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La Vida Sunshine (2)

PCOS & a Tumor: The Struggle is Real

I was recently diagnosed with PCOS: Polycystic Ovary Syndrome. What is PCOS? I found out I have PCOS because I kept gaining weight, became prediabetic, and finally with an ultrasound it became clear that my ovaries are surrounded by cysts. Along with that joyous news, it was determined I have a 3 mm tumor in my head. Seriously. Not to fear, it’s not cancerous, thankfully. It’s a pituitary gland tumor aka pituitary adenoma. The pituitary gland is a master gland below the brain that controls many things in the body, but mostly hormone related. This was diagnosed after discovering I had elevated Prolactin levels in my blood. I’m currently on medication of Metformin and Cabergoline. I was originally on Bromocriptine, but I had such adverse side effects from it I stopped taking it. My endocrinologist has since prescribed me Cabergoline. So far so good.

How do I feel? Physically, fine. Emotionally, depends on the day you ask. Right now, I’m okay. Plus, I think I’ve had enough time to process the news.

What does this mean for children in our future? A number of things, mostly, we don’t know if we’ll be able to conceive a child naturally. I hope and pray that we do. If not, adoption is definitely and has always been an option for us. Which reminds me, I stress the importance of talking about infertility before marriage. I’m grateful that it’s something we had discussed pre-marriage in great detail. Especially since we are in a place now in our lives where it hasn’t been easy trying to conceive due to my health issues.

The only reason I’m sharing this news is because I know we’re not alone. However, many friends and family members are ashamed or scared to share their stories. It is what it is. I can’t sugar coat it. It sucks. It sucks because I finally got to a place in my life and heart where I’m ready and want to become a mother. Then to hit this roadblock this huge is hurtful and frustrating more than anything.  I’m thankful we found out what is going on with my body. It feels unnatural to not be in control of my own body. To know that my issue is greater than what I can control on my own is at times overwhelming. It’s manageable, but not curable. It’s something I’ll have to live with for the rest of my life. I don’t know how I would’ve handled this news without the unwavering love and emotional support of my husband and our families. It’s not easy and there are lots of times I questioned myself as a woman and wife. Why is this happening to me? Why isn’t my body normal? Why can’t I get pregnant right away? When will I get pregnant? When will I have control over my body again? When do we start looking into a fertility specialist?  There are so many questions and yet still uncertain answers. The only thing I can do is continue to take my medications.

The biggest lesson I’m taking away from this is to be kinder to myself. I need to accept this is what’s happening right now. I will be okay. Life will be okay. My marriage will always be okay. If anything, it has brought my husband and me closer. He has seen and heard me cry. He shares in my prayers.  He has experienced first hand my frustrations and side effects from medicine. It has forced me to share with him and others how I’m feeling. Sometimes, I don’t feel emotionally strong. As someone who has always been an optimistic and happy person, these feelings of sadness or frustration are new to me. I’m learning that it’s normal.

I wasn’t able to predict what’s going on with my body, but family genetics has a lot to do with it. I have family members with PCOS and Pituitary Gland Tumors, that I’ve only recently found out about. This is why it’s important to know our family history. I know I’m not alone in this. While my husband insists we are going through this together, which we are, I still feel this is very much my own journey. That’s because it is happening in my body. Even that feeling of alone is normal. It’s most important to remember none of us are alone. The difference between me and most is I’m willing to share what’s going on. That’s because I believe we can all learn from one another and help each other when we are in a place of the unknown in our lives.

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If I can be of help and support to someone else and have another woman become more familiar with her body, then it’s all worth it. I want to let other couples know that fertility issues are extremely common. It wasn’t something we expected or could have predicted. Even though we’re currently experiencing this new challenge in our lives, we’re not going to let it stop us from enjoying our lives or marriage. We’re going to continue to travel. We’re going to continue to pray. We’re going to continue to enjoy the full lives we have created with our friends and family. We’re going to continue to show other couples that our love is enough to get us through anything together. If you think you have PCOS contact your doctor asap, especially if you are trying to conceive. The struggle is real, but it doesn’t have to be the end all and be all of our happiness and life together.

Travelers In LOve (1)

La Vida Sunshine: What to do in Lima, Peru.

Travelers In LOve (1)

Lima was full of surprises for me. First of all, it’s a much larger city than I ever expected. It’s home to some of the best restaurants in the world. It has ancient ruins in the middle of its modern day city. Which for me, puts it at the top of one of my favorite cities in the world.  

