Christina’s Journey: Phase 9

6b45a0b2aa4cdb914603f4d698c1596f  February is a month filled with honors and recognition such as Heart Awareness, Black History, President Abraham Lincoln’s birthday, my 31st birthday, and the BIGGEST one of all, Valentine’s Day.  Everyone will be out looking and searching for the best gift for their spouse or significant other.  I will not be a part of that movement because I want to give my husband something that is everlasting.  The everlasting gift is ME!

As I have stated in a previous blog on our page that I knew my husband was the person for me from our first date.  Having my dream become a reality was the most ultimate gift God created and sent to me.  Being diagnosed with Stage 2 Hodgkin’s Lymphoma after a month of marriage was devastating.  Fast forward to the present on February 2, 2016, my intimacy capabilities became dormant. Going through two years of chemotherapy, which created a Love & Hate relationship with my body.  Even though, chemotherapy and the Stem Cell Transplant put me into remission but left some damages along the way.

I believe in transparency and integrity in order to have continued growth in my life.  Having chemo being pushed constantly through my veins utilizing a port in my chest took a major toll on my body.  One major piece that it took from me was my womanhood, which left me feeling my being and purpose of being a woman was stolen from me.  On March 13, 2015, it was the last day that I saw my abilities become obsolete to have a biological child.  I buried the reality of not having my whole being come into an affect.  As always, suppressing pain and disappointment just guides you to another level of the downward spiral.  I lay my hands on my stomach and abdomen praying to God to remain obedient to Him because of “God’s Promise.”  On February 26, 2016, my missing puzzle piece of womanhood was restored like it had never left.  GOD IS AN AWESOME GOD!!!!  The first thought that ran through my mind were babies, babies, and more babies.  Before that can come into play I must insure this is a regular gig and not a special guest performance.

My biggest FEAR that I never knew in a million years would occur is my low level of sexual activities and desires.  Intimacy is important in a relationship, it comes in different forms, and only brings you even closer to your significant other.  When my Oncologist told and explained to David and me why we could not embrace our intimacy levels completely due to my treatments.  Being on chemotherapy weakened my immune system and decreased white blood cells that prevents illness and encourages healing.  Having those ailments against me it kept one aspect of our intimacy on another level.  Currently, being in remission I am beginning at ground zero.  My desires are little to nonexistent, my body is not responding as previously, and I feel defeated to a degree.  When I recognized what was going on I quickly “Google” because I refuse to be a victim.  I am a SURVIVOR and I am in the fight for my life everyday.  “Knowledge is power” and I am empowered and obligated to communicate with my husband and collaborate with him to bring our groove back in 2016.

It is extremely imperative that Chronic Illness does not become a catalyst in leading a relationship down to the ground.  Always communicate, always say “I love you,” always spice things up so you do not become complacent, and most importantly continue to be self aware of who you are.

Always Fighting & Surviving,

Christina D. Sadler-Young

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Christina’s Journey: Phase 7

When diagnosed with Hodgkin’s Lymphoma on November 15, 2013; exactly one month and three days after I had married my wonderful David, you would think that I would have been ANGRY at God, cancer, and my overall life but I was not.  I looked at cancer as a “gift.”  Something meant for others rather than for my own life lessons.  I knew God was utilizing me as a vessel to draw more closer to Him and get that relationship with Him that every devout Christian strongly urges.  I went through my treatments like being an Avenger character in the comics.  I never gave up, I kept persevering, and I knew that I was going to inspire others through my trial.  I never complained, I accepted willingly and without a drop of a tear falling from my eye.

I was taught by my role models; who are my parents, grandparents, aunts, and uncles, that we push through barriers to survive, we do not complain we just provide the solution to the issue, and we take care of people who have paved the way for you and teach others to pay it forward to the next.  These are my principles in my life and they are a great foundation to build upon, but through my current experience this foundation can become a little unstable.  Utilizing my principles, I never saw cancer as a “villain” nor did it bring me anger at the time.  I was the bright sunshine face that I have always been and continue to be since God created me.  As mastering  “The 5 Levels of Leadership,” I had mastered other greats (created other leaders) because of how I was able to control situations, find a solution, and keep smiling to the next challenge.  I am here to tell you that those fundamentals that I used to move and politic in Corporate America has a downward spiral affect on a remission cancer survivor who is suffering with another chronic illness.

