[ the good the bad and the ill – January 11th, 2012 ]

January 11, 2012 Comments Off on [ the good the bad and the ill – January 11th, 2012 ]

I guess this post has been quite a long time in the making. I haven’t made a full out personal update since June 10th and I haven’t updated at all since my last article in September for my old internship. There’s been a lot of reasons for this, most of it being the fact that while I find it cathartic in some way to vent on the internet and write things out, even if no one reads them, just to get things off of my chest, I’ve been unwilling to speak about the events of this summer and how things got so bad and really went down hill. Some pretty huge things have happened in not only my life but the lives of both of my parents that made the second half of the year (and continuing into the new one) fairly stressful and on some level, well on all levels, rather upsetting.

I’ll start with my Dad as its the shortest and simplest story. In May, actually while he was visiting me he got the call literally as he got off of his plane, he found out he’d gotten accepted to work overseas. Work overseas? What does that mean? That means my Dad got hired as a contractor to do supervisor work over in Afghanistan on military compounds. This was both amazing and horrible at the same time. This caused a lot of strain in our relationship both financially and other wise, but for him it was great. It finally got him up and working and making money again instead of feeding into a business that was quite a bit of money in debt after the economy crashed, that’s sort of the problem with being in construction. I’m so proud of him for going for it and taking the opportunity even though he’s doing a job at 60 that a lot of men at 40 wouldn’t even be willing to do. He’s hit another rough patch (after his second trip out from December to March he will no longer have work unless he finds something within the next month) and unfortunately we are no longer on speaking terms for now, but as everything usually does I’m sure once the stressors are down and he’s back in the clear things’ll get better between us.

This next paragraph is more difficult for me to write as it involves my Mom and a life treatening illness, and should explain why I’m a bit disinterested and meh about talking about me and my Dad’s issues, as they are pretty much non-issues in comparison.

In June I got a phone call from my Mom telling me she’d gotten some weird blood work back and been told she needed to see an Oncologist. I knew what this meant immediately but decided I just would push it to the back of my mind and not stress myself sick over it until we knew for sure. While I was visiting her in the beginning of August, what was suppose to only be a 2 week trip down, she sat me down one night and told me the truth: she had lymphoma. For those who don’t know, lymphoma is cancer. Not only did she have lymphoma in her bone marrow but her spleen was where the majority of it was an, well, by this point in time it was already rather enlarged in risk of rupture which would be, well, incredibly deadly.

This story is not all bad, August was also a good month for my Mother. In December of 2010 she compelted her General Education BA with a specilization in ESE education and from February until the end of May was a substitute teacher, unfortunately as is a rule in Florida she did not get the permanent hire for the position because a teacher who lost her job applied, however, in August she was offered a 2 month substituting position from a teacher that they knew would not be returning even when her maternity leave was over. In November, my Mother was called into the Principle’s office and officially hired as a teacher, less then two semesters of substituting and she’d reached her goal — this also meant that she now had insurance that would cover her cancer care, which was the most important and amazing news she got out of the experience.

Her doctor’s allowed her to wait until winter break to remove the cancerous spleen. On December 21st she went in to have the bloodflow cut off from the organ (procedure 1) on the 22nd the spleen was removed (procedure 2). Just to put into perspective to everyone how inflamed and enlarged the spleen was… your spleen is suppose to be about the size of an orange. After the spleen had decreased in size (they guess around a third) with the blood flow cut off (thusly feeding off of itself) it was still so large that the doctor said it reached from her rib cage to almost her pelvic bones, yes, that is a spleen that is about the size of the watermelon slice this woman is holding. She was in the hospital for a week and unfortunately had to go back in on the 28th to drain fluid that was collecting in her torso, however now she has had the drain remove and seems to recovering well. She’ll be allowed to return back to work but of course has to be very careful, something worrying since she works with ESE children (children with severe emotional and behaviourial issues). But we’re just glad the worst is over and hopefully she can put off chemo until next summer when it won’t jepordize the job she worked so hard to get.


Some of you may know but some of you may not but I’ve been struggling with my own health issues for about 2 and a half years now without having the slightest clue what was wrong with me. I was too dizzy to function some days. I was getting really achey and in March I fainted at the Glassjaw show after just 1 beer because I was standing on a balcony and had a vertigo fit (for lack of a better way of saying it).

