Sunday, November 30, 2008

2 reunions in 2 days

Cute Thanksgiving cookies my Aunt Beth made. I didn't eat them but they were cute enough for a picture.
Whew! I’m exhausted. First Thanksgiving, then Black Friday shopping (yes, I am one of those people out there, but I am not crazy and crabby like some of the rest), then Kevin’s Berkley High School reunion Friday night, followed by my Clarkston High School reunion Saturday night. (Does this mean I get to cross off going to the 10 year High School reunion on my bucket list twice???)

First I'll write a little about Thanksgiving. So how the hell did I stay on my diet on this day? I did cheat, but not a lot. I started the morning out with a huge 32 oz green drink of cucumber, celery and kale juice and also did about 4oz of wheatgrass. I figured I would start out completely alkaline and then it would all be downhill from there. I actually didn’t do that bad with the meals. At my mom’s I loaded my plate up with squash, mashed potatoes, green beans, and my grandpa’s famous rutabagas. This stuff was all good. I took a tiny piece of Turkey (tiny) a little stuffing and had to have some canned cranberry sauce. God, do I love the canned stuff. I had about 1/8th of a slice of pumpkin pie. Not bad if I might say so myself. I made sure to fill up on the healthiest veggies first so I would be full and not eat all the stuffing and turkey, although I am never too stuffed for the cranberry sauce. The only moderation with the cranberry sauce was only putting a small amount on my plate.

I went to my Aunt and Uncle’s house after my moms. I got to meet Karl. Remember Karl?? He was the guy who wrote the story about me last May that was on Caringbridge and is now in my blog. It was cool to finally meet him and put a face with the name and the writing. At my aunt and uncles I ate about the same except I had some raspberries instead of pie for desert.

Me and Pat at Kevin's reunion
Kevin’s reunion was really fun. Smokey, but fun. We did get spoiled living in Austin with the no smoking indoors law there. Kevin was one of the really popular guys in his school so he knew everyone there. He was really good at introducing me. I also know a number of his friends that are very nice to me. I ran into a couple snags when people asked me my dreaded question “What do you DO?” I’d freeze and look at Kevin like “Help me! What do I say?” It’s not like I don’t know what to say, but if I tell people I have cancer the automatically adopt the “Awwww” face and I DO NOT like to be pitied at all. So I try to tip toe around it and it’s hard to do when I don’t have a good answer to that question.

Me, Jamie and Ronny Grinold at the Clarkston reunion.
Me and all the girls at the Clarkston reunion. I used ot have the long blonde hair like the rest of them.

The cool thing about my reunion was that they had a webpage where we could write our stories. I wrote a paragraph about my life including my diagnosis, but after that I assured people I was not a person they should feel bad for and then I wrote down my blog address so they could see for themselves that I am really FINE. So, a ton of people had already checked out my blog so I didn’t have to answer those kind of questions as much. When I did get asked, I just told the truth. I had the job, got diagnosed and then re-diagnosed and decided to spend all my time getting healthy and doing what is important to me.
I had so much fun and am so excited I decided to go. Everyone gets nicer with age. I was surprised how similar everyone looked and I was also surprised how easily people recognized me. Once I graduated from Clarkston I moved to college and my family moved from Clarkston to Sterling Heights. So, when I did come home, I didn’t really spend much time in Clarkston. A good majority of the people I had not seen since graduation.


I went to my Grandma and Grandpa's house today and learned how to make Pizzelles (not healthy but fun to make) We have an old school iron that we make them with. I'm giving them all away, but it was fun to learn. See how proud I am? My grandma and I made some hummus.
I leave for Houston tomorrow. Yep, it’s that time AGAIN. This is my 9th trip I think (8th or 9th) in the past 3 months. I will be in Houston Dec 1st Monday through Dec 4th Thursday. I have all my tests (CT scans, MRI, Bone Scan and blood work) on Tuesday and then I have the doctor’s appointment on Thursday. I decided to go to Austin while I was in Texas. I will drive to Austin on Thursday and stay there until the next Tuesday. I’m so excited because I will be there for Tim and Michele’s annual Christmas party. I’ll also get to see the Pink Ribbon Cowgirls at a little event they have at Crate and Barrel. Maybe I can even make it up to Applied Materials so I can go around and see some of my old co-workers. I’m excited for the trip. I need to stop writing about being excited about this trip and I need to get up and get the suitcase out and start packing.

