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I hope you all had a wonderful welcome to the New Year...I gladly said goodbye to 2015, officially the most challenging year of my life. I feel inspired and excited about a fresh start, 366 new days and 366 new chances for a full recovery and a life filled with love, health and happiness!
I took some time away to be in the mountains and really enjoyed the quality time with my children and good friends. As I learn to apply the spoon theory to my life, I managed to take a couple of walks and even made it on the gondola to the mountain top…craving the day I will be back on my skis again.
Watching tonight's episode took me back six months when I had what turned out to be such a milestone in my fight. What can I say? Emotions are running high...while I believe the surgery played a huge part in my improvement...it’s bittersweet to feel progress and then fast forward to where we are today. Change can be heartbreaking. One never thinks that life can change so drastically in just six months, even in one day. I don’t intend to host a pity party by sharing my pain and struggles -- by sharing, I think I help open minds to what invisible chronic disease looks like. I have so much faith that this is the year where Lyme sufferers, many of whom are living in silence, get medical recognition and treatment that every human being deserves!
I have a new understanding of the challenge it is to be judged by how you look, or how you aren’t looking. I didn't have to face that before I got sick. I was a model, I looked like what everyone wants to see. But now my life is different and yes, I feel it! Millions of people are suffering from chronic illness and just because you can't see it, doesn't mean they're not hurting. Depression, chronic fatigue, lyme disease...there is a long list of us just existing and trying to hold on to a life we once knew. My daily commitment to myself is to keep laser focus on, not fighting the old, but on building the new and never apologize for how you feel because like I say on my Instagram -- that’s like saying sorry for being real.
Many of you have asked about my explant surgery. I ruptured an implant 10 years ago in a water-skiing fall, the leakage from that incident had travelled, over the years, through my body and taken a life of its own. Dr. Feng's partner at the Cleveland clinic did a precise needle ultrasound mapping locating the exact areas where free floating silicone was detected, one hour before my 7.5 hour surgery.
It was fascinating to learn that 2.8-3 cm silicone granulomas were found in my lymph nodes, under my clavicle bone and deep inside my chest cavity, creating a constant immune response and a constant feeling of something that was trying to kill me from the inside out. Thank God I stopped listening to doctors that told me I was fine and looked beautiful, thank God my intuition was strong and dead on and thank God I am alive and here to state my case!!!
We are conditioned by society to treat symptoms but if you truly want to find the cause of your ailments you have to become your own health advocate.
Uncovering the mystery of chronic disease is like peeling a giant onion, there are so many layers, but with each one that sheds, you are closer to the core. I believe I am close.
My overall health seems to be improving, I am on a strict holistic Lyme protocol with Dr. Klinghartd and working closely with my toxicologist to detox the left over silicone that was not accessible in surgery. I am not fully there yet, but determined and on my way to getting my life back. I am making the best of every good minute that comes my way. Most people start the day with an unlimited amount of energy and possibilities to do whatever they desire, but most people in good health don’t realize, that is a blessing not a given. Every pain free moment where you have a choice -- is a GIFT! I will take any given time of feeling free of this fight! I am grateful for all of it...
It's a new year and a great time to set intentions -- I try to be mindful about the intentions I set, I avoid resolutions that revolve around the lifestyle I once knew. I find that if I can be honest with myself about my limitations and the intentions I set for the year, I am more likely to achieve them.
One thing that stood out for me tonight was the loyal friendship of my girlfriend Erica. I admire her strength and natural ability to be herself -- it's that commitment to leading an authentic life that allows her to stand by her friends and not feed into nonsense. Erica is a persona that is easy to judge and often misjudged. This girl does not give a damn, she lives her life and that's inspiring! For those of you who are watching the show -- I think you follow my lead. Cheers to girlfriends that have compassion and each other’s back!
I love you all and look forward to connecting with you next week.
2016 here we come!