Now I am ANGRY at cancer.  Cancer has caused me to lose memory and I had to learn how to process information differently in order to feel “normal.” Cancer has caused me not to be able to breath at the same capacity because I have a paralyzed diaphragm, which has restricted my air flow.  Cancer has caused me to have chronic pain in certain parts of my body where some days I can not get out the bed or go downstairs in my home.  Cancer has caused me to feel guilt that I am still here and others are not.  I AM ANGRY! I am wanting and striving to be everyone’s hero and role model because that is how God made me to be, no changing that DNA but someone can be my hero and I will lower my walls of vulnerability to receive.  Being in remission is a blessing and a curse.

One thing I know and is very clear, God keeps His promises.  (Hebrews 6) I have asked God for guidance and signs so I know I am on the right path for His works and He has sent them to me clear as day.  My daddy told me and explained that I can ask God whatever I wanted especially now in my new venture.  Through my pain, happy/sad moments, doubt, comfort, and love I will FOREVER BLESS and THANK GOD for every trial and tribulation He continues to see me through.

I am becoming more transparent, because that is the true form of leadership and being honest with yourself brings you to a whole new level in life.  I hope my story continues to inspire and teach because that is my vision and purpose.  With much love CDS-YOUNG

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!!!

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Christina’s Journey: Phase 4

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I am preparing for my Autologous Stem Cell Transplant procedure since I had collected enough bone marrow, but first I have to take care of home.  Phase 4 in chronic illness of Hodgkin’s Lymphoma will be focusing on having relationships with your husband, wife, and/or life partner while going through your chronic illness.  Having a chronic illness you automatically think it should be all about you but it is not.  You must learn to have the strength to balance yourself and others, especially your caregivers.  Being married you have to be extra sensitive to your partner’s needs and wants.  I have the most giving and selfless husband that not being able to do my wifely responsibilities was crushing and I would feel like a failure to some degree.  I was taught by my parent’s marriage that you take care of your mate; it helps you grow closer to one another and develop a deeper respect for your marriage.

During the time of my preparation of being admitted into the hospital for my transplant I was making a list of things to accomplish for my household.  David is the sole provider for the family at this time and my job/duty is to make his home front as stress free as possible.  David and I had to learn how to communicate effectively with each other in order to become successful in a stress free home.  You can not approach situations in the same manner as you did in the past before being diagnosed with a chronic illness.

  1. You can not wear your feelings on your shoulders, which can be challenging at times.  When you are sick your mood goes from one extreme to the next because of your medications and that you just do not feel well.  You must become more understanding and adapt to your “new normal.”
  2. You must be a good listener.  We all know the saying: “God gave us two ears and one mouth for a reason.”  Always be attentive, so you can squash any uncertainty and do not sweat the small things.  Some “issues” are not issues and are a waste of time to discuss so BE QUIET.
  3. Always show that you love your mate and say you love them.  You will do and say mean things just because of #1 occurring.  Apologize in advance and do not dwell, move on.

I always strive to go beyond the call of duty for my husband because he deserves it.  During the month of February of 2015, I concentrated even more on David.  I was going to be out of the home for two months (30 days in the hospital and the last 30 days in Gastonia with my parents) for my stem cell transplant.  He had already and continues to sacrifice a lot for me and I make sure I do the same even to this day.  As I stated in the beginning you must keep the balance.  When one is weak the other must be strong and vice versa.  I always pray more for my husband and family/friends than for myself because it is much harder on them than it is for you.  Besides everyone processes things differently, so you must learn how to “coach” to everyone’s needs individually rather than one message for the same group.  Always be humble and allow yourself to be in less control, because it will make your healing process so much smoother.  Remember it is not all about you, you have responsibilities too!  Until next time, stay and be blessed.

~Dedicated to my husband, David Young