Wednesday, October 22, 2014

A Little Soap Box

I just have to get something off of my chest. It's been eating at me for approximately 22 days, so it's about time I let 'er rip.

In the United States, October is breast cancer awareness month. Because of this, throughout the entire month we see pink everywhere, and we are constantly being bombarded with information about breast cancer and breast cancer prevention.

Billboards, commercials, snack wrappers, sports teams, media coverage...I dare you to wake up tomorrow and count how many things you see throughout the day that have to do with breast cancer awareness. My guess is that it will take at least 2 hands to count that high.

This is in no way a bad thing. It's a wonderful thing! I know so many families who have been affected by that horrible, horrible disease, and I feel that prevention and early detection are key.

However - and this is in no way meant to discredit the legitimacy of how awful breast cancer is - why don't other types of cancers get this much coverage? What about ovarian cancer? Leukemia? Uterine cancer? Lung cancer? Prostate cancer? Childhood cancer.

Breast cancer is, far and away, the most commonly diagnosed cancer among women in the US. In 2013 alone there were 232,340 documented cases of breast cancer. For men, the most commonly diagnosed cancer was prostate cancer at 238,590 documented cases. Over 6,000 more cases, yet I hardly ever hear anything about prostate cancer awareness and prevention.

When branched into different categories, (oral, respiratory, brain, lymphoma, leukemia, etc.), I bet you'd never guess which branch of cancer has the highest amount of cases.

Digestive. Yep, digestive comes in first at a whopping 290,200 cases in 2013 alone. Yet we hardly hear a peep about that.

But enough with the facts and statistics.

What I'm trying to say is that all cancer is terrible. There isn't one type of cancer that is more devastating than another. All cancer is heartbreaking and agonizing for everyone involved. And if you feel like you should donate to a foundation like the Komen foundation, or one like it, please do so. Cancer research needs all the funding it can get. But please find a foundation that actually donates its profits to cancer research. Do your own research. Find a cause that inspires you, and do something to help.



But I do feel obliged to tell you a couple more interesting statistics: In 2013, $559.2 million dollars were spent in breast cancer research. The next highest was lung cancer research with $285.9 million dollars. That's a gap of $273.3 million dollars. Just some food for thought.

I'll just leave you one more thing...do with this information what you will:

January -
          Cervical Cancer Awareness
February -
          National Cancer Prevention Month
          Gallbladder and Bile Duct Cancer Awareness
March -
          Colorectal Cancer Awareness
          Kidney Cancer Awareness
          Multiple Myeloma Awareness 
April -
          Testicular Cancer Awareness
          Esophageal Cancer Awareness 
          Head and Neck Cancer Awareness
May -
          Melanoma and Skin Cancer Awareness
          Brain Cancer Awareness
June -
          National Cancer Survivor Month
July -
          Sarcoma Awareness
          Bladder Cancer Awareness
August -
September -
          Childhood Cancer Awareness
          Gynecological Cancer Awareness
          Leukemia/Lymphoma Awareness
          Ovarian Cancer Awareness
          Prostate Cancer Awareness
          Thyroid Cancer Awareness
October -
          Breast Cancer Awareness
          Liver Cancer Awareness
November -
          Pancreatic Cancer Awareness
          Lung Cancer Awareness (white)
          Stomach Cancer Awareness
          Carcinoid Cancer Awareness (zebra striped)
          Caregivers Month
December -

**all statistics found on wwww.cancer.org, www.cancer.gov, www.choosehope.com
       

Sunday, July 13, 2014

The Black List

Depression hurts...

Depakote
Celexa
Lexapro
Prozac
Cymbalta
Effexor
Wellbutrin
BuSpar
Pristiq

can help.

Thursday, June 26, 2014

In a {Jessie Clark} Funk

I'm in a slump. A funk. A poopy place. Life seems to be all over the place lately. One hour I'm up, the next I'm in the pits. And guys - it's realz annoying.

I had a[nother] medication change a few weeks ago. Things were super awesome at first and I was like "Yay! This is totes gonna work and I'm gonna be healed!" but then a couple of weeks later the meds were like "So you think this is perfect, huh? Well I'm gonna make it so you can't poop ever! And then in a couple more weeks I'll make it so the depression and anxiety come right back again!" 

So that's cool. But it's not. I'm just trying to ride it out because I don't want to have to do another medication change. And, to be quite frank, I've tried pretty much everything there is to try and I'm nervous that...I dunno, maybe the doctor will be like, "You've tried everything, sorry. You're a lost cause. Good luck and don't let the door hit ya on the way out". (I'm super into fake quotations today).

But really it's just getting bad. I've had a couple of days that I've been so awful that I had to call in sick to work (and I LOVE where I work), and there have been days where staying in bed is more appealing than anything in the whole world. It's just a shitty place to be. But who knows - in an hour I'll probably be super happy and thrilled with my life. (But I still won't be able to do a #2...that's a guarantee). And I have 2 weeks until my next appointment. Oy vey. (I told Rich that if I die from being this backed up, he isn't allowed to tell people that I died from literally being full of shit...sorry for all the swearing, mom).

