Izzy’s Battle with an Aggressive Brain Tumor

I’ve known Izzy and her mother for a long time now. I first met them when I was working retail, her mother (Elly) was my manager. We quickly became really good friends. Periodically, Elly’s daughters would come visit (Izzy and AW) at the store, so I had met them several times. I babysat a few times, because Izzy was only about 7 and AW was only about 4 years older. Then, when Izzy was 9, they asked me to be a nanny. I nannied her for about year before my wedding. We spent a ton of time together, and it was fun watching her grow up.

We lost touch for a bit (well, we followed each other on social media, but hadn’t talked in person in a long time) due to a series of moves which included her moving out of state.

Then, at the beginning of this month, we got a chance to have lunch (Dan and I met up with Elly and Izzy, AW was still out of state). I found out that Izzy had been struggling with atrocious migraines that would last for a week or longer and had been severely impacting school, and had required several ER visits. Since Elly was having a hard time taking all the time off to take her to all the doctors and ER trips, I offered to help (since I work for myself).

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Izzy

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A Look Back at 2017 – part 2

2017 was an extremely busy year for both of us (Dan and me). I was writing my “Look Back” post and it got extremely long, so I needed to divide the year in half! You can find the first half of the year here: “Look Back part 1.” This post covers July through December 2017!


July

Lizz

I followed up with my cardiologist, but had to see the nurse practitioner because his schedule was too full. I don’t like seeing NP’s for cardio because they can’t ever do anything for me. At least she talked to my doctor and then called me with how to change my medications.

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A Look Back at 2017 – part 1

2017 has been a chaotic year for both Dan and me. Honestly, it’s hard for me to even wrap my head around because it flashed past so quickly – I feel like I haven’t gotten to take a break since last Christmas!

I wanted to write up a little summary of our year, both so you can know what we have been up to, and so that I can have something to look back on myself. Since this is a summary, I will include links back to any relevant posts so you can read more detail. All links are either to my personal blog posts or Instagram posts.


January

Lizz

My pelvis and back started causing a lot of problems in October 2016 (read more here and here). By January, I was in excruciating pain 24/7 and having to spend most of my time on the couch. Thankfully, I saw a new doctor (a physiatrist) and at the end of January, I got a cortisone injection into my right SI joint.

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My Christmas Traditions

While not everyone celebrates Christmas, most religions and spiritualities celebrate a winter holiday right around Christmas (which is right after the winter solstice). Everyone celebrates this time of year differently. Because of that, I wanted to outline my Christmas traditions a bit more so you will know better what to expect from my Blogmas posts – but first, I want to share some traditions I’ve heard about through the years. (Check out my Blogmas Kickoff so you know a bit more of what to expect from me.)

For anyone not familiar: Christmas Day is December 25th, and the winter solstice is right around December 21st (it’s the shortest day of the year so it changes a little).

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Christmas 2015 pictures

 

Traditions I Know About

Two of my friends celebrate both Christmas and Hanukkah. Their mom is Christian, their dad is Jewish, so they do both! I thought it was really cool that they were able to come to that agreement and that it worked out so well for them. I also love how unique their holiday season is!

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On the First Day of Blogmas…

What is Blogmas? It’s a “tradition” where bloggers write a post every day in December celebrating Christmas and the Christmas season. I won’t be able to post every day, because it just takes too much energy, but I’m going to try for every other day – I’m going to call it “Spoonie Blogmas!” 

… I Discuss Why My Posts May Be a Bit Different from Some of the Other Posts

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Dan and I at Blossoms of Light – Chatfield, 2016

Thanksgiving through New Year’s is my absolute favorite time of the year! I love the holidays, all of them. There is just a warmer feel to this time of year, despite the temperature dropping outside. People, in general, get happier. Families feel more cohesive. The decorations make everything feel magical! There is fantastic food everywhere (even though I can’t eat it all), and special, seasonal dessert recipes come out! Fires can be built in fireplaces thanks to the dropping temperatures, and the cozy sweaters and blankets get brought out of storage! And then there’s hot cocoa and apple cider! Overall this time of year is completely magical for me. (And now that I live in Colorado, it usually even comes with winter snow!)

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Sometimes, There are High Points – Mt Evans Adventure

It’s easy to fall into the trap of only showing the negative aspects of chronic illness. When we’re “healthy” (for us) and feeling well, we tend to go out and live! When we’re sick and feeling awful, that’s when we think “I haven’t written in a while, and this is something interesting to write about.” If we’re just so-so then we’re probably doing something that we deem ‘boring’ and don’t write about it. I try to keep my blog focused on my entire life, not just the chronic illness pieces, but it’s definitely easier to write about the “bad times.”

arm-2029989_1280.pngHowever, I have been quite lucky lately: my body is cooperating. For the most part, I’ve been able to feel relatively normal in the past few weeks. No, I’m not ‘better’ but I’ve been able to do more than I had been able to do in over a year! My Pilates classes went surprisingly well, my physical therapy was going really well, and I’ve been able to be significantly more active day-to-day! Of course, I’m waiting to accidentally run off a cliff (metaphorically of course), but until then I’m really excited that my body is letting me be ‘normal’ most of the time! Continue reading

A Day in the Life: Caretaker/Patient & Husband/Wife

(To see the first post in this mini-series, check out When And How Dan Became My Caretaker)

Dan and I have been married for almost four years now, and together for almost eight and a half. (A sappy look at our relationship: My Personal Romantic Comedy.) When we first met, I had a few health issues, but I was relatively healthy (and quite active). Unfortunately, in the past five years, my health has started declining in leaps and bounds: it will be stable for a bit, then suddenly I’m blindsided by new symptoms and pain, then we’ll work hard to stabilize it and it will happen all over again. Through all of this, Dan has been my primary caregiver. Yes, it’s stressful, and it’s not always perfect, but it actually works relatively well for us.

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Dan’s graduation, a month after getting engaged and only a few days before our 3rd dating anniversary!

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The Case of the Missing Lizz

This last month has been such a blur for me. My health decided to skydive, without a parachute, and it hit the ground hard. I haven’t gotten quite this sick in a long time, and it’s just as miserable as I remember.

So, what exactly happened? Well, I do kind of mention it in these posts: Being “Normal” SickThe New Diet So FarMy Virus Has Returned, and I mention a little in my LEAP/MRT Diet: Phase 1/2, Week 2 post.

In summary: Right before starting the new diet, I got sick. Continue reading

The Sock Collector

If you have been following my blog since the beginning (at least since August 2015), or if you follow me on Instagram or Twitter, then you know that I collect socks. Yes, socks! I absolutely love socks! They’re my happy place, and always put a smile on my face when I am having a bad day. Since I haven’t written about my socks since August 2015, and I had rushed through the pictures in that post (yikes), I wanted to update my sock post! (My original sock post: The Sock Problem.) (You can see all of my Instagram sock posts by searching the hashtag #LizzsSocks.)

I have a lot of socks! I actively collect them, and I haven’t gotten rid of a pair of socks in so long I can’t even remember. I’m pretty sure there are even still socks in my old dresser at my parents’ house, which I want to grab the next time I’m there. No, I don’t really have a favorite pair. There are several pairs that I consider “some of my favorites,” but they’re all favorites for different reasons! Continue reading