I Still Can't Believe It (and a little big PSA)

I still can't believe it almost happened to me.  It's one of those things that happens to OTHER people.

Think about it...  We all know someone - a mom, a sister, an aunt, friend, coworker, mentor - who has battled breast cancer. 

I never thought it'd be something that I would have to walk up to since there is literally no history of breast cancer in my family.  Stomach, colon, lung, and brain cancer - we've got it, but not breast cancer.

Here's my story (warning: this may be TMI but it's necessary, I promise!):

It all started at the end of May/beginning of June this year. 

Just like 99% of women in this world, I came home from work one ordinary day and immediately took off my bra to get comfortable.  I don't care what any company says, there is no such thing as a comfortable bra after 8 hours - heck not even after 2 hours.

Anyway, after dinner, I sat down with my family for a round of board games (we're nerds, that's what we do) and as I went to move a piece I noticed that my shirt was a tiny bit wet on my left boob.  I didn't think too much of it at the time, just chalked it up to dribbling a little bit of my lemonade, which happens way more often than I should admit. 

Then later that night, after games, I noticed it again but this time I hadn't had anything to drink for a while.  So, I went to the bathroom to investigate.  Sure enough, if I put a little bit of pressure on my breast, a clear liquid discharge came out.

See, I've never been pregnant (we adopted) so stuff coming out of my nipple was a bit alarming.  I was due for my yearly check up with my primary care physician and my gynecologist so, I scheduled appointments for both.  When I called to schedule with my gynecologist, I asked the scheduling clerk to make a note for me to talk to the doctor about the discharge when she said, "Oh, no, that's a problem.  We'll need you to come in immediately."  Thankfully, I was able to schedule both appointments for the same day.

That last conversation was pretty jarring and really made me wonder what in the heck was going on.  So of course I ran to the Google, where I learned that it could be anything from a simple infection, a brain tumor, to cancer.  My mind immediately went to brain tumor - because of the chronic migraines, you know.

Two days later I was in my gynecologist's office where she poked, prodded, and took some fluid samples.  She didn't seem overly concerned but still referred me to have a mammogram and ultrasound. 

I was only 32 at the time so having a mammogram 8 years early freaked me out a little bit.  BUT, it wasn't so bad!  A little awkward but not horrible.  I'd say the ultrasound was the most uncomfortable part of the process.

They didn't see anything on the mammogram that concerned them but they did find something in the ultrasound.  Without doing a needle biopsy, she couldn't tell me exactly what it was but it was enough for me to go to an oncologist.

An oncologist. 

That's when all of this became really real.  But, I shoved those feelings down where they belonged and kept trucking.  I still hadn't said anything to most people in my life, just my husband (duh), our parents, by best friends, and one or two people from church.

My oncologist was AMAZING!  She was warm, friendly, bright, adorable, and I was determined to make her my newest best friend.  She was honest with me and laid out all that it could possibly be: an intraductal papilloma or a calcium build-up; but clarified that the only real way to know is to do a needle biopsy.  This is when we let Ethan in on what was going on.

The word "biopsy" always makes me think of this scene from My Big Fat Greek Wedding:

The biopsy went waaaaay better than I imagined, it was actually kind of a cool experience to watch needles moving around on the ultrasound screen (it was an ultrasound guided biopsy) without me being able to feel it at all.  The recovery process on that though - way more difficult than I anticipated.  The bruising was almost impressive, actually.

The pathology on the biopsy came back with atypical cells, but no cancer.  Because of this, it was necessary to perform an excisional biopsy, which we scheduled for July 7th.  This is when we let everyone in our circle know: all of our friends, family, and church family.

I expected surgery and the recovery time to be waaaaay worse than the needle biopsy.  It wasn't bad at all.  Had the best nap ever during surgery, which was awesome.  I woke up to find that someone had put me in a very strange and uncomfortable bra, which was REALLY weird and not awesome.  And while I was super drugged up I had a full conversation with my pastor and his friend at the hospital all while I was holding my boob (fully clothed, mind you). 

The best part though, was the support we received from everyone in our circle.  Our church family even brought us meals for 3 days since I couldn't cook.  A few even came to keep me company the day after surgery when my husband had to work and my son was at church camp.  I learned that when I'm really out of it on pain meds, I'm obsessed with M&Ms, which was a surprise.  Heck, my BFF even took my drugged-out self to dinner for our church's women's fellowship night (she's super brave) so I didn't miss out (I'm an extrovert and FOMO is real).  I recovered so well and so quickly, I'm still impressed.  Don't get me wrong, I can't do jumping jacks and there's a little bit of pain occasionally but that's part of the healing process.

Thankfully, I found out a couple of days later that it was definitely an intraductal papilloma but that there was NO cancer just some atypical cells. 

I couldn't believe that after two months, it was finished.  I had prepared myself for the bad news and had started making plans for time off work, how to let Ethan know the details, whether I'd do a single or double mastectomy if it came down to it...  so many decisions.

