Saturday, November 21, 2015

Life gets a Little Crazy Sometimes

Lots Going On:

Wow, sorry, it's been just over two weeks since I have blogged. That may be the longest I have ever gone without blogging. Here are the 3 big things that are taking place in our lives right now:

1. Work- Lots of it. Andrew is gearing up for the holidays at the store he works at and I just started my new career. (Read last post below to learn about it). In the last two weeks, I have signed a contract with Jim Maloof Realty in Peoria, IL (see my link on our office website click HERE). I paid all my dues to the Peoria Area Association of Realtors, etc. Paid for advertising, some equipment, even got a few work outfits. I did my all day orientations & have been going to every new agent workshop that has been available. It's been pretty busy around here.

Little about my work: I still need to finish up my business cards, buy a new laptop, and more. But I am beyond ready to start helping clients sell & buy homes! The only downside to Real Estate is all the upfront costs you have. I have already put a couple thousand into classes, fees, dues, etc. We aren't employees, we are independent contractors with the companies. Which means, no wages, no salary, just commission. But the up-side is I can be more flexible about going home for my medications, treatments, etc. But without wages, we work on pure commission. When someone sells their home they agree to a broker's commission. That Selling Price Broker's commission ( a x%) is split between the buyer & seller's brokers, then each broker has to split that with the company that hired them & they represent. We have to pay taxes, gov. fees, etc on it like everyone else does on wages. So it will take more than 1 house for me to pay myself back just for the start up costs.You have to sell enough houses to pay all the dues/costs every year to make it worth it. The instructor said 1 out of  3 people that get licensed are still in the business in 2 years. That doesn't really bother me, I know I want this career soooo much. I have been talking about it since I was a kid (no joke). I knew about most of the costs, so we were prepared. It's still tough working sooo much and not making any money. But it will work out and be VERY much worth it in the end. So excited!!!!!! YAY!

2. Christmas/Holiday/Post-Wedding/Working Out-  Lately, getting ready for the holidays, baking, shopping, etc has been taking more time. I want to get everything done early, because I don't like being stressed and shopping close to Christmas. Also, post wedding wise, we have been getting some picture prints, scrapbooking, photo albums done. Also, starting to work on our Thank Yous. And I have been trying to lift weights, walk on the treadmill, do dance or yoga dvds too! Not too much spare time for it, but I try!

3. Volunteering-  Right now is a pretty big time for the organizations I volunteer for. The Dream Factory (which grants wishes to kids with chronic illnesses) needs to fundraise a lot to pay for 12 more kids wishes AND our big end of the year Christmas Party is coming up! We have been getting ready for that. Also, the CF Foundation announced the dates for most of the 2016 walks! I'm registered for them, if you want to register early and help me recruit or team members or starting fundraising, feel free! I'd love it as a matter of fact. It was exciting in 2015, we walk at numerous walks and a couple out of state! Go here to register any walk you want to join me for, just click links & on the CF Walk page, click "Join Team"

Here is every walk I will be at:

Well, that pretty much sums up why it has been 2 weeks since I blogged, I will try not to do that again. I'm hoping after Thanksgiving I will have all my new stuff done/set up for work. Then I can focus on advertising and finding clients. So if you know anyone in the Peoria, IL area looking for a Realtor/Broker, (big smile), pick me! But honestly, the biggest perk to have a new agent is that you are more than likely their only clients or they only have a few, so they can dedicate more time to advertising your property. Also, Most new brokers work with an experienced agent too ( for a while). Okay, enough of my work. I'm just so excited to get back into working after all my medical mishaps in 2014!

I will talk more about Andrew & I and our goals/plans next week! 

I hope everyone has an amazing Thanksgiving! 

Friday, November 6, 2015

Finally, a Career I CAN Handle!

Working with Cystic Fibrosis:

I've have worked a variety of jobs. Daycare Teacher, Server, Retail, Office work, Media, etc.. I know as I got older my ideal career path changed. For example in third grade I wanted to be a ballerina & a teacher. I went to college for Geology and by the time I graduated I was following the path of social work. I started Graduate school in 2013 for Medical Social Work, but just before the first semester finished I got really sick
and realized I couldn't keep up with college or a full time career anymore. I ended up medically withdrawing in November of 2013. I spent a lot of time in the hospital that first semester & my daily med routine is pretty full, learn about it in this post here.

Working a typical 6-8 hour shift is very difficult for me. I do three sets of nebulizer treatments a day, and some days I just don't feel very well. Between GI problems and my arthritis, I very rarely have a day with no problems or complications. Plus, being a server and a few of my jobs caused me to lose a lot of weight. I found very quickly working a "typical 9-5pm job" wouldn't work for me. I'd come home barely able to move, my joints would hurt, I'd have shed 1,000+ calories, and my lungs would be dying for my next meds. Finding a career that is flexible & that I love was KEY! I'm so happy I get to have a career in real estate.

Real Estate is the perfect career choice for me. I have ALWAYS loved houses, architecture and real estate. I started begging my mom to take me through open houses at the age of 8. I started designing floor plans at the age of 10 on graph paper. I kept (and still have) most of them in a binder.

Picture: my  floor plan binder open to a plan I designed years ago when I was in high school, next to my real estate book.

So I LOVE real estate! So why did I not go into the field sooner? I needed health insurance. As a broker, I'm paid based on commission. Typically 1.5% of a home's selling price goes to the broker (working for an office), but it's a purely commission based job. Therefore, since you are not consider an "actual employee" but an independent contractor, benefits are not part of the package. Which makes it a bit of a dangerous field for someone with Cystic Fibrosis.

However, I'm beyond excited to be able to REALLY focus on a career I love for once! So here it is. I'm officially going to be a realtor at Jim Maloof (Peoria, IL area). I'm licensed to sell anywhere in Illinois. After taking all the courses, I had a lot of different things happen. Wedding, moving, getting sick, etc

BUT, proudly I can say I took the licensing exam & will be working as a broker (as soon as I sign the contract Monday)! Being a broker means working a lot of hours, but most of them are flexible. Meaning I can focus on doing meds, even have days off to go to the doctors. Managing CF gets harder the older I get. So I'm hoping this career can be something I love, enjoy, and keep up with for many years to come!

I will keep you all posted on my progress. I know a lot of people with intense medical routines & problems can interfere with working, so I'm hoping this will be a solution for me!

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

I saw Pyramids being built!

Why it was AWESOME being born in the 1980s.

Besides our mom's awesome hair-dos right? Well, there are some perks to being born in the 1980s with Cystic Fibrosis. You may think I'm joking. I mean, what perks? Right? We didn't have almost any of the
beneficial medication or research that we do today. Because of this lack of research & proper meds the expectancy of life was around 10 years of age when I was born. Sadly, this was pretty accurate in my life as I watched 3 best friends pass away between the ages of 10-14. It was tough having CF or a child with CF in the 1908s. Our treatments took longer and the machines were wickedly heavy. Parents didn't have the vest machine, my own mother had to do manual chest percussion on me multiple times a day (up to four times).

In the 1990s, pulmozyme was introduced and some research started to take off (but nothing like today). Most people in the 1990s still didn't know what CF was and had never heard of it. With a few new medications the life expectancy raised to around 14, then to 18 years of age by the late 1990s.

Today it is around 37 years old (my age in 7 years). Babies born today with CF will live a much healthier & "normal" life thanks to new devices cutting treatment times in half.  Being born today with CF doesn't mean society automatically writes you off or thinks of you as a death sentence. Heck, I wasn't put into prep college high school classes ( my counselors assumed I wouldn't go to college, and my parents were unaware of it). It's crazy to think how far we have come!

That's the cool part. I, myself, have gotten the privilege of watching CF research bloom and really take off. I truly believe the 1980- 2020 time period will be the single biggest impact/ jump in CF advancements ever!!! And I lived through it! That's soo coool.

Ever think it would be cool to go back in time and watch how the Egyptians built the pyramids???  Well, for CF the 1980-1990's were the "Egyptian Time Period," we were just starting out and learning our way in medications/treatments. So...

 I saw Pyramids being built!!!! 

Or even better, hopefully one day I can say " I saw the Rise & Fall of Cystic Fibrosis."

Not only do I get to see friend's live longer lives thanks to research, meds, transplants, and much more, BUT the quality of life we lead is getting better too! I want to continue to help make this possible. AND I love that I get to be a part in the furthering of CF research trials!  Here are the trials I have done over the years!

As a child I did:

[Fun fact: Pulmozyme & Tobi were the two first clinical trials tested on children with Cystic Fibrosis and BOTH are huge drugs in the CF Market, and I did both of those trials!!!!- how COOL!!!!]

Here they both are in my fridge!! [Note: old pic, I'm not on IVs right now... no worries]

1. Pulmozyme- Genentech Study,  Here  is a little History of Pulmozyme & when trials were. For more info on Pumolzyme check out their website!

2. Tobi-  Here is a little history of Tobi & when trial were. Attached HERE is a PDF about Novartis's Tobi.

3. Creon Enzymes- Here is some info on Creon!

As an Adult I have done:

1.KB001-A, Study by  KaliBios, which was an anitbody I got intravenously that is used to treat Psuedomonas Aeruginosa. Read Press Release here or my blog post from when I was in the trial here! 

2. Cayston & Tobi Alternating- A Gilead Study, which was to determine if Aztreonam (Cayston) inhalation med and Tobi (inhalation) work better when used in alternating months. [Note: I had already been doing this for years, so this trial wasn't anything new. Unless, I got the placebo] Here is the only online info I can find now!

I tried to do Inhaled Mannitol (but right before starting it, I ended up on antibiotics). AND in the next few weeks I will be hopefully starting this trial: Parion Sciences Study Info HERE!

It's awesome to be able to help contribute to the future well being of CF patients & watch such big leaps in research happen! Just today, I posted another amazing article on my CF facebook page about genetic editing with Vertex collaborating with CRISPR therapeutics. Watch my CF facebook page for more updates!

I can't wait to start this next trial and watch the next big discovery in CF research take place!

I want to keep participating & watching those pyramids be built! 

- and a big thank you to YOU for donating & helping make it happen!

ps. CFers-What trials have you done or research are you excited about?