Monday, January 31, 2011

Ruthless Trust

I took crazy to a whole new level today.

It all began around 6 a.m., as I dragged my exhausted body out of bed to join Kevin for a training run on the treadmills at the gym. It was too cold for us to go outside, or so we tell ourselves.

I was still half asleep when I got to the gym. I didn’t even have my running shoes on yet. I was holding onto them until the bitter moment when I had to step on that treadmill for a little 6.5 mile jog. I wasn’t happy about this run. In fact, I was mad.

Mad at myself. I felt like a failure on my 16 mile run Saturday. I felt like I should have done better, gone faster, finished stronger. I forgot about this disease and surgery less than 4 months ago. I couldn’t recall the Lupron that has been invading my body for 3 months. None of that reached my mind. Instead, I thought about my weakness, fatigue, and struggling pace.

The despairing thoughts had pulled me under all weekend.  I hated my body for not performing. I hated myself more than the drug and disease that was attacking me. With my trainer mentality, I thought over and over, “No excuses. You can do better”.

So I carried my running shoes into the gym with my socks on. Partly because I have so many blisters and a black toe that hurts like hell with my shoes on. But the main reason was because I didn’t want to run. I didn’t want to hit the feelings of fatigue and failure once again.

I started out normal. I warmed up slow, watching my HR rise higher than ever. But then the anger took over and I got out of control. I started going faster. And faster. And faster. Finally, I was sprinting as fast as I could, while Kevin jogged beside me. He brought up the fact that we were on a “recovery day” with only 6 miles at a light pace. But I ignored the work out that I had written up weeks before.

I sprinted away, ranting about my abnormally high heart rate. Kevin brought up his meal at PF Changs yesterday, and I went a little more crazy. “Do you know how much sodium is in that meal?”. Then I proceeded to look up the nutritional info on my iphone while pounding away the miles. It was ludicrous, really.

After I finished a rough 6.5 miles, I went to the locker room and cried for a good couple of hours. No joke. I just sat there, crying. My bones hurt and my body was numb. Hormones and my ego had gotten the best of me.

It was during my desperate and pathetic state on the locker room floor that I came to my senses. Or rather God opened my eyes to the big pity party I was throwing. He reminded me of Joseph, who was kidnapped and sold into slavery by his own brothers. Then accused of rape by the queen and thrown into prison. It took years, but God’s purpose behind the suffering came to pass. Joseph was delivered from suffering and placed in a noble position, later saving his family and many others from a massive famine.

“Then Joseph said to them, ‘Don’t be afraid...You planned evil against me; God planned it for good to bring about the present result - the survival of many people”. ~Genesis 50:20

Where am I going with this? Obviously, I have not been kidnapped, thrown into slavery, accused of rape, or stuck in prison. But I have been suffering emotionally and physically. I have been going through this crazy hell for what feels like forever. And I have been trusting.

Trusting that God is here with me. That He never left me or forgot me.

Trusting that God still loves me, always. Even when I’m obnoxious and stupid, stomping away on that treadmill.

Trusting that God has a reason for all this pain. A reason for allowing the disease, the drug, and the suffering to break my heart.

"I will not leave you as orphans 
[comfortless, desolate, bereaved, forlorn, helpless]; 
I will come [back] to you.”
~ John 14:18 (Amplified Bible)

He said that he would never leave. 

I’m trusting in those words tonight, tomorrow, and for all time. 

Saturday, January 29, 2011

I Shall Not Walk Alone

“Don’t be a hypocrite”. The words were spoken with the best of intentions from Kevin, as I lay curled up in a ball after we ran today. It was hours after we finished and I was still in my running shorts. Kevin was telling me to get up and eat. I kept saying that I would...when I felt better. My bones were aching. My body hurt. And I didn’t want to move.

I wanted to close my eyes and fall asleep for as long as possible. I didn’t care how stupid I was being to my body. I felt horrible and nothing mattered at the time. The nausea that had depleted me of fuel the past couple of days was still hanging on. I was dehydrated and falling apart.

The 16 miles tore me up today.

After the run, I feel just as bad as I look

I did pretty well until around mile 12, considering that I wasn’t able to keep food or water down at all yesterday. With about 4 miles left to go, the crazy dry mouth from the Lupron made it hard to breathe (dehydration wasn’t helping the situation either). My throat was sore and screaming. My lungs were gasping for air. My usually low heart rate was soaring above 185 (its been high since the first injection). And my bones were stinging. This drug messes with the body...big time.

Eventually, I did finish the run. Kevin practically carried me the rest of the way with encouraging words.

The trainee had become the trainer.

“You always tell me to eat, eat, eat. I know you don’t feel good, but you have to try. Don’t be a hypocrite”, he said again to me, “get up and eat something”. 

He was right. I knew it. I had to force some kind of nutrition in my body. Even if I threw it up--like I did earlier--I had to try. I shuffled into the kitchen and grabbed the first thing that I saw in the fridge.

Baby carrots. Leaning over the counter in a pathetic state, I began eating carrots like they were...twizzlers. As I began to feel better, I boiled water and made some pasta.

