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. 

Advertisements

Happy Mothers Day

Another 5am trip to the local flower shop to pick up Moms big yellow sunflowers wrapped in brown paper. Mmm, the smell of fresh roses! That slight burn in your nostrils from the cold crisp air. All the birds singing the song of their people! That’s what Morher’s day morning looks like for me. Then, it turns into 18 grown adults, 7 children, 3 dogs, and a tortouse, all hanging out in the backyard by the pool. It’s sunny, it’s smokey, it’s loud and most of all, it’s surrounded with food and fresh flowers. 

  
Mother’s Day at my parents house is so much fun! All my mom wants to do is get together with family and feed everyone. Every year that’s all she wants, but this year my sister and I thought we’d surprise her with a little more. We didn’t want to take away from what she asks for and her annual tradition, so we bought her tickets for ziplining in Catalina Island for another weekend. Booked a hotel, typed up a personally made itinerary, and put all that love into a little envelope addressed to “Mom!” Well, guess what? That weekend just happened! 

   
 

We took a boat to the pretty Island, had dinner and relaxed at the hotels jaccuzi. It was such a wonderful weekend! The weather was perfect for us to hang out at the beach and then strap up to fling our bodies through the protected and secluded land. 

You will make known to me the path of life; In Your presence is fullness of joy; In Your right hand there are pleasures forever.

Psalms 16:11

The tour consisted of two workers that were so friendly and so educating, about 20 minutes of learning how to fly, 7 other people, and 5 different lines to ride. The air was fresh, the scenes were God given. The entire experience was just remarkable!  

         

New Happiness

IMG_5494

It’s not New Years, but I do feel a new me. Yep! Randomly, in the middle of March! Here I am! So I’ve had some terrible experiences thrown my way, but I try not to let them get me down. I just wanted to post and say that life gets better! Don’t let your head drop, keep your chin up and keep going! If it didn’t kill you, it really did make you stronger. If you’re not stronger then I bet you’re still in the middle of that rut. You have a little bit of a ways left. Keep on going before the devil even knows you’re there! (Love country music!)

I will lift up my eyes to the hills – from whence comes my help? My help comes from the Lord, who made heaven and earth. He will not allow your foot to be moved; He who keeps you will not slumber. Behold, He who keeps Israel shall neither slumber nor sleep. The Lord is your keeper; the Lord is your shade at your right hand. The sun shall not strike you by day, nor the moon by night. The Lord shall preserve you from all evil; He shall preserve your soul. The Lord shall preserve your going out and your coming in from this time forth, and even forevermore.

Psalm 121:1

When I’m at my lowest and hardest days my best friend reminds me of just how blessed I really am.

The devil attacks the ones who are the biggest threat. So you must have some strong faith & a close relationship with God if you’re struggling. Keep it up!
-Best friend/Sole sister

It really opens my eyes. Everything bad, truly is a blessing. The issues draw me closer to God. Gives me more prayers, and in return, more answers. Even when the answer is ‘No’ it’s still an answer. Remember that. Remember how blessed you are. Be proud of yourself and just keep pushing.

A Toast To A True Hero

IMG_5333

Now if everyone will please raise your glass! We all know why we’re gathered here, but incase you’ve had too much to drink, we’re here to thank a true super-hero. No, not Batman nor Superman. We’re here to thank my uncle, Frank Phillips.

No man that warreth entangleth himself with the affairs of this life; that he may please him who hath chosen him to be a soldier.
2 Timothy 2:4

Being the youngest sibling in the family isn’t always easy; especially when you’re the only girl. I remember this one Thanksgiving my family from other states came to celebrate with us. My older cousins were all roller-blading up and down the street while my brothers and I were playing Fun-Air Scoop Ball with my uncles in the grass. Everyone was dominating on me. That’s until Frank picked up a yellow scooper and helped me out. I was no longer the loser little sister. Together, we beat all three of my competitive brothers and even my other uncle, John. From that moment on, he became a hero in my eyes. Once I grew older I realized, I’m not the only one who thinks of him as a hero. The rest of the world knows about his super powers, too. He is a hero to others for different reasons though.

