embracing my new normal

Oct 9, 2017

Well, I had a Britney Spears moment last week.....

Okay, kidding kidding, but it was most definitely time to let go of my hair! Maybe the decision and the process of letting it go is a blog post for another time. Today I would rather focus on embracing it! 

And truly, as crazy as it may sound, I really like the buzz cut! I have always wanted to shave my head, this dates back to many many years ago. Remember when the whole, shaving one side of your head and keeping the rest long was a thing? Or maybe it was just a thing in music videos.....but I was dead set on doing it. My employer at the time was not as keen on the idea. Something about me being very young but in a much higher position in the company, and wanting to be taken seriously. I get it, and I got it then too. 

So I never really had the balls to do it. Nothing like cancer to make you grow a pair, right? 
Now, obviously the buzz cut won't last. These little hairs may not even make it to next week at the rate they are falling out. Losing my hair has really never been a worry for me since my diagnosis. I know everyone around me approaches it very delicately, especially when they saw the insane amount of hair I had to began with. But I was always like FUCK the hair, KILL the cancer! 

I know this is not everyones reaction. Every person reacts differently to this drastic of a change. My nurses and doctors made sure to layout the multitude of options I have to help, should I choose to use them. Wigs, hats, scarves, hats with fake pony tails....the list goes on. But I have always wanted to just embrace my bald head when the time came. 
blouse: h&m (sold out online, but check in store!) // jeans: levis // shoes: target (this years version) // bag: thirty one bits

When I was first diagnosed I obviously didn't care about blogging. Who would? I didn't know if I wanted to share any of this. I had the thought that I will just go away quietly and fight this awful thing. It is what I needed at first (the whole process leading up to my final diagnosis was about two months). Time to wrap my head around it. But then I needed to get back to me, to my normal. 

I'll be honest, the thought of outfit posts seemed very trivial, and down right silly. I mean, how the hell do you go from cancer to....hey this is what I wore today

But that is just it. I still get dressed, I still put on makeup, I still go out and do things. Cancer is a very shitty part of my life right now, but it is not my whole life. Doing things that are "normal" keep me sane. And I always tell Chris and the kids, when I feel good we need to do all the things, eat all the foods, and get out of the house. 

So, I am still going to talk outfits, beauty, skincare, and hashtag mom life. Sound good? 



a not so secret garden

Oct 5, 2017

Well, hello again! Let me first start out by saying THANK YOU! Thank you all so much for your sweet comments, messages, emails, texts, and cards. Truly it means a lot. And I was overwhelmed with the amount of encouragement and support from all of you. Virtual hugs to you all! 

Everyday looks a little different for me in terms of the way I feel. Some days I am so full of energy that Chris gets a little worried that I will overdo it. I blame the steroids. Other days I will drop the ball on my water intake and I will be as good as napping. But over the weekend I just had to get out. I didn't care what we did (that is kind of a lie since I picked our next activity) I just wanted to be outside. 
And if there is a botanical garden within driving distance, you can I bet I will find it. And I have been wanting to go to this one since we moved here but it was always just too hot to be wondering around for hours listening to my children complain. 

Sunday granted us cooler temps and a nice breeze. Perfect botanical garden weather if you ask me. 
This garden has so much to see, and if my children didn't move as if they were on fire, I could have read all the plaques that accompanied each garden. Chris though.....he read them. 

I think we all agreed that the orchid house was probably our favorite spot. The smell!!! It was amazing, and my children actually listened to the whisper yells of DON'T TOUCH ANYTHING
The other really cool part was the bamboo maze! You can start at the bamboo tower and then work your way around. The kids ran around forever, and well, I started to get a little tired. But we all know what the goal is here.....child energy depletion!

So, we keep it moving. 
I loved being out and about! I hated being home and sick after my first chemo and Chris would take the kids to do stuff. I mean, yes, it is good for him and the kids to do those things no matter what state I am in. But I was like.....I wanna go tooooo! So this was great. 

And then I went home and took a two hour nap. 





the blog post i never thought i'd write.

Sep 28, 2017


Things have been slowing down around this blog, and with good reason. 

