GET BUSY LIVING

Hi everyone, it’s been awhile since my last blog and I have had really positive feedback and many requests to keep on writing. So with that being said, I am going to continue to share my story with blogs, posts & photos.

So I am going to start by saying, you are the result of your thoughts so be very careful what you say to yourself. The negative self talk will get you nowhere and will only make you more sick. Think positive, talk positive and your situation will improve.

For those of us who are battling a Cancer diagnosis or any type of illness, remember that the diagnosis does not define you. We can either put one foot in front of the other and push forward  or we can remain in our pain.  I don’t know about you, but I am not going to lay here and give my diagnosis the power.

It’s a fact that people who are diagnosed with an illness or addiction lose their purpose and as a result, often give up on life.  If you have lost your purpose, I am telling you that it is critical that you find it. It may not look like it did before your diagnosis but that’s okay.  My purpose definitely changed because my entire life had been turned upside down.  When my life was nearly taken from me, I woke up in this horrible darkness I really had to fight just to find hope. I was honestly convinced that my circumstances were never going to get better. But….. I am alive and here to tell you, if you have the will to live and continue to fight you can overcome your circumstances and your diagnosis no matter how dark it is. There is always hope.

When your sun turns to darkness, that’s when you need to fight and be your strongest. There is a quote that says: you never know how strong you are, until being strong is your only choice.       I know for a fact that when you stand up and fight for yourself others are watching. Whether it’s your children,family, friends or strangers, everyone is taking notice. I also know for a fact that when I really love myself and I’m at my strongest it makes everyone around me stronger, it is a domino effect.  I don’t think we realize how many eyes are watching us and how crucial our actions are not only for ourselves but for are loved ones.

For those of you struggling, I struggle everyday as well. Some days I make progress and feel good, but other days, I take a few steps backwards.  The important part is that we make progress and keep fighting.  A wise man wrote, get busy living or get busy dying, It’s your choice and even on the bad days we still have a choice to make the best of it.         If you are someone who is not living, now is the perfect time to start!!!!!!

Please follow me on Instagram at iamthefitmom for daily motivation and pics and please share with others. I want to get me story out there and in the process help as many people as possible. In a society that is so full of judgement and unrealistic expectations, it’s critical that we come together to support, encourage and love one another.

Much Love, Jenn:)

HOPE

As you know, I have taken some time off from writing on my blog but remain in a very dark place and writing about my experience has been very therapeutic for me. It has saved me from many dark sleepless nights and as dark,raw and honest as my blogs can be, I appreciate all the positive feed back.

Yesterday was my 1 year Anniversary,  yes it has been 365 days since my initial hospitalization and the beginning of my nightmare. I have remained hopeful all year that this Christmas season would be different from last year, that this year would be full of happiness and good health for me, my children and family. For those who know me, know that I try to remain positive, determined and fight like hell, however, lately this has been very challenging for many reasons and mostly out of my control.

After complaining to my Doctors continuously  for 10 months straight about the amount of pain I am in , they finally decided to do a CT scan (10 months it took them) and at the end of October they found that I have an infection inside me, the worst part is that it has been there since I was released from the hospital nearly 12 months ago. So I have had poison in my body for nearly a year and the doctors didn’t know. How could this happen? how incapable are these doctors?  Since finding this out, the doctors have put me through multiple “painful” procedures, including having a  drain inserted inside me between my liver and lungs as well as  a pic line inserted so the home health care nurses can come into my home and administer antibiotics 2x day. The doctors goal is to keep me out of the hospital.

My family and I are convinced there have been multiple mistakes made during my initial 23 day hospital stay, but this recent oversight is the last mistake I am going to allow these doctors to make.  I am scheduled to go to the MAYO  clinic next week in Rochester, a place where I believe I will get the care and treatment I deserve.  If any of you or a loved one has gone through something similar you understand my frustration, anger and sadness. When it comes to our health, we have to be our own Advocates and speak up for ourselves. We know our bodies better then anyone and know when something isn’t right. How I wish my doctors would have listened to me earlier and ran these tests months ago.

