Cold and Flu season is here !

Wash your hands ! ‘Tis the season for runny noses, sneezing, congestion, coughs , fevers, aches , chills headaches and general fatigue. Is it a common cold or the flu? Some people aren’t sure of the difference so here is a simple chart to determine what illness you may have.

The flu shot can help prevent influenza but not the common cold. I’ve been told that this year they have it right ( all the right combinations of flu strains to fight this years bugs ). Washing your hands and sanitizing at home and at work is the best way to prevent the spreading of all the germs.

Working in healthcare for years has made me a little bit of a ‘germaphobe’. At work, I always wipe the desk and area I am working at before I deal with patients. At home, I change my kitchen and bathroom towels often and Lysol constantly ( in bathrooms especially ) but all around the house. When I am in public, I try to wash my hands before eating at a restaurant and carry hand sanitizer with me. Nurses , I am sure you can relate.

When I was a nursing student /and in the first year of me working in emerg , I remember getting everything , colds , bugs galore , and then it’s like my immune system finally caught up and was like ‘ okay I am used to having exposure to all of this ‘ . I would catch the odd thing here and there, but nothing crazy. Then since 2016, when my immune system weakened due to having cancer. Realizing the why totally made sense why I got so many colds and illnesses including hand , foot and mouth disease ( totally terrible by the way) leading up to and before I was sick. Now , I think being work for months lowered my immune system again and now I am back to ‘ getting used to the bugs’.

Since returning back just five months ago, I have been good overall but guess what season it is? Cold and flu! Since the beginning of November , this is my second cold. Which apparently has just turned into a sinus infection having me on antibiotics and nasal spray. I feel so tired and low energy. Hope this passes soon!

I know it’s temporary but I do get myself irritated that I am cancelling plans and not enjoying the things I want to, because in reality it is ‘ just a cold’. I have been through way worse and I don’t like complaining about the little things. I am sure some of you can relate. In saying this, I will admit colds and flus knock us down and the nurse in me will always say , rest, get lots of fluids / have your tea and bath, and yes , take meds! ( Tylenol or Advil cold )! Why suffer through the symptoms right?

I am a total believer of listening to your body. It may make me seem weak when I cancel going to a parade with family , or cancel Black Friday shopping and dinner with my husband , but it helps keep me stay strong. If that makes any sense at all? Don’t feel guilty doing this. Whether it’s for your physical or mental health. Listen to your body. If you are tired , rest. If you are overwhelmed, breathe. If you are hungry, eat. If you’re feeling rundown , stay in. Life should really be that simple. But , I know in reality, with the pressure of work , not missing it due to a little cold etc , and the pressures of commitments it’s easier said than done.

This brings me to my next point, work. Working full time is good for the bank account , helps pay the mortgage, ( after being off for a long period of time , it wasn’t easy) but it causes a lot of pressure when we aren’t feeling 100%. Since being back to work, I am exposed to so much taking care of the sick everyday. Yet, our sick days as nurses are limited and you can’t call in for every little thing, which in turn places those I care for at risk of illness when they have come to the hospital for health. Makes sense doesn’t it? Not really. In the end, do what you have to do.

I plan on spending my weekend resting. I hope to feel better tomorrow to go out with my husband for a little shopping and maybe do dinner. Then , he has his hockey game ( Go Leafs Go) and we may put up the tree this weekend. That’s about it!

Hope you and yours are well. When you don’t have your health , you have nothing at all. Get your flu shot! Every time I have gone to get it, I started being sick , and they say not to do it when your immune system could be low. P.S. I hate to complain about a silly cold, but this one has really knocked me down. ( Not so fun Fact: did you know the grocery store is the worst spot to catch something? Those carts, are they ever washed ? Upon recovering from surgeon, my doctor told me to avoid the grocery store for a few weeks).