For some reason though, the Lord had me walk right up to breast cancer, stare it in the face, and then saved me from it.  Biblically speaking, I shouldn't have been spared from it but God had mercy on me and only He knows why.  That's when "survivor's guilt" started to set in as other people I knew had been diagnosed with cancer and other life-altering medical conditions.

So why...?

I can only come to two conclusions: 
1.  For His glory.  How this is working out, I'm not sure but I know I and everyone around me praised Him for His mercy constantly and I still do today, almost 4 months later.

2.  To let women (and men!) know that sporadic nipple discharge is a SERIOUS problem.  Experts and commercials always tell us to look for lumps but I never felt mine and neither did my gynecologist nor my oncologist.  The only indication that there was an issue was the discharge.

Here's the PSA:
If you notice random, sporadic, unexplainable nipple discharge (no matter how much or how little or whether it's clear, milky, yellowish, redish, whatever!) get to your doctor as soon as possible.  Early detection is KEY.

I'm Doing This

I have attempted to lose weight MANY times and in MANY different ways: Whole30, Weight Watchers, 21 Day Fix, and even working with a trainer. 

The issue isn't the method, it's me.  I lack self-discipline and often feel discouraged by the amount of weight I have to lose (100lbs).  I'm through with that though.  I am more than ready to get serious about getting healthier and more active, whether I lose weight or not.

I have come to realize that most of my problem is not having a plan.  I may meal plan, but I don't plan for bad days, migraine days, BUSY days, nor the days when I'm not motivated AT ALL. So, I thought it would be a good idea to write down a plan and share it with all of you!

My nutrition plan:
1.  Now:  21 Day Fix
2.  January:  Start Autoimmune Protocol (AIP)
3.  Mid-February:  Start AIP reintroductions in mid-February (6 week mark) to prepare for a trip to Spain (woo hoo!)
4.  Drink 8 8oz. glasses of water a day and ONE cup of coffee
5.  Shop and meal prep on Saturdays

My fitness plan:
1.  21 DF daily and walk for 30 minutes everyday in November (no days off),
     45 minutes daily in December (Sundays off),
     1 hour in January,
     45 minute walk/jog in February,
     1 hour walk/jog in March (Sundays and Wednesdays off)
3.  Planks daily!

My motivation plan:
1.  Enlist friends and family to hold me accountable
2.  Post to blog and/or Instagram daily (@getfitlittleindian)
2.  Remember that this is for ETHAN and my future
3.  Plan every bite that goes into my mouth (it's about nutrition!)
4.  Remember that Christ is to fulfill me, comfort me, and bring me joy - not food

My bad and busy day plan:
1.  Always have ingredients on hand for easy meals
2.  Teach Ethan to use the Instant Pot
3.  Meal Prep!
4.  Bring snacks and water everywhere
5.  Only walk, no 21DF workout, planks, or weights

My why to weight loss:
1.  To be healthier: cut down migraines, get rid of brain fog and avoid diabetes
2.  For my Family: E needs a mom who can run and play, and who models healthy habits
3.  So I can wear clothes I actually like
4.  I want to be STRONG
5.  So I can be more comfortable when traveling
6.  So I can live and not be so self-conscious
7.  To glorify God by taking care of the body He gave me

I am planning to use this page as a way to remind myself of my goals and keep myself motivated.

My hubby and I are discussing our plan tonight (my whole family is on board!!) and will talk it over with our kiddo this weekend! 

What has been the #1 thing to help you stay motivated?

Going & Making

Go therefore and make disciples of all nations,
baptizing them in the name of the
Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit,
teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you.
And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”
(Matthew 28:19-20 ESV)

Going and Making.

This is the desire of my heart and the passion of my life.  I want to GO wherever God calls me and MAKE disciples for Him.  I want to glorify Him in everything I do, especially in obedience to His call in the Great Commission.

I also GO and MAKE in other ways...

I am a wife, mother, and I work full-time outside of the home which means I am on the GO constantly.

I love to MAKE things!  I have a creative streak a mile wide.  Be it making dinner for family and friends, or wreaths, or sugar/salt scrubs, watercolor paintings...  I guess you could say I'm crafty.

So that's what this here blog is about.  It's about sharing the Gospel, discipleship, and living out this GOING and MAKING for God's glory in every area of life. 

I hope that you will find REAL life in this blog.  It's not all puppies, rainbows, and unicorns (no matter how much I wish it were!).  By nature, I'm not a girly-girl; I am a little rougher around the edges, a tomboy if you will, so you won't see a lot of girly stuff around here either - only a little and rarely at that. 

So, You're Thinking About Using Essential Oils?

Raise your hand if you know someone who swears by essential oils?

I bet you even know a few dozen people who sell them.  I know I do!

