Life Updates

Colorado Scenery

Colorado Scenery

Today I’m posting at my sister site, Budget and the Beach.

This will be my last post of the week, as I’m leaving for Denver/Iceland on Wednesday. Instead of guest posts and someone managing blog duties while I’m gone, I decided to just check out completely for just over a week. The last time I did that was when I went to the Big Island of Hawaii two years ago. It was nice.

Today’s post is just a hodgepodge of some random stuff that has been going on in the last week or so…

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Let’s Talk About Your Colon

colon cancer awareness month

March is Colon Cancer Awareness Month

It certainly doesn’t get the attention like October gets for being breast cancer awareness month, but in case you didn’t know, March is colon cancer awareness month.

I’ve been personally affected by this disease, first when my brother Mike was diagnosed in 2005 when he was 36, and then when my close friend Lorna was diagnosed when she was 39 in 2008.

With my brother, his treatment was a roller coaster ride, but at the very least things seemed hopeful. At one point though, doctors found another tumor, which they considered inoperable. That was the low point I think for everyone. At the time I made this video, things looked pretty bleak, but after doctors met and discussed his condition, they decided to operate anyway.

They removed the tumor, and my brother is alive and cancer free.

But, with colon cancer there are a LOT of complications and side effects. I know he has dealt with a lot since then, with scar tissue, blockages, and other things which make life not quite the same.

When I got the news about my friend Lorna, things looked even bleaker. By the time they discovered it, she was at stage 4 with little hope (see the video her friend created for her).

Lorna was a childhood friend. The kind you often think of as a family member since our families were very close. She was a year older than me, and we were college roommates for awhile until she decided to go to college closer to home.

Lorna was the most positive and sweetest girl I knew. Everyone loved her. When I heard the news I was devastated.

She fought a very brave battle until she passed away in October 2009. I flew to Michigan several days prior to say good-bye.

That was the hardest moment of my entire life, and I almost feel selfish saying that, because that doesn’t hold a candle to what she was feeling.

What I knew from that moment was she was being robbed of her life, and she had way more life to live. And she was scared. I still have a very hard time remembering and talking about those last moments with her in the hospital room.

Colon cancer is a terrible disease, but one that is VERY preventable. Early detection is everything!

I get a colonoscopy every five years because that’s what is recommended when you have a close relative who was diagnosed under 40.

The prep for the test is not pleasant, there is no getting around it, but the procedure itself is a piece of cake. I’ve already had two, and aside from the slight embarrassment of the doctor making you pass gas when you wake up when you are in a room full of other recovering patients, there is really nothing to it.

I say this because often times when it comes to “that area,” we are too embarrassed to go to the doctor to get things checked out. But I’m hear to tell you that is just silly, and dangerous.

Although Mike and Lorna were much younger and would have probably had no reason to get screened for colon cancer, it’s imperative that you know your risks and/or get screened immediately if you have any unusual symptoms that you are concerned about. You are your own advocate when it comes to your health, so if one doctor tells you, “oh it’s nothing” and you are still concerned, find another doctor!

For more information about colon cancer screenings, visit this website.

The last picture I have with Lorna

The last picture I have with Lorna

Where Have You Been?

Volkswagen Rabbit

My new (to me) 2009 VW Rabbit.

Hello friends! It seems I’ve been away forever, but in reality it hasn’t been THAT long. I just don’t want to be one of those bloggers that stops and starts all the time. Consistency is important to me.

So why the break? Well, quite honestly I’ve been feeling a bit overwhelmed…and somewhat panicked.

Let’s take this past week…my car died last Saturday when I went over to my friend’s house for dinner. To make what could easily be a long story short, my old car was pretty much toast, and I ended up having to buy a new (used) car. If you want to read more about how all that went down, click over to my personal finance blog, Budget and the Beach.

So now I have an extra category in my budget: a car payment. Boooooo!

Many of you know I’m a freelancer, and my main gig is video editing, followed by income I make from side hustles like blogging, coaching beach volleyball, and other random tasks. While December and January were incredible income-wise, February has been abysmal, and usually Q1 is almost always consistent and profitable, so basically I get nervous…really nervous.

It makes me start thinking about what my priorities are and where I want to be headed in life, and one big dilemma I’m having involves this blog.

You see (I know other bloggers know what I’m talking about) serious blogging takes up A LOT OF TIME…and this is my SECOND blog. My first baby will always be my personal finance blog, and even that is eating up TONS of my time.

Bionic Body

Photo courtesy of BionicBody.com

The difference with that blog is I’m actually making income with ads and sponsored posts. With this one, it’s still a somewhat glorified hobby, with maaaaybe some potential to make income, but it seems more likely that with healthy lifestyle blogs you get more freebies instead of ad/sponsored post income? Anyone want to weigh in on that?

So my big dilemma is, do I continue spending hours on this blog and hope it grows into a site that generates income, or do I focus my time and attention elsewhere, which will bring in income sooner? One thing I know for sure is, I can’t add more hours to my day. Or I could go further into the night with work, but I know my personality and I’d go insane if I don’t have some work/life balance.

I’m currently in a mastermind group with other personal finance bloggers that meets on Google Hangout about every other week, so I’m hoping they can help talk me through what my best move is.

Another thing currently on my mind is whether or not I should stay in LA, or move somewhere with a less expensive cost of living. Austin and Denver are still on my short list. I did have Portland and Boulder on that list, but I think I ruled them both out based on some criteria important to me. At least I will be able to check out Denver for a couple days before my trip to Iceland starts just under two weeks from now. Eeeek!

Speaking of that trips and other trips, I haven’t even had time to research my trip to Denver/Iceland very much. I won’t be in Iceland very long (really three days), but I have a feeling I’m going to be winging it…something that is very much out of my comfort zone.

I’m also canceling any plans to go to Austin in April. With my new car payment and not-so-great income in February, I feel it would be financially irresponsible. That, and one of the main reasons I was going there was to run a race, and my calf/shin is STILL not healed.

So that brings me to the next item on my brain: my leg. I still haven’t gone to the doctor to have it checked out because at the very least it’s not getting worse. In fact, usually it feels better if I’m moving it around all day, but sadly I’m still not able to run, even on the beach.

I DID play six games of beach volleyball last weekend, and it actually felt better as the games went on…but the next day? Ouch. :(

My plan right now is to wait until after the trip to Iceland and see where things are. One step at a time, right? 

Beach Volleyball Hermosa BeachIn the meantime I’ve still been going to my friend’s boutique studio for the promotional deal I got, but that ends very soon. It’s been great strength training, but man do I miss my cardio. I have done some swimming and bike riding, so that’s been helpful, but I do miss my runs.

The last monkey that’s been riding on my back has been taxes. As a freelancer, getting all my paperwork ready for my accountant has always been somewhat of a nightmare. That’s also been eating up a lot of my time, but I only have one minor thing left to add up, and then my tax appointment is next Friday, so I’ll be happy to have that done…although I think I’m going to owe…A LOT! Fingers crossed I’m wrong.

Sorry for such a long post. My goal for March is to try and set up a schedule, which will involve waking up a bit earlier to manage my blog tasks…at least until I decide what my priorities should be.

Are any of you healthy lifestyle bloggers earning money from your sites? Want to weigh in on anything else I wrote? Thoughts? Opinions? :)

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