Sunday, November 25, 2012

Blessed Beyond Measure!!

I was lying in bed just now trying to take a nap, but tears came to my eyes and I started to think instead of how truly blessed my family and I have been over the past month.  I have so many thoughts going through my head right now that I want to share, but it is kind of a jumbled mess.  I know if I wait, I will lose a lot of what I am wanting to write down for myself to remember.  This time of year is such an amazing time of thankfulness anyways, but this year it has held a whole new meaning for me.  We have truly been blessed beyond measure!!  
I had my surgery on Tuesday of this week, and am happy to say, that everything went well.  The morning of the surgery was a rather amazing time for me.  I know that sounds weird to say, but I have never felt more calm and at peace than I did in those hours before surgery as Tyler and I waited in the hospital room.  I fully expected to feel nervous, panic, impatience, scared, etc., but I did not feel any of those things.  It was as if the Savior had his arms around me the entire time protecting me from all of those things.  I truly felt the effects of all of your prayers on my behalf and I can not tell you how grateful I am for them.  When the Dr. came in and said it was time and Tyler and I said our good byes, I did have to fight a little bit to keep it together, but still knew I was in good hands and was going to be OK.  Once I was in the operating room, I had a moment when the anesthesiologist was getting me hooked up when a nurse came and put her arms around me and just help my hand.  I shed a few tears, a little bit of fear mixed in with the love I was feeling and then I was asleep.  I remember waking up with some nurses around me and then I woke up again in a different room with Tyler by my side.  I can not tell you enough how grateful I am to have a man like him by my side.  Heavenly Father sure knew what he was doing when he picked him for me.  He is the most amazing man I have ever known and has not left my side during any of this.  He is the most unselfish man I know and would do anything in his power to make his family happy.  He has taken such good care of me that I almost feel guilty for being sick.  I hope someday that I can give back to him what he has given to me. 
We came home from the hospital that evening to my amazing mother in law who came to help out with the kids.  She has been such great help to us.  She took the kids with her on Wednesday up to Tyler's sister Heidi's and kept them up there with her until Saturday, so I could get some good rest and recovery time in.  Thank you so much to Heidi and McKay for opening your home to my children and putting up with them for the past week.  I am so grateful to you guys and all your help.
I am happy to say that I am finally feeling so much better since surgery.  I have two different incisions,  one from taking the lump out and one from taking out some lymph nodes.  I was a little surprised by the size of the incisions, they are a lot bigger than I expected.  It is pretty sore and tender, but the big thing that has kept me down is feeling light headed and nauseous.  I was not prepared for that, but I am told it is from the anesthetics.  Yesterday was the first day I didn't have to spend the better part of the day in bed and was actually able to get up and be productive.  I can't tell you how good it feels to have a clear head again.  I now wait for a few weeks and continue to recover before we start radiation.  I have to admit, that when I was first diagnosed with cancer, the thought came to me, oooh maybe something in all of this will make me lose some weight.  Pretty sad thought that I was excited for the possibility of cancer to help me lose weight I know, but I thought it.  I mention this because when I went in for my appointment with the oncologist on Monday he told me that indeed I wouldn't need to have any chemo, but I would have to take a medicine called tamoxifen for the next five years, which drastically reduces the risk of ever getting breast cancer again, but the side effects from it are hot flashes and weight GAIN.  Come on, seriously!!  Really though I am so grateful for the diagnosis I got and that I don't have to go through chemo which might make me lose some weight.  I will just have to fight that much harder for that which I really want.  It will only be that much sweeter.  I am hoping in one year from now I will be able to say, that in the past two years I have lost 160lbs, and kicked breast cancers butt.  What an amazing day that will be!!
I have learned through this experience how spiritual it can be to be in the position to receive service.  It is so much easier to give than to receive as we all know.  It has been amazing to me though to see the different kinds of service that has poured in from so many different places, from people from all different points in our life.  People we see on a daily basis to people from our past we haven't spoken to in years to people that we don't even know that we had no idea even knew or cared what was going on in our life.  It is just amazing to me to know that I am loved enough for people to stop what they are doing in their own busy life and step to help out in mine for a minute.  I will never be able to say thank you enough to all of you that have truly blessed me and my family.   With that being said, I want to find a way to pay it forward, and there couldn't be a better time of year to do that than right now during the holidays.  I have something in mind that I would like to do, but I need to work out the details of it first before I share it with all of you, so please watch out for it.
I hope this Holiday Season you all spend a little extra time with your families and grow closer together than you already are.  I encourage you to look for the many blessings you have been given and give thanks for it every day.  
I love you all!!