Before I get into everything I've learned about essential oils, let me give you some back ground info so you know I'm not entirely crazy:

I started my essential oil adventure by going to a party hosted by a friend.  My bestie and I had been researching oils and had started thinking about getting into them.  Almost two weeks later, we got our kit, divvied up our oils, and started playing.  We began slathering ourselves and our families with all of the oils.  Literally, all of them.  We had fallen in love with EOs! 

As a Christian, I am always looking for ways to strike up conversations with people so that I can build relationships and hopefully, eventually share the Gospel.  About a year after I started using EOs, I saw my neighbor outside of her home so I jumped at the chance to have a conversation!  We started chit-chatting about our hobbies and such, when I felt compelled to let her know that I was slowly becoming a very crunchy person (meaning, eating organics/non-GMO foods, making my own cleaning stuff, and using EOs).  As soon as she heard that I was using EOs, she started asking ME questions.  It wasn't long before she'd invited me into her home to check out her oil collection and various resources.  That, my friends, is when my informal oil education began!

One more thing before my list - please keep in mind that EOs are concentrated and powerful!  A teeny tiny bit goes a LONG way. 

So, without further ado; here are a few things I have learned along the way:


Before you pull the trigger on buying a kit, I suggest starting MUCH more slowly.  You'll save yourself money and really get to learn everything you need to know about oils before jumping with both feet.  When you get your oil, dive in to learning all about it!  Keep a file on your computer or a notebook so that you can organize your notes and recipes.  I suggest starting out with a common oil that has lots of uses: lavender, peppermint, lemon, eucalyptus, etc.


The Complete Lavender Oil Collection

Not really.  Haha!  You do need to pay attention to the botanical name of the oil you're studying, though.  Many oils come from multiple species of a certain plant.  Did you know there are SIX different kinds of frankincense?  SIX - and they all have different benefits and uses.  There may be more out there that I don't know about!  This is especially important if you have any medical conditions, take any medication, or are smell sensitive (like me, a migraine sufferer!).  A few other oils that have multiple species: cedarwood, eucalyptus, lavender.


As we all know, if it's on the internet, it must be true.  Do you guys remember this State Farm commercial?  We quote it at home all the time.

DO NOT believe everything you read on the internet.  Pinterest, as much as I love it, has some of the WORST information for oil usage.  Think about it:  90% of the people putting info out there, have no formal aromatherapy training (I know because I was one of them), just what they've picked up from other people along the way.  That said, I know that there is some GREAT info on Pinterest - we MUST do our homework and make sure we know what we're doing before we slather ourselves and our loved-ones with oils.

The internet isn't the only place bad information hangs out.  Believe it or not, some of the worst oil information I got was produced and provided by the oil company I signed up to rep (READ: not ALL of the info was bad, but the bad info was REALLY bad).  Do some googling and search for companies and resources that have been around for a long time, then do some cross-referencing.  Compare what your books say to books that have good reputations and have been trusted for many years.  (Two of my favorite third-party resources are: The Complete Book of Essential Oils and Aromatherapy; The Complete Aromatherapy and Essential Oils Handbook).


Alternate title:  'Avoid the Cultish Mentality'.  I have learned that there are MANY great essential oil companies and resources in the world - those two big name companies aren't the only ones out there that can be trusted.  If any other sales person came to you and said, "Only use our resources and our stuff - you can't trust ANYTHING else out there.  It's all lies and forgeries.", we would look at that person as if they had something crazy growing out of their head and would automatically look elsewhere.  Why are we different with oils?  It's because we have no other frame of reference.  It's not until we meet someone else who says, "Hey - let me introduce you to some friends..."  I hope I can be that friend for you. 
Image result for fight scene
Let's all remember:  This isn't West Side Story.  We're all students and we're all in this together.  No need to cut someone if they use a different brand than you.  If it's a dangerous brand, and there are some out there, LOVINGLY let them know what you've learned and how you learned it.  Research it together.

In conclusion:  Essential oils are AMAZING and can do so much good BUT, they are powerful and can do so much harm.  We must be diligent to learn how to use them correctly and not just take people's word for it. 

This may sound harsh but it must be said:  You wouldn't trust a doctor who didn't study medicine, we shouldn't trust a sales person who hasn't studied aromatherapy. 

I love you, my dear readers, and would hate for you to get hurt because no one ever told you the truth about essential oils and the big name companies that are pushing them so hard right now.

Essential Oils 101 (FANTASTIC blog post by Plant Therapy)

-- Essential Oil Education --
Aromahead Institute

-- Brands I Love --
Plant Therapy
Nature's Gift

-- Facebook Groups --
Real Aromatherapy Reviews and More
Safe Essential Oil Recipes
Animal Aromatherapy
Blue Tansy Analysis (this group has over 10,000 members!)
The Oily Mama

GC/MS reports (third party testing results for EOs)
Dilution Ratios
Latin Names
Safety Information (ingestion, "neat" oils, children/pregnancy...)