I Will Remain Brave

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“Being brave means to know something is scary, difficult, and dangerous, and doing it anyway, because the possibility of winning the fight is worth the chance of losing it.” Emilie Autumn

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I Have Cancer

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I’ve been battling melanoma on & off since childhood. Melanoma is no peach. If it’s not caught early, it can spread like wildfire & take over…it is scary. But melanoma begins externally. It’s something I’ve been able to watch, observe & can keep my eyes on.

I was recently diagnosed with cervical cancer. This is completely new & unknown territory for me. Cervical cancer is internal. I can’t see it. I can’t watch it. I have NO IDEA what is going on, so word “scary” honestly doesn’t touch the feelings I have right now.

There is a BIG difference.

December 19th is my first surgery & no, I’m not scared, but I’m anxious. I don’t do patience & waiting well.

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Crazy on the Calendar

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December & January are going to be crazy months for me.

Being diagnosed with another form of cancer isn’t something I wanted or was looking forward to, but honestly, I knew it in my gut.

I’m having pre-surgery on December 12th & then surgery on December 19th & no, I’m not afraid. I am however, incredibly inpatient. I just want this done & over with. I want the results back, which I still get in January to see where we go from there.

In the midst of all of that, I have too other doctors appointments & fasting bloodwork. For the average Jane, easy peasy. For the chronically ill…holy moly!

Wish me luck please!

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I’m Only Human

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But I’m only human
And I bleed when I fall down
I’m only human
And I crash and I break down
Your words in my head, knives in my heart
You build me up and then I fall apart
‘Cause I’m only human

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I’m only human…

10 Signs You might Have a Thyroid Disorder

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The thyroid gland is one that not many people pay particular attention to. The brain, lungs, heart, liver and other vital organs generally demand more concern. However, the thyroid gland is one that is enormously important to our health.

The gland is no longer than 2 inches and is located in the front of the throat, slightly below the Adam’s apple. It consists of two sides (lobes) that lie on both sides of the windpipe, connected by a strip of tissue called the isthmus. The thyroid produces two primary hormones: triiodothyronine (T3) and thyroxine (T4). When either hormone levels are too high or too low, adverse health conditions can surface.

So, what does the thyroid do exactly? Well, a number of different things. The butterfly-shaped thyroid gland plays important roles in breathing, body weight, muscle strength, central and peripheral nervous systems, body temperature, cholesterol levels, heart rate, menstrual cycles, and others.

Since the symptoms of a thyroid disorder can be inconspicuous, it is sometimes necessary to check its hormonal levels through tests available at most health clinics. That said, there are certain signs that can indicate a thyroid disorder.

HERE ARE 10 SIGNS YOU HAVE A THYROID DISORDER:

1. FATIGUE

Fatigue is a symptom that generally encompasses feelings of tiredness and exhaustion. Hypothyroidism – low levels of thyroid hormones in the blood – may be a potential cause of fatigue. Consistent feelings of tiredness are often diagnosed as symptoms of chronic fatigue, which may also be a symptom of a thyroid disorder. In other cases, fatigue as a symptom may be quite subtle in nature.

2. WEIGHT GAIN

A sudden, unexplainable gain in weight can be a telltale sign of a thyroid condition. Generally, weight gain is the byproduct of low levels of thyroid hormones (hypothyroidism).  Conversely, elevated levels of thyroid hormone, called hyperthyroidism, may cause unanticipated periods of weight loss. Of the two disorders, hypothyroidism is far more common.

3. IRREGULAR HEART RATE

As mentioned, thyroid hormones affect a number of vital organs. When thyroid hormone levels are too low, this may cause the heart to beat too slow. When hormonal levels are elevated, heart rate may become uncharacteristically fast. As a result, one’s blood pressure levels often become erratic. Sometimes, alterations in heart rate create noticeable sensations, such as a pounding heart or heart palpitations.

4. SWELLING OF THE NECK

Contrary to most signs of a thyroid disorder, swelling of the neck is often a very noticeable symptom. This is one particular sign that demands immediate attention, as it may be the result of thyroid cancer or nodules, small lumps that grow within the thyroid. Of course, other conditions exist that may be responsible for swelling of the neck.

5. DEPRESSION

Surprisingly, depression may be one sign of a thyroid disorder. The reason is that hypothyroidism can impact levels of the brain’s “feel good” chemical, serotonin. Also, low levels of thyroid hormone can trigger other areas of the body to decrease activity, which may have an indirect impact on overall mood.

