Interning Sucks… Cancer Is Worse!

  
Getting patient A ready to go home on hospice while family member from patient B is in the hall crying for me because she has questions about what to do now, and a patient a few rooms down was just found non-responsive… Yep. That’s what my first day of interning looked like. Let me tell you, I’ve read about all of this in nursing books and I have passed all my tests leading me up to be an RN on the floor, but damn. It’s a whole other world when you are actually up and doing it yourself.

“Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted. Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth.”

Matthew 5:4-5

So I’m half way through my precepting (last internship) hours and I am really feeling that warmth flowing down my inner legs. Yep, I am ready to pee myself any minute during these shifts! During my orientation of the hospital my precepting nurse opened a door to what looked like a closet and told me, “this is where we go to cry!” Welcome to Oncology. 

It’s amazing, to see people come in and get treated, but I’m not working in the emergency room anymore… This is a hospital unit just for patients with cancer diagnosese. It’s sad watching my patient receive chemotherapy for the first time. It’s heart breaking to watch my coleges comfort a young wife after finding out there’s nothing else medicine can do for the young husband. 

“I am hard pressed between the two. My desire is to depart and be with Christ, for that is far better. But to remain in the flesh is more necessary on your account.”

Philippians 1:23-24

One morning in particular, I was assigned to three out of four patients. Remember, all of them are in some sort of critical situation and are living with and/or fighting cancer right now. It was so heart breaking but I told myself that I am so honored to be able to be that person to hold their hand through this rough part of life. I get to see these people in their most vulnerable states, and they look to my team members and I for support and comfort. 

Well about an hour in to my shift I received a few calls that I ignored, and then a couple text messages. My grandmother, whom I take care of as much as she needs, is in need of going back to the hospital. My cousin who is fighting cancer for the third time is no longer recieving treatment due to not being healthy enough, and my grandfather is having his first chemo treatment this week. Everything around me hit way too close to home now. The minute my preceptor met with me again, I apologized for what may be unprofessional or inappropriate and excused myself for the day. 

“We who are strong have an obligation to bear with the failings of the weak, and not to please ourselves.”

Romans 15:1

Yes, being an intern in a new hospital is terrifying. Carrying around my drug book, aka new bible, to make sure I don’t medicate someone incorrectly is exhausting. Most of all, knowing four people’s lives are in my hands and their well being is based on my nursing judgement… Yes, my nerves make me throw up! I’ve thrown up, starved, binged, cried, screamed, and even zoned out during important phone calls. Interning feels like the most difficult thing in the world. That’s until I remember other people are dealing with bigger issues. 

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Today We Ride!

So today I decided to ride instead of run. The 2015 LA Marathon was this morning! My goodness, it was beautiful! My friend, Eric, and I went for a bike ride down the course to the finish line with intentions of cheering on the runners, whether they were teammates of ours or not. Well, there we a few mishaps throughout the day, but that makes for a great story!

I got off work at 730am and headed home to get ready for the event! Showered and put on my team running shirt, packed my backpack and put my padded shorts on! Sounds like I’m ready, doesn’t it! Well, I was but my bike wasn’t… My bike tires are flat and I don’t have the correct pump for it!

Jesus looked at them and said, “With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible”

Matthew 19:26

Running late, as usual, Eric finally shows up to my house and we load up. On our way to LA we hit a Big 5 so I can buy a pump that will work on both of our bikes! We drove into LA and found a side street by a Starbucks to leave the car and start our ride!

We are well into our second mile and I hear a loud clinking noise. I looked back to find Eric walking his broken bike over to the near-by curb. Runners are passing us as we sit on the side of the route cheering us on! Haha! It was so funny how the roles turned. Quick thinking lead us to the decision that Eric just needs to buy a better bike! I let him take my bike to go get the truck and come back to pick me and the broken bicycle up. We headed to the nearest bike shop to pick out a beauty!

