Saturday, June 24, 2017

A series of Unfortunate Events

It started with an ache.

My forearm was throbbing a bit.

I didnt think anything of it and continued about my day. We went to the library, I played with Nash, I cleaned a little...nothing out of the ordinary. I had a photoshoot cancellation for the next day...bummer. 

Then the ache and throbbing slowly ran up my arm into my shoulder. I could no longer move my arm without immense pain. 

Weird, because I cant think of anything I might have done to cause this. Started to be glad for the photo shoot cancellation.

It was bad enough, that I couldn't put my car into gear...I couldn't lift my arm that high.

I went to my parents house, where I was given a Priesthood blessing and a sling.

I went home and putting Nash to bed took 3 times as long without the use of my right (dominant) arm.

I took Ibuprofen and waited for Jace to come home.

We stayed up way too late watching American Ninja Warrior...almost 1 AM.

In bed, I wasn't sure how I was going to sleep, my arm hurt.

After about an hour, I sat bolt upright with a new pain. A sharp pain. My back was on fire and it felt like pins and needles were in two different parts of my back.

I birthed a child, so this was not the worst pain I have felt. But I havent felt this kind of pain before. It was new and scary. 

Jace started rubbing my shoulder thinking I pinched a nerve, and thats when he noticed the welts.

He started tearing apart our bed while I was concentrating on my breathing.

And then he found the source of my new pain. An unwelcome guest. The evil scorpion himself.

A FREAKING SCORPION WAS IN MY BED, I HAD NO IDEA, AND I ROLLED OVER ON HIM AND HE FREAKING STUNG ME TWICE, AND I STILL HAD NO IDEA WHAT HAPPENED!


I fear scorpions. Alot. I didnt grow up ever seeing one. Never knew what to experience. 

Pain. Pain is what you experience. Thankfully I didnt have an allergic reaction, so all I had to worry about was the pain.

Well, pain and now fear of my house and room. Every surface, every carpet, every tile in my home--is the exact color of the smooshed scorpion that Jace carried out on the bottom of his shoe.


I couldnt move. My back hurt so much, that I almost forgot that I could barely move my right arm. ALMOST. 

I sat up, on the edge of my couch, messaging my other photoshoot client that I wouldnt be able to do their shoot that afternoon, and watching pointless shows until 7 AM. Then I slowly made my way into my room and tried to sleep. 10-15 minute increments were all I could do. Nash was up for the day before 8 (poor Jace). We have season tickets for tonights Dbacks game. Will I be able to go? I dont know. 

One thing I do know? In less than 24 hours i became unable to use my right arm, lost 2 clients (until i reschedule), and rolled over on a scorpion that caused me to not sleep and be in pain.

This now ends Andrea's saga of unfortunate events of last night.

Thursday, May 18, 2017

Week 4

Well, here it is. The last weekly update that i'm gonna make myself do :) I'm sure to check back in and let you know my progress at some point.

I had my weigh in yesterday. Down another pound. That's 6 pounds in 4 weeks exactly.

Not my best--but also not bad.

This last week, I finished my period FINALLY, had an ultrasound on my thyroid, did a fasting glucose test, and was exhausted.

I had my follow up appointment today with my endocrinologist.

The ultrasound on the thyroid showed 2 small nodules--neither of them big enough to even biopsy so shes not worried about them. I'll get another ultrasound in a year to make sure they aren't growing. If they are, then there is a VERY SLIM chance that the biopsy would show cancer. She isn't worried, and neither am I.

My fasting glucose reading was great, however the draws at 1 and 2 hours were not. I wasn't allowed to take my metformin that day and what it showed was that i was in the "pre-diabetic" range. She told me that she is calling me Insulin Resistant and that I'll probably have to take metformin for the rest of my life.

I'll go in and see her before the end of the year and we'll check my progress on the weight loss and possibly do more blood work to see how everything is changing.

All in all, not a bad appointment.

Thursday, May 11, 2017

What I know

So, I wouldn't call myself an expert on anything.

