Pathology


In the hours and days following my husband’s cancer diagnosis I felt a range of emotions, as you might guess, I felt everything from terror, despair, depression, anger, avoidance, fear, sadness; there were also moments of laughter through the tears, which lead to confusion and anger and sadness all over again. It was a non-stop cycle of all of these emotions as we settled into the knowledge of what this diagnosis of colon cancer would mean for our family.

mental health, colon cancer, A Little Dash of Diva

I guess it was sort of like the grieving process, you go through all the steps until you come to acceptance and then you move on and do what has to be done. During the colonoscopy, his doctor had taken samples of tissue to biopsy, she was certain it was cancer even before the pathology came back but I think in the back of my mind I was hoping that she was wrong and the pathology would come back that it was just a benign growth and he wouldn’t have to go down this path. When the pathology results came back the next afternoon confirming that it was in fact, adenocarcinoma, it was a punch to the gut all over again. A feeling I would become painfully used to over the next few months.

adenocarcinoma
[ad-n-oh-kahr-suh-noh-muh]
Spell Syllables
Word Origin
noun, plural adenocarcinomas, adenocarcinomata [ad-n-oh-kahr-suh-noh-muh-tuh] (Show IPA). Pathology.
1.
a malignant tumor arising from secretory epithelium.
2.
a malignant tumor of glandlike structure.

fuck cancer, cancer, colon cancer, A Little Dash of Diva

As we moved through the next couple of weeks with Christmas and New Year’s, he had labs drawn to determine his ‘cancer marker’ number or CEA.

A normal level of CEA is less than or equal to 3 nanograms per milliliter (ng/mL). Most healthy people have levels below this amount. CEA levels will generally return to normal between one and four months after the cancer has been successfully removed.Mar 30, 2017
CEA: Purpose, Procedure, and Results – Healthline
https://www.healthline.com/health/cea

We learned Sean’s CEA was 10, not super high, which was comforting on some level I suppose. If it were higher, it would likely have meant there was more than just the one tumor to worry about, but with it as low as this, it gave me hope that we had caught it early and it would be relatively easy to treat.

We were still waiting for his appointment with the surgeon who was to perform the surgery to remove ‘Pennywise’ as our family came to call the tumor…

It’s Really Not Good, It’s Cancer

Oh where do I begin…

As I sit here, the words want to come out, but they don’t, if that makes any sense. It’s like if I type them out, they are real and even though I know they are already real I don’t want to acknowledge them one more time…but I must. It’s our reality. Cancer.

rocks, water, stream, river, Goodyear, Arizona, Estrella Star Tower

Photo by : Hannah Thomas 2018

For as long as I can remember, my husband has suffered from IBS type issues. He always just chalked it up to different foods or stress triggering it. After years of dealing with this, things changed a bit, he started noticing blood. Initially he thought nothing of it, just figured he probably had hemorrhoids or something equally benign. In fact, he didn’t even mention it to me. One day after I went into the bathroom after him I noticed blood in the water in the toilet and it scared the hell out of me. I went and found him and told him, that’s it, it’s time to make an appointment with a GI doctor and get his gut issues figured out.

Fast forward a few days, he was able to get into the GI doctor fairly quickly and after going over his history with her, she agreed it did sound like typical IBS issues, but to be safe, she wanted to run some additional tests, including a colonoscopy. This was all happening in early December 2017. The day of the colonoscopy, I had Asa with me in the waiting room for the length of the procedure. I will never, ever forget that long walk down that hallway that seemed to go on forever. I remember her words, clear as day…”so, he did great, but unfortunately we did find something and …it’s really not good, it’s cancer”.

The entire world stopped. I mean, came to a crashing halt. I couldn’t breathe. I was trying to focus but all I could hear were her words ringing in my head….CANCER. I just wanted to get out of there and find some air. I still hadn’t even made it to where Sean was getting dressed. I was trying to keep Asa out of everything and hold myself together. When she opened the door to the procedure room where he was, I looked at him and saw in his eyes……everything that I was feeling mirrored in his face.

rocks, stacked, blue skies, desert, Goodyear, Arizona, Estrella Star Tower

Photo Credit : Hannah Thomas 2018

The GI doctor had already been in contact with both the surgeon, and the oncologist, and started things in motion before we had even left to get this whole process going of blood work and CT scans and PET scans and eventually surgery scheduled. It felt like forever before we were able to just get out of there, and it felt like the longest walk of my life as we made our way out of there and down through the same Emergency Department where my husband has worked for the last 13 years…both of us had tears pooling in our eyes and spilling out on our cheeks and as we passed a few nurses he’s worked with forever, the questioning looks on their faces as they asked me is everything ok and all I could manage was “no” as I followed him out of the doors into the sunshine.