Hopefully I’ll be able to get a blog post in while I am in Texas.

See all of you Texans soon!!

Shannon

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Health Lesson #8 Small Changes that make a HUGE difference

The jewelry and craft party was a HUGE success. A lot of people showed up and a bunch of people I wasn’t expecting went too. It was very fun and busy the entire time. I sold about half of my stock. I really wanted to take pictures of all the jewelry set up and take some pictures of everyone during the party, but I was so busy the entire time I didn’t get a chance to snap a single pic. It was so great seeing and meeting everyone that came by. I wish I could have spent more time with you all. I pretty much was cashing out people the entire time. I’ll bring some extra stuff to Austin since people were asking about it

.. But now…….A long overdue Health Lesson #8 (diet tidbits and tricks)

Small substitutions that make a HUGE difference
So, I figured I would do a lesson that shows you all the easy small changes I have found and prolong he more radical diet info (especially before Thanksgiving when no diet rules apply for 1 day only). I was thinking about all the diet changes I have been implementing over the past years. I’ve had many struggles, much confusion, boredom, guilt and anger and all sorts of emotions. Sometimes I feel like I am not doing enough. Some days I eat perfect and I feel great but I‘m not perfect every day, which I am striving for. I’m sure there are many many more changes I can make.

It has been said that a major diet change can take 1 year to implement. I started thinking about this and I started thinking back a year in my life to re-examine what my diet was like back then. I made some major changes in the past year that I am now very comfortable with. Then, I started thinking that the changes I made were easy, because they were just substitutions I made in my life. I think substitutions are easier to implement in your every day life because you don’t have to change your routine too much or give something completely up like a favorite meal. These small substitutions over time can make a huge difference in your diet and health long term. I wanted to share these small changes that make a huge difference with all of you. Some changes you won’t understand why I recommend them yet because I haven’t done a health lesson about it (the one on meat and animal products is coming up also some tidbits on fiber and whole grains) Just know that whatever I mention to substitute has been mentioned in my many health books, at Hippocrates as being better than the latter. And here we go……

1. Sweets: Use Stevia instead of sugar (this makes a world of difference) Make sure to get the liquid droppers. (Look back to the sugar lesson for all sorts of info on Stevia)

Use Agave Nectar over sugar and honey (look in the sugar lesson for more info on Agave Nectar and why we should minimize our sugar intake) It also tastes much better than honey. It tastes just like sugar.

Agave will be right by honey and Stevia will be in the supplements aisle
2. Milk: Use Almond milk instead of regular milk (this makes a big difference) (you can get it in a box and it is always by the soy milk. I like Almond Breeze brand and I always get the unsweetened Vanilla over the plain flavor. HIGHLY recommend vanilla over plain.) If you eat chocolate cereal I recommend you use the chocolate almond milk with it. Instead of drinking Hershey’s chocolate milk, drink unsweetened chocolate almond milk with Stevia or Agave nectar (I like it with the toffee Stevia) It fills you up and satisfies your craving for something sweet.

Hemp milk is also a good choice. You should try both and see if you like how one tastes better than the other. (With almond milk and hemp milk you don’t have to worry about growth hormones and antibiotics being in them like milk has) Also you don’t have to worry about the other negative impacts milk has on your body. I have learned that milk does NOT do a body good. All those advertisements are paid for by the dairy companies.

