Thursday, August 28, 2014

DIvorced Moms colum: I'm throwing myself a pity party

My latest on Divorced Moms. Happy Labor Day!

I'm Throwing Myself a Pity Party. 11 Ideas On Throwing Your Own
by Lizzy Smith                    
August 28, 2014
It’s official. I am throwing myself a major Pitty Party, cake and all. The reason? Who cares! I simply feel like indulging, celebrating, and commiserating. When divorce-related blues kick us in the ass, sometimes no amount of looking, sounding or feeling strong will suffice. If this sounds like you, here are a few ideas for your throwing your own Pitty Party, whether it be with friends, children or solo. The only requirements for your pitty party? No guilt, no excuses, no apologies.
Eat, Drink & Be Merry My favorite comfort foods are mashed potatoes, mac & cheese (the really good kind, not Kraft out of the box), and sourdough bread with butter. I also love popcorn and brownies with chocolate frosting on top—not together, though! Sometimes nothing makes me feel happier than putting on jammmies, watching a movie, and eating food that I shouldn’t.
My favorite drink is a lemon martini. Grabbing friends and going out and having just enough spirits to make me a bit tipsy is just what the doctor ordered. Whimsical, fun, and, yes, indulgent (because I don’t do this all that often)!

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

On babies, haircuts and forging better relations with my girls

On Saturday, we met my niece for the first time. She is the cutest baby girl I've ever seen. She is my brother's daughter. So my parents went from just two grandchildren a few years ago to four with one on the way in just a few months. How exciting. Back when I was in the midst of treatment and transplant, my brother, Jason, and his wife were having a baby and I seriously wondered if I would be alive to see him or get to know him. Flash forward a few years later and I know Dylan. It's taken him awhile but he actually has started to like me. Just last month, he actually smiles at me when he sees me and lets me pick him up and hold his hand. For whatever reason, babies hate me until they're two or two and a half years old. Then they won't leave me alone. This new baby girl is the exception. She likes me at just seven months old. I held her, she didn't cry or look at me in disgust, and she even laughed and smiled. Wow.

And on Saturday morning, when I Siena woke up, I looked at her in horror. "What did you do to your bangs?" Yep, my child, who will be nine years old in just two weeks, decided to hack her bangs almost to her scalp. WTF isn't this something that children do when they are tiny? Siena did this when she was three years old ...

But oh no-- she did it again.

So I was just done. For a year I've been telling her that she will either take care of her growing hair or I was going to get it chopped. And she doesn't like to wash it, or brush it, or do anything with it. The bang-thing was the final straw. I made good on my promise. After hanging with the new baby, I took her to the salon and we chopped it short. And oh my gosh, I think she looks so dang adorable that I can't stop hugging her.

She cried, she was mad at me, but she likes it. As she should. She looks like Madeline.

And on Sunday, we took the girls and headed up the canyons to Midway. So fun and beautiful. Did I ever say how amazing I think Utah is? I sincerely love it here. I am so into nature and natural beauty since getting sick and I have found heaven.
Since school has started, I've made good (great?) on my promise to tuck my girls into bed every night and to reinstitute Mommy-Daughter dates. Ok, so granted that it's just been going on two weeks but it's amazing. Especially for Morgan, who is going through a really tough time these days, it has helped. She looks forward to our time together. Tonight at the dinner table (yep, I'm still cooking those meals so we eat together), Morgan said that she had things to talk to me about during "chat time." She was actually thinking about it, planning it, and looking forward to it. Today was Mommy-Morgan date. It was simple, we just did a little shopping. Yesterday was Siena-Mommy date and we went to Rita's for ice cream and then stopped at Costco for samples. Simple, but one-on-one time. I love it. I put my phone away (really hard for me) and we talk. Imagine that.

And on a parting thought, and totally random, Siena disappeared to her room tonight for about 30 minutes. She made a mermaid tail. Now that is creative talent.

And, lastly, I am in the midst of planning another trip. I am thinking Dominican Republic or Vietnam either in October  or one week after Christmas. Some all-inclusive resort where it is me, the beach, and a book. Looking looking looking.... Just the thought makes me smile.

Jenny and I are featured in Utah Cancer Connections magazine!