Stay healthy! Stay warm! Til next time,

Lo xx 😷💜

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Here comes the sun ☀️🌻🎶

The Beatles • Here Comes the Sun

Here comes the sun, here comes the sun
And I say it’s all right

Little darling, it’s been a long cold lonely winter
Little darling, it feels like years since it’s been here

Here comes the sun, here comes the sun
And I say it’s all right

Little darling, the smiles returning to the faces
Little darling, it seems like years since it’s been here

Here comes the sun, here comes the sun
And I say it’s all right

Sun, sun, sun, here it comes
Sun, sun, sun, here it comes
Sun, sun, sun, here it comes
Sun, sun, sun, here it comes
Sun, sun, sun, here it comes

Little darling, I feel that ice is slowly melting
Little darling, it seems like years since it’s been clear

Here comes the sun, here comes the sun
And I say it’s all right
Here comes the sun, here comes the sun
It’s all right, it’s all right.

I’ll be honest, sunflowers have never been my favourite flower, until I saw this quote. ” I want to be like a sunflower, so even on my darkest days, I will stand tall and find the sunlight”. I now have a new appreciation for the golden sunflower.

  • I have been speaking openly about my physical health journey for awhile now. Just going to give a little or lengthy ( sorry there’s a lot) recap below :
    • My ovarian cancer diagnosis and emergency surgery in December 2016, for the [removal of right ovary/ tumour / appendix / and bowel resection which was endometriosis not metastasis in my bowel ] luckily only needing surgery and no chemo or radiation. Complications : Having bowel obstruction/ blood loss post operatively needing blood transfusions.
      Having to undergo my second surgery seven short months after the first ( in July 2017) for my gallbladder removal, leading to a seven week hospitalization for what I thought was a bowel obstruction post -op turned into:
      Sepsis / bowel perforation
      Bilateral pleural effusions (both lungs filled with fluid which made me extremely short of breath & caused me the worst lung pain ever )
      Severe anemia / [needing blood transfusions] Malnourishment [needing a PICC line for TPN- as I hadn’t been able to eat anything orally for week.
      Many procedures [many interventional radiology appointments to insert four drains into different locations of my abdomen for drainage /of the bacterial infections. (***Side note – probably the MOST traumatic experience by far, painful and being wide awake being poked at , wasn’t pleasant at all)
      The treatments I needed during my ICU and surgical floor stay [multiple IV fluids / antibiotics / pain medications / vac dressing to my abdominal wound that opened up my abdomen from the huge infection ( later causing my hernia ) on my incision.
      I spent months recovering and regaining my muscle mass and strength once I was home, as I hadn’t been able to eat or drink fluids or walk for probably 5-6 weeks.
      I was on oral antibiotics for weeks and weeks. Overtime ,feeling stronger and regaining my health, nourishing my body and regaining strength, also going to many doctor follow up appointments.
      Then Again, it happened. I needed a third surgery in January 2018, for a incisional hernia repair (that has developed from the weakening of my abdominal wall from my abdominal wound /sepsis – they warned me ) . Luckily no complications and I came home the same day. Third times a charm.
      Overall, I was off work over a year and a half , and underwent extensive physiotherapy three times a week for eight weeks to help rebuild my stamina and strengthening which helped immensely.
      Hypothyroidism , iron deficiency anemia, chronic bowel issues and back pain have become then physical conditions that I am left with on a daily basis since my journey started.
      I am back to work, full time as a nurse and have my cancer clinic follow ups every six months. My regular bloodwork is ” normal” and I follow with my family doctor often.

    Physical health is definitely linked to your mental and emotional health. It’s all a part of the dimensions of wellness. You can’t have one without another being affected. An example of this for me has been after my physical journey , I was feeling better physically, but my mental health has been unstable. I have suffered from really bad anxiety even during and after my hospital stays. The worry of what if’s , and when, knowing too much has been a blessing and a curse all in one. I have gained immense strength from my journey and overall am proud of how well I am doing today, but mentally I am left with the after math every single day.