I ate ’til I was full. And I kept it all down.

I wrote my previous blog in a lot of pain. I had hit a very low point both physically and emotionally last night. When I received your comments, it encouraged me to know that I was not alone. Thank you to all those who prayed for me and offered support. Thank God for hearing our cries in this battle to endure.

"My flesh and my heart may fail, 
   but God is the strength of my heart 
   and my portion forever”
~Psalm 73:26

Friday, January 28, 2011

Feeling forsaken

What started as a good day--ended in defeat. I couldn't think. I could't eat. And I've never felt so alone.

I'm just not doing very good tonight.

I know it's the hormones. I know the Lupron is helping the Endo pain, but I feel like I'm falling apart.

"God, God! Why did you dump me
      miles from nowhere?
 Doubled up with pain, I call to God
      all the day long. No answer. Nothing."
-Psalm 22:1-2

I know God is with me. I know He hasn't left me.

But I feel forgotten, forsaken, and alone right now.

It's just a bad night.

Lupron progress

I am in my third month on the drug Lupron while training for the Little Rock marathon on March 6’th. I have never had such a difficult time running in my life, but I’m getting better every week. 
The good days outnumber the bad days by far. The bone pain and nausea are less intense. The insomnia and fatigue can get me down emotionally, but it’s nothing compared to the pain I used to get. The hair loss, hot flashes, skin issues and moodiness from the shots are just...annoying. I  have been eating just about anything I could keep down to get the calories needed for training, but a diet of sugary sweets and gingerale must come to an end sometime, right? Actually, I’m doing so well the past 2 weeks, I think I might be ready to throw away the animal crackers and liquorice. Oh, happy day!
I’ve got 3 more months of shots, 5 more weeks of training before the race, and a whole lot of support from those who love me. I can’t wait to cross the finish line this time.
"Now faith is confidence in what we hope for 
and assurance about what we do not see.” 
Hebrews 11:1
Tomorrow, I have a 16 mile run....

Oh, Lord, have mercy. 

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Make sense of this...

There are many moments in life when nothing seems to make sense. Moments when we try so hard to comprehend the chaos around us--hoping that with understanding comes relief--a reason for the pain. But no matter how hard we try to fit the pieces together, we are left broken and clueless. 
If I had a choice, obviously, I would get rid of some of these damaged pieces that make up my life. 
Like this disease. Endometriosis. Infertility. Living with chronic pain. Fighting Lupron, hormones, and the harsh opinions of others in regards to a “female problem”. These are the pieces that don’t fit into my perfect life plan. These are parts that I wish I could disown, throw away, and be done with.
But obviously, it’s not that easy. 
Life is complicated. Unpredictable. A perfectly designed mess that is beyond my comprehension. 
Why do bad things happen to good people? Or more specifically, why does disease and infertility strike the lives of women who dream of motherhood? 

It’s all chaotic to me. 

I wish I could understand...just a little bit. 

Oh, friends, the day was filled with more energy than I’d had in a while. I got through classes, training, and rehearsal without falling apart physically and emotionally. But I still am longing for the pieces to make sense. I’m still praying that God will fulfill His promise--that something good will come out of all of this mess. 

Wednesday, January 26, 2011


I’m sitting on the floor right now, leaning against the wall. The massive, blue heating pad is wrapped around my core. I feel like it has become a part of me now. Its fuzzy anterior has become almost like a second skin. My MacBook is on a small pillow, laying across my thighs as I type.

I keep staring at the bed, wanting to peel myself up from the floor, and settle in for the night. But I can’t move right now. Maybe in a few minutes the strength and energy I once knew will return.

It’s not just the Lupron. I’m emotionally and physically exhausted. My sister left to go back to NY (only to be stuck in South Carolina for the night due to flight cancellations). I miss her more than ever. It was so nice to have someone here close to me. It was comforting to know that I wasn’t alone. That someone cared enough to visit and spend time with me.

I loved every minute spent with her. I loved knowing that she would be near when I woke up. I loved saying goodnight with her beside me.

I loved hearing her laugh. Each giggle would make me smile. I loved showing her Arkansas, the place I have called home for too long. I loved sharing my little, crazy world with my precious sis.

I was getting used to having someone...close. But then it ended. Nee flew away. I drove to the gym.

And ran my 9 miles of training hell.

The run wasn’t as bad as I thought it’d be, but it was still hard. I have never in my life struggled so much physically and mentally with fitness. I have always been an athlete. I have always endured rather well. But being on Lupron makes the training hard.

Really, really hard.

My heart rates is pounding constantly. I’m always trying to catch my breath. My bones are screaming for relief. The nausea is nonstop. I burp almost every 3 minutes. Sometimes, the burping turns into vomiting, which isn’t so bad if I can catch it with the towel or run to the trashcan. But then there’s the fatigue too. It pulls me down with each step. Pain shoots from my ribs to my thighs. Every step is a fight to the finish. There are many moments where I am tempted to stop...and to quit.

But I keep running. Why not? If the pain will be around, why not train and run a marathon with it?

