Monday, July 30, 2012

Shaklee Independent Distributor

My Shaklee Story

Myers Family
Welcome to the Shaklee family. Brad and I are both excited to see you taking the steps to a healthier life. We joined Shaklee for a few reasons. The main reason had to do with my health. I was diagnosed with cancer and after my surgery and treatment I became very fatigued. I started looking into supplements that I could take to make me feel better while I was going through treatment. Shaklee products were the only ones that I found to be all natural and free of artificial colors and sweeteners.
The second reason we chose Shaklee has to do with our children’s health. Brad and I both work full time, so our kids spend many hours at daycare. While our kids are at daycare, they are sharing a building with about 80 other children and staff.  With our kids being exposed to the germs of 80 other children and their families, they were sick a lot which is not good for someone trying to recover from cancer. Now that we have been on the products for a while, our kids rarely get sick.
The last reason that we choose Shaklee, over other competitors, has to do with the quality of their products. Now that I have been sick with cancer, I really look at my body differently than I did before. I do not want artificial sweeteners or colors added to my supplements. Shaklee does not use any artificial ingredients, which makes digestion and absorption easier for your body.
The bottom line is that Shaklee really sells itself. If you are looking to be convinced that a better you is out there, then start here with us. Buy Shaklee and Live Well!

Happy Shopping,

Jenny & Brad Myers

Shaklee Independent Distributor

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Answering that question that everyone poses, "How are you doing?"

I have been asked several times in the last month, or so, how I am doing. My typical response is, “doing good, just tired.” Those few of you that know me really well know that a response like that is merely social grease. But truth be known, I stink at lying. So to answer the question now to everyone who has been asking me how I am doing and who really want to know my honest answer, here it is: Emotionally, I am a train wrecked with worry but seem to be holding all the cars together when I am around people except Brad and a few others. Physically, I am exhausted beyond what any one of you could possibly understand, unless you yourself has or had cancer—only then would you have a distinction for my physical state. In addition to being so exhausted I am swollen all over from being hypothyroid for the past month, which has been wearing on me as well. Mentally, I am impaired and can hardly get through a sentence that makes sense typically mixing up what I mean to say, with horrible grammar and a lot of fillers, such as “uhhh” and long pauses between words. So, I don’t feel like myself, don’t look like myself, and have lost my personality somewhere in all of this as well—all adds up to not being well.

There are a few defining moments in a persons lifetime that can really impact their direction and this is one of mine. My first, and most memorable one, was on August 18, 2009 when Georgia entered the world. She was the biggest piece of my heart that I have ever seen right before my eyes. It’s amazing how you can love someone so much in an instant. I remember driving home from the hospital and going over the Roosevelt Bridge. I was sitting in the backseat next to Georgia, who was sleeping in her car-seat, and Brad was driving. Brad said to me, glancing in the rear view mirror, "you know Jen, the world is going to be a better place because of Georgia." He was right. The world, particularly ours, is a much better place because of her.  The second was holding my twins last year when they were born. I am still amazed that my body made two children at the same time, and that I carried them full term--must be that Dziuban blood and our hips! They too have made an impact on my life that I never could have imagined. I have had some of the best laughs and felt more love in the time since my kids were born than any other time in my life. Seeing the twins with Georgia is just hilarious. They remind me of that movie, "Three Amigos" with Chevy Chase. The third was being told that my cancer had metastasized to my lymph nodes, after having surgery to remove my thyroid. You know that sayings, "what goes up, must come down." Well that's a simple law of gravity, but just like this, life has ups and downs too. Obviously hearing I had cancer was shocking back in April, but I was sure that the doctor would get it all when she removed my thyroid, because after all it is thyroid cancer. I just never thought that it would have metastasized to my lymph nodes, even though I was told that there was a chance of it doing that.

When Brad asked me to marry him, in February of 2008, in the lifeguard stand on South Beach I felt like I was going to have this amazing long life with him and be able to have children and raise them in a loving home with Brad and I as their parents. I envisioned watching them grow up together as we grew old. It never crossed my mind that Brad and I would ever have to parent without each other, because neither one of us believe in divorce and what else could possibly cause one to be without the other??? Our stance on divorce comes directly from being raised Catholic and is the part in our vows that read, “til death do us part” which, not so ironically, proceeds "in sickness and in health," which I really never thought about until now. I just never thought that I would be thinking about dying in my 30’s and leaving Brad with our three children.

The first thing I think of is Georgia. She is so strong willed and confident. I want to see her become the person that she wants to be, which right now might be Dora but who knows. Then I think of the boys—so young and playful. Drew with his constant need to be cuddled, and Logan with his need for speed. My kids are so beautiful and honestly the best part of me is seen through them. The thought of Brad raising them on his own saddens me. It’s a thought that people say I shouldn’t have because that won’t happen, but they are not the ones sick with cancer in them. Brad is such a great dad and husband.  When we said our vows we said, “in sickness and in health,” which I did actually think about but I pictured the time for this being when our kids had all grown up and moved on with their lives, when we were welcoming grandchildren into this world, not now! My kids are in diapers for Christ’s sake!