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The bike shop owner saw what a rough start we were having so offered a cold drink while we found the perfect bike! Since we were in a rush to get back, it didn’t take too long. We picked out a beauty, Eric tried it out, and back to Starbucks we went. Finally back on the road, riding the course and cheering the runners on like planned. We were passing people that passed us an hour prior. It was fun to see their faces when they recognized we were the ones struggling. Here they were, mile 20 and seeing how the struggle is always temporary. They started picking up their feet a little higher and were singing along with my music. It was awesome seeing all the different ages out there and hearing their stories!

We finally made our way to the finish and found our girl, Jessi! She finished running her very first full marathon! I don’t think our small family of runners could have been any more proud! To celebrate, we parked our bikes at Buca Di Beppo and had pasta, pizza, and beer!

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It was such a lovely ride down to the beach, hearing inspirational stories, and eating to celebrate our loved ones accomplishment! Now… Well, now Eric and I have to ride back to the car. That ride was slightly down hill the whole way… That meant our ride back was going to be just as long, but slightly up hill the entire way. All I could think was, ‘Thank God we are parked by Starbucks!’

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Deliciousness!!!

So I have been having a hard time with this lactose intolerant life style. Here I am finding myself teeter-tottering with dairy and non-dairy! Well, I am quiet the waffle master! I will make them, eat them, order them, whatever! One time, on a trip in Fiji, all I did was eat waffles. Literally, I ate at least 2 waffles a day! It was wonderful!

Well, a few weeks ago my waffle maker was tired of the over use and lit itself on fire. Talk about going out with a bang! So I’ve been making the next best thing of course… Pancakes! Since I’m as active as I am, I’ve been trying to add more protein to my meals.

Pancakes, that have more protein, and no milk… This includes chocolate! I avoid caffeine and sodium as much as I can with my heart like this. So I came up with the most amazing treat/meal!!

Banana, blue berry pancakes!!

1 banana
2 eggs
1 cup blue berries (I’ve also done raspberries)

I smash the bananas up so it’s one gooey consistency. Then I scramble in the two eggs. Once it’s all mixed together I pour the blue berries in! (This is a lot of berries, so use more or less to your likings.) Cook the mixture on a flat pan just like you’d do any pancakes. This batter takes a little longer than regular ones so be patient! Leave the flame low and just let it cook a little longer.

These are soo delicious! It gives you potassium so you don’t cramp up on your workouts and gives you protein to help you build that muscle! The other amazing thing about protein is it’ll keep you feeling full longer! So I like to eat these as a meal with some fresh melon and a tall glass of ice water! Yum!!

And I will say to my soul, Soul, thou hast much goods laid up for many years; take thine ease, eat, drink, and be merry.

Luke 12:19

You can also use chocolate chips instead and it’ll make a delicious dessert after dinner!! Sprinkle some powdered sugar on top and devour!!!

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Because I Can!

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The cold, dry air was burning my wet, dripping nose. The birds were starting to sing their morning songs. That weird lighting on the streets from the combination of the suns glow starting to shine and the street lights glow. I went for a 4 mile run this morning at 5:30am. I was determined to get out there and get back into running early mornings! I woke up and though, “I’m going to be skinny!”

Well, by the time I got about three-quarters of a mile my nose was running like Niagara Falls, my lungs were burning worse than my calves were, and I felt like my heart was in my throat. I was no longer determined and I just ran back home. My 4 mile run that used to be an easy warm up in the early morning was actually a mile and a half run in hell for me today. When I got home, I looked right at the shiny, red face in the mirror and thought to myself, what a disappointment! I beat myself up over it and then told my best friend about how down I felt.

She reminded me of why I’m even a runner to begin with! I run because I can. In high school I hated running! I hated running with a passion. You couldn’t even pay me to run without a soccer ball or softball around. To run track or cross country was such a miserable idea to me! Then, from age 18 to 20 I found myself having trouble with running. This trouble was no longer mental, it was physical this time around. If I tried to run, I’d get so light headed and weak and then pass out. I couldn’t even sing out loud in my car driving to school anymore without the fear of exhausting myself.