So, here I am, propped up against the wall with my blue, fuzzy pad of relief. My butt is going numb from the floor. My eyes are burning from exhaustion.

I’m done. Exhausted. Spent. Wiped out. Obliterated.

There is nothing left in me. Physically and emotionally depleted.

I wish I had my sister next to me. She’d make me smile at the situation or cry with me until we both bursted out in laughter.

Nee, you can come back now.

Pretty please?

Tuesday, January 25, 2011



I hate patterns. Same biology classes. Same Lupron shots. Same jerks. 

I feel like my life has been plagued by ugly repetitions. 

Today was a bad day.  I overslept and missed a training session.  Pain, nausea, and fatigue while I sat in classes I’ve taken before wondering when it will end.  If it will end.

Sometimes I wonder if my whole life will just be the same pattern.  

“I took another walk around the neighborhood and realized that on this earth as it is--
        The race is not always to the swift,
        Nor the battle to the strong,
        Nor satisfaction to the wise,
        Nor riches to the smart,
        Nor grace to the learned.
        Sooner or later bad luck hits us all.”
                            Ecclesiastes 9:11 (The Message)

Even though we have hardship, we don’t always bring it upon ourselves.  It doesn’t mean I’m cursed, or that God is mad at me, or I’m holding unforgiveness in my heart.  Sometimes, stuff just happens.   I spent my whole life trying to live healthfully, and I’m still suffering from sickness right now.  I worked as hard as I could to choose the right classes and receive those transfer credits, but I’m still taking advanced biology, again.  As for the boys, well, I’m chalking that up to the folly of youth.

“...We can be so sure that every detail in our lives of love for God is worked into something good."
                            Romans 8:28 (The Message)

I’m waiting, and trusting, for these ugly patterns to be worked for something good. 

Monday, January 24, 2011


 "Long before he laid down earth's foundations, 
he had us in mind, 
had settled on us as the focus of his love...” 
~Ephesians 1:3 (the message)

I woke up in the middle of the night with hot flashes, again. After changing into a dry t-shirt, I quietly tip-toed out of my room, where my sister lay sleeping. I grabbed my MacBook (just in case I decided to blog) and made my way upstairs to the spare bedroom. Waking up in the middle of the night, drenched in sweat and unable to sleep, has become the norm for me. 

I can’t wait until I’m off the Lupron. 

"He thought of everything, provided for everything we could possibly need, letting us in on the plans he took such delight in making"
~Ephesians 1:7

In church, our pastor talked about glorious living in Christ. He was reading from Ephesians, urging us to not settle for what God has in store for us. “Don’t compromise. Don’t live for just the good are being offered the great life”. 

How do I have hope in the great life when I’m hurting so bad and I feel like my dreams have been broken...completely shattered? How do I keep on believing that this too shall pass? How do I keep on trusting when nothing seems to make sense?

"It's in Christ that we find out who we are and what we are living for. Long before we first heard of Christ and got our hopes up, 
he had his eye on us, 
had designs on us for glorious living, part of the overall purpose he is working out in everything and everyone”
~Ephesians 1:11-12

I can’t wait until I’m free from the hot flashes, nausea, fatigue, emotional fits, crazy cravings, insomnia, and pain. I can’t wait until I’m a mommy. I can’t wait until the purpose of this pain is worked out. 

Because I know there is a reason for all this. That is how I keep on believing and hoping. I know God is in control. I know this life he designed for me is glorious. 

I just can’t see it now. I can’t see why God would allow this disease. The bible says that long before I was around, God designed my life. This beautiful life, shaken to the core with disease and pain, was planned out. There is a purpose for all this

Just like there is purpose for sunshine and rain, storms and drought. God has a purpose for allowing the loneliness and sickness. 

And it’s a glorious purpose. 

I just wish I knew what it was.

 "I ask—ask the God of our Master, Jesus Christ, the God of glory
to make you intelligent and discerning in knowing him personally, 
your eyes focused and clear, 
so that you can see exactly what it is he is calling you to do, 
grasp the immensity of this glorious way of life he has for his followers, oh, the utter extravagance of his work in us who trust him
—endless energy, boundless strength!”
~Ephesians 1:17-19

To bring attention to the glorious life I know right now, Renee and I had some great sister time yesterday. 

Church, country cafe, date out with Kyle...together, and then eating liquorice in bed while watching Man vs. Food (side note: I’m secretly in love with Adam Richman and his passion for food). 

The both of us may be hurting physically. We may be drained and dragging around our young bodies with every step we take. But we are blessed to be with each other, growing stronger in the battle against the diseases that God has allowed...for a purpose. 

It sounds wrong to say and write it, but I know it is true. 

God has allowed this pain for a purpose. It’s all part of His glorious plan. 

Oh heaven, I wish I could see the end of this journey, but for now I’m still trusting and believing. 

I can’t wait until the vision comes to pass. I can’t wait until long awaited dreams are fulfilled. 

I can’t wait to be free from all this heartache and pain. 

For now, all I can say is thank you. 

Thank you, God, for this pain that is working out something so glorious and beyond my understanding. Thank you for the times of sorrow that have helped me appreciate the joys in life. Thank you for my sister and her compassionate love. Thank you for your hand on my life. 

