Archive for the ‘Holistic Health’ Category

MP_keepcalm

BT_keep_calm and wear gray

DO BOTH

On January 6, 2014 my neuro-oncologist and I decided to stop treatment for my brain cancer. Now I am officially in remission and have finished the marathon that is started last summer. I have been so busy in the last few months that I have not written a blog post.

I also have had a few viruses along the way too, that have zapped my energy.  The post radiation headaches continue and now I am on preventative medication which have reduced the number of severe headaches. Now I also wake up in the morning with numb and tingling upper extremities of unknown origin which improves as I am awake. I plan to see a chiropractor again and I also am having

At this moment, I have made several changes in my life to help me accomplish my goals. The recent Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia has increased my motivation. Though it would be a dream come true to participate in the Olympics those chances are slim. What I can do is take that Olympic training spirit and motivation into my training and cancer survivorship.

I have already signed up for a few races USAT National Championships and Med-City Marathon and have a pretty good idea of my event schedule for the year. One of the toughest decisions I had to make was to cut down on my coaching hours to accommodate training.  If I want to be a champion I have to put in the work. My nutrition is changing too and is another way to achieve my goals for survivorship and athletics. I have been reading about the role of nutrition in brain tumor survivorship. Maybe I will write a blog entry just on that.  In January, I joined the Cyclone Triathlon Team and l will be using their coaching starting in June. I have already started doing some swim training and bike training with the team. My longest run work out was last Friday with a 2.5 hour workout (2x (30 min of 2′ walk/3’run, 30 minutes Precor trainer) +30 min walk on treadmill at 15′ mile pace). The bike  trainer workouts are 1.25 hours including some intense intervals at race pace. The CrossFit Games Open starts next week but my CrossFit training is lacking. Overall, I have lots of expectations but I am willing to work hard to achieve my goals.

See you at the finish line,

~dmj

Christmas in Rochester, MN

Christmas in Rochester, MN

Happy Holidays,

I hope this post finds you well.  2013 was a tough year for me. The year brought both challenges and rewards. In March after having a CT for “spells” where I would not be able to use my legs and arms or blackout, I learned I had a brain tumor. After further imaging and surgery to remove the tumor on May 24, I learned that it was grade III anaplastic astrocytoma, a malignant brain tumor.  I spent much of my Summer at Mayo Clinic with 33 radiation treatments and adjunct oral chemo therapy.  That treatment is followed by oral chemotherapy 5 days each month x 6 months. I have completed 4 cycles so far and my MRI is stable.

I am still working at Golden Living Center-Rochester East skilled nursing facility in Rochester. During the beginning of the year I worked day shift but switched to nights in April because of a staffing shortage then stayed on nights after returning from surgery. Most of our residents are Mayo Clinic patients but we also care for several Olmsted Medical Center patients.  In addition to nursing, I am still an assistant coach for Med-City Aquatics. During the Fall, I coached mostly 10-13 year old swimmers and the adult masters group. I also earned extra cash as a soccer referee for youth, high school, and adult games. I also earned extra cash as a Mary Kay Skin Care Consultant and AdvoCare nutrition distributor. In addition to the above, I am still working on building my holistic wellness consulting business, Winning Wellness Solutions.

Even though my training was limited last year, I managed to participate in several events. Although about every event I participated in it rained. I finished in the lower middle third of the CrossFit Games Open. I raced a few 5K’s. My first triathlon saw cold 54 degree water temps and low 50’s air temps. I entered the water did about 50 yds and swam back to the shore. Half of my heat did not even start. The next day I participated in my first long-course meters swim meet which was held at the University of MN. During the summer, I walked a 5K as a relay in the RochesterFest Triathlon and walked a 1-mile race prior to the RochesterFest parade (and walked in the parade afterwards). The biggest highlight of my athletic pursuits in 2013 was competing in the USAT Sprint Distance National Championships in Milwaukee, WI. This was only 9 days after my last radiation treatment.  I managed to finish the triathlon. In September, I started tennis lessons.  I officially became a weightlifter in October after competing in my first sanctioned Olympic weightlifting meet.

I am in the process of applying to graduate school to earn a PhD in nursing.  Also, I just recently joined the St. Marys Hospital Auxiliary to volunteer in hospitality. My athletic goals for 2014 include Med-City Marathon, Minnesota Cup weightlifting, CrossFit Open, Ironman 70.3 Muncie, IN, USAT National Championship, and in my dreams an Ironman Inspired Kona spot.  My main goal for 2014 is to stay healthy. Thanks to all those who helped me achieve my goals in 2013.

Best Wishes for a Happy and Healthy New Year,

~dmj

Below are images from 2013

FINISHED

FINISHED

I am wearing the red swim cap

Luther College Alumni Meet

Keeping a slow but steady pace

Keeping a slow but steady pace

Thanks Coach!

Thanks Coach!

Up, down, and around

Up, down, and around

TRI-UMPH

TRI-UMPH

rochester fest

Mom and I

My incision CDI.

My incision CDI.

MN Open snatch

MN Open snatch

The bell rung

The Bell

Ready for treatment

Radiation therapy

LC Alumni Soccer game

LC Alumni Soccer game

 

MP_challengeWLC Challenge results:
I am finally done with the Whole Life Challenge. Although, I would of placed higher if I would have logged my daily score more often and did not give up for two days. Also there were for days where I recorded my score and it did not register I probably should have had 40 more points. It was a good experience but I do not think I will do it again or do it but ignore the food. I can eat healthy but not clean. I workout, take fish oil, and stretch every day. The final workout might have been better if I did not have an infection. I felt like I was going to vomit at the end. Well the inches around my waist are the lowest since 2009 so I am doing something right. Lost over 7 inches total. I cannot contribute it all to It Works body wraps.

