Thursday, December 17, 2009

3 Important Messages

Take a minute or 2 to process each one before moving on to the next. :)


Sunday, December 06, 2009

True Dat

Best quote ever, discovered while reading in the bathtub last night. What a moment.

"Imagine that you come home one day after work to find your door smashed open, hanging on the hinges. You have been robbed. You go inside and find that everything you won has vanished. For a moment you are paralyzed with shock, and in despair you frantically go through the mental process of trying to recreate what is gone. It hits you: you've lost everything. Your restless, agitated mind is then stunned, and thoughts subside. And there's a sudden, deep stillness, almost an experience of bliss. No more struggle, no more effort, because both are hopeless. Now you just have to give up, you have no choice.

So one moment you have lost something precious, and then, in the very next moment, you find your mind is resting in a deep state of peace. When this kind of experience occurs, do not immediately rush to find solutions. Remain for a while in that state of peace. Allow it to be a gap. And if you really rest in that gap, looking into the mind, you will catch a glimpse of the deathless nature of the enlightened mind." -Sogyal Rinpoche, The Tibetan Book of Living and Dying

Hope you enjoyed!


PSA Opportunity

I received an email this week from Emily Miles, who is a casting coordinator for The Cartel, the television production company hired to produce PSA's for the American Academy of Dermatology in order to raise public awareness about the dangers of tanning beds. If you are interested, or think you know someone who might be, please see this information and feel free to explore this opportunity and contact her at or 877-556-7890. Help spread the word! Awareness is the key!

Friday, November 27, 2009

No Looking Back

I have thought for some time why I am thankful for this blog, and here is what I've come up with:
a. There are tons of people on here that I've never even met that (-call me crazy, but it's true-) seem like family sometimes. I have so much support here that I can't imagine my cancer journey, or my recovery, or living with the statistics of this disease sometimes looming over me, without it.
b. It is an always-available outlet for me.
c. It is a record of everything that's happened.
d. It is always morphing and changing into what I am morphing and changing into.

That being said, here is today's ultra corny but uber true affirmation. Yes, that right, I said affirmation. Here we go:

You are wondering why you are not doing the things you need to do and the reason is: (wait for it...) you are tired. You need a break. I know that you think that there is no time for a break, but if you want to take any action at all, then give your body the time and the rest it needs. When it is ready to bounce back, it will. You are exactly where you are supposed to be and exactly who you are supposed to be at this moment. Love yourself because you deserve to be loved.


P.s.- I can't believe I just cheesed out like that. But it felt good!

Monday, November 23, 2009

My new blog!

If you have any interest in cooking, check out my new blog. The funny thing is, I'm really a famously terrible cook!


Sunday, November 22, 2009

If this was an education blog....

... I'd be writing about my job. I've spent a lot of my day today thinking about my kids. And my teaching this year. This has definitely been the most difficult group of 5th graders I've ever taught. Don't get me wrong- I love them. Like a lot. But they are VERY challenging group. I've never had so much trouble getting the content through to kids before, or had kids that had so little motivation. It's like this group would rather do anything than learn. Seriously. They ask to play Bingo every single day. Seriously.

So I've been evaluating what to change. One thing I'd definitely like to do more of would be teach in small group, so I can get to know my kids' needs more intimately and teach more effectively. But, the truth is, I don't know HOW to teach in small group. I do best in whole group instruction, but that is very obviously not working this year, so I guess, in other words, this kids are forcing me into new directions. Translation: I'm growing.

I'm reading a book right now called Spaces & Places and it's asking me: What is the one thing I want to do every single day in my classroom? Without much hesitation, I know what it is: to connect, on an academic level, with every kid. See the aha moment. Make them love learning. Make them feel capable, genius, fearless. No, I can't do that, but I can definitely get closer than I am now.

So, yeah. The life of a school-teacher. I am so cool researching and writing about my job on a Sunday evening. Alas, I still feel blessed. :)


P.s. Sorry for 2 things: a. not proof-reading this enough (which, in reality, is one of the major reasons that I don't post more) and b. the teacher-blog post. But sometimes you just gotta get it out there, you know?

