Why this blog?

Welcome! Thank you for visiting my blog!

This is my medical and recreational blogsite. Some of the entries on this blog are honest and quite vulnerable, as I wrote them at my lowest point. I try to keep a positive outlook on life, because no one wants to hang out with a downer, including me. Writing these entries has allowed me to see the world through a beneficial filter that allows me to appreciate every moment I have been able to experience in my life, even the difficult ones.

My husband Matthew and I LIVE when we can. I mean we suck the juice out of life, and we aren't ashamed of that outlook. It makes the bad times ok somehow because we took advantage when we were able. The pictures on this blog are part of that. I take pretty pictures of my sick body to boost my self esteem when I am having a difficult time seeing myself as a woman instead of a sick person. It is how I cope with my illness, and no one gets to judge how you survive your difficulties. So live on, and feed your souls.

Watch our story here:


~ Tonia

I have decided to relaunch my Facebook Page, The Beauty in Illness. Along with the help of two other rare patient advocates, we are hoping to include artistic stories of struggle and perseverence through creative ways. Please check us out and let us know if you would like to contribute!

Hospital Me THEN (2012)

Hospital Me THEN (2012)
Dance like no one is watching!

Hospital me NOW (2015)

Hospital me NOW (2015)
Dance like EVERYONE'S watching

Post Transplant-1 Year (March 2014)

Post Transplant-1 Year (March 2014)
Mi Amor Studio

Pre Dialysis Pinup Shoot (2012)

Pre Dialysis Pinup Shoot (2012)
Dynamite Dames

Mid Dialysis Boudoir (March 2013)

Mid Dialysis Boudoir (March 2013)
100 pounds, and a week from transplant, chest tube tucked into bra like a lady. ;)

Non-Pinup Me Now (2015)

Non-Pinup Me Now (2015)
This girl has four kidneys

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Tech week

The show is getting freakishly close to going up and things are stressful, of course.

I called Erin, my co-writer and we chatted about the issues that need to be fixed before we open, and she helped me to a conclusion:

Everything really is OK. 

I had a few reasons for doing this show.  The first was to tell a story.  The second was to teach some students about movement and devising theatre.  The third was to feed my soul.  I feel like all of those things are being done, and that is all I can ask. 

So I don't know why I was walking around with a pit in my stomach all day.  The ensemble is strong, smart, and capable.  And they are doing a mountain of work in this show.  I have asked them for a lot, and they always deliver.

It's a little sad to think that after the show is over I won't have any reason to be at school for a while, but I have some other things planned for the rest of the school year.  Teaching Intimacy is becoming something that may take me out of Oklahoma from time to time, and that is the best thing for me for now. 

I feel like I have second wind this week, and I have to give credit to the cast for that.  Also, my Assistant Director, Aly has been a savior for me.  She has done so much grunt work, it's astounding.  Everything is more than OK.  Everything is great.

It's time to take my own advice and dance in this storm.   

Friday, September 13, 2013

Great article!

I posted this link on my facebook page, but I think it is so important.  I wish everyone could read this.

This article is very well put. It also promotes being understanding of ANY and ALL ways that said ill person chooses to cope with their illness whether it is turning to their faith for strength, rebelling from the lifestyle of a sick person, or merely choosing to live their life to the fullest in whatever way they choose to do so. The last thing they need is judgement. I would even go further to say this pertains to everyone, not just ill people. Anyone going through something difficult deserves the same kind of understanding.  But come on, especially ill people!

click here for article

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Show update!

Well, We have choreographed all but the finale and I am really excited about that.

The show is coming along really well.  The ensemble has been awesome to work with.  They give input, and that helps a lot.  It feels strange to write a story about your life,  but luckily they have given me enough ideas that it doesn't feel exactly the same.  It's less narcissistic.  That was my one fear.

The next step is fine tuning, coaching the acting, and getting all the props together.  Finding a bed has been the most difficult thing.  But I know it will all work out.

On the other side of things, we switched a medication to make my hair stop falling out.  It has been coming out in clumps for the last two months now and doesn't seem to want to slow down.  Hopefully this new medication will help with that.

Numbers are still great, though.  We hit our six month mark this week!  One milestone down!  Matthew is completely back to normal.  Also, my birthday is coming up!  I love birthdays!  I always feel lucky to have reached each one.  

I know I haven't posted pictures in a long time, but I am pacing myself this time.  As soon as I can get my hair figured out I will get right back to it.  Maybe I can get Matthew to join me in them this time.  :)

Yes, I will continue to take pictures.  As long as it feeds my soul.

Sunday, September 1, 2013


Happy eight year transplantiversary, Mom.  I will never forget the sacrifice you made for me.  Thank you.