Tag Archives: lips


22 Jul

End of week two in training.  It’s interesting what happens after two weeks in a high stress environment.  Week one, everyone is on their game putting up a front, majorly competitive, and of course, trying to mark their territory.  Now, after week two, everyone’ s tired, stressed, and just plain overly exhausted.  It’s great because everyone’s walls are slowly being chipped away, people are FINALLY letting down their guard and the atmosphere has totally changed in the room.  It has become much more comfortable and supportive. 

It’s amazing once again what happens when people let their guard down and let other people ‘in’.  Now, we are in this game together and now we are learning each others stories which is great.  I love hearing about people’s backgrounds and experiences because it helps to explain why the way they are today (and that goes for the irritating people too).  Ahh yes, another lesson.   If people had no walls and were just themselves, I believe the world would be a better place.  I’m not saying not to have a filter, but if we came into relationships with no expectations, not trying to mark our territory and look better than the other person, what would it be like?  Maybe we should try it, I know I have been because it is such a waste of time and energy to keep up.  For me at this point, again living with cancer, what you see is what you get.  Transparency is a beautiful thing.

Today I wear CO Bigelow Sheer Liptint in Just Blushed.  It has a sheer pink tint and tastes like peppermint.  I chose it mainly for the name although I do love the consistency and color.  Just blushed…because when you’re yourself, it’s easy to see your inner beautiful glow.

The Story Continues…

4 Jul

Some of you already know the results of my latest PET scan (my last blog entry), for those who don’t, yes, there was cancer detected.  I found out last Friday afternoon and for the past few days I’ve been trying to process how I feel.  I cried a lot mainly because my mind wanted to hear the words “All clear, see you next year.”  Instead I heard, “There’s something there that’s not big enough to be detected by ultrasound so we will look again in 2-3 months to see if it’s grown.”  This has been one long and difficult road but I think I’m done crying.  I’m not angry, my heart is mostly sad; sad for my family (which by the way, my daughter and younger son were standing right next to me when I got the news and when I got off the phone my daughter said, “all clean right?”  When I said “not exactly”, her face and demeanor changed immediately…sad); sad for my parents who also have been waiting for good news for almost four years now, just sad in general.

On the other hand, I am done crying because I am 100% confident that God has a plan that’s perfect for my family and me whether it’s the plan I want or not.  I have to move forward in faith because that is the only sure thing.  I am broken right now.  I don’t feel courageous or strong so I’m thankful for all the support and prayers, but I know I’ll get that back.  For now, I move forward on this journey that God has me on, confident that He will take care of me.

Today I wear Smashbox Photofinish  Lipstick in Marvelous. On me, it is a beautiful sheer red.  I wear it because life is a marvelous adventure, and of course red to continue living life boldly.

No Fear

29 Jun

Here I am again in the PET scan room (written at 6:30am), waiting the 2 hours until the contrast they injected me with makes its way through my body so they can detect any cancer cells floating around.  Am I afraid? Of course.  Not so much for the test. this is probably my 10th or 11th scan in three years so I’m used to lying still with metal hovering just inches over my face and body.  No, I’m always scared to hear the results (they haven’t exactly been positive most of the time).  I also am seeing my laryngologist this week and that scares me too.  Mostly because I don’t really want to know how close or non-functional my vocal cords are.

After cancer, I don’t really trust my body.  Before each diagnosis, I have felt great (minus an occasional sore throat).  I would love to rejoice each time I get clean results or good news, but even when/if I do I am hesitant and suspicious.  Will I ever get that trust back?  I doubt it.  Will I let it control me and take away my joy?  I won’t let it.  Yes, I believe the fear of cancer coming back will always be there, but even if I don’t trust my body, I will always trust in God who created it and has a perfect plan for me.

All of us have our hesitations and fears but there are many things we cannot control.  happiness is based on our outside circumstances but joy comes from within, from trusting our Creator has a plan although it may be different from ours.  Fear is ok but don’t give it the power to control you and rob your joy.  Life is for the living!