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Oh Happy Day

I'm 35 tomorrow.

I don't know really what to say besides that- because just being 35 is going to make me happier than you can ever imagine. Five short years ago, I was only given a 50% chance of living this long.

I can't tell you how happy I am that I made it. I am ecstatic. I can't tell you how good my life is. I can't express that there is nothing that I wish for in my life, because I think I have it all: great friends, wonderful family, amazing co-workers, an incredible home and a family that I look forward to seeing every day, a job that I (almost always) love. I feel like I'm closer to understanding spirituality and what my higher power wants for me than I ever have been in my life. I have fun almost every day, have the opportunity to play and remember what it's like to be a kid. I have made tremendous, horrific and wonderful mistakes that I can now see in the same light: love. I have finally learned to love and listen to my body. I am learning to feed it what it really wants. I have found friends to stick by me to the end. I have found friends whom I can share in their cancer journey and who want to share in mine. I have things I like to do and workouts that are fun and keep my mind off of things I need to keep my mind off of. I have the closest thing to a spouse that anyone who doesn't believe in institutional marriage can have. I have enough money to pay my bills and keep me in good supply of mostly-vegetarian food, as well as a cool house over my head. I know how to feel connected. I'm learning to say "no" to people and to set limits, to keep toxic people and conversations to a minimum, and to find my own way towards a more peaceful world and a higher consciousness. I am learning balance.

I am set.

I have always been set. I will always be set.

And I'm 35. Yay!

-Miss Melanoma

Sunday, October 04, 2009

Call me Dr. Slump

My first thought is: give yourself a break. It's been a tough week.

And it has.

Linda's funeral was Thursday. Another member of our tiny group has moved on. I don't really know what to say except that it's so hard to see them go. They are out of pain and they are better off, but to know that they fought so hard to be here, and to miss them so much- sometimes it's hard to remember that there's a reason for everything, I guess. Or it's just plain hard to believe it.

I guess Bobby realized what was going on, too, and he was kind enough to plan a little out of town day trip to, what I realize now, force me into giving myself a day off. I spent most of the day in the hotel room just watching movies and relaxing. I shopped a little and napped a little, and we had a wonderful meal. It was nice to get a change of scenery, and the silence and time alone (while B went and did his own thing) was pretty awesome. I've been alternating not being able to sleep with doing nothing but sleeping and eating and not much else since early last week. A lot of eating. Like I think I might have to add on to the warehouse soon. I guess the fatigue is a touch of depression, but I'm just taking it as it comes right now. I'm functioning, I mean. I'm going to work, and such, but I'm also aware that my heart really isn't in it.

I'm taking care of myself, which feels a little weird and a little selfish. I'm learning to say no and I've been doing a pretty good job of it this week. And I'm making an effort to just be aware and be as unjudging as possible about my feelings. I just allow myself to feel whatever is there, and sometimes I cry, or I bargain, or I get angry, or I feel numb. And I just try to be with that until a new feeling comes along. I'm aware enough to know that I'm hurting and healing at the same time, and I'm also being a complete slacker, which doesn't feel so bad. It's actually kinda nice to just be doing this, and not fighting it. This is the healthiest grieving I've ever done. I actually feel like I'm going to survive.

I have a lot to reveal about the recent turn of events and what I've discovered about myself in the midst, but I just have no energy for it right now. Soon, though, I promise I'll share. Cross my heart.

Hopefully I can pull out of this funk and get some of my energy back soon. But just so you know, I'm okay. You may want to keep that Volkswagen-sized Red Bull around for me, just in case, though. Back away slowly, and avoid eye contact.


