MESS-MAY's SparkPeople Blog MESS-MAY's Blog on SparkPeople, home of free diet plans and a healthy living community Long Time No Blogging Hi everyone! So you haven't heard from me in a very long time. It's been like 16 months. So here's a break-down of those 16 months. <BR> <BR> November 2016 - my sister was diagnosed with leukemia. <BR> December 2016 - I started a new job (which I LOVE) <BR> March 2017 - my sister had a bone marrow transplant and went into remission <BR> July 2017 - we held a benefit for my sister and celebrated her continued remission <BR> August 19, 2017 - I took a little test and got a positive result. <BR... Mon, 5 Mar 2018 20:07:32 EST Best Day This Week <img src=""> The threshold for a good day has changed. Under normal circumstances, I don't know if today qualifies as a good one necessarily. Some of the genetic testing came back on my sister's leukemia. It wasn't the chromosome swap they were hoping for. Instead it looks like the abnormality or mutation is on her 11th chromosome. This means she will need chemotherapy plus the bone marrow transplant. If it had bee... Thu, 17 Nov 2016 23:51:24 EST Long Day I don't work Wednesdays so I went with my dad and cousin (more like sister, not by blood, but by love) to see Jenny down at The James. She seemed in good spirits, but got hangry. She had to fast after midnight. She had dinner at 6:30 and a light snack at 10 p.m. Then fasting for her cenral line insertion procedure. Her procedure time came and went several times. They have to take emergent cases first. So finally after almost 24 hours of fasting (and no water) she was able to have her procedur... Wed, 16 Nov 2016 20:21:29 EST Diagnosis Confirmed <img src=""> We were hoping for different news. It sucks but it's real. My sister has acute myeloid leukemia. I don't know what to think yet. I'm dealing by staying busy and not dealing. But they believe they caught it early, she's young and otherwise healthy, she's at the best place in the Midwest for treatment. Her chemo probably begins by the weekend. She's needed one transfusion and they let us know to expect ... Tue, 15 Nov 2016 21:40:55 EST Words Nobody Wants to Hear <img src=""> There are certain words nobody ever wants to hear. One of them is along the lines of "we think you have leukemia." My sister heard these words last Friday after a hematology appointment Thursday. Long story short she hasn't felt well for a few weeks and she had painful sores pop up on her body. A couple trips to urgent care and the family doctor later and a pathologist was looking at abnormal cells und... Mon, 14 Nov 2016 23:35:27 EST Improvement! <img src=""> <img src=""> The week is almost over and most of the major problems of the week are behind me or at least being dealt with accordingly. My husband's car is in the shop and the repair cost about what we thought it would, so we are glad for no surprises as far as that goes. I hope we get it back later today, because getting to... Thu, 3 Mar 2016 15:57:00 EST Swimming Through Cement and Good Hair So today is an improvement over yesterday. All the same crap is happening but the end to the crap (at least for now) seems to be in sight. At least I have dealt with most of the issues thus far as of today. My husband's car goes into the shop tomorrow and I'm not quite sure how I am getting to and from work on Friday, but I am sure we will figure it out. Hubby dropped me off at work today and my sister was in town and able to pick me up. I then used her as a chauffeur and she drove me around ... Wed, 2 Mar 2016 19:55:09 EST A long 11 days or so... <img src=""> <img src=""> Well baby Ethan is home and well as of Saturday. Apparently they had a slight scare when they though his umbilical cord was the source of infection so they made a quick trip to the hospital Sunday but all is well. They don't know what caused the sepsis, but he is doing great. He has surpassed his birth weight an... Tue, 1 Mar 2016 23:56:08 EST Whew! <img src=""> My nephew is home and on the mend. All of his cultures came back negative so those three days of three antibiotics did the trick. His color has improved, his vitals are perfect and he's even gained weight. Yay EJ! In other news: wow am I exhausted. I stayed at the hospital with baby and mommy all day yesterday well into the wee hours so she could get some sleep. She's pumping breast milk so I