Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Live Your Life Now by IHG on Garage

You'll have to go on over and visit the Garage Girls site and read my post in The Body section. It's called Live Your Life Now. I wrote it to inspire people to live like there is no tomorrow!

If you can't get to Garage Girls you can read it here too...

My life has been a yo-yo ride of weight loss and gain. I've lived like I'm indestructible and never really cared about my health. I was the person who would sit and watch the Biggest Loser while eating a Big Mac and large fries. Simply put, I was a mess!
In the spring of 2009, as I was thinking of our Sturgis trip in the fall, I decided to try P90X and change my eating habits. I worked hard at it and was seeing results. Weight was dropping off me. I was excited with the lighter me that went to Sturgis that year. I had lost about 20lbs. When we got back from the trip I posted photos from Sturgis on my blog and on Facebook. People kept asking who the skinny girl was. I thought nothing of the comments because I had been working out a lot before the trip. About a month after Sturgis my vision began getting blurry. It got to the point that I was having difficulty seeing so I decided to have my eyes checked. The eye doctor at Lenscrafters was very concerned and told me that I needed to see my family doctor that Monday. He told me that he believed something was wrong with my health. I went to the doctor and he sent me to an eye specialist. The specialist told me that he felt I needed to have blood tests and he also wanted me to see another eye specialist. That specialist also thought I needed to have blood tests. I made another appointment with my family doctor to have blood tests. My husband Dan drove me to the doctor because by then I wasn't able to see well enough to drive. I went in and had the blood tests while Dan waited in the car. As I was returning to the car a nurse came out after me. She said I needed to come back and see the doctor. I walked to the car and told Dan I needed to go back in. He went in with me to wait for the doctor. The nurse told me that my hemoglobin level was so low they were surprised I could even walk. The doctor told me he was sending me right over to John Stoddard Cancer Center because he believed that I had Leukemia.
The ride to the hospital was the longest of my life. I was crying, I was dumbfounded. How was this happening to me? I met with the Oncologist and his nurse, that my doctor referred me to. I was admitted to the hospital that day. That day I received 9 blood transfusions and I also received platelets. A few days after being admitted my Oncologist finally came in and diagnosed me with having Hairy Cell Leukemia. I was moved to the Oncology floor of Methodist Medical Center and spent 29 days of my life there. I underwent 7 straight days of chemotherapy.
During my stay I had a lot of time to think. I thought of how I haven't lived my life to the fullest. I thought of how unhappy I've been throughout my life with how I look and never being "thin" enough. I thought of all the times I've sat and watched when I should have been out there living.
The day I went home was so scary. A person really becomes attached to the health care providers that they see everyday. I swear I took my temperature every 1/2 hour. Day by day I became stronger and would make myself walk around the block. When you are not active you lose allot of strength. I needed to get that strength back so I decided to begin working out again. I lost 40lbs because of Leukemia. 40lbs that I needed to lose but having Leukemia wasn't really how I wanted to lose it. I turned it into a positive though, this was going to be one of the good things that I got out of all of this. I vowed to get healthy. Dan and I purchased a treadmill and I started walking on it daily. One day Dan was showing me some Pod-runner Pod-casts. One of the pod-casts caught my eye, it was called Intervals 1st Day to 5k. At that moment I decided to train for a 5k run. It was slow going at first. I've never been a runner. I was always the slowest kid in school when it came to the Presidential fitness 1 mile run test. The first week I was able to run a mile in 18 minutes. When I got to week 5 I was at 13 minute miles. I made it to week 10 and am now able to run a 5k on the treadmill in 40 minutes. What a huge accomplishment for me. I'm feeling the best I've ever felt. I'm on my way to being a healthy, sexy, strong woman. The woman that has always been inside me but took 41 years to find. No one is stopping me now. Currently I'm working on the Pod-runner Pod-cast Gateway to 8k.
This bump in the road opened my eyes to life. We don't realize how much we take life for granted. A person needs to be in the mindset that one can't put things off until tomorrow because tomorrow may not come. DO IT NOW! Become the best person you can be. Don't wait like I did because a disease like Leukemia smacked you in the face. I was lucky. I got a second chance. Take your first chance and run with it. Live your life NOW!


Margo said...

I am so proud of you. I love you so much! I am so glad you have been given a second chance.....I cannot imagine life without you! Your 'lil sis ;-)

Pam said...

I read your story over at Garage Girls. Thank you for sharing your story. It was very motivational. I'm new to all things motorcycle. I'll be back ... to read your blog!

B.B. said...

Steph, that was really amazing. I'm so glad that things have worked out the way they have for you. Your story is so inspiring. Thanks for the reminder, we never know how many tomorrows we have.

WooleyBugger said...

Good article Stephanie. You are an inspiration to many and I'm glad your doing better.

Swag said...

Hey Stephanie... thanks for sharing. I knew you were having an issue but didn't know what it was until now. I am so glad you are doing well and thanks for reminding us all to get out there and live. The life God gives us is precious for sure. You are an inspiration!

Anonymous said...

Stephanie, thank you so much for sharing your life with us all. You are very inspiring and thoughtful to think of everyone and want to make sure we all live life NOW! Much Respect, Sara Liberte

IowaHarleyGirl (Stephanie) said...

Margo - thanks for being there for me in my darkest hours. It made all the difference in the world having you there with me! I love you!!!

Pam - thanks for stopping by my blog. I hope you return often!

B.B. - thanks for the great comment. Even though we've never met I'm glad you are part of my blogging world!

Wooley - Thanks! I'm glad I'm doing better too. I still have to meet all the people that follow my blog and that includes you!

Swag - I was pretty vague on what was going on because I'm not one to ask for loads of sympathy. Thanks for stopping by!

Sara - Thanks much for the great comment. Thanks for letting me use your site to share my story. I think it's awesome that you are featuring health related topics. We all need to take care of what we have now and live now. Much Respect back at you!

Maru said...

Stephanie, I just read your article. Thank you for sharing such an intense and personal moment and for making us realize we must seize life!
Keep it up!

IowaHarleyGirl (Stephanie) said...

Maru - You are welcome and I will keep fighting the fight. I don't ever want to be sick like that again.

steve boyett said...


A listener referred me to your blog. I just wanted to congratulate you on your determination and hard work, and to tell you that I'm proud to have accompanied you on your runs.

--steve boyett, Podrunner

IowaHarleyGirl (Stephanie) said...

When I opened my yahoo mail and saw Steve Boyett I was like...really? WOW!! Holy COW! That's the Podrunner Guy and he posted a comment on my blog! HOW AWESOME!!! Thank you so very much Mr. Boyett for all of the awesome music you put together for all of the Podrunner podcasts. The beats make you want to keep on going even when you are having a bit of an off day! Thanks for visiting my blog and for the great comment!!! Please keep doing what you are doing. I love your programs so much!