I've done lots of things.

Lots of things well, and lots of things not so well.

I've learned lots.

One thing I know well (that I wish I didn't) is the horrible-ness of cancer.

When I was 5, my grandpa who I idolized, died of prostate cancer.

When I was 13, my aunt died of pancreatic cancer.

When I was 19, my mother was diagnosed with breast cancer. She went from stage one pre-surgery to almost a stage 4 after (ended up stage 3). She almost died. She then tested positive for the ovarian cancer gene. So she had a hysterectomy so that wouldn't take her life.

When I was 22, my uncle died of cancer that was caught too late and had metastasized to his bones.

At 26, I got tested and tested positive for the same cancer gene that my mom did.



What I'm saying, is (and this is just my close family.)..cancer is a beast that is relentless.

I learned: how to be strong, when you feel weak.
I learned: how to pick up and keep going, when you feel like falling apart.
I learned: how to cope with the feeling of loss.
I learned: what it was like to watch your parent go through something that basically was killing them, in order for them to live to see you into adulthood.
I learned: to rely on faith. To drink in the hopes and prayers of others.

I watched my mother have surgery after surgery, have a double mastectomy, receive a port to have chemo, do 6 months of chemo, do weeks and weeks of radiation therapy, lose her hair, stay in bed because she was so sick, I've seen her worry and stress about "what if" something happened to her--what would happen to her kids.

I've come to know a thing or two about cancer.
Its a monster. 

Jace's oldest brother Jeff had cancer when he was a toddler. Well, we found out today that the monster has returned. This time its residing around his colon. Jeff has colon cancer. He'll go in for surgery next week, and then have 6 months of chemo (i don't know about radiation), and then another surgery later to reattach his bowels. 

This, to me, unfortunately feels routine. No one should ever feel that way about something so horrible.

But here is what I know:
God is real.
God is good.
God loves us.
The power of prayer is real.
Faith of others can carry you through.
Hope is the best medicine.
Laughter will be tough to find, but crucial.
It is OKAY to be scared.
It is OKAY to cry.
It is OKAY to worry.
And its OKAY to express how you are really feeling.

Are you down in the dumps? Does that moment in time "suck"? Say it. Are you so tired of puking your guts out and cant stand your bathroom anymore? SCREAM IT. Are you worried about your future? Voice it. 

The Lord will hear you. He will guide you. He will carry you through.

THIS is what I know.


Week 3

I started another period, dangit. I had one at the start of week 1 for crying out loud.

I started a new blood pressure medication this week that will allow me to go off birth control (praises!) and that would be safe to be on while pregnant. We are seeing how my body is adjusting to being on it. So far, my blood pressure has remained steady (or as steady as it ever is) but I've now developed some nasty migraines. And I still have to be on birth control since we werent sure how I would react. Its been a pretty rough week to be honest.

The food thing has been interesting. I've been doing intermittent fasting, and because my stomach shrinks, I'm not especially hungry. Feeling sick from medication and a period doesn't help either. So I've been not eating enough according to myfitnesspal. I even try eating an extra apple, or some cheese before bed so my calories are high enough to even complete my daily diary and I've failed a few days to do that.


My workouts have been less than stellar. I hit my doctors minimum of 3 days a week--i ended up doing 4. My personal goal was 5 days. However it got up to 105 degrees and it was 95 degrees in my garage--and the heat combined with the way I was feeling...just didnt lend to good workouts.

I also am struggling with motivation to work out due to stress. Jace had interviewed for a promotion which we both desperately needed him to get. He has been so tired of his work situation and needing a change, and a nice bump in pay was something our family needed. My work flow had been slow and so i have been working overtime to change that. Its definitely helping, but its lead to LONG nights, and my mornings and nash's naptime being filled with work, not work outs. :( I'll find the balance, I know I will....it just wasnt this week.

My endocrinologist thought she felt something on my thyroid at my first appointment with her and she wanted me to get an ultrasound. I did that this week too. Now I'm freaking out that something may be wrong. I've never had an issue with my thyroid, so I'm hoping thats not the case.

