Chronic EBV · Chronic Illnesses · Endometriosis · Fibromylagia · Hypothyroidism · May-Thurner Syndrome

Hearing the Words – “We’ve got to talk about this” – “it might be cancer”

This is going to be a health post, so if you’d rather not know, then skip on by.

I’ve been without a primary care since August, and as I started having an increase in symptoms after I got sick the end of November/beginning of December, I decided it was time to buckle down and really decide what I was going to do about my health. We were able to figure out a way to go see my original primary care, and it was 100% the right decision. Because I hadn’t had labs done since August, and I’ve had what has seemed to be thyroid issues which included difficult swallowing, we ran AAALLLL the labs, including trying to verify if I have Chronic EBV.

After a negative infection panel for H. Pylori, and a negative thyroid ultrasound, as in nothing showed up that explained my throat feeling like I have a constant lump in it, all that was left was to wait for the rest of the labs to get in. I got a call this morning from my very concerned doctor explaining to me that she needed me to get a ton more labs and she was putting in an ASAP order for a CT scan. Basically, my estrogen levels came back at a “this is usually only seen when the patient has cancer” high.

Today is my youngest’s 2nd birthday. This morning I woke up with memories of when he came screaming in to this world, 6 weeks early, in the wee hours of the morning 2 years ago. I was already a bit wibbly-wobbly just feeling those emotions and rerunning through my mind how I felt during the 4 hours it took from my water breaking to when they pulled him from me and not even remembering the glimpse we got of him. Then to get the news that I may have cancer, my entire day just collapsed. My oldest has had a fever the past two days, I have been feeling like shit, and even still, I packed up the boys into the car and rushed over to my doctor’s office to get the rest of those labs drawn so we can figure out what’s going on.

So here’s the details.

During a healthy woman’s cycle, starting on day 1, her estrogen and progesterone levels are supposed to be at their lowest. The hormone FH takes over to start prepping follicles to release an egg around day 16ish (depending on the length of the cycle). We decided to have my labs taken around the very beginning of my cycle to see where my hormone levels are at the very bottom. So when I got my labs back, I can certainly understand why my doctor was so worried. A normal healthy high estrogen level should only be around 200, usually less, and that’s roughly a handful of days before ovulation. At the beginning of a cycle, it should be at it’s lowest, anywhere from 15 and above.

My estrogen level, at the beginning of my cycle, was 778.

This is not normal.

This is a scary dangerously high number.

My body is very sick and because of having so much estrogen wrecking havoc on my body, I am barely functioning right now. This is the reason why she sent me in for a “Stat” CT scan. We had to rule out the worst outcome before digging more to see what else is going on. The worst outcome here being CANCER.

The other thing my labs showed is that I certainly do have Chronic EBV. And despite the fact that I’m not technically sick, as in I don’t have a cold or strep throat again, my EBV is highly activated and that’s also causing me to feel extremely worn out. Imagine, if you’ve ever had Mono, feeling like that every day and never really getting better.

Thankfully my spouse was able to come home quickly, especially since my oldest got car sick and threw up all over himself and the back seat of my car! Poor kiddo, he was so miserable. I headed to the CT scan and was grateful to have a very kind and sweet lab tech who ran my scan. It helped kind of take my mind off of the possibilities of what this scan was going to show.

Once I got home, I began the 4 hour wait till my doctor called with the preliminary results. The CT was negative for growths or tumors, but I do have another 5cm cyst on my left ovary…which btw, is my ONLY ovary. There is a spot on my liver that is most likely benign, but I will be having a MRI to confirm that. Something else was spotted and this is actually kind of big. Turns out I was born with a condition called May-Thurner syndrome. Basically means that my left iliac vein is being compressed by my right iliac artery. This syndrome doesn’t usually cause symptoms or issues, but due to my many health issues, I am definitely at a higher risk for having blood clots in my left leg. And because of the inflammatory nature of and combined with my endometriosis, the MTS is causing a lot of pelvic congestion and is why my abdomen often feels like it’s full of fluid and it’s all inflamed inside.