So my take away from this blog is if you know something isn’t right, speak up and get something done. Get a second opinion, find another doctor is you have to. I really thought I was in good hands, but on top of this being a life threatening infection, I have been put through multiple unnecessary procedures now that could have been avoided, had they listened to me in the first place.  I am hopeful that the Mayo Clinic will provide doctors who will  work with me and care if I live or die. We are hopeful that they will be able to take my case over and help get me back to good health.

I have many different emotions right now, it is obvious that I am angry, but I have very valid reasons. One of the hardest things for me is watching my kids and family have to continuously sacrifice there lives because of my ongoing health problems and to see the exhausting impact it has on them on a daily basis. My children, who should be busy just being kids and having fun, are instead being caregivers for their mother.  This would make any mother sad, frustrated and angry.

Everyone’s prayers have been very appreciated and please keep them coming. Lastly, I hope everyone enjoys the Holiday season and I hope you are able to spend time with your friends & family.  Life is short, spend time with your kids while you can and be thankful for the things you have. Do not take anything for granted!!!!!

Much love- Jenn

https://www.gofundme.com/jennifersorensen

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Clouds are Lifting

Wow, what a memorable week filled with tears, laughs lots of hugs but most of all gratefulness. On Saturday my bother Jay, completed his #200 Marathon out at Wobegon. This was my first social outing since my illness, and I was determined to make it out there to watch Jay come across that finish line. After everything my brother and I have been through I was lucky enough to be standing there waiting for him to cross that finish line,  it was a bittersweet moment.

On that very same day, my oldest daughter celebrated 365 days of Sobriety and on Wednesday with my younger two children, I made the drive down to St. Paul where Anna received her 1 year medallion.  I can’t lie, it was very emotional but as a mom, one of my proudest moments!!!!! What my daughter, Anna has been able to accomplish in a years time is unbelievable and admirable. As some of you know, addiction is a very lonely and empty existence and I can assure you, my daughter never wanted this for herself, no addict wishes this.  I cannot be more thankful to all counselors/staff at Hazelden and her friends/family who have been there for her and continue to support her. She deserves the highest respect for taking responsibility for her addiction, holding herself accountable and accepting the help she desperately needed. She is now living a sober heathy life, just more proof that Sobriety is achievable. I wouldn’t wish this for any parent, but  the truth is addiction does not discriminate and has no boundaries.  If you think  Addiction is never going to affect you or someone you love, think again. It is a harsh reality.

As some of you already know, my only brother Jay, is definitely my hero, such an inspiration and role model for all of us, especially for my four children.  My daughter Anna, she is my array of Sunshine, all I have to do is look at her and she makes me smile. She is just more proof that you can beat addiction and turn your life around.  They are both inspirations and beams of light shining for all of us to grab onto. These two simply provide me/us with so much hope, they are two beautiful souls that I am so grateful for, I am truly blessed.   I can honestly say, the  dark clouds seem to be lifting in my life and the light seems to be peaking through. It is a very slow process but man it feels good to finally feel some happiness.I have posted some pictures from this past week, enjoy.  Much Love- Jenn

https://www.gofundme.com/jennifersorensen

 

 

 

R U Grateful?

No matter how good or bad you think life is, wake up each day and be GRATEFUL, thankful for life. Someone somewhere else is fighting to survive.

As I’ve mentioned in my previous blogs after my life changing health crises, I have really learned how to be much more grateful.  Life gravely gave me a hard slap in the face so to speak, but woke me up and made me see how grateful I should be. To think about the people who have been sent into my life and why.  I have really taken the time to reflect and realize how lucky I am to have so many wonderful people in my life and I am alive because of them. (most of you know who you are). Since my last health crises in December, I have worked really hard to surround myself  among healthy, happy people who love me and care about my well-being.  Some of these people had previously been brought into my life, but I found myself to busy to have time for them, when in reality I just needed to make time for them.

