Tag Archives: red lipstick

Taking A Break

25 Feb

2013-02-19 05.17.29

Last week we spent a week in paradise. We got out of the cold and snowy Michigan weather and took a trip to beautiful Punta Cana. The weather was perfect; hot and sunny everyday, the sand was white and the ocean was beautiful and blue. Everyday was spent by the pool and beach and it was precious time spent with my family. Looking at the kids I realize that we only have a few years left with my oldest before he’s an adult; time slips by so fast. It was a great break from the cold but also the monotony of every day, busy life. I took some time to really think about everything that has happened over the past few weeks with the blood test and ultrasound and I couldn’t help feeling a little sad. If you read my Dear Cancer letter you knew that just a few weeks ago it was anger that I was feeling, but today, not so much. I guess I’m sad because this whole cancer/cancer survivor/possible cancer story will always be a part of my life, but not just me, those around me too. There were times on this vacation that I had trouble breathing. Whether it was the humidity, allergies, whatever it was, it was that constant reminder that cancer had taken something from me and I was sad. Another thing I noticed, which made me even more sad, was that I feel like I’m losing my smile (metaphorically speaking). Previous to all of this cancer stuff, I had no problems keeping a smile on my face but now, at times, it feels a little like a struggle and I hate it. Maybe it’s just now but I can’t really tell. I am desperately seeking out the magic and the blessing in every day and I still find it, but my smile seems to be fading a little. Anyhow, I guess it’s that whole cancer roller coaster that I can’t seem to get off of completely.2013-02-17 22.15.05

Just to update you all on what’s going on, since the ultrasound didn’t show any sizable tumors and my number was only elevated by a small number, my doctor thought that it was not a medical necessity to do the PET scan yet, but he said as soon as my insurance will cover it (October), he will schedule it right away. So now, we wait…again. I thought I would be able to forget about it for awhile because I trust my doctor and his decision, but the thought of that elevated number keeps popping into my mind. If you’re a praying person, I’m asking for a little peace until October. I trust in God’s plan and I’m mainly praying for the peace and the freedom to live every day to the fullest…with an easy smile on my face. Thank you for walking with me on my lipstick journey.

Today I wear YSL Golden Gloss in Golden Shell which is a sheer pinky beige color. First of all, these glosses have real gold flecks in them and are a little pricey, but I LOVE them. The texture, color, and consistency of these are awesome! They have some vibrant colors that I also own and they are all beautiful and can be worn on their own or on top of lipstick. I chose Golden Shell because it reminded me of the sand on the beach. Cheers!

It’s That Time Again…

9 Jan

bloodwork

Oh no, not again. Yup, it’s that time of year. Time for the blood-work and all the check-ups to see if the cancer is back. Since this is the 2 year mark I only have to get the tests done every six months or until they see something different. Remember last August they did see a little something but nothing substantial enough for action. Well, today they took four vials of blood to see if there are any changes. Two of the vials are going to California for that ‘unique’ test to see if I have tumor markers signifying cancer. Unfortunately since its a test given to rare cases like me, I have to wait 3-4 weeks for the results…ahhh fun times. Otherwise, my doctor said all seemed ok. While at the doctors office I got in a conversation with a gentleman in the small waiting area amidst the patient rooms while I was waiting for the phlebotomist to collect my blood. He asked what I was getting blood-work for and then he asked,’ Well, thyroid cancer is the best cancer to get right?” As you know, most thyroid cancer survivors don’t appreciate that statement, no cancer is good cancer. Anyhow, I replied, ‘ For some,’ then I asked if he was being seen for something. He proceeded to tell me with teary eyes that 35 years ago his wife had lymphoma (cancer of lymph nodes) followed 10 years later with pancreatic cancer, then 5 years ago, colon cancer, and now they think thyroid cancer. So, I repeated the very phrase that I dislike to him, ‘Well, thyroid cancer is the best cancer to get, easily treated for sure.’ I couldn’t believe what this couple has been through and I was so grateful that I was hopefully on the tail end of my cancer journey.