Myeloma Crowd on Cancer Connections

Myeloma Crowd on Cancer Connections

So excited to he featured in the Summer issue of Utah Cancer Connections magazine.  Click Here to view the article with Myeloma Crowd’s Jenny Ahlstrom and Lizzy Smith talk myeloma survivorship, the chemo brain doc notes app, and more.
For more, click here.

From With myeloma, sometimes it's just mind over matter

A week ago, someone asked me if I could have any job, what would it be? It would be to write and talk about the things I love, like divorce survivorship, surviving and escaping an alcoholic husband, healing, and, of course, CANCER survivorship. And then I realized that I am currently doing that. How many people are "lucky" enough to say that? This ability came through living and surviving some pretty horrible stuff, but I love making a difference. Here's my latest on the Myeloma Crowd.

With myeloma, sometimes it’s just mind over matter
by Lizzy Smith

With myeloma, sometimes it’s just mind over matter
When I was first diagnosed with myeloma in January 2012, my treating oncologist had me on a regiment that included insane amounts of Dex, along with Revlimid and a whole host of other drugs, none of which I can remember anymore. Rather quickly, I started feeling horrible. My voice changed dramatically. And I literally felt like I was floating when I walked around. I would take my daughters to school, or go to the grocery store, and it was a huge struggle. I dreaded mornings. I would wake up, climb up a few stairs to the family room and feel like I was going to pass out. I called my doctor’s office and spoke with a nurse.

“Why do I feel so terrible?” I asked. I kid you not, she started laughing. Like really laughing out loud, and this laugh lasted longer than I was comfortable with. How was any of this funny? Finally she said, “You have myeloma!”


“As a myeloma patient, you just really need to prioritize what you must do and plan for it. Rest up for it. And the rest of the time, stay home and rest.” And that was it.

I finally was able to get my insurance switched around and became a patient at the Huntsman Cancer Institute at the University of Utah in Salt Lake City. At my first visit, when he saw the list of drugs I was taking, he said, “How do you feel taking all that Dex?”

Keep reading...

A note from the alcoholic ex hubby on peace and truth

Text Box: Text Box: Today I actually looked at a check my ex-husband, Rob the Great (Alcoholic) deposited into my account. Here it is. It says: Honesty will set you free. Hope you find peace.

What a nice note! Yes, honesty has set me free. Peace is a tough one and I work on that every single day. I try to help my children find peace every day. The damage this man has caused to two innocent children in unimaginable. It is most unfortunate when adults target children, but when you're an alcoholic, normal thought processes and decisions aren't typical. I'll be writing extensive blog posts about this man and his enormous failures as a father and as a human. I'd write about them now but we are still in the midst of a court battle on this one. But when it wraps up, I'll be sure to share.

As for me? I have made peace with the demise of my marriage. I will never make peace with the terrible toll it took on my health. For that, I will struggle with cancer for the rest of my life.

One step at a time. That's my motto.

Monday, August 25, 2014

From Divorced Moms: That Sex Question... When is it too soon?

My latest on Divorced Moms. Enjoy!

When is Sex Too Soon in a Newly Developing Relationship?
by Lizzy Smith                    
August 25, 2014
Share on Tumblr
My friend, “Abby,” recently met a guy online, “Stan.” Abby fell hard and fast for Stan. On their third date, the two of them showed up at a dinner I was attending. They looked really cute together and you could tell right away that there was chemistry between the two of them. I knew the look on Abby’s face well, having experienced it with a few men myself. It was that “I don’t even know what’s going on around me because the only thing that matters is this guy I’m with” gaze. If there was a fire in the kitchen, I don’t think Abby would have noticed (or cared).

I talked to Abby the next day. “I could fall in love with this guy!” she said. Just the sound of her voice made me laugh. It sounds so trite but just hearing her talk was exciting. But, on the other hand, I wanted to caution her-- this could very easily end up not going so well. The problem is, who wants to be cautious when it’s so dang fun to just enjoy falling head over heels?

Two days later, Abby joined me for my morning coffee run. “Have you slept with him?” I asked.
“Yes! Last night it was two hours of solid love making. This is what amazing sex is like!” she said. She was literally glowing, cheeks pink... Abby never had good sex with her ex-husband and he was the only man she’d ever slept with until her divorce was final. She was discovering her body, orgasms, an emotional connection… all of it.