Thank you for showing me how to endure and persevere through the storms of suffering. 

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Pulled pork, fried okra, and green tea

My sis and I had a little bit of a foodie adventure yesterday. After I struggled through 14 miles of running, ate a ton of pasta, and rested, we headed out to Fayetteville. There isn’t much around here, but I wanted her to see my university, the college town, and all that jazz.

Arkansas is so different from Queens, NY, so it’s really fun to me to hear her laugh at some of the country experience. Like when we are driving down the road and there is a church between every house....or mobile home.

Or when she exclaimed in excitement how the Sonic’s are so “fancy” because they have a lot of areas to park and order (she has only seen one in NY that just had a single drive-thru). Every time we pass a Sonic now, she goes, “ohhhhh, fancy!” and laughs. Then we talk about how gross the food is there from what we see on the commercials. Food that our grandma wouldn’t recognize because of how processed and ridiculous it is.

And then when she found out that I live in a dry county, where we can’t buy liquor. So if we wanted to get a bottle of wine or a beer (even tho both of us barely drink so the fact that we were discussing this as a “dilemma" was hilarious in itself), we would have to go to the next county...or state.

Oh, and when Nee dressed in Razorback red sweats and tried to call the Hogs with one arm we almost died laughing. It was all pretty stinkin’ cute. She giggles at all the fun country slang too. And her laughter on everything makes me happy.

So, yesterday, we ventured down to Dickson street, which is a road right near the university that has a few fun looking clubs, restaurants, and stores for visitors and students. Our goal was to go to a coffee shop that I love for the location and atmosphere, along with some good drinks and food. But before we got to the coffee shop for our sweet green tea, we hit up the frozen yogurt joint. It was all pretty heavenly.

Renee showing her toppings
with her royal cuteness xoxo

I was so much happier than I look!
After our sugar rush and relaxing over green tea, we hit up some country barbecue at Sassy’s. My appetite has been awesome the past couple of days and I’ve been able to eat without throwing up (um, which is always a plus when training for a marathon). It helps to have my sis and other people around me because I have to force myself to eat or move even when I don’t think I can. However, I definitely didn’t need to force myself to eat some Sassy’s.

So, there we were, eating pulled pork, chicken, fried okra, mac n’ cheese, cole slaw...and waffle fries. “Bad” foods that my sis and I wouldn’t normally eat, but enjoying ourselves even more because of it. That’s the best thing about sisters who are your closest friends, ya know? You can do anything together, no matter how random it might be, and have the most fun in the world.

With my sis
When we got home, we both crashed on the couch to watch a couple of movies. My pelvis and hip bones were stinging at this point. The pain and pressure were creeping in, but I didn’t care. Let the Lupron side effects shake me. Let the 14 miles cause me pain. Let the “bad” southern food sink in. It was all worth every bite and every step. And every laugh of my cute, older sis.

This morning, I’m debating on church. Do we push our bodies and get out again? Or do we rest up and recover before venturing out? Why is it that we have to worry about moving without pain when we are both so young?

As I deal with endo and Lupron, my sister battles Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and Fibromyalgia. My amazing, intelligent, and beautiful sister is giving her all to overcome diseases that no one understands as well. She is a successful college professor and writer, inspiring others with her story of perseverance in life. And she is my hero.

I love, love, love being able to have her for the week as we endure, hope, and laugh through the hard times together.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

treadmill victory

I did it.

14 miles on the treadmill. Slow, boring, and painful. My body didn’t want to move this morning. I was fighting to get going. I was battling with myself all the way to the finish.

But I got it done.

As soon as I finished, I ate more of the pasta I had inhaled last night. Carbs are my friends. :)

Now if I can just get myself moving and dressed. My sister and I are going to hit up a little bit of the college town. I want to show her some of Arkansas while I can.

I’m so happy that I finished that run today. That I pushed through even when I thought I was going to fall over. Victory at last.

Thank the Lord.

Friday, January 21, 2011

14 miles with a whole lot of lovin'

I woke up at about 3:30 this morning with hot flashes. I didn’t want to wake my sister, who was sleeping beside me. I grabbed my MacBook and headed for the living room, thinking I’d Facebook and pray to fall back asleep soon.

2 hours later, I’m still awake, dreaming once again of doing an Ironman someday.

2.4 mile swim + 112 mile bike + 26.2 mile run in a 17 hour time limit

Is it possible?

"‘If you can’?” said Jesus. 
“Everything is possible for one who believes.” 
Mark 9:23

Maybe God will allow me to fulfill that dream, someday.  

For now, my focus is on my long run coming up this Saturday. 

14 miles. 

My mileage has slowly been increasing. 8, 10, 12, with a few 3,5,6’s peppered in between. I have been gaining strength and endurance in my training. It has been a struggle. Some days I can’t eat. Most nights I can’t sleep. The fatigue and bone pain have hit me pretty bad.

But Kevin is still running, training, and pushing. 

Kevin after a work out today

When I see him enduring and overcoming, I know that I can too. 