I mentioned work. I started serving at a restaurant a couple months ago and I really like it. I mean, I definitely have to work for my money (the $2.13 an hour doesn't quite pay the bills), but the management and my co-workers are wonderful and I'm totally obsessed with the food. When I first started working there, I got to serve {Utah celebrity} Jessie Clark Funk. She's an LDS singer, and my mom is absolutely in love with her. So of course I got start struck, and of course my boss came out - while I was there - to tell her what a lovely voice I have and that I was thrilled to be meeting her...and I was so embarrassed. I don't really get embarrassed....but I was embarrassed. Anyway...she was super sweet and asked me tons of questions about myself and what I wanted to do with my future, and she even gave me her autograph with a little note that said, "GO TO NYC!". So, guys, JCF wants me to move there when I graduate, and I wouldn't want to disappoint her.
Took this pic for Rich, hence the "I love you," but here's me and my messy bathroom in my work clothes

A bit of exciting news: this upcoming November I have the opportunity to play the role of Vivian Bearing in the play Wit by Margaret Edson at Weber State. I'm thrilled, excited, humbled, terrified, grateful, and so many other emotions all rolled into one. The character I play is a cancer patient in her last few hours of life. Hits close to home, no? It's going to be so emotional and, I'm sure, overwhelming at times, but I am so excited. So, yes, I will be shaving my head. It's just hair...it grows back. When most/everyone hears this they always ask, "Can't you just wear a bald cap?" ...No! First of all, that would be so insulting to anyone who has ever lost their hair during any kind of cancer treatment, and second, how could I ever hope to connect to a character that I wasn't willing to fully invest myself in? Anyway...I digress. So, yes, I will be shaving my head. And my mom is sad about it, but only because she knows how hard it can be to have no hair, and that it's emotional. I know I'll cry. But I already chopped my hair off! I decided that it will probably be easier if I go in stages. So here is stage one!
"At least you can wear halters. I have man shoulders..."


I really love it! At first I was totally freaked out, but now it already feels kind of long. The only downside so far is that if I'm having a bad hair day there's really no way to hide it...I'm not really a hat kinda person.

There's another bit of ... ehem ... shocking news that comes with my role in Wit. There may be a scene where you'll see me ... au naturale ... if you catch my drift. That's the part that freaks people out even more. Yes, there is a small nude scene. And it's incredibly beautiful and spiritual and lovely, and I truly hope that that doesn't turn any of you away. But here's the point I'm getting to: an entire audience of people is going to see A L L of me...and I can't seem to get my butt to the gym. Guys, it's a real problem. No, I don't feel like I'm a whale, but I absolutely should be working out and I can't find the motivation ANYWHERE. I'm being completely serious when I ask for help from all of you. Tips, secrets, motivations, accountability...please help a sister out. I'm desperate and I'm getting to crunch time and I just NEED YOUR HELP, OKAY?! (Not yelling at you...just hyperventilating).

Doesn't that look so much better than healthy food?! PS...started eating meat again. I regret nothing.


Monday, April 21, 2014

Spring Semester 2014

I now offer you a glimpse of my life for the past 4 months*!
*a giant picture dump

Here are some of the gems that Spring Semester of 2014 have brought into my life:
Our newest little niece came home from the hospital!

Associated Actors & Technicians (AAT) Opening Social!

Bestie Tanner & I love our sweaters

I styled many wigs

Besties Tay and and Seanie got married, and we got to watch it on TV!

I fell even more in love with this crazy dude

I still swoon over my man in uniform

The Bus ride to LA was soothed with some cheetos puffs

We shared the front seat because we're besties (and we get car sick)

Also shared the bus with Professor Quirrel!

Our hotel was glam

Starbucks everyday with Kaylee is what I want for the rest of my life

Loved taking a vacay with such dear friends

Austin and I loved some late night LA grilled cheese

Statler and Waldorf were at it again. This time for the remount of "The Plain Princess" for KCACTF

We met up with Tay's new sissy-in-law

LA taught us what fashion is 
I was so sad to be away from hubs during Valentine's, but then these beaut's showed up in my room!

Spent a lot of time with these love birds

Pretended I was married to Tan

Found the worlds coolest bookstore

Lucy finally likes Richard

Fire alarm at school that kept us locked out in the cold for 2 hours

Flo turned 21, and good times were had

"I'm a big girl. I can tie my own sandals and everything."

Crew for "Picnic at Hanging Rock" was a blast

On-site filming for "Mockingbird" was so cool!

He is hot.

"Picnic..." wardrobe/hair & makeup crew

Spent looooots of time at the gym

Found this gem, circa 1992

I made this 

Ruby braided my hair for the first time

Mom found this. She's stunning!

Ellie turned one, and decided she aspires to be a parrot

"Mockingbird" came and went too fast. I love these people and that experience more than words. 
Camrey became a giant star

Amelia + Shawnee = BFFLAE. Don't know what I'd do without this lady.

I HELD A SNAKE!

Mom and Dad moved, and they love their new place. And mom's hair is growing in so cute!

I sang at an event, and this wonderful man came to support me

I had the privilege of singing with these amazing talents all in the name of love

Mom and Jason also came to support, and it meant the world

I received a very, very generous scholarship, and was too shocked and overwhelmed for words

The director of my program at Weber, Jim. Tracy slipped out before I could get a picture with her! 

John is retiring, and we are all so sad. We will miss him!

We love our Knuth-Bishops so much!
Pictured above: Shawnee and her 3 husbands

My best friend sang, and even the angels were jealous

Best Friends


Easter egg hunt with my faves
It's been a busy, but amazing few months. Finals week is just beginning, and summer semester will be starting before I know it. I'm so grateful for the experiences I've been able to have, and the lessons that have been learned. I'm so blessed to be where I am, surrounded by the most wonderful and inspiring people every single day.

Life is a roller coaster, but I love a good adventure.