Unfortunately my symptoms got much more severe about half way through May. I was sitting at my computer and I got up to go try and get Pickles out of the window (I do not condone yapping at midnight!) and about halfway there I lost all feeling in my legs after a brief moment where I felt like -every- nerve in them had gone off. I couldn’t get up off of the ground immediately and it took me about 3 minutes until I could get back to my chair. For the next two weeks I was in so much pain that I really didn’t leave my house and certainly could not make it to class. My regular doctor finally admited that since it wasn’t MS (which we had found out officially 2 weeks earlier) that with the new severe pain that she should have me tested for fibro myalgia. Why is this significant information? Because I’d been calling on and off for 2 weeks trying to get her to give me a recommendation for a rhumetologist so I could see if it was Fibro in the first place but she was insisting this was all being caused by a mixture of carpal tunnel (in my hands, which only hand minor numbness and weariness at this point, and certainly nothing comparative to the numbness and weariness in my legs even post collapsing). I was finally put on painkillers to control the pain and after a few days of being a bit loopy was able to return to school, unfortunately I had another pain episode that was, honestly quite a bit worse a month later that caused a devistating blow to my summer classes participation grade, because apparently two doctor’s notes, an e-mail from the school, proof I’m on painkillers, and not being able to walk is not a good enough excuse to miss a freshmen level course that I still got an 88% in based off my exams/papers (I however recieved a C+ because my attendence grade was dropped a full letter for missing 3 classes).

Unfortunately no matter how many places I looked for and called in the Chicago area, no one could see me prior to September 16th. For awhile it looked like I wasn’t going to get diagnosed until I returned from London, thankfully though after I returned to spend the remained of my summer with my Mother at the end of August a doctor in Daytona Beach was able to fit me in.

Diagnosis: Fibro Myalgia and a slight allergy to milk that I was previously unaware of but apparently that’s why it was making me a bit phlegmy.

I can’t not express enough how relieving it is to have a diagnosis, now I can go to my school and officially get academic consideration and assistance because of it and no longer just simply be at the mercy of whether a teacher wants to be understanding or think I’m a liar who is just hungover (yes, I’ve had that said to me over the course of this by a professor).

Well, I think that’s enough for today. In the next few days you’ll get a 100% good post, promise! I have loads of updates about what I’m doing in school now that I’m dying to share with everyone but I thought I at least owed the people who read my blog and follow my tumblr an explaining of why I mostly disappeared off of the face of the Earth.

Advertisements

[ tonal mastery – 09.26.11 ]

September 26, 2011 § 2 Comments

Well ladies and gents I’m finally in the UK! So bring it on all you lovelies at the University of Wesminster! I want to see all of your fantastic fashion.

I was lucky enough to stumble across this Fashionista on moving in day! In true fashion major style she couldn’t just throw on a simple pair of sweats and a shirt to move in; she had to be dressed at least nicely with a pound of accessories on (rings, my favourite and own personal demise!) I want to talk about tone mixing today; we’re told never brown and black, simply never! But I present you, yet again, with a falsehood!

Style On over at CollegeFashionista.co.uk!

[ are we in canada? – 9.19.11 ]

September 19, 2011 Comments Off on [ are we in canada? – 9.19.11 ]

The Canadian tuxedo — a dreaded statement for anyone to say, let alone see! For years we’ve been told that this is pretty much the death of fashion or does no one remember that one time Britney and Justin showed up both dressed in them? And their relationship ended didn’t it? Exactly! I can’t say there are many more trends that have shocked me when they’ve made the transition from taboo to totally cool like this one has, but I’m not complaining. When don’t right this can be an effortlessly cool looking look, when done wrong, you become that person we all judge on the train!

STYLE ADVICE OF THE WEEK: Are We in Canada? over at CollegeFashionista UK!

[ transitions – 09.12.11 ]

September 12, 2011 Comments Off on [ transitions – 09.12.11 ]

While the English weather has been cooling down for a good while, I’m still posted in the States until the middle of the month and its only just starting to taper off in Chicago! Fashionistas and Fashionistos alike find themselves in a constant state of give and take with the changing climate. We still want to sport our summer duds but its starting to get a little too chilly to do it. The lovely CollegeFashionista editor Amy Levin likes to call this season “Sall”, a term I think I’m going to have to borrow from her. The Fashionista for this week also did a great job of seamlessly blending her fall and summer wardrobes, but in a much brighter way! Personally I’m all for transitioning your brights and florals into fall wear. It’s a huge misconception, if you ask me, that fall and winter should narrow your colour options down to neutrals and darks. Rock an outfit that truly stands out and brings those bright reds and corals to the table.