I weighed in again and lost 1 pound. So i'm technically down 5 pounds in 3 weeks. Its a start.

Monday, May 8, 2017

List day

1. Arizona weather. You're crazy and I'm not really complaining. From 105 one day to the next day in the low 70s with crazy wind. Thanks for the little reprieve.

2. Health/Body. Get your butt into gear! (pun intended). Seriously. I'm doing the work--start showing it!

3. Nash. EAT YOUR DANG FOOD ALREADY! The struggle is real.

4. Time. Slow down. Just a little please!

5. Business. Pick up! lol Its been a bit slow for me the last 2 months, and I'm wanting to dive back in full force!

6. Jace's job. HE GOT A PROMOTION!! We are so excited for his next step.

7. Headaches. Go away.

8. Things Nash says. Can he stay little forever?! "Pee-nano"--piano. That was from last night. Also, we watched a Tom and Jerry where Tom is on a farm with chickens. He goes to the city and sees a bunch of pigeons. Nash pointed to the pigeons and exclaimed, "my, what beautiful chickens!" Dead.
<3 p="">
9. Imaging centers. I hate having to have testing done. Especially after Jace's cancer scare.

10. I need a vacation. Blanket statement.

Thursday, May 4, 2017

Week 2

Dont worry all, I wont be doing these weekly updates on my diet forever. 

I go in for a follow up at the end of week 4, and I just wanted to document my starting progress.

Because lets face it...this is basically a forever thing. I'm changing a lifestyle. A mindset. And hormones.
Its not gonna be fast!

I also know that my weight might not change a ton. I was secretly hoping it might...but I knew not to get my hopes up.

Well I failed. I feel like with all the effort i'm putting in--working out  days a week--cutting my caloric intake in half--monitoring carbs, fat, proteins, sugar--upping my water intake by 50%-- intermentant fasting--and getting back on my medication....that I should see results. Either on the scale or with my clothes, right?

Ugh. Well, I weighed in yesterday and was down 1 pound. Discouraging.

I tried on 3 different shirts (that I wore at Christmas for goodness sake) and they were showing some very unflattering rolls.

UGH. the worst!!

Also, i thought working out was supposed to help give you energy? Its been a really long time since i've been this run down!! 
(i'm pretty sure all those runners that claim they get a runners high are lying and all the fitness nuts who claim to miss working out are quite literally NUTS. but thats just my 2 cents :) )


Monday, May 1, 2017

Jace

So back at the end of March, Jace had a scary experience.

He had blood in his urine.

We rushed him to the doctor, who was worried, and sent him to get an ultrasound the next day.

The ultrasound results came that afternoon from the doctor (unheard of in my experience) saying they found a mass on one of his kidneys.

Jace was to get a CT scan, but couldnt get in for a few days.

Pretty scary when you think you have cancer.

Our doctors assistant wasnt okay with that and personally called around to get him in THAT day somewhere.

She was amazing.

So Jace went.

And our doctor personally called Jace that evening after business hours (from his car, no less!) to say that the CT scan didnt show any cancer.

Whew.

We went in a few days later to discuss (follow up) with our doctor. He explained what they saw on the ultrasound and what they saw in the CT. Apparently Jace's kidney is odd and is thicker than normal (his mom has weird shaped kidneys, so it must be genetic) and that is what the ultrasound picked up but couldnt distinguish. However, there was still the blood in the urine thing that was troublesome.

So off to a urologist we went. We had our initial meeting and scheduled a scope. That would check the bladder, the prostate, and the urethra making sure there was no cancer anywhere.

To say Jace was not excited about this would be putting it mildly.

He went in at the end of April, had the procedure, and we have received news.

THERE IS NO CANCER.

(lets take a minute and thank Heavenly Father for this blessing)

Best guess of the cause of bleeding is that Jace passed a kidney stone and didnt realize it.

So there you go. Jace's cancer scare of 2017.
Lets not do that again, okay?