I am fortunate enough to have been given another chance to rebuild my friendships with these lovely people again, to spend my time with them listening and learning. They are all so special to me and they all love me unconditionally and only want what is best for my highest good. Some of these people have literally saved my life as they give me strength, balance, energy, peace and love and they all help me see hope in tomorrow. I have a number of physicians and friends who are helping me in my journey, some helping me heal physically, some helping me heal emotionally/mentally and some helping me spiritually. it’s pretty incredible when I think about it. Each of them is helping me in a different way but for the same reason, to heal my whole body. They are all helping me in my journey to heal my mind, body and soul and in return I am paying it forward, helping others heal.

As some of you know, I am slowly healing from my last stint in the Hospital along with my cancer diagnosis. My team of surgeons/doctors have prepared me for a year-long recovery process just from the surgery itself. This means, It will be a year before I really will know what my “new normal” will bring and that is pretty scary and hard for me. I don’t feel or look like I used to, some for the better but there are things that I really miss about myself. I am working really hard at becoming the healthiest person I can be, mind, body and soul. With the help of my dear friends, I am learning that this is more of  a journey then a recovery. There is really no date as to when all of this will get better, it is a daily battle for me and I have good days and really bad days.

I am screaming at the top of my lungs, when I say SLOW DOWN people, take time to reflect on how blessed you are and be grateful for the people who god has brought into your life. Be thankful for the ones who love you unconditionally, the ones who will have your back no matter what. The ones that will be there to stick it out through the good the bad and the ugly. Give your relationships the time and care they need to grow, because at the end of the day it is our friends and family that are what’s important, they are really what life is all about. Don’t wait for something bad to happen to realize how grateful you should have been.

Love harder, laugh more and  when you start  acting like life is a blessing, it starts feeling like one. Be Grateful.  Much love -Jenn

https://www.gofundme.com/jennifersorensen

 

 

Taking Inventory

Another sleepless night ignites me to write again. Tonight has been a night of worry. Tonight I find myself thinking about my Cancer diagnosis. I have found that writing calms me, I have found it to be very therapeutic because I get to take all of these thoughts swirling in my head and put them down on paper. It allows me to clear my head releasing the old negative thoughts and making  room for new positive ones. This is vital for me, as my new journey includes healing the mind-body and soul.

Cancer attacks your Spirit like nothing else, Cancer is evil but I have decided to conquer it. I have shared in previous blogs, while removing myself and children from a toxic relationship years ago, my body started to deteriorate on a cellular level. Years of Cellular breakdown and chronic stress depleted my body and eventually led to my Cancer diagnosis, however,  Cancer is not a death sentence, you either live & thrive or suffer and die. I choose to live & thrive.

My new journey has forced me to take an inventory of my life on a deeper level. First  I had to start with my nutrition and exercise. I always ate healthy, but I have learned there are so many things out there that aid in fighting the Cancer. I have eliminated processed foods, dairy and meat. I am juicing, drinking tons of greens, eating tons of organic fruits & vegetables and teaching myself how to cook all of my own food. The second thing I had to do is take a look at my emotional and mental well-being.  This has been extremely difficult and is going to be a long process, but I am taking the necessary steps to fix myself. unfortunately, years of negative thoughts, fear, anger, resentment and grief have been stuffed down my throat and all of these things are TOXIC to my body and are slowing killing me. The third thing I had to address is my soul/spirituality. The past few years have been tough and I have become very angry for the bad things that have happened to me and my family.  I now know the importance of letting go of that anger and work on becoming  closer to my god again. I know I need god in my life, so he can take my worries and fear and carry them for me, so I can lighten my load a bit.  Baby steps, I am taking baby steps because these things are not going to happen overnight but each day will bring me closer to healing my body mind and soul. All of these things are difficult but not impossible.

