Thursday, March 9, 2017

Sunscreen and Saran Wrap

So I know you're all dying to know what's happening with my weird crusty index finger knuckle- well, if you guessed "eczema + secondary infection" on the last post (and some of you did!), you were right!!

Your prize is the cookie I ate yesterday while feeling sorry for myself because going to the dermatologist ALWAYS makes me feel sorry for myself.

doctor-prescribed mummy-finger

I mean of course it could be much worse, I'm reminded of that each time I go in there too. But I just turned 34, and it depresses me that every patch of questionable skin on my body is dubbed precancerous and has to be frozen or carefully monitored or eyed suspiciously for when it next tries to turn into cancer because all of my skin is trying to do that. Well, not all. The skin on my face looks great cancer-wise, I really was very diligent about sunscreen in my youth because I burned so quickly and painfully, but I generally only reapplied on my face, not my neck, back, and shoulders and that's where the cancers are all lurking now. And even now, I put on sunscreen every day, but just on my face, forgetting again that daily UV damage is hitting me everywhere, including the skin exposed on my arms, chest, and upper back, anytime I'm in its path, including just riding in a car by the window or sitting at my desk. This is why it is SO important to think beyond sunscreen. First because it's not a steel barrier between you and the sun, you're still getting some damage, but also, the sun is damaging all the time, not just when you're going to the beach or sitting out by the pool. Wearing UV blocking clothes, applying sunscreen to all exposed areas, and just generally minimizing your exposure are all also critical.

Lag Livs in Mexico; rashguarded forevermore

I continue to love Coolibar for UV clothes and swimwear for all ages and genders and Cabana Life for super cute swimwear for women and kids (their rash guards are the ones I'm wearing in all my pics from last summer; I think this one may be this summer's selection. I used to love shopping for swimsuits. If I must now be fully covered, I insist on feeling cute while I do it. And you can use LLSPF for 20% off your order!). I wash all the kids' outer clothes every season in this SPF laundry rinse, which Good Housekeeping found to be effective after many tests. Sunday Afternoons has the best array of head wear I've found and I MUST force myself to buy and wear a hat this year. If only I thought I looked non-ridiculous in them. But as the skin cancer scar across my chest that my dermatologist confirmed yesterday is quite permanent (sob) reminds me, it's better to look less cute at the pool than to have to burn off all your flesh with a zombie skin cream.

Maybe this one? I don't know you guys; I've never bought a hat in my life

My doctor also recommended IPL photofacial treatments for the damage on my chest. Not only would it just improve the appearance of the skin, which I would not mind as it is discolored and bumpy (though not terrible), it would pull out the sun damage, offering a preventative treatment for my future basal cell carcinomas that just waiting to materialize. It isn't cheap ($300/treatment) and it would take 3 treatments, but it's on my list for future consideration. If anyone has done IPL phototherapy I'd love to hear how it went. And in the meantime, I will be wearing doctor-ordered saran wrap around my finger for the next 10 days to keep my high dose steroid cream smothering my eczema and my infection contained and my finger weird and shiny and also hitting all the wrong keys on my keyboard. I'm also on an oral antibiotic for 10 days too. As I learned when my doctor and her assistant jumped back from my hand when I showed it to them, my finger was pretty messed up. Sometimes my life motto of "everything is fine/everything will be fine" does not work out.


As always, I walked over to the cosmetic side of the practice after my appointment feeling vulnerable, handed them my credit card, and asked for something that would make me feel pretty. I now own this clay mask and did it last night while eyeing my cryotherapy blister bubble on my precancerous arm with deep suspicion. (Is it supposed to make a bubble? Like a big full bubble? My face couldn't make any expressions because of the clay mask, but I had a concerned look in my eyes.).

[Not pictured; I mean, it IS pictured, but after 10+ years of blogging I'm trying to maintain just a little bit of mystery.]

I will say, my skin feels amazing post-mask and my pores are sparkling clean and much minimized. I continue to love everything I've ever used from Skinceuticals. My skin, where it is not seeded with precancers, is glowing. Also after my appointment I made myself go to yoga at lunch so I would feel powerful in my body again instead of just betrayed and I did 8-angle pose for the first time. It helped even more than my new clay mask. I don't think anything makes me feel as good in my skin as yoga does.

(picture from this instructional page)

In continuing my theme from the last post, we had some extra time before bed last night, so James and Landon played a Super Nintendo game, Claire read a book, and Cora played a puzzle game with me. Everyone doing their own different thing, all within a 4-foot radius of the others. That is precisely us.

And finally, on Tuesday night Claire had a special evening out as James and I went with her to see her outwork displayed at the Fort Worth ISD District Art Show!