Yes, I am relieved, as of right now, I do not have cancer. But I am wiped out. I am exhausted and if I could feel anything right now, I would be really frustrated that it seems like all of the work I’ve done specifically the past 6 months has made no difference on my estrogen dominance. It’s just…wearying. I definitely broke down in tears at multiple points today because I am just so tired. I am grateful to have a doctor who is bending over backwards with me to try to figure out why I’m so sick. It is reassuring in a weird and twisted way to have such blatantly bad lab results. It’s reassuring because it’s a physical sign and actual proof that something is wrong with me. It’s not just all in my head like my parents tried to tell me. It’s not just something I’m making up. No, it’s real, and I am fighting for even just a shred of normal functioning.

I’m almost 28 years old. And I am not willing to go through again everything I did 1 year ago that resulted in 2 surgeries in less than 6 months. I am in a much better place mentally and physically, even though I had such a massively panicky scare today, I am not going down that path. I have a doctor who is working so hard to make sure I don’t get even more sick and she’s willing to think not only outside the box, but treats me as an equal member of this team and takes my own research seriously. These are things I have to remind myself because it’s easy to get sucked down into this deep dark pit of “will this ever end? will I ever feel normal?”

I had to write everything down while it was fresh in my mind because this day was a day that if the C-PTSD part of my brain takes over, I am going to forget what happened.

All Things Beauty · Fashion · Products · That Curvy Girl

Let’s Talk Jeans! – Short & Curvy Edition

wearing the only pair of jeans that fit right now – that are also falling apart

Happy New Year!

Yeah I know we are already almost halfway through January, but as usual, the beginning of the year was crazy again this year. This year was stubborn colds not wanting to leave the house, and then my oldest going back to school, and of course, me trying to keep up with work.

I actually wrote a “Let’s Talk Jeans” post back in September, but every single one of the pair of jeans I talked about in that post I have gotten rid of due to not fitting anymore! And I have some other recommendations now.

Over the course of the past 6 months, I’ve lost some weight. Mainly due to cutting significantly inflammatory foods out of my way of eating, and then actually staying away from the foods that do make me sick. I am proud of myself for sticking with this way of eating as I am feeling less sick all the time. But I strongly dislike talking about weightloss, it is sticky topic. And I don’t want to say that the ultimate goal of cutting out foods is to lose weight, because it isn’t, but I want to be proud of actually losing weight with all of my health issues? I don’t know, it’s a push and pull subject for me.

Anyway! Due to having lost weight, none of my jeans fit. Like none. Pulling my belt as tight as it could go didn’t even help! My pants were falling off of me, and I ended up getting rid of close to 8 pairs of jeans (all thrift store finds over the past two years). I have been dreading this moment. The last time I had to go jean shopping, I gave up after trying on just a few pairs as nothing fit or felt right. As I prepped for the dreaded jean shopping, I happened across this incredible YouTube video!

Seriously. Stop reading this post and go watch it!! I discovered that I had subconsciously already doing almost all of her tricks for getting a pair of jeans to fit correctly. But watching this video helped pinpoint and gave me a solid starting place with looking for new jeans. I also knew about watching back pocket spacing, but the biggest lightbulb moment was the length of the zipper in comparison to the crotch seams. Here’s a picture of what I mean.

This is a good example of something that WOULD NOT look good on me. See how long the distance is between the end of the zipper and the inseam? That long distance means that that area has no support and on me, it starts bunching up and horizontally creasing and honestly gets really uncomfortable. Keeping this in mind, I purposefully picked jeans out in the stores this morning that had about 1 1/2″ to 2″ gap between the end of the zipper and the inseam.

Here’s an example of a better gap between zipper and inseam. I actually ordered the jeans in the picture above, so we’ll see if the gap is small enough when I actually can try them on!

Okay, now, back pockets. Basically, long story short, you want the back pockets of your jeans to sit evenly on your butt. I’d say you don’t want more than like a 4 finger wide distance between the pockets in the middle. Otherwise, the further apart the pockets get, the flatter and wider your rear end will look.

Moving on to the jeans I tried on this morning. Over all, I tried on 13 pairs of jeans. I tried on mainly short jeans (jeans that specifically said they were a short style) and I went to four different stores.

