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Showing posts from 2017

On Illness and Bravery

I randomly picked up my husband's most recent copy of Time magazine this morning to flip through while I was eating lunch. There was an excellent essay written by Josh Friedman, an American screenwriter, entitled, "It's OK To Be A Coward About Cancer." It grabbed my attention for several reasons: I am a 21 year cancer survivor, I currently spend every day battling an autoimmune illness, and I've been thinking a lot lately about what it means to be "brave" when struggling with an illness.

The essay starts off  with Mr. Friedman discussing Sen. John McCain's recent brain cancer diagnosis and the subsequent tweets from well meaning colleagues about how Sen. McCain should give his cancer "hell" as well as other encouragements to "fight." Mr. Friedman explains about how this "tough guy" narrative is "seductive" as it suggests we have control over our fates and that we can will cancer away. He continues on to explai…

Contest: Vote for Molly!

I haven't written about this yet, but my beloved dog, Molly passed away this past May. I am a supporter of an organization called the New England Basset Hound Rescue. They do amazing work for basset hounds in my area of the country who need loving homes.

They are running a photo contest and I decided to submit Molly's photo. Because this is a fundraiser for the rescue, they do request a donation of $1 per vote and you can submit as many votes as you'd like.

If you do decide to help out, thank you so much!!

Click HERE to vote.

Prescription Drug Coverage Tips

I'd like to share a little story with you. It serves two purposes. The first being I get to sound off about this issue because well, isn't that why people blog? OK, just kidding. The real reason I am taking the time to write this is because I have some important information to share that I think some of you may find useful.

After being diagnosed with a blood clot in my leg in 2004, I was tested for several different clotting disorders and found out I had a genetic blood clotting disorder called Factor V Leiden. Then in 2012,, I was also found to have two small blood clots in my lungs. Technically someone like me is supposed to be on blood thinners forever. Why I don't take blood thinners regularly is a long story for another day. Actually, I think I may have told the story already. I've been blogging for a while and I lose track of my topics.

My medical plan is that under certain circumstances, I have to take a blood thinner injection called Lovenox. For example, I flew …

Chronic Illness and Fear

I had this huge revelation the other day and I am sharing it with you because I would bet money that some of you have experienced very similar feelings.

The back story is as follows:

For about a month, I haven't been feeling right and in a way that feels different than "just Sjögren's." As I blogged about earlier this week, my main debilitating symptom has been fatigue. Now fatigue has been a Sjögren's symptom for me since day one, but this has been even more over the top than usual.

I recently increased one of my thyroid medications (I have hypothyroidism from radiation treatments I received for cancer in 1996.) and was wondering if my levels were totally out of whack. I had them tested earlier this week but I have not received the results because this is the one specialist I have left that just cannot get their act together enough to get me results in a prompt manner; last time it took almost four week...ridiculous!

In addition to the fatigue and thyroid checking,…

My Sjögren's World

It's been a while since I've done a Sjögren's blog update. That is both a good thing and a bad thing. Good because it means I have been somewhat successful in putting some mental distance between me and this life altering illness, but it is also bad because I am a firm believer in connecting with other Sjögren's patients and sharing our insights into how to live as well as possible with Sjögren's.

Recently, I was asked by the Sjögren's Syndrome Foundation to be part of a group of Sjögren's patients piloting a new patient website message board. I have checked out other patient message boards, Facebook groups, etc., but I have only really found myself connected to one other particular Facebook group called Sjögren's Sisters (if you need help finding it, send me an e-mail or message me on Facebook). So, I was really curious about this new project.

I enjoy doing volunteer type stuff for the SSF, but oftentimes I run into problems with committing physically…

Marches, Presidents, and Women

Warning: Contains profanity.

In the seven years I have been writing this blog, I don't think I have ever written a political post, or even written one that contains a whiff of politics. But, the times are changing; Donald Trump was just elected as 45th president of this great country and boy, are people mad about that. My intention for this post is to share my opinion and viewpoint, not to change yours.

This post isn't about President Trump though. It is more about the recent Women's March that took place on January 20, 2017, the day after Trump's inauguration, in major cities all over the United States and Canada. It's also about being a woman in this country. Most importantly though, it is about standing up for your beliefs, even when you are criticized for them.

I am going to preface this by saying I did not attend the Women's March. All of my information is from people who did attend as well as both printed and online media sources. I mention this because I…

Happy 2017!!

Below is the Facebook status update I wrote this morning. It pretty much sums up my thought about embarking on a new year...
I've been thinking a lot the past few days about 2016. Believe it or not, I am not one to do that or get all hyped up about a New Year, maybe because for me, every day is a fresh start.
I've been reading a lot on FB about how horrible 2016 was and how people couldn't wait to start a new year. For me, 2016 was pretty lousy, but there were two wonderful event highlights that stood out: our Ireland trip and my Kripalu yoga retreat. When going through our wonderful moments jar last night, I got to remember that there were other great moments too. I think a lot of those memories got lost and overshadowed by all the bad.

But, there was a ton of sadness and pain, both physical and emotional. When I think about that lately though, I realize that having a year like 2016 is just a part of life. Nobody ever promised me that life would be easy or filled with solely…