The Curious Case Of Jodi Vetter

Life

I am writing this blog on an iPhone. I have been experiencing a surprising health crisis. I thought that I was doing everything right. I am nearing 40, I watch my diet, and I am active– I lift, I run, I bike, and swim. I didn’t think I needed to go to the doctor, because a. I was in tuned to my body, b. I enjoyed being blissfully unaware of my own mortality, and c. I would KNOW if I was sick. Turns out me being active was nearly my undoing. It could still be my undoing (please pray).

My story started about a year ago, I was experiencing some discomfort in my back. I had gone into the doctor, and was told it was a back injury. I went through the  physical therapy program, was declared not injured and went about my life.

A few months later, I experienced some dull aching pain in my back. I mentioned it a few times that I needed to do something about my back. I would do sit-ups, squats, and lunges. I mentioned the back ache a few times to my husband, but he shrugged it off.

I went on with my life.  The pain ebbed and flowed with my cycle.  Since it was regular monthly visitor, I assumed it was cramps, or ovulation.  This month, I decided that I needed to go in, and get some piece of mind regarding my body.  I am nearing 40, youth is fleeting.  I thought running made me immune.

I was wrong.  In 2002, I was in a train accident which affected my upper respiratory system.  I had switched insurances, and made my first appointment in almost six years.  The doctor being diligent ordered a chest x-Ray.  They found something.

I had a pleural effusion, or liquid on the lungs.  I was sent to the ER.  Three CT scans later, I was transported to the region medical center.  My kidney is being cut off by a large mass in my pelvis. Near my cervix.

The first thought, cervical cancer– with fluid on the lungs– I was probably stage 3 or 4.  This plunged me into the cardiac ward where I rode a roller coaster.

First, my lungs were drained and then the fluid was sent off to be tested. Then a revolving door of doctors and specialists came to see me: I had cancer, I didn’t have cancer, there is a mass, there is no mass, I need a stent, I don’t need a stent.

I am now day five into this whole thing, and this is the best guess: my kidney was blocked by something in my pelvis. The something is either a cancerous ovarian tumor, fibroid tumor, or endometriosis. My guess- endometriosis (my history points towards it).  I had a stent installed and biopsy on the mass.  I am waiting on the final word.  Then I face chemo, radiation, and/or hysterectomy.  I am facing this with humor and positivity- I am young, healthy, and have a great support.

The biggest thing that I came away with is a few life lessons:

  1. Make peace with those you wronged. Don’t go out with regrets.
  2. Be an advocate for yourself.
  3. Don’t think that you are doing everything “right” that you are immune.
  4. Don’t put off, or skip annual exams.
  5. Be thankful for what you have.
  6. Don’t share medical diagnosis until you have the final word.
  7. Stay or get healthy– my activity and diet probably saved my life.
  8. If you do end up in my situation up your data plan.

 

 

 

I Am Retiring…

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On June 18th, 2016 I will be officially semi-retired.  I am going to retire from running marathons.  I will be 40-years-old, and I figure if I don’t qualify for Boston by then, I won’t.  I say semi-retired, because I don’t plan on fully retiring.  I am literally working double time to lose weight and put my best foot forward in training for my “last” marathon, Grandma’s marathon.  Grandma’s will be my last 26.2 race, unless I qualify for Boston, then I intend on running Boston Marathon.

I say semi-retired, because I’m not giving up on endurance sports entirely.  Not in the least.  I have one more thing I have added to my endurance bucket list.  I said I would never do one, but I’ve change my mind.  I learned a valuable lesson the last few weeks and months.  I learned that you have one life, and to live your dreams.  Make goals and accomplish them.  Life is short and fleeting.  So I have decided that after I run my last marathon that I am going to dedicate myself to competing in Triathlons.

Not just any Triathlons, but Ironman Triathlons.  I watched one today, and realized that there are many people competing in this kind of sport that most would not see as triathletes.  My first goal after my retirement is to run a few sprints.  I plan on upgrading to Olympic distance, then eventually half Tris.  After I accomplish a few half Triathlons, I plan on signing up for an Ironman.  I hope to accomplish this before I turn 50.