Keep reading...

Thursday, August 21, 2014

I'm the poster child for a cancer survivor (!?) Best compliment EVER (unfortunately)

 Today I am at clinic getting my weekly injection of Velcade. I took my Dex this morning. And my PA said, "You are the poster child for a cancer survivor! You get chemo and you have cancer and look at you! You're doing great, you look fantastic, you don't look sick at all."

This compliment really mattered to me. It made my day. Awesome.


I WISH I would never need to hear this compliment. The whole C word sort of ruins it. Except does it? Life brings us all sorts of surprises, some great, some awful, and everything in between. All we can do is react to those curveballs in the best way possible. I'm trying!

At least these days, it's all me. No wig, no fake eyelashes, no eyebrows drawn in with a pencil. For better or worse, I'm authentic.

Divorced Moms column: Can a toxic marriage make you sick? The answer is YES

My latest on Divorced Moms. Did my marriage give me cancer? The answer is YES. I love writing my column. I have over 107,000 readers, hooray!

Can a Toxic Marriage Make You Sick? The Answer Is YES
by Lizzy Smith                    
August 21, 2014
Share on Tumblr
Can a toxic marriage make you sick? The answer is yes. Bad relationships can severely disrupt sleep patterns, cause unhealthier eating habits, and lower the immune system. This leaves our poor bodies unable to fight off sickness and disease. In my case, I truly believe that my terrible marriage helped me get cancer.

Prior to being diagnosed with multiple myeloma in January 2012, I had an insanely busy life. I worked a demanding job, tried to keep a home together with almost no help from my husband, managed a vacation home, raised two children, cared for two large dogs, and attempted to keep my marriage together. It was an incredible amount of responsibility and I was emotionally, physically, mentally and spiritually exhausted.

In January 2012 when an oncologist said those dreaded words “you have cancer” my first thought was “my husband made me sick.” His inability to help me with our home, children, dogs—nothing – pushed me over the edge. Before getting cancer, I was often sick throughout our marriage. It seemed that I either had a cold or flu or stomach flu all the time. Where was my responsibility in all of this? I failed to set boundaries, was unable to just let some of the responsibilities go, and stayed in a toxic marriage far too long. This realization left me with intense anger and guilt.

Not long ago, I read a book about cancer and the author said that in most cases, there was a traumatic emotional experience about a year prior to diagnosis. I thought back to where I had been in January 2011. My husband and I had just come back from a family cruise. On that trip, he had promised me that he was going to finally quit drinking, go to regular AA meetings, and train for a marathon. He was going to be a new man! "I love you and the kids and I am going to get well, I promise.”

Keep reading...

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

And we're off to a great start!

The last day of our summer, or at least the last day of our summer before the girls started school, went fabulously busy. I took Morgan to soccer at 7:30 in the morning (gross) and hit up Starbucks and wrote my Divorced Moms article while sipping coffee and trying to wake up. I was so incredibly tired that I wanted to curl up into a ball and go back to sleep. Alas, the largest coffee Starbucks sold perked me up.

Afterwards, I dropped off Morgan and picked up Siena and went to the Post Office to renew her passport, which expired in March. I absolutely hate renewing passports so ecstatic that I crossed that off my list.

I picked up Morgan and the three of us girls went out to lunch. I took Morgan to get her hair extensions (love)...

 and Siena and I made dinner. From scratch. Yum!

We packed lunches, the girls took showers, picked out clothes for Day 1 of school, assembled backpacks, and went to bed at a reasonable hour. I snuggled up with both of them to chat and say goodnight. It was awesome and please, Lord, during the school year, let most days be like that one.

It was seriously a busy, errand-filled, yet perfect day. This morning, I got up early, made a healthy breakfast for the girls and got them off to carpool...

and got to my photo shoot right on time (here I am driving to the studio).

