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We Need You Please – Can You Make A Small Donation?

As some of you know, my sister Tina Marie Mote will be running in the 2018 Chicago Marathon.  She is doing this to raise money for a worthy cause – the Arthritis Foundation.  Recently Tina posted about this and I want to share with you a story straight from her.  If you can spare a donation – even if it is a couple of dollars – everything will be greatly appreciated 🙂 


“This is going to be a long post and describes the main reason I am running the Chicago Marathon in October to raise money and awareness for the Arthritis Foundation. Donations are welcome of any size to help the Arthritis; donations can be made anonymously, if you prefer, and they are made directly to the Arthritis Foundation through the link provided in this posting.

Donate Here Please – Thank You!

Next week, a close friend of mine, who I will refer to as J, who is only in her early 30s and has rheumatoid arthritis (along with lupus and fibromyalgia), is undergoing another Rituxin treatment, which is a chemotherapy treatment that—fingers crossed—may alleviate the autoimmune response this disease has on one’s body. For those not familiar with RA, I’ve enclosed the following information:

“Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is an autoimmune disease that causes chronic inflammation of the joints. Autoimmune diseases are illnesses that occur when the body’s tissues are mistakenly attacked by their own immune system. The immune system contains a complex organization of cells and antibodies designed normally to “seek and destroy” invaders of the body, particularly infections. Patients with autoimmune diseases have antibodies and immune cells in their blood that target their own body tissues, where they can be associated with inflammation. While inflammation of the tissue around the joints and inflammatory arthritis are characteristic features of rheumatoid arthritis, the disease can also cause inflammation and injury in other organs in the body. Because it can affect multiple other organs of the body, rheumatoid arthritis is referred to as a systemic illness and is sometimes called rheumatoid disease. Rheumatoid arthritis is a classic rheumatic disease.”

Obtained from: https://www.medicinenet.com/rheumatoid_arthritis/article.htm

The reason J is undergoing a chemo treatment for RA is because all other medicines (biologics/DMARDS) for RA no longer appear to be working for her. As the description of RA above states, it may not only affect the joints of the body but also other bodily organs. Because of RA, J’s lungs have been attacked and she is symptomatic of COPD though she has never smoked. RA has also damaged her heart and lungs . In addition, because RA is an autoimmune disease, her body thinks the immune system needs to attack the joints. The way the medicine works to alleviate this response is to slow the immune system. Doing so lessens her resilience to bacteria and viruses and what may be a common cold to us could become to her a prolonged illness. The flu would be devastating for her. Because of lower immunity, she’s had sepsis twice (November 2016 and November 2017)! Thank God the hospital both times immediately followed sepsis protocol at the first sign that sepsis was a possibility and didn’t wait for further evidence!

So next week she has another Rituxin treatment (info found on the links below), which has become her only option. However, the side effects are potentially devastating and potentially fatal because it severely compromises the immune system PLUS not to mention it’s a chemo treatment that has its own nasty side effects. I wish beyond all wishes I could be down in Texas with her this week but there is no way I can juggle my commitments and be with her, too.

I cannot stand to see anyone have to endure this, particularly someone who is a beautiful and life-giving soul as J is! Because I cannot help her directly and heal her, I want to do my small part to contribute to the Arthritis Foundation, who finds research for cures to terrible ailments such as RA.

Me completing a marathon pales in comparison what J has to endure on a daily basis and because the disease isn’t visible to others, sometimes those around her don’t realize just how hard it is for her. I’ve learned so much these last few years from her and have been inspired time and time again. She is the most optimistic and determined and brave and courageous individual I know and I want her to be around for many years to come!!!”

Rituxin treatment links:
https://www.webmd.com/…/20060428/rituxan-treats-rheumatoid-…

https://www.rituxanforra.com

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8 Comments

Posted by on 04/09/2018 in Bacon, Shopping with Mom/Dad

 

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We Need Your Help Friends

My sister, Tina Mote, will be running in the 2018 Bank of America Chicago Marathon in Chicago, Illinois on Sunday, October 7, 2018.

For this marathon, Tina decided to raise money for something that is close and dear to her heart – The Arthritis Foundation. Unfortunately myself and another close friend have rheumatoid arthritis.  Tina decided to run the marathon in our honor in support of raising money for a great cause.  In fact, below is a note of why she picked the Arthritis Foundation:

“Both my sister and my close friend have rheumatoid arthritis (RA) and through them I have become passionate about wanting to do something to contribute towards a cure or better ways to treat RA.  In addition, I’d like to bring awareness to RA and the herculean effort people afflicted with RA have to go through on a daily basis.  

I’ve seen both my sister and my friend deal with flare-ups and with medicine side effects and I’ve seen them be immune compromised.  My friend, who is only in her early 30s, is currently having to fight through some really tough side effects of Rituxan (a chemo treatment for RA); she’s undergoing this treatment because other medicines have not been effective for controlling her RA.  The side effects at times have been life threatening.”