    Just in the past few months, I would say, I have acknowledged the fact that I have post traumatic stress disorder , also known as PTSD. My doctors have brought this up months ago, but I was feeling pretty good, now it’s hit me, this is what they were talking about. I hate this term for many reasons , I don’t even know why. It’s not that I am embarrassed, but I don’t want it labelled on my forehead or to be associated with the many stigmas associated with this disorder. Not because I am ashamed, but I truly feel that this and many other mental health disorders are not truly understood. I feel that sometimes it’s because people don’t want to understand it. It’s simpler to explain a physical illness, you have ” this disease”, take this medication and it helps you, for example , high blood pressure , diabetes , etc.

    I am not crazy, I do not want attention, and yes , maybe I do need help. ( Does that make me weak? No! I feel I am stronger for actually realizing I have been suffering from PTSD, and go to talk about my feelings and symptoms associated with it).

    For me , its much easier for me to share stories about my physical journey in the past two years than my mental health through it. Being a cancer and sepsis survivor, gives me a piece of pride. ” I did it ” , ” I conquered ” , ” I survived ” and these are statements to be proud of. In many moments of darkness, I found the light. I carried on when I didn’t think I could. In many days of pure doom, I was braver than I ever thought I could be. Sometimes , you don’t know how much you can endure, until you honestly have no other choice in this world, then to face your deepest fear and say, ” I have to do this “.

    In these above moments, two things happen: you become a warrior to the largest battles you’ll ever have to fight , and you go through something that will affect you months later, like I am now. This is called PTSD. It’s the weirdest thing. I almost feel like I am watching the movie of my traumatic experiences played back in slow motion. It’s the only way I can describe it.

    It’s unfortunate that it is associated with such stigma. Is it because mental health , such as anxiety , depression or in my case post traumatic stress disorder , isn’t as obvious as physical ailments , therefore making it difficult for those around you to see what you are actually facing now that the fight and the worst is over. I don’t know how many times , I have heard others ( including my close friends and family) , say to me ” That’s in the past now “, ” You need to get over it”, ” Move on”, or ” its over now “, and every single time I hear it, it makes me upset. It makes me feel guilty for having these feelings.

    If only it were that easy. Do you think I want to hold onto the scariest and hardest moments of my life? Do I purposely play this movie for enjoyment ? The short answer is, no! I want to move on from these experiences. ( Which I will have to write a whole other blog on that topic, life after PTSD… because yes, it changes you in many ways)

    I do try to do things to help me strive. Counselling has been a part of my life since I have had a cancer diagnosis at the age of 32. Since, my anxiety has been high so I was going because of that. Most recently, I have started going again after I received the diagnosis of PTSD. My symptoms have been anything from and not limited to : being emotional and teary, irritable / and angry , having flashbacks and recollections of my past events in the hospital , finding it difficult to relate with others at work etc, feeling isolated and alone , having difficulty sleeping and trouble focusing on daily tasks. I would want to talk about what’s on my mind, but almost feel guilty for talking about it, thinking I am annoying or bothering others with talking about my ” past” again, so I would keep it all in.

    It’s been a long two years. Sometimes it’s easy to forget who you are, after a trauma or illness , is like your lost with your own identity. I know that sounds weird but you forget who you were before the trauma or illness happened. I am trying to remind myself that I am a nurse. I am a wife. A dog mom. A daughter. A friend, and I hope to be a mother one day soon. My biggest wish to myself and all of those suffering from PTSD, is to feel like yourself again. It’s challenging, it’s days that you feel more ” you” and you feel like this is going to be okay, to days where you feel all of the trauma is back again to haunt you. It’s something that’s with me everyday. Somedays more than others. So, as the Beetles song says ” Here comes the sun”, I am ready for the sunshine. It’s all right.

