Wednesday, August 5, 2015

NPLEX Done!

Yesterday I endured a 200 question, 5 hour exam.  It was a test of my knowledge over the past 2 years that I have been studying for for the past 4 weeks.  Did I know everything?  No.  Was I confident I knew enough to pass?  Yes.  Am I confident I passed?  No.  But upperclassman have all said the same thing... everyone walks out of there thinking they failed.  I guess this is a normal feeling to have and although I'm thinking positive, it is a strong possibility.

I'm not setting myself up for failure but I am realizing that the me now is a lot different than the me 2 years ago when I started medical school.  I used to feel scared and embarrassed if I failed.  I used to feel that I let others down when I failed and I felt like I was a disappointment to others.  More importantly I was disappointed in myself.  We are all our own self-critiques and self-doubt happens to the best of us.  The old me taking this NPLEX exam would have been an absolute mess and SO scared to look at my results.  I probably would have been in tears last night and probably not slept a wink because I would have been thinking about the exam and continued to beat myself up over it.  Don't get me wrong, I am still scared to open that envelope when I get it in 6 weeks, but whatever the outcome is I'm OK with it.  Mainly because I am proud of myself.  I am proud of myself for even being in this process and making it here and I know I did the best I could and worked really hard in preparation for that exam.  This exam will not define me.  It does not mean I am going to be a bad doctor.  It's just a test.  It doesn't mean I don't know anything, it just means what I knew really well didn't match what was asked of me yesterday.  2 years and over 160 credit hours of information is A LOT to be tested over in 200 questions.   The worst case scenario is I retake the exam.  It doesn't hold me back from continuing on in the program.  There were quite a few upperclassman re-taking the exam for the 3rd time.  There have been a lot of accomplished world figures that struggled to get where they are today (even JFK Jr. had to take the bar exam THREE times before he passed!).  It doesn't mean they are less of a person.

I just remind myself that I am so blessed and fortunate to be here today in the first place.  Even more so, I am proud that the new me no longer is so hard on herself and is a better person because of it.

I'm so ready to begin my new quarter today.  It's not as intense as the last few, but it's one step closer to fulfilling my dreams of becoming Dr. Erin Ellis.

Thanks for all your prayers and support the last few days and to my family and friends for being the best cheerleaders!  I love you all!  Team Ellis RULES!

Love, Erin

Saturday, August 1, 2015

Too Long...

Well this is embarrassing!  My blog has been put on the back burner!!  I apologize for all my followers, I have really dropped the ball.  I keep telling myself I will get better with writing and well, it just doesn't happen.  I have no excuses and no explanation.  The only thing I can say is I will continue to try harder to post in here more!

Wow, where do I begin?  I haven't posted in here since January.  SO much has happened.  Right now I am 4 days away from taking my first sent of National Board exams.  It's a standardized test that is comprised of 100 questions in the morning session and then another 100 questions in the afternoon session.  It covers EVERYTHING I have learned over the past 2 years in medical school.  The thought of that alone scares the crap out of me, but I have put in SO many hours of studying over the last 4 weeks that I keep telling myself I know enough to pass.  It's weird to think I only need to pass because on every other test I've taken, I strive to get the best grade I can.   Tuesday, I just need to pass.  I want to open that envelope that will come in 6 weeks to see the words P-A-S-S.  I CAN DO IT!   I beat cancer, I definitely can beat this test!!

I had another yearly check up a few weeks ago.  My scan came back with no evidence of cancer (whew!) however, my colon was inflamed again like it was 2 years ago.  I think my Docs are on vacation because I haven't heard anything.  I haven't been having any GI symptoms so I'm sure that it's nothing and it could have just been from eating poorly (my scan was right around finals time and I tend to "stress eat!")

I also made my celebrity debut on the EPSY awards (ha!).  Awhile back ESPN saw a photo I had posted on Instagram (@SILLEE10) and asked permission to use it for Jimmy V week.  Um, of course they can!!  Well, that was months ago and I never saw anything with it.  Lo and behold, during the Espy's a couple weeks ago, they had a commercial about cancer and survivors and my picture was in it!!  Watch closely, you  may see someone familiar!

video

I officially started my pet sitting business in January as well.  If you or someone you know ever needs someone to care for your pets, I'm here for you!

Check out my website at:  www.barkandbonefest.com

So that's the update from now.  Please say a prayer for me that I will see that magical P word!!  :)

Love you all--

Erin

Sunday, January 11, 2015

Meal Prepping

Hello all!  I embark on a new quarter tomorrow and today I spent some time meal prepping.  I didn't have any fancy recipes today, but I did make enough food to last me the week (at least I think I did!).  I posted a picture awhile back on Instagram of my fridge packed with prepped meals and it spiked a lot of interest so I thought I'd make a blog post on how I go about doing it.  It really is easy and saves me so much stress and time throughout the week.  Since I have all this food prepped, I will make healthy choices too.  My life will get crazy busy again tomorrow and quite frankly not having to worry about what I'm going to eat is a relief!  So, here's how it goes.