If you have had a Cancer diagnosis,life threatening diagnosis,or your suffering from an addiction, whatever it is you’re struggling with, just know there is hope in healing. I’m being very honest when I tell you, If you don’t address all of these areas “mind-body & Spirit” you will remain sick or only temporarily feel better. It takes hard work, perseverance and belief to heal ourselves, but no disease can exist in a clean healthy body.Our bodies have the power to heal themselves if we provide it with the nutrients and care it needs. It is never to late to turn things around, never to late to start healing.

My purpose it to help people and to be part of the solution. In the past few months, I have been forced to be more grateful for the things and people I  have in my life, take time to be grateful each day and practice being less selfish – whether your just starting your journey to a healthier life or are in the process, hang in there. There is power in getting and staying healthy, knowledge is power and  do what is right for you, no one is else is walking in your shoes. Most importantly, never ever give up on yourself!!!!!  Stay healthy out there, until next time, Much Love, Jenn

 

This isn’t a dream….

My last blog as most of you know was pretty dark, hence the title my darkness.  I shared my struggles with my Insomnia, anxiety, fear. dark thoughts & dark memories and flashbacks that come alive each and every night. The un-invited demons that enter my world each night as the darkness starts to rear its ugly head.

Lately, when my body gets exhausted enough and actually gets tired of being tired, it will allow me to fall asleep, however, only for twenty to ninety minutes at a time. My body does not allow me to sleep for hours at a time yet. When my body allows me to fall asleep for these small amounts of time, it allows my troubles to go away.  Even if it is for a very short time,it is during this time that my body and mind gets to rest. I have no worries, no fears, no anxiety, no darkness. I have been grateful for these small moments. When I wake up after my twenty or sixty minutes of sleep that I’m allowed, it only takes a few seconds before I suddenly feel the excruciating pain in my stomach, It doesn’t take long for me to realize that this is real, no dream.  I wake up and I realize that I am sick, I have Cancer and I have a huge scar in the middle of  my abdomen that reminds me everyday what my body has been through. How I wish I were dreaming all of this-how I wish it were all a bad dream.

As the morning starts creeping in, the morning light starts peeking through my windows, I am able to see the pictures of my children, my boyfriend, my family and then I know I need to get out of bed and start the fight. The pictures give me hope, remind me of who I used to be, the good times, the laughter, the love that I am lucky enough to have. These pictures and memories are so important as they help me get out of bed, help me put one foot in front of the other and push forward. unfortunately this is not a dream this is my reality.

I’m sure you all know what I am talking about and can relate when it comes to sleep and dreaming. Sleep is so vital to our health, sleep allows our bodies to heal and repair, but sleep also gives us a bit of peace.  It gives us a break from everyday stress,troubles, worries, sickness, finances, whatever it is for you, hopefully your body allows you to sleep and if your lucky you get to dream a little.

Whatever it is your going through, know that it will all be okay.  What seems like the end, usually is the beginning of something better. Keep your faith and look for open doors in your life, they are often right in front of us but we neglect to see them. God sends specific people into our lives for a specific reason, don’t ignore those individuals. I suggest you put some pictures of the ones you love in your bedroom, or something that will inspire you to get out of bed ready to fight. Perhaps more importantly,find your purpose the reason to fight or ask yourself “what am I fighting for”?

Tonight, I pray for sleep, for all of us to be able to  rest our heads, even if it is just for a little while. Tomorrow is a new day and each day is a new start for every one of us, make the best of it.

I also have some exciting news, but you will have to wait a little longer before I can share with all of you.  After my  last episode with my health issues, I have been able to find my new purpose in life and it will allow me to help others.  Stay tuned everyone.

Much Love- Jenn

The DARKNESS

 

Night is fast approaching, I begin to see and feel my darkness. As night falls, my anxiety only rises. The loneliness sets in and its the beginning of another night paralyzed with fear.  Oh the thoughts, memories all swirl inside my head, I hate being left alone with these thoughts-the same morbid thoughts. I feel like I need to cry, but the tears won’t  come. The insomnia is never ending, the nights go on forever and then the light starts to appear, it’s morning now and still no sleep. My eyes feel so heavy and my soul so empty.

