Warmer weather soon!!

I am counting down the days!! In just under two weeks I will be sailing down to Mexico! I cannot wait. This cruise will be my third, and my first to go with a group of amazing ladies. I cannot wait to see the sand and clear blue water. I cannot wait to just relax and not have the craziness of work. I am also thrilled because I told myself last year when I booked the cruise that I would be on this cruise DONE with school! 🙂 And I am sooo proud that I am done with school! 🙂

This week the weather has been colder for us than usual. It truly has made me think of all those who battle the many invisible painful illnesses while living in those cold cold temperatures. I know how bad I felt this week with the 20-30 degrees…I cannot imagine months of this weather. If you live in those temperatures and you battle an invisible illness, you are a warrior!

Another great thing that made today awesome…I ordered my regalia! Each time before that I ordered my regalia I remember thinking…two more degrees to go..one more degree to go… Now it feels weird that unless I go back for another track in something else…there will be no more degrees to go! Time flies…hard to believe I’ve been in school 12 straight years! Well that is after high school if you count the 12 years of K-12 that is 24 straight years of being a student! So I have only 4 years of my life where I was not a student! CRAZY!

Now my focus has turned 100% to job searching and working my business. I love that I am still in love with my MK business. The opportunities to network with some pretty amazing strong women of leadership has been so good for me. The opportunity to meet so many wonderful women is also great! And honestly, I truly have enjoyed the many many things I have learned. And now my focus is also shifting to what I will do 8-5 after graduation!

Tomorrow I am hoping to have an awesome relaxing day, visiting with friends and just enjoying a hopefully warmer Saturday. I was able to FINALLY take my Enbrel and MTX! First time this month! My burn has finally healed (4 weeks later!) so I have been behind on my medicine. But tonight was the first night and low and behold…I started a fever!! UGH! Our bodies..if it is not one thing it is another! 😦 Insanity!

Whew!!! Catching Up

Wow!! So much has happened since I last wrote!! The good news is I can say I am officially a Dr.! Woohoo! 12 years of education has finally come to a close. It feels good…no it feels great. It feels great that despite RAA, despite Lupus, and despite all the pain of Fibromyalgia (these three combined)…I still finished my doctorate. I consider that a major major feat!

I am loving loving my new business (well not sooo new now). I am enjoying the mentoring and mostly having something positive in my life. It isn’t often that I can say I enjoy my “work.” I think mostly this business is showing me ways to grow my confidence, ways to talk with people, and most importantly I am making new friends. I was talking to someone last night that wow I have friends. I have people to go to movies with, people to go to lunch with, and it is awesome.

The small things in life is what matters! I have enjoyed resting, and just catching up on sleep. That has been so nice, that pressure of having zero homework and no classes…there is something about that. I haven’t felt this since high school…I guess I will have to get used to no homework 🙂 Slowly right!

I’m counting the days to Spring Break! I am getting to go on a cruise! Not only am I excited to hang out with fun people for a week but I’m excited to just get away. Work and life can be so tiring, I’m sure hoping that I don’t flare too much on the cruise.

I tell you what spurred a flare today….STUDENT LOANS!! The horrid $$$$ that I have been dreading. The great news is that the loan company is being amazing. I sure hope I get that much better paying job, but I’m happy that until then the loan company is being awesome (THANK YOU LORD!).

I say this often, thank you for listening to my rambling! I also hope to continue to update my blog more often as I journey life, as I prepare for post school (first time in 12 years!!!).  And as I continue to forge life of RALF (Ra, Lupus, and Fibro) despite not having school in the mix.

Following my dreams, and keeping my eyes on the prize! 🙂

X O
J

Second week

This weekend marked the second week without Enbrel or MTX 😦 I was sad, I forget how hard life gets when I truly feel the imense pain without meds. I realize there are so many who feel the pain (with out meds) every day, and for them I say many many prayers. The upside, my burn is healing ever so slowly. I am confident that I can inject on Friday, FINALLY. This weekend marks the beginning of four weeks since my burn…thankfully I can finally see it is healing. Slowly but surely.

So yah meds soon! That’s a major positive, on Wednesday I’m off work..I go up to the school to meet with my dissertation chairs and hopefully get their signatures on my final dissertation copy. From there it will go to reviewers in graduate studies and then on to the library. I had hoped to get the dissertation over to the library sooner..but there have been so many formatting changes…maybe this week. I also need to get on ordering my graduation regalia and announcements. I thought that could be done online but I am special and I cannot find it. So that is another thing on my to do.

This weekend has been a tough one, tougher than usual. A special person in my life passed away, he lost his battle with kidney cancer. While his passing was not unexpected, there is still that hole that remains. There is joy that he is suffering no more, and he left such an incredible legacy. Yet there is also sadness too because he is no longer on this earth. While we are all fully aware that death happens, we are never ready for it even when we know it is coming. And another close family friend (have known her my whole life) transitioned into hospice care. I am not sure when she will pass, we know it will be soon. So yes, it has been a weekend of reality to the pain in this world…that pain that is sometimes outside our physical pain.

