Hi and welcome! My name is DebraEllen and this is my web journal. This is where I will share my experiences with Crohn’s Disease, cancer, mental illness and the lighter subject of photography.

I’m old enough to be a grandma. Two to be exact- I will write about my adorable grand daughters. Respecting the parents wishes, I will refer to them as my oldest favorite grand daughter and my youngest favorite grand daughter- or simply as the girls.

As I mentioned above- I have Crohn’s Disease. The end of my junior year of high school was the beginning- May the last month of the school year. Walking with my friends I became winded- so out of shape I thought, a bit over weight at approx. 145 lbs. A bit of time went by (June) and while on vacation my dad was driving. I had the sudden urge to go to the restroom. Told my dad and he said the next exit he would take. Well we were driving in Western Kansas on our way to Colorado. The next exit was a long wait. Finally I was able to go. My first experience of almost pooping my britches- diarrhea. During that summer the need to sleep in the restroom at night was becoming a regular habit. One day my mom asked me how I was doing. She commented on how much toilet paper I was using. Embarrassed, I said I was doing fine. Never mentioning I was sleeping in the restroom every night.

Another month went by and by this time I had lost 30 lbs and my mom said which doctor do I want to go to; giving me a list of several different doctors. Long story short, I eventually went to all of them. This is a story in itself- but it was the last doctor I went to that only asked me two questions and wanted me to go have an upper GI and lower GI. When I returned to his office a week later, he said he had an idea of what I had but needed the test results to confirm. That day I was diagnosed with ulcerative colitis. It was five years later that the diagnosis was changed to Crohn’s. For 30 plus years I have had the pleasure of this crappy disease.

I have also been lucky to say, I am a cancer survivor for the past 12 years and each year I pray that my health be well and cancer free. Primary mediastinal large b-cell non-hodgkin lymphoma was a terrible time of my life and as odd as it may seem- a blessing. Believe me when I say I would not want to experience cancer, chemo and radiation ever again, BUT because of the cancer; I never missed a school event for my daughter and son who were each very active in high school. My children were in daycare since the age of 6 weeks. I have always worked outside of the home and currently doing so. There were times I was not able to attend a school function. During my cancer treatments I worked much less; up at the school practically every day of the week. The following year after being told I was in remission, I worked part time in the mornings and spent the afternoons at the kid’s school events with camera in tow! Those are the memories I will cherish and be thankful from my cancer experience.

Mental illness is part of my family history. I have crazy moments and sad times, however- it’s my son who is challenged. Let me tell you- no one should have to go through what my son must constantly do every day of his life. If I could take the burden allowing my son to live a normal thinking life- I’d do it in a heart beat. Enough said for now. The daily journal will be where I discuss our life’s adventure.

My daughter’s family is sure cute and growing. Not a whole lot to tell just that all is well for them and everyday I give praise and thanks to my God!

Yes, I do believe in my savior, Jesus Christ. Through my life journey, He has carried me many times.

I firmly believe it is with God’s grace I am living a productive life with Crohn’s, I am a cancer survivor and my son is on his road to recovery.

I am truly pleased to be here and look forward to meeting you! Please feel comfortable and should you have any questions simply use the contact page to send a message.

Good health and best wishes.