helped fe... Sat, 27 Feb 2016 16:20:33 EST Update and prayer request <img src=""> So an update on my nephew. EJ has jaundice, which we already knew. Bloodwork had revealed he has a bacterial infection (neonatal sepsis I believe). He is going to be in the hospital a couple days. So far his other bloodwork looks good. They are awaiting the results of his spinal tap. My sister-in-law is being so strong. She herself is recovering from her cesarean on Friday and, of course, is quite tire... Thu, 25 Feb 2016 00:40:33 EST Prayers for little man <img src=""> My beautiful nephew has only been home since Monday afternoon and already he's back at the hospital. His mild jaundice (super common, especially for babies born at 38 weeks) has worsened. He was lethargic today, wouldn't eat and his core temperature was 97, too low. So EJ is back at the hospital for treatment. I am sure he will be fine, but prayers for my little schmoopie and my sister-in-law and her h... Wed, 24 Feb 2016 19:49:00 EST Long day. Long weekend. <img src=""> The hours at the hospital wore me down. I stopped by briefly to visit my nephew and his mommy and daddy,. I got to see EJ in the nursery for a little bit and said hi to my SIL, but her pain level was pretty bad since she's post-op day one. I cried quite a bit last night when I got home. It hit me a lot harder than it had all day. I'm better today, but it's just weighing on me as I watch her go through... Sat, 20 Feb 2016 23:28:26 EST Proud Aunt <img src=""> Today my sister-in-law brought a beautiful baby boy into the world. Ethan James is absolutely perfect and I couldn't be happier to be his aunt. When I saw my husband hold his nephew for the first time, I could not hold back the tears. They were tears of joy, with a touch of sadness. There are many, many reasons that little EJ has no cousins to welcome him into the family. Some due to health. Some due t... Sat, 20 Feb 2016 00:07:51 EST Tough(ish) weekend Since I am currently unemployed and my husband works retail, weekends in my house aren't quite weekends. Usually there is little difference between a weekday routine and menu and a weekend routine and menu. Usually. This past weekend, however, was Labor Day weekend, meaning I spent a couple days at my parents' house while my husband worked. While at my mom's house my breakfast and lunch managed to be sensible, but there's this festival in town. I was quite proud, though. With the exception o... Wed, 9 Sep 2015 22:16:42 EST So many thoughts I find it difficult sometimes to balance all the feelings of having no control and doing the things I CAN control. I lost my job in May and in some ways it's helped my health. I don't eat out nearly as often and must cook most of my meals for many reasons, mostly financial. On the other hand my depression and anxiety can at times me difficult to manage without my job providing some purpose. I don't have my coworkers to interact with daily. Some days I'm like yeah I don't need to brush my hai... Wed, 2 Sep 2015 17:33:18 EST I have... It took me several months to come to terms with the fact that I have anxiety. I was on medication for quite a while before I would claim and own it really. I have been in counseling since November. Early on she suggested that I was experiencing depression and not just anxiety. Today she decided to diagnose it as major depression. Up until today I still had never said I had depression. I kept saying things like "I am dealing with some depression," or "maybe I have some depression going on." Li... Tue, 10 Feb 2015 19:36:14 EST Yoga when you're fat So a lot of cardio is hard. I have had a sinus infection for weeks. My asthma hates winter. High impact and my plantar fasciitis don't mix. Winter and driving to the gym just aren't my cup of tea. Mix in some depression and you have the perfect storm. I love the idea of yoga. Deep breathing, positive mind, stretching, relaxation with some physical benefits added in. <BR> There's one problem. I'm not flexible, bendy or fit. I have large boobs. I have a gut. My thighs are thick (even when I am... Wed, 28 Jan 2015 14:37:02 EST Being able to laugh at myself So yesterday after work my brother "trainer" called and asked if I wanted to meet him at the gym at 8 p.m. <BR> Sure, no problem. I thought we would get in our 24 minute cardio, 15-20 minutes of strength and home in under an hour. <BR> Yeah