The whole drive home, we both cried…me as I drove and him as he sat in the backseat with Asa. What in the world happens now? How do we do this? Why is this happening? So many questions and there are really no answers….

July Goals

Wow. No bs. No excuses guys. Blog hiatus game is strong! It was 6 months long and although it was completely unintentional, it was necessary. I’ve mentioned before that I suffer from anxiety and depression…I have since my late teens. I’ve managed it successfully without medication since my early 20’s (yeah, that’s about 20 years) but occasionally, it sneaks up on me and before I even know it’s happening I’m in it. That’s where I’ve been. I haven’t had a depression this deep and dark in YEARS and to be quite honest, I couldn’t stop this one. Usually I see the signs…I see it coming before it happens and I know how to prevent it from completely taking me over. This one…this one was so different. I know the exact moment, we were driving in the car and it was like a switch was flipped. Literally one second I was totally good and the very next second, I was gone. It was weeks before I even cared enough to acknowledge it. Depression is an ugly beast. As I have slowly come out of it and gotten back to me, I have started to find myself being drawn back into the things I love and that’s why I’m back here once again.

I thought since it’s the beginning of another new month, I’d jump right in with a welcome to July and share some of my goals for the month

Choose Happy

This one is super important to me right now. I know that happiness is a choice more than anything else. You can choose to be bitter and angry or you can choose to find happiness in the little things and joy in the moments of chaos. As a stay at home mama, there’s a lot more moments of chaos than I’d care to admit, I don’t always have everything all under control…my kids do run the house sometimes. Even in those moments when I feel like it’s all going to hell in a hand basket, there’s a moment of hilarity that I can find my happy and try to salvage a little bit of my sanity. Teenager and Threenager ain’t no joke y’all.

Do More Yoga

I find so much peace and calm in just taking 10 minutes to get some yoga in each day. I feel centered and strong. I am by no means an expert in yoga and I’m not even super great at it, but you know what’s awesome about yoga? You don’t have to be to benefit from it. Just start where you’re at! Start with one simple pose and build on that. There are a lot of great YouTube videos on yoga as well as a few different apps for like yoga daily with new poses to try. I highly recommend looking into yoga if you haven’t yet.

Budget Wisely

This one is a toughy for me. I am not a saver or budgeter by nature. I’m totally a spender, a shopper, an impulse buyer with very little buyers remorse…ever. lol I’m trying to get better at this and so it’s one of my goals for this month. To be better at setting and sticking to a budget. I’m not looking to get all crazy about it and go super strict at this point. Like, you people who do those ‘no buys’…I am sorry to say but I think y’all are nuts! haha

Take More Pictures

This one is pretty self explanatory I think, but I’ll elaborate. As moms, we are usually the ones taking lots of random little pics of our kids…the funny faces or other shenanigans they get into. I want to be more intentional about the pictures. Capturing more moments of my kids snuggling each other, or playing with their dad, or at the pool with me. I don’t just want to take pics of the rest of my family, I want to be IN those pictures with them! I want them to have photographic evidence that mama was there in that moment with them!

Be A Better Friend

I am almost positive this goal was also on my last goal post in January. This is something I know I am constantly needing to work on. I get really wrapped up in what I’m going through and dealing with that I tend to live my life with blinders on…only seeing what’s in my immediate line of sight. I don’t want to be that friend that we all have…the one who only talks to us when they need something, or when they need to vent not caring about what’s happening in our lives as long as we are there for whatever is going on in their life. I want to be the kind of friend who is always there to ask how the kids made out at the doctor, or what insane thing your husband did to annoy you or make you laugh. I want to make my friends feel important and HEARD…valued and appreciated for all the ways my life is enriched by them being in it. So I am pretty sure this is just going to be an ongoing goal because I don’t ever see me being such an amazing friend that I can stop working on being a better friend to my people.

Hustle

I haven’t mentioned this yet but I recently became an independent consultant with Perfectly Posh, don’t worry I’m not gonna start posting tons of sales type stuff, but one of my goals is definitely to share Posh. When I say hustle, I don’t just mean with Posh either. I mean, all of my interests and businesses. It’s time to get back to doing the things I really love and that bring me happiness…blogging, YouTube, and all things beauty!

So, those are my goals for the month…what are yours? I’d love to hear some things you are going to be working on this month and maybe we can help encourage each other. xo

Holiday Lookbook – Thrifted Outfits

Hello my beauties! I can’t believe it, Christmas is this weekend! This year has been a hell of a year, am I right?! All of the tragedies and the celebrities who’ve passed…it’s just been on hit after another all year and I for one am looking forward to 2017 being better for everyone.

