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Did you know that October recognizes -Lupus Awareness| Domestic Violence Awareness|Breast Cancer Awareness

October is Lupus Awareness Month ( Canada)…
yet lupus remains under-recognized and under-funded

The first new treatment in 50 years has brought increased awareness across Canada of Lupus and its impact on patients and their families. This is great news for Lupus Canada and its provincial partners as we work towards a vision of life without Lupus. Known as ‘The Disease with 1000 Faces”, lupus affects tens of thousands of Canadian men, women and children. In October, lupus patients and supporters across Canada will recognize Lupus Awareness Month as a time to reflect on what all Canadians can do to increase awareness of this under-recognized and under-funded disease.

October marks Domestic Violence Awareness Month


Domestic violence is a serious problem that affects as many as 1 in 4 women in our country. It can happen to anyone at anytime at any point in their lives. Domestic violence can be defined as a pattern of abusive behaviors by an intimate partner. The one and only purpose of domestic violence is to gain complete control over another person. This can be done in many forms such as physical abuse, emotional abuse, verbal abuse, sexual abuse, financial abuse, and stalking.

The most dangerous point in an abusive relationship is leaving it, and the likelihood of violent assault may increase substantially during this time. Access to emergency services can be critical to a victim in transition. Even a cell phone without an active service plan can be used to call 911, meaning that help for these clients need never be far away.

The DC Coalition Against Domestic Violence accept working and non-working cell phones, cell phone batteries, and AC chargers. You can donate a phone without a charger as well. We cannot accept any cell phone accessories, such as car chargers, hands-free devices, or spare faceplates. You do not need to include your manual with your donation.

You may mail your cell phones to:
DCCADV Attn: Cell Phone Drive5 Thomas Circle NWWashington, DC 20005

October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month


Breast cancer is a disease in which malignant (cancer) cells form in the tissues of the breast. It is considered a heterogeneous disease—differing by individual, age group, and even the kinds of cells within the tumors themselves. Obviously no woman wants to receive this diagnosis, but hearing the words “breast cancer” doesn’t always mean an end. It can be the beginning of learning how to fight, getting the facts, and finding hope.

Women in the United States get breast cancer more than any other type of cancer except for skin cancer. It is second only to lung cancer as a cause of cancer death in women.g a few minutes to do a breast self-exam a minimum of once a month can make a lifetime of difference.

Nearly 70% of all breast cancers are found through self-exams and with early detection the 5-year survival rate is 98%. If you find a lump, schedule an appointment with your doctor, but don’t panic—8 out of 10 lumps are not cancerous. For additional peace of mind, call your doctor whenever you have concerns.

HOW TO DO A BREAST SELF-EXAM

In the Shower
Fingers flat, move gently over every part of each breast. Use your right hand to examine the left breast, left hand for the right breast. Check for any lump, hard knot, or thickening. Carefully observe any changes in your breasts.

Before a Mirror
Inspect your breasts with your arms at your sides. Next, raise your arms high overhead.
Look for any changes in the contour of each breast, a swelling, a dimpling of the skin, or changes in the nipples. Then rest your palms on your hips and press firmly to flex your chest muscles. Left and right breasts will not exactly match—few women’s breasts do.


Lying Down
Place a pillow under your right shoulder and put your right arm behind your head. With the fingers of your left hand flat, press your right breast gently in small circular motions, moving vertically or in a circular pattern covering the entire breast. Use light, medium, and firm pressure. Squeeze the nipple; check for discharge and lumps. Repeat these steps for your left breast.

The information included on this blog is for educational purposes only. It is not intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. The reader should always consult his or her healthcare provider to determine the appropriateness of the information for their own situation or if they have any questions regarding a medical condition or treatment plan.

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anger, aunaturale, autoimmune, battle, detox, disconnect, emotional, lupie chick, lupus, miss sixx, natural hair, negative, peace, pray, roller coaster, self, spiritual, tension, womens health