When I say world, I mean he is respected and recognized globally as a great manager, an admired leader, and also for his intense security skills. Frank has accomplished so much that has contributed to the freedom that we live with today! He served an 18-year career as a Navy SEAL. After that, he established Golden Seal Enterprises. Yes, these two amazing things really stand out, but they aren’t his only accomplishments. Please don’t get me started with them, there are just so damn many . . .

Just to name a few: He was personally selected as a founding member of the Navy’s first SEAL Team Six and first Red Cell Team. He’s achieved many certifications and licenses such as Paramedic, Diver Medic, PADI Master Scuba Instructor, NRA Firearms Instructor, and so much more. He’s a good husband, father, grandfather, son, and friend. Like I said, don’t get me started!

IMG_5332

We always hear about how much our veterans do for us. We are always told to thank a vet the next time you see one. Well, I’m saying thank you. The next time you see a vet, give them your thanks. The next time you meet a vet, shake their hand and tell them thank you! They are extremely humble so you may not realize it, but they have gone that extra mile to give us what we have today. I love and admire you so much, Frank. For you will always be a super-hero to me!

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!!!

IMG_5336

IMG_5335

IMG_5337

Not-So-Far, So Good

IMG_4975.PNG

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.

IMG_5032.JPG

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!

IMG_4978.JPG

IMG_5028.JPG

IMG_5029.JPG

Black Bean Burgers

Mix black beans and these 10 yummy ingredients in a food processor and you’ll have the best fake burger you’ll ever eat! Haha! I’m not a vegetarian, so yes, black bean patties are fake burgers to me! Delicious fake burgers that is! Doing the Daniel Fast for 21 days this month is difficult for me, but with the support of my church members, and delicious veggie foods like this, I know I’m going to finish as a changed woman! Hah! Try out this bean patty, prepare it just like you would any other burger, and I’m sure you’ll love it, too! I eat mine protein style!

But Daniel resolved that he would not defile himself with the king’s food, or with the wine that he drank. Therefore he asked the chief of the eunuchs to allow him not to defile himself. And God gave Daniel favor and compassion in the sight of the chief of the eunuchs, and the chief of the eunuchs said to Daniel, “I fear my lord the king, who assigned your food and your drink; for why should he see that you were in worse condition than the youths who are of your own age? So you would endanger my head with the king.” Then Daniel said to the steward whom the chief of the eunuchs had assigned over Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah, “Test your servants for ten days; let us be given vegetables to eat and water to drink.

Daniel 1:8-20

So for this recipe, you can either start with fresh homemade black beans or you can use a can of pre-made black beans.

Homemade black beans…

Ingredients:
1 (16 oz) bag of dry black beans
2 bay leaves
4 cups of vegetable broth
1 tbsp of oil
Cold water

Directions:
Take the beans and let them soak in the cold water over night. Put the beans in a large pot on the stove and fill it 2 inches over the beans. They will soak up the water and be more tender. Drain (if there’s anything to drain) and rinse. Put the beans, 2 bay leaves, 1 tbsp of oil, and 4 cups of broth in the pot and cook on medium for about an hour and 20 minutes, or until beans are tender. The oil is optional, it just helps prevents foam during the boil. When all the beans are tender, take the 2 bay leaves out and strain any excess broth.

IMG_4947.JPG

To make the burger deliciousness…

Ingredients:

Cooked black beans
1/4 cup chopped cilantro
1/4 cup chopped sweet onion
1 diced garlic clove
1 large chopped jalapeño (leave seeds and veins in if you want spice)
1 small lime
1 egg (optional)
3/4 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp pepper
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup bread crumbs (whole wheat)

Deliciousness directions:

In a food processor, put the beans, cilantro, garlic, jalapeño, and onions and mix! Then add the egg (optional), salt, pepper, and cumin. Mix in the food processor until all is one consistency. Add the bread crumbs 1 table spoon at a time until the mixture becomes a thick paste-like consistency.

