Continuing to Improve

Another week of great results as I’ve continued to feel better each day as a result of my new vitamin regime including probiotics and Protandim. My sleep is improving, brain fog is getting more clear and my overall pain level is continuing to reduce. For years I have woken in extreme pain, dreading rolling over to get out of bed and experiencing the excruciating pain of my feet hitting the floor when I stand up. However now when I wake up my first thoughts are not about how much pain I am in. I am able to roll over and get out of bed instantly and not in excruciating pain, and each day I continue to improve and the pain lessens even more.

Prior to my diagnosis with Lupus and Lyme disease I was running daily, competing in half and full marathons, triathlons, century bicycle rides (100 miles), and training for an Ironman competition. My diagnoses stopped all of that very abruptly. As much as I’ve continued to try to run through all of this I have been unable to remain consistent due to pain, fatigue and my body not accepting the abuse. Prior to taking Protandim I could barely run at all and if I pushed and ran 2-3 days I was bedridden for 2 weeks and barely able to make it through a full day of work.

For the past 3 weeks of taking Protandim I have been able to run 4-5 days a week consistently and have registered for my first running competition in 5 years! I am running on a 178 mile relay team for the Reno Tahoe Odyssey in June. For the first time in years I am confident I will be in shape for the event and able to participate without making myself sick. This is a huge progress in my health, especially since 3 months ago my doctor told me to stop expecting to run like I used to, my body just couldn’t do it anymore. I refused to believe her and I’m so glad I did because it opened my mind to try Protandim.

When I began taking Protandim I had many reservations and expected it not to work, since I hadn’t had success with anything in the past. However I have been beyond surprised with the results and am so happy I tried it as it has allowed me to get my life back!

Taking Control of My Health

I have been taking a new product supplement for almost a month now and I’m very surprised to say I am beginning to see improvements in my every day health!

When I was first introduced to the product by a friend I was extremely skeptical, as I have been with everything regarding treatment since my diagnosis. It’s hard for me to think there is anything that will help with a chronic illness (or 5), and also help prevent my body from further destroying itself in the future. I am still early in the process of the regime, however I am very pleased with it.

The supplements I am currently taking are called Protandim, PhysIQ (a probiotics), Omega+, and Axio. These products are sold online through a distributor on their website. As stated previously, I was skeptical at first but decided to invest in my health because it was worth it if I saw results at any level. My perceptions have changed, although I still am waiting for maximum results which could take another 2-3 months due to how sick I have been for so long, I am happy to say I have seen drastic results the first month of use! This is such a relief for me and make me want to continue use to see what further improvements I continue to have.

The benefits I have seen in the first month of use are:

  • Reduced inflammation
  • Reduced daily pain and achiness
  • Reduced joint pain and stiffness, especially in the mornings. I am able to get out of bed most days without crying in pain and forcing my body to move
  • Increased energy
  • Better quality sleep
  • The ability to beginning running regularly again without forcing myself into a lupus flare
  • Decreased headaches
  • Improved memory clarity, reduced brain fog
  • Less “night crawling”, a side effect of chronic Lyme disease

The symptoms listed above have improved approximately 25% over the past month. While I have seen improvements, I still occasionally have some difficult days due to my illnesses, however it is to be expected due to the damage that has been done to my body over the past decade due to chronic illness. However now on those difficult days I am able to function whereas before I could not have.

These supplements center around improving your body so it can rebuild your fighting power and reduce oxidative stress in your body, which is ultimately the cause of many diseases and illnesses. This is the very brief version, however I will write more on the ingredients and how the process works in tomorrow’s blog. 🙂

Keep fighting!!

#lupuswarrior #fightlikeagirl #lymewarrior #fibromyalgia #chronicillness #lupus #lymedisease #lifevantage #protandim

Never Stop Fighting

The past two years have been difficult to say the least. Due to numerous personal and physical struggles the progress I had gained in 2015 after completing my Lyme treatment were all but erased. Due to financing hardship I was unable to seek additional treatment, even though I knew it was the only avenue that would get my body healing again. However through it all I’ve continued to fight. I’m not saying it was easy or without multiple tears and meltdowns, but I kept fighting. Some days the pain was so severe I could not force myself to get out of bed, and on those days I tried harder than ever to do just that, to prove to myself I could.

While it’s easy to get lost in the agony and sadness of disease, I always try to focus on the good, what I have to be thankful for, because that is why we fight. Even on my worst days I knew I had to get my ass out of bed, go to work, cook meals, go to my kids practices & games and make sure I was there for them 1000% because that is my job as a parent. What I’ve discovered through my journey, is that we tend to fight harder for those we love, than we would for ourselves. We find strength we don’t have within ourselves inside those we love, and it’s a beautiful thing. Because I know I want to do everything I can to heal and be the healthiest version of me I can, I began to make changes in 2018.

In January 2018, after being on methotrexate (chemo) for almost 2 years, I decided to stop taking the medication. I struggled for several weeks with flare ups and very swollen, painful joints, and after about 6 weeks those symptoms began to ease slightly. I continued to struggle with pain, swollen joints, skin rashes, inability to sleep, pleurisy and extreme fatigue. In trying to get answers I saw my rheumatologist, hoping for a step in a positive direction. Contrary to what I was hoping for, in February I was diagnosed with fibromyalgia. Unwilling to accept the diagnosis, I also refused all medications proposed to aid in dealing with disease. Knowing my body, I’m very confident my Lyme disease is back in full gear and causing most of the symptoms I am having, along with my Lupus and RA. My body has just been too weak to fight them off.

Anyone who knows me knows I’m not a huge fan of conventional medicine and always prefer a natural remedy where one is available. So I began researching different types of natural products in an attempt to find a miracle. I have too many goals and plans to continue to be unhealthy.

In the middle of March, I started taking a new vitamin regimen my friend recommended that has given me hope for the first time since I discovered my Lyme clinic in 2015. I haven’t seen drastic improvements while taking them yet, however I was told upfront to give them time to work and progress may be slow, but to try the products for 3-4 months before making a decision. I have seen some improvements, however my body is extremely toxic and fatigued, so it takes time to go through the detoxing stage to get to where I can begin to heal.

I will continue to share my experiences with my new regime on my blog as I know many of you struggle with the same illnesses and side effects I do. If it works for me I want to be able to share that with anyone else who could benefit from it. So stay tuned for more updates. Never stop fighting! 💜💚💜💚

#lupuswarrior #lyme #protandim #lupus #fightlikeagirl

Sunday, March 26, 2017

The past several months have been an ongoing battle for me and my family. The external stresses and intentional hurt being inflicted on us has been taking its toll on a variety of levels. This May I will have been on chemotherapy for a year to help treat my lupus. At times I feel as though it is helping and at times I feel that the side effects are worse than the disease itself. I have ups and down in my illnesses, mainly driven by the amount of stress occurring in my life. It seems that every time I begin to get a step ahead and feel better, someone or something causes undue stress which leads me into a flare and the cycle starts all over again. 

This week has been extremely tasking on me both physically and emotionally. There have been a few wonderful things that have happened, however they were followed by vindictive acts which has me at the beginning stages of a flare.

Many people ask me what lupus is and how it feels. On some levels lupus is very complicated, especially when it is coupled with Lyme disease and other disorders or diseases which is very common. With lupus your body attacks itself thinking its “bad” and therefore igniting a war inside your body. Taking the proper medications (transplant medication and chemotherapy in my case due to the severity) try to trick the body into thinking it’s good instead of bad which doesn’t always work, or if it does can be a short-term solution resulting in a long-term treatment plan, including being on chemotherapy for several years. 

As far as how lupus feels, two words come to mind immediately, pain and exhaustion. Some days I feel well enough to function normally, even when I know I should rest. I try to maintain as normal of a life as I can in public, working, running when I’m able, attending events or gatherings. However there are times during those days when I feel like I may collapse or start crying and not be able to stop due to the pain and exhaustion. These moments can come out of nowhere or slowly build over days. 

I’m extremely blessed to have an amazing family, incredible children, and a wonderful circle of friends who have been with me during the hardest times, even seeing past the verbal “I’m fine’s” and knowing reality is anything but fine. One thing I still struggle with is understanding how someone could abandon their loved ones during times of pain and illness, to the point of purposely inflicting more harm to make them more sick. Living through this has probably been one of the most difficult things I’ve endured. However sometimes blessings come in disguise. 

So through times of pain when we put on our game faces and continue on with life, trying so hard to make sure no one senses or sees the pain or hurt, those days are often the hardest. We can close a door and have our moments of weakness, but never let them see us struggle, even if it leads people to believe we’re not as sick as we truly are. Chronic illness takes its toll not only on the person, but their children, families and friends. The fear alone that they face is often more difficult for them than it is for the person fighting the battle. It’s time for understanding and awareness of lupus, Lyme disease, and so many other chronic illnesses that follow this same pattern. We are all just people trying to get by to the best of our ability without making our struggle more difficult. 

Sunday, August 7th 2016


It’s Sunday, which means for me it’s the day to take chemotherapy. Sunday has become my least favorite day over the past 13 weeks for this reason alone. It means rushing to get as much done as possible because I don’t know how I’ll feel after I take the medication. 

I had been on the oral medication until a month ago, however I was still flaring, had very swollen joints and in a lot of pain so my doctor made the decision to put me on an injectable form at the max dose. The shot has a faster and more drastic reaction, leaving me sick much sooner after taking it. I haven’t seen as much improvement as I was hoping while on this form, however my doctor said it can take up to a couple months to see the effects. 

I still have good and bad days, but Sunday through Tuesday/Wednesday seem to be the worst as far as medication reaction. I get horrible headaches almost instantly and try to keep as much fluid as possible down. I get extremely naseous, stomach pain and overall pain through my body. I also get flu like symptoms where I’m chilled then running a fever and have a very hard time sleeping. 