    To all of you suffering from PTSD, or any mental health disorder for that matter. Hang in there. Time will help you heal. I am still healing. Its not a fast process. It’s not linear. You will have days that you feel you’re getting over it, and others you’re going backwards. No matter what, keep going. Don’t get discouraged if you ” fall “. I am growing and I am learning to stand tall even on my darkest days. To any of you who have been through the physical road first, remember those days that you didn’t think you’d get through, well you did. You can do this too. I promise. I am xx Lo 💛🌻

    A year. 💖💪🏼

    Just sharing one of my most recent Instagram posts since I think it’s fitting for many who have maybe had some struggles mentally, emotionally or physically. Hope this gives you a little light of how much can change in a year. Some years it may not be drastic, or maybe it is night and day. . Either way, try and embrace the changes. The good. The bad, Or the same. Find the light in your life. I just did. 💡

    A lot can happen in a year. This is especially true for me. Thinking back to my life a year ago, I was post-op, so unhealthy , sick, sitting in a hospital bed for 7 weeks hoping I would get better and be home to my boys. Now, I am HEALTHY, enjoying summer , how I am supposed to be ( went to visit my beautiful hometown with my husband🌊, enjoyed celebrating my birthday with family🎉, went to a comedy show in TO last weekend with family😀 ) and have been back to work almost 8 weeks. Bring on the 12 hour shifts this week. Lol Life is good! 🙌🏼☺️ It has been said ‘that time heals all wounds’. I do not agree. The wounds remain. In time, the mind, protecting its sanity, covers them with scar tissue and the pain lessens. But it is never gone. _______________________________________________

    We have to realize that our lives could be gone in a moment. There are no guarantees that we will be here at this time next year. Learn to live each day to the fullest. Be grateful for the opportunity to experience each day. Never regret a day in your life. The best days give us happiness and memories. The bad , even the worst days give us experience and teach us lessons. Learn to appreciate the good ones. Just the little things. It’s so easy to forget how important life is but lately I’ve been thinking a lot about ‘ last year ‘, as a year ago was a lot different than it is now for me. Sometimes we need a reminder to realize how good we have it now. Life experience is everything. I’m so grateful! Enjoy everyday ! Wishing everyone a healthy & happy summer !

    _________________________________________________

    “Owning your story is the bravest thing you’ll ever do” ~ Brene Brown 💖💪🏼☺️ #liveeachday #sometimesweneedreminders #onedayatattime #thinkwhereyouwereayearago #stronghealthyhappy #alotcanhappeninayear #grateful #sometimesitsnightandday #mystorymyjourney #cancerandsepsissurvivor #itsthelittlethings #summer2018isamazing

    PS. Life experiences are definitely amazing , the good and the bad. The good allows us to make memories and smile and laugh with the best people on this earth. The bad and even the worst times that have us struggling and crying and in my case so sick, allow us to appreciate the good times that much more.

    This is key. I’ve heard this time and time again and it couldn’t be more true. Find the light in the darkness. Find the good in your bad day. This has especially opened my eyes since my health journey / struggle since the Fall of 2016, it has allowed me to appreciate the good in life ( sometimes it takes a true struggle to realize how lucky you are). I am grateful but I will be honest , sometimes like all humans , we need a reminder.

    For some reason , tonight , my eyes opened to what my life was like a year ago and wow , life is so much better now. I am healthy. I am able to work. I am enjoying time with family and friends. Trips to the city and vacations back home. We will always have stress of some kind ( financial / emotional ) because life happens … we just spent unexpected $$$ on my husband’s car this week, ( but it’s a car), and I’m back working and it is what it is. No point stressing, right??? Wrong.  I did for few days as we were both worked up together ($$$$$ / what if it’s the transmission etc etc)  , my hubby and I tend to stress well together. Go over the worst case scenarios and jump to conclusions too quickly.   lol  But I am trying/ we are trying.    🤣😳🙈🚗 ( Side note: It was NOT the transmission. Car works fine now)

