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Happy Holidays to Everyone!
I'm in the snow with my children. We had a beautiful, quiet, no gifting, no stress Christmas; we cooked, ate too much, and played lots of games. Our family tradition of handwritten letters to each other is the one thing I keep close to my heart as there is no greater gift than feeling appreciated by your loved ones. Even though it's freezing cold, it feels good to be close to nature and the infectious energy that comes with having everyone together under one roof--keeping up is worth the fight. I want to be as present as I can be right here, right now, as I know these are precious moments as I watch my kids grow. The holidays come and go so quickly--this break from my disciplined routine is a treat.
Three days left of the ever-changing 2015. There's something about the number changing on the dial that makes one reflect on the past and, in my case, how much can change in a year's time. Last Christmas I was fighting for my life, hospitalized until the day before Christmas, and headed for the worst six months of this four-year journey. The show tonight took me back to early summer when I felt so much fear of the unknown. I had just done the Adipose Stem Cell treatment, which was a much bigger procedure then I had imagined.
I am trying to watch the show with an open heart and no judgement of anyone in it as I choose to share my journey in order to bring awareness to Lyme disease and invisible chronic disease in general. I'm well aware that it opened up a storm of debate, but as long as we can speak with kindness and good intent, I believe that my quest for a cure will be rewarded one day.
Only those who have experienced an invisible illness can identify with my journey. Losing my brain function and the ability to participate in life made me lose my identity. I had no choice but to buckle down, surrender, and connect to the deepest part of my soul. Only in solitude could I hear the little bit of my spirit that was still alive and willing to fight.
Trying to participate and integrate my girlfriend Erica in the group was a challenge. Watching this segment made be realize how much progress I have made since then, and for that I am grateful.
After being properly diagnosed three years ago, I followed strict doctor's orders 24/7 but made very slow progress as we slowly uncovered the mystery of my failing health.
Last June, David woke up one morning and said, "We are not doing any more treatments until you get a full body scan."
That scan probably saved my life, as doctors found free-floating silicone under my left arm pit, under my right clavicle bone, and under my rib cage.
None of these findings changed my late stage Lyme disease diagnosis, but it was a good explanation of why three years of hard work had not paid off yet. It was a big breakthrough in my case at a time that I was just existing. At that point I honestly was not sure how and if I was going to pull through.
I am all about clarity and always want to strive to be a responsible parent and not leave uncertainty for my children. Seeing their faces tonight broke my heart. I did not intend to have such a dramatic moment, and discussing a will is obviously a very uncomfortable discussion to be had at anytime. I was afraid and had put off the awkward and uncomfortable conversation until the last night before my surgery. I needed to do my living will and put my business affairs in order for my children and my family that I support in Holland. I have witnessed people not plan accordingly and leave their partners and family in difficult situations which can be avoided by being organized.
My father died when I was seven years old. When my brother and I turned 21 we received a small financial gift. It was such an important and memorable gesture to know that he actually planned for us. I was already financially independent at that age and ended up giving the gift to my brother to invest in his business, but I will never forget how that made me feel.
I am so blessed to have had a successful explant surgery with Dr.Feng, and hopefully I'm on my way to a full recovery from a very complex and multi-faceted health collision.
It's fascinating to see how strong we really are. Our bodies are this extraordinary machinery that deals with whatever we throw at it. Looking back, what was I ever thinking putting breast implants or the poison of Botox in my so perfectly healthy body? The truth is I wasn't thinking but rather brainwashed by society's perception of what a perfect woman should look like and into believing that any of these beautifying enhancements were safe.
I clearly remember asking my doctor if it was safe to breastfeed with silicone implants. Now, 20 years later, there are plenty of studies confirming the danger of silicone toxicity and its effect on the immune system.
Throughout the 1980s and 1990s, class-action lawsuits claimed that Dow Corning's silicone breast implants caused systemic health issues which lead to numerous lawsuits and a multi-billion class action settlement.
I guess I had to learn the hard way, and I am just so grateful to be back to the "ORIGINAL 1964," embracing myself with all my flaws and imperfections in the way God intended me to be.
I know we all want to be a better version of ourselves...but please be conscious that the things we do to our bodies are too new for us to truly understand the side effects. If it's not natural, it's probably not meant for us.
Tonight we went for a sleigh ride under the full moon. The freedom of gliding on ice and letting go of control is not always easy for me, but I'm practicing letting go, and that gives me strength! I didn't get a picture of this amazing moment but the image and experience is vivid inside my mind and heart in a space of gratitude for the best moment of 2015 with my children by my side.
Whatever happened over these past couple of years, I am thankful for where it brought me; I'm exactly where I'm meant to be. Obviously I had hoped to share with you a more glamorous journey, but these are the cards life dealt me, and even though you see me struggle, you will never see me quit.
Again, thank you for all your love, prayers, and support. I appreciate your open mind without judgment more than you will ever know.
All my love,
Something I haven't been able to put into words perfectly was done so by my girlfriend Ellie this week. I wanted to share with you her blog post, which shows how a lot of people feel while suffering from the inside out...