Let me explain, Ever since  my release from the Hospital 14 weeks ago, I have spent every single night in this darkness. I spent 23 days in the hospital,most of my time in the ICU, I was connected to a breathing machine and  unconscious. There were  times I could still hear the camotion, feel the doctors and nurses poking me, moving my body all the while, darkness consumed me. It’s hard to explain this, but this is how my surgeons and doctors explained it to me. Even though I I was unconscious, my sub-conscious  mind was still processing everything going on around me. It was during my time in the ICU that I nearly lost my life, but I have to believe that God wasn’t ready for me yet and  my body fought like hell, I’ve been blessed With a second chance.

Today one of my doctors diagnosed me with Acute Stress Disorder and now I will need to start counseling so my mind can heal.  Today, my doctor asked me how my life & relationships have changed since being released from the hospital. Tears streamed down my face and A lump settled in my throat. I hadn’t thought about that question and it filled my heart with such sadness. I told my doctor that I’m clearly not the same person I was and I am still grieving that. One of the hardest parts is that I have been a  very independent single mother for the past 15 years and the primary caregiver to my four children, I also believe I was a strong partner in my relationship with my significant other. How the tables have turned, now they Are my caregivers and that’s a hard pill to swallow. My children and my boyfriend have had to make so many sacrifices and thier lives have also been turned upside down.

I am here to tell all of you, Whatever the darkness looks like for you in your life, know that your not alone. Many of us don’t want to talk about our darkness, but I’m talking about it because it so vital to our mental and emotional health and well being.  Nutrition is a huge part of a healthy body, but your emotional and mental health are also extremely important. Mind body and soul all need to be healthy and working properly in order for your bodies to fight disease. When we remove the toxic stress and baggage from our lives, we make room for health in our bodies.

I have had many people ask me and some  wonder where I get my strength from and I can tell you, I have always stayed strong for my children and giving up has never been an option for me. When you have four sets of innocent eyes constantly watching you, I can’t give up, that wouldnt be fair to them.  I refuse to stop fighting.  A good friend of mine recently said to me, Jenn from the first time I met you, you have had this “fight in your eyes”,      I like to think of those fighter eyes as just part of my “fighter spirit”.

Whatever it is your battling right now, whatever life has thrown at you, stay strong. Life will knock you down, but find a way to pick yourself up, giving up is to easy.  When you stay strong you inspire other people to do the same. Take time to slow down and enjoy life, enjoy your children, spouses,family and friends. life is so unpredictable, tell the people around you how much you love them while you still can, because what if tomorrow never comes-

Please take care of yourselves, stop losing sleep and worrying about the people and circumstances you cannot control”. Think about that,  all the energy and worry we give people or circumstances and we literally have no control over the outcome. Learn to let it go, stop sweating the small stuff and Stop worrying about the things and people you can never change. This is so important for a healthy body. We only get so much energy in a day, use it wisely, don’t give the negative things your attention, they don’t deserve it. Stay healthy emotionally and mentally.

Life continues to knock me down, but I keep getting back up.  I’ve never felt so grateful for my children, my significant other and my brother and sister. They have all been extremely supportive. My brother said something to me one night as he was leaving my hospital room, he said keep fighting Jenn, your winning.  Yea, I like the sound of that–I am winning and it has definitely been worth the fight!

Please share with your family & friends, and until my next blog, much love- Jenn

 

 

Relationships

I’ve been approached by dozens of friends & family asking when my next blog would be posted, so here it is folks.

