The UC Trial Finally Unblinded!

Somewhere Over The Rainbow…..

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So, I received amazing news in November! My care team informed that the blind study would finally be “unblinded.” Which meant for me that I would finally know about my specific case: when I was being dosed, if I was receiving placebo or the real deal, how much and how often!

To  my surprise, I received the placebo on my initial shot.  I was 84 pounds and I found out that I had received the placebo two years later! I was shocked.  However, I ended up receiving the Stelara injection four weeks later, then every 12 weeks.  Which, when you think about it. . . I only really received four injections the entire year! For the trial, it was mandatory that I go every four weeks to see my care team and give blood, take vitals, get an injection (which was saline the majority of the time) and a possible stool sample–which is the worst, by the way.

Moving forward, I only have to see my care team every 12 weeks to receive the injection until the trial is approved through the FDA.  I was a little nervous at first, thinking, “gosh, I am only going to see you every three months?” But, rest assured, I was only receiving the medication every three months and I am fine.

I will keep you posted on how I continue progressing!

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How I Managed My Ulcerative Colitis in a Crisis

Thank You

“Dear God, sorry I don’t tell you this nearly enough, but thank you for my life and all the people in it.”

For anyone going through Ulcerative Colitis, the people in your life can play a crucial part in your recovery.  It is vital to having a loving and UNDERSTANDING support system around you. Keep in mind, this disease is directly happening to you–but it is also happening to those around you.

My family received very bad news in April that my mom suffered a stroke to the left side of her brain after she went in for a routine operation. Luckily, she was still in the hospital when the stroke happened and caught it quickly. I was immediately notified of her condition in the morning and flew home that afternoon.  Upon arrival, my brother picked me up at the airport and told me that “it’s not looking good. Be prepared.”  I knew that this would be challenging for me physically, because of my condition and it would be the ultimate test of my illness.

Long story short, it was the roughest 5 days of my life.  One day we thought we would lose her and preparing that night for the worst.  Hysterical is not strong enough to describe what I was going through, but I knew deep down I had to hold it together because of my illness.  It took its toll both physically and emotionally.  By day 3, my mom made a complete turnaround and was starting to come off all the medications she had been given.  She couldn’t speak or communicate verbally, but physically, she was fine.  The stroke was not catastrophic.  We needed to wait for the dust to settle, which would take some time before we knew the severity of the impact on my mom.  Byt the end of the weekend, my mom was starting to speak and say words, very slowly.  She recognized me and my brother. Whew!  The recovery process would be a long road ahead, but she was out of the woods.  She spent 6 days in ICU and 5 days at a rehab facility onsite.

I was able to visit her again the week of July 4th.  She continues to work with a speech therapist and is doing great!   Her communication skills are back to 95%. That smile is the best!

Point being, with this illness there is a fine balance every day.  Stress is the #1 factor during a flare and aggrevating the illness.  I was lucky to have surrounded myself with family and friends during that difficult time.  It was also important for ME to keep calm and work through a stressful time, while managing my UC.  I was able to manage that stress and anxiety by also taking my CBD Products.  In conjunction with my monthly medication I take, I also take CBD capsules and hemp taffy.  My mom currently takes the CBD Oil.

It is Crazy how many Benefits there are from the CBD Oil. Check out the main benefits listed here. How do you think CBD could Benefit you? I am a firm believer in this product.  It has helped me during my recovery and I invite you to check out their products here: cbdforuc.com

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The Storm Doesn’t Last Forever

“Storms Don’t Last Forever”

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I constantly felt throughout my illness that there would never be a finish line to cross or as they say “a light at the end of the tunnel.”  I started to feel hopeless. I was hopeless. Nothing was working.

✔️ Humira

✔️ Entivio

✔️ 22 pills per day

What was next? I was tired of being poked and prodded. I was fed up with pills being shoved down my throat every day.  I couldn’t take it anymore! I was down to 86 pounds, nothing fit me, nothing agreed with me — but oatmeal, mashed potatoes and crackers.  That’s what I was living off of. My husband would make homemade chicken broth, just so I would have nutrients in my body.

Finally, my team spoke with me about an experimental trial for UC patients that a doctor on their team in another office was offering.  It was the only chance I had left besides Remicade and/or possible surgery.  There was no hesitation.  Two nurses called me that afternoon to set up the initial consultation with me and my husband.

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The two nurses on the phone were so sweet and wanted to see me immediately.  Granted this office was 45 minutes North of where we reside, but who gave a damn at that point.  It was a decision that would change my life.

