Breast MRI

In case you’re new here….here is a little background on why I need breast MRIs at the ripe young age of 31:

My mom was diagnosed with stage 2b breast cancer a year ago October. She, however, is not the only female in my family that has had to hear such terrible news. My paternal aunt, and several other great aunts have also had breast cancer. After speaking with my midwife and a genetics counselor, it was determined that I needed to be screened every six months. That screening started a year ago with a mammogram. I have very dense breasts and density is pretty hard to see through on a mammo. It’s not impossible, but further screening with an MRI is even better than a mammo.

I had my first MRI last June. That was horrible. I cannot even recall if I wrote about it–I don’t think I did. The worst part was laying prone (face down) in a tube for 45 minutes. I did take some medication to help me relax but it did not work very well. The sound alone was terrible and that first time, I was not offered any music.

This time, I had music and different medication to help me relax. I was also able to rest my arms in a different position which was more comfortable. Also, my mom came with me. Knowing that she was there and waiting for me made me feel so much better. She was able to go with me to get my IV for the contrast and waited until it was time for me to go back.

The rest of the day I was very tired from the meds, but I am so thankful for how well this last time went. And the best part? The results are normal! They had me do this 2nd MRI so they could monitor some nodules that may have been worrisome and and no worrying is necessary! I am so thankful for this news and even more thankful to the amazing team of medical professionals I have behind me, encouraging me to screen more often. I am also so grateful for my family. I could not have done any of this without their support and love.

busy.

The last several months have been so busy I haven’t even thought about posting a blog. This will be a short one and I hope to write more later. For now, school has been going well. I am just about to finish Stats with an A (assuming I do well on the written final). I am right in the middle of Genetics and that has been going well too, however, it is a lot harder content wise than I was expecting. That class will go all the way through the Christmas break and I will then take Patho, Informatics, and World Views–then ALL my prerecs are done!

In October I had my interview with the school of nursing and that was also great. I loved meeting two wonderful women who help run the program. One even said she could see how passionate I am about this. I will hopefully hear for sure about my official admittance into the program by Christmas–fingers crossed! However, it may be as late as the middle of January, which is fine. I actually feel really great about everything, no matter what happens. I have done my best, and continue to do my best throughout the last 3 years of getting to this moment. As soon as I hear, I will update.

Thanksgiving was great. I had a lot of fun with my family. I cannot even express how grateful I am for the love we have and the people I get to share this life with. My husband is my #1 supporter, along with many others, but he gets to endure all the ups and downs of this process with me, on top of other normal life adventures, and I could not do any of this without him.

I hope you all had a great Thanksgiving.

xoxo

An Open Letter to Joy Behar

I was pissed when I heard about the comments made on The View regarding Kelley’s monologue as a nurse on Miss America. She hails from a town not far from me. She works with and knows several of the nurses I work with. While I have yet to meet her in person, this hit home, literally, harder than I expected. Being a nurse is so much more than a monologue. It is a lifestyle, a calling and for me, a passion. This letter to Joy is very well-said, respectful and just what the ladies at The View need to here.

According to Kateri; a Blog

As many of you have seen, Miss Coloradodelivered a beautifully spoken monologue about nursing during last week’s Miss America pageant. Recently, on The View as the pageant was discussed, Miss Colorado’s scrubs were referred to as a costume, and Joy posedthe question of why she was wearing a “doctor’s stethoscope.” Below is my now calmed down reply to all of it. Additionally, Iwould like to personally andpublicly congratulate Kelley Johnson RN on her chosen talent, it is one that will reward you forever.

Dear Joy Behar,

A beautiful woman in a beauty pageant put on baggy clothes and humbly walked across the stage to talk proudly about her career, and her passion for caring for other human beings, and the only thing you could muster in response was an insult grounded in ignorance.

Rather than being offended or getting angry, I will instead, take a moment to teach.

