September 30, 2011

Happy Dayz

After the better part of a work-week on one fewer pills/day I feel like I'm on top of the world!  I have energy and a good attitude again, it's so normal but so glorious all at the same time!

Today G'ma had Liam at our house and when my boss decided we needed a "early out" I scurried off under the shimmer of fall sunshine to check out a local child-consignment place I adore.  I enjoyed weaving through traffic with my music up and my too-big sunglasses shielding my eyes as I observed the leaves about to change to fall's beauty.  It was a mere few minutes of rare alone time but I soaked it in and allowed my mind the room to wonder that she so needed. 

After scoring a few treasures (I promise a picture tomorrow, it's going to be priceless!) I was back in the car and headed to my baby.  I couldn't help but think about the last seven days, perhaps the craziest seven days of my life.  They started with a genuine fear that I was going to pass away far too young and have ended with a fresh new attitude of gratitude for each day with my husband, baby, amazing friends and family.  I want to remember that fear, desperately.  I want to hug it close, pull it into my chest and lock it away in small closet in my heart so I won't forget.  As crazy as it sounds I hope that fears never leaves me so I won't so easily forget to cherish the small things in life, life enjoying a moment of fall sunshine on the way home to the arms of my baby.

My health scare was intense, and while it seems to have passed (at least for now), it seems to have changed me and my outlook, I pray with my whole heart that these changes are concrete and that I can always remember what it felt like in that place.

September 27, 2011


Yesterday morning I dropped Liam off with Nanna and came back home to gather my thoughts before my second appointment with Dr T (hematologist extraordinaire).  Time wasn't moving quickly enough yet I didn't have enough time to reasonably to go to work and make it back to this side of town.  I decided to get gas and show up to the lab extra early. 

I arrived at the hospital and emotions of two years ago when my friend Jamie passed came flooding back, this is my only other association with this hospital and I thought to myself; if I never set foot here again it will be too soon.  I rode the elevator with the friendliest of old men to the second floor that holds the lab and oncology department, as I arrived at the lab it was all to clear that again I was the youngest person around by a good 30+ years.  So many eyes watched me enter the room, I signed in and quickly found a spot near the back of the waiting room, good thing I came early because the room was full of people sad to see, what are all these people here for? What news are they hoping to get or not get?  I was distracted for a time by the women near me who ran through a box of tissue within moments, for the first time I truly feared getting a cold...I could get so sick, Dear Lord please let my numbers be good.  I could literally feel fear trying to settle into my bones and make a home there...thankfully I was called back, poked (hard, it really hurt this time and I bled like crazy which made me scared,  oh no are my numbers really low and now I'm not clotting?!) and after just a few minutes with a small pink band aid hidden under my cardigan I was headed to the Cancer Specialists office that is home to Dr T.  I dread walking in there but at least the staff has to be some of the kindest I've ever encountered in my life, they already know my name, their smiles are kind and warm.

I sat admiring the art again and trying to distract myself once again, this time the waiting room was almost abandoned except for one elderly woman and I.  I messed around with my ipod not allowing thoughts to creep in and forcing tears back trying to ignore the what ifs that kept trying to wiggle their way into my heart.  Finally I was called back, weighed and walked passed Dr T, whose beeper went off right then....I felt scared for the person who had to page him and bummed that it likely meant a long wait for me.  Once in the room I was right; I had all too much time alone in the silence with only fancy diplomas to read.

Thankfully my wait would be worth it, Dr T came in with "acceptable" news,.  I'm already responding well to the medicine (technically steroids) that I've been on for 5 days.  My platelet numbers have gone from dangerously low to "acceptable" and I've been okay'd to lower my daily dose from three pills every day to just two (plus meds to keep my stomach stable).  This news couldn't have come sooner, the side effects were killing me, when Dr T asked if I had been sleeping I started to weep which is my usual response when I'm far too tired.  I caught him off guard which made me feel bad, he offered me sleeping pills which I declined.  I already feel like I'm on hand full daily of pills, I agreed to take Tylenol pm if I started to get desperate.  This time Dr T felt more personable, it may just have been that I was so much less fearful but it was nice.  He gave me a brief physical which mostly consisted of checking my various lymph nodes for lumps and bumps, asking if I have any pain (I do, I'm terribly achy) and discussing the plan moving forward.  Since I've responded quickly he's no longer worried about my bone marrow being sick/weak/infected so we can try one week with one less pill per day, if I can at least maintain my platelet levels I can try going down to just one pill per day.....I don't even want to talk about what if I can't maintain right now, it's big and scary so I'm hoping for the best.  For right now I'm going to hope this is an acute case that could go away with short term treatment.

