Monday, February 27, 2012

the struggle continues....

i've been thinking a lot the last few weeks about who i am.
"oh my goodness," you're probably thinking, "who is this chick and why is she always thinking about this crap?"

a fair question. i certainly do seem to come across as some kind of vampire tormented by my humanity ;) a little too louis from interview with a vampire maybe....but i digress....

everybody has things in their personality they are sort of born to. last night we were watching family videos, and in one video, i was five. my sister and i were in the midst of an epic power this point you could tell she still sort of bossed me around (that didn't last very long lol)
anyway....i couldn't believe what a little brat i was! i not only smacked my sister, when she was talking i yelled over her, "no one wants to hear your big mouth!"
needless to say...we were all laughing, but i was a little surprised. anyone who has known me for years could tell you, "nice" is certainly not the word most people would use to describe me. i've gone through stages where i've been downright MEAN. i guess i was just surprised to see me at five, already struggling with a demon that would end up being one of the biggest fights of my life.

i know everybody has the "natural man" within them. everyone has impulses that aren't good, and unflattering personality characteristics they try and reign in...

my battle truly started about four years ago, when i got married. at that point in my life, there was some great SHIFT. suddenly, everything i'd built myself on (my looks, my cleverness, other shallow things) disappeared and i found myself with nothing. thus began the most difficult and rewarding four years of my life. i had to learn all over again who i was. i had to rebuild after the house burned down. i had to re-evaluate what makes someone good or worthwhile.

there were casualties along the way- including my marriage. i entered it as one person and came out as somebody else. a period followed of peace and happiness. i'd made a lot of progress as a person, and i guess i figured i was done with that particular battle.'s interesting, because just when i think i'm done with something....i'm not. just recently, when i got sick again, i underwent another little crisis wondering who i am. i came face to face with the apathy, carelessness and meanness that have tried to establish themselves as the main points of my personality my whole life. every day was a struggle. who would win? i felt like to surrender to those characteristics would be so much easier, and less painful.

luckily, i've got people looking out for me. and i have the Lord. He wasn't going to let me go that easily.

my family, and especially my friend alyssa, talked me down from a ledge as it were. they helped me see that i was allowed to be upset and impatient with my illness without completely reverting back to how i used to be, years ago. they helped me see there was a better way to deal with it.

and so instead of being angry, i turned to God. i humbled myself. i made sure He knew that i was willing to see how this could build me, once again. i showed him that if this was what needed to happen right now, i was ready to endure it. and He has taken my hand, and guided me through.

so what's the point of this blog? i don't know...i guess that we're never really done proving who we are. that maybe i'll be fighting certain demons my whole life. sometimes it gets easier, and sometimes it's harder, but i'm never doing it alone. it wouldn't make any sense to give up, when life is about progress. and just because i may have tendencies to be apathetic, etc, doesn't mean i have to let those things win. i am a good person capable of infinite amounts of love- the last year has proven that. and that's who I WANT to be.

it's worth fighting for.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

my first treatment at the cancer center

today was my first of many of a type of chemotherapy treatments for uc.

yes....i have been putting this off a long while.

for the sake's a summary:
i almost died last year because i had undiagnosed and therefore, untreated uc for months. i have been in a flare of varying degrees for over a year now. my disease has not yet gone into remission.
well, recently it got "almost died" bad again....

to say i have been cautious about my treatment is an understatement. the medication options a person has with UC are not pleasant. there's a tier of relatively harmless drugs they put you on first. if those don't work, they move to the next tier...typically steroids...which suck and which i will not take longer than a month or two.

if THOSE don't work....they stick you on these chemo, immune-system killing drugs. these drugs come with enough risks and side-effects that they're only worth taking if nothing else is working and you're losing your life to UC- like i am.

well, for the last year i have stayed mostly on the first tier of drugs, which has kept my illness down enough that i have lived a....well, nowhere NEAR functional life. i have only managed to work part-time, and even then i've had to take a lot of sick days. i can't go out much, can't travel. i'm constantly anemic. the list goes on and on.