While there is a 90+% cure rate for my type of cancer, it’s still a disease to my body that has made it’s home in my lymphatic system. It poisons more than just your physical health though. This has tainted my thoughts to dark places that I didn’t even know existed in my mind. I want to come out a survivor and look back on this and thank God for all his blessings. I want to look at this and have remembered where I was the day I wrote this and what it took to overcome the hurdles to good health. Is this all a good thing? What's the lesson here? Where is the gold in this? I ask myself that everyday. Although the answers to my questions are not entirely clear yet, one thing that is clearer now than ever, is that I need to take care of this body. I need to care for it for a long time if I want to be around to see all my children grow up. Another thing that is clear to me, is that I will never be the same person once I get through this. I am a fighter for what I believe in, and what I believe in right now is survival!

Thursday, June 7, 2012

"Pirate Day"...... or not.....

As I am on my way home from Publix (probably at 3:30), I get a call from Brad telling me that it was NOT "Dress Like a Pirate Day" at school today and that when he dropped the kids off at school, Georgia was the ONLY kid dressed like a pirate! So I ask, "Well did you take her home and change her clothes." Brad's response: Uhh, no. My Response: UUUHHHH NOOOO???? OMG!!!

I was going to take my groceries home before picking up my herd, but I had to change my plans to save any further embarrassment on ourselves (as parents that OBVIOUSLY don't read the notes that get sent home by the teachers) and our poor daughter --- who looked like a freaking pirate all day long! Haha!!! Just another day of parenting in the world of 3 under 3!!! A big thanks to G's teacher--who put normal clothes on her after Brad left :o)

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

A Dad's Point of View: Bath-time

This is Brad's version of bath-time in our house. I was in class so I couldn't help, nor did I know what exactly what was going on behind that door....haha! Enjoy!!!

"Let me tell you a little story. 7:30 bath time. Jenny is in class and I am on my own. I declare war and round up my subjects. Georgia is crying " NOOOOO," I pick up Drew, who is just in a diaper and sticky from dinner. Logan runs off leaving trails of rice that are falling out of his diaper. I put drew down in the bathroom turn on shower, get Logan. Order Georgia out of her clothes and take off Logan's diaper. Now I need to stop here cause this is were I start to loose the fight. Have you ever taken off a diaper with out thinking about why the diaper is there in the first place? Yea....4lbs of poo in a 2lb diaper. I got Logan in one hand, and poo in the other, I'm looking for wipes and now Drew is playing in the toilet, I'm yelling at Drew with little effect, I find wipes, put Logan Down, now Georgia is stuck in her shirt and falling down crying. Close toilet lid, take off diaper #2.  Lessons learned 0. Now I got Drew in one hand, poo in the other. I'm coaching Georgia out of the death trap she has made of her shirt, all I can see of her is her chin and two elbows, now Logan has peed on the floor and the scale, With Drew clean, I wipe up the pee and throw the scale in the sink. I get Georgia, then Drew, and then Logan into the shower. No sooner I start taking off my socks Georgia has pumped her hands full of shampoo and is wiping her brothers heads, faces, and eye balls with soap. I now have two screaming, naked, slippery midgets trying to get out of the shower. At this point I know I lost, I am doing anything and everything I can to gain control." 

So funny!!!! I included a picture of Brad's "subjects" aka-- our children :-)

Friday, May 25, 2012

Good Catch

I’m sure that you have heard that expression, “Good Catch” before. If not then you probably live under a rock. Anyways, I was about to get treated for thyroid cancer this week by a doctor out of Martin Memorial. Short version of what happened this week----I talked with someone whose experience with thyroid cancer treatment was not all that great through local hospitals. He suggested getting a second opinion from M.D. Anderson Cancer Center in Orlando before going through the treatment. So Wednesday came and I canceled all my appointments with Martin Memorial for this week and I told them I would reschedule. I was supposed to go and get thyrogen shots on Wednesday and Thursday of this week and I was supposed to have taken the radioactive iodine I-131 this afternoon, which I did not do---Thankfully!

I left work on Wednesday to take care of all the appointment making and canceling. I ended up at M.D. Anderson this morning. I called them Wednesday and told them I wanted to see someone this week, and they called me back yesterday (Thursday) and told me to come in today at 10:00am. We were on the road by 8:00, and arrived in Orlando at 10:00.

We walked in to the Nuclear Medicine department and had about a 5 minute wait, then a nurse came and got me. She took my vitals then sent me back to the waiting room. The I had about a 10 minute wait and a guy came and got me and took me into a dimmed room with 3 desks in it that had a bunch of computer screens on them. And in there was the Nuclear Medicine doctor. He asked me questions for 10-15 minutes, and then reviewed all of my pathology reports with me from Dr. Richards (my awesome ENT). I could tell that he had reviewed my file before I got there because he had stuff underlined and highlighted everywhere. After he was done with that he showed me how staging is done with thyroid cancer and said that I am considered stage 1 at this point.