I walked out of the exam room and scheduled my next appointment and labs feeling a little less weight on my shoulders but praying I would not forget the lessons the last five days have taught me, my priorities have been square in line with what they should have been all along!  I've been making more time for V and Liam, resting more and just not letting the stress of daily life get to me, please Lord let these lessons resonate with me.  In the parking lot I called V, I just wanted to share my causious yet exciting news with him.  V seemed thankful I didn't recieve bad news alone but couldn't talk long as he was already at work.  I shot off a text to two of my dearest friends whom I promised to keep posted and dashed to the office, I may have gotten acceptable news but I desired the distraction of work.

So one more week of trying to rest whenever possible and praying for the best.

September 26, 2011

Intentionally Untitled

Hmmm well this won't be a ray of sunshine post, sorry.  Right now I have so much bouncing around in my head it's hard to even focus.  I have another appointment with the hematologist today, in two hours actually.  I could have a wide variety of people go with me but I'm choosing to go alone and I'm not sure why.  Perhaps the back of my mind hopes that I just won't need anyone, that I'll get good news...

My medication is not cool.  It makes me feel old...I'm so tired, achy and anxious.  I'm afraid to tell Dr T it makes me anxious, I don't want yet another pill to take right now. I feel like I take a handful every morning as it is.  Doesn't matter if it helps, please God let it be helping.  I found more bruises again this morning, they pop up suddenly in strange places, places you would remember hitting that hard. I feel like I should wear long sleeves and pants 24/7 so no one even sees the light ones that spot most of my body.

Only time will tell I suppose.  The worst part about all this is Dr T can't tell what symptoms are what since I just had a baby.  Rapid weight loss, hair falling out, exhaustion etc it could all go either way (except the bruises and extremely low platelet count).  Sigh.  I just try to keep reminding myself God saw this coming, and he's got it all under control.  It's all going to be just fine because it has to be.

September 22, 2011

I have no idea how to title this post.....

{For updated posts on my Autoimmune Disease scroll to the bottom of this post, links are there.}

Earlier this week a co-worker commented on some bruises I had on my arm (outside between my elbow and wrist); I had noticed them but didn't think they were anything to worry about, however they were just getting darker and darker, come to think of it I had a lot of unexplainable bruises...actually I had written them off because I was nursing Liam.  (Little did I know she may have saved my life.) I was going to call my doctor's office anyway about something else so I mentioned it. They thought it was probably nothing (as did I) but called in a routine blood panel anyway.  I decided to put it off until the next day, it would be easier to do a blood draw before work.

I went in for that test at 8am today, at 11am I was called by the nurse practitioner she said my blood platelets "were significantly low" and she wanted me to see and internal medicine specialist, she called me back less than an hour later and told me that the internal medicine specialist wanted me to see a blood specialist (hematologist) in the oncology department of one of our local hospitals and my appointment was at 3:30pm today, this was mandatory I was "not to wait even until tomorrow" in her words. As you can imagine I was pretty damn scared. I called my boss balling to fill her in and left work immediately to go hold Liam, is was the only thing I wanted to do. I called V to let him know what was going on, he was home on lunch (by this time it was almost 1pm) so he went into work to leave for the rest of the day. I raced to my in-laws house, gave them the jest of the situation and spent about two hours just holding and loving on Liam and I honestly questioned my mortality... I was so afraid I had cancer....little did I know so did the doctors, they were convinced I had Leukemia.

At 3:30pm walked hand-in-hand with V to the oncology department and filled out a ton of paperwork and answered a million and one questions and had an exam with Dr T. He explained everything twice, once with HUGE words and once with words you and I understand. Very long story short it appears I have an autoimmune disease called: Idiopathic Thrombocytopenic Purpura (I.T.P.) where my body attacks my blood platelets (which are responsible for clotting). The normal person has a couple thousand (google searches say ~150,000) count this morning was ten. Over the next few weeks I'll have more blood work done and several more appointments but Dr T believes that this disease should be manageable with a rx but I'll have to be carefully monitored for a while and extremely careful not to get even a simple cold, flu or a simple injury because the medicine I'll be on will suppress my immune system and I could get seriously ill very quickly.  I have more blood tests on Monday to rule out a couple other things and test to see if the rx I was given is helping, within a few weeks we should have a fair idea if this is something I'll have to treat for just ~a year or the rest of my life. The good news is cancer has been essentially ruled out.

