Hey Friends! I apologize for being so absent the past few weeks, I just finished up freezing my eggs in preparation for my transplant and I had some unforeseen complications that landed me in bed for a good week and a half, BUT, good news: we now have eight successfully frozen embryos to use whenever we choose after I am finished with my transplant! Sidenote: these are also referred to as Blastocysts? That’s what the nurse called them when she delivered the good news, anyways. Prior to finding this out Gav and I just referred to them as frozen babies. Now that he knows they are called Blastocysts he uses the term interchangeably with “baby”. So now I am referred to as Blastocyst and am frequently awoken to “Good morning, Blastocyst”, or even better his new favorite holiday tune, “Santa Blastocyst”. How clever.
Also, since we’ve chatted last, I found out that insurance FINALLY approved my transplant after two denials. So I am officially scheduled to begin my transplant on April 2nd! This means I am officially off of ALL prescription medications. So now the next step is to get my body strong and healthy as possible before April…which means some SERIOUS diet changes – deets coming soon so stay tuned!
ANYWAYS…Now that we’ve gotten the health updates out of the way…I MUST tell you all about the most inspiring/positive/hopeful/motivating/empowering day I had on Wednesday! It was a pretty normal day, I was at crossfit at Q2. We had a coach, Kevin, who had never coached any of the classes that I attended, he’s the only coach at my box who I didn’t know. He started the class by introducing himself to the group since there were several of us who he had not met prior and then proceeded to explain the sickness-wellness-fitness continuum by Coach Greg Glassman, the founder of Crossfit.
If you’re not familiar with this continuum, I highly recommend you check it out here, on the Crossfit Journal. He has a really interesting perspective on health and fitness, that I couldn’t agree more with.
After he finished explaining the continuum, he proceeded to tell us how it relates to his personal life, and the fact that he has been living with MS for 14 years. It was so empowering and refreshing to hear someone with a chronic disease speak about taking charge of their illness. There’s so much doom and gloom out there surrounding MS that it becomes miserable to talk about, learn about, research, or even get involved with. It’s why I chose to just ignore it for three years. Up until a few months ago, I rarely ever spoke of it to anyone other than my husband and my doctors. I was simply tired of getting the response “oh my friends dad has that, he’s in a wheelchair” or, this was the best one yet, my eye DOCTOR looked at my chart and said “I had a few friends with MS, they eventually passed from it”, oh okay, thanks for the helpful information, dude.
I hung around after class and wanted to personally introduce myself to Kevin and although its not a conversation I usually like to get into, I felt since he shared the information that he did at the beginning of class that it was kind of a sign that I should share my story with him as well. He told me he already knew, (my former manager cuts his hair and told him about me, HI SHANNON 🙂 ) and that was why he brought all of that up today at the start of class. I never thought I would feel the emotions that ran though me during our conversation, it was the first time I had ever spoke (In person) with someone else who had my same disease, who knew exactly what it felt like, and exactly what I was going through. To see someone so healthy and incredibly fit and able while also showing zero signs of a “poor me” mentality was so incredibly inspiring and hopeful. We also talked about how MS is just as much of a mental disease as it is physical; you just have to live your life, you can’t let it get to your head, a life full of fear and what ifs is not a life to live, especially when we’re in such good shape and healthy now. There’s no reason to worry away what we have right now, we need to live in the moment and just not take life to seriously.
I guess the reason I felt the need to share this was not only because it completely inspired me on a whole new level, but to show others out there that there is hope. I wish there was more of that out there when I was diagnosed. Everyone is dealt a hand, you have zero say in what that hand will be. But you have EVERY ounce of power to chose how you will deal with those cards. Take control of what life has given you, don’t let it consume you, don’t let it define you, and most importantly, don’t let it defeat you.
After that conversation I went home and enjoyed one of my favorite, throw together comfort meals. I’ll admit, before going paleo I was an oats addict and it was something I had a hard time cutting out. This Paleo N’oatmeal definitely helped me kick the habit and it’s a meal I enjoy on a regular basis. It’s a favorite of mine for breakfast, lunch, or dinner and its something that has ingredients that are almost always in my fridge and its so quick and easy to make!
1/4 cup cashew, almond or coconut milk (not canned), divided into two 2 TBS amounts.
1 TBS. ground flax seed (optional)
1/2 TBS. Chia seeds (optional)
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. vanilla
1/2 cup strawberries
1 tsp. grass-fed buter or 1 TBS coconut butter
mash banana with a fork and combine all ingredients, other than the butter and half of the milk, in a skillet (if needed, grease with coconut oil or a little butter if not using a non-stick) on the stove at medium-low heat. Cook these just like you would scrambled eggs, about 4-5 minutes. they will look a little mushy when they are done due to the liquid that is added, but they are finished! Put into a bowl and add remaining milk and top with butter.
“Fitness, Luck and Health by CrossFit Inc., Adapted From Lectures by Greg Glassman.” CrossFit Journal, journal.crossfit.com/2016/08/fitness-luck-and-health.tpl.