this last month, my UC flared again so severely that i spent a whole weekend unconscious and was throwing up absolutely everything, including any water i tried to drink. i had to go to the hospital for IV therapy to keep me hydrated. my GI was concerned yet still gave me the choice of what to do...he mentioned the chemo med....but didn't push me. i decided to take a small course of the steroids with my normal, mild UC med and sort of see what happened.

well, i got a little better for about two days...and then suddenly much worse. the pain in my stomach was so excruciating i could hardly breathe. i could hardly get out of bed and when i did, it was to go to the bathroom. i was achey and feverish, and weak. going to work was impossible. my body stopped responding to the steroids. this was a VERY bad sign. so back to my GI i went.

"okay're going to lose your colon or die from this at this rate. you need to do these treatments." he said.

so.....i did. what choice did i have? it's not like i've had ANY quality of life the last year really. i can't camp, hike, go out with friends, date, ANYTHING. i can't work, and working with kids is my passion. i can't write, because my brain becomes so foggy when i'm sick. the potential effects and risks of the treatments were scary but not scarier than what i was already living in. plus, i'd had so many good blessings. it was time to go by faith.

so today i went to my first chemo treatment in the huntsman cancer center. it was a humbling and moving experience. i was put in an area surrounded by other patients getting THEIR chemo treatments. there are different kinds, and some of them had iv's going into their chests. mine just went into my arm like i am used to.

when i walked in, i can hardly describe the feeling. i was the youngest person there. one woman, who looked to be in her forties, was wearing this awesome skirt, boots and tights outfit and was surrounded by friends. she had a scarf on her head, and instantly i sympathized because it was SO hard last year when i lost about 70% of my hair. there was an old man who looked so tired, i felt tired just looking at him. i walked into that room to my seat and felt the most amazing feeling of love and acceptance. nobody knew exactly why i was there but me, but they knew that i was clearly battling something serious and they understood. everyone gave encouraging smiles. it was like being at church if NO ONE was just amazing. i listened to some of the conversations around me...the things these people were going through just to live a little longer. suddenly, i was intensely grateful. grateful that even if this treatment is hard on me...the chance of it working and restoring me to a normal life is very high. it's not like that for the people around me. how much time did they have left, i wondered...and how much more would they have to fight?

the treatment went without incident, and my heart was full when i left. i thought about what it will be like when i come back in two weeks...the people in that room with me were true warriors. i saw it in every smile they gave me, in the faces of the friends of their accompanying loved ones. it made me realize how silly i've been to put this treatment off. suffering through the sickness the last year has been making me a victim. suffering through whatever effects the treatment brings makes me someone who is fighting. these people are fighting for maybe just a few more months. i am fighting for normalcy. i have so much more to fight for, and they are fighting harder than i am!!! it's time to step it up.

all in all, i am intensely grateful for the Lord and how well He knows me. He knows i needed to experience this today. He has promised me i'll get well. the rest is up to me, and i'm going to make it happen.

i've almost died enough in the last year...clearly i've got things to live for.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

more thoughts

as i sit here in iv therapy, another three hours crawling by...
all i can think is how glad i'll be when this is no longer a regular part of my life.

apparently the chemodrug infusions take like five hours, so it looks like i'll always be stuck with iv's in some way..but still, not going to iv therapy at least weekly (sometimes twice weekly) will be an improvement!

i can't wait until, rather than blogging about my health, i am blogging about camping and roadtrips and late-night adventures. i can't wait until i can consider dating, and not worry about some guy losing interest because i'm sick all the time. (there's still the offchance but that's better than now...being sick for a year straight!)

i don't know why i worry about that so much. derek tells me that if a guy cares for me, my illness won't be a big deal to them. i sure hope so- even though i am far away from anything but casual dating at the moment.
i just can't wait to feel normal. to feel young.

i am trying hard to be patient until then. hoping everything that's mine will wait for me.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

bye bye facebook....and hello again.