Monday, September 14, 2009

Art Park and Linda

It's rainy here, drizzling. I'm wearing my pajamas and sitting around, and it's super nice to be doing so. It's just one of those days when you feel like doing nothing but curling up with a good book.
Unfortunately, no book and curling up are happening. School is back in full swing and there's only sleeping in on weekends again. It's ok, though. I'm working on balance, so at least I have time when I get home to think of something other than school. It's really been working out fairly well. The last week was all stress and crying, but when I get it straight in my head how being something other than super-teacher is okay, it feels really good. It feels SO good not to be thinking about school when I'm doing other things. Even if it's just laying around!

So maybe you're wondering what's up with the photo of the park. That's the Art Park here in Deep Ellum, and it's pretty awesome if I do say so myself. When I moved to this area, it was really in a slump, but now the community- of artists and musicians and just badass people in general- that has been here all along, is finally being seen and heard. And the Art Park is part of that. They had entry forms for those who wanted a chance to paint the cement sculptures- which were last painted 10 years ago- and I made the cut! Though very marginally and placed in the back area, I'm still really proud of it.
Which leads me to my dear friend Linda. I received an email today that mentioned an update on her blog that I had not read. I'm afraid that the update was the last thing I could've possibly wanted to read.

Her husband Dan wrote,
"I am sorry it has taken so long to update you but I kept hoping day after day that I would have some good news to share with you. Instead, Linda has still been in the hospital since 9/2 and we don’t have a date when she will get to come home. Without going into all the details of what has been happening, I will simply tell you I’m scared. While trying to maintain a somewhat stable environment for the boys, I also shared with them that the cancer is progressing rapidly……. And at this point they are working to keep Linda comfortable. Please continue to pray.... that she gets to come home soon. She asked me this week to promise that when her time does come that she will be in her own home and not the hospital. I pray I’m wrong, but I feel we need to get her home soon."

I've known for a week or so that Linda has been bad, but I wasn't aware of how bad, I guess. Or maybe I knew but I did not want to admit it. Linda is a dear friend, one of my support group members. I can't explain what it's been like since she was told about her recurrence in July '08. I've seen her go through every possible medical procedure, including a stem cell transplant and numerous chemos. It's been up and down for her but her downs have been gut wrenching. And now, after all the fighting, it appears that it is all coming to an end.
I know that one reason this is so hard to believe is because Linda fought all this time so that she would be here for her 2 boys. That's killer, of course. And on a completely selfish note, I don't want to lose another friend. Our support group is made up of only 6 of us- and we are as different as you could possible imagine. Linda has always reminded me of my roots, though. She seems like a long lost aunt and that is a comfortable feeling.

I need, and I want, to go see Linda. I miss talking to her and I want to be there for her. And, on the other hand, to be honest with you, I've been having a ton of anxiety and I think this visit has something to do with it.

How is it possible that I am so bad at these sort of things. You would think, having had cancer, that I would know the perfect thing to say. But I don't. I am at a complete loss. I know what I need to do right now: I need to be strong for Linda and go and be with her, by her side. It has been difficult to get to see her- for a long time it was because of immune issues and her transplant, and then when she was home I think she kept putting it off for her boys. Recently we have tried to convince her to let us come see her, but she keeps saying no.

I wonder now if it was to protect us.

It was hard to see Oscar in his final days, and Linda was there just as I was. But it was also priceless. It was a chance to be with a friend when they needed it the most. It was a chance to stand by someone we loved because they would've done the same thing for us. Is she trying to keep us from going through that again?
I don't know. I am afraid to see her because I know that I need to be upbeat and strong for Linda - not sitting there crying and making it that much more miserable on her. And I'm going to pull it together so that I can do that tomorrow.
I've told her a hundred times how strong and how amazing she is, so I'm not worried about that. I feel like we've said our good-byes.

I don't really know what else to say. The words just aren't there.

The only thing I could think to do was dedicate this piece to her. I am really proud of it, and actually quite shocked at how well it turned out. I think it's one of those things that you hope you can do but aren't quite sure. I feel the same way about being strong enough to see Linda.

Please pray for peace for Linda.

And, as another dear friend told me today, hug the people you love.
Stop worrying about money. Enjoy this day.
Life is so very, very short.