Here is the Almond milk I buy
3. Breads: Mana bread over regular bread (they keep it frozen. It’s kind of gooey and sweet) It’s really good. I love it. I toast it in the oven really good before eating)

Ezekiel or any kind of sprouted bread instead of white bread. There are many flavors like cinnamon raisin, regular, and others but I can’t think of them because I use cinnamon raisin and the regular all the time. Ezekiel also makes English muffins. I like the sliced bread though. I toast it really good. This is an easier transition than the Mana Bread with the texture, but Mana bread tastes really good.

Ezekiel or any other brand of sprouted flour or corn tortillas instead of regular flour tortillas or corn tortillas (This bread is sprouted grains) The secret is to get sprouted bread products. Read about them or ask me if you have questions, but I don’t want to make this entry too long.

Romaine leaves over tortillas (You know, lettuce wraps, but with a little more nutrition than iceberg lettuce)

Here is the Ezekiel bread and Mana bread I like. They are both in the frozen section
4. Grains and Pasta: Spelt pasta over regular noodles (there are white ones that are just like regular noodles. Kevin really likes them.) (I think the darker ones have more grain, but they taste WAY better than the whole wheat pasta I sure some of you have tried. My favorite brand is Vita Spelt.)

Quinoa pasta is also a very healthy alternative. I haven’t tried it yet but I just got some and am excited to give it a try. I heard it is really good and I don’t know why it has taken me so long to try it.

Quinoa instead of rice or couscous. The grains are very small and cook wonderfully. Kind of like couscous. Whole grain brown rice over white rice (that’s an easy one). We’re looking for complex carbs over the simple ones with all these changes. Way more nutritious and not harmful on your body like the simple ones are.

Here is the new Quinoa pasta I have to try and the Spelt pasta I love

5. Drinks: Instead of drinking pop (soda, Coke) drink La Croix (unsweetened carbonated drink that has many flavors) with some Stevia or Agave added. I know you will never match the flavor of the syrup of coke, but sometimes people are just looking for some carbonation fix, and this is a great substitution. Or just get sparkling water and flavor with flavored Stevia.

Fresh squeezed lemonade really makes your body alkaline and healthy. Take one fresh squeezed lemon and some stevia or agave nectar and enjoy this wonderful drink. I make pitchers at a time.

6. Gum and Snacks:
Instead of sugar gum or gum with HARMFUL artificial sweeteners use gum with Xylatol like Trident, Spry or Xylichew.

Instead of regular chips use rice chips

Instead of regular tortilla chips use baked tortilla chips

7. Fruit or fruit juice for nutrition?
Choose whole fruit over fruit juice. Why? Because whole fruit has fiber in it which slows down sugar uptake from the fruit you eat. This is huge for improving your blood sugar level as well as stopping too much insulin from being produced too fast which wreaks havoc on your body. (With veggies the whole veggie or juice is very good because they don’t have much sugar and they all have tons of vitamins and enzymes) Any fresh veggie is good for you whole or juiced.

8. The best substitution:
Here is one of the biggest and easiest substitutions because the alternative tastes better….Eat Organic food over non-organic food. Go back to lesson #2 to see what a huge difference this will make.

All of these changes take you from the far spectrum of acidic PH (which breeds disease) and get you somewhere towards the middle or over to being alkaline like we want to be (because disease cannot grow in an alkaline environment). This is a kind of “get you started to being healthier” kind of diet. Honestly though, these changes can make a huge difference down the road.

How about small things that can make a huge difference in the environment?
1. Get those re-usable grocery bags and keep them in your car. Use them everywhere you go shopping.
2. Always choose paper over plastic
3. Don’t let people give you a bag when you don’t need one. You ever go to the store and buy one thing and then they give you a bag to carry that one thing? This never made sense to me. Why do I need a bag to carry my one pack of gum in it?
4. Get a water filter and water bottle and use it instead of buying bottled water all the time. Get one of those Sigg aluminum water canisters so you can just keep refilling them. They are very cute with many different designs. It’s an accessory as well as a water transportation device. I carry mine everywhere (if you know me well, you know this is no lie. It's almost glued to my hand). Worth the money in the long run.
5. Plant a tree
6. Recycle Recycle Recycle
7. Buy organic –stop all these toxins from going into our land water and bodies
8. When Christmas shopping, don’t get a new bag at every store you go to in the mall. If you can fit your item in the bag you already have, do that rather than get another bag.