We stayed in Miraflores for 3 days. Upon our return from Machu Picchu, we stayed in San Isidro for another 3 days. Even with 6 days total in Lima, it still was not enough time to do and see everything. This city and country can easily keep you busy for months. 12366019_10105764968638568_3245820084875790901_o

Lima is the capital of Peru. It was founded in 1535. It resides along the Pacific coast in South America. It was about a 6.5-hour flight for us from Houston, TX. It had been on my bucket list for years. Our Lima itinerary consisted of 2 special reservations at Astrid & Gaston and Central Restaurante. We also had reservations at Maido, but we became so ill we had to cancel our reservation. That was thanks to some ill prepared burgers we ate at lunch one day. We paid for those burgers for days. Ugh! I don’t ever want to relive that experience again. We also visited 2 ancient ruins of Huaca Pucllana and Huaca Huallamarca, Larcomar, Museo Larco, and Parque de la Reserva for the night light and water show.

Can you imagine a modern day city with ancient ruins in the middle of it? Because that’s what you can expect in Lima. It’s pretty cool! Our 1st full day in Lima we visited Huaca Pucllana.  

It was within walking distance of where we stayed at Radisson Hotel Decapolis Miraflores in Miraflores.

The 2nd ruins we went to Huaca Huallamarca is in San Isidro, also within walking distance of our Hotel Atton in San Isidro.

Both of the ruins are great for a half day trip.  It’s a great reminder how Lima is an ancient world meets modern day city. I appreciate that Lima has made the effort in preserving its history. In fact, while we were there they were excavating. I read in the newspaper later that they actually uncovered bodies that had been buried hundreds of years ago on the site. How cool! They are still discovering stories to their past.

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One of my favorite things was simply walking the Malecon and stopping along the way at Parque Del Amor and people watch.

They also have a lighthouse that we walked to and enjoyed the views along the way. Here you’ll find people walking and running along the Malecon. You’ll also see families enjoying a picnic on a nice day. Oh, and people bike riding.

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We walked all the way down the Malecon and right into Larcomar. Larcomar is the large shopping center located in Miraflores. Here you’ll find everything you could ever need from clothes, shoes, and luggage. It rivals any huge and modern mall, the only thing is this one is incredibly beautiful and overlooks the Pacific ocean. Also, here is where we purchased our Peru Rail tickets for the train ride to Machu Picchu 4 days in advance. They have a kiosk and it was the perfect place to reserve and purchase our tickets ahead of getting to Cusco. I highly recommend this.

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From Larcomar to Museo Larco, from shopping to one of the best museums I’ve ever been to. First of all, Museo Larco is just as beautiful on the outside as it is on the inside with all of its ancient artifacts and history of the Americas.

My only regret is we didn’t stay to eat something in the beautiful garden museum restaurant. It was not within walking distance from our hotel, therefore, a taxi was necessary to get here. There also were plenty of taxi’s waiting outside when we were ready to leave.

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We had a perfect date night while visiting Parque de la Reserva. This park has one of the most extraordinary night light and water shows we’ve ever seen. The show was fantastic, the park is huge, and it was wonderful seeing so many couples and families enjoying the evening and the show together.

This was not walking distance from San Isidro or Miraflores, therefore, a taxi cab was necessary for the trip. We paid our taxi from our hotel a little extra for him to come back and pick us up after the water show later that night. It was worth it as it’s not located in the safest neighborhood.

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There is still much left to be seen and experienced in Lima. Before we left, we promised ourselves we’d return. I truly loved everything about this modern day city next to the sea. Until next time, Lima, I Love you!

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Je t’aime Paris!

Happy Bastille Day!

La Vida Sunshine

In early 2012, my husband (then boyfriend) invited me to Europe for the first time. He asked if I wanted to go to Paris? We were in the early stages of falling in love and I think he was surprised I didn’t want to go. Who doesn’t want Paris in the Springtime with their lover? Isn’t it the most romantic place on Earth? Isn’t it the city of love?
Truth be told, I never bought into all that Paris mumbo jumbo. I didn’t dream of going to Paris as a little girl, teenager, or adult. You would think, me, of all people would. I’ve always been a hopeless romantic. Because of all of my hopelessness in all things romance, the idea of Paris seemed so cliché and cheesy, for our first trip together.
Fast forward to 2015.
We were trying to decide where to celebrate our first wedding anniversary. After traveling…

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