Monday, September 07, 2009

Rest in peace, Dave

May choirs of angels lead you to your final rest


Thursday, July 30, 2009

Life is Too Short, and I don't mean this guy

I say it all the time, but evidently I'm the one who needs to hear it the most. Life is too short, people. In case you can't tell, this is all related to my last post, too.

I'm sure that some of you keep up with Dave and Tara, listed under "Fields Family Blog" in the melanoma/cancer links. Dave is a melanoma survivor who was first diagnosed in 1997. He
makes it look easy, but he's had a long fight with this disease. Dave has been having a lot of weakness, numbness and pain, and so they've been running some test to find out if he has any new tumors on his spinal chord. But this last Tuesday Tara posted that they finally figured out where the pain was stemming from: lepto-meningeal disease, which is melanoma of the spinal fluid.

Obviously, they need y
our prayers and positive vibes. This is not the news that anyone had hoped for or expected. And, as always for this couple, they are handling it with grace and courage that simply astounds me. Here's a quote from their journal:

David and I talked about a lot of "what ifs" yesterday and he told me that I have to continue to be for him I will be! His body is so tired. He's been running a marathon with more hills than valleys and he's feeling the effects of it. It may seem strange, but I think we're at peace with whatever happens. Dave and I have always had the kind of relationship that we could talk to each other about anything and everything.
We're NOT losing hope, but we are definately coming to terms with the fact that melanoma may win the race, so yesterday we talked about a lot of his final wishes. These are conversations that no one should have, and yet I feel blessed to know what David would want. He is so proud of his children and is terrified that they may forget him if he "goes home" soon. I promised him that no matter what happens, Sam and Emma will hear about their dad in one way or another...
very day of their lives. So...if you have gotten to this point in the journal entry, I need you to do something for David. Please wirte (or send me through e-mail) something about Dave.

These two blow me away. So much hope and so much peace in a few short sentences.

If you keep up with the Fields', please take a moment to send them some loving words. They are an inspiration to follow and I know they'd appreciate it.

And you probably know about both Johnny Deep and Becky. They have both passed away from melanoma in July. Becky was amazing- a real fighter who had just about the most amazing positive attitude I've ever seen. In one of her last posts, she wrote, "If there is one thing that I have truly learned from all of this... it is... that people truly do hold great compassion and love in there hearts for one another." She leaves behind a beautiful daughter who is still blogging on her sight.

And then, of course, there was Johnny, who totally did things his way. He took melanoma on his terms and spent a good part of the last year of his life sailing, which is what he loved to do. I love the way Johnny never pandered to his feelings, and he made it clear how bad things sucked without apologizing for his words. But then he'd turn right around and make you laugh in the same breath. Less than a month before he died he decided he wanted a tattoo to commemorate the journey, which you can see here. He was truly one a of kind. When my time comes, I want to do things the way Johnny did. It makes me smile just thinking of it.

Everyone of those names listed under "In Memory Of" links is someone I have known in one way or another. All but 2 or 3 I knew personally and corresponded with during their treatment or my own. If you don't already know, I can't explain what it's like to lose so many people like that. So many people who truly touched my life.

Every one of them would tell me now to enjoy my life and not waste a single second trifling it away with stress and worry.

If this doesn't drive home the point, friends, then I don't know what does.

Four short years ago, I found out that I had only a 50% chance of living for five years. Having said that, I wouldn't change anything that I've done with or for these kids of mine or take back any of the hours I've devoted to this job, even when I was overdoing it. I mean, my students have been one of the biggest blessing of my entire life. So this isn't about regret. But it is time for me to work on a new chapter, in which I learn to do things both for myself and for others. In which I detach myself from the test results and instead focus on those things that I can control.