right. This is my brother the exercise junkie I'm talking about. <BR> I beat him there so I warmed up on the new Octane Lateral X they added when they made the move to their larger/new location. This is a pretty darn cool elliptical machine that makes me ... Wed, 25 Jun 2014 12:46:47 EST Fun in the sun and other nonsense So earlier this week, the scale did not match how I felt. I felt thinner and that everything fit better and that scale just didn't agree. <BR> This morning however, when I weighed in for my 5 percent challenge, it showed another 1.5 pounds down! Yay! I also like the whole clothes fitting better and feeling thinner thing though too. <BR> This weekend has been a blast. Grilled out last night then tuned in to mariomarathon 7...a great fundraiser for Child's Play (gives toys, books and games to ... Sat, 21 Jun 2014 23:22:55 EST Reducing the dependency on prescriptions As of this week I am down to three prescriptions a day: <BR> My hypertension meds, my hypothyroid meds and my anti-anxiety meds <BR> I have dropped my antibiotics, stomach pain killers, daily acid reducer and have cut out my birth control this week. The choice to drop my BC came because after nearly 7 years on it, I really want the hormones out of my system. I want to see how I feel off of them. Still definitely is preventing pregnancy at this point, however, since two of my three meds are no... Thu, 19 Jun 2014 20:57:40 EST Losing weight is so much more than eating less and moving more I was talking to my brother the other day after a particularly hard work out. We made our favorite spicy sausage pasta (healthier version, go us) and were sitting and eating and we were discussing motivation, losing motivation and the barriers to weight loss. I just read an article on SparkPeople about emotional roadblocks to losing weight and getting healthier. <BR> I completely understand this emotional road block thing. I get it. Totally get it. Those things in our lives that need to wait... Wed, 18 Jun 2014 11:49:20 EST I don't need a trainer...I have my brother luck·y1 [luhk-ee] <BR> adjective, luck·i·er, luck·i·est. <BR> 1. having or marked by good luck; fortunate: That was my lucky day. <BR> 2. happening fortunately: a lucky accident. <BR> 3. bringing or foretelling good luck, or supposed to do so: a lucky penny <BR> <BR> My definition of lucky is a little different. Instead, my definition of lucky who includes a younger brother. I used to think he was just "blessed" with athleticism, lucky enough to be in shape, and just happened to be the on... Tue, 10 Jun 2014 18:09:46 EST Humble brag! OK, not so humble. This post is all patting myself on the back. It's not really about weight-loss, rather about my health. For a little more than two years now my health has been in a downward spiral. I added 70 pounds or so to my 5'4" frame. I had a BP spike that resulted in hypertension meds. I went on and off and on and off several stomach medications, antibiotics and pain killers whole we tried to figure out what was wrong with my digestive track. I discovered an autoimmune thyroid diseas... Mon, 2 Jun 2014 15:46:27 EST Need to give thanks to God, despite a crummy day I woke up stuffed up. A bit of a headache. Generally not wanting to drag myself out of bed. But I was able to drive to work on site, safely. <BR> Then I had to argue with Travelocity for half an hour to get them to refund me my money for a hotel night they cancelled. It was a pain, and I got a bit heated, but in the end they gave me my $103 back. Thanks God. <BR> My day at work went OK. Too fast to get everything done. <BR> Soon it was time to travel about an hour to deliver some permission s... Wed, 28 May 2014 17:43:54 EST Elaboration on struggles I realized I should have elaborated on some of my struggles. I am down 10 pounds so far in 5 weeks, and I realize that's awesome. But let's face it...almost all of that was lost during the cleanse phase in the first week and a half. Since then I have been stagnant no matter what I do. My struggle with the scale goes back further than my journey down this path. From November to April 20 I gained 30 pounds. Thirty pounds in a little under five months. With no real changes to what I was doing an... Tue, 27 May 2014 19:04:03 EST Some struggles It's really hard not to get discouraged. I should be thrilled at the success others are having. But instead I see