shooting at a movie theater.  Some disturbed guy decided he was entitled to throw a tear gas bomb and then shoot the place up.  Rumor has it that the youngest killed was 6.

While I am completely saddened and horrified at the cruelty that the human race continues to impose on  it's own, that's not exactly what I want to climb on my soapbox about.

Rather, I'd like to talk about the mentions I've seen today on Facebook about "gun rights" and "concealed carry" rights.  Some have posted that they believe that allowing concealed carry and that possibly having a member of that theater audience in possession of a gun would have been the thing that saved people.  A photo of a gun tucked into the back of some dude's pants with the caption, "One guy in the crowd could have saved everyone."  And, one about the average response time of a 911 call being "23 minutes" while the response time of a .357 is 1400 ft per second.

I call bullshit.

From what I've read and seen in video online today, the scene played out like this...

Some guy goes to the front of the theater, throws a tear gas bomb, and then starts shooting.  So, people are first confused by the dude walking in front of them.  Then, they're stunned and dazed by the tear gas.  Then, they're blindsided with bullets.

So, please someone tell me how some jackass with a concealed weapon in the audience would have made this better?!  Some guy (or girl) in row 22 is carrying.  He stands up and fires toward the front of the theater, right?  Because that's where he last saw suspicious dude.

How many innocent people are hit because "the hero" is randomly firing?

Or, lets say this had played out another way?  Dude walks to the front of the theater and decides he's the star of the show and begins his monologue?  It's obvious he's crazy, but NOT obvious that he's dangerous...yet.  Does the same "hero" get to decide when the crazy is on?  He/she stands and shoots the dude because he's "scared".  Dude is unarmed, a little talky, and maybe disabled.

I'd bet that many of the people who walk around with a gun in their pants are SCARED.  And, prone to overreact.

THIS scares the shit out of me.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Fixing me...

I recently sought out the help of a naturopathic doctor.  For about 2-3 years, I've been suffering from ovarian cysts.  Anyone who's experienced these knows that they SUCK.  Big time.  In addition to the cysts, I have a litany of other "girly" symptoms:
  • headaches
  • PMS
  • skin issues (yeah, acne)
  • unwanted hair (yeah, girlstache)
  • inability to lose weight
  • severe exhaustion
  • sleep issues (sorta surprising given the bullet above, eh?)
  • and so on...
I read somewhere that a woman goes through a new hormonal cycle approximately each 7 years.  So, you can imagine how irritated I was when my Midwife (who I see for my annual exams) was ready to refer me to an endocrinologist for diagnosis of PCOS (polycystic ovarian syndrome).  The treatment was to be on a diabetic type medicine for the REST. OF. MY. LIFE.  I didn't go through with any visits (save for one to a LAME-O doc that had the personality of a sponge) to any specialists.  Instead, last summer I tried acupuncture.  LOVE IT!  And, it really helped me for about 8 months.  No cysts at all during those 8 months, when before I'd have them at least every other month...if not more.

But, then in April, I had some cyst activity.  Enter the Naturo.

I've seen her 3 times now.  The initial visit, a follow up for blood work, and a follow up for a saliva test.  Fascinating stuff.

I'm low in:
Vitamin D
Vitamin B

So now...I'm on a tote bag worth of supplements each day.  The doc says that the plan is to have me on all of the supplements for 3 months and then "reawaken" my adrenal glands to do the job they should have been doing all along.  Not sure of how we're going to do that.  <shrug>

The good news:
I have not had any recurrence of cysts since April. Yay!
I have not take a single Zantac (a staple in my diet before) since May 1.  Instead I use the natural supplement the doc gave me, Zypan. And, I only use as needed - which is now only about 2x per week.
VERY few headaches since May.
I have more energy during the day!

The bad news:
My skin is still a mess.
I'm still exhausted in the morning.  As in DEAD. TIRED.  (I cannot possibly exaggerate this.  Imagine the most tired you've EVER been. EVER.  Yeah, that's me, every morning.)
I'm still fat.  But, working on it.  Still.

I guess my plan is to give it another 3 months and see what happens.  If I don't feel 80% cured, I'm bailing.  Not sure what the hell I'll do then, but one bridge at a time.

Anyone have any experience with naturopathics?  Or with PCOS treatments?  Fill a girl in!

Friday, July 13, 2012


I know I've written here before about my strong desire to eliminate childhood cancer.  That certainly hasn't changed.  What I haven't written about is how I wish there were no cancer at all, really.  Adults don't deserve this shit anymore than kids do, you know?

A very good friend of mine from middle and high school was diagnosed with an acute form of leukemia today.  Her mother died of the same disease about 10 years ago. My friend has four gorgeous children.  FOUR.  Her twins are just 3 months older than my daughter...they're FIVE.  Argh.  This can't be more unfair.

In Spring of 2000, we were bridesmaids in each other's weddings.  Since then, life has gotten in the way a lot and we haven't seen much of each other over the last few years.  We'd occasionally exchange FB messages and/or phone calls.  We got together to shop about two years ago.  But, really...that's not enough, and I'm SO mad at myself.  I'm so mad that I don't make more of an effort to SEE and be present in the lives of those I truly care about.  Life shouldn't be THAT busy.  It's stupid, really and I make myself mad.

I felt dumb today as I told her husband that, "I realize your kids don't know me very well, but if you need help with them..."  Gah...what a stupid statement.  I mean, I really would be more than willing to help with their kids...but it's totally unrealistic given I'm a stranger to them.

She'll pull through this, she's tough.  I know she's going to be OK.  Medical advances since her mother suffered from this disease have been great.  She'll be ok.  She has to be.

Hug your loved ones.  Call them.  GO TO THEM.  Just be there..even if its just for a little while.  In the words of another dear friend, "you won't regret it".

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Cover dirt with color...

What is it about kids that makes them constantly touch walls?  I understand when they're teeny and they need something to hold onto when teetering about and learning to walk.  I get that.  But WHY must they touch the walls after that stage?

My walls are filthy with finger prints, toy car tire marks, toe prints, booger smudges (ew), "accidental" pen and marker, and who-knows-what-else.  Granted, most of my walls are white.  (Thank you, boring Husband.)

So, I am dreaming of color.  I need and want to paint the house.  As in...all of it.  The living room, the bathroom, the stairway (including the stairs, but that skeers me a little), the kitchen...I even want to paint the outside doors.  I want the colors to be warm and homey and safe and BEAUTIFUL.  I'm open to anything, but am not excited about the idea of trying to cover black, dark purple or burgundy in a few years when I bore of those colors.

So...dear (3) readers?  What colors would you paint your walls if you had no restrictions?  Show me links if you can find them?


Tuesday, May 15, 2012

I want to win!

This amazing photography mentor is giving away a free, all expense paid mentoring session.  PLUS, a bunch of cool photography loot too.  I've been following CRAVE for awhile now and would LOVE, LOVE, LOVE the opportunity to learn from this amazing woman.

Check it out here: