Wednesday, January 13, 2016

A Doctors Appointment....

January 7, 2016 ~ Late last year momma went to the doctor for a routine check up and blood work. Her doctor called and said that her white blood cells were high and wanted to repeat the blood work. She repeated the blood work and the white blood cells came back high. She was referred to Missouri Cancer Associates for some additional blood work testing.

While I wasn't going to share this information as this was something that we don't have all the answers to just yet I felt it was important enough to share because I want the information to be factual and come from our family instead of wrong information down the line. 

Pops went with momma to her doctors appointment this afternoon. Momma was diagnosed with CLL, Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia. She is in the very early stages which is good news. The doctor was really surprised that he was seeing her this early as most of the time patients are further along than she is. (That was great news) She didn't really have any symptoms per say as she was a little more tired than normal and she had some headaches which we have learned are symptoms of CLL.

What is chronic lymphocytic leukemia?

Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia (CLL) is a type of cancer that starts from cells that become certain white blood cells (called lymphocytes) in the bone marrow. The cancer (leukemia) cells start in the bone marrow but then go into the blood. 

In CLL, the leukemia cells often build up slowly over time, and many people don't have any symptoms for at least a few years. In time, the cells can spread to other parts of the body, including the lymph nodes, liver, and spleen.

Then next step is for momma to have a CT Scan to see if there are any tumors inside her body. Fingers crossed this comes back clear but either way this information will give doctors exactly what they need to know for her treatment plan. This has been scheduled for later this month. 

While this news was something we never wanted to hear we are a family that will stick together through thick and thin and show cancer that it's not welcome here! Momma has a great attitude about all of this and I'm not gonna lie... this is some scary stuff but we just take it one day at a time and enjoy every moment.

While many people don't know about momma's diagnosis (until now) however the few family and friends that do know have all asked the same question... How can I help? The answer is fairly simple... keep her in your thoughts and prayers but when you see her in person just give her a hug! There is nothing that we can say or do right now but knowing that she has the love and support of so many wonderful people makes this journey a little easier. (Oh but if you are sick and not feeling well just give her a big ol' smile... we don't need her to get sick!)

We will have more information in the coming weeks and right now we are just trying to keep her busy which keeps her mind off things. She really likes her doctor (which is important) and once we know a treatment plan we will have a much clearer picture of this nasty disease. Her doctor did say that if she had to have a cancer this is the one he would want because it's slow growing and  manageable. I can promise you that her family will make sure that she receives top notch service from her doctors. Again, this was something we never wanted to hear but this journey won't be one that is taken alone... we are ready to kick cancer's ass! We love you momma!

Well Hello 2016!

January 1, 2016 ~ Gosh I can't believe it's already 2016! Last year flew by and this year I am ready to enjoy the little moments that will make up this new year! Brandon and I will be celebrating milestone birthday's this year and will be married 19 years in September! With a new year means new goals and yes I have already gathered a short list of things I would like to accomplish this year!

1. Fitness / Active Lifestyle
I want to become more active and inspire others long the way. I am certainly not a fitness coach nor do I train at the gym. (I do have friends that are rock star trainers so if you need this kind of help to stay focused let me know!) I know just something so simple as walking (or running/jogging) and that doesn't cost a lot can make a huge difference in how I feel. While I will mostly walk as my form of exercise I will try to push myself from time to time to step up my game.  Running, for me, isn't something I enjoy however from time to time I will push myself to run but few and far between. Do you realize that we have a huge gym available anytime we want and membership is free? You don't believe me do you? Walk out your front door. You have the world waiting for you just waiting for you to explore it! You have various climates, temperatures and courses available 365 days a year. Too cold outside then find some where indoors to walk. Want an easy course then find a track to walk/run on or a trail. Really there is no good excuse not to find somewhere to walk (or run) in your community. In an effort to kick off the year of turning 40 my goal is to complete 40 5k's in 2016! I will look for "live races" in town and out of state (when traveling) as well as complete "virtual races" to reach this goal. If I do a race that is less or more than a 5k then it will be considered a "bonus race". I have also signed up for two yearly challenges to keep me focused and motivated as well. (Oh and I know I need to drink more water.... that's a tough one but something I really need to work on!)

Run the Year 2016 
Run/Walk 2,016 miles in 2016. Sounds crazy doesn't it? I knew I couldn't do this many miles per year on my own and thankfully they allow you to split the mileage among 4 people. Luckily I talked 4 lovely ladies into doing this challenge with me! Ashley Adams, Cindy Mutrux, Jacki Swank and I will complete 2,016 miles in 2016! (Basically that's 504 miles per person) We had to come up with a team name... are you ready for this.... "The Young and the Rest of Us"! (Since my sister is the young one and then there are the rest of us - Bahahaha!)
Get signed up today! The only better time to sign up was yesterday! 