I was never one for taking many pictures throughout my journey.  But, there were a few times during the holidays where photos were snapped.  Below is Thanksgiving 2015, just about 2 months before the trial was mentioned to me.  I was 100 pounds here at Thanksgiving and I was also wearing a cap because my hair began to fall out due to the extreme weight loss.  I thought I was thin here, but it was only the beginning.  There was one drastic measure I had to take before starting the trial to be on my road to recovery.

…to be continued.

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Thanksgiving 2015 – 100 pounds

How CBD Oil Helped to Alleviate My Severe Colitis

Every day may not be good, but there is something good in every day.

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Where I reside, I am not eligible to receive medical marijuana because I have Ulcerative Colitis and not Crohn’s. Three years ago, I was diagnosed with Severe Ulcerative Colitis.  I was on the cusp of turning 40-years-old and had no idea what a role this auto immune condition would play in my every day life.

CBD EssenceIt is a painful, uncomfortable and debilitating disease. UC affects the digestive tract. resulting in abdominal pain, diarrhea and bloody stool, severe vomiting, and extreme weight loss. UC affects the large intestine and rectum, while Crohn’s disease affects the entire digestive tract; from mouth to anus. The pain was so bad that I was in tears.

I was on everything my doctors threw at me at that time.  I was swallowing close to 25 pills a day.  I was on prednisone to keep my flare ups at bay, Mesalamine/Lialda to treat my flare-ups…to many others to remember. I can’t even fathom downing more pills at this point in my recovery.

My team of nurses eventually asked me if I was on any kind of CBD to help combat the illness?  I said, “no, I’ve never taken anything like that.”  So, I started researching with the help of my team. CBD is found in hemp, and can be legally imported into the United States. It turns out humans actually have natural receptors for cannabinoids, which is one of the reasons this plant works so well on people, across the board.

GI Society, a Canadian society for intestinal research, is just one of the researches leading the way for CBD-use with IBD.

They reported on research made into the use of CBD oil for colitis and “found that administering CBD after inducing inflammation reduced it and that administering CBD before inducing inflammation prevented it from occurring at all.”

I turned to my family for help and of course they had those “connections” to get me CBD. A good friend who is in the industry sent a care package through his company called CBD Essence.  I had to give it a shot.  I had to try.  I was desperate to feel myself again.

CBD helped me to relax the anxiety and pain of the illness, which meant that instead of just numbing the pain symptoms, like a tylenol would, it actually helped with the causes of the pain in the first place. It actually started to “heal” me internally.  I was on two capsules per day and eating the “taffy” for “dessert.”

Although I am considered to be in the latter stages of my recovery, I still use CBD products almost every day for my health and well-being.

Below are some of the CBD products I use.  Feel free to click on the product for more information. If you purchase from CBD Essence website use CODE: HEALTH10 10% off site wide on your first purchase: CBD Essence


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Finding My Inner Strength

You never know how strong you are until being strong is the only choice you have.

Be Strong

When I was at my lowest point, I was 84 pounds.  I had lost close to 40 pounds from this illness. It took away everything that I had: my job, my ambition, my smile, my body. . .but what it did not take was my STRENGTH.

How could anyone go through something as terrible as this and not come out on the other side of it?  It is important to have an amazing support system by your side.  Whether it be your team of nurses while you are in treatment, your partner or family, you must have the support and care YOU NEED to get through each day.  I realized that you have to trust in yourself.

CBD EssenceBelieving that you will find a way to get better and go beyond.  Don’t lose faith. Believe me, I was eating oatmeal, matzoh, mashed potatoes and broth for 3 months straight.  It wasn’t fun.  But somehow I go through the low points and came out stronger because of it.

For more information on the products that helped me recover & heal: CBD for UC

What Happened: Month One

The first 30 days of my illness

My journey began April 2015.  I had been training for a 5K race for six months.  I was going to the gym daily, lifting, running, walking, eating right.  All the things you should be doing while training for a race, right?  I was healthy.  I felt strong. I felt good.

Throughout the month of April 2015, I started getting terrible headaches.  I am never one to get headaches, so I concerned when the headaches became more frequent and intense.  I also noticed a change in my bowel movements.  I did not think much of it at first, because I was eating a lot of high fiber foods, protein, etc. The high grade fevers started shortly after.  My husband was becoming concerned with my health, but again, we did not read too much into the situation.  Maybe I was getting the flu?

CBD Essencehttp://www.cbdforuc.com

A few weeks had gone by and my symptoms were getting worse.  One night towards the end of the month, I had such a terrible headache.  My head was pounding.  I remember sitting on the edge of the bathtub in such pain and I was crying.  It was around 2 o’clock in the morning. My husband, said “get up, I am taking you to the E-R.”

I was just about to turn 40 in July. They say, “Life starts at 40.”  Little did I know how such a big milestone in my life would turn my entire world upside down.