Please help with my moms memorial fund!

It is with such heartfelt sadness to announce that my mother & best friend has been diagnosed with Chronic myelomonocytic leukemia (CMML) it is a type of cancer that starts in blood-forming cells of the bone marrow and invades the blood. 
She can not receive treatment for her type of leukemia, they can only treat her symptoms as they arise.  

She is a precious gift from God himself– loving, giving, kind, compassionate, joyful and intelligent. A great inspiration for anyone that heard her genuine, humble, witty and joyful voice, or experienced her smile, laughter and love for just a moment.  To know her is to love her, as you all know!

Her humble nature hid a great compassionate and loving human being, with a huge heart of gold. She cares profoundly for her family and friends. My mom is a great giver, always ready and able to care for others.  She proudly graduated   from Holy Redeemer High School in Detroit, Michigan in 1968 and still keeps in touch with several of her classmates!  She had three children: Myself (Paula) in 1969, Dennis in 1975 and Michael in 1983.  Unfortunately my two brothers passed away in the years 2011 and 2012 and this was very, very hard on her, to lose her two youngest children is just about every mothers worst nightmare.

We were not expecting to get this sort of diagnosis on my mom. She was doing her normal activities January 1st and on January 2nd 2016 she had started falling throughout the day in our home.  I called for an ambulance and she was transported to 2 hospitals- the second being the Sarah Canon Cancer Center in Nashville, Tn.  She is only 66 years old!  She was sent home to be on hospice on January 4th 2016.  On January 6th she was unresponsive, I sent her by ambulance once again to be re-evaluated and she was at Centennial Tri-Star Hospital in Nashville until January 15th when she was transported to NHC Dickson for two weeks of rehabilitation- this is where she is currently.

I am starting this Gofundme account in hopes of receiving some much needed help for her expenses as well as establishing a memorial service for her.   Her Oncologists cannot give us a definite timetable regarding her life, but what they did say was that she might be able to live for up to a year with the following treatment:  I will be taking her to rehabilitation as needed, back and forth to receive transfusions as needed as well as platelets.  Unfortunately she will be unable to get a donor for a bone marrow transplant or help with her platelets etc.

I am so grateful and appreciate the experience of having been loved, and loved by her in return, and for her being in all of our lives. In our hearts and souls, she will always be with us, no matter where she is, be it in heaven or here on earth. 

It is so important for my mom to have a memorial service with her family & friends in attendance. Please help me to provide a memorial service for my mom that is worthy of a GIVER such as her.  No amount is too small and I appreciate each and every one of you!

Sunday, October 18, 2015

Diet Help: What I Ate to Lose 115lbs

How I Got Motivated to Lose Weight | Makeup Geek

My Go To Breakfast For Losing 100 Pounds | Makeup Geek

10 More Snacks to Lose Weight | Makeup Geek

What I Ate To Lose 125 Pounds | Makeup Geek

My 1 Year Tummy Tuck Update!!!

VLOG: My new body! (before and after tummy tuck and breast lift)

How I Lost 100 Pounds: Step 3 Healthy Breakfast Ideas! | Makeup Geek

How I Lost 100 Pounds: Step 2 | Makeup Geek

How I Lost 100 Pounds - Step 1 | Makeup Geek

#AskMarlena: Being a CEO, Racism, and Weight Loss Issues | Makeup Geek

20 New Matte Eyeshadows! | Makeup Geek

My Thanksgiving Look: Matte Eyes + Duochrome Lips

Makeup geek Foiled Eyeshadow - Review | Swatches | Jaclyn Hill

Friday, October 16, 2015

October Ipsy bag

My Ipsy Bag

I'm pretty happy with this month's Ipsy Bags products! I especially love theBalm lip colour and my purty purple polish! The hand lotion is very moisturizing and the plum eyeliner duos as a purty lipliner! Yay win-win!  