    I’m not perfect.  I am really trying to appreciate the good and not stress over things we can’t control ( although that’s a whole other post… I have come a long way, I think letting the dog hair gather up for weeks on end not being able to vacuum or move much at times , helped me with some of the ‘let it go’ mentality, although I have a long ways to go yet.. haha ) Appreciate the good in your life. Finding the good in your day is key to living a good life. The memories made with family recently in my hometown seeing the sunsets , boating and biking and celebrating my 34th 🎉🎂, laughing hysterically at a comedy show have been my personal highlights ! Being back to work and doing what I love has been nice too, the social interaction and laughing and talks with coworkers , ( I knew I had a passion for nursing but I really love helping others, it’s really allowed me to find purpose again and has been nice to be back with my patients) Work hard, Play harder is my new motto. Stop waiting for Friday, for summer , for life to get easier. There will always be something! Enjoy today. It’s a good life we live ! 🙌🏼☀️💖

    Wishing you all a HEALTHY and happy summer 2018!!!! That’s all I want! — Lo

    Don’t you dare rain on my parade !!! ☔️

    I have come to a point in my life where I have realized that I really don’t have time for negative, judgemental toxic people. We are all in control of our own happiness and a part of that is choosing who is in our circle. Who we want in our parade. It’s time to surround yourself with those who bring out the best in you, not the stress in you.

    Life is short. I remind myself daily to enjoy every single day and I always try and find the good. ( There is always good, some days it’s just harder to find). Everyone in our lives has their own opinions, ( and yes they may be different than our own), but if it always seems negative, unsupportive , hurtful and rude , then why do you need this? Friends are supposed to raise us up, not bring us down. Why are you allowing that person to stress you out ? Bring you down and perhaps question what you’re thinking or doing? Everyone has opinions , yes, but the difference between an opinion and being judgmental is, if you don’t ask what they think, then why are you sharing their negative ,rude, judging behaviour about something that you are enjoying, that you am using, that you plan to do. That’s not love. That’s not being kind.

    If you are anything like me, when someone judges you, says something negative about whatever it is that is going on in your life, something that you’re doing/ using, you get defensive. You even would have to either bite your tongue, or usually you reply standing up for yourself and this causes stress that you don’t even need in your life. An argument or a debate that is totally unnecessary and ridiculous. Ask yourself why this is even happening and don’t even allow it. You do not, I repeat, do not need to justify what you are doing/ using and why. Stay confident , be strong, and distance yourself from this. It is your life remember !

    Let’s go back a little bit , I remember from my high school days ( approximately 16-18 years ago– *don’t judge me* haha) when a certain ” friend ” would make me feel guilty for having a boyfriend, or make me feel bad for not going to her party on a Friday night just because I didn’t feel like it or for who knows what else, time and time again, It happened. I always felt the need to explain myself. Later in life, when I looked back at why this girl made me feel this way? I realized , it was to make her feel better. Some people are like that, they drag others down to make themselves feel better. It happened then, it happens now. Don’t allow it.

    Pick people who share your same energy. Positive , supportive people who are your cheerleaders in life , who don’t judge you , no matter what. Those are the people who get you. Keep them. They belong in our parade.

    At the end of the day, life is busy enough with work, housework , family, so keep things simple. Choose who you let in. If you find yourself stressing out, look at the reason, and ask yourself why? Why am I even allowing this ? You need to make you happy, that’s it, that’s all. Don’t let people rain on your parade. Because let’s be honest, you’re parade is pretty amazing!

    This quote is a pretty cute reminder about life! 🍑

    Til next time…. Lo xx 😘☔️

    Enjoy every moment. 🌷🙏🏼

    2018 is a new year. A year for health and wellness improvements. A year to set new goals and resolutions for yourself (if you’re into that kind of thing.). A new start’, ‘ a new me’ mindset, it’s about setting goals for yourself, whether it’s to lose weight, go to the gym or knock some bad habits. It’s a new year. A chance for a new you.

