Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Everything Happens for a Reason

Good morning friends!

I am celebrating another victory today.  At the risk of once again jinxing myself, my platlets counts have been stable and high for 3 months now.  I saw my hematologist yersterday and he was very happy with the results.  I am to go for blood tests every second month and will follow up with him in 6 months.  If my platlets stay up, I will see him yearly.  Fingers crossed!
Life has been busy these last few months.  I had a few setback professionaly, we adopted a dog and we welcomed a new exchange student into our home.  I don't have many scrapbook layouts to share with you, but I hope to be able to share a few next week. In the meantime, here is one on my favorites from this fall

I pride myself in being a positive person, but in September, after facing another fall in platlet levels and after losing half of my clients at my dayjob, I had trouble seeing the positive side of things. I was scared and sad and felt broken and defeated. I was watching a favorite daytime talk show of mine and they were discussing how the phrase "everything happens for a reason" was overused. They were saying how we say it almost automaticaly to give ourselves and others comfort and we don't really think of the meaning behind it. Some were saying that it simply is not true, basically a lie we tell each other.  I tend to disagree somewhat.  I don't think that we all deserve the challenges that are put in front of us, but I do think that we can learn from all of them. I think the challenges sometimes gives us the opportunity to make things better.  That instead of feeling helpless, we can always find something to be thankfull for, that in living the sadness we can fully appreciate the happy times.  I can now say that I lived through one of the toughest year of my life and I can take from it a new clarity. I am a stronger person now. It has helped me put things in focus and made me appreciate my life, my family, my friends, my job and my body so much more. I am ready for whatever come my way and look forward to the end of 2015 and the beginning of a new year.

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Roller Coaster

Well, what a year it has been so far.  Remember last blog I wrote?  My hematologist saying that the risk of me having another flare up was low?  Well I think he jinxed it, because I was in the hospital again a couple weeks later, my platelets had dropped to 14 (reminder : a normal count is above 150). What a roller coaster! The doctor decided to try a treatment designed to have a longer term effect- since this ITP thing was chronic, auto-immune and not a one time thing like he suspected.
The treatment called Rituxan is usually given to athritis patients, but it has shown great results in some chronic ITP patients.  The treatment is given once a week by IV for 4 weeks.  I responded really well (like suprisingly fast, the nurse was amazed!) to the first infusion and went through the treatment with platlets above normal for a few weeks.  By week 3, my platlets dropped again even on the treatment.  The doctor thinks it is too early to say if the treatment worked or not- it could take up to 3 months to see lasting results.  So now we wait and see.  Unlike with the prednisone, I feel great. The side effects, mostly from the steroids that they infused to lower the risk of allergic reactions, were short term. I sleep well and have more energy.
During my last Rituxan infusion- Smiley got upgraded to a window seat
I always thought of myself as positive person who had lots of patience. I can tell you that the past months has tested that patience to the max. Waiting on blood results, waiting to see if my body is going to respond to the treatment, waiting on phone calls.  I am also getting a little paranoid, always questioning if a new bruise is a result of a bump or if my platlets have dipped again. Through all this I am smilling. Despite the uncertainty, it is way better than the first flare up and dealing with the prednisone side effects. I am thankfull that I have an awesome support system.  I am greatfull that my family has been there every step of the way and helped me keep my mind off the purple dots and bruises and help me focus on what's important. All through this, life has handed me a few more lemons to juggle on top of the ITP but I happen to like lemonade. I will get through this and keep smiling.  The doctor is very optimistic and reassures me that there are lots of options available in the event that this treatment does not work. He told me not to worry and that is what I am trying to do.  I am now going for weekly blood test to monitor my platlets and will be seeing the doctor for a follow up in 3 months- I'll keep you posted!
A sign that I've been doing better is that I actually scrapbooked!  I should make more time for it as it is very therapeutic, espcially when scapping with my amazing scrappy friends. I made a few layout using the new Zoe collection.  I love the colors of this collection and all the coordinating elements are so fun.  So cheery!
We had to cancel a week long trip we had planned to Quebec because of my Rituxan treatment.  I was really bummed about it, but we did manage to go to Halifax for a weekend during the Buskers' festival.  We had a blast!
We also spent some time on the soccer field this summer.  I love that my daughter loves soccer so much, and she's quite good at it too!