So here I am today, if the results are good then I will be over two years cancer free. For me, a mile marker easing my mind that quite possibly it’s over and maybe I can finally adjust to my new normal. What’s bad about today and all the tests,  is that it brought back those feelings of anxiety and insecurity; it was a reminder that yes, I had cancer, it’s come back a few times and no, I have no control over it. It’s so crazy and sad and depressing, but of course I was blessed with a quote on a radio talk show about the future at exactly the time I got into my car and turned on the radio after the appointment. The host was talking about the future and quoted Abe Lincoln, “The best part about the future is that it happens one day at a time.” How awesome is that? I just finished my appt and bloodwork from one arm and was headed to another lab for bloodwork on the other arm and heard that on the radio! God is good, that’s the truth, one day at a time, no control. I don’t know what the results will be one month from now but there is nothing I can do until then. Life moves on so I must continue seeking that magic. The blessing now is that once again I am reminded of the brevity of life and I can’t wait to continue living it.

Today I wear Buxom Full Bodied Lip Gloss in Hot Mama. First of all, I love the Buxom glosses. They are moisturizing and have beautiful color…these are some of my favorites. Hot mama is red of course and I love it both for the color and the name; hot mama, I wish! Cheers!

2013

27 Dec

snow

Four more days until the new year…2013. It’s hard to believe how fast time goes by. I ran into a friend today and asked her how Christmas was for her and her family this year and she said, ‘uneventful, thank goodness’. She said it was the first time in a few years that there wasn’t crying. Last year her mom passed away, the year before, her sister. She told me that she and her family were able to do ‘normal’ Christmas things without tears…church, family dinner, presents…she said it was very peaceful and loved seeing everyone smiling again. I can relate in a small way. Remember from a past post that December has been a hard month in my cancer journey, either I was diagnosed with cancer, recovering, or preparing for a surgery. This year I declared a moratorium on anything health related; no doctors appointments, blood work, etc. and I guess you could say this December was also peaceful for me. I am also fortunate enough to have the holidays off of work so I don’t return until January 2. With all this downtime I’ve been reflecting on the events of the past year. Highlights include me still being able to sing at my fourth Voice Day concert after three surgeries, a paralyzed vocal cord and major radiation(twice), a trip to Europe with my family, the kids all playing basketball (the face of my daughter when she came home and said she made the team…priceless), good 20120629-204705.jpggrades, dance recital, good health, running in 3 races, and NO CANCER year 2! Yup, the highlights were awesome, but some of the best memories were just every day things. I am so thankful for so much it’s quite overwhelming. My daughter today asked what my New Year’s resolutions are, well, I don’t really have any. It’s kinda bad but I’ve always been the one to literally live day to day. Yes, I have really large, no, monumental goals and aspirations, but since I’m quite the dreamer some may be unattainable…I don’t care, you never know, I mean, who knew I would write and a publish a book? Anyhow, there are things I would like to improve or just keep doing in the new year:

Cover

* Respect every person and invest in their story *Speak the truth * Be intentional *Live boldly *Keep dreaming big * As Eleanor Roosevelt says, ‘Do one thing everyday that scares you’… ‘You gain strength, courage, and confidence by every experience by which you really stop to look fear in the face.’

As I look toward 2013 I know big things are in store. I have that restless feeling that I get so often, so much so that I have strange energy brewing from my fingertips to my toes. I’m not sure what the future holds and I also know that life is short and time goes so fast. What are you thankful for? What are you looking forward to? Don’t hold back…SEIZE THE DAY!

Today I wear my go to red lipstick for the holidays Lancome L’Absolu Rouge in Merlot. It is a deep red/burgundy which I have loved for a few years. It’s surprisingly moisturizing (most reds are not) and for me, its the perfect evening red. Happy 2013…CHEERS!

Impulse

12 Sep

Coming home from work today I saw one of those giant flocks of small birds flying in different formations over a field. You know the ones I’m talking about? I think they are sparrows, but literally there are hundreds flying and weaving, landing, turning, it’s quite the sight to see. Against the backdrop of the clear blue sky, it was beautiful. While watching (and driving), I noticed that as they flew in formation, it seemed that one bird would fly on impulse another way; then one, two, a hundred would follow. It occured several times within seconds.

