Christmas Photo Fun

Pictures are so much fun. They are worth a thousand words and a dozen smiles. I wanted to share some of my Christmas Season pictures with you!

Kitty Pictures First! Sadie Rose, Grace, and Fluffy. They adore Christmas.

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Before the Tree was decorated. Smells lovely.

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Christmas Cards!




A Caregivers Perspective. Part One.

Being a Mom of a Chronically Ill Child

Written By: Eileen Guyadeen

Being a caregiver of one who is chronically ill comes with countless challenges. Caring for an ill child is one of the most difficult things to do. Those who are ill rely completely on their caregivers. Being a caregiver can be a lonely, overwhelming, and blessed road. This post is to honor all caregivers, especially my own, my mother Eileen Guyadeen. Without her I would not be where I am today or who I am today. I could never express enough gratitude for all she has done for me.



My daughter Victoria who writes this blog for chronic ill people, ask me if I would write something for it. I will start at the beginning, Victoria was born on my birthday which is January 28, 1994. She was a healthy baby at 6 lbs 8 oz. A blessing in every way possible, especially when my own doctor told me it will be nearly impossible for me because of myself having endometriosis, and like I told the doctor he is not God, and I truly believe with God all things are possible. My pregnancy went pretty well, listening to my doctor and doing whatever I needed to do to have a healthy child.


Victoria was an active child by the time she was two and a half I had enrolled her in ballet classes, and she simply loved it too. She was small for her age and I kept her first ballet and taps shoes for my keepsake, because the dance teacher had a hard time finding things to fit her. She always loved playing outdoors all the time, during the summer she played in her pool, with her toys, and even loved reading outside all thru the beginning of her teenage years. In every way possible Victoria was always an active child. However over the years since she was a baby Victoria always seem to get a lot of viruses, doctor couldn’t always explain it to me why she did, always missing a lot of school. I remember by the time her ninth birthday rolled around she had a lot of stomach problems, she was out of school for three months, I finally started to record everything she ate and it was the diary that was making her so sick, so I cut it out from her diet. I spent plenty of times in the emergency room with her stomach problems never to know what was going on, and more important never an answer for what was going on.


By the time she was in middle school when I took her to the doctor for the problem, her doctor thought she was trying to get out of going to school. I brought in her report card showing this child was an honor and high honor roll student, and loved being in school. Thru out high school my daughter’s health got worst, going thru five operations in four years. Her health got worst by the time she was a junior in high school that she was on homebound for school. By the time her senior year was about to start the principal of her high school share with us if Victoria miss more than ten days of school she would not be able to walk at her graduation. So with that statement Victoria ask me if she could Cyber School her senior year, and I agree that she could. She finished her senior year with 3.7 GPA, the night of her graduation it was very painful for her to walk at the ceremony, and I cried with her and said I know however you did it with honors in spite of your pain.


Since Victoria graduated from high school things for her with her health has gotten worst. Doctors never can make up their minds for a treatment plan for her, it makes a person’s head spin. I have been ask so many times, how I do this with my daughter’s health. My answer to the question is my faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. With everyone appointment rather a doctor appointment, a trip to urgent care, test, or even the emergency room, and hospital stay, I carry along with me my Bible, why because I begin to search the scriptures for God’s promises. In the book of Jeremiah 29:11 it says For I know the plans I have for you declares the Lord, plans to prosper you, not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.  Victoria is a gift from God and I do believe that he loves her even more than her dad and I could ever love her.  Every time my daughter cries in pain, I say to her that God didn’t give us a spirit of fear, and I can do all things thru Christ who gives me strength (Philippians 4:13) we have cried together, as well as something more important which is to pray together. For God to give her the strength going thru this, as well as wisdom for her doctors, to see what He sees inside of her, because Jesus is the great physician. It is never easy, right before my daughter went off to college I had a meltdown. Yelling at God what did my daughter ever do to deserve this horrible disease, and then finally after I stop being angry at God, I heard a voice in my heart then why my son (Jesus Christ) in your place on the cross, I never ask that question again. I am always asking God for the strength thru all of this, we travel two hours each way to her doctors, and yes there has been many times I am total drain with running back and forth. I also have two other children to care for, which at times I feel as thro I have short change them thru this. I try to remember different things to get me thru, Stop, Drop, Kneel, and Pray, I have relied on God to get us thru this with my daughter. Jesus never promises anyone that once we accepted him as our own personnel savior, that our lives would be easy, he promises , surely I am with you always to the end of time (Matthew 28:20) I have seen my own personnel walk with Christ change for the better. I wanted to show Victoria, as well as my other two children, that life can become very hard for us at times, and thru those difficult time we need to run to the Lord, not away from him. Lean on Jesus and give him our burdens. In the gospel of Matthew 11:28 Jesus says these words Come to me, all you who are heavy burdened, and I will give your rest, Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden light. If anyone ever read the poems Footprints in the Sand, as you read these words it says, Lord you say that once I started to follow you, you would never leave me, so I don’t understand why was it at the difficult times I saw once one set of footprints, and the other times there were two. He replied my precious child during those hard times, it was then that I carried you. So I can picture during these hard times Jesus is carrying my daughter. Victoria is in the process of finishing her second year of college, in which she has been doing on line for a while. In thru all of her pain, doctors, test etc. Victoria has manage to be on the Dean’s list at Sussex County Community College, with a 4.0 GPA, as well as being inducted into the international honor society this past March. In the fall she will finish her BA degree at Centenary College which is not far from us, and then hopefully on to Drew University for her Master degree. Thru all of the medical problems that my daughter has gone thru so far, I have totally relied on my church family for prayer, as well as other family or friends, because pray to me is an essential tool we need to have with our daily walk with Christ. For me thru all of this I continue to walk with my Lord, with prayer, studying the scriptures and being involved in my church and just serving him. I continue to thank God for choosing me to be Victoria’s mom, I have been the one who has been bless. Yes it has been difficult with her disease, you see she has lupus which is an autoimmune disease, however it doesn’t define who she is and that is she is the daughter of the most high king Jesus Christ.


