Posts Tagged ‘Love’

Beyond my Daddy’s smile….

   My Daddy is the happiest, funniest, and strongest person I have ever met! You would never know from seeing him that every Thursday, my dad has chemo treatment. He has Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia. He has had it for a few years now. When first diagnosed we were told that it is a very slow progressing disease and that he would probably pass from old age and not from the leukemia. He of course got a second opinion and was told differently. He has an aggressive form of CLL and had to start treatment right away. 

  He has done well with treatment up until recently. He has, for the most part just been sleepy and losing some weight. Nothing really horrible. This is my dad about a year after he was first diagnosed.

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   My dad got to skip treatment last week due to his White Blood Cell count being low. All they did was give him a G-CSF to help raise his WBC so he could continue treatment. Chemo does a number on your body. One of the things it does is lowers your WBC, which makes it hard to fight infection. Since being diagnosed, my dad hads had a problem with infections. We are all very cautious around him, so he won’t get sick. Flus, colds, and staph infections have been his past down falls. 

  He started to do a little better when I got a new dog in 2009 lol. I strongly believe in pet therapy. He was still getting treatments, but they were more spread out and he seemed happier!

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   Then he found out I was pregnant, he seemed to miraculously feel better! His treatments stopped and he said he felt great!  He is the proudest Grandpa!

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     He went treatment free for about 9 months. His lymph nodes and spleen started to become more enlarged and they decided to start treatment again 🙁 The doctor decided this treatment needed to be a little more aggressive than before. My dad was a champ with treatment! He said he still felt fine other than being tired. I know sometimes they tell me he feels fine even when he doesn’t, just because they don’t want me to worry. I am a worrier, that is just how I am. :-/ I worry so much about random things Josh has made my theme song Pat Benetar’s “I am the Warrior”, but we change Warrior to worrier. I know, I know we are dorks ha!

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  They installed a Chemotherapy port in his chest, back in March. They said it is necessary for chemo patients whose veins are no longer easily accessible and some of the treatments they wanted to try on him could only be administered via the port. This is what it looks like…..

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     Well, this week they made up for the missed day last week. I assumed he wouldn’t feel very well after treatment. It seems that every week since March his treatments sessions have been more aggressive and longer. Vomiting, nausea and extreme tiredness seem to be what he is suffering from now. It is just hard knowing you can not do anything to make your parents feel better. My greatest wish is that he does not have to suffer. I love my daddy very much and this whole process has been hard on our family since day one.

  Something I admire about my dad is that he is a very positive and happy person! Even with everything that is going on, he typically keeps his humor and has fun! 

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     I know things can and will get worse and I know that there are others in much worse situations than ours. I have been trying hard to be as strong as my dad has been, last night was just a rough one for me. Knowing he just wants to be alone and sleep lets me know that he is really just not feeling well. I am a daddy’s girl! he is the first man I ever loved….

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         Does anyone in your family suffer from cancer? What does your family do to cope with the stress? How do you explain what is going on to children? 

     I have many friends whose families are going through the same or even worse situations right now. We are lifting you all up in prayer! Thank you to all those who have done the same for our family!!!! Hope everyone enjoys the day!!! 🙂

Never turning back

Someone asked me what my health/fitness goals actually were and why I am doing this? Well it is a very long story, but here we go…..When I was younger, I was skinny. Not healthy skinny, I would say it was what they now call skinny fat. I ate maybe twice a day, mostly junk. I drank WAY too much alcohol and soda. I smoked cigarettes and marijuana. I was what most called a party girl. I slept very little and spent a lot of time in bars are at parties.

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 I was in no way happy with life! I spent a lot of time depressed with a fake smile. I thought the life I was leading was how things just were. I was with my then husband since the age of 14. We married when I was 21. We spent most of the time drunk to be honest. We had a friend move in and the drinking became a big problem, then I had found out out my dad’s leukemia was getting worse, that is when everything spun out of control. The alcohol and partying became so bad, my health started declining. I had debilitating migraines. They were so bad that I had to seek the help of a neurologist. So many tests were ran and I was pumped full of so many drugs. It seriously scared me. I went through a period of time where one of the drugs I was on started affecting my speech and motor skills. I had a stutter, lost hearing in one ear, lost over 30lbs in weight that I really didn’t have to lose, and my hands locked up. It took months to recover after I stopped taking the prescriptions they gave me. I decided to quit taking the meds altogether and that I would just deal with the headaches.To this day, the hearing in my left ear is still gone and I still have the occasional stutter.