    My 2018 manta is to enjoy every moment. I have realized especially over the past year or so , that life is so short. I know that we always say that, but it really is. We get one shot. One journey. That’s it, that’s all. We don’t know what tomorrow brings or how our future will go. All we can do is enjoy the days. Be grateful for the good. ( and yes, there is always good).

    I read a quote not long ago and it inspired me. I now think twice when something unfortunate happens to me and try to let it go. The quote is , ” was it a bad day?, or ” was it a bad five minutes that you milked all day?” It’s so true. How many times have you had one or two small things go wrong and it’s been the topic of conversation of the entire day, or at least half of your day… You have stressed yourself out over spilling your coffee, waking up late and rushing to work scattered, or you got into an argument with a friend , husband , or loved one and have carried the mood with you for the day and it’s interrupted any positive or good for that day because you are holding onto to something way longer than you should have ? ( Here is your chance to rethink ) . Just try next time and see if you can let it go!

    If you’re anything like me, you overthink things. You go round and round with one tiny idea or problem and allow it to be a larger issue than it is. You speak of it for hours and let it consume your day. You drive your spouse or best friend insane because you share every single detail of your unfortunate event or ‘ bad day’ experience because you’re so upset, pissed off at or just want to cry and give up because of it ?? Sound familiar??

    Anxiety is a very powerful thing. It’s so much more common than I ever knew , and if I would have known that’s what kept me up at night for years , I could have had many more sleep filled nights. LOL. But seriously. Try and train your mind. Just like we want to feed our bodies with healthy foods and tons of water , and exercise for health and weight reasons, our mind needs nourishing too. Feed it positive thoughts.

    Your mind believes what we tell it to. In the past six months particularly, I have really tried to control my mind and not allow it to control me. Sure, counselling and meditation can help , but it’s been the journaling, positive mindset quotes, and training myself to change the way I think. It’s not easy and it’s definitely not something you can do overnight, but I’m learning and and am much more aware. I have learned for me that expectations often lead to disappointments, so try not to set myself up for failure. Live in the moment.

    My year has been filled with a series of unexpected , unfortunate events with my health ( I have now endured three surgeries in thirteen months — along with some complications and new health issues that has me off work, and I am currently freshly recovering from my latest one) Not only has this year changed me as a person , but it has inspired me to enjoy the journey. Create memories and enjoy the moments.

    Days happen. Good and bad. Yes, there are bad , awful days or moments. Sometimes we are given bad news , or stress about a situation that we can’t control. We need to learn to cope with it to the best of our abilities. Be there for the ones we love and try and understand that we all deal with things in a different way. Sometimes there is no right or wrong way , it’s just different. I am still learning this as my husband and I are polar opposites at times and when we are faced with a stressful situation , our reactions are black and white.

    Be the best you. Try and enjoy the moments. It’s all we can do. I am not trying to paint a picture that I am always filled with happiness, rainbows and butterflies , because that is definitely by far not the case, but everyday ( okay most days), I try. I try to be the best me I can be. I try not to stress over things I can’t control. I try and come up with a plan and then let it go for the day ( sometimes allowing yourself a time limit to talk about something works for me , then let it go for the day) . I am enjoying the moments. I enjoy time on the couch with my husband , I enjoy time with my nephew and sister in law, I enjoy the phone chats with my mom, I enjoy the hot shower in the morning, and I enjoy amazing foods and coffee. What have you enjoyed today??????

    P.S. I have learned that self-care is so important…. take a bath, blare your favourite songs, paint your nails, go for a walk ( if it’s not too cold out there) , or just watch a show or movie on the couch with your favourite tea or alcoholic drink! Try and keep things simple!

    P.S.S. Health is a gift. I am so thankful that my post op experience is going as expected this time!!!