I have a couple of family members/friends struggling with relationships recently, so I thought it would be a good time to dig into this topic. As some of you know, back in 2001, with the solid support of my mom, dad, sister, brother and brother in law, I was able to remove myself and my four children from a very unhealthy and abusive marriage. I can honestly tell you without hesitation that this was the hardest thing I’ve ever had to do. I had four children under the age of 10 who needed a healthy mother and deserved to be raised in a healthy environment. This was the beginning of my body breaking down on a cellular level. I lost 25lbs within two months because I could not eat due to the stress involved with ending this relationship. For months I literally lived on nothing but several pots of coffee each day. My face was caved in and I had absolutely no color, I looked like a walking & talking skeleton.  My body  was literally dying inside and I had so much mental and emotional destruction from the marriage, that I spent years inside counseling offices recovering, however for my body it was too late, all of the stress & turmoil proved to be to much and it ultimately led to my Cancer diagnosis 11 years later.

The importance of sharing this story with you is that there is no rewind button in life, we don’t get redues, so who we choose as our partners in this crazy life is so critical for our health and well being. Unfortunately for me, I ignored the red flags that were right in front of my eyes and stepped into what ended up being a extremely destructive and painful marriage.  I obviously have regrets from my past, But instead of dwelling on them,  I concentrate on all the positive things I learned during this extremely difficult time in my life. I am such a better person now, so much wiser and oh so much smarter. The best part of this story is that I was given a second chance at love, since my divorce I found my soulmate and have been in a very loving relationship  for nearly 14 years now. He is truly my soulmate on so many levels and he has been at my side through the Cancer diagnosis, dozens of Doctor Appointments, chemotherapy’s and was at my bedside during my 23 day hospital stay in December. You could say we have been through the good, the bad and the ugly.

So, the importance of this blog and my message is choose your relationships wisely, find a partner who loves you unconditionally, someone who lifts you up, someone who drives you to be a better person, someone who will treat you with respect and hopefully makes you laugh, laughter is the best free medicine out there!!!!! We all deserve to be loved Unconditionally,  We are all worthy of this kind of love and don’t let yourself settle for anything less. If you have recently lost a relationship there may be a good reason that it didn’t work out, make sure you pay attention to the red flags, the signs or messages that you are suppose to be receiving, how I wish I had done this.

We get one life, one time around so keep your body and mind healthy by choosing healthy relationships. Your mind, body and soul will be thankful you did. Much love, Jenn.

About

I invite you to follow my blog and my hope is to reach others out there who can either relate to my journey or those who just want to follow my progress. My blog is called  “coming out of the darkness” and the title will soon make sense to all.  My real journey began March 21, 2012,  at the age of 45, I was diagnosed with non-hodgkins lymphoma and was told there is no cure for my type of Cancer, but there are treatments available. How could this be happening to me, I  ate healthy, I exercised daily and at that time, I was convinced I was taking good care of myself. I was so healthy, right????

Well  years later, I can finally admit I wasn’t as healthy as I thought I was. All the healthy  food & excercise was great, but my stress level was through the roof. My attitude, negative emotions, negative thinking and suppressed anger are all the things making me sick. When you are diagnosed with cancer, you must assume the way your living is killing you.

I’m sick and I need to heal and this starts with rebuilding the body from the inside out. Although nutrition is a huge part of healing my body, I also need to heal myself emotionally and mentality.  I’m really scared but I’m holding myself accountable  and I’m ready to begin my new journey.

Please watch for updates on my blog, thanks for reading and please SHARE with those around you, much love…Jenn

Source: My journey

My journey

My blog is called “coming out of the darkness”. during my 23 day hospital stay and while in the ICU, there was a period of time where all I saw and felt was darkness. I heard things, felt things and saw things but all in this black darkness., hence my picture.  It was during the time in ICU that I was changed forever, not by choice but due to health complications my body had to fight like never before to stay alive. I’m having to accept that I will never be the same person I was before December 2nd, 2015.

It is the constant darkness that has become an ongoing battle for me, physically, mentally and emotionally.

I will be documenting my progress to hopefully inspire others.     I am determined to Heal my body mind and soul,I am lucky enough to have numerous health resources and  good friends who will be helping and supporting me As I begin this Journey.

Stay tuned for updates on my blog. Please follow me on this journey and please share with others. Much love, jenn