I met up with Jenny, my fellow myeloma warrior, and we talked up all kinds of stuff about the myeloma world. I "met" on Facebook another myeloma warrior who runs marathons. He was a runner when he was diagnosed. It was one of his first symptoms-- not being able to fun and getting too easily winded (me too!). While he was in the midst of transplant and was hospitalized, he dragged himself out of bed and walked stairs and hallways because he couldn't run outside. Since then, he walked and made it to running, albeit slowly. OMG, I want to run again SO BADLY. Maybe he can be my mentor and HELP ME. Power walks are NOT the same as running! I have an interview scheduled with him tomorrow evening. I will write an article about this amazing man. Afterwards, I am rushing off for a date with "Butterfly Man." Not to talk him up too much because who knows? Maybe I won't like him all that much, but so far, he has helped awakening my amorous side. For that, I adore him.

And soon it's off to get Siena to bed. If I could only bottle up her energy. She has the energy of ten two-year-old children, God Bless Her.

And that's all for now. This myeloma warrior is feeling terrific today, thank goodness. After a tough Friday, Saturday and Sunday, I deserve it. 

Monday, August 18, 2014

My latest on Divorced Moms!

Warning Flag: If He's a Bad Dad, He's a Bad Guy
by Lizzy Smith                    
August 18, 2014
A man who fails his kids is bad news. So as I date, this is one area in which I pay close attention. How is his relationship with his children? I ask lots of questions, listen and observe. It’s amazing how quickly red flags can pop up. Such is the case with “Jack,” a guy I met a few years ago.

Jack and I seemed to hit it off rather quickly and we started spending a lot of time together. One day, we went for a walk and Jack started talking about one of his daughters, “Chloe”. Chloe was just six years old when Jack married her mother and legally adopted her soon after. As a teen, Chloe went through some hard times. She was rebellious and had some substance abuse issues, which caused all sorts of drama in the home. Today, however, Chloe seems to be doing well—she’s living on her own, working, and a functioning member of society. I asked Jack more about his current relationship with Chloe and he brushed it off, “We don’t talk, there is no relationship and there never will be again.”

I was stunned. “Why not?”

“She’s not my blood,” he said matter-of-factly, as if this was the most natural response in the world. Not my blood? Did he really just say that? I was speechless and felt like he had almost kicked me in the gut. This was way too close to home for me. I adopted both of my daughters from orphanages when they were age two and three respectively. I love them more than I knew was possible. Seeing them in their orphanage setting and then physically rescuing them from that situation was the most awesome experience of my life. I instantly developed a profound love and respect for both of them. Under no circumstance could I ever fathom writing them off because we didn't share DNA. There are several children that I love so intensely that I would raise them as my own should the need ever arise. Perhaps Jack had no concept of what love meant.  

Keep reading...

Sunday, August 17, 2014

I go to church for Jesus, not a hookup

The most amazing woman on the planet had a birthday today
Today is my mother's 74th birthday. Happy birthday, Mom! She is the most beautiful, kind, selfless, funny and interesting person I know. Did you know my grandfather, who I never met, actually delivered her? Some day I will meet my maternal grandfather, though I hope that's not too soon. I seriously don't know what I would do without my parents. They literally rescued me from an abusive marriage and nursed me back to health through intensive chemo treatments. They care for my children, and they are my best friends. I am beyond blessed.

Dating in the Mormon trenches
I'm so excited to report that I found butterflies. This is significant because it's been, like, years since I've felt them with someone new. Who knows if things with this new guy will progress anywhere but the fact that I can feel that anticipation every time I get a phone call or text is a great thing. I'm not emotionally dead, I know I can "feel." I am awakening out of a relationship slumber/stupor and it feels delightful (I chose this cheesy word for a reason).

So another guy I've dated a few times asked me out for Friday night (not Butterfly guy). Let's call him Drake. Drake is cute in a nerdy way and I find him charming. We went bowling and met at the lanes. We checked in and when it came time to pay, the kid working the counter asked if we were paying separately. Drake said yes. Ok... um, so Drake asked me out and the week prior when Drake had joined my friends and I, we paid for his drinks and appetizers. And now I was asked to pay $12.50 towards my bowling? Major turn-off and I was annoyed. Tacky. But as we bowled, I tried to get past it. Afterwards, we went to get frozen yogurt. We got to the counter and mine came to $3.57. Drake waited for me to pay for my yogurt, which I did. At that point, I was done. There would be no fourth date. We sat down and I said I only had 30 minutes because I had to pick up my daughter (not true). Sure enough, time was up and he walked me to my car, gave me a big huge hug and said, "Lizzy, I want to see you again. I really like you."