School started last week for my kids and there has been quite a bit of discussion on popularity in my house..with a pre-teen and a teenager, well of course. “Why is so and so popular?”, “what makes people popular?”…oh yeah, I forgot about all of that pressure. I was never the popular one but I was always nice to everyone which made me ‘well known’ in many different groups of my large school. Today when I watched the birds I was able to talk about that to my kids in terms of popularity. I told them that the birds all flew in a cluster but there was always a leader, in a matter of seconds though, another bird would impulsively go a different direction then the cluster would follow. Do you want to be part of the pack following the popular kid (or lead bird) or the one that breaks off and does your own thing, maybe some come along beside you, maybe not, or maybe new people show up? It’s much more fun to do your own thing and not just be a follower, plus, (as evidenced by the birds) the leader lost his status within seconds. Popularity is fleeting and comes and goes like the wind. I told them to stand firm in who they are, follow their passions, and love people. Everyone has a story and a reason, take time to listen and invest in people. It’s hard to be a parent, I’m sure we’ll have this discussion again, maybe I’ll see something else that I can use as an analogy.

Here’s to the crazy ones. The misfits. The rebels. The troublemakers. The round pegs in the square holes. The ones who see things differently. They’re not fond of rules. And they have no respect for the status quo. You can quote them, disagree with them, glorify or vilify them. About the only thing you can’t do is ignore them. Because they change things. They push the human race forward. And while some may see them as the crazy ones, we see genius. Because the people who are crazy enough to think they can change the world, are the ones who do.”
Apple Inc.

Speaking of impulsiveness, I have purchased three lipsticks in two days ,one’s going back and another is a refill on my fall favorite. My color for today and the fall favorite I’m talking about is Lancome L’Absolu Rouge lipstick in Merlot. This happens to be the perfect deep red shade for me. Also the consistency is VERY moisturizing which I love. This is a lipstick I buy every year for fall and winter and is perfect if you have tan skin. Incidentally a perfect bright red for more of a porcelain to medium skin tone is Nars Velvet Matte Lip Pencil in Red Square. It’s an awesome color but unfortunately for me it makes me look like a crazy woman…too bright, sigh, I’ll still wear it.

Angry

15 Aug

 

I recently read a post on cancer anger and loneliness written by someone who recently found out she was cancer free. I would reference her but I can’t seem to find the exact post I read. Anyhow, after reading about her current feelings it helped me sort out mine. Ever since the news from my ultrasound last week I have been trying to figure out how I feel (not to mention the fact that people close to me keep asking), and I haven’t been able to articulate exactly what I was feeling. I don’t think the news was terrible but I don’t think they were perfect either (perfect would’ve been ‘all clean, see you next year’). After reading her post, I knew what I felt. I am angry right now. Not crazy with anger, just resting in it. I’m angry about the news, the fact that I cannot seem to move forward, away from the cancer path of my life journey, the fact that I am always trying to overcome the changes in my body. If you’ve seen the movie Enchanted there is a scene where Giselle is trying to articulate to Robert how she is feeling,she gets all flustered and blurts out, ‘Angry…I feel so angry!’ but then she starts laughing. I believe she laughed because it was so freeing for her to feel it and say it. Well, here I am. I’m angry…so angry. It’s ok, I’m dealing with it and still functioning like a normal person, all with a smile on my face; and I know I will get over it. However this turns out, I know I will  go through a plethora of feelings but this seems new to me. I don’t think I allowed myself to get mad before, or maybe I just didn’t have the time between the surgeries, treatment, and the cancer coming back. For now, I rest easy in ‘angry’ mode and I know it’s probably normal…just don’t make me mad..just kidding.

Today I wear Tarte Glamazon Pure Performance Lipstick in Fierce. Remember, Tarte lipsticks are all natural so this contains amazonian clay and shea butter which help keeps this long lasting lipstick moist on your lips. I chose Fierce because it’s red and I’m feeling the name right now…watch out!

Enough Already!

8 Aug

Cheers for a new day!