I am…

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the next few weeks

It’s September! And guess what? I am NOT crazy about fall. Not yet, anyway. I love the weather and fallish things that happen this time of year, but I am not ready for it. I LOVE summertime. I love the heat and the shorts and the flip flops. I love seeing my kids run through the sprinkler in the front yard and ride their bikes around the circle. I love sitting on the back patio with a beer at 9 pm while the temp is still 80*. And since it’s still over 90* here, I am not at all ready for wintertime. I am also not a huge fan of pumpkin spiced things. I like it, for a moment, but I don’t obsess over it like a lot of people seem to do. I think other hesitations in welcoming fall comes with the fact that I am {thisclose} to applying for nursing school. It is finally here and I’m kinda freaking out! I’m excited and nervous. I’ve been working towards this goal for a little over 3 years now and it’s finally happening! I have become quite comfortable taking my prerec classes online and managing my school life from a distance, but come April, I will be in class at least once a week applying my skills and becoming a nurse. WHAT?! There is also a tiny part of me that wonders, “WHAT IF I don’t get in?” For most reading this, I’m sure you’re shaking your head at me. I am a great student. I have worked really hard so I know that the chances of me not getting accepted in the program are very small compared to those in which I would get in. But it’s a hard, uneasy, exciting balance.

Over the next few weeks, I will be taking the TEAs test, a standardized entrance exam, attending a pre-BSN meeting, and starting my Statistics class. September, I’m sure, will fly by so I am willing to welcome fall once the temps have cooled down and these three school items are checked off my list.

I Had My Placenta Encapsulated

I have a pretty awesome friend who left Colorado (TEARS!) and moved back to her home state a few years back. Despite the distance, we keep in touch and she happens to have just had baby numero dos. Here, she writes about encapsulating her placenta. There are so many things to say about this. First, I think the idea behind doing this is awesome. If there is a way to prevent postpartum depression/anxiety, increase milk supply, decrease bleeding…why not? The idea of eating ones placenta, however, is not appetizing so I am grateful for the amazing women who have figured out a way to make them into vitamin-like capsules. I will write a more detailed post about this with more research and links at a later time. For now, enjoy reading about a personal experience.

I Had My Placenta Encapsulated.

coffee date

If we were going on a coffee date I’d tell you what’s on my heart…

I’d tell you that I am not crazy about the class I’m taking right now. It’s on the book of Psalms. It’s a required class since I am attending a Christian University for nursing school. I’d tell you that I enjoy how close it has made me feel to God but that the class itself I’m over.

I’d tell you that I have a new nephew. I’d tell you that he is super adorable and has the same little elf ear point that Evelyn had at birth (and she’s since grown into). I’d tell you loving another newborn that is not my own and is not my patient is a totally new feeling of love I’ve never felt before.

I’d tell you that my mom is doing amazingly after finishing her radiation in mid July. I’d tell you that her hair is growing back super fast and that she looks beautiful.

I’d tell you that we took a famiy vacation to the mountains and it was, at the time, exactly what my soul needed. Fresh air, sunshine, and freedom really did this body good.

I’d tell you that being a mom has been hard this summer. My kids are growing and learning and becoming amazing humans and with all that growth and learning comes challenges. I’d tell you that they push all the buttons I didn’t even know I had. I’d tell you that I keep praying for constant patience and love. It’s getting better, but it’s been hard.

I’d tell you that emotionally, I’ve been struggling. Things have been hard lately and I can only hope that I’ll learn from it all. I only ever want to come out of hard times stronger and more resiliant with a better sense of who I am. It’s happening. Slowly.

I’d tell you that a sweet little boy, precious little man, has grown his angel wings far too soon. I’d tell you that my heart is breaking for his mama and daddy, two amazing friends we’ve known and loved for a long time. Saying goodbye to your child is something no parent should ever have to do. I’d tell you I find myself in constant prayer for them, for peace, love, comfort and healing. But my heart is still so sad.

I’d tell you all of this, over coffee and a box of kleenex because crying has become therapy. It’s been a long time since I have been feeling this emotional. At first, I want to fight it. I want to shove all these feelings into a deep hole so I don’t even have to think about it, but that ends up hurting more and does me do good. Welcoming the feelings, ALL the feelings, is healthy. It’s not easy. In fact, it’s really hard. And even more, sharing all this is hard. But I felt that I had to. I can only fake my feelings for so long before people can tell I’m not being myself. I hate when even I know I’m not being myself.

I’d tell you I get it. I’d tell you that I care about you, that your feelings are valid and I’d give you a hug.