I didn’t drink at all when I was sick. I was lonely and depressed. It seemed like none of my friends ever called or even asked how I was. I later found out that most of them were never told I was in the hospital or sick. My family didn’t know! When I finally was back home, everyone I knew was out partying. I had a few friends at work who took the time to care for me emotionally, others just wanted to know when I would be bar ready again. Needless to say, I had barely sobered up before I started drinking again. I remember a discussion being held in my kitchen with some friends and my then husband. I to be honest, don’t remember what the conversation was about exactly, I just remembered him saying I will never change. This is my lifestyle I like to drink, smoke, and party. I will do this to the day I die. I asked him if he was serious. In his own choice words, he said yes. That hit me like a brick wall. Even though I did drink and party, I still did want more from life! This certainly wasn’t it!!!!

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 The following weeks were spent a lot with my father. He had been really sick at that time. He decided to tell me he knew I wasn’t happy and asked why I stayed there in my dark place. I didn’t have an answer, but the conversation had me pondering that question every moment of every day!  One day My husband and I got into an argument, it wasn’t a bad one, but it was enough. I simply walked upstairs packed my bags and left. I filed for divorce and I never turned back.

I continued to drink and smoke and live recklessly. I had befriended a gentleman at work and he not only became a shoulder for me to cry on, but a friend to be real with. He started to show me a world I had only been curious about. The drinking slowed down a lot and I was eating better. We joined a gym and started working out. I was in awe of this new lifestyle! I had no idea how fun lifting could be! I had no idea how fun being sober could be lol. This new lifestyle and new friend had me smitten. My friend (Josh) became more than just a friend. We moved in together 🙂

One evening we were casually talking about our past lives, where we were from, how we grew up, etc. We decided on a whim to just pick up and move to Texas. He had looked into several job opportunities there, so we sold most of what we owned. I finished up the divorce proceedings and we left. Shortly after moving there we found out we were going to be parents! My reaction was just WOW! His was happiness. I have never in my life seen a man so happy and proud to find out he was going to be a daddy! I was seriously scared! Things were moving so very fast!!!! I even grew fast!

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 I grew so fast the first doctor we saw thought I was having twins lol. As my belly grew so did our relationship. The drinking and smoking had obviously stopped. I also dusted my Bible off and started reading again. Heathy eating was a concern to an extent. I was a stickler about no artificial colors or preservatives. My biggest vice unfortunately was cheeseburgers and Ben and Jerry’s Ice cream. Neither clean or healthy in any way!!!! Needless to say I continued to grow HUGE!!!!

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  Once our beautiful girl came into the world our health focuses changed! We had to set an example for this child!!! I want to keep up with her and be here for her!!! You think you understand the meaning behind the saying “things change when you have your own children”. You don’t really grasp what it truly feels like till it actually happens.

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  We brought her home and life was blessed <3 Then I looked in the mirror naked and reality set in. Oh did the depression set in!!! I am a champ about smiling through pain and hiding my feelings, however late at night when everyone is sleeping, if I am having a depressed moment, I cry. Not just a few weeps here or there, I ugly cry, hard and long. I had a lot of those moments. I have always been my worst critic when it came to my body, but I had never weighed this much before. I was 125 when I got pregnant. I was 185 after Zoe was born.

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 185 did not sit well with me at all! I started working out I did aerobics, Tae Bo, belly dancing, I tried a lot of things. We moved back to Missouri. Josh bought a weight set and we started lifting again. I got down to 147 and plateaued. I  was frustrated. I came across the LiveFit  program on bodybuilding.com I started it and the diet. That is where I began learning a lot more about eating clean. Once we started I was hooked.

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 I was seeing changes and seeing them fast. Then I made the mistake of stepping on the scale. Ugh I gained weight!!! What???? Josh has been a God send! He made me realize I had gained muscle, more muscle than I had fat, so I weighed more. he just kept drilling that into my head. We moved again and were staying with his parents. Between that and the holidays, I fell off the healthy bandwagon. My weight had stayed the same, but my muscle turned pudgy. Depression was rearing it’s ugly head again. One good cry and i knew what had to be done!

   I am happy to say, I am back in the gym and working hard as ever. I LOVE lifting and I am finally loving my body!!!  My depression has lessened greatly and I am eating right, feeding my family right, and setting a great example for our daughter! Josh and I got married May 20,2012 My dad miraculously started doing better when Zoe was born! He is still currently getting chemo treatments weekly, but is a very proud grandfather and fighting to stay in her life as long as possible!!!!

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This trip on the health/fitness train is far from being done, in fact it will never be done! I am proud to say this IS my lifestyle now! My goal now is to not only build substantial muscle, but to have less than 12% body fat. That is a huge feat, but I am well on my way!!!! Just FYI The picture below was taken July 28, 2012 My weight in the picture is 157.8 I am 5’4 and I am ok with this 🙂

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  I have no regrets in my life. Everything has taught me a lesson and molded me to be the person I am now! What are your goals and dreams? Does your lifestyle keep you from them? Would you change everything in your life just to be happy?

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