I debated for awhile on whether or not I wanted to share the news that has turned my life, and my family's completely upside down. I didn't know if I wanted this space to reflect the truth and the challenge that I have set before me. This blog has always been fun, light-hearted, and a space to follow our ever evolving adventure in life. In that, this space has always been honest. Some of you wonderful people have been reading since Avalon was just a few months old. You have followed us from state to state. And I have been fortunate enough to turn these blog comments into friendships. 

Even still...I didn't know if I wanted to share this. Maybe it would make it that much more real. 

But it is real. 

I was recently diagnosed with Stage IIB breast cancer. 



The main reason I wanted to write this post was because statistically there is less than a 1% chance of a 30 year old with no family history, getting breast cancer. But, here I am. 

I wanted to write this post because I found my own lump. 

I wanted to write this post to do away with the idea that breast cancer is only something you should start thinking about when you get your first mammogram. 

I wanted to write this post to tell you to KNOW YOUR BOOBS! Check them, touch them, look at them all the time! And if you question something don't think "oh, it's nothing.....it will go away". It could, or it could not. 
________________________________________________________________________________________

As for this blog, I don't know yet. I have loved this space for so long, and I definitely don't want it to turn into some doom and gloom, because that is not how I feel about this whole situation. I have a long road of treatment ahead, but I am damn confident I am going to kick the living fuck out of this disease. 

I have undergone one round of chemo, and that little drug cocktail is no joke. Currently, we are all adjusting to life with mom and her new full time job, fighting cancer. 


But please, I did not write this post for sympathy or pity at all. I wrote this more with hope that you stop what you are doing and feel your breasts right now. If you have never given yourself a breast exam it is so quick and easy and could potentially save your life! I know it saved mine! Click here for a step by step guide



pneumonia, irma, and new jersey

Sep 19, 2017

Well, we experienced our very first mandatory evacuation thanks to the hurricane known as Irma. I have to admit, there is a lot of confusion when it comes to evacuating, and the decision isn't exactly easy. When we first heard that Savannah might be evacuated we talked to friends and neighbors who told us that they either did or did not evacuate during hurricane Matthew the year before and what they learned from that. 

Since this was our first ever experience with a hurricane, we weren't exactly super prepared. No generator, no plywood, no stock pile of food. I mean, sure we could have gotten those things, but we also had no plan....so ya know, lesson learned there.
The Thursday before our evacuation we took Pierce to the pediatrician because he just wasn't getting over a cold that all the kids had gotten. I knew he was having a tough time with the cough, and we have dealt with pneumonia before with him. Sure enough a chest x-ray agreed. We made sure our pediatrician gave us all he could on the medical front with the evacuation looming. 

With Pierce sick we couldn't take the chance of riding out the storm, even though the path had shifted west and we didn't think we would be hit as bad as expected. So, we thought, why not take these days off work and school cancellations as a time to go visit family? 
Friday morning when we thought we would be packing up and getting everything in order, Pierce was having a really hard time breathing. Pierce has had a long run with breathing issues. It only happens when he is sick, not like asthma. Although we have quite the line up of breathing treatments and devices. So when he could not catch his breath on this morning, and his oxygen was measuring low, I knew we had to call an ambulance and get him to the hospital. At this point one of the hospitals was already shut down for the evacuation, so we rushed to the one that was accepting patients. They acted fast and got everything under control. I was worried that they may not let us go, and if they did whether or not it would be safe to make the drive up north. I was a mess. But the doctors assured us that we would be fine (we had a plug in the car to do his breathing treatments every couple hours).
And we were! We made it to New Jersey to stay with my in-laws, who are just amazing. The kids and the dogs were in evacuation heaven! We all were. The kids spent every waking moment in the beautiful gardens that surround the house. We ate so much good food, that on the last night I had to unbutton my pants while at the table. And we soaked up so much family time. 

All the while, we were anxious about what was going on at home. 

Thankfully, when we arrived home after 16 hours in the car (evacuation traffic is no joke) we had some down trees and a trashed yard, but no damage. The power was back on, and we felt incredibly grateful. 

My heart goes out to all the people affected by these hurricanes. It is devastating. 

We feel fortunate that we could capitalize on our first evacuation and fill it with an amazing four days of family, which meant so very much to me right now. 


 

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