Today was an interesting day. I started off the day early with an ultrasound to my neck. Because of the experimental blood test I took 6 months ago showing I had no cancer cells, I was able to wait a full year before doing my ultrasound and PET scan. Last night I told myself that if he didn’t see anything today, to me, my cancer journey would officially be over and life would just be moving forward in my new ‘normal’. It has been a full year since my last ultrasound and already two years since my last surgery and external beam radiation, so again, a clean ultrasound today for me meant…officially over. Well, it wasn’t exactly the news I wanted. Keep in mind, I know this doctor. He has been the radiologist who has looked in my neck every 3-6 months for four years now. I have heard him say ‘there’s something there’ , ‘it’s back’, ‘you’re clean’, ‘see you next year’, etc…I have seen my doctors so many times that I understand their mannerisms and expressions. So today when he said, ‘hmmm, there’s some tissue there and it’s thick.’ What does that mean? ‘I’m not sure, but that’s exactly what I’m going to write on my notes. It’s thicker than last time, a year ago, when’s your PET scan?’ Not scheduled yet. ‘Oh, ok, you should probably schedule that.’ Is it good or bad? ‘I’m not sure, it’s just…more’. More what? ‘Do the PET scan.’

Needless to say, I left not knowing how to respond. Let’s just say I wasn’t overwhelmed with joy, but I wasn’t totally devastated either. I just felt nothing, so I went to work. I spoke to one of my friends a little while after and he said, ‘How do you do it?’ What? ‘Continue on normally with life, work, etc when you’ve been on an emotional roller coaster for four years.’ You just do. As I thought about his question throughout the day I started getting a little angry. Yes, I’ve been on this rollercoaster for awhile and well, I want off. I have remained positive and strong thanks to my faith, family and friends, but sometimes it feels like I’m walking on thin ice and at anytime it could crack and I will drown. So here are my hidden feelings, things that I don’t usually share except with a select few. I hate this. I hate asking for prayers and help over and over again because I feel like a drainer of people. I hate that I have a harder time swallowing and breathing. I hate that my kids never quite know how to react or what to ask after every test. I’m sick of fighting with my body…fighter, survivor?  No, just always fighting. I hate sore throats and necks. Sometimes I don’t want to be positive , but truth is that if I do fall through the ice I’m afraid I would never resurface, so I keep skimming the top. No, I really am not afraid. I trust in God’s plan. Sounds hokey and religious to some, but that’s how it truly is for me. I’m not scared, I’m just sick of all this and I really don’t like to have to think about anymore. Unfortunately because of all my appointments and how my breathing, speaking, singing etc. have changed, I’m forced to.

Well, enough of my rant. Thank you for listening, praying, and supporting me always. Thanks to this blog, I can rant and rave and not keep those feelings hidden ,that’s worse, everyone needs an outlet, so find yours. For now I will move forward with my red lipstick on. Today I choose Nars lipstick in Fire Down Below (a color I’ve chosen before). Nars lipsticks are great for color, staying power, and of course the names, love this name….cheers!

Waiting

7 Feb

It’s been an emotional week for me so far. Superbowl Sunday brought a mix of emotions because it was four years ago when the Giants played the Patriots in the Superbowl. How do I know that you may ask, well, four years ago is when this cancer journey began. I remember finding out I had cancer in the beginning of January and scheduling my surgery as soon as possible, January 31, 2008. I remember that year, my husband’s fantasy football quarterback was Tom Brady. I also remember the argument we had two weeks before the Superbowl because one of his good friends called and said he had an extra ticket for the game and was asking my husband to go. Yes, of course he wanted to go, but I reminded him that my surgery was the same weekend. Hubby says, ‘once in a lifetime’, I reply, yes, hopefully for me too (I was a little upset he was even thinking about going). Well, he didn’t go and the Giants won then too. Superbowl Sunday 2008 I was in a hospital room. Just the day before, my doctor told me my singing was over and my prognosis was bad because my nerve was cut leaving my vocal cord paralyzed and the cancer was everywhere. Lots to think about.

This year, again, Giants vs Patriots, Giants win…deja vu. Today, I’m waiting. I have had very few clean scans and tests since then and now I am waiting for the results of the latest test. It’s an experimental blood test which my doctor says may be able to detect cancer instead of another PET scan for me (I’m maxed out on radiation, so the less I get the better). Unfortunately since it’s not a test usually done, the results take a little longer (he told me 2-3 weeks). I have been patiently waiting now for 2 and a half weeks but my patience is wearing thin. Sometimes I feel as if the past few years have been a waiting game; waiting for treatment, waiting for the next test, waiting for the results. Crazy, upsetting, unsettling, depressing, you name it. The bottom line is this, I am not in control of the situation. I have to release my fears and anxieties and just live…a message I have to tell myself DAILY, EVERY MINUTE. It’s hard, but we have to live right? Live your life

Worry does not empty tomorrow of its sorrow. It empties today of its strength.- Corrie Ten Boom

Today I wear Revlon Colorburst Lip Butter in Red Velvet (no link, you can get it at the drugstore). It’s amazingly moisturizing and has lots of color. RED-LIVE LIFE NOW

Cancer Free?