A Spiritual Disconnect

I knew something weird was going on with me, but I was having difficulty putting my finger on what exactly it was. I was wigging out over basic things, I would get anxious whenever I received emails, or messages and I was feeling as if I was having conversations with myself, but I wasn’t “involved” in the actual conversation ( I guess similar to an outer body experience). I’ve caught myself day dreaming and feeling as if I’m in a heavy dialogue with someone only to “snap” out of it moments later realizing that there is no one there.
I ran across a thread on one of the yahoo groups I belong too, where someone was asking about a church to visit. I found this to be very interesting because I’d been telling myself that I needed to go to church. Actually I’d wanted to go to church for a while but something (internal) has been preventing me. Small things would happen that has prevented me from attending.
1. Someone posted about a church that has Sat service, I said PERFECT- Im’a go. I get dressed- go outside- my car is GONE- hubby took the car as opposed to the truck, and my purse and keys were in the CAR!!!!!! I call him spazzing out, and he quickly reminds me that Im unable to drive (dr’s orders) so I mine as well go back in the house! **grumbling** I go back in the house, get undressed and lay down
2. 2nd occasion: All set to go (have transportation, keys, etc) – the address is in my phone.. the security code on the front won’t unlock- I draw the pattern, but what I’m drawing isn’t appearing. Phone is frozen, I take the battery out- nothing, I try and try to break in my phone and the only thing I could do was make an emergency call. Get on the internet to try and Google the address- hour glass is spinning- unable to connect ( what?? ), Pull out my work cell phone- DEAD and the charger is at work, get the GPS ( in the car) , unable to locate (???)
WHAT IN THE HEEZY IS GOING ON? What is preventing me from making it to church?

I instantly burst into tears, crying somewhat uncontrollably. I got on Twitter and the 1st thing I saw was a tweet from Rev Run that said P.U.S.H (Pray Until Something Happen). who are you talkin too? Pray?? {I’m starting to have a conversation with myself. }
Self: Pray- haven’t I been praying?
Spirit: P.U.S.H (Pray Until Something Happen).
Self: What else can happen?? I’ve already gotten my world rocked praying didn’t fix it or make it go away…
Spirit: P.U.S.H (Pray Until Something Happen).
Self: You know what- if you can’t say something other than that- THAN HUSH!
Spirit: P.U.S.H (Pray Until Something Happen).
This went on for 10 minutes, my daughter asks “mom who are you talking too?” I’m speechless, because at the time I didn’t realize I was speaking out loud. So I responded “nobody”. I now realize I had been talking to God and he was talking back. I was allowing the devil and his foolishness to invade my spirit and my mind space.
For me my spiritual disconnect involve the following:
Negative Thoughts
No matter how hard I try, negative thoughts about Lupus creep in. I realize that although this disease hasn’t completely taken over my body, but I also realize that it can and at some point-it will.
To Eliminate: Learn to become aware instantly when a negative thought arises. Remind yourself it is not good for you or others, and it is not spiritual. Create the mental habit to switch the negative thought with something else, immediately. The negative thought pattern needs to be broken, so even thinking of a pencil stops the process.
Anger
To be honest, I’m angry that I have this disease. Yes, I’ve heard a thousand times the I was chosen for this, I had no control , blah, blah, blah, – that’s NOT helping my anger AT ALL. Maybe I need therapy; maybe I just need to get it out one good time- but I’m angry!
To Eliminate: become aware of why you are angry and notice that it is not bringing any kind of benefit to you at all. As soon as you become aware that you are angry, the destructive cycle and pattern of anger ends. Remember, if you are angry do not control or suppress it, but express it. Communication when calm helps conflict.
Tension
The other day, someone looked at me and said “relax” . They said they could see the tension. Yes, I’m tense, my body hurt, I find my self sitting in somewhat uncomfortable positions to relieve my self of knee pain or back pain.
To Eliminate: In the moment, take a deep breath. In the long run, learn to stretch your body and meditate a few times a day. This will help you become more relaxed physically, mentally, and spiritually.
Starting today, I’m taking the appropriate measures to re connect spiritually and to make peace. Peace is what everyone wants. It includes being loved, being comfortable in your own skin, having a life filled with purpose and joy. I cannot connect with any of you, until I connect with myself , create balance, well being, and be at total peace.