my scale not moving. Despite eating healthier, despite my supplements, despite exercise. I FEEL better which does account for something but at the end of the day I am obese and need to lose weight and just feeling better won't make me not obese. I have a check up appointment with the doctor next week and we are going to have him run my thyroid and other blood work panels just to m... Tue, 27 May 2014 13:04:23 EST Hey there cardio, long time no see! It's been a while. I'm a lot heavier than I was the last time I saw you. But we met again tonight. And while I have a love hate relationship with you, it seems you remember me and tried to make me feel welcome. <BR> I added my first work out to my journey tonight. We spent the entire day walking around the Clark County Fairgrounds at a flea market. Was cramped in the backseat of a truck to and from (hour and a half each way or so) and lost feeling in my legs for a while. I got home and put st... Sat, 17 May 2014 21:52:48 EST AdvoCare Challenge #1 complete Well my AdvoCare 24 Day Challenge is over. I am down about 10 pounds. I feel really good. My energy level and motivation are great. Not going to lie, still have a LOT of work to do on my food intake and what exactly I'm eating, but I am feeling great about the direction I am headed! <BR> For the rest of May and the beginning of June I am going to continue with Catalyst, Omegaplex, Spark drink and adding Thermoplus. <BR> Next month I will probably buy some more Meal Replacement shakes. <BR> M... Sat, 17 May 2014 21:47:22 EST 28 years and counting Yesterday I turned 28 and for months I have been dreading this birthday. BUT with the help of Advocare and knowing I am on the road to wellness I was able to get through the entire day without tears or regrets, and enjoy my day. <BR> Here's to many more! Thu, 15 May 2014 18:49:18 EST Some struggles and a bout of the stomach flu I have made pretty good food choices but my meals too large and not doing enough healthy snacking to curb my appetite between meals. I also caught a nasty stomach bug that has made my appetite touch and go and my ability to keep foods in slightly difficult. I seem to be on the downswing but it really makes things difficult. <BR> On the plus side. My Advocare Spark has gotten me through some loooooong difficult meetings this week and I know that crunching numbers and staring at spreadsheets w... Thu, 15 May 2014 18:47:16 EST Today is a new day and I haven't failed yet. This may sound like a negative post. But each day starts without failures. Without slip ups. Without excuses. Without distractions. Each day starts the same way. <BR> My eyes open, the light floods in. <BR> The day begins. <BR> The moments AFTER I get out of bed are the ones that are scary. Yesterday progressed from eyes open and awake to too many calories at breakfast. I made better choices than three weeks ago, but still...I overindulged. Lunch was good, but then came dessert, and while I m... Mon, 12 May 2014 13:02:12 EST 6 pounds down: seeing the difference in small steps <img src=""> <BR> <BR> These were taken less than 10 days apart. Thu, 7 Nov 2013 14:14:55 EST When is it time to give up on trying to find an answer? When do you stop searching for health answers? When do you decide that for whatever reason, your body has decided to function in an entirely different way and there is nothing you are going to be able to do about it? When do you stop trying to find relief for the nearly daily pain or discomfort and just live with it? <BR> My biopsy results came back. Inflammation of the stomach. No explanation. No cause. The doctor was able to get me in today as I have been feeling worse since Friday. Pain, ... Tue, 4 Jun 2013 18:18:19 EST I forgot how comfy these shoes were So I can only find one of my pink sneakers. No idea where the other one went since Sunday...which I think was the last time I wore them. As I am digging through the closet, with no luck mind you, I find my old running shoes. For a quick 30 minute set on the stationary bike, they will do. They need relaced (tried myself and majorly screwed up my laces) and they are a little worn out, but I put them on and went "wow I forgot how comfortable these are." They are shoes specifically made for prona... Wed, 22 May 2013 21:40:05 EST Endoscopy Day Well today was the day. I had my endoscopy this morning bright and early. I