He went from my client to my teammate and brother. We do all our runs together. He pushes me like I used to push him. On the days when I start crying on the treadmill, he lifts his fists up in the air in victory, telling me that I can do it. During the moments when fatigue overwhelms me and pain grabs my core, he tells me to slow down, “It’s distance, not speed”. “Slowly, but surely, we will finish”. His words echo my own, 4 months ago when I was pushing him to endure. 

August 27’th, 2010

There are times I want to quit. My body aches and my heart is down, but Kevin keeps encouraging me. “We’ve got this! We are going to do this marathon together. We aren’t leaving one another behind!”. 

And then there’s Kim, his wife, who is a woman with a heart of gold.

Once my client, now my best friend. On the days when I am sobbing, she holds my heart close. At the times when I have fallen, she picks me up and dusts me off. She tells me to get back up and try again. “You’ve come so far already. You can do this”. 

I never would have imagined that the clients I met years ago in a private gym would become my family and support during the hard times. I had no idea that God was orchestrating a precious relationship back then. Even when I moved back to AR in late June of 2010 to train the family, I had no clue. 

with kim and kevin over christmas

This weekend, Kevin is running a half-marathon in Florida. I won’t be running with him, of course. I’ll be in Arkansas catching up on my sister time with Renee. And running my 14 miles on Saturday, alone on a treadmill (if I could melt the ice and make the run a little more adventurous, I would be happier. But the T-Mill will have to do for now). 

14 miles. 

14 miles. 

We’ve got this. 

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Sisterly love

My sister is so awesome at getting crumbs in my bed.

We munched on some 97% fat free popcorn and 90% cocoa. I was out of twizzlers and animal crackers, but we managed to raid the cabinets for some form of junk food tonight. Sister talk requires snacking.

Renee, my older sis, flew in from NY today to visit me in Arkansas for the first time. I’m beyond thrilled to have her with me. I probably didn’t show it that well when she arrived. My body hurt and I was trying not to throw up. But I was happy. So extremely happy that she would spend a week with me.

Renee at the airport
“Who do you like better? Kyle or Jimmy Boy?”, she asks, laughing. Then she goes into talking about Mr. Hockey. “You won’t find anyone like Mr. Hockey...just call him...maybe he thinks you don’t like him...just call him back”.

“No, no, no”, I say, “he’s a lost cause. We haven’t seen eachother since June, he’s in MN, and we only talk once a week”. Pretty dang pointless to me.

My sis replies, “Well, what do you want? You want him to like you so much that he annoys you...and scares you off?”.


“What’s wrong with Kyle?”, she asks.

More silence.

Then my reply makes us double over in laughter.

“He likes me too much, Renee. It’s annoying”.

The giggles continue as we have our sister talks, munching on “healthy” junk food. I still can’t believe that my sis flew to Arkansas today. And that she is here with me.

Sisterly love. It’s the kind of love that picks you up when you’ve hit the ground. It makes you smile when you feel like crying. And gives you joy in the middle of Lupron shots.

Thank the good Lord for sisters.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Work in progress...again

We started a fundraiser for endometriosis research in December of last year. Originally, Jane started it by announcing that she’d be running the Great Wall of China marathon. I jumped on board with my training as soon as I could.

I wanted to run China too.

Then Jane got mono. China wasn’t going to happen. She was still determined to do something for the cause, but needed to rest and get better.

I get that. And I couldn’t have agreed with her more.

So, I backed off. I told her to get better and take care of her health. I didn’t mention the site or the fundraising. I didn’t want to have her worry about one thing.

Instead, I prayed and got my booty back in gear. I planned out the year of runs and bike rides so that I could raise awareness and funds for research as well. Because this is the fact:

We need awareness. We need a cure. 

A cure can’t be found without research.

Research requires money.

That’s why it is so vital for us to speak out, to raise awareness for endometriosis. By sharing our stories and our battles with this disease, we give more hope to the millions that they are not alone, that we are worth a cure.

Because we are worth it, ladies.

No one should have to suffer this pain. No one should have to give up their dreams of mommyhood.

So, today, I got an e-mail from Jane, a post going into detail about how she isn’t running. How it isn’t about the marathon, but rather giving hope and encouragement to others, which I agree.

But ya know what?

It isn’t about me either. Jane said that she was donating the money she raised to ME, to pay hospital bills.

And this is where I got confused. Frustrated even.

I don’t have hospital bills. God has totally taken care of me financially. I’ve been blessed above and beyond with paying for surgery, tests, lupron, appointments, etc.

I don’t owe one cent.

I’m not running or biking to raise money for hospital bills. And Jane can’t either.

I’m running this marathon in March for awareness and funds for research for endometriosis.


So, the Hope 2 Endure site is a work in progress. Forgive me if it is crazy up in the air now. I thought about just shutting it down when Jane told me she wasn’t doing anything, but then I realized that would be dumb.

Jane is not running a marathon for endometriosis awareness.

I am still pressing on with the Little Rock marathon March 6’th...and others in the future.

I’ll be running, biking, and walking for as long as I possibly can. Why not do it all for our cause?

Because somehow, in this journey to endure, I am given hope. Why not use my athletic gifts and passion to bring light to this disease and hope to others as well, even without my friend with me?

"For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future” -Jeremiah 29:11

Monday, January 17, 2011

I am not nice

Am I allowed to blame Lupron fully for my moodiness?


Because I am not nice.

google images
I am not myself. I am spacey, mean, emotional, snobby, and frantic. I am unable to get anything done. I am barely able to cope with day to day stresses. I am not functioning normally. The only time when I am “myself” is when I’m running.

And even then, the tears fall as I smile.

Nothing makes sense on this drug. And I hate it.

I hate how mean I am to those I love. I despise the way I snap at the doctor. I wish that I could avoid the drama, the times I feel like the world is falling apart. I would give anything to be past this treatment.

Anything, that is, but allow my body to bleed and feed the endo.

Google Images

One of the strangest things about it is how quickly the situation changes.

One minute I will have energy and feel fine, but the very next minute I am fighting the urge to fall asleep. Then my body gets heavy with pressure suddenly. I have to close my eyes to avoid throwing up. The pain starts to radiate through my core. And I’m done. I’m in bed, waiting for the wave of sickness to pass, semi-wishing I could fast forward 3 months to where I’m off this drug...and normal again.

google images

One minute I can eat. The next minute I am vomiting it all out. I pick at my food, begging myself to try. But my tummy convulses, bringing it back up. I get urges to devour animal crackers and pasta at 6 a.m. Then 2 hours later I am scared to drink water for fear that my body will rebel.

This is craziness. Pure craziness.

My family and friends still love me. They still put up with me. When I call my sister crying, she comforts me, even if it is about spilling food on the floor (yes, seriously). When I call my best friend in panic, she tells me to breathe. “It’s okay”, they say, “you’ll be just fine”.

Yes, they are right. I’m gonna make it. I will be just fine.

But I want to be nice too.

I’m trying, friends, I’m trying.

I promise, with all of my heart, I’m trying to be nice.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

the blessed life

When I woke up this morning, I honestly thought I’d be stuck in bed all day. I couldn’t move. My body was still in pain and my heart was discouraged. As I lay in bed, I read over my devotionals for the day, praying that God would give me some kind of comfort and relief through the words on the page. But nothing came.

So, I read the devotionals for tomorrow. And the next day. I don’t know what I was looking for really. Maybe an answer for the pain. Maybe some insight to why we have to suffer from this disease.

After shuffling through the days in my devotional book, I reached for my bible. I turned to all the familiar Psalms, the scriptures that I held to for hope and peace. I found some comfort in the words of each verse, but still nothing that calmed my restlessness.

“God, I quit”, I mumbled, as I reluctantly got up to get ready for church. I didn’t want to go today. I wanted to lay in bed and try to escape the pain. But I know I needed to move. I had to get back up again, even if it hurt like hell.

At church, the pastor talked about the blessed life. He pointed out that we are chosen, adopted, and redeemed by a loving God. He talked about how we have more than enough for a good life. And he’s right. I do have a blessed, good life. I have a God who has picked me up out of the pit of self-destruction and despair. He’s amazing. And He loves me.

After church, I met up with friends for lunch. Friends that I have known for a long time. Two women who have known my struggles and heartache through out the years. Two women who have shared their tears and heartache with me as well. There’s Sherrie, who cried to me about her battles with infertility for a long time. Four years later, she now has two miracle boys.

Sherrie & miracle baby #2

 And then my precious and beautiful Kim, who lost her loving father to cancer. The man who served the Lord for years as a pastor, sharing his faith with hundreds. A loss too great for us to understand. All I can do is cry with her and pray that God will comfort her heart.

After meeting with my girlfriends and their families, I set off to cook dinner for Stacey and her husband. The two of them have been awake for about two weeks straight with a newborn. Stacey had a c-section and has been recovering much faster than expected, but is still completely exhausted from the feeding and sleeping habits of a new baby boy. I brought them food tonight and hung out with baby Cody as they ate.

And finally, everything made sense again.

As I held Cody close to me, all of the pain from the Lupron faded away. I remembered why I was going through with the injections of such a horrid drug. I remembered why I was fighting for awareness and hope. I remembered why I kept pushing on to endure.

I want to be a mommy someday. 

I can’t wait until the day when I hold my own little bundle of joy. I can’t wait until I get to stay up all night, unable to sleep because of a newborn’s sleeping habits. I can’t wait to change dirty diapers and do tons of laundry. I can’t wait to pour my life into something meaningful and precious, like the life of a child.

I can’t wait to be a mommy someday.

I can’t wait to look back and know that all this fighting is worth it.

Because it will be, right?

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Bed, treadmill, bed.

I might be a little emotional tonight. I might be really tired and hungry. And I might have overdone it.

Just a bit.

I ran 12 miles today as planned for my marathon training. I thought that I’d be ok. I ran it slow. I paced myself. I finished well. I thought I was just fine.

12 miles!
Until I got home from the gym.