I have no desire to run ultras, so Triathlons.  But first Grandma’s.  I have cracked the diet code.  I have discovered that I do really well eating small meals every few hours.  Everyone has their own body chemistry to overcome. In the last week I have dropped 5 pounds following these simple steps:

1.  Eat small meals throughout the day.

2.  Have 1-2 cheat days.

3.  Give up sweets and sodas (I have not been dedicated enough to give up my worst vice– wine).

4.  Move A LOT…  Today I burned over 1200 calories, and only 300 of those calories were actual running miles.

1.  Here’s my small meal schedule:

Meal 1 (AM): I eat/drink a protein shake*

Meal 2 (AM):  I have a small container of greek yogurt (it seems to help keep my gut in balance– I have a condition called leaky gut, it’s related to IBS)

Meal 3 (late AM): I eat/drink another protein shake*

Meal 4 (PM): A light meal– usually I eat a salad or similar meal.  My favorite is a Tomato Salad.  A friend of mine and I used to partake in these salads when we were both living in Germany.

Meal 5 (PM): A piece of fruit

Meal 6 (PM): A 400-800 calorie dinner

2.  In between each of those I drink a 16 ounce container of water.  In 4 days that I have done this.  I have lost 5 pounds.  Friday and Saturday are my “cheat days.”  I have allowed myself to have a little bit of wine and some additional snacks– tonight I’m going to eat popcorn while binge watching Harry Potter movies :).

3.  With exception of my last two cheat days, I have not had any soda or sweets.  I have found the best balance of fruits and vegetables to quench any cravings I have.  Salty crunchy cravings, I have a salad and add dried quinoa or lightly salted nuts to it.  Sweet cravings, I eat fruit, or dried fruit.

4.  Move A LOT.  Each day, I make it my personal goal to do my 10,000 steps (or 5 miles).  Most days that feat is accomplished through running, and a little bit of walking.  On my rest days, I still walk.  I started with Jillian Michael’s Body Shred, and I’ve found that that workout has help considerably with my strength and endurance.  I rarely sit down.  Today, I spent the day cleaning my room, which I do about once a season.  This morning, I ran 3 miles, walk another 2 miles, and then spent 3 hours deep cleaning.  I took a break cleaning, and did Jillian Michaels workout 4.  At 6:00 PM, I’m finally just now sitting down and relaxing.  I have learned that activity doesn’t just mean “working out,” it means moving.

Hopefully, these steps will help you as well….

* I use Isagenix Pro Natural Chocolate or Isalean Pro Chocolate for my protein shake.  I am no longer doing the Isagenix Cleanses.

Isagenix Day 26: Date Night!

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Bird of Paradise

Oh vey, tonight is date night.  It is a rare occurrence in our family.  I have a 9 and 11-year-old, under normal circumstances I should be able to leave my kids for a few hours to go out and enjoy an evening to myself.  Unfortunately, there is nothing normal about my circumstance.  My 11-year-old is developmentally about 4 or 5 years old.  My 9-year-old is incredibly mature, and she wants to be able to stay at home alone, but I’m just not confident she is ready, perhaps in a few years.  My son’s school is wonderful and does bi-monthly babysitting for kids in attendance.  Tonight we have reservations at the Melting Pot in Destin.  While psychologically it’s great, dietary, I’m a nervous wreck.  I have no idea what I should order.  I ran today, and I’m going to do an extra workout today and tomorrow to make up for what I’m eating tonight.  Furthermore, Sunday is my husband’s 40th birthday party, so I will be “pigging” out again Sunday night.  Next week, I’m starting another cleanse.

Weight: 139 lbs!!! (finally broke that plateau!)

Early AM: Ionix Supreme, Accelerator
Breakfast: Shake
Lunch: Shake
Snack: Apple
Dinner: The Melting Pot

Activity: 5.0 mile walk, 1.5 mile run (700 calorie burn!!!)

Isagenix Day 26: The Light At The End!