20 (65) Dawn Johnson   
CrossFit Progression 150 174 24 16% (1)            7.25 8% (4) 395 (30)

Led the gym in workout improvement. I was going to not do the workout because I thought I would score less than the pre challenge workout but I ended up scoring 24 reps more and probably could of had more without technical difficulties in my rowing machine.

New workout schedule:
I am working on a new 14 day workout schedule to accommodate my work hours and spring athletic goals.

Chemo on hold:
My chemo is on hold for a few weeks so I can have surgery to remove an infection in my jaw next to a tooth. I do not know how I got it nor does the Dr. because my tooth is completely intact and cavity free. The infection may have been introduced with flossing then combined with steroids and low normal blood counts increased where the bacteria is eating away my jaw. This came as a shocker because I went to the dentist for tooth pain that started to radiate to my ear three days prior.

Bumps in the road and life could be better; however, I have to remember to be thankful for what I have. The challenges in life make us stronger.

~dmj

My motto for the next 8 weeks

My motto for the next 8 weeks

Today I did the WOD for the next Whole Life Challenge. Tired after a night shift,  I went to CrossFit Progression at 10 AM to complete the WLC WOD. The WLC is a lifestyle game that requires one to eat clean, my healthy lifestyle choices including exercise. One records their score for the day on a point system. One loses points for eating unhealthy items not on the accepted list. One gets a point for exercise, mobility, supplement, and completing each healthy lifestyle activity. The final score is based on points, improvement in body measurements, and WOD score improvement. One competes against others in their box (gym) and ultimately against oneself.   For more info on the Whole Life Challenge go to https://www.wholelifechallenge.com/how_it_works

 

 

CrossFit Progression and Whole Life Challenge

CrossFit Progression and Whole Life Challenge

WLC WOD
10 minutes of
500 meter row
50 air squats (butt must touch med ball)
40 sit-ups (hands must touch heels)
30 walking lunges (knee must touch ground)
20 hand release push-ups (knee push-ups OK)
Row for calories to finish out 10 minutes (each calorie=1 rep)
My result=150

Next I went to the Rochester Athletic Club (RAC) and went 1x through my upper body strength circuit. Next I went to my first day of tennis lessons. I went with my $15 dollar racquet I got a few years ago at Wal-Mart. I found out that I was the only person in the class. Individual lessons-cool! The last time I played tennis was in one of my phy ed skills classes in college-a while ago. Learned forehand and backhand and how to put spin on the ball. The RAC is known for its tennis programs so I feel good about my choice. It was fun, but I still need a lot of work before I can play in a league.

My day ended as a soccer official (AR) for a girls varsity game. It was a good game to practice and improve my skills. Got a workout running up and down the sidelines. The hardest part of the game was driving the 20 miles back home in the dark, on a one lane highway, and with little sleep. It was, the longest I had driven since last December. Made it home safe. Do you think I slept well that night?

Snatch

Snatch

CA_accomplishment

Swimming

Swimming

I have new goals to work on through the first part of October.

October 5 is the Luther College Alumni Swim meet and new aquatic center dedication. I plan to focus on swimming to get ready for this meet and master swimming meets later in the year. Focus on backstroke and middle-distance freestyle. Starting masters practice in September. Still having problems with flip-turns after surgery since starting to swim again a few weeks ago, so I hope this resolves.

October 12 is the Minnesota Open Olympic Weightlifting Competition.  While my max is still at 85% of my PR’s and my PR’s are far below the competition in my weight division I am going to give the completion a try just for the experience. Unfortunately this competition is after I work a night shift. Going to start attending Olympic lifting classes again at my CrossFit gym and do lots of bar work. I have a good coach so I hope I make progress.

Also plan on participating in Whole Life Challenge. A wellness incentive program that focus on a Paleo diet, exercise, mobility, etc.

Since my energy is limited and recovery prolonged by chemo medications and not being allowed to take antioxidants.  I will have to devote my time to these to activities and only CrossFit 1-2 x/ week.

~dmj

 

what a pain!

What a pain!

This morning I woke up at 5 am with another awful headache but this time it was on the right side. I thought, did I overdo it yesterday? Took caffeine, decongestant, Tylenol, and Oxycodone nothing relieved it. Nausea and dry heaves were present. Ginger EO did only lessened them. I give up!
Went back to bed and that is where I remained the majority of the day except for the home improvement guy coming over. I thought he was coming over at 10 AM but he came at 9 AM to fix my storm door and roof. He found that my roof had a dip and I needed my frame repaired. He opened up my attic and it began to snow insulation. The contractors that had done my insulation had not placed boards and a tent over my attic door. More problems. Luckily the work has a warranty.  What a pain!
Trying to get my chemo medication is another pain. I spent over ½ hour on the phone trying to figure how much it will cost and how to get it. Finally I hung up because my headache was so bad. What a pain!
The headache just kept getting worse the only thing that made it better was my Young Living essential oil Deep Relief blend that I use on my sore spots after a workout. Maybe I had increased intracranial pressure (ICP). Maybe I needed steroids like Decadron. The pain was so bad I began crying after 1 hour of crying and no resolve. I had my mother call my NO my NO’s nurse told me to call the surgeon and the surgeon’s nurse told me to go to the ER. There was no way in hell that I was going to wait in the ER in this much pain. I’d rather die. I knew to get over this I had to sleep. So I took a concoction of medications, AdovCare Sleep works (includes melatonin and 5 HT-P), and rolled on some Young Living Ruta Vala blend which includes lavender. The rest is history. I woke up at 3 AM the next morning with only a slight headache.