Me and my favorite Sigg water bottle.

So I found the greatest book last week. It’s called The Green Book. It’s a great easy read reference book that tells you about every tip to making your daily routine more green. I loved reading it. There are so many small easy changes it suggests. The cool thing is the book tells you what a HUGE difference these small changes can make if everyone did them. It’s kind of the same thing for your body with these small changes you can make that would make a huge difference for your health and all your happy little cells. I’m putting that book on my Christmas list.

Okay, this is very long.

That’s all for now. We’ll just completely skip over discussing the Michigan State – Penn State game this past weekend. The rest of the season was great.

Everyone have a HAPPY Thanksgiving. Load your plates up with green bean casserole, mashed potatoes, sweet potatoes, squash, veggies, salad, (and some stuffing and turkey if that is your thing)

I’m going to my 10 year reunion this weekend. Wish me luck. Hope I have a good answer when people ask me “What do you do???”

I'm going on a run in the snow now. So excited. Need to condition for snowboarding this year.
Shannon

Friday, November 14, 2008

Jewerly Party and Comment Posting Instructions

Hi Everyone,

This entry will be a little random. I am having a jewelry and craft party at my house where I am selling stuff I made. Saturday November 22 from 3pm to 9pm. It will be an open house format. I love visitors however, so you are welcome to stay and hang out as long as you like. The house will be open to all interested from 3pm until 9pm. I will have a lot of necklaces, bracelets, and earrings. I will also have a bunch of sets of wine glass charms that are adorable. I also have some homemade book marks. Lastly I have some decorated serving pieces. We’ll have food and drinks of course.

If you are interested in going, email me and I’ll send you the Evite. I would love for anyone to come. Don’t worry Austin people. I’ll bring the leftovers when I visit in December.


Yesterday I got the group picture from the Pistons game with Chauncey. I cracked up because you can barely see Rebecca and me. You can only see the tops of our heads. It’s like Where’s Waldo.
Lastly, I am giving you all a lesson on writing a comment in my blog. It just sucks posting and not getting any comments from all of you. At the bottom of this entry I am writing right now, you will see a purple link that says 0 Comments (and hopefully soon will say 20 comments or even more) Click on the 0 Comments link. I have a picture wher I am pointing to the comments link nelow. It will take you to a new page where you will see other people’s comments on the left and there will be a box to write your comment in on the right. (DON”T write the comment yet unless you already have a Google account)

So, first you have to set up a Google account (I even have pictures to make this really easy) See where I am pointing? This is where you go to set up a Google account. If you already have an account, you might not see this option.

To set up a Google account click on that link and it takes you to another page. Type in your email address and then type it in again. Create a password and then type it again. Type in the name you want it to display for you. Do a word verification where you write the letters you see above. Then check the box saying that you agree with the terms. Once you do that it will take you back to the comment page, which will now look like this.


After you write your comment there is a word verification where you type in the letters you see above. This time I don’t think you will need to enter your user name and password, because you will already be signed in. If you do need to enter your user name and password your user name is you email address and your password is the one you created when you made your account Then, click the orange box that says “publish your comment”
The thing about the comment page is that the latest comment is at the bottom, of the list not at the top of the list of comments, so to see your comment scroll down.
The next time you read my blog and want to post a comment it will be much easier. Click on the comment link, write your comment, your user name is your email address and all you have to remember is your password. Easy Peasey. Please email me if you have any trouble, because I want everyone to be able to write a comment if they feel so inclined. I can even write responses to everyone’s comments. How cool is that?
Just remember if you have a Google account and sign in to Blogger you DO NOT necessarily have to have a blog I think my instructions are good. We’ll see huh?