Option 1: Walk or Run 1000 Miles 
Option 2: Walk or Run 100 Days 
For this yearly challenge I choose the walk/run 100 days. Luckily this doesn't have to be consecutive days however I am going to try and make it much more than that! I didn't want to do 1,000 miles since I have singed up for a mileage yearly challenge and don't want to "double dip". I think it will be fun and a great way to stick to my goals! There's still time to get signed up if you are interested! 

2. Travel
For those of you that know me then you know we love to travel. I have made it a goal to see all 50 states by the year we turn 40 (this year...eek)! We have knocked a lot of states off this "bucket list" item but have 12 states left to take in to reach this goal and I'm up for the challenge! I love making memories with Brandon while visiting places we have never been to and sometimes dragging friends/family along with us! When I set this goal I knew the two hardest states would be Hawaii and Alaska but we managed to knock those out in 2014 and 2015! What do we have left to visit?

11 States:
a. Michigan
b. Ohio
c. West Virginia
d. Pennsylvania
e. New Jersey
f. Delaware
g. Maryland
h. Maine
i. New Hampshire
j. Rhode Island
k. Connecticut

We have no desire to travel outside the United States. For us, we want to see what our United States has to offer and spend our money here. This goal or "bucket list" item forces you to see states you would probably never visit and find something special within that state! When we are done seeing all of the US we will focus on areas that we really want to go back and see! (Yellowstone and Alaska for example) We are looking forward to a trip this fall with my bestie, Misty and her husband Charles as we all turn 40 this year. We figured it would be fun to go somewhere we've never been to celebrate! I will be looking for 5k's as we travel to help me knock out my fitness goal too!

3. Give Back to Others
I am going to do my best to give back to a community I know and love and sometimes other communities when the opportunity arises. I enjoy helping others that want to help themselves. (I have no tolerance for those that use people or get services they feel they are entitled to just because) I want to go through all of my belongings and figure out if I have something that would benefit others or an organization. I will continue to volunteer my time to many great things as well as I would like to spearhead a few things this year. It's so rewarding to give back and it makes your heart happy!

4. Love 
Over the past year I have taken a lot for granted and I am going to try and change that! I have a wonderful husband who puts up with all my craziness, I have an awesome family who I would do anything for and some pretty incredible friends that can count on through thick and thin. I want to make sure these important people in my life know how much I love them and really mean it.

5. Write
I really enjoy writing and telling stories. I don't find enough time to do this and I am going to do my best to carve out time each day to accomplish it. I enjoy blogging of course it takes me forever to do a blog because I want the readers to fully envision what I am talking about, I would like to write another book and sitting down to write thoughtful handwritten notes to others. I have to keep reminding myself... You have to make time for the things you enjoy!  

6. Inspire Others
I want to inspire others to do things they don't think is possible or they don't believe they can accomplish. We all have self doubt and when you have people cheering you on along the way anything seems possible. Simple words of encouragement can truly make a difference and when it's sincere it certainly means a lot!

7. Slow Down
I know many of you are laughing at this one because the words "Michele Spry" and "Slow Down" don't even go together. I mean if you have made it this far into my blog it certainly doesn't sound like I will be slowing down! After thinking about last year and how quickly it flew by I really want to enjoy each day and each week of this year. Life is slipping by so quickly and while I may not completely slow down I will be a little more selective on things I am doing to give me a little more time with my hubby and family!

8. Capture Moments:
So I get a lot of grief from family and friends because I love taking photos. I let those comments bother me and missed out on many great things. Beautiful sunsets, old barns, family members laughing and being together but this year I'm not missing out. Take this as a warning that I will have my camera with me a lot more because I'm not going to miss out these things from this day forward! I love looking back on pictures and remembering what we were doing or where we visited during a specific trip.

I can't help but smile when I stumble upon this quote.....
"Life is like a camera.... Focus on what's important, Capture the good times, Develop from the negatives and if things don't work out take another shot!"

9. Pay It Forward
I love paying it forward when I can. There is something so heartwarming about doing something kind for a random stranger that makes you want to continue to do things. I feel like it's our way of saying thank you to others and hope that they will choose to do the same. I hope that one day this world is a much better place as we all get caught up in the hustle and bustle of life. We pay more attention to our electronic devices than we do each other. Have you ever done something such as holding the door for someone and seeing their smile or hearing the words "thank you"? Kindness does matter and while many times we don't receive anything it's nice knowing that you took time out of your day to impact others positively. Sometimes I think I get more out of being kind than the person receiving it!

I think 2016 is going to be a good year.
Happy New Year everyone!