Check out my first actual article for the International CollegeFashionista site over here! I’m so excited to start snapping photos of Westminster students! Bring it on Fashionistas and Fashionistos.

[ style guru bio #3 – 09.05.11 ]

September 5, 2011 § 1 Comment

Hair colours that hit every end of the spectrum from platinum blonde to pink to my current dark brown have graced the digital pages of CollegeFashionista since the beginning of 2011’s winter/spring internship. This is my third bio for the company as a whole, but the first for our UK site!

I’m a Florida and Tennessee raised girl studying in London via Chicago who spent all of her summers and winters in new York growing up. I’m a double major in both Media Arts and Public Relations as well as a double minor in Journalism and Anthropology. To put it lightly? I’m a bit of a mouthful!

To read the rest of my bio for the fall semester where I’ll be studying abroad and writing for the University of Westerminster, head over to CollegeFashionista UK!

[ i know, i know – 05.20.11 ]

May 20, 2011 Comments Off on [ i know, i know – 05.20.11 ]

I know, I know. I keep saying I’m going to update more and get back on track with taking care of my blog beyond promoting my College Fashionista articles, but I’ve had a lot going on in my life, some of it great some of it not so great. I have a more narrow idea of what might becausing all of my health issues, none of the options are really that great but at least I’m closer to being diagnosed with something so I can start properly dealing with it and taking care of myself in the right way for whatever it might be. Thankfully I was put on some pain medication which is helping a lot to make me function better! (it helps with the aches and the headaches, which means less dizziness which is a god send!).

The weirdest thing going on in my life right now is my Dad… he’s leaving on Saturday to go over seas to do some work in the Middle East. Its an incredibly weird thought for me, my Dad being half way around the world. Its going to be good for him though. He’s had a rough time the last few years being a Gereral Contractor in this economy and this is putting him back in a place of constant work and almost back up to the financial bracket he was in before (which means less stress about how to pay for my schooling and medical bills, which takes a lot of guilt and stress off of me as well). I’m so proud of him for taking the opportunity and putting himself out there and taking this risk. Its going to be weird though that I can’t just call and talk to him if I want to, and this certainly cuts down my reasons to ever go back to Florida. I dunno, I’m a bit rambly on the subject because I don’t quite have my head wrapped around it yet! He’ll be in Afghanistan and I’ll be in London! How odd.

Delayed, but as promised, my book project! I wish I could post the book up here for you all to see because I’m really excited about how it came out and I’ll be ordering a copy so I can have one to possibly try and take this idea farther… I really, really would like to! I wanted to do something fashion and style based and I got a great idea from surfing the internet while I was writing my article for College Fashionista. Why not do a style dictionary! No, no, not like the other ones that are out there, I went a little farther in my idea than the conventional idea you’d like comes from that.

I formatted the book to be a two page spread for each photo. On the left page is a definition and on the right page is a photo. I wanted to take it a little further than just street style type of photos so that I could have a wider range of things to do with the definitions. I wanted the definitions to make the person who might read the book think about the photo. For example; create. This photo is of a girl in my 3D foundations class from when we were doing our cardboard chair project. She made a chair out of cardboard that was built for holding crafting supplies while you sat on it to craft! I’m really proud of how it came out for my first attempt at a photo book, and it is definitely an idea (like I said above) that I’d love to explore and really make into a publishable book.
I wish the pink had shown better in photos in my hair! It looked so brilliant at first but it faded rather quickly (of no surprise to me, my stylist even admitted she took it off too soon and we’d just lifted my hair back to platinum so it wasn’t in the best shape to hold a fun colour anyways). But, I’m going to call her later so I can hopefully get it toned again today or tomorrow since I have some fun and exciting photos to take for College Fashionista on Monday… stay tuned for more details about that! Its a pretty big thing and I’m shocked and honoured that Amy asked me to be included! Hopefully my health and the weather cooporate on Monday!