So I know I’ve shared very few fashion posts on this here blog, but I’m trying to get out of my comfort zone and do things that scare me, so in that vein, I’m sharing a fashion post today! I recently did a YouTube collab with a few other ladies from the YouTube Mommy MeetUp group on Facebook, it was a Holiday Look Book, 3 thrifted *or partly thrifted outfits. So, I’m sharing the outfits I pulled together with items I found at a few of my local Goodwill stores.

Outfit number one

Holiday Look Book - Thrifted Edition Look One alittledashofdiva.com

Look One – Shirt and Jeans from Goodwill

Outfit number two

Holiday Look Book - Thrifted Edition Look Two alittledashofdiva.com

Holiday Look Book – Thrifted Edition, Look Two Top and Leggings from Goodwill

Outfit number three

Holiday Look Book - Thrifted Edition Look Three alittledashofdiva.com

Holiday Look Book – Thrifted Edition Look Three jeans and top from Goodwill alittledashofdiva.com

And just cuz I feel like sharing, here is the actual look book I did on YouTube šŸ˜‰ I hope y’all like it!

The Power of Makeup

Hello beauties!

What, can it really be? ANOTHER actual blog post?! Yes, yes it is!

I recently filmed a video for my YouTube channel that was inspired by the talented NikkieTutorials. She had filmed a video called The Power of MakeupThe Power of Makeup a while back and I had intended to do my version for a while and just never got around to it, until just recently.

roundtuit

So, here’s the deal, basically you just do you. Why do YOU wear makeup? How does makeup make you feel about yourself? If you are happy wearing a full face of makeup or not wearing a single stitch of makeup, that is what matters – YOUR happiness. Not how anyone else sees you. Not if people think you wear too much makeup or not enough makeup or your makeup is too bright or too dark. Makeup is an individual thing, some people feel their best with just a little bit of lip balm on and some of us feel our best wearing full on glam (yes, even during the day and we have nothing to do but the laundry or scrub toilets). I will never understand why people think they get to have an opinion on someone else’s personal preference for THEIR OWN FACE! Gah!

thepowerofmakeup

I decided to use both high end and drugstore items when I did my Power of Makeup look and as you can see, the difference in my face with no makeup on and then full on dark smokey eye and lashes…the important thing to note, I am comfortable with my face in either state. I have no issues leaving the house with no makeup on. On the other side of it, I also have no issues leaving the house in full on glam, even if I’m just running to the grocery store or to get gas. I’m comfortable with MYSELF, no matter what anyone’s opinion of me is…

opinion

There, now that I got that out in the open šŸ˜‰

Here is the video I filmed on The Power of Makeup, I really do hope you take a few minutes to watch it and really listen to the message, love you for you, all of you, flaws and all. Be happy just being you, makeup or no makeup. Also, don’t try to bring down anyone else for any reason, but for the purpose of this post, especially not because they choose to wear more (or less) makeup than you do. You do you!

Big love my friends, from me to you!

Make Up For Ever Ultra HD Wear Test

Hello beauties! I know, I know…I’ve been posting really sporadically again. Life, man. It gets busy and when somethings gotta give, the blog is usually it. I found myself with some free time (ha!) so I thought I’d share a little something something here šŸ˜‰

I was recently sent an Influenster voxbox and it was an amazing box, let me tell you! I was lucky enough to be one of the influencers selected to get the Make Up For Ever box, they sent over the Ultra HD liquid and stick foundations for me to test out and wow! I love them both but this stick foundation is awesome.

make up for ever vox box influenster

The first foundation I tested out was the Make Up For Ever Ultra HD stick foundation, which applies really easily and blends out evenly and makes my skin look absolutely flawless.

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The next day, I tested out the Make Up For Ever Ultra HD liquid foundation. Again, this foundation applies really well and has really excellent coverage. It can be built up, but I find it really doesn’t need to be built up unless you have a lot of redness or uneven color on your face. The finish is really beautiful and looks flawless.

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The third day, I decided to do a wear test because both of the previous days, I’d had my makeup on for over 15 hours and the foundation lasted really well through the entire 15+ hours of wear time. I wanted to see exactly how they’d hold up against each other so I applied the stick to one side of my face and the liquid to the other side.

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The stick foundation is the picture on the left and the liquid is on the right in both of these images.

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make up for ever wear test morning vs night

As you can see, they both hold up really nicely. I did have some shiny spots and places where my oils had broken through or worn away the foundation, but if I had touched up at all through the day, I doubt they would have worn down this way. I can say with certainty that these two foundations are my absolute top 2 out of the drawer full of both drugstore and high end foundations that I have right now. Thank you Influenster and Make Up For Ever for letting me test these foundations out!

As a bonus, here’s the wear test I did for my YouTube channel:

By the way, if you’d like an invite to join Influenster, leave me a comment below and I’ll send you the invite!