As of this whole tooth crisis I had. Well, I just paid the $450 and it hurt. I called Aetna and they admitted to misquoting me (even had what they said in the phone call in their records) on how much they cover for my root canal. So, essentially I did everything I could and still owe the $450 because I was misquoted. I’ve just been so stressed about money and I think it is crazy that I have spent more money on my teeth in the past two months than I have on my health in the past year.

It wasn’t really about the tooth stuff which was the whole point of my entry. It was a meltdown triggered from the stress of the tooth stuff. Maybe I needed that release? (Not of the money, but of the tears)


Okay, that’s all for now.

Shannon

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

I had an emotional breakdown.

First some good news. Actually this blog will be like a negative sandwich. I have positive stuff at the beginning and some good news at the end. We went to the Cold Play concert which was awesome. They came all the way into the back of the crowd to the section right next to us and sang my favorite song “Scientist”. I LOVED it. AND….because I am so cool, I got a video of it on youtube (I get to check one more item off the bucket list) AND I figured out how to add a video to the blog. Check it out.
video

He he. I'm so proud of myself.

We went to game 2 of the Pistons which was awesome. Then the Pistons traded Chauncey and McDyess for Iverson. I see that it is good for the Pistons especially next year when they will have a ton more money, but at the same time, I’m not sure he is a good fit. They look like a completely different team without Chauncey and so far they are playing pretty crappy with Iverson. He’s kind of a ball hog. We also went to the Michigan State vs. Purdue game (this is after the breakdown) which was cold but awesome. Then, Iowa beat Penn State, so if Michigan State beats Penn State (and Ohio State loses) then they could be big 10 champs and also go to the Rose Bowl. SWEET!! Go Green!! We also went to the Last Comic Standing show here in Michigan and saw the 5 finalists from the last season. Fun stuff.

Now let’s talk about my big emotional breakdown I had. I think I have these breakdowns because of the fact that I have such a good attitude about everything all the time. I have small amounts of negativity through all of this but I don’t acknowledge it. Those small amounts of negativity have to go somewhere and I think they sneak into my subconscious. They all hang out together and figure out a little plan of attack to be released all at once when the opportunity presents itself. I am not a crier when I get sad or scared for the most part. When do I cry??? I cry when I get angry, frustrated and just plain mad. If I feel like I have been wronged and am being treated unjustly, then, all of that negativity that has been congregating in my subconscious sneaks out and then the meltdown happens.

Background story: I have a tooth that broke (almost in half) eating a peanut M&M when I was 18 years old. Go figure a peanut M&M could do that. I had a filling on that tooth then another filling and then had to get a crown because the fillings kept falling out. I got that crown fixed because it didn’t fit and then this crown broke a couple months ago. I went to a new dentist to get it fixed, but Insurance only covers the new crowns every 5 years. Of course, it was right under 5 years since I got the last one so I had to pay the full $1,200 for my new crown. Then (as you might remember from my journal) I had the worst tooth pain in my life and I had to get a root canal on that same tooth a week later. (misdiagnosis??)

I went to the oral surgeon referred to me and asked their price on root canals. Then, I called my insurance company and asked what they covered of that price which was 80%. So I paid $240 (my 20%) that day and got the root canal. Then, I get a bill in the mail a week ago saying that insurance didn’t cover the rest and I still owe $450. WTF?? So, I called the office and they said insurance only pays a set amount on root canals (obviously they think root canals should cost less) and they only pay 80% of that charge. Not what I was told. The lady from the surgeon’s office was really short and rude to me like I didn’t do something right and this surprise was my fault. What else could I have done to prevent this?

So, I have paid $100 twice for fillings, $500 twice for the crown (when insurance covered them) $1,200 for the latest crown, $240 for the root canal and now I need to pay an additional $450 for the root canal. I still haven’t gotten the hole on the crown from the root canal filled. I feel like I am being ripped off and I didn’t want to give anyone any more business until I feel like all these charges are fair. So I still have a hole in my tooth to be filled and who knows what that will cost. This tooth has cost me $3090 already. This is what it cost to someone who HAS insurance. Crazy huh? I would have just pulled it out of my mouth if I had known it would be that much.