You can't even imagine what goes through your mind when a medical profession tells you that you have a mandatory appointment with a Dr that specializes in blood at the oncology department.  It's interesting what you consider important and the things you are glad for, it really brings your priorities into line and makes everything else fade away.  I don't wish today on anyone though, it was beyond scary, I cried a lot and feared my baby would never now a healthy mom or perhaps not even know his mom at all.  In the one moment of sheer terror I allowed myself, while alone in my car going to Liam, I was mentally making a list of things I wanted V to allow Liam to do (such as have a hamster, silly huh?).  The one thing I really value is the friends I felt comfortable with telling a little bit of what was going on and that I discovered how strong my faith really is....I didn't know if God would heal me but I wasn't mad at him and I didn't question him, my faith is strong in the face of fear and that alone was really reassuring.

So onward.  I start my rx tomorrow, right now I'm just thankful to have a tomorrow.

Updated links, this isn't every post but several that I thought were important to my journey. 

 Sept 26, 2011 Treatment Begins, scary

Oct 18, 2011  Treatment Update

Nov 10, 2011 Exciting & Scary

Jan 25, 2012  Dr Appt Update

Feb 1, 2012 Sanity Temporarily Restored

April 24, 2012 I'm 29 & A Dr Appt Update

Aug 8, 2012 My First 1/2 Marathon {Take that ITP!}

Aug 20, 2012 Remission...I didn't know that could happen!

September 20, 2011

I won't make it until December [breastfeeding]

Breast feeding's death is about to be in it's in progress, it's been given a very abrupt termination date...  My emotions change depend on the hour and vary widely as does the pain associated with "drying up".

It's a long drawn out story I don't want to relive but pumping at work has grown increasingly horrible and drama filled, I'm certain some of it is illegal but I'm so over it and so over the negative feelings I keep having about my body that I made the leap yesterday and decided I'm done.  Today I went 10 hours without pumping or feeding Liam (he gets frozen stash while at Nanna's).  By the time we got home about 7:45pm tonight he was hungry so I relieved my pain and fed him off the bigger boob.  Tonight I'm aiming to only feed him once tonight, I might pump before work tomorrow then I'll try and make it through the work day without pumping.  Ideally I'll cut down to maybe one feeding and one pump session a day and by then I'm assuming my body will just give up on me.

Part of me is sad, I actually feel like breastfeeding is being taken from me.  I I know it's wrong that someone else pushed me over the edge and that I'm quitting because of that but I can't imagine continuing to pump under the circumstance I am at work.  Don't get me wrong, there is a side of me that is happy too.  I want my body back, I am praying with every inch of my soul that my right breast reduces in size to something relatively close to the other, I can't wait to run and workout without pain but I will miss that special time with Liam, feeding him the way only I can.  But it is what it is and it is at the end.

I promise to keep you updated on the process of drying up and what not....

September 18, 2011

Workout Post #2

I managed to squeeze in another workout this weekend, go me!  But I have to admit I was exhausted (I woke up at 3 am with an insane head ache, super fun...) However I promised myself I'd go so shortly after 8:30am I wondered off while Liam slept and V watched tv.  The best part about our University having home games is no one is at the gym the day of or the next day!  Glorious peace!

Today's workout:
  • 20 minutes on the Elliptical Trainer; Manuel Program (resistance Level 4)
    • 1.7 miles covered, 200 calories burned
      • 11.7 minute/mile
  • 10 minutes on Treadmill; Manuel Program (speed 3.3 mph, incline 4.5)
    • 1 mile covered, 118 calories burned.
      • 10 min/mile
  • 100 crunches (variety)
  • 20 push-ups (I was insanely sore from the 30 I did yesterday, sad!)
  • I only allow myself to weigh-in once a week so we'll assume I'm still 153lbs until further notice.
  • Mood Status: Despite being tired I'm glad to be sore and proud to have fit in another workout!