So after an hour and a half of talking with this guy, Brad and I both had a much better understanding of what exactly the radioactive iodine will do and what I need to do between now and when I actually take the radioactive iodine. The first thing that I have to do is stop taking my medication (not looking forward to that!!!) so that my TSH level elevate over 30 (right now mine are 3.5), then once I hit 30 or above I will return to M.D. Anderson to take a radioactive pill, a.k.a. I-123, to get ready for a body scan which is done 24 hours after taking the I-123, then the doctor reviews my scan and determines how high of a dose of radioactive iodine is needed to kill my cancer, then I return to M.D. Anderson again for my radioactive iodine dose of I-131. After 10 days I will return to M.D. Anderson for a second scan.

The doctor told us that using thyrogen has been proven to make the absorption of the I-131 less effective and he advised not using it. He also told us that depending on the dose of I-131, I may be able to come home during treatment and he explained why in detail and we both feel better about that now. The doctor told me to continue eating a low iodine diet and he gave me a cookbook to use. I have a really good feeling about getting a second opinion and I am glad that I didn’t go through with the thyrogen injections like I wanted to. The idea of being hypothyroid again just makes me cringe but if that is what I need to do, then I am going to do it. I am just glad that I talked with Brad’s friend this week before I made a mistake with my treatment.

I do have to say that the option to use thyrogen was truly just an option. The doctors around here were not pushing it, in fact, Dr. Richards (my awesome ENT) told me that the drug is controversial, but I told her that I wanted it anyways because I couldn’t function without my thyroid medication (stupid right??!!). So I certainly don’t want to give the impression that doctors were pushing me to get it, because they weren’t. I just wasn’t making a very informed decision, but I am now. It was truly a “good catch.”

Thursday, April 26, 2012

A quick update~

I am one week post-op here in this photo and I went to the ENT this morning to have my stitches clipped and for the pathology reports on my lymph nodes. I had a feeling that the results were not going to be good, only because I had a goiter for so long and I have suspected a thyroid problem for at least 4 years. My lymph nodes did come back with cancer in them, which totally sucks.

Dr. Richards, the ENT, is confident that a round of radioactive iodine will get rid of all of my cancer, which is good and something to remind myself of every time I think, “Oh my God, I have cancer.” Dr. Richards also said that the type of thyroid cancer that I have has a 90+% cure rate. She also said that I am young and healthy so that also improves the odds. Papillary cancer is not aggressive and is very slow to grow and spread, it is also the most common type of thyroid cancer, which I am hoping is a good thing for my outcome. 

I have an appointment next week to meet with an Oncologist in Stuart, so I will know more information then. I  am hoping that I can be clear of all of this by the summer so I can relax and play with my kids. If I didn't have kids I think I would still be freaked out about having cancer, but its different when you have 3 little kids to take care of. They are the best part of my life by far and the thought of not being around for them is just the saddest thing. But with the optimism of Dr. Richards, I am hoping that this is just a little hiccup in my summer plans. Until next time.....

Friday, April 20, 2012

Trust your Gut!!!

Cancer. It’s a word that no one wants to hear. A couple weeks ago I was diagnosed with thyroid cancer. It has been an interesting adventure to say the least. I feel like I haven’t really had time to process the whole thing yet, which honestly is probably a good thing. So here is my timeline of events----about a month ago I saw the ENT about a lump in my throat (swollen thyroid---aka Goiter), she sent me for blood work and an ultrasound with follow up in a week, next appointment I had a Fine Needle Aspiration done (they stick a needle into your goiter about 6 times to get samples of the tissue) with follow up in a week, then at follow up from my FNA we scheduled surgery.  I had surgery on Wednesday April 18, I had my drain removed on Thursday, and today I just have to have my calcium levels checked. The doctor removed my entire thyroid, as well as a few lymph nodes. Pathology will be back in about a week on those. I am praying that they come back negative. I have to have a neck scan done to see if there is any signs of cancer anywhere else (not sure when this will take place). I also have to complete a radioactive iodine treatment sometime in the next 6-8 weeks. I will be spending a weekend at a hotel for this since I have to be away from my kids, well all kids actually, while I am radioactive.

I had a feeling that I had something going on that was more than what met the eye. The trick is finding a physician who listens to your symptoms and show compassion for what you are going through. Here are some of the symptoms that I was having:

  • Fatigue---- even if I just slept 8 hours
  • Weakness in legs
  • Difficulty losing weight
  • Coarse, dry hair and dry skin
  • Hair loss
  • Sensitivity to cold
  • Constipation
  • Depression
  • Irritability
  • Memory loss
  • Abnormal menstrual cycles----like every other week
  • Decreased libido
  • Ear aches that were not from infections
  • Goiter
  • Difficulty swallowing
  • Panic attacks
Just to name a few. Anyways, I was seeing a family physician who was treating some of these symptoms as if it were unrelated to one another. I had a hunch that something else was going on so I tried to make an appointment for an endocrinologist, but you need a physician to refer you to get an appointment. So I went to the ENT instead, and I am happy that it ended up this way honestly. Who better to remove neck cancer than an ENT. Anyways, the moral of this story is ALWAYS TRUST YOUR GUT!!!!! No one knows you better than YOU! If you have a goiter and want to see a good doctor let me know and I will give you the name of my surgeon.