So, I called Kevin to tell him about this situation and I ended up starting to cry. Then the floodgates opened and I was getting a little hysterical. Then it got into me apologizing for being such a financial burden to us as I was crying uncontrollably. Then it got me going about how stupid my insurance is and how unfair it is and how mean all these people you have to deal with are. “They cannot quote the amount they cover over the phone. If you want to know what they will cover on a procedure you have to fill out a request form and wait for an answer that takes 6-8 weeks” Yeah, because anyone getting a root canal has 8 weeks to wait. You can’t win no matter how diligent you are. I thought I crossed all my T’s and dotted the I’s and I am still getting this surprise bill. It makes me so mad.

As I am getting more and more worked up and crying my brains out of frustration about this situation and my entire health and financial situation altogether I am in the car on my way to get my MRI results and infusion of Zomeda. I’m sitting at a light and as I’m crying to Kevin and…. BOOM!! I get rear ended. Yep, this girl hit me pretty hard. I had bad whiplash. She sees me and thinks I’m crying because she hit me and I am just about as low as you can get now. Then, I had Kevin (who I was on the phone with when I was hit) call the cops because he said I needed to file a police report because my car was running funny and you need a report if you do an insurance claim. The cops came and told me they recommend that I don’t do a report because the accident will show up on my record and my car insurance will go up. It doesn’t really matter anyway because I just changed my car insurance to not include collision because it costs too much to cover the worth of my car. TALK ABOUT IRONY. Great, so now I am screwed by car and dental insurance. ARRRGGH!

One last thing to top it off…I wasn’t supposed to have a root canal while being on Zomeda because I could get such a bad infection that my jaw could essentially rot and I would have to get it all dug out and have my entire jaw reconstructed. (Worst case scenario) The surgeon didn’t tell me anything about this and I went and had a Zomeda infusion after the root canal. (Supposed to wait 3 months before and after) I know you are all thinking that a malpractice claim will fix all my problems, but that’s not my style. I will talk to him and make sure he understands what happened. I had an X-ray today to make sure I don’t have an infection in my jaw. We’ll see. Maybe we can come to an agreement that involves a $0 balance on my current bill.

Okay and here is the bottom of the negativity sandwich. More positive.
Since then, I brought this issue up at the Rack Pack meeting and we devised a plan of action to deal with these bills, make some calls and not have another emotional breakdown. I had the X-Ray today and hopefully the results are good. I’ll let you know how all this crapola works out. I got some important blood tests back (CA2729) and they went down (down is good) 30 points to 335. I had a MRI and everything looks stable. Can’t be upset with those results. I feel fine. Last happy news, today I knocked off a few items from my bucket list. I got a cool video on Youtube. I reconnected with an old friend from childhood. Lastly, I sent the check to pay for our tickets to my 10 year high school reunion. AND I am in the process of scouting out the right dance class to take.

Long entry because I had to rant and haven’t written in a while. I won’t let so much time pass next time. Hope everyone is wonderful and don’t let your dental insurance screw you over.

Insurance tip: ALWAYS ALWAYS – Write down the name and ID number of the person you talked to on the phone every time you are given information about your health insurance. File it exactly where your medical bill will go in the future.

Peace love and no more meltdowns
Shannon

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Pistons Game for Breast Cancer Survivors

Here I am sitting on the Pacer's bench right before all the Pistons ran out of the tunnel and entered the court right next to us.

Me and Rebecca in front of the court waiting to go out there. (in our pink Piston's gear)
Happy Halloween!!! My nephew, Drew, was the cutest little Mickey Mouse EVER.
My other nephew, Miles was the cutest little newborn pumpkin.

