Monday, April 7, 2014


On Friday, my friend and fellow myeloma warrior, Jenny, and I met a new friend, Carol, for lunch. We connected with Carol via the Facebook page. She, too, is a myeloma warrior and is treated at Huntsman. She is awesome and forging ties that bind us in fighting this terrible disease is always a blessing. Blessings that come from cancer? Yes, there are so many that I've lost count. And meeting Carol is one of them.

We started talking clothes and spring and shopping. "How the heck did I become an American Fork, Utah mom?" I lamented. "I look in my closet and it's filled with boring Old Navy stuff. That is just not 'me' and it all has to go."

Not to disparage Old Navy. I do like their skinny jeans. They rock and are so comfy and inexpensive. When I first fled my husband and moved from San Diego to Utah, I took whatever clothes could fit into trash bags and moved. One day I was at the bank and I looked at myself in a big mirror. Holy hell, I looked homeless. I was wearing sweats that were way too big for me (I had dropped some serious weight), my hair was lifeless (it was getting ready to fall out, thanks to the awful meds and chemo I was taking), I donned a big huge sweatshirt and Ugg slippers. I went to Walmart and Old Navy and stocked up on all the basics. But before getting sick, in my prior life before getting sick, I shopped differently. Conservative but definitely no housemom here. But inadvertently, that's what I had become. Not that there's anything wrong with that but darnit, how the heck did I get so boring?

I needed a serious pick me up and a change in everything. I felt it in my gut and as much as I tried, I couldn't stop myself from purging and engaging in some serious retail therapy. I told Carol and Jenny at lunch, "Hey, I've been through hell and back and I deserve it."

I started my purge a few weeks ago. Four enormous trash bags went to Goodwill. But I didn't go far enough. I did a second and third purge. Two more trash bags. Gone. Good riddance. The Lizzy Smilez brand is fun, fresh, whimsical, upbeat and a hopeful yet fearless warrior. Take no prisoners. A little vintage, a lot Mad Men, classic, and a little funk in between.

After purging, thinking through the Lizzy brand, the scary/fun part began. I shopped. Oh boy did I shop. The damage is: 27 tops, 1 pair of jeans, nine pairs of shorts, four casual skirts, two cocktail dresses (one in orange and one in white), eight casual summer dresses, four pairs of sandals, a red throw that I can wrap myself up in on the airplane to Venice to stay warm (I am not wearing sweats and a sweatshirt on the plane!), and a deliciously beautiful blazer in this fabric that makes me want to melt. Yikes. I feel a little guilty with the indulgence but not really. (Remember, I went through hell and back so I deserve this.) I feel a little hung over, to be honest, but without the pesky calories and throwing up/making a fool of myself/terrorizing others part. I can't wait for hot weather. I can't wait for the major change in season. I'm excited about sun and warm, hikes in the canyon, long walks along the river... I'm counting the minutes until Venice and GREECE and Turkey and Switzerland and Croatia. Strolling along Lake Como with big hat, and bright yellow ballet flats. Sigh. It's not about the clothes (ok, it sort of is) but it's about the newness.

Two more weeks until Easter. Less than two weeks until Morgan's 14th birthday. Less than seven weeks until we are Venice bound. This week is Spring Break so we can stay up late every night. I love shattering routines. I love different. I love not knowing what's next but figuring it out along the way.