Disclaimer: The information included on this blog is for educational purposes only. It is not intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. The reader should always consult his or her healthcare provider to determine the appropriateness of the information for their own situation or if they have any questions regarding a medical condition or treatment plan.

aunaturale, autoimmune, blog, depression, guilt, headache, lupie chick, lupus, miss sixx, motherhood, natural hair, roller coaster, triggers, womens health

Depression and Guilt

I was contacted on Twitter by a follower that told me she was thinking about me. Initially I thought- she had run across one of my tweets on her timeline about these migraines. She then went on to tell me about a young lady that lives in her county, 19 years old, has a 4 month old baby, recently diagnosed with Lupus and defective heart. As you know with Twitter you can only type 140 characters, so her message came over to me in 3 tweets. I told her to please give the young lady a hug for me (sometimes all I want is a hug- no words.. just a tight hug) and let her know that she isn’t alone- then 5 seconds later the 3rd part of her tweet came-the young lady-19 years old, lost her battle with Lupus- she died over the weekend. I literally burst into tears right then and there. Although I consistently tell myself that Lupus isn’t a death sentence- for some – it is. From the time of her diagnosis she was extremely sick, and the disease just took over.

According to my Twitter friend, her entire community is heartbroken over this- and I am also heartbroken. In one tweet I realize that I could have been the women she speaks of. I could be the women whose community is heartbroken over my death, instead of my children not remembering me- it would be my 6 month old grandson that wouldn’t remember me. I cried for 2 hours. I didn’t know the young lady however I was sad and I was feeling guilty. I didn’t understand the guilt part- WHY WOULD I FEEL GUILTY??? Is this a whole nother set of emotions I have to work through?

I realize that dealing with Lupus and the symptoms affect my emotional health and my family. I’ve begun to notice that my mini me ( daughter) is always checking on me ( more than usual), she is always saying “ mom are you ok”. She text me a lot and when we are home alone she lays beside me in the bed, as if she is watching over me. She even said to me the other day “why are you doing that- you know you’re going to make your head hurt”. All I could think about was the young lady’s child who is only 4 months old most likely won’t remember her, why did the disease have to attack her and take her away from her child, her family, and her friends? Why was she chosen as oppose to me or someone else? WHY? WHY? WHY?

I started surfing the web for help- I was an emotional wreck, and I needed some clarity. I ran across this statement: You may feel agitated or angry, and find it difficult to concentrate, relax or sleep. You may also feel guilty, as you realize your family is now going to have to take up the chores you normally do. This stage of emotional distress then gives way to bouts of depression, sadness, silence and withdrawal from family and friends. During this time, you may be prone to sudden outbursts of tears, set off by reminders of your inability to perform simple tasks, and memories of your old lifestyle. Over time, the pain, sadness and depression start to lessen. You begin to see your life in a more positive light again. The final phase of grieving is to let go of the thoughts of being able to return completely to your old lifestyle and move on with your new life. This helps any lingering depression to clear, and your sleeping patterns and energy levels improve.

Reading that made me understands that what I’m feeling is normal and it’s a process. I have to take one day at a time, work through the grief, pain, and the guilt. I will honor her (the lady that lost her battle) by NOT giving into depression, and not giving up on life.

“You never lose peace once you find it. Peace sometimes lies hidden beneath a veil of unkind thoughts, confusion, or pain. Shake loose the discontent from the veil and peace is readily accessible.” ~ Rion ~ *my new favorite quote*

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aunaturale, blog, diet, emotional, lupie chick, lupus, miss sixx, natural hair, roller coaster, skin disorder, supplements, triggers, womens health, you tube

Am I Being a Baby or a B*tch

I’m going to preface this by saying- I’m NOT in a good space right now. I’m agitated, and annoyed. I force a smile upon my face daily to provide my children the comfort of knowing that mommy is going to be ok. Outside of wearing makeup to cover the skin rash, I also wear makeup to make my face look brighter and “awake”.

I’m realizing that some people have diarrhea of the mouth and don’t know when to SHUT UP! I understand that people sometime want to say something, but don’t know what to say. What I don’t need is for you to tell me about your family member(s) or neighbor(s) that died from Lupus. I’m NOT bringing the thought of death into my mind space. Dont’t tell me its reality- maybe YOUR REALITY- BUT NOT MINE! A typical convo go like this:

You: I’m so sorry to hear you have Lupus

Me: Thank you, I appreciate the concern

You: I had a cousin that had Lupus- the medications are deadly, it killed her

Me: -_- (no response)

You: tomorrow, I will bring you my cousin doctor’s info. We’ll talk about it later… I gotta go

WHAT!!! Do people not understand boundaries?? I find those types of conversations completely out of line- especially coming from people that I’ve only had 10-15 mins worth of conversation with in the past year. The first few time it happened I bitched about it internally and shrugged it off. The occurrences are too frequent. The last time, I told the person (while gritting my teeth) that the conversation was inappropriate and although I appreciate the concern, I would rather not discuss myself or Lupus any further- Good right? No… I find out later she went and told someone else that she was only trying to provide comforting words to me and I was being a bitch- how comforting is it telling me that the lupus meds killed your cousin?

