better with age

last year there was a post on the oprah blog that listed 24 things that get better with age.  24 seems an odd number.  25 would be better.  i’ve got an excellent idea as to what number 25 should be, but first the 24 from her list:

  • Ford Mustangs
  • A wheel of gouda
  • Sea Glass
  • A cast-iron skillet
  • Amish friendship bread
  • Cowboy boots
  • Scrapbooks
  • Single-malt scotch
  • Sense and Sensibility
  • Ivy-covered walls
  • Balsamic vinegar
  • Blue jeans
  • A rib-eye steak
  • Stereo headphones
  • Your sense of self
  • Love letters
  • Hardwood floors
  • Peonies
  • Sexual satisfaction
  • Chinese century eggs
  • A baseball mitt
  • Diamonds in the rough
  • Your vocabulary
  • George Clooney (this one seems somewhat subjective)

and here’s my suggestion for number 25 -


this could also serve as a reminder that 10 years is too long to wait to have pictures taken.

summer’s treacherous a**

“but then fall comes, kicking summer out on its treacherous ass” -  stephen king salem’s lot.

i am so ready for september.

ok, that’s not totally true.  i’m currently eye ball deep trying to plan our family vacation to tokyo.  what feels like our last family of five vacation (that may or may not prove true).  and i’m liking being the one in control, cuz i’ve been able to throw a few things into the itinerary that i’m pretty sure no one else would have considered.  like a meat theme park.  that’s made the final cut.  a parasitological museum?  we’re doing that.   and 7 days of just the 5 of us?  mastercard got that right – priceless.  i’m totally sure it’s going to be worth the crazy way we’re getting there.  two of us on one airlines.  three on another.  different airports and different layovers.  memories galore.

but then we head to america.  i’ve got a whole lot of mixed feelings about that.  i know that the “omg – chan’s going to live in america even after the rest of us return to thailand” situation has me all kinds of out of sorts.  (chan is C19′s real name – or at least his real nickname – he’s an adult now.  no need to protect him any longer.) but there’s also the perceived expectations i’m already feeling (i bolded perceived on purpose, because i know there’s a slight possibility that it’s all in my head).  our time in the states – as a whole – is not a relaxing time for me.  it’s a go here, do this, get this done kind of time and by the time it’s over i’m totally ready to get back to my life.  my home.  my agenda.

it’s not easy to depend on others for almost everything.  where are we gonna stay?  we can’t afford hotels so we count on friends and family to put us up.  we do have plenty of offers and i’m pretty sure none of those offers are given grudgingly.  some people like us.

there’s also the getting to and fro?  we need to be picked up and delivered to airports.  we’ve got doctor’s appointments to make.  i’ve got a few courses to attend and michael’s going to need to get to and from work.  and sometimes it’s just nice to be able to get away.  for one hour (or two or three).  alone.  or with a kid (or two or three) who need a break because we’re overwhelmed.  because america is awesome and at times just way too much to take in.

it feels so ungrateful to whine and complain.  we have some of the most generous, amazing friends and family who we know are spending time and money to be there for us.  and i am so appreciative of that.  i am looking forward to being able to spend time with people who love us and who have loved us for a long time.  i crave the heart to heart talks i know we’ll have, the sharing of life that we will do (short as that time might be), and the ability let our guards down – to just be.  but the scary part of that is that i’m not sure i know how to do that anymore.

clecisions, clecisions

i now know the answer to whether or not i’ll run another 10k and that answer is… not only will i run a 10k, i’ll make it a 21k or maybe a 22.4k (but who’s measuring?)  which begs a new question – will i ever do a 1/2 marathon again?

this time last year i ran in the chiang mai marathon – the mini marathon that is.  my first 10k.  i didn’t hate it, but i didn’t love it.  and i didn’t prepare for it.  it was on christmas morning which gave it a certain appeal.  this year i had a few friends (all who had done the 10k last year) who decided to run the chiang mai marathon – the 1/2 marathon version.  and they weren’t training for it.  sounded like a good enough idea.  so on december 2 i signed up.  i even got another friend to sign up.  this year it wasn’t on christmas morning.  it was 2 days before.  and that made it a little less charming.  but i put together a plan of action.  #1 – start wearing my running shoes.  i’ve spent the past year or so wearing barefoot style shoes.  and not running in them.  it seemed a good idea to get my feet and legs used to the shoes that i know i can run in – my two year old running shoes.  #2 create a play list.  all christmas music seemed a really good idea – peppy christmas music that would keep me smiling.  #3 create a t-shirt – because everyone knows any race is made better by a witty t-shirt.

witty t-shirts are often made better when the final product is carried out by a non-english speaker

witty t-shirts are often made better when the final product is carried out by a non-english speaker

#4 – battle plan.  i decided to break the race up into 5k’s.  i know i can run one of those.  so i thought i would run 3 of them.  something like – run 5k, walk 2.5k, run 5k, walk 2.5k, run until i cross the finish line.  i was feeling pretty well ready.  but then i listened to my play list.  and i recreated it.  with a healthy mix of christmas and non-christmas music.  but the misstep with the music made the doubt set in.  and take hold – a strangle hold.

race day came.  (turns out the mayans were wrong.)  a 5am start comes mighty early, but i got there on time.  even rode my bike.  (somewhere around 13k i started questioning that decision).  i actually got off to a good start.  was feeling good.  decided at 5k i was feeling so good i would just keep running.  that might have been a mistake.  because my knee started hurting.  and i had to stop.  but then i started again.  and i managed to get to the 10k marker faster than i expected.  that might have been another mistake.  at 13k i was done.  i had no idea how i was going to make it one more step.  but turns out the folks planning this race know about that kind of thing because there were watermelons and bananas and gatorade-y type drinks to reenergise the can’t move another step runner.  (prepared runners might be aware of this, but i’m not one of those.)  anyway, the race kept going.  and going.  and going.  when i got to the marker that said 2km i knew i was going to make it and i wasn’t sure i was going to make it.  but i did.