Friday, November 16, 2012


So the last couple of weeks have been some of the craziest of my life.  I wanted to take a minute though and give all of you and update on where things stand with my breast cancer.  First though I want to thank each and every one of you for you kind words and prayers that have been said on my behalf.  I have definitely felt the love from all of you.  So the first big thing that has happened it that I was accepted to medicaid.   I can not tell you what a huge relief it is to know that everything will be taken care of.  I have no idea how we would have made it work other wise.  Tyler and I sat around and talked about how we would file for bankruptcy and move to Montana and live in my parents basement.  I wouldn't mind living close to my parents, but I am glad we don't have to file bankruptcy to make that happen.  Other things that have happened is a million phone calls and Dr. appt. scheduling.  I am SOO grateful for the amazing people that have been helping me with all of this stuff.  It has been so overwhelming even with their help, that I do not know what I would do if I didn't have them to guide me through the process and help me get to where I need to go.  
The first Dr. appt. I had was with the surgeon.  We just met him and kind of talked about the route we want to take and what my options are.  Since we caught it so early, I have opted to just do a lumpectomy instead of a full mastectomy.  My surgery is scheduled for Tuesday November 20th. Yesterday I went and met with the radiologist, who just kind of explained all of that to me and what to expect.  He will give me a 3-4 week recovery period after surgery and then I will start radiation therapy.  I will have to do that for 6 weeks, 5 days a week.  That is going to be a long process, but we will do whatever we can to get through this.  
Today I go in for an MRI so they can get a closer look at the rest of my breast tissue and make sure there are no other smaller lumps hiding in there.  If on the off chance there are a lot of other lumps in there, we will then have to go the mastectomy route.  I am really hoping that is not the case.
On Monday I go in to see the oncologist.  I am not exactly sure what he will be doing yet, but I have heard that I will have to take medicine after this is all said and done to keep the cancer from returning.  The oncologist is the one that will work with me on that.  After the oncologist I go back to the surgeon for a pre-op appointment and get all the details set for surgery the following morning.
It has been a crazy roller coaster ride of emotions, but I am just glad to be getting going on things so we can get over this hurdle.
As far as the whole weight loss goes, I have been TERRIBLE!!  I have totally been using food as a comfort and numbing tool lately and it has not been good at all.  I really do not want to waste all the hard work I have put into this journey thus far.  I hope I can just come to grips with things and stop the emotionally eating soon.  On that note, I will close, because I need to go and pull out the chocolate chip pumpkin bread I have cooking right now. Ha!
I will update again when I know more.  Thanks again so much to all of you for all you have done for me and my family.  We all really truly appreciate all you do.  We have the best friends and family.  Love you all!!

Saturday, October 27, 2012

I didn't see that coming!!