In addition to people telling me death stories, I’m constantly being hit with “You don’t look sick!”Let’s address that- WHAT EXACTLY DOES SICK LOOK LIKE? Do I need to look like I’m on my death bed to appease you? you’re curiosity? What is your definition of a sick chick? Tell me?

I put in a lot of effort not to look the way I feel. Most times I feel like I’ve been ran over by a truck then shoved into the boxing ring with Mike Tyson {and he wins!). I still have to work, I still have to be available and mobile to my children and I don’t want to give into “being SICK”. I’m NOT going to do it!

I’ve never felt the type of fatigue that I experience at least 6 days out of 7. The smallest task (cooking for example) will take me to a place of exhaustion. I’m now listening to my body- when it says sit down, I sit… When it say lay down- I lay, when it say- YOU’RE NOT GOING- I DON’T GO… Point…Blank…Period.com

As, I’ve previously advised, I will not push my body beyond limits- won’t and cant! I will not allow any negative energy into my mental space- You’ve been EVICTED- so when I just turn and walk away from the negativity- take that as notice! You’ve been served!


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aunaturale, blog, emotional, lupie chick, lupus, miss sixx, mz sixx, natural hair, roller coaster, skin disorder, womens health, you tube

Lupie Emotional Roller Coaster

Who knew that revealing to the world that I have Lupus would take me on an emotional roller coaster? I still remember having written the post 4 days before I released it. I would read it every day, and become nauseous at the thought of releasing it. On Friday [August] the 13th, I decided to finally publish it. As soon as I hit publish, I was panicked and tried to figure out how to delete it. Before I could delete the post, it had already gone to my yahoo groups, and emailed to my blog followers it was too late! Immediately my phone started ringing, emails, text, tweets, were all coming in so fast that I turned my phone off, went to the bathroom and cried. I got my composure, grabbed a hot cup of green tea and came back to my desk- 5 minutes later a co worker came over and hugged me [ I forgot that some of my co workers follow my blog] tears instantly started streaming down my face. Friends and followers told me how emotional they were reading the post. Some were so emotional that they couldn’t talk- that’s why they took to text and email. I thought to myself “why were YOU so emotional” I didn’t get it. I didn’t think much more about it, until later that evening when the tweets came in and people were crying and asked if they could forward my post. I found myself getting depressed.
“Why did I write the post” I asked myself over and over. I wasn’t ready to be the face of Lupus- or was I? People started asking me more questions about Lupus. Some had never heard of Lupus and some only knew it as the disease that Toni Braxton has. I started to explain as best I could, provide an explanation for the condition of my skin, and my inability to move sometimes. Most were very compassionate, and then something happened. I no longer was Mz. Sixx or Sixx (mc/sc club name), or Au’Naturale (my Twitter name), or Toni (child hood nick name), I was the helpless natural haired lady with Lupus. People started treating me as if I was sick. I know it was all heartfelt, and came from a place of love- but it made me a crying mess and I felt like a burden to people. Now every minute was about Lupus. Here comes the babying “ how are you”, “are you feeling OK” “sit down”, “lay down” “go home”, AGGGGGGGGHHHHHHHHH!!!!!
I had wanted to make a you tube video with me actually speaking on it, but I felt like I had nothing to talk about [Up until this point I had only created picture slide shows]. Well today was going to be different- I needed to get a few things of my chest. My hand was hurting to bad for me to type- so I came home, grabbed my lap top, sat on the floor and just started to speak. I didn’t edit it, apply music, and make it “cutesy”. I wanted it to be raw- because that’s how I was feeling at the time.
Click Here to watch Video
This experience has made me reflect on who I am. Among the many hats that I already wear, I just added one more – “The Lupie Chick”. I’m realizing that I have to be selfish [in the instance] and make myself a priority. I’m the star on the team of “ME”. Some won’t like it- but guess what? I don’t like having Lupus either [shoulder shrug]. I have to listen to my body and not push myself being what I can handle. I will not give in the “pity parties” that some have invited me to join. I will not be treated like a helpless baby, and I will not hide. I will LIVE and ENJOY my life until the wheels fall off-and all the wheels must fall off before I stop [insert fist pump]!
[climbs off the roller coaster]
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