There are only four days left until the end of the first 30 day challenge.  I’m starting to plan for the next 30 days.  So far I have lost nine pounds, and even though I wish it were more, I’m incredibly happy with the success I have had the last 26 days.  I had my first piece of candy in 26 days, and now I realize what the value of food is.  I had four gummy worms.  Those 4 gummy worms were 140 calories!  Just four small pieces of candy were that many calories!  I ate a LOT today.  I burned over 600 calories, and today was the first day I felt truly hungry.  I also measured EVERYTHING…

So here goes:

Weight: 141

Early AM: Ionix Supreme and Accelerator
Breakfast: Shake
Lunch: Shake and Salad
Snack: Four Gummy Worms
Dinner: 1/3 Cup Chili Con Carne with 1 Cup of Rice, 1 oz shredded cheese, 2 TBSP Sour Cream
Snack: Sugar-Free Pudding with 2 TBSP of whipped cream

Activity: 3.50 mile walk, 1.5 mile run, another .50 mile walk (total burn) 600 calories

Isagenix Day 25: Another day in frustration…

So far I have two strikes on appointments.  Yesterday, it was my daughter’s dental appointment.  Today it was my back appointment.  I had gone to the wrong address, and additionally, the doctor’s wife was sick with the flu and he needed to pick up the kids at school.  So they had to reschedule my appointment for another 10 days.  The PT worked my back pretty well today, and it is quite sore.  I also ran-walked.  I’m doing a 5 mile walk every day.  Today, I added a 1 mile run.  Tomorrow, I’m upping the running distance to 1.25 miles.

Weight: 141

Early AM: Ionix Supreme, Accelerator, water
Breakfast: IsaLean Shake
Lunch: Polenta
Snack: IsaLean Shake
Dinner: Light Creamy Chicken Pesto with Gluten Free Pasta
Snack: Chocolate wafers
PM: Water and Flush

Activity: 60 minute abdominal workout, 2 mile warm-up/1 mile run/2 mile cool-down

Isagenix Day 24: I wanna eat!

Today, was a day I really wanted to eat.  I did fall off the diet a little bit, but I didn’t fall off to the point where I am regretting the decisions I made.  My daughter was supposed to have surgery today, but due to a scheduling mix up on the part of the clinic, the surgery didn’t happen.  This was the first time I wanted to eat my frustration at the situation.  My daughter was so nervous about the appointment, and I felt guilty that she couldn’t just have it done and over with.  Now, she has another appointment that she will get worked up over.  Tomorrow, I have my back appointment.  I get to find out what is going on with my back.  My bursitis is doing well.  The swelling is going down considerably.  I have decided that I am just getting old.  As the pain from my knee is subsiding and the swelling going down, my back is getting considerably worse.   I am sore from Monday’s therapy session, the physical therapist really worked on my back.  I’m hoping tomorrow I will get a soft tissue massage.

Weight: No weigh in

Early AM: Ionix Supreme and water
Breakfast: Vanilla shake with cocoa
Lunch: Grilled Chicken Nuggets, 1/2 order of Chick Fil A fries, and Medium Fruit Bowl
Dinner: Shephard’s Pie (400ish calories), wine

Activity: 5 mile walk on the treadmill (no running)

Isagenix Day 23: Great Day!!!

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I took this picture in Cypress Gardens.  I’m not an overly religious person, but there were some beautiful statues in the gardens.

I worked hard today.  I went to physical therapy for an hour, I came home and did an hour of cardio, then went to get a dress altered for an event next week.  Tomorrow my daughter has oral surgery, and I think she will be home with me the next couple of days.  She has an extra tooth growing sideways and it is affecting the roots of her adult teeth.  The doctor said it can become infected, alter her adult teeth, or form a cyst.  So we are going to have it removed.

Weight: 140
Inches: 292 inches (38 inches lost so far!)

Early AM: Ionix Supreme, water, and accelerator
Breakfast: Shake
Lunch: Shake
PM Snack: Apple and accelerator
Dinner: Sicilian Polenta Bake
Late PM: Flush and water

Activity: Back exercises, 5 mile walk