On a positive, I am loving how I am growing and learning with my business. I am being stretched to new limits, I am being tested to do things never done. And I am learning soooo much! God is blessing and for that I am incredible thankful. I am hoping that this week I continue to grow, I continue to be blessed, and I continue to learn what God has in store for my life.
X O
J

P.s. in case you never have…start a gratitude journal! I just started doing this journal and I realize that stopping, thinking, and writing what I am thankful for…it refocuses my mind to good things. My new goal is to find at least five (5) things I am thankful for each day. I’m interested to see how my thinking will shift in the days to come! ***Could I ever be thankful for the pain, for this journey, for the things I have experienced because of this journey???***

Sometimes

Sometimes you just need those days to rest! That was me today! I think it was a combo of no meds last night (had to miss my usual Enbrel/MTX due to being on antibiotics), my antibiotics making me sick, and a fibro flare. YAY! The combo kept me in bed until at least 11:00a.m, when I got up and slowly starting working on a project. I have a PPT to present next week so I decided I would write some notes. There is nothing worse than forgetting something important so I wrote a lot of notes. Not that I will need them but I say better to have and not use than to not have and need.

I even napped today on top of doing nothing. It was nice to have that relaxing of an afternoon. And now my hope is that by 10:30p.m. I might actually crawl into my nice warm bed. Tomorrow it is back to the grind. The craziness ensues and another week of work continues. I hope though that through the ups and downs at work I remember my faith, my affirmations to myself, and most of all that I maintain my positive attitude.

Being positive is tough, not easy especially when there are so many things to grab my attention. I have to continually remind myself that God has a purpose, God has a plan, and things will happen in GOD’S TIMING. Sooo hard sometimes to grasp that but that is sooo true!

Remember that this month I am joining Mary Kay in their initiative to donate lipsticks or lip glosses to women at our local shelters! Two lipsticks/lip glosses (or a combo) donates one to a lady who is putting her life together, becoming a survivor of domestic violence! I would love it if you would consider this cause or a cause in your home town that brings awareness to such a big issue!

X O

J

1. I am a child of God

2. I am a positive thinker

3. I am a leader

4. I am determined

5. I am confident and capable

Rem

What a week!

The week began as a usual week and now on Friday night it has been anything but a “normal week.” For starters, last Saturday I burned my stomach…not even quiet sure how it happened. I looked down and I had about a one inch burn and a horrible blister. I have been cleaning it, putting antibiotic ointment on it, and covering it but to no avail. I finally caved today and made an appointment, my PCP was so kind she pushed me into her schedule and saw me as her last patient of the day. She put me straight on antibiotics, and yup no Enbrel or MTX until I’m healed. My burn has infected, but we are hoping it hasn’t gotten too big. Funny, she was like a normal person this would have healed in a few days…a week later it looks about as bad (if not worse) that the first day or two. 😦 Sad! But that is the reality, little cuts are big big deals and I’m having to remind myself of that fact. And it is hard too for others to get it because they are like…a one inch burn…it for sure isn’t like a second degree or third degree burn…shouldn’t be tooooo huge. But yet for people like me with out an immune system…big or small….inevitablely it because big!

Then on Tuesday night….I was working on my laptop and all of a sudden I got the blue screen of death!! NOOOOO!!! The dreddded your computer is dying and nothing you can do about it :(. I was soooo upset that my computer died, I was right in the middle of editing my dissertation and was in the beginning stages of creating a PPT. I reformatted the computer, hoping and praying it would work but nope! It did turn on the next day, I spent two hours re-installing and then it totally died again. Now my old computer will not even boot up….I get a harddrive error. So 10:00p.m. on Wednesday night I was running to the store (thank you Walmart) to buy something I could use. I ended up getting a Chromebook..it has been interesting to use but I like it so far. I am borrowing a computer that can run Word and PPT to finish what  I need to finish. Let’s just say this week…my patience has been tested  (to say the least!).

The one great thing about this week! I went to training on Monday night for Mary Kay. I will say I am so happy for the leadership and the confidence building that I have experienced in this journey. We were told to write affirmations that we recall throughout the week. I found five (see below) that mean something to me! I continue to remind myself that I am growing every day, each day I learn something new. I find women in so many different small businesses..and while we don’t sell the same product I think it is admirable for us to have stepped out to try something new. That’s half the battle. I’m reading a great book on dreams. It is encouraging to be able to read something that is not a boring textbook!

Last thing I want to mention tonight, while it isn’t really related to this post I will just say that Domestic Violence is a big issue to me. I think it is similar to Rheumatoid Arthritis, Lupus, and Fibromyalgia. It happens but often we do not know it happens. Too many women (and men) they perhaps don’t feel as if they can share their struggles. I have seen it happen too many times. And these women (and men) need encouragement, love, a support system, and encouragement to get through and become survivors. The entire month of Feb. my MK unit is focusing on donating lipsticks toward a Domestic Violence cause (likely a women’s shelter). I am so proud to know that lip sticks or lip glosses purchased this month (with every 2, 1 is donated) will end up in the hands of a woman, who has been through so much. I hope it is a small way to bring a big smile! So I’m attaching the flyer, consider the cause, share the flyer, and if you want to partake (which I hope you do) my website is http://www.marykay.com/JoannaTucker.

We are raising awareness one step at a time! 🙂 Stay strong, fight for another day! Despite a crazy insane week….I’m excited to see what comes tomorrow 🙂

XO

My Affirmations are:

1. I am a positive thinker

2. I am a leader

3. I am confident

4. I am a child of God

5. I am determined

JDomesticViolenceAwareness