I smiled. "Awe, thanks, I'll be in touch. Gotta run, drive safely." I got in my car and deleted him as contact. I dated one cheap guy who was way too keen on keeping financial tabs and I'm not doing that again. And since I've decided I'm going to be stupidly picky, that was the final straw for Drake. I seriously don't mind paying and especially if we switch off. But splitting tabs to the point of a yogurt? No thanks. Ciao.

On Saturday, I went out with my friends Jen and Kat. We went to dinner, met some new people, and then ended up at a party way at the top of Alpine, at this huge house with a huger yard. I ran into people I knew. Problem was, we showed up really late and didn't stick around long enough. Which is beside the point because, really, what was important is that I'm out and about, meeting new people, and (finally) become connected in the community where I live.

Excuse me, but I go to church for Jesus, not a hookup
...But on Saturday night, Kat, Jen and I met up with several other women who are dating in Mormonville. One of them talked about the single's ward she attends and how her Bishop was counseling adults on how to ask each other out and hopefully get married. I had to steal the conversation. I simply couldn't keep my mouth shut.

"Does anyone but me not think it really odd and inappropriate for a man to be telling adults, most of whom are divorced, in church of all places, how to date and get married? Aren't we in church to learn about Jesus and how to be Christlike, not find a date?"

Sometimes I feel like I've been transplanted to Mars.

And on the Myeloma front
And my best days are typically Fridays, because that's the day I take Dex, my lovely steroid. Except this Friday, I was so incredibly tired. After infusion appointment, I went home and slept. The Dex kicked in around 5pm and at that point, I was wired beyond belief. After my ridiculous date, I picked up Kat, we went and got a burger (yes, I ate my first hamburger in probably two years!), and picked up our daughters who were at a party. Morgan and I laid in bed until 1:30AM talking. On Saturday, I felt like hell. Horrible. I slept, woke up and ran errands, came back and slept some more and literally dragged myself out of bed to go out Saturday night. I really wanted to be social or, trust me, sleeping on the couch with the TV on sounded much more appetizing. Today was my mom's birthday so I got up and have been doing things all day. And, really, all I "want" to do is sleep. I feel like a lazy, weak blob. No muscle tone, no stamina, no energy. Please I hope tomorrow is better.

And summer is over
And tomorrow is the last day of summer because my daughters start school on Tuesday. Morgan has soccer in the morning, Siena and I are going to the Post Office (oh joy) to get her passport renewed, Morgan is getting hair extensions ($$$$), and Siena has open house for school. I am actually cooking tomorrow night and making peach-mango salsa with fresh peaches from my mom's tree. I'm grilling up fish and shrimp, making quinoa with sauteed organic spinach and garlic, and green beans (I have to say, my green beans are pretty fabulous; Morgan can eat piles of them and nothing else for dinner). Maybe I'll even make some fresh peach cobbler. My cobbler rocks. Ok, I haven't really cooked in awhile and maybe I'm looking just a little bit forward to getting back to a routine.

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Divorced Moms: Do I really want to marry again?

So last night, my daughters and a very cute guy went to dinner and a movie. As we were in line, guess who we ran into? My ex-boyfriend, William. Oddly enough, it wasn't awkward for me at all. I said hi, he said hello to the girls, and we went to our separate movies. Which was in-line with my article for today on Divorced Moms. How is it that I was able to end that relationship and feel... nothing. A little relief and curiosity. But no sadness, mourning or anger. Nothing. Zip. Because I wasn't in love. Not even close. Which makes me wonder if I am capable of falling in love. I didn't love Rob, my ex husband. Not one tiny bit. I didn't love William. But I was falling in love with "H",  a guy I dated for about two months prior to meeting William. There were red flags with H and I walked away. It was the right thing to do but I cried over it. So yes, I am capable of falling in love and one day, I will. Too picky am I? I don't think that's possible. Anyway, the rest of my thoughts are written in my latest article on Divorced Moms. Enjoy!

Do I really want to marry again?
by Lizzy Smith                    

August 14, 2014
wedding liz.jpg

I was sharing a soda with my friend, Fred, a few days ago and we were talking about relationships and dating again.  Unexpectedly he asked, “Do you really want to remarry?”

