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October 19, 2011

Pushing Through Today So I Can Enjoy Tomorrow

Before I got my diagnosis, and I was extremely fatigued laying in bed I often thought about how scared I was.  I would lay there thinking "I need to figure out what's wrong with me or else this will be my life.  I will be confined to a bed, unable to care for myself, unable to walk, crippled and debilitated."  I could easily see my body digressing into a miserable state with very little quality of life.  I am so grateful I have a diagnosis.  Since my diagnosis I have spent so many days in bed, but I know if I push through today I will eventually come out the other side - a whole new human.  Oh I cannot wait to live my life without frickin' Lyme disease and it's accompanying co-infections!  

Here are the things on my Bucket List (in no particular order):

1. Wade in a cranberry bog (like the people on the OceanSpray commercial)
2. Spend a night in Safari West 
3. Swim with whale sharks with my dad and anyone else who wants to come - the day I am done with treatment is the day we book this trip! 
4. Be an extra in a movie
5. Get pregnant with a healthy, Lyme free baby (yes, I strongly believe that Lyme can be passed in utero.)
6. Repel down a waterfall
7. Go on a mission to provide medical care in Peru or some other country
8. Attend a game at World Cup
9. Learn how to use an espresso machine and make my own delicious lattes
10. Learn how to make jewelry 
11. Learn how to do a mosaic
12. Go white water rafting
13. Train to be in a Disney half marathon
14. Finish my BA degree
15. Zumba - I can't wait until I am allowed to do cardio...this looks like SO much fun!
16. Ride a horse (I rode as a kid, but I'd love to as an adult)
17. Get a tattoo symbolizing this obstacle in my life
18. Be an audience member on for a tv show
19. Go to a drive-in movie theater
20. Go whale watching and actually see a whale (it only took 3 or 4 tries!)
21. Fly first-class
22. Learn to blow glass

I have been sick my entire adult life.  I really don't know how to enjoy and live life to the full potential.  I can not wait to be a new human.  I will have so much energy that nothing will stand in my way.  Today sucks, like it literally is one of the worst days ever.  For the first time in my treatment, I am in excruciating pain all over my body.  The worst is the pain on the bottom of my feet - I can barely walk and the pain in my head/neck. So as I push through the awfulness of today I give thanks to God that I have a diagnosis and hope to enjoy the rest of my life.

October 11, 2011

Secret About Sickies

Long before I ever knew I was sick I heard of a special event for people who have cancer getting free makeovers to make themselves feel beautiful even with hair loss and all the treatment they were receiving.  I thought this was a wonderful idea and always remembered that great charity event whenever I saw a woman in public who was bald because of cancer.  I love the idea of embracing beauty and helping a woman to feel beautiful on her hardest, most sick days.  When a woman feels beautiful, nothing can bring her down!

I don’t want to downplay cancer at all, I think that treatment is very rigorous, but the truth is there are many “invisible illnesses” that exist in which the treatment effects woman just harsh as chemo.  These diseases include, but are not limited to, MS, Lyme, Lupus, ALS, fibromyalgia, etc.  These illnesses are called invisible because it’s not easy to detect them.  Most likely, someone with this diagnosis will appear tired, run down, often seen in their pjs if they make it out in public.  Others, who are having a good day, can be very sick, but appear completely “normal”.  You will hear of their diagnosis, but will not really understand it.  I saw a bumper sticker today that said, “Lyme…you will not get it until you get it”.  This is so true and applies to all invisible illnesses!

The point I am trying to make is, don’t limit the charitable makeovers only to women with cancer.  Last week, my mother-in-law paid for me to get a mani and a pedi as an overdue Christmas present.  Over the last seven or eight days I cannot tell you how many times I have looked at my French-manicured fingers and my bright pink toes and instantly felt a little better. 

Today has been an awful day, but I can honestly say I am so grateful for having pretty toes and fingers because it makes me feel beautiful.  I rarely have the energy to do my makeup, hair, or pick out a fierce outfit, but by-golly, while I sit in bed and fight my Lyme disease I am going to FEEL BEAUTIFUL and that is so important to the healing process. 

Please, I challenge each and every one of you to reach out to someone who has an invisible illness and buy her a new lipgloss, take her to get a nail treatment or makeover.   It doesn’t have to cost money, you could give her a manicure yourself. Seriously, you will make their month many times over because every time they look at their fingers or toes she will feel like the beautiful woman she is. You may not understand her diagnosis, but you can help her to fight a little harder in her treatment.