    Til next time xx, Lo 💞💪🏼

    Inspire. Breathe. Repeat.

    The past six months of my life have literally flashed before my eyes. The calender pages have turned, the seasons have changed from spring to summer to fall. Now winter is upon us, without much warning at all. The brisk cool winter air reminds me of my health over the last year, so very quickly altering without a chance to adjust my sails in the storm.

    In a nutshell, I’ve been healthy for 32 years and then within the past 11 months I’ve been told:

    • I had ovarian cancer ( had surgery removing one of my ovaries for this, a bowel resection for endometriosis and removed my appendix).
    • Three months later , I developed gallbladder issues ( requiring another surgery to remove it) ,had a bowel obstruction from the anesthetic after this surgery, then developed sepsis ( a huge infection) after my gallbladder was removed , where I spent 6 weeks of my life / summer in the hospital — just over one week of that in the ICU), where I became extremely malnourished , lost about 25 pounds, developed pleural effusions ( fluid in my lungs) , a fast heart rate , had four drains in my abdomen draining out the infection , was on very strong antibiotics and many medications , and basically was the sickest I have ever been in my entire life.
    • Now four months after my last surgery, I have recently been told I have an incisional hernia from the complications of everything and now need another surgery in January.

    Overwhelmed is an understatement. Life happens whether we’re ready or not. The good. The bad. The ugly. I am going to dedicate this post to my health over the past year. To the challenges, the constant roller coaster , the anxiety , and the grateful attitude I try to hold with me during it all. Being a nurse , knowing far too much about the diagnoses, the side effects, the medications , the lab values, the equipment used , and the risks of the procedures and tests, have made this journey the most difficult experience that I have ever had to endure in the past 33 years of my life.

    I try to live everyday with a positive and full heart however , no matter what you go through some days are easier than others. Sometimes a bad day turns to a bad week, or a bad month, or a bad year. Being enthusiastic about life is definitely not the easiest thing to do 24/7. You get worn down to such a thin level of even being able to cope with daily life. I am sure a lot of you can relate to this on many different levels. Whether it be stress from work, home , health or finances. Sometimes enough is enough. Yes , Sure I am so lucky to be alive. I count my blessings as often as possible. I am very thankful for my amazing and supportive family and friends. Without them , I would be a lot worse off than I currently am.

    However , lately I’ll be honest it has been really difficult for me not to play the ” why me’s” in my head. I try and tell myself ‘this too shall pass’. But so far it hasn’t gone anywhere. The blocks keep building and I’m standing inside.

    About two weeks ago, I was getting bloodwork done as I was having some hair loss , ( oh yes , one of the other side effects of being so sick) , I thought maybe my iron or thyroid was extremely off to cause this and of course wanted a quick fix to a problem, no such luck. So , yes about two weeks ago I was at the lab sitting in the chair waiting to be poked for the 1000th time this year.

    I looked up, in front of me was a woman who appeared younger than me , who with my very observant nurse brain , I noticed that she had hand deformities on both of her hands with scarring. She was very thin and frail and had white pale skin. She was speaking to the lady taking her blood loud enough for me to hear across the room, ” I’m doing so much better this time than the last time I was here ” , she said. The lady smiled while drawing blood from her sticklike arm and said, ” yes , the last time you could barely walk , you look better now , you put on some weight.” (To me , she still looked fairly unwell but as I have personally found out , a month of healing makes the world of difference. )

    She looked over at me , we smiled at each other. To her, I looked ‘ healthier‘ than her , but little did she know I was smiling as I could relate so well with the feeling of being so unwell and weak. The frustration and struggle of not being able to walk independently . Being so young and feeling like you were much older. As I smiled , I thought to myself this was me just a few months prior. I am on my way to health. Hopefully she is too.