After a few times of passing out while hiking with my dog, Jolie, I decided to finally tell someone and get help. After many, many different doctors offices and seeing different specialist, I finally had the right medical tests done. Sitting in a cardiologists office, I was finally diagnosed with Wolff-Parkinson-White. It was the answer to my many prayers and questions. I scheduled myself for surgery to fix the problem immediately.

16 Make sure you don’t take things for granted and go slack in working for the common good; share what you have with others. God takes particular pleasure in acts of worship – a different kind of “sacrifice” – that take place in kitchen and workplace and on the streets.
Hebrews 13:16 MSG

So today was just a rough morning. I’m about to go for a two mile jog (good or bad, doesn’t matter) and then sing my little lungs out on my way to work tonight!! Tomorrow morning I’ll give it another shot! Hope things go better!

Not-So-Far, So Good

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I know it’s only the fourteenth day into the new year, but week two of fifty-two has gone great! This year is looking good so far! I’m sticking to my fasting diet, working out everyday, and last two Mondays I’ve taken food for the homeless with me on my run with my friends running team. I’ve gone from being the worlds bottomless pit for food to a vegan, practically! Working out everyday is already kind of my normal so that hasn’t been much of a challenge. But carrying 20+ extra pounds on my back while running through LA was interesting.

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I’m half way through with my fast and already feeling stronger in my faith. This fast has really helped me clear away all distractions from my sight and really see what God wants me to do! I am much more confident that I am living the life He has set for me! This bumpy road of a path is bearable knowing He’s the one paving the way! I’m making clearer decisions and feeling good about them. Doing this fast, I’ve learned a lot about myself! Things like how much I love seafood, and cheese with my fruit! Ha! No, but really. I can already feel the stronger relationship I’ve built with God these past 10 days have been glorious!

What good is it, my brothers, if someone says he has faith but does not have works? Can that faith save him? If a brother or sister is poorly clothed and lacking in daily food, and one of you says to them, “Go in peace, be warmed and filled,” without giving them the things needed for the body, what good is that? So also faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead.

James 2:14-17

I’ve also realized that my journey isn’t about me. I was put on this earth to love others. I have stuck with it and fed the homeless on my last two Monday night runs through Los Angeles. The team is running through Hollywood this month and it been quite beautiful! To see someone struggle during these runs isn’t something that makes you proud to be doing better, but something that slows you down so you can run with them, lift their spirits, and encourage your teammates to continue pushing! Runners do it for me and I’ve done it for them.

Although it’s only been two weeks into the new year, I’ve already grown this far, and have learned so much! I hope I have inspired more people to live their life with healthier habits and also let The Lord live through them! We can all help ourselves while helping others!

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I Thought You Said Rum…

So I belong to a community running team. We are like a big family and we spend a lot of time together. We have a big holiday party at a banquet hall where we all dress up red carpet style, eat, drink, and play music and photo slide shows! It’s a wonderful time to get together, catch up, and meet each others crazy other halves!


Above all, keep fervent in your love for one another, because love covers a multitude of sins.

1 Peter 4:8

Well, as great as it all is, I work weekends and didn’t make it this year. So instead, I went to the morning after PreChristmas Hike! It was put together by one of our wonderful members for the runners, like me, who couldn’t attend. I got my invitation and the picture was people with Rumchata, Santa hats, and clearly photoshopped male models hanging out with extremely large Christmas ornaments. Well, looked fun to me! I RSVPed and signed up to bring two dozen tamales!

I’m not much of a morning person, so it was really hard to get up at the crack of dawn knowing how cold it was going to be outside. One of my running buddies picked me up at 6:30 in the morning and drove us to the base of the mountain! It was a freezing cold morning but I had my large insulated bag of hot tamales keeping my ass warm! We arrived at our meeting spot and I just saw a bunch of friends dressed up so silly! Other than all the red and green, they had high pattern socks, silly hats, and one even wore a fake Santa mustache and beard! They also all had their backpacks, water bottles, and garmin watches ready! Yup, this was for reals… we are really hiking a few miles today! All in all, it was a fantastic time!