6. ANXIETY OR JITTERINESS

This is one sign that may be due to hyperthyroidism – when the thyroid gland is producing an excessive level of hormones. When this occurs, our metabolism and other parts of the body may become hyperactive, creating feelings of anxiety or general “jitteriness”.

7. BRAIN FOG

When thyroid functionality diminishes, cognitive ability often does as well. Hyperthyroidism often makes it difficult to concentrate, while hypothyroidism may create lapses in memory and decreased awareness. Notably, some women have attributed such signs to menopause, when the root cause was actually a thyroid condition.

8. DECREASED SEX DRIVE

This sign can be a standalone or a cumulative symptom. Low libido can be the direct result of hypothyroidism, but other signs – low energy, body aches, weight gain – caused by hypothyroidism may also be to blame.

9. DRY SKIN

In addition to swelling of the neck, dry skin may be another noticeable sign of a thyroid disorder. Hypothyroidism often slows metabolism, which can initiate changes in both skin texture and appearance. Further, an inactive metabolism often reduces sweating which limits the amount of skin moisture, causing flakiness or dryness. Also, nails may become brittle as well.

10. IRREGULAR DIGESTION

Those with hypothyroidism often complain of constipation, a likely result of decreased digestive activity from lowered hormonal production. On the flip side, hyperthyroidism or an overactive thyroid may result in bouts of diarrhea or more frequent bowel movements

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What “Self-Care” REALLY Is

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This Is What ‘Self-Care’ REALLY Means, Because It’s Not All Salt Baths And Chocolate Cake

Self-care is often a very unbeautiful thing.

It is making a spreadsheet of your debt and enforcing a morning routine and cooking yourself healthy meals and no longer just running from your problems and calling the distraction a solution.

It is often doing the ugliest thing that you have to do, like sweat through another workout or tell a toxic friend you don’t want to see them anymore or get a second job so you can have a savings account or figure out a way to accept yourself so that you’re not constantly exhausted from trying to be everything, all the time and then needing to take deliberate, mandated breaks from living to do basic things like drop some oil into a bath and read Marie Claire and turn your phone off for the day.

A world in which self-care has to be such a trendy topic is a world that is sick. Self-care should not be something we resort to because we are so absolutely exhausted that we need some reprieve from our own relentless internal pressure.

True self-care is not salt baths and chocolate cake, it is making the choice to build a life you don’t need to regularly escape from.

And that often takes doing the thing you least want to do.

It often means looking your failures and disappointments square in the eye and re-strategizing. It is not satiating your immediate desires. It is letting go. It is choosing new. It is disappointing some people. It is making sacrifices for others. It is living a way that other people won’t, so maybe you can live in a way that other people can’t.

It is letting yourself be normal. Regular. Unexceptional. It is sometimes having a dirty kitchen and deciding your ultimate goal in life isn’t going to be having abs and keeping up with your fake friends. It is deciding how much of your anxiety comes from not actualizing your latent potential, and how much comes from the way you were being trained to think before you even knew what was happening.

The act of self-care has become yet another thing women are expected to be good at. Did you use the right filter for that ‘gram of your impeccably prepared acai bowl? Are the candles you just lit in your Snap story made from organic hand-poured soy or are they that mass-produced factory shit? And how can we stem the inevitable capitalist tide from turning something as simple as self-care into yet another thing to be bought and sold? These are all things I wrestle with as I order Dominos in sweatpants under the guise of ‘being good to myself.’ – quote via Amil Niazi

If you find yourself having to regularly indulge in consumer self-care, it’s because you are disconnected from actual self-care, which has very little to do with “treating yourself” and a whole lot do with parenting yourself and making choices for your long-term wellness.

It is no longer using your hectic and unreasonable life as justification for self-sabotage in the form of liquor and procrastination. It is learning how to stop trying to “fix yourself” and start trying to take care of yourself… and maybe finding that taking care lovingly attends to a lot of the problems you were trying to fix in the first place.

It means being the hero of your life, not the victim. It means rewiring what you have until your everyday life isn’t something you need therapy to recover from. It is no longer choosing a life that looks good over a life that feels good. It is giving the hell up on some goals so you can care about others. It is being honest even if that means you aren’t universally liked. It is meeting your own needs so you aren’t anxious and dependent on other people.

It is becoming the person you know you want and are meant to be. Someone who knows that salt baths and chocolate cake are ways to enjoy life – not escape from it.

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