Friday, May 18, 2012


All birthday’s are special. I’m feeling especially grateful for mine this year…and since I’ve always loved the song, “32 Flavors” (Alana Davis or Ani DiFranco’s rendition), I thought I’d share 32 tid-bits of wisdom from my 32-year-old heart, mind and soul.
  1. Buy multiple pairs of underwear you like – you never know if they will get discontinued
  2. Invest in good pillows
  3. Wear sunscreen
  4. Never pass up an opportunity to pee
  5. Chill your wine
  6. Put on extra zit cream and leave it in a glob on said zit overnight – may not be pretty, but it works
  7. Wear your seat-belt – or as O-man calls it, “Your backseat”
  8. Learn to communicate with your loved ones
  9. Always carry a tampon
  10. Don’t be afraid to fail
  11. Love yourself deeply
  12. Forgive others
  13. Forgive YOURSELF
  14. Blog even when you don’t feel like you have anything to say
  15. Find your perfect shade of lip stick
  16. Write thank you notes
  17. Read outside of your comfort zone
  18. Try new foods
  19. Learn to love and abuse the SAVE/Backup option for any technology you own
  20. Never take a laxative and sleeping pill on the same night
  21. Always use a turn signal
  22. Ask for help
  23. Treasure your genuine friends
  24. Thank your mother – often
  25. Color sort your M&M’s
  26. Even when you don’t know where you’re going – know where you’re NOT going
  27. Don’t use Facebook as a way to gauge your success in life
  28. Recycle
  29. Clean your kitchen before going to bed
  30. Don’t worship the scale
  31. Music is magic – it can lift you from the deepest, darkest corners
  32. Take the high road

Monday, May 14, 2012

Why Not Me?

When crappy stuff happens to you, if you’re like every other human being on the planet you ask, “Why me?!”

I asked that question a BUNCH when we began trying to build our family – all our friends had no problems getting pregnant, and had no infertility issues: “Why me?!”

But then a wonderful thing happened – I found a community of people just like me trying to start a family and I have since found some of my closest and dearest friends through that journey.

Now I’m faced with a different journey – one that actually still makes the infertility journey feel so raw all over again.

My biopsy did not come back clean – my journey to beat this cancer is just beginning. And I’ve found myself asking out loud, to my friends/family: “Why me?!”

But then in other conversations with my mom and my church pastor, we’ve discussed the harder side of that statement: “Why not me?”

Someone is diagnosed with skin cancer every eight minutes. And it just so happens, I fell into that eight minute window.

Trust me, I’m FAR from zen about this whole thing. This is about as zen as I’ve gotten the past week:

Taking a moment out of my day to appreciate life's beautiful artwork   

I’m actually pretty angry. I’ve been scared, loopy, hopeful, terrified – a FULL range of emotions as I’ve waited out the test results from my surgery last week. I keep asking to anyone who’s listening: “When is it going to be enough?” Right now, I’m not sure I believe the statements: “We are never given anything we can’t handle” or “This too shall pass” because frankly, I’m not sure if I can handle this and when I’m told by my oncologist that this may be something I will have to deal with for the rest of my life …well, that doesn't feel like something that shall pass!

But then again, maybe its just the anger talking. Especially since Mook and I had the conversation yesterday (on Mother’s Day of all days) that we are closing the book on expanding our family. I don’t think I’ll ever give up that tiny 1% chance of hope that our “jeans” could be passed on just by ::gasp:: having SEX, but we definitely won’t do any more treatment, and have decided not to pursue adoption. (it’s hard even typing that)

The focus obviously is shifting to making sure I get better and as always – remember how freaking lucky I am to be O-man’s Mommy. I don’t take that for granted for one second. But it still aches to know that with this additional lemon being thrown into our lives, that we had to come to this decision sooner than we would have liked.

My lymph nodes are clear (as of now) the surrounding tissue, is wracked with abnormal cells – as were the margins around the skin that was taken out during surgery last week. So, I’m incredibly thankful that the timing of all of this saved me from advancing quicker into Stage III – I’m hoping I’ll hang in with Stage II until I can whip this thing.

Starting interferon injections next week for the next 6 months – let’s hope I don’t barf on too many shoes in the process.

So yes, universe – “Why not me?” This isn’t my choice for how to enter into my 32nd year of life, but if I can encourage a few people who may read this post to go get their skin checked, then maybe I’ll help someone with early detection. I will find a way to turn this experience into something(s) positive.

But today? This sucks. (just being honest) I’ll ebb and flow between all the above emotions – so now that I know what’s ahead of me, I can tackle one day at a time….

Tuesday, May 8, 2012


Just when I was getting my feet planted on the ground…

Just when I thought I could handle managing the unknown and grey area for the next few months…
Just when I thought I couldn’t possibly handle anything else…

I got a phone call this past Friday morning as I was driving to work from my dermatologists office. I had gone in last Tuesday for my 6 month checkup from the issues I was having last year – and YAY, all was clear – the Bowen’s Disease is under control and managed by topical cream, and no re-growth on the mole I had removed last year. However, she did remove a suspicious mole that had been on her radar (aka, my chart) the past year – but I didnt give it much thought. I left feeling good.

I was happy to have ALL my doctor’s appointments behind me for a least a little while, so when I answered the phone call and it was my doctor and not the nurse, I pulled into a parking lot, because when the doctor calls, its usually not to tell you good news.

That mole biopsy came back as melanoma – CRAP. I drove straight to see Mook – he was just down the road getting his yearly physical, and I caught him just before he went in for his appointment. Thank goodness – because I collapsed into a huge mess – I could not believe what I had just heard, and above anything else in that moment, I was ANGRY.

How much more can my body handle? And more importantly, how much more can I handle mentally? This past weekend was HARD. Really hard. We knew Friday that it was already Stage II based on the margins, so not knowing if it has progressed past that left us with a long weekend of questioning/waiting.

Yesterday I went in for the surgical procedure to remove a large chunk of skin – its between my shoulder blades right on my spine. 45 stitches later, and we are back in the waiting game for this next pathology report.

So, I’m sorry these updates continue to feel like a boxing TKO – I am still in a bit of a shocked state, and am just taking life one day at a time….