I think I threw myself into this job as a means of rehabilitating myself back to health and back to life, and it has served its purpose in that way. And now I am going to devote myself to being the best teacher I can be during my work hours (which will be less than 50 per week), while maintaining a balance for myself outside of those hours. I don't have to cling onto this exhausted teacher persona anymore. I am determined to define myself in new ways every day, including a determination with a new sense of balance. I am committing to that right now, and as an ultimatum, I am attaching to it the stipulation that I will leave my school at the end of the year if I am unable to do this.

This isn't about work, really. This is about life.
Life is too short.

And life is too good to miss out on.


P.s.- In case you need it,
token cheezburger cat cartoon in 3.... 2.... 1.....

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

This is the 8th attempt this week

It's not that I haven't been blogging, it's just that you haven't been reading my posts. Mainly because I haven't been publishing them. Bwahahahahaha! Too bad for you that you've missed out on all the witty, insightful posts I've been writing.

I got an email and phone call this morning from CBS evening news, peculiarly enough, and they were asking me if I'd be interested in being on the show tonight regarding the latest skin cancer research. At the time I didn't know what was going on, but it's great news! I really consider this a huge step that experts are finally printing conclusive evidence so people know just how dangerous tanning beds are! In case you haven't heard or read, you can see it here, but the article issues powerful warnings against tanning beds. Like serious warnings. Awesome! (Oprah voice)

Btw, did you
recognize our little friend Paige from the Vans Warped Tour? If you don't recall you can re-read this post, where we were singing the praises of Paige and her people, Mole Mate, and the screening for skin cancer at the Warped Tour. Pretty small world, eh? (Btw, I ended up not being on the show because I've never used tanning beds.)

I've been doing a lot of tidying since my summer break
started just 4 short weeks ago. I've cleaned out all the closet space that drives me crazy throughout the school year and done a thorough cleaning of the ware home, donated a ton of books and clothes and bags to Goodwill, and even took a load of boxes to school to do the same with my classroom. It feels good to sweep out all the dust bunnies and get stuff organized and dust free. My asthmatic boyfriend is especially a fan of this ritual.

You may be able to tell I've been tidying up a bit here, too, from the new look of the blog and the new sites I put up. I divided my commonly read blogs into 2
bits: the old schoolers that I still read almost everyday, and my new friends that I'm getting to know and love.
And yes, there are quite a few new person development sites I've added under the "Good Stuff to Check Out" section. This is just as much for me as it is for anybody else because, during this lovely little summer break, I've also been cleaning out my head. I realized that having quick and convenient access to these sites may help me keep focused and clear-headed about my goals for this year, and help me to keep the prize- living a functional and balanced life- in my eyes. This has been the best cleaning of all, and although I do this every summer, I think this year has been a real eye opener.

So much gets lost to me during
work. I seem to lose sight of everything I want and need from a normal life for the sake of TAKS scores or essential science skills. I think we all know what the real problem is: I'm a teacher. Somehow because I work with the best kids on Earth (think Snapple for elementary schools), I somehow excuse myself from having any form of balance. At the lowest points, I get no sleep, work 15 hours a day, and eat crap food because I'm just trying to get by until high-stakes testing is over. Somehow I made up my mind that this is all ok. ...The hell?

Balance. That ever-illusive term which creates
anxiety at the mere mention of it. Why? Because balance means having boundaries. Limits. And other words I learned in therapy.

What can I say? Balance has never been my strong suit. I have kinda always thrown myself into my job or warm-and-fuzzy projects that "make a difference." The thing is, my workaholism has started to affect other areas of my life, and it's time for a re-evaluation. My, Miss Melanoma, how very grown up of you. Oh, don't worry- I'm not that advanced yet, though flattered that you would assume so.
This was all brought on in full-on intervention style, courtesy of my loved ones.

nd why not? I think it was way overdo for me to take an unflinchingly honest look at my lifestyle. I accept my job for it's craziness because I do work with kids, and I see it as a necessary evil that I just have to put up with for the sake of the kids.