“Of course,” I answered without hesitating. “I believe in love and…” and I stopped. Did I?

During this long pause, Fred had a follow-up: “Because you’re such a free spirit.”

Me? A free spirit? I suppose I am, whatever that means. And having just exited a long-term relationship, I realize that, yet again, I’m really good at this whole “moving on” thing. If I can walk away from a boyfriend as painlessly as I just did, it begs the question: Am I able to feel that amazing, passionate, undying love that I feel I must have before I remarry?

After I gathered my thoughts together, I responded a little more eloquently. “I believe in finding love and The One. Of course I aspire to finding that connection and marriage makes it permanent. But I’d far rather be single and free and calling my own shots than in a bad marriage again.”

I actually loved being married. I mean, I hated my marriage. It was truly one of those horrific marriages that addiction brings. But I loved being in a partnership. I loved having a family. I loved my children having their dad in the same home. I loved having a home, throwing dinner parties, and, well, being a wife. I would like that again. But only if all the components are right.

Fred and I moved on to another topic. But since that conversation, I’ve been thinking a lot. Do I really want to remarry? And how important is getting married again to me?

Keep reading...

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

More tales from the (Mormon) dating trenches

So I see these two images on Google and I had to share. So funny, so true, so... dating in Mormonville. Truth be told, I love it because these stories are so dang funny. And I plan to take my stories and make a cottage industry out of it: The Bizarre World of Dating that is specific to dating in Utah among many, many Mormons.
Yes, I'm Mormon. No, I'm not your typical Mormon. And I love the endless writing material that this gives me.

Dating in Mormonville is endlessly entertaining. As such, I am the development stages of three projects: 1) a closed Facebook group for women in from Ogden to Springville ages 30-55 who are actively dating. This group will provide women with a forum in which they can share stories and, yes, usernames/profiles/names of predatory men they meet on Internet dating sites; 2) a support group where we can meet in person for, say, appetizers and drinks; 3) an internet call-in radio show. Dating anywhere in the world is always an interesting experience but in Utah, and in Mormonville especially, the tales are really odd. As such are my stories for today:

Joe, Kat & Me

I "met" a guy on-line and after exchanging phone numbers, decided that I wasn't interested. I asked my friend, Kat, if she might be. She said maybe so I texted "Joe." I told him that I knew this was odd but I didn't think we were a connection but I'd like to set him up with my friend. I texted him some photos, he said ok, and Kat and Joe had a nice phone conversation. He asked her out on a date to drive up to Midway for dinner and then hang out at a piano bar. She got dressed up and drove to meet him at the mouth of the Provo Canyon so they could drive up together. (I cautioned her that getting in a car with a man she didn't know was pretty brave and maybe not so smart. That aside, off she went.)

When she got there, Joe was in a mini van with his 12 year old son, two women, and another guy. He gave Kat a hug and directed her to the back seat of the van. Yep, it was a group hang-out, which he neglected to tell Kat about at all. Needless to say, she was totally caught off guard. Everyone in the van knew each other well. Kat did her best to blend in and make new friends. They drove the 30 minutes to Midway, ate dinner (all paying Dutch, of course), drove back down to Provo for ice cream, and decided to go to a kid-friendly movie. This was where Kat decided to bow out. After all, no piano bar, no nice one-on-one date... no... well, this was definitely no date. This was a story for Lizzy so she could write about it.

But it gets better...

The next day, I got a text from Joe. "I took Katherine out. She was nice. It went well. I'd still like to take you out. What does your schedule look like?"

Oh.My.Gosh. Was this guy for real? I couldn't resist responding. My text went something like this: You didn't really take Kat out on a date. You invited her to a group hang-out, which is very typical among the singles group in Mormon Utah. But since I'm a Utah transplant, this is not my thing so I'm not interested (and, really, I don't think Kat was either). FYI:  A date is usually a one-on-one activity. Best of luck to you.

He texted me back: You recommended a your friend for me to take out but you only knew her for three weeks. That wasn't cool.

I didn't respond. He was so annoying that I couldn't fathom ever spending another second with this man in my life. He texted me again: And aren't you a raging feminist anyway?

WTF was he talking about. And WTF did this have to do with anything. Well, clearly he was screwy and what did I care.