    After I walked out to my car that day , I thought to myself ‘ wow! That lady inspired me. ‘ She seemed so positive and happy, yet so sick. Inspiration is in our daily lives, we truly just have to look for it. Sometimes we try not to or we don’t realize this as we are far too busy, or too stressed, or staring at our phones. In turn, we could be inspiring others without knowing. We need to remember this.

    I forgot how great it feels to be free with my thoughts on paper , or on computer screen I guess . * laugh out loud *. So I hope that somehow or in some way , this blog has inspired you. That was my intention. I am also breathing in and out while I end with one of my favourite sayings:

    This is also a reminder to myself. The days are feeling longer. The sky darkening sooner. Winter is here. Instead of thinking of the cold snow, cleaning off your covered and iced cars, think of the magic. Christmas is an amazing time of year. I’ve pushed my energy into getting into the season this year with some holiday baking and Christmas card making ( I will share in a following post) . Anyways, take care of yourselves. I am trying too. Good thing life only happens day by day, that’s as much as I am handling right now.

    ‘Til next time,

    Lo xx ♥️😗

    Health 💜

    Never take your health for granted. I have recently realized how important it was to make my health a priority. It’s crazy how fast things change without even knowing they will.   I have themed many posts and Instagram hashtags about health & wellness these days. Whether it’s related to eating well, exercising or just living life in a happy and stress free way.  I have truly become aware of its true meaning and how important it is.   Unfortunately , sometimes it takes losing something you’ve had to realize how vital it is when you don’t have it.  

    After 32 years of only a few hospital visits for stitches and two broken collar bones, I have been so lucky and blessed to be overall very healthy. The Fall of 2016 changed my fortune but I still have the mentality that , it could always be worse.  In saying this, even when you have a positive outlook on life, there are still bad days.   There are days where you just feel you cannot be glass half full, days where people tell you that it is all going to be okay & you feel like it’s hard to smile.  This is okay.  As long as your positive days outweigh your negative ones.   Sometimes when you don’t feel well, you feel defeated and you feel like ” okay I’ve seriously had enough ” and that is totally how I have been lately since I just found out I need another surgery. 😦 

    Cancer has definitely changed my outlook , and the life of my family.  My surgery was frightening for all and my recovery was long.  I was brave and got through it with amazing nurses , doctors and my supportive family at my side.   


    Nobody wants to have surgery or be sick. Especially when you are unsure what to expect , (or sadly you do because you just endured it, ) or if you suffer from anxiety like me.  I have learned to crawl ( when you can’t walk) through the many hoops,  to look back and say ” I did it”.  I am stronger because of this. 

    The point of this blog is to say: I have been healthy. I have been sick.  I have been told I had cancer , but surgery was the only treatment I needed.  And for that , I am truly blessed.   I am one of the lucky ones. I do try and live every single day with a grateful heart. 

    I have recovered from my major surgery, I got back on my feet, generally feeling well. I have even returned to work to take care of others who are sick and need care.  

    And then… last week while at work, I had some symptoms which had me check into my doctor ( which I did way faster than last time I was sick) – sometimes you do live and you learn , and realize health isn’t something to play around with.  I had bloodwork.  I had an ultrasound. I worried about my results thinking the worst…what will they find ( anxiety and waiting aren’t a good combination) ,  but my results showed that I am hypothyroid and need to be started on thyroid meds which isn’t the end of the world ( it runs in my family – my mom, aunts , cousins all have it) & my gallbladder needs to be removed.   YES, another surgery for me.    I cannot believe my luck.   Waiting for surgeon consult , eating only rice cakes , and low fat flavoured rice and iced tea and Gatorade basically right now.  I am thankful for anything I can keep *in* at this point.   


    This too will pass.   I am going to get through this as I did with my past health experience.  It should be much simpler this time ,as my mom reminds me .  So, as mom also says and reminding myself too. ” Keep your chin up. ”

    .. Til next time ( I know it’s been awhile-  hopefully not as long til my next post… I have missed it…& hope this helps anyone it can) 

    Xx  😘 Lo