Almost that time!

It is almost that time! This weekend has been crazy! It all started on Friday when my Siberian Husky (and furry kid) Bruce got sick. I took him to the vet and he ended up spending the night in the Vet ER. It was a weekend of checking on him, giving him additional medicine, and hoping for answers. It reminded me of the feeling when I was working so hard to get my own DX. Each doctor, or in Bruce’s case..a vet…had a different idea. BUT I will say our regular DVM…has been amazing. She has given us more information, been available to answer questions, and helped us get Bruce into an internal medicine vet (didn’t even know they existed).

I spent all day at the specialist clinic yesterday with Bruce…and he had tests, labs, and ultrasounds done. I got back his results today, thankfully he doesn’t have Addison’s degree…but Bruce likely does have Crohns disease (as my original vet suspected several months ago). Bruce is going to move to a hypoallergenic food (didn’t know that existed either) and be on a low down antibiotic to help keep his Crohns symptoms at bay. I sure hope we found what needs fixed for Bruce as he has started being anemic due to the months of being chronically ill.

And to add to the craziness of the week, I do my proposal defense tomorrow!! Yup, tomorrow this time I should be finishing my proposal defense and be preparing to answer questions from my committee (scary!). I am looking forward to it, I want it to be over. But I want to enjoy it too, this is a huge step and I’m nervous but excited to take it. I have my copies of my proposal printed, I know my PPT information, and now I’m praying for a great night’s sleep and confidence tomorrow. My goal today will be to read through my proposal one more time and then pray for the Lord’s strength and peace. To help, I asked for today, Wednesday, and Thursday off so I could rest/prepare (today), have that as my only focus tomorrow, and then relax and recoup on Thursday. I am looking for the entire experience to be a learning experience!

Where does time go?

Time flies sooo fast! I had an awesome week in Anchorage, pictures were posted all over my Instagram and of course I blogged some amazing pictures here! It is so cool to see mountains covered in snow! God certainly created a beautiful world! I came home and spent the week getting ready to run logistics for a major conference on campus. That took all of Friday! It was a LONG BUSY day!

I spent Saturday recuperating and taking care of errands around the house. I also worked on my PPT edits and my IRB edits. I just submitted my IRB again to my committee, it is about 98% ready to submit post proposal. My PPT is ready for me to practice. I’m making progress, things are getting real. I have a practice proposal in class on Thursday of this week and the real deal is next Wednesday.

I sure hope my body co-operates! I have been in a lot of pain this week. I think the fatigue from all the travel and the busy at last caught up to me. The Enbrel helps but not enough some days! This weekend my ankle/knees/hips have especially hurt. BUT I’m making progress and that is what counts!

I also made a hair appointment for Saturday. Going to get my hair touched up before my defense. I have my suite bought, my shoes ready, and all is going to go well. Will it be perfect….no! Something will happen…I might slip up…but that is ok. I will do my very best! Heck I”m defening my proposal…after all that has happened in my life..after making it through up to today battling Rheumatoid Arthritis, Lupus, and Fibormyalgia! I AM PROUD of how far I have come. I know though I am not alone in this battle, many wonder can they do school (college, high school, or even graduate school) with RA/Lupus, and/or Fibro. And it is extremely hard to do it battling these invisible diseases (or others) but it is possible. Just one foot in front of the other! One day at at time. Rest when you need to, take one day at a time.

Speaking of rest…I’m off to get a nap! Stay tuned to see what else goes on in this journey called life! 🙂

XO

Alaska

We made it! It was an awesome trip, long but good! Got to Chicago and spent about 2hrs in one of my favorite airports 🙂 #loveO’hare! Then we set off close to 5:30pm for Anchorage. When we got here, 9:40-9:50pm Anchorage time (midnightish Houston time) it was snowing! The hotel is awesome and it was nice to rest.

I took my Embrel and yay, for the first time since week one only a tiny skin reaction. The travel was hard, and I started a flare this afternoon. The cold weather probably doesn’t help with not hurting but we got to explore a bit. We found Starbucks, went to the zoo, and drove down the coast a bit.

Off to rest, enjoy the pictures!