Do you ever look at another person's trials and think I am so glad that is not me, or that will never happen to me?  Well this week I was giving some pretty shocking news that will forever change my life and I will never think again, that won't happen to me.  This past week I was diagnosed with breast cancer!!  Never in a million years did I expect that to be me, especially right now in my life.  I am only 34 years old and have no family history of breast cancer.  I was only getting a mammogram to prove to my soon to be life insurance company that they lump in my breast was only a fibrous cyst. After the mammogram the doctor told me he was 95% sure it was nothing, but just to make 100% sure, he recommended that I get a biopsy of the lump.  I went in on Monday and got that taken care of and was really not worried at all.  Thursday afternoon they scheduled me to come in a get my results.  I was so confident it was going to be negative.  I was not scared or nervous or anything.  In fact Tyler and the kids stayed in the car and I planned on just running in there really quick getting my negative results and running back out and continuing on our way.  When I sat down and the first thing they say is we are sorry and very shocked ourselves, but your test results came back positive.  I can not even tell you the wave of shock and emotion that came over me.  It was one of the most numbing experiences of my life.  I immediately stopped them and said I need to call my husband.  The lady then kindly dialed Tyler's cell phone and asked him if he would please come down, that his wife needed him.  The kids were left in the lobby and looked after by some of the staff.  Tyler knew right away as soon as he got the call and was just as shocked by the news as I was.  With Tyler's arm around me the lady continued on to say that we are lucky we caught it so early, and that this is the best possible diagnosis we could receive given the circumstances. She also said, there is a 99% survival rate and while yes it will be a hard and scary road for the next little while everything is looking positive.  She has an appointment set up for me to meet with a surgeon next Wednesday to discuss where we will go from here.  I will have to get a lumpectomy and then most likely go through some radiation treatments.  Because we found it so early though I shouldn't have to have any chemo.  She also helped me get set up with a lady that is hopefully going to be able to help us financially, as we do not have any health insurance.  After we talked with her for awhile longer, we brought the kids in and talked to them for a few minutes.  We didn't want to scare them and tell them that Mommy had cancer, so we just said that Mommy is sick and we will need them to be extra good and helpful for the next little while why Mommy is getting better.  So I would ask that you please be respectful of that and don't talk about it in front of your kids as well.  I just really don't want it getting back to my kids from anyone except us when we feel the time is right.  
After leaving the Dr.'s office I was rather numb for the rest of the night.  One thing though that I couldn't help thinking about were all the blessings I was now able to see fall into place.  The timing of so many different things over the past week happened so perfectly as to prevent us from making some pretty big choices that would now leave us in a bind had things not worked out they way they did down to the minute.  
Now that I have had a few days to reflect on it I am feeling pretty positive about it myself.  It has definitely changed my out look on life and what things are important to me.  Not that my family wasn't important before, but they have become even more of my #1 priority.  I have also realized even more than I already knew how much of an amazing husband I have.  I could never do this without him.  He has taken such good care of me and I know that he will continue to be at my side through out this whole thing.  He has already worked out his work schedule for the winter so as to be close and available any time I need him there.  That is another blessing that this is happening during the winter months so that Tyler is able to be home when I need him.  I am grateful to his bosses for being willing to work with us and give him the time he needs for his family.  They have always been so good to us.  And to the rest of my friends and family that have already stepped up and offered to help in anyway possible, I am so grateful.  I have the most wonderful support group around me and know for certain that I will be greatly blessed through this whole process.  For those of you finding out about this through my blog, I apologize, but it is just to draining to call everyone and tell them.  I have cried about all the tears I can cry and my eyes have been stinging since I found out.  
Thank You again for all the support I have and will continue to receive,  but more importantly thank you to my Savior for watching over me and continually blessing me beyond measure.  I am in awe of the love I feel all around me because of him.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012


