Saturday, May 28, 2011

How did I get through that?

It is 4 in the afternoon in Central Florida. It’s 93 degrees outside, but I’m safe in my hotel room. I came home for the week to visit my family and see my little brother graduate from high school.


Yay!!!! 
I can’t tell you how proud of him that I am. With mom barely around and dad thousands of miles away, this kid has put himself through school on his own. It’s been one crazy, long school year full of times when we didn’t know if it would be possible for him to finish -- school tuition, transcripts, etc. He did it though. He pushed through. He didn’t quit. He graduated and will be heading off to NY for college this fall.

I’m “home” with family, but the hotel seemed like the best idea for my sisters and I due to the craziness. Mom hasn’t been much better since the last visit. I love her so much. It makes me so sad to see her waste away, living with a mental illness that has stolen her physical and emotional well-being. She’s still about 100 lbs. It breaks my heart to see. I try to not get mad when she is mean. I try to not hold it against her when she has a tantrum or an outburst. I try to remember my little momma the way she was years ago. We are all trying to remember her that way.

On another note, I did a mock sprint triathlon this morning. YUP! I swam in the lake that mom used to tell me is infested with gators (she still does, but ya know). I would get so scared in the past, but I did it this morning!!! I went with the tri group in the area. We did a 1/4 mile swim, 14 mile bike ride, and 3.1 mile run. It was crazy, amazing...and I ROCKED it.

After the sprint!

So, now, here it is 4 in the afternoon. 93 degrees. I’m tired and worn out from a day of celebration with the family and a sprint tri. I have a headache. I just said goodbye to my oldest sis (she is flying back to NY tonight). My heart is kind of heavy with sadness and my body is definitely tired. 

But I have to go run for 90 minutes. 

Yup. 

It’s on my training plan. And it isn’t just a little 90 minute pace. It’s a zone 3 run - that might not be much for some, but it’s enough to make me want to throw up in the heat. 

I got this.

Uh-huh. 

90 minutes.

I don’t know how I’m going to get thru it, but I will. 

Just like I got through the pain of another surgery, the hell of this disease, and the side effects of Lupron. 

Oh snap. Here I go...

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

The GIRLS are back!

My last of the Lupron shots was 5 weeks ago, which means that I might start feeling like a 27 year old again sometime this year. I can’t wait until the hot flashes and the pointless crying fade, but for now something else has grabbed my attention.

THE GIRLS ARE BACK!

Yeah, you know what I’m talking about. My D cup size that the Lupron had sucked out of me. I was barely hitting a C cup for a few months. I felt like everything was just leaving me.

But not anymore.

My boobs are totally back. Yes, I feel swollen and they hurt, but I don’t care. Yes, my whole body is still dragging and tired, but that is fine. Yes, I’ve had a massive headache for 3 days now, but it’ll pass.

Hormones do some strange things to the body, especially when they are going whacky. I’m still crying over nothing and sweating in the freezing cold from the hot flashes, but my body is coming back.

Heck yes!

The GIRLS are back!!!

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Just feeling alone...

I’m so lonely, y’all. I’m so stinkin’ lonely.

I hate it.

I know my emotions are getting the best of me. I know that I’m not really alone here, but I am so far away from home. I am so far away from my family in Florida...

...and I’m so lonely.

I am so tired of seeing families. And people being together with the ones they love.

I want to be near my family too.

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Down...but not out.

Physically, I feel like a rockstar. I ran 13 miles yesterday and 9 today.

Emotionally, I am falling apart.

And that’s the truth.

I don’t know what my problem is. I’ve been trying to cheer myself up. Listen to Tony Bennet. Enjoy my runs. Look forward to seeing my family in a couple of weeks in Fl.

Nope. Nothing works.

I’ve tried praying. Begging. Pleading.

I’ve hit up the sunshine and pool.

I’ve slept hours upon hours.

But I’m still crying. I’m still lonely. I’m still down.

I don’t understand this feeling, but I know it will pass. I know, as Tony says, “the best is yet to come”.

It must be the hormones. It must be the Lupron. Next wednesday, it will be a month since my last shots.

Why am I not happy? Why am I struggling so much? I’m not in pain. I’m moving around and living life so well. Why am I so sad?

Thursday, May 5, 2011

A season of pain, a season of hope

I know there is a reason God as allowed the past 8 months of my life to be filled with so much pain. I don’t know what that reason is--or if I ever will know--but I trust that God’s got a plan in all of this. My prayer is that I don’t waste the pain. Instead, use the lowest times of my life as a way to encourage others to get back up as well.

Yes, there will be days of pain and sadness.

But we will get through it. We will find days of relief, joy, and comfort.

The following note was written by my friend Jane. I hope her words of inspiration give you strength in whatever storm you are now going through. And if you have survived the storm to find a season of calm (as I have right now), I pray that her words give you the courage to reach out to others who are hurting.