was really nervous so they sedated me more heavily than they did for my colonoscopy. I fell asleep shortly after they numbed my throat. I guess later when I was coming to in recovery I wasn't making much sense and my husband started making comments about unicorns. Even under the influence of drugs and not able to speak correctly I guess I gave him an unamused face. The doctor says my esophagus looked good. The lining ... Tue, 21 May 2013 20:11:21 EST I am bad at softball and other random tidbits Today my best friend sent me a text asking me to come to her softball game and keep book, go out for lunch after. She had a baby in January and is trying to get back to pre-baby shape and then some. We are both struggling some with our second time around. I arrive just before the game and one of their ladies was a no-show. It's a co-ed league so when a girl doesn't show up it usually means forfeiting the match. I had worn my work out clothes so I would have one less excuse to not go to the gy... Sun, 19 May 2013 20:08:13 EST Are my legs going to fall off in the parking lot? As I walked from the cubby wall at the back of the gym toward the exit (a very long walk post-first work out), the above is exactly what I grumbled inside my head. "Are my legs going to fall off in the parking lot?" tired Jess asked. Of course, they weren't actually going to fall off, but I tell you what...they felt like it! I didn't even push it. I hopped on a stationary bike, entered my weight and my age and my target heart rate, blah blah blah. I set my resistance at one (occasionally I wo... Tue, 7 May 2013 20:21:36 EST Quick blog before bed Not sure everything that's happened since I last updated you. The selsum blue combined with the vitamin D has made the rash go away completely. I feel a lot better physically than I did a month ago. I did manage to puke on myself once and throw a couple low grade fevers, but overall my stomach feels a lot better. Still not absorbing my food always. Stool tests came back elevated for calprotectin and high levels of yeast. Five day anti fungal meds to try to treat that. <BR> Endoscopy two weeks... Mon, 6 May 2013 22:43:04 EST More tests today Today I went in for a follow up visit and he called me his "problem patient" jokingly. He said he really hoped by this point we would know what's going on and be treating it but the symptoms are so varying and elusive. We are doing a little at home treatment of the itching/rash to see if it's a fungal infection he suspects I had on my arm last fall (left my arm discolored). Selsum Blue washes for a few weeks and we'll see how that goes. We also had to do an EKG today because my heart rate was... Mon, 1 Apr 2013 18:26:53 EST He is risen Today we rejoice in the rising of the only Son of our Lord. As I think upon His sacrifice and what he did for us, I realize I need to be able to lift all of this up to him. Pray about my shortcoming, my successes, my illness, everything. I bawled my eyes out a couple days ago after learning my cousin is expecting a baby. She is a few years younger and has been married just since September and while I am thrilled for her, it made me so sad. I had to go find a verse to remind me of why I am not... Sun, 31 Mar 2013 22:54:59 EST Creating S.M.A.R.T. Goals We learned about the SMART concept in my sport psychology class in college and I have run into it a few times since then. Today my husband told me that he had to sit down at work and write out his goals for the upcoming fiscal year. He is at a new job and it is the first time he has really been able to be so involved in setting up goals for himself. I rattled off, "Oh, you should use the SMART system." <BR> When he asked what it is...I froze. I knew the idea behind it. There are things you do... Thu, 28 Mar 2013 20:30:40 EST Going to be a long day I really wish all of this is over. I can usually be patient but when the pain is escalating past what the painkillers can mask, it makes for a very long Tuesday. I have cried twice in the past 24 hours over it but know that for now all I can do is breathe through it and muddle on. <BR> My physician moved my appointment up so that we can we do do some additional lab work to find the underlying cause of the SIBO. My C-Reactive Protein # is still elevated and has actually gone up since the begi... Tue, 26 Mar 2013 13:37:05 EST SIBO and more questions It's