The bone pain in my pelvis and legs became intense. The sharp pains near my ovaries and ribs got worse. The fatigue covered me like a heavy blanket. I felt like my body was being pinned to the ground.

I might have overdone it.

But then again, I felt this sick before the run.

If I’m going to be in pain, I might as well be running in pain. Right?

I made it to the living room floor with my heating pad and stayed still for a good hour. I knew I needed to eat, but the nausea from the Lupron was overwhelming. I was even finding it hard to drink water.

The difficult part of training for this marathon in March has now hit me full force.

It is not the physical pain that will prevent me. I seem to push through that pretty well, as dumb as it may be at times. The most difficult obstacle in this training is going to be recovery.

How will I rest when I can’t sleep on this drug? How will I repair my body when I can’t eat? Will I just be breaking my body down even more if I can’t rebuild?

Isn’t that dumb? Don’t I tell clients that rest is the most important thing when it comes to training? I always stress sleep and proper diet as being vital to rebuild their bodies.

But I can’t do it.

I can’t sleep. I can’t eat. I can’t rest.

My bones hurt. My body aches. I’m tired. I’m hungry.

And I’m whiney.

With all that being said, I’m also emotional.

The first week after a Lupron injection is always the worst for me. At least it is bed, treadmill, bed now. Instead of bed, bed, bed. Right?

"God, listen! Listen to my prayer, 
listen to the pain in my cries. 
   Don't turn your back on me 
      just when I need you so desperately. 
   Pay attention! This is a cry for help! 
      And hurry—this can't wait!”
~Psalm 102

God, we need a cure for this disease.


Friday, January 14, 2011

The fight is fixed

I looked really cute today. It took me about 4 hours to get ready for the day, but I mastered it. Shower, make-up, hair. I even dressed up a bit (well, to a girl who lives in Nike and Under Armour, a pair of jeans and a sweater are a step up).

The plan was to go to the health food store, pick up some more supplements, then meet up with Kim. I even brought gym clothes just in case we were going to train. I was on top of things, despite being in bed for the past two days.

But things don’t always go as planned, especially when fighting a disease.

I got to the health food store all prettied up. I picked out my usual bone supplements, while ignoring the pain that was beginning to grab at my insides. I talked to the staff and showed off my pink lip gloss with lots of smiling. I paid for my lovely bottles of pills that help me fight the bone loss from the Lupron.

Then I walked to my car, quickly sat down while reclining my seat back, and cried.

The pain was grabbing me relentlessly. The pressure was pulling me down. My bones were screaming and my body was begging to...please...go....home.

Back to bed, again.

Nike shorts, Under Armour tank, Heating pad. Fans. Check.

Chicken brother. Australian Liquorice. sugar free ginger ale. Check.

Tylenol precise cream, Bible, and MacBook Pro. Check.

Prayer, hope, and faith that this will all pass.

Lord knows I’m working on all that.

I was in bed “napping” for a few hours. And then, just as fast as the pain had hit me, it subsided...somewhat. It became bearable. I could move just enough to be able to do something.

So, Kim and I went to a movie. We went and saw True Grit. Matt Damon was disappointing and the finger chopping scene grossed me out, but I didn’t care because I was out. I wasn’t stuck in bed on a Friday night. I’ve missed this feeling of being surrounded by friends and family. I’ve missed living so much the past few months.

Pain has a way of sucking you into hopelessness. Especially chronic pain. Add that to a mysterious disease that causes infertility and is poorly understood. Mix a little bit of hormone therapy and drugs in there as well. The result is a constant battle to keep our spirits up.

But we have to remember that the fight is fixed.

Just like a scripted wrestling match, our steps are ordered by the Lord. It may seem like chaos and confusion with each hit, but God knows the exact moment to step in and deliver the knock out punch.

He knows the cheap shots that hurt. He knows how each blow feels like the end. He knows the pain of rejection and humiliation. He knows the looks of pity when we are getting beat up pretty badly.

“your Heavenly Father knows”
Matthew 6:32

I kept hearing that part of scripture over and over today. He knows. He knows! 

God knew when  I was crying my eyes out in my car, forced to return to bed, and tempted to despair. 

God knew when I was holding my friend’s newborn baby boy, smiling at the dream within my heart to one day be a mother. 

God knew when I ran 10 miles and then collapsed in bed for 2 days. 

He knew every step. He knows the end. He’s already defeated the enemy.

He knows my pain. My tears. My laughter. My hopes. 

And He’s with me every step of the way. 

"The steps of a good man are ordered by the LORD: and he delighteth in his way” 
~Psalm 37:23

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Back in bed, again.

“I don’t know what the future holds, but I know who holds the future”

I should be crying. I should be despairing. I should be freaking out, but I’m not. 

I’m ok. 

I kind of knew this was going to happen. I knew I’d be in bed again at some point, unable to function or move. I just didn’t know when it was going to hit me. I don’t mean to sound morbid or pessimistic because I’m not. 

I’m hopeful. Happy. Thankful, even.

As I lay here in my bed, where I have been almost all day, staring at the sun through the window, I praise God for the brighter days ahead. The days that I cannot see. The days filled with love, happiness, family and all my dreams. 