I’m currently attending training so I don’t have much time to rest or relax and my body is definitely feeling it. Not only are the side effects from the medication kicking my ass but my Lyme symptoms are starting up again.

There have been several days this past week where my feet and arms have gone numb, especially the first 15-20 minutes of the day. As much as I’d like to lay in bed and try to sleep through the pain, it’s not an option. So I force myself out of bed knowing with time the pain will become part of the “norm” for the day and it won’t be as overwhelming. Eventually the tears will stop. 

I try to rest and not let life stress me out, however with everything going on right now it feels damn near impossible, but I still fight every day and remember I was given this life to live because I’m strong enough to live it. Even when certain people inflict undue stress knowing how sick I get from it, and almost seem happy about it. Those are some of the hardest days. Knowing there are so many people who care and will do anything to help me and knowing there are always others who want nothing more than to break me. It’s something I’ll never understand..but it also keeps me fighting to show them I’m unbreakable. 

So to everyone who thinks someone with a chronic illness isn’t sick because we’re able to function on a regular basis, remember most of us are great actors. And while we can make ourselves presentable and get out of the house, it doesn’t mean it’s not a struggle every second of every day. 💚💜💚💜💚💜

Friday, June 10, 2016

I have been on chemo for a month now, so I had an appointment with my rheumatologist to analyze my labs and make sure my body was tolerating the medication. I explained my main side effects, nausea, vomiting, hair loss, weak nails, stomach pain, body pain and headaches. I expressed my concern that I didn’t feel the medication was doing much for my flares, to which he explained it takes between 6-8 weeks for it to fully start working in the body. So translated that means I can expect the side effects to get worse. Good times… Anywho, he increased my dose which I was expecting. He said he’s sure I will need to be on the max dose however we needed to gradually step up it up to try and limit the side effects if possible. 

I am still experiencing a lot of joint pain and rashes from my flares, swelling in my joints, primarily my hands, ankles and toes which have had me hobbling around most nights after being up on my feet for a good part of the day. My toes have never really been affected by the joint pain so this is a new one and very painful. I’ve been taking a lot of apple cider vinegar baths to try and get the toxins out of my body in hopes to alleviate some of the inflammation. I also take a very hot ACV bath on days I take the medication. My theory is to get myself feeling as bad as possible to try and sweat most of the toxins from my body so I can start feeling better sooner. Not sure if it’s helping or not but releasing the toxins is always a good practice.

I am also developing some major lymph node blockages which are causing some pain do I need to get a lymphatic to help unblock the in hopes that helps with some of the pain and inflammation as well. 

All in all the medication isn’t great but there’s always worse things I could be experiencing. I’m still hopeful it will end up helping more in the next could months. Hope is what keeps me going so can’t lose that now!  💜💜💜💜💜💜

May 28, 2016 – Week Two

It has been two weeks since I began chemotherapy treatment for Lupus. I am taking Methotrexate by pill form not IV which makes it much more convenient. I have found within a couple hours of taking the medicine I start to not feel normal, not necessarily bad just not the same. I had the same type of feeling right after I would get the “push” shot from my integrative medicine Doctor last year, prior to my full blown reaction. 

As the night goes on I begin to feel worse, pain sets in throughout my body, mainly in my joints and I become so fatigued I can hardly move. Day two always seems to be the worst for the pain and fatigue, even trying to push and force myself to get up for work has been impossible as all I want to do is sleep, but am unable to sleep well for an extended time. The third day I’ve been able to get up and to work, however it is difficult and the symptoms continue but differ some. I am still fatigued, tremendous joint pain and very nauseous. This has been going through day 4 for the most part. 

This week however I had a set back and today, I’ve been pretty much laid up in bed since this afternoon, only getting out with my dad and daughter to eat something since even that has been a chore some days. I got sick after I ate of course and the pain is continuing to worsen in my lower body, especially hips, knees, ankles and feet.  Unfortunately tomorrow is the day to take the medication again and I can feel it progressing with each week’s dose. 

The challenges I’m facing are not solely medical at this point in my life but also personal which do not help at all with my illnesses or treatment. My doctors have been keeping a very close eye on me due to the impacts of stress on lupus and Lyme and the direct effects and damage it can cause almost instantaneously. I’ve seen the progression happen within myself, even though I’ve fought my ass off not to let it impact me. Some things just happen within your body that you cannot control, another very frustrating fact of living with chronic and potentially debilitating and fatal illnesses. I’ve recently been told by someone I once loved wholeheartedly that I’m not really sick and faking my illnesses. Even knowing what I know, it still hurts to hear evil words purposely said to inflict more pain and stress. 

But again, things could always be worse. I continue to take each day as they’re handed to me and try to find the stength to rise above whatever challenge is thrown my direction. What doesn’t kill us makes us stronger right? Or so the saying goes…