But after 4 weeks of doing nothing but sleeping and rehabilitating myself from a punishing and grueling year, I still couldn't get myself to publish a blog post. My head was too muddled and cloudy to even consider the beginnings of sorting things out. I literally typed 7 pages of text before I even got to the beginnings of what I was trying to post here for you. All the rest was just the leftovers from exhaustion and confusion and stress. And that's when I realized why my friends had stepped in for an intervention: because I truly was unhealthy. I had let my job take over to the point where my quality of life was suffering.

Then I had one of those moments of clarity, when I thought about all the anger I've been carrying around about times when I needed people and they weren't there for me. All those hurt feelings I couldn't let go of because couldn't understand why this person or that person wasn't what I needed them to be. Hmm. Maybe the same reason I haven't been there for my peeps lately. Maybe because at times we are truly unable to be a good friend due to life's extenuating circumstances. And again I am humbled at my own in-competencies and critical judgments. The learning never ends!

I've got lots more to say but I think that I'll save it for the next post. Thanks to all of you who have been writing me and commenting and asking that I return to this blog. It is far from over between this blog and I. We had a brief falling out, and stopped talking for a while. She went through sort of a party phase and I become a hermit. But time heals all and I will always love her. And besides, I air all my life lessons here. Where else am I gonna get that?


Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Marry Me, Lance Armstrong!

Hi all you Miss Melanoma readers,
Just FYI, I just dedicated a page to my dear Bobby at LIVESTRONG Action.

This page is a part of the world's largest dedication book that LIVESTRONG Action will use to pressure world leaders to do more to fight cancer. Can you add your name to my dedication page? It'll only take a second, and you will be my best friend FOREVER.

Also, you can help me reach my target of 25 dedications.

Please click here, it only takes a second: [1]

Right now, Lance Armstrong is dedicating his ride in the Tour de France to the fight against cancer. And after the race, he'll send this dedication book - with your signature - to world leaders and pressure them to make
cancer a priority in their own countries. It's our best chance to push for
better treatment, more funding for cancer research and access to care for
everyone around the world.

But if people like us don't stand up, these leaders won't pay attention.

Thanks so much!

P.s. I love you mucho.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Obama is the man. And this is the business.

Congrats to Planet Cancer for reppin' us well. Here's an email I got from them today.

June 24, 2009

Dear Friends,
We wanted to let you know about an exciting thing happening for us today!
Tonight, Wednesday, June 24th 2009 at 10pmET on ABC, there will be a Special Edition of "Primetime" to Air from the White House, "Questions for the President: Prescription for America." And guess whose there... PLANET CANCER!
Heidi, Courtney and 2 other PC members will be 4 of the 100 people to be there with President Obama tonight to get the chance to ask questions concerning "the Future of the Nation's Healthcare System." Woo hoo! Check out more info here.



Saturday, May 23, 2009

A Tweet for Melanoma Research

Help the Melanoma Research Foundation (MRF) raise $20,000 in its first "Melanoma Tweetments" online fundraiser! You can help the MRF find pathways to a cure by sending updates about melanoma to your friends via Twitter and Facebook and donating a few dollars to fund melanoma research.

Click here for link. Thanks!


Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Would you be my friend...

... if my hair looked like this?

I walked Bear today at dusk, and it was the most amazing sunset I've seen in some time. It was the kind of evening that makes you think everything will be alright.

There is so much going on today, but I feel for some reason like everything is going to be okay. And it will, won't it? Isn't there some saying that everything will be okay in the end, and if it's not okay, it's not the end. I believe so.

Just trust me on this one- look for the good things that you have today. You have a good friend, you have a roof over your head, or you have been comforted in the fact that you're not alone. Or maybe best of all, you have figured out that you don't need another thing in the world.

I have all of those things to be thankful for today, and so much more.

Just take this for example: this month will be the 4th anniversary of my melanoma diagnosis. I can't even tell you the number of times I thought I'd never make it this far, and yet I have. I have a certain sense of destiny now, a feeling that everything happens (and happened) for a reason. Even the loss of so many friends, even the sadness, even the chronic pain I live with every day. All I can say is it woke me up from what I thought was a fulfilled life.