The pain has been stinging my pelvis, ribs, and lower back. I’m swollen and tender in my core. My right ribs are piercing me. I don’t know why they hurt so much. And I don’t know why there are bumps that swell on them. My chiropractor jokingly remarked, for the 50’th time, that something was left inside of me during surgery. I don’t think that’s very funny, but I can’t help but laugh. I guess it’s better than crying over it all, right? 

Granted, I did run 10 miles yesterday. The day after my third dose of poison Lupron.  But this pain isn’t muscle aches. This is not physical exhaustion from a work out. 

This is endometriosis and Lupron.  

Running doesn’t make your ovaries hurt. It doesn’t make your ribs sting and swell. It doesn’t make your hip flexors become stuck. It doesn’t crush your bones. It doesn’t make you throw up. It doesn’t drain you to the point where you cannot function. 

But here I am, again. And that’s just fine.

I’m ok. We’re all ok. 

We’ve got each other. We’ve got millions of other endo sisters around the world. We’ve got our families and friends, loving us through it all. We’ve got hope.

I don’t understand all this. I don’t understand the pain and sickness. I don’t understand how God could allow it. I’ve follow Him. I trust Him. So why the suffering? Why the broken dreams? 

Why the disease? 

Lord only knows. 

"The will of God is never exactly what you expect it to be. 
It may seem to be much worse, 
but in the end it's going to be a lot better and a lot bigger.” 
--Elisabeth Elliot

Yes, this feels much worse than what I planned. This feels much worse than what I imagined God’s will to be. This hurts. A lot. 

All that I can do is trust Him. Trust that He will take us through. Trust that He will comfort all of our pain. Trust that there is a reason, there is a plan. 

Queensland Flood Crisis

Water has covered the state of Queensland, leaving thousands homeless and claiming the lives of others. The cost of damage is rising, as is the death toll. Please be in prayer for the hundreds of thousands affected.

And please take a minute to donate to the flood relief here.

Our sweet endo sister, LCD, is in the middle of it all. Please keep her in your prayers as she donates her time and efforts to help others as she recovers from a recent surgery. You can read her blog on the Queensland flood crises here.

God be with you, LCD. Love and prayers!

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Baby’s Mama

I am going to be one, hot, sexy mama someday.

I don’t know when that day will come. I don’t know if it will be through adoption, surrogacy, or my own womb. I don’t know if the journey will be as long and painful as the battle with endometriosis has been. But I know it’s going to happen.

Somehow. Someway.

Even though this disease has torn up my insides, I believe that motherhood is in my future. Even though I’m single, I trust that God will give me a family of my own. Even though it feels like all my dreams have been shattered, I know that God has a plan for my good.

"Even though on the outside it often looks like things are falling apart on us, on the inside, where God is making new life, not a day goes by without his unfolding grace. These hard times are small potatoes compared to the coming good times, the lavish celebration prepared for us. There's far more here than meets the eye. The things we see now are here today, gone tomorrow. But the things we can't see now will last forever”. ~2 Corinthians 4:16-18

I’m going to be one hot, baby’s mama.

But tonight, I was just a happy spectator, holding my dear friend’s newborn baby boy.

With Stacey and little Cody 
I didn’t even cry, which is crazy because I’m tearing up over everything these days. I thought that I was going to start weeping when I held little Cody, but I was ok. All I could do was smile and laugh. I am so happy for my friend and her hubby.

I can’t wait until it is my turn.

For now, I am sidelined. I am laying down with a heating pad across my pelvis and tummy. The sharp stinging has returned, but not before my 10 mile run. I went slow, jogging for over 100 minutes to hit the whole distance. The last mile was rather painful, but I finished it.

After my 10 miles, I was a sweaty, happy, hot mess :)

I did it y’all. After laying in bed for over 30 hours, I got up and ran 10 miles. It is a small amount compared to the 26.2 marathon, but it is a huge step for me in my training. I was terrified of what I would feel like today. I was scared of the pain and side effects that always knocked me down for a good week after the injection, but I did it.

I will be completely honest, the pain got very intense the last mile. It started to sting like crazy near my ribs and ovaries. I slowed down so much towards the end that I thought I was going to start walking. But God gave me strength to finish.

The run was altogether glorious. I was praying and praising God the whole time. He is so good and faithful. It rocks my world that we have a God who loves us, pursues us, and never leaves us...even when we turn our backs from Him.

Even though I questioned the Lord’s hand in this suffering, He continued to guide me. Even though I kicked, screamed, and tried to run away, God still was with me. Even though I yelled at Him in desperation and pain, He loved me just the same.

"I yell out to my God, 
I yell with all my might, 
I yell at the top of my lungs. 
He listens”. ~Psalm 77:1

God listens. He hears our prayers. He hears our pleas. 

He knows my heart’s desire. He knows how much I want to be a mommy. He placed that desire within me. God has allowed the pain and disease to be in my life, but I know there is a reason. 

I hate this pain. I hate this disease. 

But I know I’m going to be a mama one day. 

A hot mama. 

Who can make some pretty amazing mac n’ cheese.