Hi my name is Christa and I am addicted to food. 
 I am sure this doesn't really come as a shock to anyone, but I have recently realized the level that this addiction goes to and that it really truly is a real addiction.  Last week I attended my first addiction recovery class, put on by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints.  I know I have come such a long way on this journey and everyone says you can do it, keep up the good work, look at everything you have accomplished already which yes is all true, but it doesn't really help me get over what the bigger problem is.  FOOD!!  I am ashamed to admit that it has been all consuming lately, like bad.  I think about it all the time.  I eat it in private so no one can see what I am really eating and I hide it so no one knows that I have it.  I am embarrassed by it, but feel that I just can't get a hold of it right now.  I have always known that I have had a problem with food, but until recently didn't realize the depth of it.  I will have these amazing thoughts of motivation and will power and then 5 minutes later I am stuffing my face with chips and cookies.  I have become numb to it and feel like I don't have any control over it.  That is why I have decided to start going to the addiction class.  Last week was my first class and I really enjoyed it.  I didn't speak up or say anything about myself because honestly I felt a little bit like a fraud being there with all these other people with substance abuse problems, but listening to what they have to say about how they are getting over their addictions, really was inspiring.  I do know that it is a real, but it just seems so silly compared to other peoples struggles.  How hard could it be compared to drinking or doing drugs.  I have thought a lot about it this past week and realized that maybe it is even harder than that.  You can quit drinking cold turkey, but you can't stop eating.  Food is EVERYWHERE you go it is an hourly struggle to make good choices.  I am not entirely sure how I am going to get over this, but I know that I am not going to give up.  I am going to continue to learn and know that I will be able to push past this.  The biggest thing I have learned this past week is that I can not, nor do I have to do it alone.  I have a savior that is always there waiting to help me and wants to help me.  Through daily prayer and study I know that he will comfort me and strengthen me and lift me up over this trial.  I want this so badly, but just can't seem to access the part of my brain that will let me allow it to happen.  So I will continue to push forward never giving up, constantly learning, and hopefully one day I will have it all figured out, or at least enough to get me through.

Sunday, September 9, 2012

I'm Baaaack!!

So in my last post I mentioned that for some reason I had it in my head that I could not start back until the kids went back to school and we got on a better schedule.  Well I am happy to say that the kids have been back in school for a week now and I am doing and feeling great.  It is amazing how powerful the mind can be.  I was terrible up until the day the kids started school and then something switched on in my brain and we are back on track.  That is something huge I have learned along this journey.  Our minds are very powerful things.  I just hope I can continue to figure it out so I can have even better control of what I put in there, or maybe more importantly try to figure out how to get things out of it that have been programmed into it for so long.  We are definitely making progress though.  
So this past week I got in a lot of great exercise and have not felt so sore in quite sometime.  Tuesday night I really tried to talk myself out of exercising.  I had gone to a funeral earlier that day and was really just exhausted.  Thankfully I realized that skipping a workout was not the best way to get back on track.  So I laced up my running shoes that night at 9:00 and went out for a nice run.  Then on Wednesday I went to the gym in the morning and attended a class called muscle fusion, and let me you, that kicked my butt.  I was so sore for two days afterwards, but I loved it and can't wait to go again this week.  Thursday morning I went out running again.  Friday I was lucky and got to tag along with a friend on a beautiful hike.  We hiked Ogden canyon falls for 2 and 1/2 hours and I could barely walk later that night.  But is was so beautiful and I can't wait to go some more.  Luckily my hiking partner was very patient and had to do a lot of waiting around for me to keep up with her.  Thank you again Jen for a great day!!  
This was me reaching the top!!
 Views from the top. 
 The waterfall is kind of hard to see since there is not a lot water this time of year.

Then lastly on Saturday morning I ran in the Layton Classic 5K.  It was a really pretty course but uphill for at least 75% of it.  It was a bit brutal on my legs that were already killing from hiking the day before.  But I am happy to say that I was able to complete it again with no stopping or walking.  My time was about a minute slower than the last two, but considering the uphill course, I am happy with that.  I would like to go and run the race again but do it backwards and see how much faster I can do it on the down hill side.  :) Another fun thing about this race is that my kids competed in the kids K following my race.  It has been fun getting the whole family involved on my journey.  Tyler has told me that he will run a 5K with me when I reach my 100lb mark.  He says he is not a runner but he will do it for me as a reward for my accomplishment.  He better start training because I will definitely hold him to that.  
I still love that running gives me something to work towards and the sense of accomplishment.  I can't wait to feel what it feels like to run with all this weight off of my body.  I imagine myself gliding through the air, OK it probably won't be that easy but I am looking forward to it still.

