Meet the Bloggers
Name: Cheryl Jean
Born in Port Huron, Mi;
raised in Jackson, Ca;
Current home is Santa Margarita, CA
Who is in your support system:
My family which consists of:
Alex (see the picture) and our 2 dogs, Maci & Jack.
My two sisters: Sarah and Eryn by my mom, Nancy, and dad, Tom.
I have two incredible living grandparents (Nana aka Lois or Toot; Papa aka Blaine or Mr. Safety)
My Papa (Bill) who we just lost 2 years ago but was incredible support prior to that.
My niece and nephew don’t know it yet, but they have brought me some of the brightest moments throughout these last few years.
I have several incredible aunts, uncles, and cousins and extended family.
I also have an incredible network of friends that have become my family and are incredibly supportive.
Where’d you grow up and what was your upbringing like?
I grew up in a small town in northern California. We were raised with midwestern values. We kept incredibly busy with sports, school, work, social activities. My mom stayed home with us until we were junior high age and then she took a position at the school district so she would have our summers and breaks off with us. Once we were in high school, so was she, literally, she took a job in the office at the high school so she was very much a part of our everyday life. My dad worked hard but still was there for all of our games and many practices, and really any important event. Once we were old enough to work we took jobs in addition to our other extracurricular activities and learned from a young age the value of a dollar, time management, and hard work. My grades were always good but never great. I was a big fish in a small pond. My family was not perfect but they were always supportive and perfect for me. I wouldn’t trade my upbringing for anything. I love that I am a small town girl.
3 random facts about yourself:
- I swallow my gum and hold in my sneezes – Alex will tell you this is why I have Kidney Disease.
- I am so proud of my middle name (name sake of my Nana: Lois Jean, my Aunt Jean Marie, and now my niece is Vivienne Jean)
- I was born in Michigan but never have lived there.
Triathlons (swim, bike, run) and many other forms of exercise, dog lover (maybe obsessor would be a better word for it), wine lover. I also enjoy reading, although the longest thing I’ve read lately has been a Real Simple magazine. I have recently taken up some wood working.
3 things that define you (outside your diagnosis):
- Dog mom
- Outgoing and Bossy.
D Day (the date that everything changed):
June 4, 2013
Original diagnosis is IGA Nephropathy. I have since added: Sjogrens, Raynauds, Antiphospholipid Syndrome. They’ve also threatened me with a Fibromyalgia diagnosis but I refuse to accept that.
Date of remission:
Tricky question. My kidney disease has been in remission or “sleeping” since Spring 2014, although I was sicker then than when I was diagnosed with the kidney disease from the long term prednisone they used to treat it. My Sjogrens, Raynauds, and Antiphospholipid syndrome are not in remission. I don’t know that those things do go into remission
Top 3 things that have changed because of the adversity you’ve experienced:
What are you most grateful for:
My entire support system, especially Alex. I truly have no idea how I would have gotten through all of this without him. I am so grateful he arrived in my life at the perfect moment that he did. And I am so grateful he was blessed with so much patience and love to give.
Why are you sharing your story with us:
I hated how alone I felt while I was going through the worst parts of this. I felt like no one was experiencing what I was or could understand what I was going through. I felt like everywhere I went on the internet was full of negative things about the diseases and the drugs and treatments and that was so terrifying. I wanted to create a place where people could come to hear/read about other people’s stories where they share the hard stuff but focus more on the positive and how they are living after or if not after then how they are living with it, but with the focus on LIVING. Also, writing all of these things down has been some of the best (and cheapest) therapy.