Pour the extra breadcrumbs in a shallow bowl to coat your patties in. Grab a handful size of your now made bean paste and shape into a patty. Lay the patty in the bread crumbs to coat both sides. Place your finished patties on wax paper and put them in the fridge for 20 minutes or until ready to cook. The colder, the better to work with. You can cook them just like a regular burger in a flat pan on the stove top for about 7 minutes each side, or in the oven on 350 for 5 minutes each side. Brown the patties and enjoy just like any other burger.

IMG_4956.JPG

I like to eat mine wrapped in lettuce, with mustard, tomato, pickles, and onion. I’ve also had it on a whole grain hamburger bun with all my fixings. So delicious!

IMG_4959-0.JPG

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!

IMG_4696.PNG

IMG_4694.PNG

IMG_4693.PNG

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

Life Block

Hello! I’ve been away for some time now! Have you heard of “writers block”? Yes, well, this was not that. This was Life Block, much like writers block, but my entire life froze.

Life happens… Change is good!… Get up, and dust your shoulders off… Yes, we’ve all been there and been told these things. We grow up experiencing change all the time- so why is it that we still freak out every time it happens?

I was coming to the end of my sixth quarter of nursing school, studying intermediate med surg and mental health. Stressing myself out, I was working 5 nights a week as a care giver for an assisted living community, doing 4 days a week of free labor, attending class once a week, and somehow finding time to study and workout. I was doing this all while trying to figure out how to make time for the newest member of my jammed packed schedule… My potential boyfriend. Relationships are a lot of work! Well, just as expected, the busy, stressful schedule lead to lack of sleep and heart palpitations. Then, eventually, it ruined the potential relationship that never fully developed.

So there I was, in class counting my breaths and heart beats. Trying to make some kind of normal rhythm with that damn thing pumping blood through my body wasn’t working out too well. I was going crazy sitting in class learning about other people who were actually crazy.

Like I said, I was working for free on a med surg unit 3 days a week and at a psychiatric hospital 1 day a week. I found myself relating to my low-functioning, mentally ill patients. You know, the ones that were admitted to the floor because they could swear the aliens planted a device in their hand, or the people who complained of chest pain just so they can get a free meal and warm bed. To prove that I was not just hallucinating these issues, I went to my primary doctor. He ran some tests and immediately sent me to my cardiologist, who then referred me to a specialist.

Thank God, I quickly received some good news! The specialist says I’m not crazy, went over my options of different medications and another operation, but all in all, nothing life threatening! I opted for close monitoring and a 3 month follow up. Bad new, I was put on medical leave the last day of that quarter, and in order to continue school, I will need a medical note that releases me back to the floor.

Jesus answered and said unto him, What I do you know not now; but you shall know hereafter.

John 13:7

Oh, did I mention my heart issue was likely triggered by too much caffeine, over load of stress, and lack of sleep. So I quit my job and decided to look for a part time position somewhere else. Something that will pay me more so I could work less.

Well, long story short, all at once, my health went down hill, I quit my only paying job, I was forcefully asked not to attend school for at least 3 months, and my newly titled boyfriend dumped me. My life took quite the turn in the two weeks before my birthday. Yep! Prefect ending to year 22! Pretty much, all my plans had to change right there and then…

For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.

Jeremiah 29:11

Here I am now, 23 years old, feeling healthy, working two less stressful, higher paying jobs, living the single life, and getting ready to start school again in a month! My life block is over! More importantly, I’m back to writing my blog! Yay!

Change happens all the time, we just have to remember that God has a beautiful plan for us. We need to trust in The Lord and live the plan He’s made for us, and stop getting so upset over the changes he’s making in our lives.