This next week my goals are to exercise each morning right after the kids leave for school, and then to have dinner figured out before they return home from school.  I have been looking for some new recipes and am so looking forward to fall and all the yummy soups and such that go along with it.  If you have any healthy fall favorites, please send them my way. 
 And thank you again to those of you that still follow along and keep supporting me on this journey.  It is a long road and I could not do it alone.  Your words of encouragement mean so much to me.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Trying to figure it out!!

So I realize I have not blogged in a long time and that primarily has to do with the fact that I have not been doing so hot lately.  This summer has been so crazy busy and we are constantly on the move that I have just pretty much failed completely.  I just kind of got tired of blogging about how I am good one week and then blow it the next.  That is how it has been all summer long, and it really has got me down lately.  All of the internal negative mental junk that I thought I got figured out in the beginning is starting to creep back into my head and making it really difficult to succeed.  I keep telling myself that once school starts I will be able to get back on track and get on a good schedule.  Then I have this internal struggle with myself about that and end up eating like crap and telling myself it is OK because once school starts I will be back on track, but then I end up feeling guilty for eating like crap, which then turns into no good negative self talk, which then makes me just want to eat more.  Ugh, it is one big vicious cycle that I just can't seem to break free of.  Does anyone else out there experience feelings like this and figured out how to pull through it.  I am totally not giving up, I am just tired and looking for ways to re-energize my drive and motivation.  Any advice would be greatly appreciated.  

And just so this post isn't a total downer, here are a couple pictures of some successes I have had this summer.

I completed my second 5K and Tyler's awesome sister Heidi came and ran it with me.  Thanks again Heidi, it was a lot of fun to have someone to run with.  I am running my third race in three weeks.  I guess I better start running again if I am going to make it.

I also went through and cleaned out my closet and was able to get rid of about 75% of my clothes because they no longer fit me.  Afterwards I went and did a little shopping and was very happy to learn that I could fit into an Old Navy XL shirt, super exciting.  The down side to that is that shopping takes so much longer now that there is 10 times more clothes to choose from instead of the usual 2 racks of plus size they have at most stores.  I think I will be able to get over that inconvenience pretty quick though.

This is everything I got rid of.

And  this is what my closet looked like with everything missing.  Most of the stuff left is borderline stuff, but I couldn't get rid of everything.  Definitely time to fill it back up again.

 So wish me luck and hopefully I can snap out of the funk and get back into being the great me that I know I can be.

Friday, July 13, 2012

Feeling Good!!

So today was weigh in day and I am so excited with the number I saw on the scale this morning.  Since my turn around on Sunday, I have lost 9lbs.  Yes that is right 9lbs. since Sunday!!  Woot woot!!  I was able to finally break through that 80lb. plateau and also get into the next 10 digit.  My total weight loss thus far is now 83.4lbs gone forever.  No more back and forth crap with that 80lb. mark I just couldn't break.  I can't tell you what a good thing that has done for my head to know that I have finally broken through that. I can also say that I am more than half way to my goal.  I am feeling so strong and motivated.  I can't wait to bust through the next 80lbs. 

Tomorrow morning I run my second 5K, and then start to train for a 10K that I will be running in September.  I have never been a runner before and I know I have said this before, but I just love how running races, gives me something to work towards and gives me such an amazing feeling of accomplishment.  My goal is to run a half marathon next year sometime.  Thank you again to those of you who have pushed me into running and helped support me so much along the way.  There is no way I would running right now if it wasn't for you guys.  Love Ya!!

My next big goal is to hit that  100lb. mark in the next 6 weeks.  My parents are coming in town for a big extended family anniversary party for my grandparents and all my aunts and uncles and cousins will be there and the last time I saw any of them was Christmas time about a week into this journey.  Really I just can't wait to be able to say it, "I have lost 100 pounds."  That is going to be a happy day.  Also I told my hubby that he has to take me away for an overnight date somewhere when I hit that 100lb mark too.  We don't get away much just the two of us so I am SUPER excited for that as well.

I hope you all have a fabulous weekend!!  I encourage all of you to get out there and do something active.