  • American Eagle
  • Lucky Brand Jeans
  • Banana Republic
  • Target

The average price tag of the 13 jeans was $44. Target’s brand Universal Threads was the cheapest with an average of $26 per pair of jeans, and Lucky Brand was the most expensive with their jeans (when full priced) ranging about $110. I’m going to start in the middle though with American Eagle.

American Eagle

I gotta say I really appreciate the new sizing and lengths that AE now offers with their jeans. They even offer an x-short length now, which hits my ankles PERFECTLY. I did not get pictures of the first two pairs of jeans I had ordered from AE, but I did get pictures of the last two pairs I tried on.

I’m not only short (5’1″) I am also very short waisted, which means high-rise jeans are either actual high rise jeans, or they are up to my rib-cage. That means I have to look for mid-rise or low-rise jeans if I want a high-rise appearance. Which, given my body shape, a high-rise look is actually what looks best. I am half in between pear shaped and hourglass, so high-rise helps bring in my waist shape and defines my curves. The first two jeans I tried on from AE were their new super high-rise jeans. I literally felt like the jeans were up to my armpits. And, with those high-rise jeans, the gap between bottom of the zipper and inseam was quite wide. I felt like I couldn’t pull the jeans up high enough to stop the horizontal bunching across the top of my thighs. That also meant I felt really claustrophobic with how high the waistband was getting.

Needless to say, I returned both those pairs. They were both super high-rise jeans, just different styles. Since I got a little bit of time out by myself this morning, I returned to AE and actually pulled a few pairs of jeans off the shelves and looked at that gap in person to see whether they’d fit me or not. I tell you what, seeing how wide that gap is between zipper and inseam will save you a lot of time with trying on jeans!

Now, in store I grabbed a mid-rise jegging and an actual low-rise jegging. I didn’t realize the darker pair was low-rise until after I tried them. Surprise surprise, the low-rise jegging fit incredibly well. As you can see from the pictures below

AE Ne(X)t Level Jegging, Midnight Blue – size 8 short – $49.95

Sorry for how bad the lighting is! This pair is a size 8 short for reference. I really liked how the jeans fell right at my ankles and there was no bunching or creasing across the top of my thighs. The zipper ended in a really spot, and while I would prefer to have the pockets a tad bit closer together in the back, the pockets weren’t too bad either.

AE Ne(X)t Level 360 High-Waisted Jegging, Darkest Dazzler – size 8 short – $49.95

The gap between bottom of the zipper and inseam wasn’t *terrible* in this pair, but it was just pushing that comfort zone and was starting to create creasing across my thighs and I felt like I couldn’t pull the jeans up enough. Again, the pocket spacing is pretty decent so no complaints there!

The first pair of jeans above is one of the two pairs that really fit well. I am going to wait until they go on sale though before buying them! But it was nice to know I have a solid option for a well fitting pair of jeans there.

I next walked in to Gap but after looking at all of their jeans, I didn’t see a single pair I felt like would fit right and I wanted to try on. Every single pair had a rather short zipper and an even wider gap between end of the zipper and inseam. Since it’s been snowing here, that meant I didn’t have to take off my thick socks and snow boots again to try on a pair of pants.

Next store was Lucky Brand Jeans. A friend had recommended them, and as I have never tried any of that brand’s jeans on, I figured now would be a good time to do so.

Lucky Brand Jeans

I had already looked around online at Lucky Brand’s jeans and felt a bit optimistic that their jeans might actually fit right. The first thing I saw when walking in to that store was that the jeans were on sale for $50. As that was about my budget, I was really quite interested now to try on a few pairs. After the experience I had just had with American Eagle, I went straight to the low-rise jeans. And I’m glad I did. I tried on three pairs; two Stella Skinnies, and one Lollita Crop.

Stella Low Rise Skinny Jean, size 8/29 – $50 (at time of posting!)

I was quite happy when I pulled the first pair on. The only two small things I didn’t like was that they were a little long and the material had that slightly itchy brand new denim feeling. And the zipper ended in a good spot too. I always have to wear a belt with any pair of jeans I wear, no matter how well they fit or don’t. These jeans definitely needed a belt, but overall I was impressed with how well they fit. I didn’t like them quite as much as the AE jeggings, but they were a close second. And back pocket spacing? Very happy with that.