i deactivated my facebook account today.

now of course, this isn't really that big of a deal. deactivating facebook is pretty much the equivalent of logging out and having your facebook go into some kind of stealth mode, where people can't see it. but you can log back in at any time and BOOM- it's all there.
(a little weird that you can't get rid of it, imo.)

anyway.....i didn't do it to be all cool, or to make people wonder, or because i'm taking a stand against people "living" on the internet (social network shoutout- what?)

i actually simply did it because of this: right now, my ulcerative colitis has pretty much taken over my life. i am in many ways as sick as i was last year. i am unable to work. unable to be with friends. unable to do much more than lay in bed reading, writing, trying to get strength back. when i'm not in my room, i'm just down in the family room. sometimes, i do laps around it. ooh.
so yeah.
because this illness has taken over, i just didn't want to subject everyone on facebook to hearing about it all. the. time.
and unfortunately, it was becoming that way.
for awhile i also was having a hard time watching everyone else my age go out and do normal "single people my age" things while i was stuck at home sick. the sicker i got, the more i felt trapped and like it was never going to change. i felt like i'd never have a social life. never get to date a guy. never get to go hiking, or camping, or on road trips. hell i could hardly make it down the stairs....and it wasn't getting any better. seeing everyone else going on trips and dating and just LIVING was hard. i wasn't bitter, because of course i'd never wish my situation on anybody. but i'd be lying if i said it didn't make me sad.

so, i figured, i'd check out of facebook until things changed.

well today, had an eye-opening chat with my specialist and he had an eye-opening chat with my dad, after basically trying to scare me into furthering my treatment plan. he told me that i worried him. that i would die from this, if i kept going. that i might lose my colon, etc. of course i just sort of fell apart. he said i needed to get an IV of the ChemoDrug NOW.

how was i to argue? anyway, i'd been feeling worse than ever and the prednisone was doing nothing for me. prednisone is a VERY powerful drug. this was a bad sign.

so anyway.....long story short....i am getting the ChemoDrug infusion. i have been praying, studying scriptures and listening to conference talks nonstop the last few days and you know what? it feels like the right thing. when i spoke to my dad on the phone, he reminded me of the many blessings i'd had that said i would live a normal life, and fully recover from this.
"that doesn't mean you won't have to use these means to recover," he told me. and he's right. and what's more....who cares how scary the drug is? can it be worse than this? i can barely get out of bed. i can barely eat. i can hardly keep the food down when i do. my back pain is excruciating. i am weak and tired and irritable. i am half dead! this is that point, my doctor said, where the benefits to the drug outweigh the risks.

so i am going to start the IV, hopefully within the next couple of days.
i think i'll leave facebook deactivated until i start noticing a difference. everyone on my friends list doesn't need to know about this, and most of them don't care. they have their own lives to worry about. i don't want to be that person who is always complaining on facebook. i don't want to watch everyone else live out their lives. i figure, i'll reactivate my facebook when i feel good enough to have positive posts again, and can use it to be in touch with friends when they can see me at my best. if they're interested in seeing me now, at my worst, that is up to them and that is awesome. but i don't want to subject anyone to this.

after all, this is my trial. i will bear it with the help of my family, and my savior. after all...He understands better than anyone.

that day

i've just got to get through this next little while.
i have to know everything will get better.
i have to realize that soon, i will be able to do all of those things i want to do.

i have to have patience, and faith.

i have to pray.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

the valentine's day that wasn't

last valentine's day was different than any other i'd had before.

it was the day derek and i decided to get a divorce.

we had talked and discussed and debated it to death. that day, i went to work. i got chocolates and cards from my kids at school. my engaged coworker talked about what she and her fiance's plans were.
"what are you and your husband doing tonight?" she finally asked me, all breathless with the joy that comes with new love.
i stared at her a moment.
my husband.
um...i'm not sure." i stammered. "dinner or something."

i was caught off-guard was all. my husband.

