Matcha Matcha Matcha

Back in June i said i was going to go on the hunt for matcha.Well i did not right away like i intended but better late then never!

A few weeks ago i went into a local tea shop (Davids Tea) for the first time ever.The staff was so amazing!!I have never had such good customer service in my life.The energy in the store was good and upbeat.It was quite busy but i was taken care of right away which is definite points for me.They let me sample a few teas including the matcha.I have had green tea before so it wasnt a completely new taste,it was delisious.I was ready right then and there to buy my matcha!!!I was a little hesitant though because the matcha set (the bowl to mix,measuring spoon and bamboo whisk) was out of my price range for something i was new too.I asked the sales associate if a metal whisk would work the same way and that the matcha set was a little much for me at the moment.She did not know the answer but didn’t brush me off.She called one of her colleagues over (i think possibly the manager) and he was able to tell me why the bamboo would be better.Then he took one off of the shelve and asked if i was done my shopping.I said yes and he followed me to the register and handed the cashier the matcha set and told her to give it to me complementary.What a kind thing to do and you dont see stores do that for a product that costs more than the one you are purchasing.I will definitely be frequenting the store often.

That day i made my first cup of matcha and have been drinking a cup of it everyday.One cup of matcha is equivalent to 10 cups of green tea!!!I used to drink coffee for the caffine to keep me alert and awake.Big mistake i should of been drinking matcha all along.I get the clear alert and awake feeling prolonged over the day and i no longer get the caffine/sugar crash!Matcha boosts your matabolisim and burns calories.I find that i have so much more energy through out the day when i drink a cup in the morning.Which definitely helps when running after a rambuncious toddler all day.I am definitely going to continue into my matcha journey.I am at the stage where i am trying to have a healthier lifestyle and matcha is a great addition to the other things that i am doing to reach the goals that i want to.

Below is a link with great information about Matcha and all its benefits!


The road less traveled (My BRCA journey)

Sometimes people ask me where my journey began and to be honest I can’t really pinpoint exactly when that was. But when I give it some thought my journey very closely intertwines with my Mom’s journey.1998 was going to be a great year I was starting my last year of middle school and I couldn’t be more thrilled. I didn’t really fit in during middle school and was looking forward to finishing up and moving on to high school where I vowed to reinvent myself (looking back on that now it seems kind of funny to me) About  week or so into the school year I was told that my Mom had been diagnosed with stage 4 ovarian cancer. I really didn’t know what to think because the only thing I had heard about cancer up to that point was that people die from it. Panic and fear set in pretty quickly and I made regular visits to the guidance counsellors office. Having come from a pretty dysfunctional  family, my Mom was the one who held us together she was the glue of the family. When I look back on the time my Mom was sick now the four years kind of all just blur together for me. She spent most of that time in the hospital. Emotionally I was a mess trying to deal with becoming a teenager and also having to deal with watching my usual energetic  Mom go through so much pain. She went through surgery and chemotherapy .When that wasn’t working  she was sent to Grand Forks, ND  from our hometown in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada f or radiation treatment as the waitlist for radiation here was so long and the Dr’s knew that she didn’t have that kind of time. I tried to do normal things like have a part time job, go to school and spend time with friends but it was a lot to handle for me. I still don’t know why I did it that way .I suppose I was trying to maintain some normalcy because I had now become the girl who had a sick mom (my peers were not very nice to me)In the last year of my Mom’s life she was moved up to palliative care at the hospital that she once worked at and had now been a patient at for quite some time. I got to spend a lot of quality time with my Mom that last year and learnt a lot about her. We had a so much fun that year.I would spend the night in her room with her and I’d paint her nails and we’d watch girly movies and talk until we both fell asleep.She had her 39th birthday in the hospital and had her make up done and we had a little party for her with family and some of her friends from church.Shortly after her birthday she started hallucinating and was not herself as much.The Dr said it was because the cancer was now spread to her brain.She had told me so many times since she got sick that the only thing that kept her fighting was my brother and I.But the cancer had taken over she couldn’t  fight anymore.She soon slipped into coma.We would sit with her and talk to her and deep down I knew she could hear us even when the doctors said they weren’t sure she could.On June 14th we had been visiting with her and something came over me where I really felt the need to be alone with her.I asked my family to leave the room so I could have some time with her.I sat at her bedside holding her hand (I remember she always had the nicest,softest hands) I told her how much I loved her and that she was such a strong person.I told her that she could let go now she didn’t have to fight anymore.We would be okay.For the first time in a week or so she opened her eyes just slightly and said I love you too and closed them again.June 15th my brother and I woke up in the morning to the phone ringing.It was my Grandmother calling us to wake us up for school.She had said my Dad went to the hospital in the middle of the night.I later found out the doctors had called him saying that my Mom was having a very hard time breathing.I really didn’t want to go to school that day but I did.Just before lunch time was to start I got called to the office.The principal told me that my youth leaders from chuch would be coming to pick me up to take me to the hospital and to wait at the front of the school.I don’t think I was waiting long but it felt like an eternity till my friends had gotten there.Not too long after I arrived at the hospital my Mom took her last breath.