I feel like I will look back at these days as the happiest in my life, as a time I felt like I had it all figured out. Want to know what the secret is? Knowing that you'll never figure it out. I'm learning to embrace that. Relish it. Revel in it.

Would I be here without melanoma? Who knows, but at this point I don't even care. Today is all that I care about is today, and today is wonderful.
I never flippin' thought I would say that!


Sunday, May 10, 2009

i[2]y Visa

A very worthwhile message from my homie Camille for all of you interested in supporting i[2]y. Thanks!
Hello friends!

We all like to give, but times are a little tight ....that's what makes this the greatest opportunity to give! All you have to do is apply for a Visa credit card at:

Then just buy a pack of gum or whatever suits your fancy at the local 7-11 and *POOF* you have donated $50 to I'm Too Young for This! How easy (and cheap) is that??

Let me know if you have any questions or would like further information - thanks in advance for your help and donation

Camille, Regional Chair, i[2]y SouthWest
Young Adult Leadership Cabinet
I'm Too Young For This! Cancer Foundation

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Photo Sunday

Life is crazy right now. I'm working really more than doing anything else, but the TAKS is in two weeks, so by May I'll be back to a normal life.

I'm good, though. Besides work, I can say that I'm 100% happy right now. If you know anything about what's been going on, you've probably already figured out that my two cancer support homies are doing good. One has been called "cured," a word which none of us have ever even heard from a doctor before. She was so positive and upbeat through the whole treatment, it was really amazing. And now she's home, like a trooper, healing and doing well. So could be possibly ask for more?

And my other friend is home again and thanks to her crazy strength and tenacity, the treatment she finally finished brought about great news in her last scan. She is now eligible for a transplant and we are excited about this big news. It seems we have all been very blessed, and I am so thankful. Not to downplay what these ladies have been through, but it seems there is a light at the end of the tunnel.

I could go into all the things I've been dwelling over, like how every time something huge like this comes up, I revert right back to hopelessness. That's actually not entirely true, though. If I give myself some credit and am honest, I think that, little by little, I'm doing better every time. I know what I need to do, and that is sincerely and earnestly begin working on myself, coming to peace with the way things are and learning how to live in the moment instead of always wondering about if things will be okay. Admitting that is the first step, I guess, so I need to go about researching and planning a way to do that.

That being said, I thought I'd post some photos, including some things I am thankful for, and then get back to work. May is melanoma awareness month, and I've got some big plans! Can't wait to show you what I'm up to.

And now the photos:

1. This is me at the boxing gym I go to. These boys you see in the photo have become family to me, and they are a regular part of my week. Boxing has been a blessing to me, a way to relieve stress and just another thing that I have in my life that constantly teaches me that I am always in progress, and, simultaneously, always complete.

2. Pink hair is one of the simple pleasures in life.

3. Joy and me. What a blessing having a friend like this is. Our friendship sort of solidified over night, when I was in the midst of a horrible time in my life last year (see this post). She practically carried me through this time, and she's still around every time I need to hear that the TAKS test is not the end of life.

4. The Dude action figure that I have in the kitchen, right beside the Poptarts. Need I say more?

5. Me skating. Now, I'm not going too front and say I do this all the time, because this photo was taken the one and only time I've ever been on a half pipe. But eventually, I know I'll do this again. Maybe even twice.

6. This photo is from last weekend at the Deep Ellum Arts festival, a street fair type gig. And way too much fun for one day. Don't we look fabulous? I'm so happy I'm glowing.

7. These are my girls, and another example of the amazing things that can come into your life when you're down. I can always rely on when I need shop, go out to a club, have a few cocktails, worship handbags, talk about Edward Cullen, or dance. I'm so thankful for them.

8. and 9. Bear is the happiest dog alive. Bobby always threatens to write a book on how to live life like Bear, because this girl does it right.

That's it for now. I'll be back in 2 weeks.

Take care till then.



I'm Too Young For This!