1.  Plan what you want to eat for the week.  I usually pick 2-3 different proteins (meats), 3-4 different veggies and 1-2 different carbs.  My diet is pretty balanced.  I don't do the Whole30, Paleo, Vegan, Gluten Free, etc...I just EAT CLEAN.  I also tend to keep my meals low in fat and without too much dairy.  Most of my veggies pictured came from the Farmer's Market in Old Town.  McClendon's produce is my favorite.  All organic too.

2.  Pick a day out of the week to cook your food.  Last quarter I did my prep on Monday afternoon since I was free that afternoon, but this quarter I'm doing it on Sunday's since my Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday are all long days.

3.  It really doesn't take a whole lot of time.  Today it took me 2 hours.  I had to do 2 batches on the grill and 2 different things in my steamer so it took a little bit longer than usual, but still 2 hours of time to prep your food for the WHOLE week is definitely worth it!

4.  Start prepping!  I chop my veggies, grill/bake your meat and then put out all your containers and portion everything out.

Here is how it looked for me today...


Veggies cut, washed and portioned out for snack packs throughout the week.

 Proteins-Grilled chicken, pork chops, chicken sausage and some grilled veggies

Cooked beets (veggie)

 Baked butternut squash (carb/veggie)

 Steamed broccoli

Steamed brussel sprouts

Containers ready to portion out meals

Portioned out meals:
From Top Left to Right:  Grilled chicken, brussels, broccoli, beets
Middle Left to Right:  Grilled chicken brown rice pasta with assorted veggies, (grilled pork chop, squash and broccoli), (chicken sausage, squash and beets) and another serving of chicken pasta
Bottom Left to Right:  Chicken pasta, (pork chop, zucchini, squash, strawberries and hard-boiled egg packs.

What my fridge looks like afterwords!

I used this nifty took today to collect my trash so I didn't have to keep walking to the trash!  It was so handy!  (Trash-ease)

6.  Now in the morning all I have to do is pick a meal container and a veggie pack and I'm out the door.  I usually make my breakfast fresh which consists mostly of eggs (egg scramble) and Ezekial bread.  I will bring various snacks too whether it's pita chips and hummus, veggie sticks, hard boiled eggs, cottage cheese, salmon salad dip, etc.    This doesn't include some protein pancakes I made for my pre-workout "on-the-go" meal.  I may also make a green smoothie or protein shake too.  

7.  At night I will make my protein or have something that I have prepped (depends on the day).  If I cook the protein it's usually fish since I think reheated fish doesn't taste all that great!  I will use my pre-prepped broccoli, beets or  brussels for the veggie and cook up some rice or some type of carb to go along with it!

That's it...a week of meals is ready to go for me!  Like I said, 2 hours of your time will save you time, ensure you are eating healthy and will save you money from eating out!

Have any questions?  Feel free to post a comment!
Did you like this post?  If so, I can continue to do them-just post a comment below!

Till the next time--

Erin 

Thursday, January 1, 2015

Happy New Year!

Whoa, it's been awhile since I've posted in blog.  Way too long.  I say it every time...I will get better.  Is it bad to say it on the 1st of the year?  I feel like I'm really holding myself accountable if I use it as  New Year's resolution.  But, if I don't say it I can't make it happen.

I have ideas for my blog too.  I posted a picture on Instagram awhile back of me meal prepping one day and I got a lot of interest in that post.  It gave me ideas for my blog so I think I'll explain the process of meal prepping, post recipes, etc. as part of it.  That sounds like a fun project for me.  If only med school will allow me the extra time.

How is school might you ask?  It's going great!  I just finished another HARD quarter.  Last year 30% of the class did not pass this quarter and welp, I did!  For that I am truly thankful.  I worked my butt off, but hard work truly pays off.  There is still room for improvement, but for this past quarter I did everything I could to keep on swimming...

How's my health you might ask?  Better than ever.  In September I got the good news that I was STILl in remission.  Now that it's 2015 it will mark my 5 year anniversary of being in remission.  I won't hear those glorious words again until August, but until then I'll keep this huge smile on my face.

How were my holidays?  Wait, they are over?  They FLEW by, but then again time is flying by.  How did it get to be 2015?  We were reflecting back last night with family and friends and thinking that was 15 years ago we were worried about Y2K.  The world was going to end.  It's crazy to think how long ago that was.  I graduated from high school 19 years ago?  What??  This doesn't seem right.  I still feel like a kid at times.  Now look at me, 36, cancer survivor and soon to be doctor.  I wouldn't change it for the world.

I am thankful for all of you that never give up on me.  I am thankful for my health that continues to improve.   I am ready to see what 2015 has in store for me.  I have an inkling it's going to be a really good year.

Cheer and Happy New Year!

Love, Erin