I’m not wearing any metal for my PET scan, but one thing I am wearing is Bobbi Brown Treatment Lipshine in Rosy .  It’s a gorgeous warm pinky brown color that looks great on ALL skintones, not quite a full on lipstick, but also not quite just a lip gloss.  One thing I’ve learned is to live for today and today I choose to have a Rosy outlook on life!

Like Father, Like Daughter

17 Jun

Me and my dad

People have always asked me where I got my love for music and my musical ability.  Although I have many musically inclined relatives, I have to say that most of my passion for music came from my dad.  Growing up, we had the turntable stereo with the 4 ft. speakers on each side in our family room.  At least a few times a week my dad would blast a symphony playing classical music and pretend to be the conductor.  I would watch in awe as he conducted Beethoven, Tchaikovsky, and even John Philip Sousa.  He would also continually play singers like Nat King Cole, Johnny Mathis, Tony Bennett and sing along with them.  My dad was and is always singing; sometimes instead of replying to a question with words, he replies with a tune.  I learned later on that he played the trombone in the college marching band and was also in a band playing the harmonica.

My dad and I are a lot a like.  We are both quiet and laid back and sometimes have difficulty expressing our feelings; I think that’s where the music comes in.  When we find it hard to express ourselves, there’s music that can do it for us.  My dad was stern and strict growing up and I’ve only seen him tear up a few times.  Every Christmas, he would play Filipino carols and tear up because of the family and friends he missed in the Philippines.  That’s what I mean, emotion through music.  Now for me, music runs deep, it affects my heart and I can literally feel each note and word of a song.  I thank my dad for this love and expression.  He has taught me many things and even though he’s a man of few words I understand him.

Happy Father’s Day Dad, I Love You!

For Dad’s day I wear Estee Lauder Pure Color Gloss in Rock Candy.  It’s a gorgeous soft baby pink lipgloss with diamond shimmer throughout, great for any skintone!  I wear it because the pink reminds me of my childhood and the bling reminds me of the musical showman my dad truly is!

Lost and Found

12 Jun

There are certain things I have lost and that I miss because of my cancer and all the complications associated with it.  I miss running, dancing, swimming, and even riding a bike with my kids without having any breathing difficulty.  I miss some of my taste buds, so now, something has to be very sweet, very spicy, or very sour for me to taste.  I miss being warm on a warm day because my thyroid is no longer there to help control my internal temperature.  I miss having a sore throat and not having to wonder if the cancer is back once again.  I miss coughing without having people try to stay away from me because it’s so loud and uncontrolled or having my kids worry about me from the sound of the cough.  I miss being able to talk all day and sing whatever I want with ease all night and still have a voice with no sore throat.  I miss sleeping on my left side because I am a side sleeper, but now when I sleep on my left I choke and cough because of all the scar tissue on that side.  I miss my right vocal chord which if it were still functioning, I could talk better, sing better, and breathe better.

On the other hand, I have found many beautiful things.  I have found a deeper understanding of me and the world around me.  I have found a new love for people, their histories, and their stories.  I have found people that truly care and deeper friendships.  I have found a greater appreciation of time and a greater passion for life and every moment.  I have found a deeper faith in God and inner strength I never even knew I had.  I have found a new and strong voice in my writing.  In the end, I have found courage.

So no, cancer did not take away from me, it gave my heart more life.  For this I wear Christian Dior #773, Rouge Podium.  It’s a color that’s hard to describe…pink/orange/red?  It’s not as bright as it sounds.  It’s the first lipstick my husband has ever complimented me on (and he hates bright lipstick).  He says it brightens up my face and reminds him of a summer day.  That’s why I wear it, for sunnier days ahead!


20 May

Earlier this week I went shopping with a friend.  She, like me, is a lipstick fanatic (amongst other things).  We decided to go to a local upscale mall and played for hours at Nordstrom and Neimann’s.  It was so much fun and yes, we walked out with a few things.  It’s funny in a bad economy how everyone wants to help you find the right shade or the right scent.  Just a few years ago when the economy was a little better, no one behind the counters even looked at me while I played.

