Monday, March 5, 2012

Brand new ending

It has been a whole two years since I embarked on this journey and my entire world was turned inside-out and upside down.

Two years ago, I was fighting a raging yeast infection on my face and in every nook and cranny. Everything I ate came back out with a vengeance. I was five months sober and all the things I'd tried to drown with alcohol were floating to the surface. I was living off ice cream, pie, donuts, and candy bars because I had no idea what they were doing to my body and they were my way of dealing. I was in a relationship I wasn't prepared to handle. I was a mess in every sense of the word.

Mmm, birthday cupcakes at a Czech bakery in Texas.

A year ago, I was struggling through each day, gasping for air and cursing every breath. I was living on raw vegetables and measuring out every single thing I ate. I was taking about 50 pills a day, getting intramuscular steroid injections (Chernobyl via syringe) in my thighs, having my blood filtered, and sitting for hours long IV drips. My foot felt like it was filled with killer bees and stuck in a bucket full of cement. My everything hurt, All. The. Time. My steroid induced mood swings and memory loss led me to isolate myself to avoid embarrassment. There were days I felt more dead than alive.

I tried to live fully, but when you feel like shit all the time, it's hard not to long for greener pastures.

*Today my world was rocked, literally, by an earthquake that originated under my neighborhood (just a block from my house!), and also figuratively, by the arrival of my niece! Birthquake!*

These days, I'm in such a better place than I was last year or the year before. I have a better handle on my food and don't have to monitor it as closely. I'm allowed to eat more things than I used to. I don't have to test my own blood sugar, and I don't get thigh shots or IV meds anymore. I only take 3 pills a day! I rarely have my blood filtered and my kidneys aren't in meltdown phase anymore. I made it through the winter without a single respiratory infection. My foot, while still an asshole, is getting its act together. Aside from being sore from PT and yoga, my body doesn't scream at me like it used to. I'm wildly and utterly happy. Who is this girl?!

I can even enjoy meat! (From 4505 Meats, of course)

So six months ago, I began a clinical trial for an experimental drug. The end of that period is on the horizon. (March 16th) Tomorrow I meet with my doctors to find out what tests I will undergo over the course of the next week or so.

The results of those tests will determine a few things, such as what comes next in the game plan, if I can add more food, and ultimately who is winning: me or Aspergillosis.

To up the ante, my best friend informed me this morning that if I'm cleared on tattoos, we're getting some for my birthday. I haven't been allowed to get tattoos while I was sick since the risk of infection was too high, but I've been wanting one the entire time. If things are going as well inside my body as they seem to me, I should be able to get one. The pressure's on!

"Though no one can go back and make a brand new start, anyone can start from now and make a brand new ending." Carl Bard

Here's to whatever the next chapter may be and to the ending that is being constantly rewritten, may it be a good one.


  1. Bren, you are so freakin tough! Like, teenage mutant ninja turtle tough! Congrats on concurring your journey, and congrats on your happiness. Can't wait to see your new tattoos when you're cleared to get them. We love you!

  2. Can't wait to see what amazing chapters are ahead in your adventure, Bren. Sending love, light and healing thoughts. You are an inspiration on so many levels! --Martha

  3. Thanks Y'all. Things sounded promising at my appointment today.


  4. So proud of you Brenna!!!! I love you and you inspire me to be stronger!

  5. I think you are definitely winning this battle!!! and I hope you can get a tattoo!!!