Before and After

Yesterday was my first abdominal CT scan since the tumor was removed in late September. The results were good: no sign of any tumors elsewhere.

Yay!

If you’d like to hear more about the scan, there’s more beneath the fold, including not-gross before and after pictures.

(the gross pic is here)

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If there is a bright side…

Hello friends,

Recently it has been harder to find the words.

My next scan and oncology appointment loom. It’s nerve-wracking.

And I have been feeling, literally feeling, so much about the Inauguration. My jaw aches from clenching my teeth. My neck hurts to move, and my head feels like it weighs too much to lift sometimes.

I try to relax, thinking back to my beautiful vacation. But it’s hard. What lies ahead? I am worried.

You bet I marched.

If there’s a bright side, it includes this: wonderful feminist, progressive arts and entrepreneurs to get them in our hands. I’m shopping and supporting.

I belatedly bought a pink pussy hat from Feminist Wrath.

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Tumbleweeds

And not only because I have been so lazy about posting since my vacation.

NYC looks like this right now.

All of those Christmas trees need to go somewhere. This one is more my speed.

The tumbleweeds will be gone soon, including from my blog. I’ll be back soon. XO

 

You made me a woman, George Michael

In sixth grade, I wanted nothing more than to dance with a guy named Kevin to “Careless Whisper.”

I made it happen too.

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Eleven years old and small for my age, I didn’t show many signs of impending young womanhood yet.

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Five hundred things I bought in 2016

One of the unexpected upsides of my surgery and recovery? I became an expert-level online shopper!

OK, maybe that’s not something to celebrate. Does anyone really need to spend more money? Probably not.

But I got some great stuff and I thought you might like some of it.

For fun

Recently I bought a plane ticket back to Saint Martin. I loved it so much the first time. After the year I have had, these plane tickets are easily the No Regret-iest things on the whole list.

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I got Hamilton tickets. Yep, the play is as amazing as I had heard. And – lucky me – I am seeing it again in January. Tickets are my Christmas present to my mother.

For my face

I made it to Sephora’s VIB Rouge level this year. Oops. That means I bought a lot of skincare and makeup products.

I started using eye cream – and bought two of them. Because did you know that you should not use regular eye cream on your lids? APPARENTLY. I’d be mad about buying two, however the lid-specific cream is so good at reducing eye puffiness after yet another business trip that I can’t complain.

But I also bought this inexpensive lipstick (16). 100% my favorite.

Update: I’m in love with this.

For my apartment

I got these lampshades via Joss & Main. Not my most exciting purchase (made on Cyber Monday no less), however I love the way replacing my old yellowing lampshades with crisp white changed the light of my bedroom.

I am loving the Pottery Barn duvet cover I purchased to go with this new bed (similar options here) and dresser. Also this pretty framed print from Society6 which is hanging over my bed until this larger print arrives to take its place. And this elephant throw pillow which reminds me of my wonderful aunt, who loved elephants.

It took buying three sets of curtains to keep one. These from Overstock looked nothing like the picture – way darker. I can’t really say why I didn’t like these from Bed, Bath & Beyond – I just didn’t. They sat on my couch for about three weeks while I tried to warm up to them.

Finally I found these in Cool White at JC Penney of all places – not sure when I last shopped there. But I’m really happy so it’s a good reminder to be open-minded.

To wear

As you know, I adore this jacket. And I hate that it’s too cold to wear it right now.

This Marc Jacobs bag is awesome. I use it probably 75% of my work days so I don’t feel at all bad about splurging. I love this bag.

I just bought these Sam Edelman shoes on Bloomingdales.com but depending on your size, they’re cheaper on Amazon. Every year, my company holiday party rolls around and I don’t have any great shoes to wear. This year, I wore some ugly old pumps that wouldn’t even stay on my feet. Apparently I need straps of some sort at this point in life.

Along those lines, I got these pink Birkenstocks. I swore I would never have Birks, but here I am, loving them.

Update: this shirt as a show of support to Nordstrom.

I should have bought five of this Feminist t-shirt. These next four years are going to be challenging.

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To eat

I accidentally bought an entire case of this popcorn. Fortunately it’s delicious.

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For everything

I invested in an Amazon Echo. My friend Mark‘s tweets made me feel like I needed one. Alexa is a great companion for work from home days.


Did I actually buy five hundred things this year? Probably not. But there are times when it felt that way. My hope is that I will be so busy in 2017 doing fun, exciting things that online shopping will no longer be my chief entertainment.

To offset my consumerism, I also made philanthropic donations to several organizations including the Women’s Resource Center of Northeastern PA and Dr. Paul Forfia’s Pulmonary Hypertension research.

I’m considering supporting the Pulmonary Hypertension Association too.

Where am I?

Less than an hour after I checked in, I got the email.

We see where you are departing tomorrow and hope that you had a wonderful stay here at _______! We realize you have many options when traveling and appreciate you choosing to stay with us.  We wanted to reach out to you and ensure that everything with your stay exceeded expectations.  On behalf of the staff, we wish you a safe trip home, and we hope to see you again sometime soon!

Soon after, the airline sent me an email suggesting I check in for tomorrow’s flight now.

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Where am I?

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My favorite James Corden segment (not Carpool Karaoke!)

I really like James Corden and his show. Let’s face it – most things are genuinely better with a British accent.

Corden’s Carpool Karaoke segments get a lot of love, but it’s this Spill Your Guts or Fill Your Guts video that cracked me up more. As a picky eater, I cringed too

 

I thought it would be a basic Truth or Dare-type bit where the dare is to eat something gross. However it’s so much better than that. The questions are beyond awkward to answer – for example, Niall Horan is asked “who is your least favorite member of One Direction?”

This iteration of the bit is even better because it’s two versus two–if your teammate declines to answer, you both eat the gross item.

I thought we could all use a laugh right now. Enjoy!