21 Jan

Recently I spoke with a co worker about his young son who had just been declared ‘in remission’. His son had been fighting a rare brain tumor for the past three years and is now officially done. What does it mean to be cancer free , in remission, etc.?  2011 was my first year since 2008 that I wasn’t in some sort of cancer ‘thing’; surgery, treatment, etc. In June of 2011 though, I was told that cancer cells were seen on PET scan, but in September the ultrasound showed no tumors. I had an appointment with one of my physicians this week and asked him if that meant I was done and there were not really cancer tumors, he said he didn’t know for sure…hmmm. When my co worker asked how I felt about the constant cancer scare, I said, ‘I’m here today and all we really have is today.’

So what does it mean to be cancer free. I think this statement means different things to different people depending on the type of cancer, how long the battle has gone on, how long they’ve been declared ‘cancer free’. For me, I still struggle, maybe because those words are still fresh and I’ve hardly been told that. I’ve been told, ‘this should be it,’ or ‘so far we think this has worked,’ but mostly what stays in my mind are the statements, ‘it’s back’, ‘there’s something suspicious on the scan’, or ‘I’m not sure, here’s the plan.’ I think in time as I hear it more, the term ‘cancer free’ will be a more joyous one. For now, I let friends and family celebrate while I look forward with apprehension.

This week I had bloodwork done to see if there were any changes or tumor markers detected. So for today, while I’m ‘cancer free’, I’m happy and nervous at the same time (it’s kinda a daily thing). I look at each and every day as a new day, a new opportunity to do something, to try something different, to make a positive impact on the world. I have been exhausted this week. My mind won’t stop thinking about the different things I’d like to do or accomplish. Being a cancer survivor I want to LIVE each day strong. Now I finally understand the whole LIVESTRONG thing. The thoughts and goals that have plagued my mind (and my sleep) have led me to this conclusion: because I’m a cancer survivor and because those cells always seem to be lurking around, I don’t want to miss anything. Do you know what I’m talking about? I don’t want to miss life. Sure I still have many responsibilities, job, family, etc, but I just don’t want to miss it and I feel myself running ragged to soak up every bit of life I can get. I’ve started exercising again, trying to sing again, learning spanish and french (nothing big, through a program on my new ipad), taking classes to become a life coach, but I still want to learn guitar, maybe write another book, the list goes on. It’s crazy, but it’s reality. How many of you hear those stories about people waiting to do _________until after they retire and end up dying before they even get the chance to try. We don’t have that kind of time. Ralph Waldo Emerson wrote, “Guard well your spare moments. They are like uncut diamonds. Discard them and their value will never be known. Improve them and they will become the brightest gems in a useful life.” Live now, start something. If you have a small spark brewing, jump on it. Dream big and go for it…and teach your children the same thing.

Today I wear, YSL Golden Gloss #17, Golden Cherry. It is a sheer red gloss with specks of real gold. I have to tell you it’s a little pricey, but holy cow, it’s probably the best gloss out there (I own four colors). It’s not sticky, it’s sheer, but also has beautiful ‘just enough’ color. I chose it because red lips is my thing, throw in some gold and what else can I say? Live

Happy New Year!