Since I was 15 years old...I ran a race every mothers day in memory of my Mom!  
I believe who we are in this world is defined by our actions and how we can use the obstacles and experiences of life to help, heal, and encourage the world around us in a positive way!
When I was a little girl my mother battled breast cancer and I remember her telling me instead of asking “Why Me?” She simply said “Why not me!” On August 13th 1995, my mother passed away though her spirit to encourage others and help complete strangers was never broken, even when she was going through pain. I have the same attitude about life, I believe nothing just happens and we all can make a difference no matter how others may view the situation.
When I was 16 years old I believed that I could run a marathon to give hope to others through the American Cancer Society and wanted to start a support group for children whose parents were battling diseases and chronic pain. At that moment, I realized what I wanted to do for the rest of my life…give others hope, courage, encouragement, compassion, and faith to push forward through the pain.
I have been a personal trainer, wellness director, recreation director, and motivational speaker for the last 10 years now and love giving the gift of health and happiness to others everyday!
I truly believe we are called to a purpose and passion to reach others through the gifts God has equipped us with and give him glory! My mission in life is to help and inspire as many people and give the gift of health through time and energy dedicated everyday to the community and people that surround me. Because of this passion instilled at such a young age I have moved around the world now 5 times blindly with a simple focus “Helping others to the best of my ability and giving the gift of health and hope!”
For the past decade I have run marathons with clients who thought such a distance was impossible, worked with cancer patients who needed a friend and trainer to help them stay healthy through chemotherapy, trained a legally blind women to believe in what others considered impossible and finish a triathlon, counseled young girls battling eating disorders and body image issues, reached out to college students who needed an outlet through recreation and sports, and now soldiers and families who need to feel healthy while serving our country overseas. No matter what type of population or place I have kept the purpose the same reaching others and kept believing.
I have always been an ordinary girl trying to push the limits and believe in a vision beyond what most believe is impossible to run, bike, or swim. Over the past years as an athlete I have trained and raced in order to give hope to those battling disease and disorders and continue to support those who need to have social support.
On October 3rd 2008 after racing my 18th marathon and ultra triathlon (Triple Ironman Triathlon) I suffered an unknown bone disorder in which doctors told me at 25 years old to completely give up running and cycling and my purpose to race for a cure. At the time I was a professional athlete and broke records regional and world record and raised thousands of dollars which went to American Cancer Society and Avon Breast Cancer Awareness.
For the next two years, I experienced the world around me come crashing down and lower extremity, feet, and legs stricken with pain and swelling every day. Doctors could not explain why or what was causing the swelling, pain, and edema filled pockets to take over my body and drain me from the true potential to help those around me. Days went by were the pain got so bad I barely had the energy to walk across the street, after awhile you become used to the pain and learn how to smile through it. I believe the hardest part of the whole thing was knowing your energy level being sucked out of you daily and you had no understanding why it was occuring...
The world which created so much happiness and health for others was slowly fading away and I had moments which I thought that even my professional career was coming to an end. Until the day, I realized you must Never lose Hope and Never stop Believing…I stood firm on God’s promises in my life and continued to help the community and people around me even though the pain did not go away. Many times I asked myself “How are you able to give the gift of health to others when your own is wading in the balance?” Well, the answer is through Faith! Doctors told me to give up though I refused to listen and realized “Why Not Me!"
Through every storm of life there are moments when you believe quitting would be a lot easier then going on, in this situation quitting would of meant walking away from every person that was part of my past and present, and most importantly the future! We all go through our own seasons of life and some seasons are longer than others, but with every season there is reason.
We grow, learn, adapt, change, and hopefully in the end come out stronger then when we began. My season is over and doctors are still trying to figure out why my legs and bones have no sign of damage or pain? I share my story with you all because we are made to never give up and when the season is over we should not waste time in trying to understand, we should instead look around at the opportunity which we have and ask “How can I help those through their season!” -by Jane Elizabeth Kupkowski 

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Prattling away

This week has been weird.

I have been feeling great physically. I am eating healthy, running, biking, and swimming. I am alive and kickin’ pretty dang well.

BUT...

I am struggling emotionally and mentally. My mind feels like it is just fighting to keep up. I have exams and papers to complete, but I can’t focus...at all. I drift through my days. The only things I look forward to have become running, biking, working out, or swimming even. All I want to do is go, go, go.

Maybe it’s because I was in pain for so many months. Maybe it is because I was just really let down by a boy. Maybe it is because I feel so unsure about the future. Or maybe it is just my ADD in high gear.

On a more random, but positive note, I have been connected with an endo sister who is rocking out some marathons! Susan had surgery for endometriosis this past November and has ran 2 marathons since then. Isn’t that awesome? She is planning a 5k endo walk/run for May 2012 in Maryland. I’m pretty pumped to hear about it! I’ll keep y’all posted.

It’s late. I better stop my prattling and get to bed.

Here’s to brighter days, sunny tomorrows, and a God who always loves me...no matter what.

Help us raise awareness and spread the word! www.hope2endure.org