In sharp contrast, the next day I was at a homeless shelter with another one of my friends.  She heads up the children and youth services there because yes, there are many homeless families.  This particular home housed over 200 people; years ago predominantly men, now, the majority women and children.  They have a three year program that helps people from the inside out.  Not only taking them out of addiction, but bringing them back to health and confidence internally and externally.  My friend Melissa told me that many people come with just the clothes on their backs.  All I know is that the face of homeless has changed.  Some were former ‘suburbanites’, working class, who have either struggled with addiction or who have lost their job and have nothing left.  Many are single moms and some are teenagers who have lost their youth to drugs and alcohol.  The shelter is immaculate and completely supplied by donations, from the food and clothing, to the bedding and toiletries.  I wanted to weep at all that they don’t have and yet these people surrounding me were surviving, thriving, wanting and accepting change.  It made me ponder my trip to the mall and all the people who surrounded me just the day before.

A couple strange headlines this week; first, on CNN there was news that there may be a blood test that can determine how long you will live.  Would you take it?  Does it allow for things like cancer, accidents, or being struck by lightning? And second, apparently the world is going to end.  Both these crazy stories lead to the question, if you knew you were going to die would you live your life differently?  We all know our birthdays but if we knew our death date, what would we change?  Having cancer multiple times brought that question to the forefront of my mind and still does, but we are all survivors.  The people at the mall surviving and coping with the economy, the people at the homeless shelter trying to overcome and survive, and everyone else who is dealing with daily adversities.  Life changes in a minute, no one knows the day or the hour of the end, so celebrate and live your moments intentionally.

Today I’ve got to go with the red lipstick again because living boldly is incredible; but I’m going sheer (because it’s day time and I’ve got nowhere to go). I am going with Lipstick Queen-Medieval.  It is a sheer red that anyone can wear and it feels like a lip balm, how can you go wrong?

Just Breathe

10 May

It’s springtime in Michigan (finally).  Grass is starting to look green again, trees, flowers, and bushes are blooming, and for me, spring allergies are starting up.  What that means in my world is that since having cancer, surgeries in my neck, radiation, and vocal chord paralysis, it has become increasingly more difficult to breathe.  I already have a dry throat from the RAI and external beam radiation but since I take allergy meds, it gets even drier.  Sometimes the dryness makes me cough uncontrollably for long periods of time.  Because of my paralysis, my cough sounds more like a bark or a sneeze.  People either say “bless you” or they slowly move as far away from me as possible.  The coughing and drainage make my vocal chords swell which in turn make it more difficult for me to breathe.

  All this to say that breathing is a miracle.  We have five senses; see, hear, taste, touch, smell.  They say that when people are missing even one of these, that their other senses    become heightened.  But breathing on the other hand is life;  without breath, there’s no life and when breathing is difficult, there’s fear.  Last week I visited with part of my voice team (from the book, Dr. Rubin and Dr. Menaldi).  It’s amazing to me how observant they are. They can hear and detect different nuances to my voice and my breathing just when they hear me speak or even while I’m just sitting there.  I have less fear knowing that they’re prepared to aid in my breathing and speaking as necessary and are always there checking on me.

I know for me that my difficulties will happen every spring and fall, or even at random times, but that’s ok.  It’s now a part of me, a reminder of the amazing journey I’ve been through, and a reminder to slow down and listen to my body and to simply breathe in life.  Take a deep breath, smell the new flowers, the freshly mowed lawn, the springtime air, and remember to thank God for life and the miracle of new beginnings. 

This week I am wearing Bare Escentuals Buxom Lips lip gloss in Kanani.  It is a beautiful, sheer peachy pink color.  What’s great about the Buxom glosses is that they make your lips tingle when you put them on.  Since we’re talking spring and new life, I thought this tingle would wake your lips up!  I’ve also been asked about other cosmetics I use.  First off, I buy lipstick all the time, the rest of the stuff, maybe once a year. I’ll start with foundation for today.  For everyday, I use Bare Escentuals Mineral Powder-matte.  It’s just a light powder that melts into your skin.  For the days I feel like I may need more coverage (when I’m tired or for a special event), I’ll wear Armani Luminous Silk foundation.  This is a miracle product because it’s light as air yet covers every flaw, it’s also got buildable coverage.  So that’s it…Happy Spring (and always wear SPF)!

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