Paw Prints on My Heart

A post honoring my furry friends who have left paw prints on my heart.

This post is a bit different then what I usually post. It is something that was on my heart to write and share mainly to honor those in the post.

My love for animals began before the sweet air of this world kissed my lungs. While my mom was expecting, our cat Buttons gently cuddled up against her abdomen, played with me as I kicked, and purred a calming melody. I developed a deep love for animals, they have always had a special place in my heart. Growing up I was surrounded by furry friends including two cats, a dog, bird, rabbit, and a few stray cats. I jumped at the chance to meet and play with other animals. Just like no human knows how long they have on Earth, no animal knows. Many times they depart too soon. I lost many of my friends in a very short period of time. I’m going to talk a bit about my friends.


I got my dog Hannah at seven years old. I desperately wanted a sister named Hannah, but I got a dog. Hannah and I were inseparable, best friends. She was gentle, sweet, and full of love. She adored people and cats. It worried Hannah to say the least when I became ill. Hannah made sure I stayed on a schedule. If I was up late she would sit on the stair case whining until I began getting ready for bed. Then she would make sure I shut off my light by a certain time. Hannah either slept next to my bed or in my bed with me. She knew how to get help if I was in trouble. If I fell she knew how to help me up. I never questioned my safety with her around. In the nice weather we would go for a walk around my house, she was afraid of leaving the property. We thought she had developed asthma like me. The vet was surprised to tell us that she had lung cancer in both lungs. I begged her to passed away at home. I could tell she was in pain. She got worst hourly. We had hoped she had more time. She passed away at the Vet’s four days later. She was bleeding internally as well. Looking back I am grateful for the time I had with her. Of course I wanted more time but she lived a long and happy life.


Hope was a different cat. She was found in the woods with her brother, deserted by her mother. The first night we meet I told her bluntly that she was my cat and that I would love her. As soon as I turned my back she hid then I frantically searched all over my room for her.  She had sever anxiety, depression, and interstitial cystitis. I worked with her and she became like a new cat. She would throw her food or eat using her paw. She would answer any time someone asked her a question. Once Hannah passed away, Hope became the one who watched me. Her fur was beautiful and extremely calming to me. Shortly after I got Hope, I got Grace (who is turning three soon). The three of us were very close. The girls adored one another. They protested me going away to college by attempting to tear up my suit case and unpacking my clothing.


Tommy was born in my house two weeks before Hope passed away. His mother is a stray named Fluffy Fluffy invited herself into my house one day and had a litter of kittens. She wanted someone to hold her paw the entire time which was over twenty four hours. Tommy was the sweetest kitten with the ideal personality. He wiggled his way into my heart and had no intesions of leaving. When he was a few weeks old I talked to him for a few minutes until we fell asleep; he knew I was sick and wanted to help. He loved plating hide in seek and he loved stuffed animals. He was an extremely bold and adventurous kitten. He loved to play and loved to run on his tipy toes. The love and excitement he had for life was admirable.Tommy was always purring. Anytime he got in trouble all I had to do was say his name and count like mothers do for their children,and he would immedeity stop, sit, and look at me.The memory of the day he passed away is still fresh in my memory, it was a heartrending experience. I am usually a level headed person who is fairly calm in perspective. Tommy was just over six months old and it was  his time to get fixed. The phone rang earlier then I expected and I had a terrible feeling. Though I could only hear pieces of the conversation I knew he was gone. I literally lost it. Screaming. I had just lost Hope five months ago. Tommy was only six months. I couldn’t do it. He was too young. It was the worse feeling. The vet told my mom what happened and was running test to find out why. He did well in surgery. After he stood up, fell over, and passed away. The vet found out that Tommy had heart disease and a blood clot near his heart, which of course was unexpected. He most likely suffered a heart attack.