131c 131e  131f

in the second photo, where my fingers are pointing, that’s where i’m instructing her to leave the chip alone and just cut off everything from my hips down.  i was hurting – a lot.

michael showed up to see me finish.  i’m not sure how i’m smiling in this picture.  my legs were in so much pain just standing was almost unbearable.


my official finish time was 3:12:40.  not a scorching speed, but i finished.  and it was one my new year’s resolutions from last year.  which means i kept one of them.

another month

went to the doctor today for a follow up appointment. i am now 2 months into this 6 week treatment with at least another 4 weeks to go. I know, the math doesn’t quite work on that – unless you just go with the numbers and not how they are classified. 2+4=6 instead of (2×4)+4doesnot=6.  that might only make sense to me.

the vertigo is pretty constant along with the headache (still) and i feel like someone has taken cotton balls and stuck them in every available nook and cranny that can be found in my brain. and then jammed in 200 more just because. and then there is the feeling that someone has filled my tank with water instead of premium gasoline. but – hopefully – only one more month of this.

20121106-111349.jpgthat’s my good side, we’ve got our fingers crossed that it gets a lot worse.

20121106-111530.jpgthat’s my getting better side. at least it was. i thought i was done treating it. i thought wrong.

cotton-headed ninnymuggins

tonight makes 6 weeks of treatment done!  which means i’m done treating the original spots.  the one under my eye looks fantastic and my cheek is a mix of new spots and old spots and i’m not really sure which is which.  all i am sure of is it looks a lot worse than it did in the last picture.
20121029-214440.jpgi guess that means i’m done treating under my eye.  except there’s two new spots – one on the outside of the area i already treated and one on my nose.  so i’ll keep treating those.  and the rest of my face for  another week.  and then i’ll treat the active spots for another two weeks and then i think i’ll be done.  next week i go see the doctor again, i’m hoping she’s able to give me more concrete instructions so i’m not stuck guessing and thinking.

the nauseousness has been pretty much absent as of late, but it’s been replaced by vertigo.  the headache is still here and my head feels a bit like i’ve got cotton tucked in all around my brain.

wonder if that makes me a cotton-headed ninnymuggins?

ending week four and a new beginning

i’ve completed four weeks and will be taking a week off before completing my last two weeks of treatment. it’s working and it’s working so well that instead of not using the cream for a week i will begin using it on the rest of my face. so that means six more weeks to go. which means i am further from finished than i was this morning before i went to the doctor.


week three

week three is underway. the lesion under my eye is improving, the one on my forehead is no better and no worse, and the ones on my jaw are getting more pronounced and itchy. so all seems to be good. except that the nauseousness has returned. bummer.

and i’ve got another spot on my scalp. you might recall that i had one removed about 2 years ago. the dermatologist treated this one, but it doesn’t seem to have made it go away. i will have it looked at when i return to the doctor in a few weeks.

some threading might be in order

i’ve completed three of 18 treatments and am having pretty good response in two of the three areas i am spot treating and i have a new lesion coming up in the third area. so it seems the lotion is doing its job. go aldara! i am not as nauseous as i was – it comes and goes. the headache is pretty constant, but it isn’t too bad.

look at that eyebrow

turns out the sky is not falling

at least not right now.

today is day 6. i will do another treatment tonight, but as of now all the horrid things google shared with me have not come to fruition.

my skin is reacting, but it’s not yet as bad as i was sure it would be (i know, there is still plenty of time for that to happen). and, besides, scaling and icky-ness are what we want to happen. i am still nauseous and i still have a headache, but those are annoying, not debilitating. the nauseousness is probably more troublesome – it makes it difficult to eat.

and there are good things… i am wearing sunscreen and applying it several times a day. i am also wearing a hat. i have been okay about hat wearing in the past, but now am quite good about it (i know it’s only been six days, but doesn’t that put me 15 away from it becoming a habit?).

20120917-123623.jpgtoday’s hat. so sporty.

i have even created a pinterest board just for hats – and if that doesn’t ooze life change then i don’t know what does.

thanks for all the good wishes, kind words and prayers. you guys keep those coming and i’ll keep updating – just with less doom and gloom.

day 4 – subtle changes

michael has suggested that I try for a less police line up approach to my pictures.  so, for at least today, i’m going to humor him.

it think maybe this one has a bit more of a game show host feel to it.

anyway, the spot on my forehead is definitely reacting the strongest.  it’s discolored and raised and it’s tender.  the other circled places are turning pink – the spot on my jaw that’s turning pink isn’t wear the AK is, but not surprising that I have more than what we could see.  I’m still nauseous and I still have a headache.  I’m also now itchy, but no horrid discomfort.  I know it’s still early days, but so far so good.