Also, I found a app for my ipod touch (myfitnesspal) that I really like.  I'm loading in all my meals/snacks/drinks and it's helping me keep on track for further weight loss.  I really like it because it helps me see where my calories are coming from (% of carbs, protein and fats) so I can adjust mid-day and stay on track.  I clearly need more protein and fewer carbs in my life, one step at a time!  Anyway it's a pretty great app so far, especially since it was free so I thought I'd mention it!

I hope your weekend is turning out to be all you desire!

September 17, 2011

Feeling Good [Workout Post]

It's no surprise I missed the gym while pregnant (I was too swollen to workout).  I started back at the gym at about five weeks post partum working out here and there and it was glorious but a struggle to find time (and energy).

Flash forward to almost 14 weeks post partum and working out is a full blown priority.  We are in enough of a routine that I can somewhat plan at least two workouts a week (usually on Saturday and Sunday) for about 30-45 minutes each.  It may not be much but it provides me the "me" time I need and let's face it those endorphins help so much!

So I thought I'd start some Fitness Journals on here, I can't promise I'll post them consistently but I'll try.  So let's give it a go, shall we?

Today's Workout:
  • 30 minutes on Elliptical Trainer Hills program
    • Goal: Leisurely workout (more for sanity than waistline)
    • 262 calories burned
    • 2.4 miles covered (12.5 minute/mile)
    • 100 sit ups, variety and 30 push ups
    • Cool-down & Stretch
  • Current Weight: 153lbs  (42lbs lost, most of which are from breastfeeding)
  • Goal Weight: 140-145 (main goal is for toning)
  • Mood Status: Feeling good both physically and is good.

September 13, 2011

The [Slow] Death of Breastfeeding

Welp, I've done it.  I've given breastfeeding an expiration date, well sorta.  I recently purchased some pumping/storage bags on super sale, enough for ~10 weeks give or take.  Once those are gone I'm done-zo.  So roughly December.

I'm already proud of myself, I breastfed Liam for longer than I thought I'd be able to, longer than many people I know have breastfed their children.  I toughed it out through the really hard moments and I have a nice little stash.  With my ~10 weeks and my stash Liam will get breast milk well passed 6 months and by then he will likely be on to some solids anyway.  I'm content with this decision.

I'm guessing you're wounder why I've made this choice since I've preached all along about not setting goals etc so that I wouldn't be disappointed.  Here is a random selection of reasons why I'm just over it:
  1. I'm constantly uncomfortable and often flat out in pain.
  2. I detest breastfeeding in public, so few places have a sufficient area for this...bathrooms are NOT a place to breastfeed (would you eat a meal in a toilet stall? Didn't think so.)
  3. I equally detest pumping in the nasty bathroom at work, this is actually illegal (state laws mandate a "non-bathroom" area to pump....yeah there is no such place at my work, eff!)
  4. One breast is a B the other (with all the milk) is a D.  This makes me very self conscious and contributes to being physically uncomfortable.
  5. As mentioned above all (literally all) my milk is in my one breast....gross.  Yep that is how I feel about myself...gross.  Doesn't do much for intimacy with the hubby.
  6. I can't workout like I would like to....the larger breast bounces like you wouldn't believe and that hurts! Sunday when I worked out I wore two sports bras, it really helped but I should have to do this.
  7. I feel like I'm always on some magic timeline (I can only be gone for X more minutes/hours before I have to pump or Liam needs the boob).
  8. I'm sick to death of the few tops that I can easily feed Liam in or easily pump in (and that don't draw attention to my differing breast sizes.
  9. Liam is sleeping longer and longer at night which means some nights I have to pump at 3am or wake up soaking wet and in a lot of pain from engorgement.  Super fun....not.
  10. If my MIL watches me breastfeed one more time I'll punch her in the face.
I'll stop there, I'm sure you get the point.  Some women have the easiest time in the world breastfeeding, some can't do it at all.  I feel blessed and content with the amount of time I was able to and I'm happily looking forward to moving on to the next phase.  So here's to ~ten more weeks until freedom!

[I want to quickly mention that there have been plenty of good things about breastfeeding Liam.  The bonding, the health benefits for both of us. I could easily go on and on but the place I'm in is a finish line of sorts so the harder and less pleasant things are easier to see (and feel).]