The three or so years after my Mom had passed I became a total mess.I rebelled and did things I never thought I would do. I didn’t want to deal with the emotions and everything surrounding my Moms death.And my family had fallen apart at the seams.I didn’t really begin to cope with her death until I got into a relationship with someone that I felt I could trust completely, and let my guard down with.Shortly after that relationship ended at the age of 24 I learnt my BRCA 1 positive status. At the time I had no idea what BRCA was or how having a BRCA mutation would affect my life. I always had the thought of when I am diagnosed with cancer not if because I knew that there was a strong family history of it on my Moms side of the family. When I received a call out of no where from a genetic counselor who explained that my Mom  had asked her to locate my brother and I so that we could be tested I almost felt relieved. When I met with her she told me about FORCE. I decided to test that day. I then went home and read through the message boards  and other information on FORCE.I think learning as much as I could about the gene became an obsession. In 2009 I decided with the help of a counselor through the breast health center that I would have a prophylactic bilateral mastectomy with DIEP reconstruction. I saw a few different breast surgeons before I found the right fit for me and had chosen my plastic surgeon after researching about 10 or so.While waiting for my surgery date I was constantly trying to process what was about to happen.I never doubted my decision to have surgery.But there were a lot of emotions that came up while preparing myself mentally for the surgery.I had  lot of anger come up that I didn’t even realize that I had.Not anger towards a person but anger towards cancer and all it had done to my life.I saw the councellor at the breast health center frequently and we worked through all the different emotions that were coming up.I began to detach myself from my breasts which were one of the few parts of my body that I was actually comfortable with.I didn’t have a large support system at the time.There were some people that were very supportive of why  was having surgery and some that thought it was a pretty drastic decision to remove my healthy breasts and go through all that recovery and future surgery.I had surgery in June of that year and it was very sentimental to me that I was having surgery in the same month that my Mom passed. I decided that I did not want any one to come into the hospital with me. I felt like I needed to conquer this on my own. As I walked into the hospital there was that brief moment of fear where something told me to run out of the hospital. I am so glad I didn’t give into that fear. I had some complications with an abscess that needed to be drained and some of the stitches not taking. The complications seem minor though in comparison to the high risk that I had. In 2010 I was due to have revision surgery and nipple reconstruction. However I became pregnant and postponed it. Shortly after my sons 1st birthday I underwent revisions and nipple reconstruction. It’s been about five and a half months since that surgery and I am slowly healing. It is much harder to recover when you are running after an active toddler all of the time. I have been having some issues with the nerves on my sides since revision surgery. My plastics doctor says it is because the nerves are trying to regenerate themselves and suffering from fibromyalgia it makes the pain worse. But I am pushing through because if my Mom could fight as hard as she did through all she went through I can fight through this to prevent having to fight through that. My plan for the near future is to continue to go for CA-125 tests as a type of surveillance and staying on top of what is going on in my body. I know that there is no real screening for ovarian cancer. That is why my Mom wasn’t diagnosed until it was too late. There are so many other things that have the same symptoms that we pass them off as something else not knowing. I do plan on having an oophorectomy in my early thirties once I know for sure that I am done having children. In the past year or so I have been blessed to get to know some amazing people through the facebook group Beyond the pink moon. We are all one big family and I’m so blessed for all the love and support. It is nice knowing there are people that can relate to the things that I am going through.

My hope in writing my story and sharing it publicly is that it can help someone who may be going through something similar.And that it can raise awareness of hereditary breast and ovarian cancer.

My Mom Julie Anne to this day is still the strongest,bravest,kindest ,loving and selfless woman i have ever met in my entire life and am so blessed to have had her as my Mother.

(This photo was taken on her 39th Birthday only a few short weeksbefore her passing and she still had a smile on her face)


Matcha Madness!!!

So my dear friend Nicki loves her matcha…she drinks it daily.She has been telling us girls how amazing it is for sometime now.And we all know how much she loves her matcha to start out her day.Now i haven’t tried it yet but after reading all the great benefits its definitely on my shopping list!!

For those who dont know matcha is made from the whole leaf of green tea.High in antioxidants and Dr. Kristi Funk says 3 cups of green tea a day can reduce breast cancer risk by 50% (yes i stole that part from Nicki lol)

So tomorrow i will go on an adventure to find matcha green tea powder and with drinks that look like this how can i not try!!!


You never know where you’ll have an impact on someone…

We all have moments in our lives that inspire us.Everyday we go out into the world going about our daily lives encountering strangers,old friends etc.You never know who you might inspire even without knowing it!

Many people including myself use art to express themselves.A form of art that i choose to express myself with is tattoos.I have two tattoo’s both that have very special meaning to me. The one in this story is on the top of my left foot and it reads in script the word faith. I got this tattoo roughly 5 years ago.I was going through a really tough time having lost my Mom to cancer a few years before and was dealing with a lot of stuff personally.One day that was particularly tough i remembered my Mom telling me time and time again that as long as you have faith you can make it through anything.I truly believe that her faith is what helped her face her cancer so positively.So i decided to get the word faith,i chose to put it on top of my foot because when you down let’s face it you tend to look at the ground.

One day a few months ago i was on the transit headed to my friends house.Because i was wearing flip flops my tattoo was clearly visible. A man probably in his mid 40’s got on bus about 10 minutes into my ride and sat across from me.I noticed that he kept on looking at me.At first i was a little uneasy about it.I was in an area of town where a lot of homeless and drunk people spend their time.And he looked a little disheveled.And then he said “why did you get the word faith” I told my story to him and then got off the bus.About a month later i was on a different transit route during rush hour going home from work and the man gets on the bus.I remembered his face only vaguely but hadn’t forgotten the man on the bus that had asked me about my tattoo the month before.Again he looks at me and says faith….as i gave him a quizzical look he says “your tattoo not your name” He then explained to me that when he had seen me the first time he was in very low place in his life,that he didn’t think that things would get better and was even contemplating suicide.And that after i had explained the meaning of my tattoo he realized that maybe if he had faith that everything would work out.And that now things were getting better.He then thanked me and got off the bus with a smile on his face.

You never know when you will have an impact on someone’s life.I learnt that day to not judge so quickly.Outward appearance is only one part of a person.