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Getting Real

Yes things are getting real! The dissertation proposal announcement came out today…I am still thinking on how I felt. I have pictured that moment in my head, of seeing my name on the list.

I think back to 2012, I just had started the doctoral program. I wasn’t sure how I was going to do….I knew it was super tough. Fast forward to now, I’m excited! I’m nervous! I want to do well and be successful! I’m scared about my future…what career will I have? Where will I go? What jobs will open up for me?

These thoughts hit me today when I saw my name on the list. I guess maybe because it became real? It is real, it will be real! In a few short weeks the second to last step to graduation will be done! May might happen! Insane how time goes by!

And yes I am proud! I am proud that despite immune suppressive medicine like MTX, Arava, and Imuran…I am making progress. I am thankful that despite major infections, I was able to get really sick on breaks but never in class. I am thankful that despite my Rheumatoid Arthritis, Lupus, and Fibromyalgia…in 2.5yrs of coursework I NEVER missed a night of class! I was always sick every other night but class night! I also pulled it together to make it to class and to make a 4.0GPA in my coursework! I made the 16hr days to go to work and then class after work! I don’t know how but it happened. So I am proud to share that my life has not ended with my RA, Lupus, and Fibro. In fact, in some ways I think my life is just beginning. I remember feeling that my life was over, the pain was so bad I could hardly think and move….but some how…I’ve made it this far! And for that I am grateful to my Lord, grateful for my faith, and thankful that many on this blog have been a witness to this journey!

Blessed!
J

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Making progress

I’m making progress! I was notified this week that I will be proposing my dissertation in just a few short weeks!! Crazy exciting! I am almost all the way through edits from my committee. I turn it back in to them by Wednesday (if not early) and then I will work on my PPT and the beginning of my IRB application. I remember thinking back to when I was a beginning doctoral student in 2012, I was so nervous to watch someone else finishing their dissertation…now I am that student. I will also be practicing my presentation in a class close to when I will do my actual presentation. I hope I do well and do not freak out all the students that are watching! 😛 I’m so blessed that steps are being made toward finishing this degree…although I won’t lie it is scary too!

Vacation starts this week! I am looking forward to seeing a new place, and enjoying some “relaxation.” When I come back I will dive headfirst into hosting a conference (not even 4 days after I come back) and then I will be practicing/preparing for my proposal. Crazy month of October! Never fails to be an exciting time.

Great news to report on the Enbrel. While I hate the actual injections, I think that Enbrel is helping. Although I noticed that on the days I forget my Imuran, I still feel a major difference so I do not think I can go solo on the Enbrel (at least not yet). Today I was so excited because I was able to put on a button down shirt! I haven’t been able to do that in a LONG time! Progress 🙂

I am hoping that I don’t run into any issues as I travel! I have never had to travel with injectable medication before, so this journey will be a learning experience. I will definitely be blogging so that way if there are any other biologic newbies…maybe something I learn to do better will help you!

And finally this month starts mission month at my church, while I think serving/helping others should be the focus of everyone all year round. I cannot forget where my heart is and that is the many needs of people around the world. I go back to the focus of the organization I hold dear to my heart, The World Help organization. Not only have I had the opportunity to serve with them but I am blessed to continue to stay in contact and keep up with all they are doing post-my trip. Too often it is easy to slide back into our lives and forget about what was seen or experienced when serving abroad. I love that I can follow World Help on Facebook and Instagram and keep up with all they are doing. I also am able to keep up with the VP of African Affairs (not true title) as he shares the mission of World Help around the globe! I would love his job! 🙂 Anyways sometime this month, I encourage you to pay it forward, go serve somewhere, help out at a mission, or something. It always helps me to put what I have in perspective! Sure many days I have “I wants” but you know in the true scope of things, I am MAJOR BLESSED! I am blessed with food, running water, electricity, heat or a/c, and SO MUCH MORE! That is above and beyond the things that I have that are certainly not requirements for living such as a car, iphone, purses, more than one pair of shoes, etc. When I think about it, I AM DEFINITELY blessed! I hate it that sometimes I forget that and let myself think of what else I want in my own life, when truthfully I have gained and have so much!

Off to rest and relax! More soon! 🙂