Sunday, September 25, 2016

Stepping Out Into the Sun

Except not, because it's pouring rain and sunlight will never touch my skin without sun coverings and sunscreen again. But it's metaphorical because I spent like 5 days living like a troll on the same couch cushion, wearing half a shirt, and wincing every time the skin on my chest moved or stretched making it crack and bleed and it was a dark time. I watched The Great British Baking Show one million times over and started and have now nearly finished the kids' 2014-2015 photobooks. I lost track of days and possibly wore the same pants for five of them. It was... not a good time for me.

I'm back!

As I mentioned last time, it turns out that I'm super allergic to bandaids. I had to use them because the cream was making my skin ooze so much, and while I thought it was weird each night that the skin always looked worse underneath, I just assumed the terrible anal wart cream was to blame. And it was, for most of it. But it was also a raging latex allergy and I had been peeling off layers of skin at each bandaid removal. By the time I figured it out my skin was so angry and raw-hamburgery absolutely nothing could touch it without pain, including air from the AC vents in the ceiling and invisible air molecules. I felt like a small brulee torch was being held up against my chest at all times. I had to drug myself to sleep each night and left an oozy slime trail everywhere I went. I alternated between feeling pitiful and then feeling so thankful I didn't have real cancer and chemotherapy wasn't going straight into my veins and thinking I was being ridiculous and then having my skin crack and ooze for the millionth time and re-deciding it was okay that I thought this was awful too.

a time-lapse view; just in case I ever think of forgetting my swim burka

At one point, maybe on Tuesday?, James and I were sitting on the couch and I noticed he kept side-eyeing my wound.

"It's looking at me..." he whispered, "... and it looks hungry."

And then he told me I had to leave the house. So I finally did. I wore the only t-shirt I owned that had a deep enough v to let the wound shine - it was from Target and I'd washed it 5 times in 6 days and I wore it to work. I figured my hamburger would distract anyone from wondering what had happened to my business casual and it did.

But things are way better now! My skin is no longer angry, I quit the chemo cream two days early (oops, except it was absolutely on purpose because I was having to take shots of alcohol just to get up the courage to put on more the day before), and after 9 days off I'm feeling very proud of my new pink skin. It's beautiful and I'm so glad it's there.

[high five emoji]

Just in time for my sister and Billy to arrive with baby Skyla on Thursday afternoon! They were here for Billy's sister's wedding and we got to spend Thursday night with them. First, Cora had to "hold it, the baby Skyla" a bunch of times. She was THRILLED with "it" and loves Skyla very much.

Claire too.

Cora would not relinquish the foot

and Landon.

We are very pro-baby in this house.

On Friday the big kids had friends over after school. Landon and his friend were outside running in circles the whole time and I basically never saw them. Claire dressed her and her friend in her snazziest accessories and directed that they "march around the house like this five- no TEN- times!"

And so they did. I think they regretted their grand aspirations by loop 7 or so, but they stuck it out.

We went to a party at another school friends' house that night. As an extrovert, every minute of socializing felt like I was recharging some sad dormant internal battery. It is not good for me to be indoors for so long. This was proven by my tear-filled breakdown at the finale of The Great British Baking Show on Sunday. I was sobbing-- full on ugly crying, and when James looked at me like the crazy person I was, I choked out, "I'm just so happy for her.... these people are my family and they worked so hard." I was a goddamn mess.

Last night my parents arrived in time to also attend the wedding and then they brought Sky back to our house with them. Don't they look fancy?

Today was a quick reunion before Val and Billy headed back to the airport to Denver. We ate breakfast tacos and got a grandkid picture and Cora got to "hold it, Skyla" one more time. She seriously adores that baby. Sky is tolerant, if also a little skeptical.

But she still loves me best.

It's rained for the last million hours, or maybe just since last night, so things got a little stir crazy around here by mid-afternoon. At a slight break in the rain, James took the kids out for a nice long run/bike ride. It was a little muddy.

Claire slid and somehow got her shoe stuck and then she had to put her muddy sock back in her muddy shoe, which she found very displeasing.

She was back to happy again by the time they got home though. Her back is completely covered in mud. She was so proud.

And then, just when the cabin fever was really setting in again, I remembered Tara was coming to babysit! So we left her in the care of our hyper little darlings and headed out for happy hour sushi. The kids got a fresh body to play with and we got a sushi boat! Everyone was winning.

Sky is always winning

And so, now that I'm out of my hamburger skin/photobooking cave, I will be back here more often- important things are happening around here, like Cora's school pictures and me catching on to the fact that Landon hasn't been brushing his teeth (BIG trouble). Also I bought really cute boots and fall might actually almost be here finally. But in the mean time, here are some dinners to keep you company:

Sat: Giada's Italian Chicken Stew (a favorite, super yummy broth-based soup; I add cannellini beans, sometimes pasta, always more tomato paste and chicken broth, and sometimes more veggies like shredded cabbage and chopped zucchini; it's a good base, then do whatever you want with it), giant loaf of warm ciabatta bread
Sun: date night! Kids ate spaghettios, but they're organic ones from TJ's so I've made my peace with it
Mon: Rachel Ray's Super Sloppy Joes, the best Trader Joe whole wheat buns (they're so good), frozen oven fries, fruit
Tues: Fiesta Quinoa Enchilada Bake, chips
Wed: Meatball Stroganoff (Landon's absolute favorite meal), wheat rolls, green beans
Thurs: Beef Taquitos (brown ground beef with taco seasoning, garlic, onion, etc., then add some cream cheese and spoon mixture into tortillas; roll up and bake 10-15 mins until a little crunchy), refried black beans, avocado
Fri: Baked Ziti

back to photobooking


  1. Oh man, I have not had skin cancer, but have had several abnormal moles removed (and one (1) Thank you for being so vocal about sun safety and so honest about your experiences. (2) OMG I HAVE THAT SAME BANDAID PROBLEM AND IT IS THE WORST. Wishing you all the best (in health!) as we move through the rest of 2016.

    1. Thanks Kat! I have the follow-up biopsy next week, so fingers crossed for good news. It's not just for me, it's for my blog readers who would have to read about me turning troll-like again. I don't know that I can ask that of you all again.

  2. Ok so I have not actually read this post- I will do that in a bit- but I had to reach out to you. I randomly scheduled a class at Urban Yoga this morning while my oldest was at Museum School & I was in FW. UM I died. This is my happy place!!!!! Best EVER! So imagine my double shock when I looked at the instructor poster and saw this is *your* place too!! I held back from being the weirdo who's like, "OMG! I know her! I know her! Okay well I don't KNOW her but I've read her blog faithfully for a billion years." Such an amazing studio!

    1. Chelsea!! Was it Megan's class? I went to her workshop on Saturday and it was SO good, but I've never been able to make her regular dynamic vinyasa class because it's always during the day while I'm at work. But I LOVE that you were there and that you loved it too! It's such a wonderful studio and holds such a special place in my heart.

    2. It was! She was spectacular. Have you done any of the healing sessions offered? Any thoughts on those? I've done lots of those things other places (namely Colorado & Austin) but not so much locally. The crystals and the little pianos on the ground (pianos?) and the essential oils- I was just like YASSSSS!

    3. Secondly, who is this unicorn Danae? She wasn't there, I was just handed flyers of all her many things and peeping her on the website.

  3. I'm so happy your hamburger skin is feeling better I wa getting worried abut you!

    1. Thank you Victoria!! Me too (on both accounts!).