The following passage is from my friend’s blog.  It speaks volumes to what she has to endure.  

“Had a good learning experience today, for the first time something was blamed on me because of my ‘being sick.’ I realized that when someone can use the smallest thing against you (and being sick is no small thing) then you have entered into a world where you feel like you have to be ‘Great,’ ‘Doing good’ all time because if you don’t….someone will say ‘blank didn’t happen because YOU were ‘sick’.’

I’ll say I expect better, the world needs to understand the world of those people who are chronically ill! Why should we have to live a lie? Why should we push ourselves so hard to earn an Oscar every day for our performance? Why can’t we be honest about how we feel? Why?

….because that will be the weapon someone will use against us. And so we can’t, so instead we lie, we push ourselves, we never show the tears of pain and fatigue…..instead we make ourselves smile, laugh, and act like we are normal….because if we didn’t someone will say ‘because you are sick’.

This is where we need your help.  I’ve never asked for much here at the Hotel Thompson but if you have anything to give, we would so appreciate anything that you could donate towards my sisters marathon.  Her goal is to raise $2,000.00 and every little penny counts.  If you would like to donate, please go donate here.  This should be the page link for Tina Mote for the Bank of America Chicago Marathon.  Let her know that Bacon sent you.

Remember, every little penny counts so we appreciate anything you can donate.  

 
8 Comments

Posted by on 02/15/2018 in Bacon

 

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Remember Me Thursday

Today September 22nd is Remember Me Thursday.

This is a very important date to remember all of the lost animals that didn’t find their forever homes.  Each year, animals are euthanized because they are unwanted.

Today, let’s light a candle and keep it going to remember them.  It takes all of us to do our part in making sure animals get as much love as they need and find their forever parents.  Did you adopt your current anipal into their forever home or did they adopt YOU?  Maybe today, lean a paw at your local shelter and/or make a donation to help.

Hold your babies tight today and say a little prayer my friends.  Continue the light and be their voice!  It takes all of us doing our part.  Thanks my friends!

 

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Journey with Friends

Welcome my friends to our weekly issue of Journey with Friends.  This is a time that we come together for support, for encouragement, for fellowship – all with one single goal in mind – to live better.  Welcome to our journey to share our goals and our accomplishments and our disappointments and frustrations.

Together we can do this!


Another week down my friends – how are you doing? This week I have maintained my current weight loss so I’m feeling good about that.  The scales are at least in my favor – hip hooray!  I’m still not feeling 100% from the flu.  It’s so strange.  There are days that I feel totally awesome and then the next day it’s like WOW – I feel so tired and drained.  My iron levels are low so I think that accounts for some of it.  I’m trying to eat stuff these days to help out with my iron.

I did get back to the plasma clinic this past week.  Can you believe I have made 28 donations now to help out others?  It’s such a small gesture on my part and I really hope that it helps.  My pulse rate is staying within range so that’s a plus.  And this time of the year at the clinic, the lines are so short!  Do you remember me telling you about having to weight 3-4 hours just to donate?  These days, I’m in and out usually within an hour.

Hope your week went fabulous my friends.  Remember – stick with whatever plan you are doing – we are all here to help each other out – hugs!


 
22 Comments

Posted by on 03/21/2016 in Journey with Friends

 

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Donating Plasma – How Do They Do It?

  Mom has gotten a lot of questions asked here in blogville, Facebook and by email about why she is donating plasma and how they do it.  I thought I would give mom the blog and let her explain everything.. it really is exciting when you think about it.  Take it away mom!


Personally, I’ve been wanting to give plasma for a very long time.  It helps a lot of different people with an assortment of medical problems.  I’ve even seen a commercial on television lately about plasma helping people with arthritis.

Once you decide that you want to donate plasma, you have to go through enrollment.  They will  go over a series of medical questions with you, you will watch a video, you will then do a medical enrollment, take vitals and lastly you will be seen by an on-site nurse.  If you make it through all of the criteria, then you are ready for a donation.  After the initial enrollment, each time you donate you will have your vitals taken before donating.  There are certain guidelines that you have to pass each time you donate.  For instance, blood pressure, temperature and pulse rate have to be within range.  Every time you go, you will have your weigh checked and you will also have your finger pricked so they can test your red blood cell count and your protein levels – which also have to be within range.

Once you pass all of above, then your next stop is the donor room.  Depending on how many nurses they have on staff that day depends on how many ‘beds’ they have open at one time.  A good bed to nurse ration is 12 beds.  And they tell you standing in line, for every 12-15 people ahead of you it could be one hour worth of wait.  So it’s not a quick thing.  I have waited 3-4 hours at a time.  But to me, giving plasma is worth the small price of inconvenience that I have to pay for waiting.