31 Dec

One year ago today, I left a job that wasn’t for me. I took the job because I had gotten laid off from a previous job and this one sounded like something I could do which would expand my horizon ; I had been in the same job since college and this was a little bit of a departure into a different industry. Within a month I knew it was not the job for me.  There were additional duties that were not part of the job description I applied for, and, well, many other things. I lasted 6 stressful months knowing I wouldn’t be there that long. I have never quit a job before so it was very difficult for me, not to mention I did not have another job waiting. When I quit, I left the family with one less income and no health benefits, quite the leap of faith from a cancer patient, but I have never regretted the decision. It took another six months to find a job, but prayerfully, the right one came at just the right time. After everything I had been through over the past few years with cancer back and forth, I did not want to waste another minute doing something I didn’t care for and I also trusted that God would open other doors. Trusting God sometimes is a difficult thing. What I’ve learned is that it is easy to trust Him with what we think the plan should be, but alot more difficult trusting Him when it is apparent He has a different plan. How often do we force our plan to work? How we want things to turn out, what we want to do…tuning out advice and wisdom and forging ahead in our selfishness?  OK, too deep.  Anyhow looking back at this year, it was a wise decision and I feel blessed.

It’s a good thing looking back at the blessings because it is so easy to forget about things. Who talks about the major tsunami in Japan that killed thousands of people this year? How about the tornadoes in the South that killed hundreds? I started the year jobless, but it gave me time to write and publish a book. I started a blog which has helped me process feelings and feel support from you. In March I was told I was finally cancer free only to be told in June that there were still cancer cells; in September, no tumors (talk about a rollercoaster). I got a new job back in my old industry with a boss I love. My family is healthy, happy, and intact, and it seems the kids don’t even remember I had cancer. It’s hard for me to move into the new year because I feel somewhat unfinished with 2011 but we all have to forge ahead. I’m not a big believer in resolutions because it seems when we (at least me) verbalize a ‘resolution’, my brain automatically answers back , ‘yeah, right’  then my body follows suit. When there is something I think or want to do or try, I just go for it. Guitar, exercise, learn a foreign language…just start! Take the time to look back at 2011 and be thankful for life. I know there were probably several disapointments but I’m sure there were many blessings. Remember, learn, and forge ahead into the new year grateful for each day because life is short.  Happy 2012!

Today I wear Nars Velvet Matte Lip Pencil (cross between lipstick and lip pencil) in Dragon Girl which is siren red. I chose it cuz I’m feelin’ it! CHEERS!!

A Wonderful Life

19 Dec

Every year during this time my family has watched the movie “It’s A Wonderful Life” and every year I tear up at the end when all the people come in to help. I know you’re familiar with the premis of the stoy but as a reminder, George wonders what it would be like had he never been born.  Do you ever wonder that same question? I think being a wife and mom, we sometimes feel unappreciated; we care for the husband and kids, we taxi them around, we make them meals, and some of us even throw a job outside the home into the mix. It is in those moments that I sometimes wonder, what if I couldn’t do any of it. In the hospital after my first surgery for my cancer, my doctor told me that my prognosis was bad and he was not confident in my future. In the moments alone, I wondered what my family’s life would be like without me.  Believe it or not I started getting angry at my husband just thinking about what he wasn’t going to do for the kids, no driving, no lunch making, no dance class, etc…can you believe it? I was thinking that? I also wondered what my kids’ life  (who were 5,7, and 10 at the time) would be like without a mother. It was so sad and overwhelming I had to stop my thoughts in their tracks and turn them around for the positive immediately. From then, the cancer has come back a few times and every single time I fight those same thoughts. During this same time and even now, I have had my own ‘Wonderful Life’ moments. So many people from my past and present sent cards and made meals, one old friend who I hadn’t seen in at least ten years even offered to fly here to just sit with me. I was again overwhelmed.

So, like in the movie, our lives matter. As a mom to younger kids they’re need for us is apparent; but as they grow and get more independent, they’re need seems to lessen, but they still need us (trust me, I’m 40+ and I may not say it all the time but I still need my mom and I’m fortunate to have her close by). On the other side, I was stunned by the people who reached out to me during those difficult times. We may not know who or when we impact someone’s life, but we get a new chance with every interaction. I’ve said this before, but every single interaction we have daily leaves some type of impact or impression, wouldn’t it be great if it was a positive one? You never know, so watch your words and actions because they are powerful and people remember.

~ Strange, isn’t it? Each man’s life touches so many other lives. When he isn’t around he leaves an awful hole, doesn’t he?~

Clarence Oddbody (From “It’s A Wonderful Life”)
 
Today I’m still wearing red because of the holidays so I choose Ultraflesh lipstick in Spark. It is a matte cherry red lipstick with an amazing name…be the spark that lights someone’s life.  Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays!!
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