Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Feeling the Love

On Valentine's Day I got the most amazing gift.  And I mean AH. MAZE. ING.

It came in the mail.

A check.

And in the memo section, the words:  VITAMIX.

I told you - amazing.  If you read my blog you would know how much I've been wanting to get a Vitamix.  In fact, a few weeks ago the girls and I watched the Vitamix guy at Costco for almost an hour.  We were in awe and devoured every sample.  Needless to say, it completely blew my mind when a relative that I haven't seen in years emailed me saying she wanted to give me and my family a Vitamix.  Her generosity left me speechless.  I didn't quite know how to respond, let alone receive such a gift.  In the end, I simply said thank you - sincerely and humbly - thank you.  

This post isn't so much about the Vitamix (which I LOVE and use everyday - I'm blending everything I get my hands on) it's more about learning how to receive.  Whether it comes by way of encouraging words, small acts of kindness or generous gifts, learning to receive has been one of my greatest lessons.  I lived most of my life in the "no, no, no thank you" camp - thinking it was polite and more acceptable to turn down such offers. It wasn't until I was in position where I couldn't do things for myself that I started to learn how to receive, how to open up and let others in, how to graciously say thank you.

Thank you Aunty Cathy for your incredible thoughtfulness and generosity. I can't wait to post pictures of all our fun creations (I'm still learning how to use this powerful beauty).   Hopefully one day we can cheers with a (perfectly blended) green juice.  Until then, please know that I am overflowing with thanks.

Feeling the love,

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

A Valentine Anniversary

It just takes one day, one moment, to change the course of your life.  

Valentine's Day will no longer be just a day for romance, Hallmark cards, flowers and boxes of chocolate.  

It will always be a reminder.  

An anniversary.  

A pinnacle moment.

When life changed. 

When my world's axis shifted, causing a ripple effect in every crack and crevice of my being.  

The phone call.

The doctor needs you to come in right away.  

Sitting in his office.  My three year old with Valentine chocolate smudged on her face.  The baby crying, wanting to nurse.  

There are lesions on your spine.


I want to admit you tonight.  We have to do more tests.  

Heart racing.  

It could be anything - anything from an infection to cancer. 

Fear.  Paralyzing fear.  

You are sick.  

Can't breathe.

We packed our bags, headed to the hospital.  My husband propped up our Valentine cards next to my hospital bed.  The nurses rushed in and out, wearing red and pink scrubs covered with hearts and flying cupids.  They tried to hide their glassy eyes as they read my chart and saw the teddy bar leaned up against my breast pump. What did they know?  What did it say?   

My baby needs me.

It was surreal then.

Vivid now.  

February 14th changed the course of my life.  Fear, pain and sickness birthed fire, resilience, passion.  

And today - today I celebrate.  



New beginnings.  


But I don't forget

what brought me here

what guided me through.  

Today, I'm taking back Valentine's Day.  

Writing a new chapter.  

Believing for a different ending.  

Celebrating every breath of life.  





What does this day mean to you?  

Love and Gratitude, 

Friday, February 10, 2012

Change of Plans

It's February 10th - six weeks after what woulda coulda shoulda been a new year's reflection and resolution post.  Considering my love for contemplation, lists and goal-setting, you would think I'd be all over the whole new year's thing.  A lot of people (especially in blog world) come up with a "word for the year."  I love the idea - the whole state your theme and rock it all year long deal.

Well, six weeks ago, I was in no place to plan out a whole year let alone narrow it down to one word.  No, six weeks ago I was in one-day-at-a-time mode, faced with a failing immune system and uncertain future.  But sometimes that's all it takes - one day - for everything to change.

I spent the days leading up to 2012 thinking about my next step - because there needed to be one.  I put my quite consuming job search on the back burner and turned my energy once again to alternative treatments and solutions.  Since flying around the country looking for the best out-of-the-box thinking doctor/naturopath wasn't an option, I decided to be my own advocate.  The goals were really quite simple:  boost my immune system, manage pain naturally and reduce inflammation with the goal of decreasing and possibly eliminating my medication.  I decided to put myself on a supplement regimen.  I thought if I could just give my body all the nutrients it needed, maybe - just maybe - it could start to heal itself.  So that's what I did.  

It's has been one month.  One month of rebuilding, healing, feeling stronger - one cell at a time.  My last panel of lab results came back - all in the "normal" range.  Yeah!  I met with my rheumatologist earlier this week and explained my concerns and desire to decrease my medication.  He agreed to reduce my shots from every week to every other week.  Double yeah! I am thankful for his support; my intention is to be well, not a rebel.

The amazing part is that my quest for health has led me not only to a new treatment plan, but to a new career path (details on this to come).  For now, I'll just say that I am overwhelmed with hope and determined more than ever to thrive.

Hope and Healing,