A bump (or pothole) in the road

Yesterday I was watching a TV show in which one of the characters has a chronic illness. While trying to empathize with another character, he said something that struck a nerve with me: I know what it’s like when it feels like your body is failing you.

I instantly felt this trigger some strong emotions that I had clearly kept buried deep, down inside.

It hit me…hard.

I got a little teary-eyed in the moment, but it wasn’t until I was cooking up the lazy single lady’s dinner of pepper and mushroom egg scramble that I let loose. I wailed. I stomped my feet. I yelled profanities. Thank god the loud hood fan was turned on and music was blasting from my iPhone otherwise I’m pretty sure my roommates would have thought I’m even crazier than I am.

In this blog I have shown you strength, I have shown you determination to overcome. I have shown you courage and insight. I have shown you acceptance. I have shown you positivity.

But goodness, y’all, I’m only human.

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Motivation Monday — September 1, 2014

~ On Mondays (Motivation Monday!) I write a post with a quote to motivate and inspire. Sometimes it will be something directly related to lymphedema, and sometimes it will just be because I like the quote. But it will always be something worth sharing. ~


0bd04d88948cbc565cc6778d02d120e0Friendship isn’t about who you’ve known the longest.
It’s about who walked into your life, said “I’m here for you” and proved it.
 

For the first 18 years of my life I lived in the same state, the same town, the same house, in the same room. And then I left for college. Since then I’ve live in 3 cities and moved 5 times. Each move I’ve picked up my life and started fresh–either in a new city or a new job. I’ve gotten pretty good at making new friends. And I’ve also learned to appreciate really good friends, those I’ve known since childhood and those whom I’ve met in adulthood. It’s really not about how long you’ve known someone, it’s about how they show you they’re there for you. Really good friends don’t just talk the talk, they walk the walk. Thank you to those who have said “I’m here for you” and proved it. Thank you to those who have been my biggest champions in my lymphedema story. True friends are hard to come by, and I’m so fortunate to have you in my life.

Motivation Monday — August 25, 2014

~ On Mondays (Motivation Monday!) I write a post with a quote to motivate and inspire. Sometimes it will be something directly related to lymphedema, and sometimes it will just be because I like the quote. But it will always be something worth sharing. ~


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Don’t be ashamed of your story, it will inspire others.

After sending my fundraising email to my family, friends and coworkers, one of the senior staff at work not only contributed to my participation in the walk, but she thanked me for sharing my story.

Of all my coworkers, I least expected her to contribute. So you can imagine how much of an impact her contribution and her thank you for sharing your story meant to me.

At that moment a light went off and I finally realized that I had a story worth sharing. I was finally able to let go of the shame and be open with my coworkers. I shared my story with them and I’m so very glad I did.

I’m here now to share my story with all of you. It is my goal that something I write inspires at least one of you.

Finally sharing my story with the people closest to me (and now the worldwide interwebs!) has been one of the most fulfilling and downright therapeutic experiences of my life. I know I’m getting cheesy here, but bear with me :)

That’s why I encourage all of y’all to do the same. If you’re ready now, or if you need some more time, please feel free to reach out to me. I would love to share your story on this blog, whatever part or whole of your story you choose. You have something worth sharing and I want to give you the opportunity to do so.

This is about your journey–about learning, loving and laughing with lymphedema.

Motivation Monday — August 18, 2014

~ On Mondays (Motivation Monday!) I write a post with a quote to motivate and inspire. Sometimes it will be something directly related to living with lymphedema, and sometimes it will just be because I like the quote. But it will always be something worth sharing. ~


you-miss-100-of-the-shots-you-don-t-take

“You miss 100% of the shots you don’t take.” – Wayne Gretzky

I have a habit of coming up with some really great ideas (which are usually big risks), I commit to it, and then I start to freak out. Once I start to think through all that actually has to happen, I get scared, project failure and want to back out.

Failure is my worst fear.

But then I realize: well, if I don’t try, then there isn’t even a chance I could succeed. I deprive myself of the opportunity to surprise myself, and at the very least add another life lesson to my belt 😉

If I don’t even try, I live with regret. I live with the shoulda coulda wouldas. I live in the past.

All that you can ask of yourself is to take the shot. And if you miss, so what. You try and try again until you make it. You live in the present, in the moment. You sleep well knowing you tried.

Motivation Monday — August 4, 2014

 ~ On Mondays (Motivation Monday!) I write a post with a quote to motivate and inspire. Sometimes it will be something directly related to living with lymphedema, and sometimes it will just be because I like the quote. But it will always be something worth sharing. ~


no_one_can_make_you_feel_inferior

“No one can make you feel inferior without your consent.” — Eleanor Roosevelt

Another one of my favorites. Oddly enough, though, when I’m particularly down in the dumps this is the last thing I want to hear. It just makes me mad. How dare you tell me it’s my fault that I’m feeling so crappy right now. But when I come out of the darkness a bit, when I can see the light, I remember this quote and it makes me even more determined to be in control of my story. I remember that it’s my choice whether I’m going let a person or an action or a situation get me down. I have the choice, and it’s my choice.

Motivation Monday — July 28, 2014

 ~ On Mondays (Motivation Monday!) I write a post with a quote to motivate and inspire. Sometimes it will be something directly related to living with lymphedema, and sometimes it will just be because I like the quote. But it will always be something worth sharing. ~


Be-yourself-everyone-else-is-taken (1)

“Be yourself. Everyone else is taken.” — Oscar Wilde

So simple, yet so hard. In a society that is driven by the individual, we still try so hard to look like the people in the magazines and not be too different. It’s hard to do your own thing and not care what anyone else thinks. It’s hard to do you, but at the at the end of the day it can be the most rewarding feeling in the world. Knowing that you were true to yourself, that you were true to your convictions, you are left with a sense of accomplishment and a feeling of peace with yourself that cannot be replicated by anything else.

 

Wearing lymphedema proudly

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Last week when Miss Idaho Sierra Sandison proudly wore her insulin pump on her bikini in the 2014 Miss Idaho Competition, she not only inspired those with diabetes, but she inspired me. There are  many medical conditions where the treatment is not always so easy to hide — whether it be an insulin pump, a colostomy bag, or compression stockings.

When I was first diagnosed with lymphedema and the swelling was only in my right leg, I was much more nonchalant about wearing my stocking with shorts or a skirt. But once the swelling was in both legs and I was a full-fledged, super self-conscious high school student, I wasn’t so willing to advertise my stockings.

Ever since then the only time I ever wear my stockings is under pants. Full-length, fully opaque pants. It wasn’t until recently that I have even felt comfortable putting on/taking off my stockings around others. I always get the funniest questions about the gloves I use to put them on (gardening gloves) — have to laugh about those!

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Shortly after reading about Miss Idaho and her insulin pump I stumbled across a couple of blogs about some ladies (also in their 20’s) with lymphedema. They posted the following pictures that I found so inspirational I just had to share (I hope you don’t mind, Lauren and Alexa!):

The first is the blog Lauren: That’s Swell and her Twitter page Lymphoedema Fashion.

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The second is Alexa’s blog, The Lymphie Life.

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When I saw these photos, I have to admit my jaw dropped. YOU GO GIRLS!!! They’re both so proudly wearing their bandages/stocking, even in shorts and a dress. Couldn’t believe it! To Lauren and Alexa — you have no idea how inspiring this is to see!!

As my I build my self-confidence and pride in my story, I hope to one day be as brave as Sierra, Lauren and Alexa.


Tell me how you wear your lymphedema proudly!