September 10, 2011

B!tchfest Sept 2011 Edition

It's really too bad that yesterday I wrote about choosing my attitude because today I'm pissy and I need to vent desperately!

I know a lot of people would kill for a better relationship with their in-laws but mine are driving me f'n nuts!  I'm seriously about two minutes from being committed!  I get that Liam is the first grandchild, and yes we ALL waited a very long time for him and yes we all love him BUT my mother-in-law is over-kill!

Would you care for a few examples?  Yes?

  1. She is constantly asking to have him more often, keep him longer and complaining about not watching him 5 days/week.  For one thing she is the one that talked about retiring to watch him and decided it wasn't for the best....and ya know what?  I am so happy about the way things worked out!  We LOVE "Nanna" who watches Liam 4 days/week!  She is loving and follows our wishes to the T.  I never have to worry about where Liam is, if he's ate or taken a nap [laying down] etc.
  2. She repeats sh!t seven times!  I'm going to start finishing her sentence to prove a point, I GET IT!  (just a heads up, she's only ~50 so it's not like she's loosing it or something)
  3. She immediately changes Liam's clothes every.single.time I drop him off and puts him in something she "found" (garage sale, hand-me-down etc).  Uh...I spent good money on the clothes we like and that fit him and I send TWO clean outfits to your house!
  4. She hints around at things instead of flat out asking (as does sister in law).  For example: Sister in law is coming home for her birthday (#27, she acts 12) next week.  She has mentioned she wants to "watch Liam at least one day while Jen is at work".  Hell to the no Ms Immaturity.  MIL has started hinting about SIL coming home etc.  [I nipped this one in the bud, she is NOT watching Liam unsupervised, N-O...NO!]
  5. Yesterday she was on facebook when she had him, now I realize he naps etc and she doesn't need to stare at him 24/7 BUT she was on at least 4 times! WTF!  (I checked my facebook on my ipod at work).
  6. I feel like I'm being suffocated by her.  Everyday it's a text/facebook message/call/they show up.  I can not do another 3 months of constant communication give-me-SPACE.  I need a day off from you!
  7. V specifically told her "we do not want Liam outside in the (forest fire) smoke." [there have been health warnings and I have asthma so we just didn't want to risk it.  She did it anyway.  "Oh, I took Liam outside, he loves it so....oh it was only 30 seconds!"  I don't give a damn, NO MEANS NO!

I know what you are thinking "talk to her".  And I have, it feels like over and over.  I think tomorrow I'm taking her to lunch and telling her "these things are deal breakers, if you can't abide by my and V's wishes then Nanna will start watching Liam full time and you can see him on the weekends while V and I are around."  It feels drastic but I'm so sick of it all.

If you made it this far you deserve a cookie, go get one!

P.S. In searching Google for "angry cartoon faces this is what I came up with....yes the silly kitten at the end was in there...too funny!  I most closely relate to the second guy :)

September 9, 2011

I choose....Happiness

I've got some negativity bouncing around in my head tonight and it shouldn't be there!  I had a good and steady day in the office that was over quickly enough and was followed by a nice relaxing evening with both V and Liam.  Shoo negativity, shooo!

I believe we have free will in this life time, we get to make all the choices we want so what do I choose?  I choose to be happy and positive.  So the following is a list of things that currently make be really happy!

  1. I'm slowly starting to feel good about my body, especially my legs!  They are looking really strong, for the first time in my life I look at my thighs and like what I see.
  2. Liam's Laugh!  He can really get going now, he'll smile so big his tongue sticks out and before I know it he's rambling on with ooooos and ahhhhhhs.  Makes my day!
  3. Salads, I always love them but I'm figuring out how to make ones I really love at home!
  4. I've given breastfeeding a end date.  For a variety of reasons I just want to be done.  I can't wait to wear this lace bra I got!
  5. I'm going to do "Mommy & Me" photos this fall, with the cooler weather and shorter days rapidly approaching it gives me something to look forward to!
  6. My bestie and I are going to a country concert next month, hence I've been rocking out to country all week long!  I'm obsessed with The Band Perry and "If I die young"
Ok that is enough, I'm already happier!  Night all, Momma needs some zzzz's~
  1. Halloween. I typically don't love this holiday but this year I've found some really funny shirts for Liam and a silly one piece for him to wear on the day.