Note to self: run and rum are two very different things!

We hiked to the top and set up all the goods on two tables. Let me tell you, for being an of health freak runners, today must have been carb day! There was food galore! Oh, and there was rum… Lots of rum! Lots of alcohol actually! Drinking at 8 in the morning was a fun experience, but not as fun as the adventure getting back down the mountain. Hahaha! Well, one of our members announced she had to use the bathroom so was going to take a short cut. Five other runners and I followed her. Her screaming bladder must have fogged her mind… “I think I made a wrong turn guys…” Oh it was wonderful! A bunch of intoxicated people dressed up like Christmas hallmark fools are now scaling down the side of the mountain! It was definitely a sight to see! Everyone worked together and made the full hike alive and not injured! Just another wild outdoor experience with my running family!

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Once Is Nice, Twice Is Tradition!

Happy Thanksgiving y’all! I know, I’m really late, but it’s pretty much my favorite holiday so I’m going to post about it anyways!!

I absolutely love Christmas time! To celebrate the life of Christ, get together with family, repeat traditions, eat amazing food, and give back to those who need it is so amazing! Don’t let me forget the cold weather, that’s the cherry on top! I will say though, I do get a little sad when I see Christmas decorations up before Thanksgiving even arrives. We should enjoy the holiday season, every minute of it!

Thanksgiving is just as amazing as Christmas! It’s when the leaves have all turned from green to oranges and yellows. There is a delicious smell of hazelnut in the cool crisp air! One of the times of the year that family comes together, and everyone pulls their heads out of their asses to actually appreciate what’s in front of them! This is the time when we get to shine brighter than the stars and let the world really see our caring hearts!

I am fortunate enough to have a wonderful family to spend my Thanksgivings with. I understand those who don’t have that, and that’s why every year I choose to work on Thanksgiving as my holiday at work. I’ve been working with the elderly for a few years now, and something I’ve unfortunately come to learn, is a lot of them don’t have family to spend holidays with. Not just the elderly, a lot of people don’t. The older population have trouble getting around, and for many other reasons they can’t even cook those traditional holiday meals for themselves. This year I found myself cooking up a full breakfast for a sweet older couple to get their Thanksgiving Day started! They were so thankful, just like they are every other day I’m with them. The sweetest part, was I was asked to lead them in prayer before I left and they ate.

In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.
1 Thessalonians 5:18

I got off work at 8 in the morning to come home and start cooking for my own family. Every year, since I was about 7 years old, it has been my tradition that I make the cranberry sauce for my families feast! So once I got home, I brought out the eggs, sausage, cilantro, tortillas, cheese, and salsa, and started to make breakfast for everyone. Haha! Yes, I was pretty tired so my priorities were a little off. That’s when I realized I needed to make the cranberries before I ate and fell asleep.

Delicious, tart cranberry sauce for the holidays!
1 bag of whole fresh cranberries
1 cup of apple cider (or apple juice)
2 naval oranges
3 sticks of cinnamon
1 cup of sugar

Over medium heat I put the cup of apple cider (or juice), the whole bag of fresh cranberries, 3 sticks of cinnamon, and the cup of sugar. Zest both oranges into the pot, then squeeze the juice of those two oranges into the pot. Stir and bring it to a boil. The cranberries should start to pop and the floating cranberries will start to become a thick chunky sauce. After the berries start to pop you can turn the stove off and let it cool enough to put into your serving dish. Let cool in the fridge until ready to eat!

I like to make the sauce early in the morning or even the night before, leaving the cinnamon sticks in it while it cools in the fridge. The flavors only get better with time!

Try making some for Christmas! I bet you’ll be so thankful I posted my not so secret recipe! Maybe it’ll become a tradition that you make the cranberry sauce every year. Enjoy!IMG_4417.JPG