been a long month since I updated last. I have had a colonoscopy (no Crohn's of the colon, no polyps, no ulcerative colitis, no inflammation of the colon, biopsy showed no microinflammation), a bacteria overgrowth breath test (we have found that I do in fact have Small Intestinal Bacterial Overgrowth) and blood work (thyroid levels are right on track) and yet still have unanswered questions. We do not know what has caused the SIBO. We are treating with two antibiotics now (and these pil... Sun, 24 Mar 2013 18:49:24 EST Colonoscopy Day The time from Sunday night to right now has felt so long. It's only Wednesday tomorrow and I just can't comprehend that. After feeling pretty good Friday and Saturday, Sunday was a day that I spent running back and forth to the bathroom. I wasn't able to really enjoy my last meal for 42 hours. Sunday at 7 p.m. I had dinner and then Monday began liquid diet. Jello. Chicken Broth. Sprite. I am kind of sick of it all. I drank as many clear fluids as I could get my stomach to hold. Then I went ho... Tue, 19 Feb 2013 20:57:06 EST Feeling like I am falling apart Well my bright shiny and new GI specialist has ordered a colonoscopy for next Tuesday. In the mean time they want to run some test to check for micro bacteria or something of the sort. Only problem is, my diarrhea problem isn't quite bad enough to run the tests. doesn't matter if I am going 6 times a day. If it's not water-applesauce then they can't test it. Couple weeks ago that would not have been a problem. Now I have what some in the IBD world call "constipated diarrhea." Possibly due to ... Wed, 13 Feb 2013 20:47:37 EST Some answers and more questions So I have hashimoto thyroiditis, an autoimmune thyroid disorder. My body produces anti-bodies and it is attacking my thyroid. I am already on thyroid meds, but eventually I will probably be on complete thyroid hormone replacement drugs. <BR> The problem is, that since it's not celiacs disease...the thyroid is not causing my stomach problems. The doc suspects yet another auto immune disorder somewhere in my gut. So it's time for a colonoscopy. What fun. Have any of you ever experienced any of ... Mon, 4 Feb 2013 21:08:35 EST Some answers and more questions So I have hashimoto thyroiditis, an autoimmune thyroid disorder. My body produces anti-bodies and it is attacking my thyroid. I am already on thyroid meds, but eventually I will probably be on complete thyroid hormone replacement drugs. <BR> The problem is, that since it's not celiacs disease...the thyroid is not causing my stomach problems. The doc suspects yet another auto immune disorder somewhere in my gut. So it's time for a colonoscopy. What fun. Have any of you ever experienced any of ... Mon, 4 Feb 2013 21:08:33 EST Waiting for Test Results Saturday I had the ultrasound on my thyroid and some more blood work done. Have my C-Reactive Protein result back already. Still high, but it has come down some since last week. So still have inflammation but not as much? Not sure how it really works as far as measuring the levels of inflammation. Still waiting on three more blood results. <BR> They are doing the blood tests for celiacs now. I should hear early this week what those results are. I have been praying every spare moment that it i... Sun, 27 Jan 2013 20:58:00 EST Trying desperately to reign in health problems It's been a while since I have posted, or logged on SP, but so much as happened. Between having to scale back intensity and number of minutes on work out due to my knee throbbing (I think it's from the muscle I tore this summer in the back of my leg), to a flare up of health problems. It's hard to stay focused and motivated. I am not able to do much, but at least during this time I am not overeating I guess. <BR> Maybe one of you has some insight on the health problems while we wait for more ... Sat, 19 Jan 2013 12:45:17 EST Reaping the fruits of my labor Saturday I spent almost the entire day in the kitchen making soup. Lots of soup. Chicken taco stew, chicken soup, rustic Italian tortellini, creamy tomato. We made big batches, split the batches among us into individual containers for freezing, refrigerating. <BR> Today I had chicken taco. <BR> Tomorrow it's the tortellini (doesn't freeze well so I am using it up first). <BR> Wednesday tomato soup. <BR> Yum yum yum! <BR> <img src=""> Mon, 14 Jan 2013 19:51:45 EST