Stella Low Rise Skinny Jean, Twilight Blue, size 8/29 – $50 (at time of posting!)

Now these were the jeans I ended up buying. Hit at the right spot on my ankles, felt well fitted and supportive (thanks Endometriosis swelling) around my abdomen and there wasn’t any creasing or bunching at the top of my thighs. I especially like the pretty consistent over all dark coloring. I prefer dark jeans, especially since they give the illusion of lengthening my legs! Oh, and there was absolutely no gaping at the back of the waistband either.

The pair of Lollita crops I tried on weren’t even worth taking a picture of. The ankles were too wide, it felt like I would have to continually be pulling the jeans up just so they would sit in the right spot….and they weren’t on sale.

Banana Republic

The next store I stopped in was Banana Republic. Quite a posh looking store inside, but I found a table of 60% jeans, and grabbed two pairs and headed back to try them on. The material didn’t feel terrible, but compared to the Lucky Brand jeans I had just tried on, it felt cheap.

As I don’t remember the names of these jeans or the prices, I won’t even link to them. I felt like it wasn’t worth it because they did not fit very well. I honestly didn’t mind the rear of either pair of jeans. The back fit well, the legs and length was okay, but the crotch area – absolute no. This is a good example of the zipper being *ALMOST* long enough, but it was just short enough that it started creasing and bunching in as soon as I put them on. Both pairs had the same issue. Besides, I wasn’t quite sure I wanted to buy anything from Banana Republic…that store had a really weird energy.

Just a note, no matter how pushy or in your face a sales associate gets, please remember you have absolute control over whether you like what you’re trying on or not! I had multiple sales people trying to push the jeans on me that I was trying on today. The banana republic gal was really pushy and tried to get me to try on their other jeans. I politely declined because I had already looked at them and saw the zippers were the same length and I knew it wouldn’t fit right.

Target’s Universal Threads

Alright, I saved Target for last. I tried on 4 different pairs of their Universal Thread’s brand jeans. I have not bought a pair of their jeans, but their jeggings are close to the top of my “these fit good” list. I tried a pair of Curvy Skinny, High-Rise Skinny, Mid-Rise Skinny, and Mid-Rise Jeggings. I need to go back to my local Target, because there was a pair I had tried on a few weeks ago that fit really well, but I didn’t find those today.

(Similar Jeans) Women’s Mid-Rise Curvy Skinny Jeans – Universal ThreadTM Dark Wash – size 8/29 short – $24.99

I tried the Curvy Skinny on first, and it didn’t feel right. Lots of bunching around the pocket area, and horizontal creasing across the bottom of the zipper. I’m not entirely pleased with the spacing of Universal Thread’s back pockets on their jeans, but again, it isn’t terrible! I think these jeans would work for someone who was more curvy and I would recommend, if it’s possible, to size down for the jeans to fit okay.

Women’s High-Rise Skinny Jeans – Universal ThreadTM Dark Wash – size 8 short – $27.99

okay, I should have known by now, but I simply cannot do high-rise jeans! Once again, I had a bunch of creasing across the top of my thighs and it felt like I couldn’t pull them up high enough. I think if you were a little taller, these would work well. I liked the fit otherwise!

Women’s Mid-Rise Skinny Jeans – Universal Thread™ Dark Wash – size 8 short – $24.99

Mid-rise was a lot better in regards to the horizontal creasing across the top of my thighs. Still not absolutely great, but just about wearable! The length was perfect, and I really liked the softer material of these jeans. The spacing of the back pockets was really nice too.

Women’s Mid-Rise Jeggings – Universal Thread™ Dark Wash – size 8 – $24.99

These ones definitely fit the best out of the four I tried on at Target. Still a bit of horizontal creasing, but I’m willing to bet if I had tried on a low-rise jegging, it would have fit perfectly!

So it was a successful day, despite the dreaded business of trying to find jeans that fit my short curvy figure! I hope this post helps and gives you a starting place for finding jeans that fit your own body well!

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