And Paige was the cutest white cat. We missed our Neice Lauren in her skunk costume, but she gets to wear it around the house a lot. Wish we could have been in two places at once.
That’s right. Pistons season started and I have already gone to a preseason game, the home opener and game 2. My friend and fellow natural cures buff who I met in the young adult’s support group, Rebecca, nominated me to be one of the nine breast cancer survivors who got to stay in a suite for game one. James Edwards (Buddha, one of the original Bad Boys) came up to the suite to sign autographs, but we weren’t there yet. We did though get to go to center court at halftime and we got a picture with Chauncey. I got to wave up to Kevin Schnieders and his father who were sitting in their season seats so they got to see it all. We walked by the sports writers and I saw Rick Mahorn (who probably also went up and signed autographs with Buddah because he is another notorious ex-Piston bad boy, but all the women up there had no clue who he was so they couldn’t tell me who the other guy who went up there was). He smiled at me and I said hi and he said hi back. We sat on the Pacer’s bench while we waited to get the picture. We were right there when all the Pistons came out. Rebecca and I stayed in the back of the group knowing that the player would be in the back of the picture since they are so tall. And then, I turned around and Chauncey walked right up to me. I said “CHAUNCEY!” and put out my hand and he shook it said hello and smiled. We were supposed to look at the picture, but I was too busy looking at Rip, Sheed, and all the rest of the guys warm up right next to us. I was looking at Afflalo, Amir and then I saw McDyess looking right at me so I said “Hi MyDyess and gave a little wave and he smiled (he has to have the nicest, most kind looking smile I have ever seen) and said hi back. Anyway, as you can see I was in heaven. We tried to get Chauncey to take a picture with me individually, but he said they weren’t supposed to and he had to warm up. He was very nice about it though.

Too fun. This was not on my bucket list, but had I known it could happen, I would have put it up there.

What else was fun was getting to know my friend Rebecca some more. We are fellow metestatic cancer survivors with liver ….we’ll call them polka dots. Polka dots sound about 100 times better than tumors. We both thought the other person had the whole natural cures thing figured out and also thought we both had everything together mentally. I was happy and relieved and so was she that we both have down times. We both have doubt, fear, anger, frustration, feelings of helplessness and on and on. Now I understand how you all see me. I always saw Rebecca as this girl who has it all figured out and has everything together. Things can seem much different from an outsider’s perspective. We both struggle just the same regardless of our outside composure. I’m not sure if anyone has everything all figured out.

Well, I hope you all like the new blog. I’m kind of sad knowing that I will most likely not get as many messages from all of you that I used to on the Caringbridge site. (I only got 1 so far) PLEASE email me if you need help figuring out how to post messages, become a follower or anything else. Also, please email me if you want the email notifications for my posts. Soon, I plan on doing more health lessons very soon. I kind of needed to just take one deep meaningful breath and go PHEW after all that work getting the blog up and going with all the pictures.

So, next Wednesday I am going back to MD Anderson. I guess the study sponsor (this unnamed woman who I am not allowed contact with) said that she WOULD in fact pay the rest of my travel expenses as well as all the past expenses. Still, right now I am out over $4,000 and I haven’t seen a penny yet. This is a little frustrating. Nonetheless, I fly out Wed night, go straight to MD Anderson, get blood work, sleep at Paul’s, go to my appointment in the morning, and then straight to the airport to fly back home on Thursday. I will get the blood test, but no scans. Then, December I have the scans and everything. I plan to go to Austin and visit this trip. I have a MRI scheduled for Tuesday here in Michigan first. We’;; try not to stress out and worry about those results.

You all might be happy to know that I am completely street legal now. I have insurance (in my car), Michigan registration, a Michigan license, and Michigan plates. I will never go through that yellow turning red light ever again. After my Rack Pack meeting this past Tuesday, I saw one cop in that same spot waiting to pull someone over for the same offense. Then, I saw another cop who had pulled over a person right around the corner. Both these cops stake out this spot every Tuesday night apparently. Now I know, and knowing is half the battle.

Okay, that’s all for now. I’ll post again soon.

Goooooooo Pistons!!!
Shannon

darker pink dots