Giving blood plasma is a process called plasmapheresis.  Say that real quick huh?  You are hooked up to an IV in one of your arms.  Does it hurt?  I’ve had so many people ask me this.  The needle is bigger than when you are having a blood test.  Some nurses are also better than others – just like the doctors office.  I’ve had some nurses do it and I don’t feel a thing.  I’ve had other nurses do it where I cringe my eyes and try to breathe through the pain.  And then people ask if it’s painful why do you do it?  And I have to tell them that the little bit of uncomfortable pain that I might feel fleetingly is *nothing* compared to the people that it helps.  I have to keep thinking of the bigger picture – people that are in need.

Once you are hooked up the IV, your blood is pumped out into this machine and goes into the bottle (which is the middle part of the picture). The plasma is stripped from your blood and placed into a container.  The blood is then recirculated back into your body during a process they call the return.  Now how long does it take?  Well, depending on how much water you have drank throughout the past couple of days it can take anywhere between 35-90 minutes.  Personally, it takes me around 30-35 minutes if nothing goes wrong.

If you see the bottle in this picture, it shows you the amount that you are donating.  Plasma comes in all different colors – it can be bright red, pink, green or a tinge of white/red – all depending on the medicines that you take.  Mine comes out a greenish/white.  Over the Christmas holidays, I had a guy ask me why my color was green.  Without missing a beat, I told him that my father was an Elf.  Snorts – we all had a good laugh about that.

You can donate twice in a 7 day period.  By the time you read this posting, I will have made my 17 donation!  My personal goal was to donate 20 – so I’m almost there.  I’ve had ups and downs during the process.  One time, they couldn’t get my blood that was pumped out to return and I lost blood during the donation. Of course, I’ve been bruised at the IV site – it happens.  I’ve had times that my iron was too low to give that day.  I’ve had multiple problems with my pulse rate.  The rate has to be 100 or less.  I’ve had to sit out for 15 minutes to try the pulse again and there have also been times I couldn’t make it that day because of my pulse.

*Pictures are off the internet at various web sites to share how the process works.

 
25 Comments

Posted by on 01/20/2016 in Bacon

 

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Pay it Forward

Okay Friends – Here We Go!

My sweet friends at Nikitaland have started this monthly issue of Pay It Forward.  We asked for you to keep this in mind all month and to share things here today on what you have been able to do.  Paying it forward is not for bragging purposes – it’s an attempt to show how many different things we can do to pay it forward – lots of them don’t even include money.  Gestures that we take for granted may be a God send to another person.

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Friends – this month mommy is going to report on something that she has started doing, something that is close to her heart and means so very much to her.  She has been thinking about it for some time and to be honest with you she had not done it up until this point because of one reason – she was afraid.  But she finally bit the bullet and did it.  What you ask?  Well, here’s mom to explain.

Thanks Bacon.  When my husband Jim was in a car accident years ago, he was in the hospital for over 12 weeks, most of those in intensive care.  During that time, he was treated with blood transfusions and other treatments that contained plasma.  Then years later, a good friend of ours needed treatment that also came from plasma.  I’ve done a LOT of research on plasma donation and it was one of those things that I really wanted to check out since it touched so close to us here at the Hotel Thompson.

Well, I took a big step on 11/18/2015 and went to a center to inquire about the procedures.  Now I had done a LOT of research on line and knew about some things; however, to actually do this you have to go through a process that could take 3-5 hours the very first time.  This involves watching a short film on the process, reading a short manual at the center, giving a medical history, being evaluated by a nurse and having your vitals taken – blood pressure, weight, pulse, temp.  IF you pass all of this, then you are ready to give blood plasma.  I was accepted – HAPPY DANCE!

If you have given blood or had blood drawn for blood work, that is how it feels.  And let me tell you something my friends.  This one ouch moment is *nothing* to how you feel afterwards knowing that you gave to a great cause something that you had that someone else could use.

And today by the time you read this, I have made 4 donations with 2 more scheduled this week.  Even last week while on vacation, I got up at 6AM on my days off to be at the clinic and in line waiting to make a donation.  Each donation, you go through vitals check and you can plan on being there for 2-4 hours.  There is that big of a line which is awesome!  I have to admit though, I’m having problems some visits with my pulse rate.  It has to be under 100 bpm.  As long as I can keep it under that, all of my other numbers (blood pressure, hemoglobin, iron and weight) are perfect.  Please pray for me my friends that I can continue to do this.  My commitment to myself was 20 visits.


 My buddy Nikitaland made up a good deeds sheet.  You can get it here.  You can print it, hang it on your fridge and just jot some things down that you do during the month.  That way at our next meet up, you can share what you have done to PAY IT FORWARD.

AND if you are interested in getting some Pay it Forward bracelets, check out Nikitaland’s post here for ordering information.  Believe me friends – WE CAN ALL MAKE A DIFFERENCE!

Next meet up will be January 6th – mark your calendars!

 
7 Comments

Posted by on 12/02/2015 in Pay it Forward

 

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