Summer is coming up and I’m pretty stoked for it, except for the little fact that I still haven’t finished that last Intermediate photo project, but I’m determined to do so this weekend so I’m not stressing about it all summer! (We’re suppose to have 2 quarters to finish ‘Incomplete’ classes but I’ll be in England so… I don’t know how that’d work!) As long as I get the shooting done this weekend after I fix my hair and print all next weekend I should be fine (since I have until June 10th or so in reality). After that, wow, I can’t believe its almost finals! Its a little ridiculous, these last two quarters have been so stressful that I’m beyond glad for summer. I am taking two classes, and while one is a stupid 101 Communications class I’ve been putting off, I’m actually really excited about my Sophomore Seminar that I’ll be taking, its on Middle Eastern Communities around the world and its making me no longer dread and want to keep putting off taking a Sophomore Seminar because… honestly most of the other topics are rather drab sounding.

Well I think that’s about it for right now! I’ve got so much to do today so I should be off! I hope everyone is lovely and enjoying being on summer break or not stressing too hard over impending graduations and finals!

[ drum roll please… – 3.31.11 ]

March 31, 2011 Comments Off on [ drum roll please… – 3.31.11 ]

I know I had talked about it on Tumblr but I hadn’t mentioned it to anyone else as I didn’t want to talk a lot about it and get my hopes up before I knew if I could afford to go or not…

I GOT IN AND I’M GOING!

On the 15th (of course DePaul waited until the last day they had to give us answers…) I got notification that I had been accepted for the Fall study abroad in London through the university. For a little we didn’t know if we’d be able to financially swing me being able to go, but after some figuring things out between difference in bills, grants they give to study abroad kids, and loans we can take out through the school I can go!

I’ll be studying through the University of Westminster (Harrow Campus, pictured above, photo obviously not by me) and focusing mainly on my Media Arts and Journalism degrees as they offer some great classes we don’t here at DePaul (Fashion Journalism and Colour Photography). It’s so crazy that if we do get the loan and I do go (they ‘pre-approved’ us but we’re just waiting on the official word) that I’ll be a class short of a senior when I come back next winter quarter (since the loan also means I can take another 2 classes over the summer). That puts me almost 2 full quarters ahead of schedule, which is awesome because that means if I do keep both majors and minors I’ll graduate in 4 years with everything I wanted to do completed. Needless to say, I’m really excited about finding out about this loan as it opens so many doors for me academically. I do wish I could intern through the university so they could find me my internship, but that’d require 3 FREAKING GRAND extra in tuition because the internship is 12 credits instead of the normal 6. So if I want to try and intern I have to find my own internship, which I’ve done successfully so far I’m just a little worried about trying to do it come August when I’ll still be in the states trying to find one in London before I get there! (PS. That’s Bella, Kat’s sister’s dog and my new BFF)

Now I have to do a little shameless promotion… Along with the fact that I used my CollegeFashionista stuff (and my newly revamped bio for this very blog) to enter ASOS’s Coachella contest, we have a super big event happening in Chicago tomorrow! Juicy Couture and the site teamed up to do a ‘campus tour’ and offer students (you don’t have to be a Chicago student, just have a student I.D. and be at the event) 20%, photo opportunities, and styling help!

I’m honestly more excited about meeting the other Gurus (I met Jose for the first time on Tuesday actually, very briefly) and Amy as I’ve conversed with them over twitter but haven’t actually had the chance to meet them.

There’s also a little bonus! For the Guru who brings the most friends out (someone will be asking you who referred you when you arrive) you can win a prize… so uh even if you don’t like Juicy Couture (which if you didn’t know,t hey’re so much more than sweatsuits and terry cloth purses, their spring collection is actually super cute with a lot of crocheted stuff) just uhm come out and pretend and say I sent you, winkwink nudgenudge.

On a completely unrelated non-big news note… I want to see the movie Hanna. 1) It looks good 2) I like all the actors in it 3) HELL YEAH PEOPLE WILL PROBABLY JUST SPELL MY NAME RIGHT NOW. Except not, but one can hope it at least stops the Hannah Montana stuff.

Where Am I?

You are currently browsing entries tagged with study abroad at Relevant Surroundings.

%d bloggers like this: