First download from new camera (summer 2013) 325

Two Things

Thanks to another cancelled flight, I am apart from my family for one more night. I am desperate to see them and cannot put into words how much I miss them.

3 weeks ago we drove 1300+ miles to visit with family in Cape Cod and Boston. I flew back home to work a week ago and am flying back to meet them in Boston and then drive home with them (I would never make my husband do a 1350 mile road trip with 4 kids under 8 by himself!)  We are going to drive north into Montreal and then across northern Ontario to get home, which is going to be quite the 1350 mile adventure.

This quiet evening has given me the opportunity to run, read, and to reflect. I am grateful that I have been diagnosed with this disease, even though there are aspects of it that really stink.  If you haven’t read or heard, there was an article just published in the Annals of Internal Medicine which affirms that those with untreated Celiac Disease have a much higher risk of lymphoma (cancer) than the general population.  If you haven’t read the article, I encourage you to read this summary. I am glad that I am being treated with the gluten free diet and that I have come to the realization that I needed to make my entire household gluten free in order for my intestines to heal and for my symptoms to resolve. I am thankful for all of you who I have “met” and connected with through this blog over the last 8 months.  I am thankful that this disease has caused me to prioritize the nutrition of my family. If learning that untreated Celiac Disease causes cancer does not lead my family members, and others, to get tested for Celiac Disease, then I do not think that anything will. I want you to get tested because I do not want any of you to get lymphoma, not because I want to make your life harder by having to give up bread!

Over the past month I have had the opportunity to see many family members and friends who I have not seen for a while. I wanted to take this opportunity to thank all of you for being so supportive of my gluten free life and give a few examples of the love I have felt…

Mom: Thank you, thank you, thank you for having a cookout for us when we were visiting in July and having a GF spread for me and the kids (tons of fruit and veggies, tortilla chips, GF hot dog buns, ice cream bars, etc.) It was so wonderful to be able to eat everything at a BBQ without being worried about being sick.

Chan: Thank you for bringing your beautiful kids over and making blueberry mojitos for us to drink, and bringing me my own special crispy rice dessert! I hope that next time we can visit for a bit longer and get more adult time to catch up (and drink more Mojitos!)

Ashleigh: Thanks for introducing me to 2 ingredient (banana and egg pancakes) and for letting me visit with beautiful little Luca.

Carol: Thanks for making kick ass guacamole and buying pistachios galore the week in the Cape.  Thanks also for the adult only time, Zumba class with Bunny, and the re-introduction to Gordon Lightfoot.

Ali: Thank you for making an awesome lunch of chicken and mozzarella caprese salad, my absolute favorite salad, when we came to visit. Thanks also for all of the American Girl stuff for the girls.

Dan: Thanks a bunch for buying me my own stash of Celia beer when we hung out…it’s nice to have a new beer to add into the mix and I was so happy to see that Celia is portrayed as being a healthy female Celiac!

Colleen: Thank you for roasting up all of the leftover veggies for me and for basically feeding my kids for the entire week in the Cape so that I didn’t get sick from preparing their food!

Nana and Pop: Thanks for bringing all of the gluten free food down to the Cape for me, buying me and Claire sweet potatoes, taking care to make sure that the grill was clean before cooking for me on it, and for having an never ending stash of gluten free K cups at your house.

Grace, Tommy, Gabby, and Claire: Thanks for always reminding everyone that gluten makes your mommy sick and for going with me to Captain Frosty’s to get gluten free custard. I cannot wait to hug and squeeze and kiss all of you tomorrow!

Tom: Thank you for supporting me throughout this crazy journey, helping to calm me down when I’m acting a bit crazy (which is just once in a while, right?), and providing unconditional love.  I love you very much!

Happy August everyone! Hope to see some of you at the ICD Symposium in Chicago next month!


12 thoughts on “Two Things

  1. Paula @CeliacCorner

    Jess, what a wonderful post of appreciation! Like you, I am fortunate to have family and friends who continue to support me and my gluten-free lifestyle .. it is a wonderful feeling to have that support, especially when it is not expected. Yes, untreated celiac puts people at risk for cancer, it is a fact. I hope the article will bring more family members to their docs for testing, sooner rather than later, and will be a wake-up call for those who knowingly continue to consume gluten.

    Enjoy your reunion with your hubby and adorable kids!

    p.s. I’m heading to the Cape soon … any tips for gluten-free dining?

    1. Jess Post author

      Hi Paula,
      Thanks for stopping by my page. I am just getting back into the swing of things at home.
      I unfortunately have no recommendations for GF dining on the Cape as I have not went out to any restaurants there since being diagnosed in 2010.
      However, if you are looking for ice cream, Captain Frosty’s in Dennis is fabulous and definitely GF! It is on 6A.
      I hope that you have a wonderful time on the Cape. It is such a special place…

  2. Molly (Sprue Story)

    This is really lovely and is EXACTLY how I feel about my family (and friends) who have done such wonderful things to accommodate me…and some of whom (not my sister!) are still dragging their feet about getting tested themselves.

    1. Jess Post author

      Hi Molly,
      Thank you!! We made it back safely and it is great to be home. I cannot wait to be able to catch up on your page (and Dana’s and Amanda’s and others too!) Thank goodness that you sister got tested, although I hate to learn that she also has Celiac Disease, she serves as a wonderful example of how all of our family members need to be tested!

      1. Molly (Sprue Story)

        Yes, it’s a bummer (and I almost feel responsible, illogically). Then again, at least we can support each other! I shared your blog with her, by the way, and I know she’s been enjoying it too.

  3. Christine Peets

    I met with a GI specialist two weeks ago and we decided that going through the process of getting tested would do more harm than good. I’ve been eating a wheat-free diet for about 5 years and started trying to follow a gluten-free diet about two years ago. I [mistakenly] thought that I could “handle” small amounts of gluten in rye or barley, but I now know that I need to make my diet strictly gluten-free because I kept getting sick if I ate anything with gluten. The doctor agreed that having to eat food with gluten in order to have it in my system at the time of the test would cause a lot of discomfort and pain (to say the least) and the recommendation from a positive test would be the same: be diligent and eat a totally gluten-free diet. So that’s what I’m doing, and my family fully supports this. They’ve even made some changes to their diets.

    I can’t say it’s easy, but it’s getting easier and I am really not “missing” anything I used to eat. Sites like this one and others that I’ve found with recipes and tips really help.

    Thank you for this site and the work that you do–and share.

    1. Jess Post author

      Hi Christine,
      Thanks so much for much for your kind words! I have said this several times but I will say it again: I would never go through the agony of having to eat gluten for a “gluten challenge” at this point as I feel so ill within an hour or 2 of accidental gluten ingestion, and the effects on my body last for days. Having to eat a half piece of bread for 2 weeks for testing would make me feel like I had the worst flu possible for days and I would be unable to function as a mom or at work.
      That being said, it may benefit your non GF family members to get tested for Celiac Disease…after the recent paper showing the high rates of lymphoma in untreated Celiacs, I am encouraging everyone with symptoms and/or a family history to get tested ASAP.
      I am glad that you have been able to find recipes easily…one of the benefits of this disease has been that it’s brought me back to my kitchen!

  4. Dana

    Totally agree with Molly! Lovely post. I am a bit jealous of all you who have such supportive networks. I feel we are lacking in that at times. But to the few we have, I am deeply grateful.

    1. Jess Post author

      Hi Dana,
      Thanks so much! I am looking forward to catching up on how your summer has been…hopefully you’ve been having some good family time too! The support has increased with time. If we ever meet in person (which I hope we do!) I will bring you blueberry mojitos and GF food for your entire family!

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