That's it for now.  I have a few more layouts that I want to share with you- stay tuned!
I still have some idea books in stock if anyone wants one, let me know.  I am also looking for a few more people to participate in my hostess club- Get 45$ in free stuff, a half price item and all you have to do is to make a 25$ CTMH order suring 9 of the next 10 months.  For more details or to participate, send me an e-mail at

Have an awesome day!

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

My ITP story

Hello friends

I know it has been a while, I'm sorry for being absent all this time.  I simply lost my mojo and have just found it again.  I'll begin by warning you that this post will be long.
I am not one to complain, but the first half of this year has been one of the most challenging of my life.
Let me start at the begining.  Scrapbooking has been a big part of my life.  It has been a sanity saver for me as it helped me escape, be creative and made me focus on all the positives in my life.  Being a stay at home mom, scrapbooking has helped me connect with other women and being a consultant allowed me to scrapbook guilt free as it was also a job.  About 5 years ago, I hurt my wrist shoveling the driveway.  I was diagnosed with Carpal Tunnel Syndrom.  It was not bad a first, but I had to sleep with a brace and scrapbooking had become more challenging as using scissors and other tools started to hurt.  Last december I underwent Carpal Tunnel release surgery.  This was the start of my challenge.  Even though my surgery went well, and I healed from my surgery, it started a domino effect.
Shortly after the holidays, I had the stomach flu,  shortly after I had a cold that seem to be neverending.  In the middle of February I caught a sinus infections.   I was tired of being sick, but everyone around me had colds so I did not think much of it.  It was cold outside and we were getting snow storms after snow storms after all.  For the first time in months I woke up one Monday morning without a headach, able to breath from my nose.  The day went by as normal until I brushed my teeth that night and spit out blood.  I then noticed bruises on my arms that were not there earlier.  I knew I had to go to the hospital.
I was diagnosed with ITP (idiopathis thrombocytopenic purpura) in 2001, but I had not had any symptoms of the disease since I had a spleenectomy that same year.  I had forgotten I had it, but staring at my bruises and purple dots on my hands and feet, the memories of that year all came back.
I was not in the same place in my life.  I had no kids back then, Nobody depended on me like they do now. I was scared as I sat in the hospital waiting room waiting for my blood test results.  I knew when I heard my name though the intercom 30 minutes later that the results were not good. My platelet level were under 4000 ( a normal platelet count is between 150 000 and 400 000)   In the span of 2 weeks I had a platelet transfusion, immunoglobuline treatments, prednisone and iv steroid treatments and 3 blood transfusion.  I left the hospital with a platelet count of 175 000.  Feeling good, but tired with a weening schedule for my prednisone for 6 weeks.  I also had to go to weekly blood test to monitor my platelet levels.
Being on high level prednisone is no fun!  The worst is the jitters and the axious feeling that I had every day.  Then there comes the acne and weight gain and all the other side effects that comes with it.  In that 6 weeks, I gained 25 pounds.  I was going to bed  at the same time and sometimes even earlier than the kids.  I was tired, fatigued, anxious and just going though the motions everyday. Scrapbooking was not on the radar.  I walked past my scrapbooking table everyday on my way to bed and had no desire to even try to make a layout.  My mojo was not lost, it was hiding and I had no idea where to find it.
I was looking forward to the day I was done my prednisone, I was hoping that my life would get back to the way it was before my ITP flare up.  The day came and I did feel better for a few days.  Then came the withdrawls.  I was in bed with fever, nausea, headaches. It was awful!

All that said, I came over that hump, and I am feeling better everyday,  My last platelet count was normal and the doctor thinks that the chances I have another flare up is very low.  I still have to go for monthly bloodtests and will be monitored more closely to avoid another flare up.  I started watching what I eat and will start training for a 10k run next week.  It is frustrating that I have to lose that weight that I worked so hard to keep off for years but it has to be done and I know I will be proud when I attain my goal.
The first half or the year was bad, but I will make the second half make up for it.
All that to say, for the first time in a really really long time, I had not been excited about scrapbooking.  All that changed this morning.  Where was my mojo hiding?  I'll show you!
I received a lovely box of scrapbooking  products and hiding in the bottom among client's orders was these little gems!  I leafed though them while eating lunch and fell in love with scrapboking again.  I can't wait to sit down and create. I can't wait to place my consultant order on the first of August. Can't wait to order more idea books to share with my friends.
Who wants to scrap with me?  I'm scheduling a crop at my house soon, who's in?  I have a lot of catching up to do!