Showing posts with label United Healthcare. Show all posts
Showing posts with label United Healthcare. Show all posts

Thursday, March 21, 2013

I want to be #Latina health leader for @Hispanicize 2013 #UHCLatino #Hispz13

Ascending Butterfly was established in 2009 to create a space online that I couldn't find, one that shared motivational messages with an emphasis on breathing affirmational meditations. I love reading quote of the day type posts, but realized shortly after reading them I'd forget them. I wanted to find a way to make quotes, motivations and positive life lessons memorable, and the breathing affirmations helped to bring those to life and sharing not just the motivation and the breathing affirmation, but how I applied them in my day to day life gave me a true 'mind, body and soul' approach to wellness and wellbeing.

About two years later, I wanted to get myself in better shape and began including healthy changes in lifestyle that included recipe substitutions, getting more active (even incorporating my Wii and Wii Fitness into my daily routine) and had actually dropped 3 dress sizes and 26 pounds. Our most popular recipe substitution posts based on your views:, and:, and:

Things were going very well, both body, mind, and soul as well as physically, until New Years Eve, December 31st of 2011 I was experiencing severe pains in my lower chest region and couldn't lift one of my arms at all without being in agonizing pain. The ambulance of course assumed heart attack, but after a battery of testing and two days in the E.R., a specialist that is a 35 year veteran in her field, diagnosed with me a lung mass that they all felt was end stage cancer that had already spread to my bones (which would explain the pain near my rib cage) and that I had maybe hours at best to get my affairs in order. I was told I might not even  get to ring 2012 in, nevertheless see it end, and be here alive and kicking now in 2013.

I shared my journey here every step of the way. As a non-smoker (I mean like never even tried it) who has always lived a reasonably healthy lifestyle, my family and I were confused, devasted and rightfully so, angry.  I knew I had only one choice and that was to cast aside fear and with total faith, fight with every ounce of strength I had. (This post leads back to the whole saga and links to posts that outline what I experienced in more detail, it's called 'Thank You + Not Quite the way I had in mind to lose more weight')

And fight I have, I spent 2012 in and out of THREE different leading New York City Hospitals meeting with specialist after specialist across a variety of areas and teams. Each one more baffled by my case than the one before. In fact, 2 hospitals still use me as a case study and every doctor, from experienced to intern knows my story.

Sometimes my over a year nightmare seems like a blur, a distant and faded memory and some days it all comes back to me like a freight train. Today was a 'freight train' day for me, today it all came back to me as I was riding the express bus back from the city home and passed the hospital I stayed at most recently. I also go back to that hospital every 6 months for a repeat catscan, in fact I just had one recently.

I think of all the pain, the exploratory surgeries, particularly the one I woke up during and literally felt everything, and the care at the different hospitals both the good and bad. It sometimes seems surreal. Until something reminds you and brings it all flooding back.

When I got home and saw a post on the Hispanic Marketing and Online Media Facebook Group that United Healthcare is running an essay contest looking for someone to be a Latino Health Leader at this year's Hispanicize Conference, I literally jumped out of my chair because I knew it would be perfect for me!

At age 5 I spent most of Kindegarten in hospitals while my mother served as caregiver to both my grand-mother and great-grandmother, (her mother and grand-mother) who were both battling Cancer, as well as my Dad, all who passed within 3 months of each other. My mother, 'Mama Butterfly' as we call her around here, battled cancer twice, and she was by my bed in the E.R. when that specialist told me I wouldn't ring in another year.

Yet here I am not only still standing, but thriving, and I know for a fact that the healthy changes I had been making in my lifestyle well before all this started are what kept me alive.

It took me awhile to get the courage to share my story, but as flowers arrived to the hospital and my emails and social media pages were overloaded with messages to get well soon, and other readers were brave enough to share their battles with Breast Cancer and other life and death medical scares so that I would know I am not alone, I decided it was time for me to do the same. My story is a pretty unique one, so my dear butterflies don't allow yourself to be fooled by mis-conceptions, even the person who doesn't smoke, did NOT grow up in a house where they were exposed to second-hand smoke and living a healthy lifestyle can still end up in a hospital bed fighting for their lives!

I know I would make a powerful voice as United Healthcare's Latina Health Leader at Hispanicize, I was already well aware of how small but impactful lifestyle changes could improve things for the better, but after spending a year fighting for my life, now more than ever I truly understand that an ounce of prevention really is worth a pound of cure!

Check out this YouTube Segment called Hispanic Health on the Run:

There are mis-conceptions being brought to light in this video that not only affect the Hispanic Community but America at large! This nation and generation may very well be 'Super-Sizing' itself to death!

Oddly enough I had been invited to speak at Hispanicize this year on the topic of Lifestyle Blogging already, and somehow I saw this as a sign from the Universe that I really should challenge myself this year, and a sign I'm definitely meant to attend this conference! But with Medical Bills still very much being a huge battle for me to contend with, getting to Hispanicize is certainly going to take some help!

There is a quick and easy way to help support me as a nominee, it's as easy as copy and pasting this as a tweet:

I want @Tracy_Iglesias of @Ascending1 to be the #Latina health leader for @Hispanicize 2013 #UHCLatino #Hispz13

I think the Universe is telling me it's time to take my story from the behind the keyboard to in front of the public, and if it will motivate just one person to make the daily changes necessary to improve their habits and lifestyle then in my opinion it will be well worth it!

My path to well-being is ongoing, and I'm filled with gratitude because on this same day, one year to the date I was on my second hospital stay at a second hospital, being released in April just hours before my birthday. I have come such a long way from where I found myself just one year ago. And I tell you all the same thing, if I could overcome and triumph despite the obstacles I faced and still face, so can YOU Butterflies, seize every single day and every single opportunity that comes your way!

Latina Blogger

If you do tweet, please share the link to your tweet here as a comment!

˙·٠•● Ƹ̵̡Ӝ̵̨̄Ʒ ●•●•٠·˙˙·٠•● Ƹ̵̡Ӝ̵̨̄Ʒ ●•●•٠·˙˙·٠•● Ƹ̵̡Ӝ̵̨̄Ʒ ●•●•٠·˙

FTC Disclosure: This is NOT a sponsored post, no monetary compensation has been received by Ascending Butterfly. However this post is an essay entry to a contest that offers the winner a chance to attend the Hispanicize 2013 Conference as a sponsored guest.