Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Guest Blogger – Sharon Teaches us about Lupus

One month from now I will be in Detroit with many of my family and friends for the Alliance for Lupus Research’s Detroit walk to raise money for Lupus research! I mentioned before that my best friend, Sharon, has lived with lupus for some time now. Team Cakesy, our walking group, has collected nearly $2,000 already and is hoping to raise at least $1,000 more in the next month! We certainly have our work cut out for us!! Please check out the link at the bottom to make a donation!

I want to say thanks to Rhapsody for leaving this in the comments for the Team Cakesy blog post of a letter I wrote about Sharon:

Perhaps you can do a blog on MSN breaking it down, what it is, what it affects and how, in simple layman terms. What are the symptoms? I know i sound naive and I can probable google it though sometimes the clinicalness of the writing sometimes water down the powerful impacts. Give it to me from your perspective. The "I" vision is always powerful.

Great suggestion!! I had Sharon do a write up for me, so lets give her a round of applause and welcome her to Windows Live Spaces!!

Sharon Teaches us About Lupus

The first time that I heard of lupus was on the "Martin" sitcom when someone made a joke about Santa Claus having lupus due to his spotty hair. The joke tickled me then and I can definitely relate to Santa's spotty hair now.

Lupus is a tricky disease because its symptoms mimic those of other diseases. The line between Crohn’s Disease and lupus is blurred just like the line between Irritable Bowel Syndrome. My doctors thought that I both of these diseases before I was correctly diagnosed with lupus at age 22. My diagnosis took two years. Nowadays, I hear the average time to make an accurate diagnosis is four years. That’s a terrible thing.

Lupus flares occur when the body’s good antibodies turn on each other and fight. A healthy person’s antibodies fight off colds and other maladies whereas a person with lupus antibodies’ fight each other. When there are no or minimal signs of lupus symptoms then the disease is said to be in remission.

Lupus can attack any organ in the body including the skin, eyes, heart, nerves, liver and kidneys. The symptoms range just as far. They include feeling fatigued, anemia, muscle pain, purple fingers and toes, bruising easily and rashes.

There are two forms of lupus, systemic and discoid. Systemic lupus is of the blood and discoid lupus is a skin disorder. In order to accurately diagnose lupus, bloodwork has to be completed. If discoid lupus is suspected then a skin biopsy may be required.

There is not a cure for the disease. There aren’t any lupus specific drugs and have not been any new medications in over 50 years. There are just ways to manage it which include knowing your physical limits, keeping stress to a minimum, eating a balanced diet and staying out of direct sunlight.

Lupus is not a death sentence and folks can live healthy, full and productive lives. Additionally, some people have been in remission for decades and lupus is just a distant memory. It is all in how you take care of and nurture yourself! If you want more info about lupus:

Sharon, A.K.A. Cakesy


Item of the Day…. is…. *now for a shameless plug*…. If you would like to send a donation to Team Cakesy you can click here to do so:

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Toronto, Ontario

I took a weekend trip to Toronto to spend some time with my cousins. My dad and step-mom came up for the weekend and we had a great time! I miss my 4 year old cousin BJ so much! When he was a baby we all lived in Minnesota and I would babysit all the time and hang out at my cousins’ house the whole weekend. Well, now that we are further apart, I don’t get to see him as often. So it amazes me how much he has grown in 4 years!!! After the arrived in Toronto, BJ got a little sister Elle. She’s such a diva and I am excited to see her personality evolve.

In an effort to spend some quality time with BJ, we decided it would be fun to make birthday party hats for everyone in the family, since we were celebrating Elle’s first birthday that weekend. We sent Gabbi to the store to grab some “tools” and BJ and I painted, colored, cut and glued until we had made a personalized hat for everyone in the family… including the dog, Jody. Here are pics of BJ and I modeling our own hats. His had dinosaurs all over it while mine had a “drawing” of the whole family standing underneath a blue sky with some white clouds and a sun. It was so much fun!

IMG_0693 IMG_0691 IMG_0692

While we did take a quick trip to the city, I didn’t get any pics while I was there, other than those of the family at the house. Sometimes those are the best weekends/vacations you can ask for. Here’s Elle, playing with her daddy and listening to Chrisette Michelle on my iPod touch


And Gabbi chilling with the kids while Elle chews on my iPod touch… *mental note: get waterproof case next time you see Elle*


Now, for the item of the day… For quite some time now I have wanted a pair of Frye boots. My main deterrent has been the cost (they are around $300+) but everything I hear about them pretty much guarantees that they are worth it, for many years to come. My friend Sandy has a pair of the Harness boots and I absolutely love them. Yesterday Bobby and I watched both parts 1 and 2 of Night at the Museum (funny movies) and there was one point during the movie where “Bobby” said exactly what I was thinking - “I can see you walking around in an outfit similar to what Amelia Earhart has on”.

amelia 1A Night at the MuseumA Night at the Museum

I guess he’s caught on to my weird fixation with dressing like a superhero, LOL… but all jokes aside, I was feeling the old school look (or a modernized version of it) and the first thing that came to mind were those Frye Veronica boots (although the Frye boots have more of a slouch than Amelia’s in the movie)!! They would look so fly with my brown leather motorcycle-style jacket and some leggings or skinny jeans. While I would opt for a plan front versus the laces, as shown, I also like the Harness that take on more of a cowboy look…

Frye Veronica Slouch

frye veronica slouch frye veronica slouch 2

Frye Carmen Harness

frye carmen harness tall frye carmen harness tall 2

Since I already made my annual investment for 2009 with the Botkier handbag… maybe next year I finally buy the Frye boots????