Her piece was picked among one or two others to represent the 1st grade and she was SO EXCITED. We got dinner together just the two of us beforehand, met James post-coaching at the show, and then all got ice cream with friends after. Landon and Cora stayed home with Tara and it was a very special night with our bear.

The show was held at the Central Public Library downtown, which seemed perfect after all our talk about the beauty and importance of the public library system. And I loved this quote, emblazoned across the lobby:

I finished Morning Son, book #3 of the Red Rising trilogy in the wee hours of the morning on Wednesday and I LOVED it. I thought his story-telling got better as the trilogy went along and I just loved the ending. I also love that he's putting out another trilogy set 10 years later and the first book comes out in August! I'm thrilled to have new author with new releases for me to breathlessly anticipate. Speaking of those, Patricia Briggs had a new Mercy Thompson novel out on Tuesday and Kresley Cole has another coming out in April. I can't wait! My kindle has a bounty of books on it right now and I'm about to dive into my next (Into the Fire; the last book in her Night Prince mini-series, a solid spin-off of the Cat and Bones books which I loved (at least the first few; the last few weren't my favorites. This happened with the Charley Davidson books too; I loved them in the beginning but I really couldn't stand her character by the second-to-last book and have still never read the most recent offering, which is unheard of for me. It was like the author took what was quirky and fun about Charley's personality and made it ALL of her personality and I stopped enjoying her, but I suppose I should get some closure and read the last book, especially since the library lets me do it for free. I may read about demons and witches and vampires, but I do not like my characters to be ridiculous.)).

Anyway, I need to get to my next round of ill-advised late night reading binges, so I leave you with this random picture of James coaching one of his adult students, a triathlete wanting to improve her swimming split. I enjoy the image of him giving orders from a water chariot. Totally what his job is all about.

(You cannot imagine the number of times I had to hit backspace while typing with a saran wrap covered finger. I am deeply committed to wining about my skin and telling you all to wear sunscreen and SPF clothing. DEEPLY COMMITTED.) (Backspace 3 more times in that little parenthetical. ARGH. I feel a water chariot would somehow make this better.)


  1. I just moved to Florida and am the same skin tone as you so as you can imagine I am buying ALL of the rash guards right now and considering purchasing stock in a sunscreen company. I wanted to let you/your readers know Cabana life is having a 50% off sale right now! I was able to get two rash guards for a total of $70!

    1. That's awesome! I really love their stuff. My two rash guards from last year still look amazing through a summer of daily pool wear (or, sitting near the pool wear... but I did have to get in with Cora a lot!), multiple lake house trips, and 6 days in Mexico. I'm having a hard time justifying buying a new one, but I really like having a new swim suit at the start of each summer and these are my swim suit now :)

    2. Take a look at these hats. They are pretty cute. I have the Striped Ribbon Crusher Hat, 5″brim one and like it a lot.

      Anon - jlv

  2. LOVE that you loved the Red Rising series! And I agree completely, Book 3 was so freaking solid and well written—it tied the whole series up so beautifully while still being true to the characters. I just finished the first Cat and Bones book and while Cat annoys me (come on lady, stop being so beholden to your mother), I'm excited to get into Book 2.

    From the library yesterday, I finally got Betrayals, the 4th book in the Cainsville series by Kelley Armstrong. If you haven't read this series, it's fantastic!

    Enjoy your weekend!

    1. Yes, my parenthetical was getting too long, but I thought as I was typing it "you didn't love the first book either." Which must mean #2 and #3 were REALLY good because I really did come to love the characters even as I liked the plot points less as their stories went on. I'll also note that I loved the novellas even more than some of the main books (like Spade and Mencheres's books). It's just a fun world she created.

      And I haven't read the Kelley Armstrong series- I'll move it to the top of my list!

  3. This post was hilarious! Although your finger looks painful :(. I feel like rash guards used to be seen as frumpy, but they have such cute styles now that I find myself wanting to buy them for more than just health reasons.

  4. I have to ask - do you wear anything under the rash guard for, um, support? I would need something for both style and comfort.

    1. This is a good question! I wondered the same, but my body answered by itself when it became immediately clear I needed additional support for style, comfort, and maintaining normal female body proportions. I bought a coordinating bikini to go with my Cabana Life rash guard and it is adorable, but it's not my most comfortable one, so I also just bought a solid colored, comfortable bikini top from Old Navy to go under it as well. I wear the cute coordinating bikini bottom from Cabana Life, my comfortable light colored bikini top, and then my cute printed CL rash guard and it's a perfect set. You could also do a one-piece suit, a sports bra, really anything. I never found the bikini top to be be too hot or uncomfortable under the layers, but I think I would have thought so if I'd worn a 1-piece suit or tankini, but whatever works for you!

  5. I like the hat style and the fact that it's got an adjustable strap inside.

    Hope your finger feels better soon.