@ipsy #octoberglambag #DOSESide #ipsy #nourishorganicside #skoneside #beautywithoutcruelty #bwcside #thebalmside #sweepstakes

I've made my decision to have Roux En-Y Gastric Bypass

It's official! After researching 'till I was blue in the face and many long/sleepless nights, countless talks with my family and friends as well as my network of doctors and nurse practitioners, I've finally made my decision to go ahead with the Roux En-Y Gastric Bypass!

     Let me start by saying that my health is very poor for a 45 yr old woman/mother of two.  I am currently taking 11 different medications, most of which are being prescribed because I am severly overweight and it is creating havoc within my poor body.  For most of my adult life I have had some sort of weight issue and always seem to be on a diet of some sort but these last few years have been the worse ever and I cannot seem to get my weight under any kind of control so my weight has spiralled out of control.  It isn't due to just any one thing, it's due to a number of reasons.  My state of mind is pretty good right now but over these last few years my depression has reared its ugly head especially after the deaths of my two brothers & also my best friends and I believe I was eating to comfort myself rather than eating because I was hungry.  Also I know I've been guilty of making the wrong food choices and eating at the wrong times along with not so good portion sizes.  Being that depressed, I wasn't reading the food labels as I should, not because I didn't understand them but because my mind was filled with so many other things that all my knowledge got shoved aside as I was trying to battle my deepening depression at that time.                                                                                                                                  In my house most of the mirrors are not full length, like they have when you're trying on clothes at the store, mine only show my head up to my chest so I was never getting a good hard look at what was happening with my body.  Obviously my clothing had gotten tighter or didn't fit anymore but in my head I was thinking that they had shrunk or some other tale I'd tell myself.                                                                The day it finally hit me and stuck like glue was when I was going through last summer's photos for a layout I was working on. I ran across a picture I had not taken and never saw before and it took me a good minute to realize that who/what I was looking at in the photo was indeed ME that my son had taken while I was in my bathing suit with them at the creek. This is the actual photo I ran across with me on the right with my daughter splashing in the center:
I then had a good old-fashioned pity party including a very hard cry and it was then that I knew I had to make a solid plan of action and DO something about it before matters got even worse.  I had gotten to the point that I myself didn't even recognize my own self! I then got up, dusted myself off and began my search to start drastically by making some life-long changes and begin on a new life long journey...
     I made an appointment to see a Bariatric Surgeon and last month I made the drive to Vanderbilt Medical Weight Loss Center in Nashville,Tn to meet with my surgeon Dr. Williams along with a variety of his staff members such as my dietitians, nutritionists, nurses, counselors etc  to see if I was a good candidate for weight loss surgery and I was told that I met all of the beginning requirements and was given a choice of either having Roux En-Y Gastric Bypass (RNY) or Vertical Sleeve Gastrectomy (VSG) and have now decided that having the sleeve procedure will be the best thing for me to do for myself and by no means is it a fix-all!                                                                          This is going to take a lot of hard work and dedication but I am willing to give it 110% and quite possibly change my life for the better and eliminate most of my medical conditions over time with this surgery. 
 For insurance purposes I've had some hurdles and hoops to jump through in order for them to cover my surgery and hospital stay.  I have to do one more sleep apnea test, visit my Cardiologist again for another ekg and a letter of recommendation/approval,  then my paperwork gets submitted to my insurance for final approval! In my packet that's headed to my insurance; I have included letters from my current and previous doctors stating that it is in my best interests to have the surgery and that the benefits from having surgery outweigh the risks associated with having the surgery.
 I am over the moon excited for this to be happening yet I'm scared at the same time!
I will keep you posted as my new lease on life begins once I have the 

Roux En-Y Gastric Bypass! xo 


Monday, October 5, 2015

Use It All Challenge!

Today was the first day in a LONG time that I actually took time out to scrap a layout for a use it all challenge over at The Digichick!

 I'm in a great mood today- probably because the nicotine is out of my system now!  Tomorrow afternoon I will be receiving a call from the surgery center & I'm very nervous/excited about that! I'll keep ya posted!