September 8, 2011

Too Much Crap

I have too much crap in my head, good stuff-bad stuff and lists!  So many lists, I feel like I'm always writing something down, I should start writing down where I put those darn lists, I bet I loose 50% of them! LOL!

Overall things are good, a few days ago they weren't but they've taken a turn for the better, and Thank God! Seriously.   Worry not dear blog peeps, this too shall pass (perhaps it already has, that would be nice).  I don't really want to talk too much about what is or was going on, nothing earth shattering.

I seriously wrote like seven posts in my head the other day at work, well actually I had a piece of paper and pen (old school!) since "big brother" is all up in our business these days, the down side of your company being purchased by a much larger company.  No more facebook, personal email, blogging etc at work, guess they expect me to work 100% of the time I'm there, weird huh?  LOL!  Anyway, I promise to actually type out some of those posts, maybe this weekend.  I'm considering writing some fitness/health blog post/journal entries on here too so stay tuned for that!

September 4, 2011

>12 hrs camping with a >12 week old

Possibly the worst idea I've ever agreed to.  V wanted to go up to his uncle's cabin with the family for Labor Day weekend, his parents even agreed to let us use their 5th wheel so we'd have more privacy.  Seemed like a great idea...

Until we actually got there.  Liam just didn't like it.  First the smoke from the campfire seemed to bother him, then immediately people are handing him off.  Great.  V wanted to go look for rocks (his hobby) together, I won't lie to you I was not interested but wanted the time with V so off we went.  I knew G'ma would take good care of Liam while we were away (she rode up with us and we talked about her watching him while we were gone).  So off V and I went, it was ok.  I got a text for the whole 4 minutes we had service about my dear friend being admitted to labor and delivery while we were gone so that was priceless (I had spoken to her earlier that morning and knew the baby was coming).  I didn't love looking for rocks but it was a nice enough time.  I dunno, I don't really consider being in the same general area as someone "quality time" but whatever.  We were only gone about 2 hours before we returned to camp, Liam was sleeping (G'ma was holding him, I'd rather he was sleeping in his pack-n-play but whatever).

I took Liam and snuggled with him in the 5th wheel, we even got a short nap together!  He woke up hungry but G'ma/G'pa and V were milling about as dinner was about to be prepared.  I'm sick to death of G'ma watching me breastfeed so I sat off in a random corner/closet type area where I could close the door.  Shortly after being fed Liam started to fuss, no biggie except G'ma kept trying to take him from me.  I wanted to just say "hi, I'm his mom I can handle it!"  Good Golly!  Everyone else ate while I walked around with Liam (he loves to be outside so we walked and talked and he was fine.  V came and took him so I could eat but after a few minutes handed Liam off to G'ma again....ugh.

Basically Liam fussed the rest of the night, it just kept getting worse and worse.  I think most of it was he was out of his element and his routine was all off but I also think a big part of it was people wouldn't leave him alone, he had no time to just breathe without people all up in his face.  Poor baby was probably stressed!  I know I was.  By 9pm V could tell I was done, probably because I said "I'm miserable."  We loaded up the car while Liam basically screamed.....not five minutes down the road he fell asleep, exhausted.  Poor little guy!

We drive the hour home by the light of the moon (and our headlights).  It was so peaceful, I was so glad to know my little baby was getting rest!  I enjoyed watching the farm-houses go by, every once in a while one would have the lights on and you could sorta see inside.  It was fun to let my mind roam and wonder about the story behind those farms (had they been in the family for hundreds of years, or where they just starting out, where they doing well or struggling, what would it be like to grow up on a farm?)  All the while I watched the road carefully, Labor Day weekend is the deadliest in our start for highway deaths and I lost a friend, Jamie, two years ago this weekend.  There was a fair amount of traffic for it being so late, that combined with the forest fire area we had to drive through made it a fairly interesting drive home.

Finally close to 11pm we arrived safe back at home.  Liam slept the entire time and was easily transferred to his crib without a peep.  The stress of it all kept me up another two hours (I haven't stayed up that late in forever!)

Long story short, camping with a >12 week old is a very bad idea.  In retrospect we should have just gone up for a day.  Lesson learned.  I'm sorta glad this summer is essentially over, I don't even want think about camping again until next summer, far too much stress.