the words kept bouncing around in my head all day.

what am i going to do tonight? what am i going to do.

that night we talked. and i knew what i would do.

i would let him go.

i wasn't crying when i talked to him. you see, i had cried a little before. things never hit me right away so i sort of forced the tears. anyway, the real tears had been all through the last two years. there weren't tears now. there were just words.

he would no longer be my husband. oh i knew, if i had asked him to, he would stick around forever. he would honor that vow. the part of me that was afraid of what i'd become, that saw the shambles my personality now lay in, almost wanted to make him stay just for that.
just so i wouldn't be alone.

i told him to go. he only protested once. i told him to stop being so damn decent and go. please go. we had already taken two and a half years of each others' lives.

so he went.

it wasn't as hard as i'd have thought. once the growing pains of independence lessened, i was okay. we had both already hurt enough during the marriage, that the end was a relief.

it was the best valentine's day i've ever had. undoubtedly, he will agree.

i won't ever look at valentine's day the same way again. it's not like i don't love to celebrate love or's just to me, it means so much more. it means freedom. it means independence. it means self-love, of the greatest kind.

happy valentine's day!

Monday, February 13, 2012

oh, the opposite sex!

there are guys in my life again.

yes. and i realllly like guys. they're fun!

love when they have swagger to match my own. love when they can banter with me.

yeah....they're fun. enough said. ;)

Friday, February 10, 2012


oh, the good life, full of fun seems to be the ideal
mm, the good life lets you hide all the sadness you feel
you won't really fall in love for you can't take the chance
so please be honest with yourself, don't try to fake romance

it's the good life to be free and explore the unknown
like the heartaches when you learn you must face them alone
please remember i still want you, and in case you wonder why
well, just wake up, kiss the good life goodbye

Thursday, February 9, 2012

black hole

tell me to worry for you
ask me to care

i always forget

no matter how i try to keep people close
it never lasts
they're gone

absorbed by my wicked


would that i could
feel guilt

but there's no such thing
with apathy

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

what i want.

mmkay so i am part of this group on facebook, in which we discuss dating in utah county (haha!) and why men and women are so ridiculous, etc.

well, it was brought up that some people have too high of standards....and i began to think.

here is the thing: one failed marriage later, you are an absolute MORON if you are not looking at yourself thinking, "k...what do i need to change? what about me was incompatible with marriage?" ever since derek and i separated a year ago (yep a year ago this month!) i have been thinking about this long and hard....

i have always been the kind of person who believes that because life is about progression, we should never stop striving to be better than we are. better people. more interesting. with more hobbies, talents and interests...etc. someone who does not believe that, is not someone i could EVER be with...

why? because i have worked DAMN HARD in the last couple of years to become who i want to be. i am not there yet, but i still think i'm pretty great. why? because i may have flaws, but i am aware of those flaws and am working my butt off to correct them. i want to be the very best person i can be- and frankly, not just for someone else. not just for the "next guy i marry, hoping it will be the last". no! this body, this soul is MY vessel with which to experience the world. i don't want to do that in any limited way because i am "okay, and a decent person" and willing to stay there.

screw that. honestly, look: people talk on and on about how love is finding someone who will love you despite your flaws and accept you "as you are." great. accept me as i am right now, but have expectations for me! challenge me to be better at everything i do! whether it be writing, rock climbing, shooting a freaking gun, i don't care!! i want a partner who challenges me every step of the way...who NEVER expects too little...who will be my partner in EVERY sense as i challenge myself to grow...i want him right there with me.

THAT is what i want.

and hell no, i will not settle for less.

Saturday, February 4, 2012

life was just starting to get good

and then.....this.

it was fun to, you know.....hang out with cute guys, and new friends, and go hottubbing every week, followed by late-night dennys visits.

i don't miss it at all!



(i really am kinda sad....but i also am in one of those 'laugh it up' phases so i am surviving just fine. feel free to come visit me and bring me lots of foodz. thxbye.)