Grieving with a Chronic illness is difficult. I doubt there is any advice that I could give you that would make the grieving process any easier. If you are grieving, I am deeply sorry for your loss. Grieving can cause flare ups and complicate things. I cried rives each time. Allow yourself to feel any emotion that you need to, it is healthy. Personally, making collages, talking, writing, and reading quotes helps me cope with this agonizing process. I also spent a lot of time with Grace, my cat and Fluffy the stray. They provided me with so much comfort. Though time does not erase what has occurred, it does help to a degree.


One of the most difficult things for me has been memory loss. I am afraid that I will completely forget my beloved friends. It is a burden which has consumed my fragile heart at times. I already feel the memories slipping through my fingers, quickly fading away. No matter how many of my memories desert me, I know I will always deeply love them and cherish the time I was blessed to have with them. These furry friends have left paw prints on my heart.


My Year Review

As 2014 graciously departs, we reflect on the ways it has transformed our lives.  We thank the year for the all the moments we encountered both those in which overflowed with joy and those drenched in hardships.  We have learned an abundance of lessons, encounter adventures, and have flourished in character. I invite you to join me as I reflect on my year.


Personally, 2014 was discreetly laced with ravishing moments of joy and catastrophe. My health consumed the majority of my time, outside of my academics. One is never truly prepared for a health combat and the after effects. My year began with medical luggage from the previous year. Which included a three month long kidney infection and stones, along with my usual chronic health challenges. Producing a Cytoscopy, I learned I have a fused supernumerary kidney as well as a double collecting system on my right side. (In nonmedical terms this means I have three kidneys and three Ureters.) With persistence the infection cleared up.

In March, my beloved cat Hope passed away. She lost her life to an autoimmune disorder along with internal bleeding. We developed a unique relationship. She helped care for me and provided me with love, support, and encouragement.


Prior to losing Hope, a stray cat wandered into my house where she had kittens. Assisting her emotionally during the forty eight hour birthing session was a unique experience. Kittens and new life in general provides joy as well as hope. Caring for the mother and kittens were excellent therapy for me. After much internal conflict, with the guidance of my parents, I decided to keep the orange kitten who was born second. He had gently wiggled his way into my heart, with no intentions of departing.


From the time I became ill, I have struggled to encounter the right doctor. I encountered many doctors who were disrespectful to me, who did not believe me, who diagnosed and undiagnosed me, and caused stress. These doctors caused the majority of my stress. By brushing my symptoms off, they allowed my body to attack me, thus allowed me to get worse. I was fairly hopeless when I met my current rheumatologist I knew if she was unwilling to help, I would not receive treatment for my Lupus. Just moments before the appointment I saw a Nephrologists. I was told I am mental, there is nothing wrong with me, and the doctor lied to me. That visit left me utterly numb. Praise the Lord my rheumatology appointment went better. A few months after being rediagnoised (for the 8th time) my doctor helped me begin the Benlysta infusion.


Due to complications, I was only able to take nine credits spring semester of 2014. I encountered struggles with the college I attend. Throughout my schooling career I have been told several times that I am not smart and have encountered various academic challenges. For this reason I was beyond shocked when I discovered I had earned a 3.5 GPA for the semester.

In September I was admitted to the hospital due to a life treating allergic reaction to the Osteoporosis medication known as Reclast. Positive and negative things were interweaved into my hospital stay.

The following week, my orange kitten, Tommy got fixed. My mom and I dropped him off, of course I promised to pick him up the following morning. When the phone rang that afternoon, I felt sick to my stomach. The Vet did not sound right as she requested to speak to my mother and didn’t chat with me as she normally would. I digested the fragments of the conversation. My beautiful, energetic kitten was gone. I began to scream and pace. Unable to calm down, unable to understand. My heart broke. We later found out that he has heart disease and a blood clot around his precious heart. Most likely a heart attack stole him.

Recovering from Reclast and keeping up with school work was a chore. Certain symptoms did not improve. I was recommend to cardiology, where we discovered I have POTS.

Though I was consumed with fear I got another kitten shortly after Tommy departed. The Vet and my support system agreed it would benefit my cat Grace and I. We adopted a beautiful curled ear kitten, Saide Rose who is nine months old.

I enjoyed my college courses and succeed beyond my imagination in them. I managed to pull a 4.0 GPA.

I encountered many moments of joy and catastrophe. I am stilling adjusting to life with POTS.  My support system drastically shifted and crumbed in ways. I cherish those who support me and I hold them dear to my heart. I cannot fold into words how grateful I am for the support I do receive. I have been blessed to begin Chronically Hopeful, which includes the Facebook page as well as this blog. I have learned to cherish every moment and to rely on God on a deeper level.  Through God, 2014 has blessed me in many ways.

I would love to hear about your year. Please share in the comments.

Sending New Year’s blessings, hugs, prayer, and spoons. ❤