Next thing you know, he texts Kat: Your friend just ripped me a new one about our date. I didn't know that was so offensive. If you had a problem with it, you should've told me, not complained to her.

(Side note: Kat can tell her friends anything she wants, asshole.)

Kat and Joe's exchange went back and forth. Kat told him his son seemed like a great boy, and she thought he was nice, too. No connection but wished him the best.

After which Joe called me a raging feminist again, and she unreasonable in her dating requirements.

After many texts later, which got more and more strange, Kat deleted Joe as a contact. Moving on.

In the Mormon singles' group here in Utah, there is this whole bizarre "group hang-out" mentality, of which my aunt is a part. I think it's bizarre. These older singles hang out like they were in high school. They backstab each other, go everywhere together (every single day of the week), take their dates to single's activities, and they become a pseudo family/date/friend group. I wouldn't be part of that world if you paid me a million dollars. Gag me with a pitchfork.

Lia & Married Guy

Lia met this guy through a chat room that she's involved with. We'll call this guy Fred. Fred, as it turned out, lives just a few blocks from Lia and he looked very handsome from his photos. They decided to meet up at Beans & Brew for a cappuccino. When Lia saw him, first impressions were good. He looked just like his photos and he gave a great hug.

They sat down. "I didn't think there were too many single people in our neighborhood," she said.

"Well..." he stammered. "I told you my story, right?"

Lia shook her head. "So I'm not divorced yet."

"Ok, but you're separated, right?"

"Well, no."

Long story short, Fred was still living with his wife, they had not legally separated, and had not contacted a single divorce attorney or filed a single paper. Yes, he was totally married, though (wink-wink) they slept in separate bedrooms and didn't have sex anymore.

Have we not all heard this one before?

Turns out, he didn't have money to move out of the house because he didn't have a job and "worked" for his wife's company. One day, if he did get a job, he would move out. He needed to pay off his student loans (OMG, he's 50 years old), find a job, get an income, find a place to live, have "that conversation" with his wife, get an attorney, file papers... Well, let's just say, there's a lot of work ahead of him before he can get divorced.

"So does your wife know you're here with me? Does she know you're looking?"

"Well, no, I told her I was meeting a friend."

Oy vey.

But, now that Fred thought about it, Lia was the most intriguing woman he had ever met. "If I was single, would you date me?" he asked.

Lia, unsure of what she should say, nodded, "You're handsome enough. Probably." Truth was, he wasn't close to being divorced so... well, that was a long ways off.

"That's my incentive. I'm going to start things moving!" Joe said.

Lia stopped him. "No! I am not an incentive or prize for someone getting a divorce. I don't insert myself into the middle of anyone's marriage. You need to figure things out with your wife and do whatever you two need to do without me part of this at all. Divorce is tough enough and I wish you all the best."

Lia doesn't date married or recently separated men. Ever. Dang, if anyone wants to be part of Drama, this is a great way to go about it. Who knowingly "goes there" anyway? No one smart. Lia is smart, I gotta say. She'd never do anything this dumb. If she did, I'd happily choke her myself.

Needy Man

It's not really a "story" but I "met" a guy online. He texted me some basic questions and I responded to them all. Granted, it took me many hours most of the time but eventually, I responded. He texted: You are very difficult to get to know.


He texted it again. I asked him: Whatever are you talking about? Let's not make this difficult! Maybe you should find someone who's "easier."

Delete as contact.

If a guy is already high maintenance and I haven't even met him yet, it's time for him to go away. And fast. I want to SCREAM sometimes "now don't be whiny and needy already." Word of warning, really.

The Interview

So I met up with a guy I met online. He has a great job, is training for a bike race that's intense, he's highly educated, and sort of cute. Our lunch was nice, very entertaining. And somehow, he made our conversation ok, though had I had that same conversation with anyone else, I would have smacked him. Now that is talent! Let's call this guy Guy.

Guy is very staunch Mormon. Like really totally believing Mormon. I had the full on interview. I was wondering if I should follow up with a thank you letter when I was done. I literally got in my car and scratched my head and wondered what the hell was that.

To make a long story short, Guy gave me the summary of what he thought about me towards the end of our lunch. Here goes:
  • I was far more beautiful than he thought through my pictures. So for looks, I hit it out of the ballpark. He requires that anyone he would marry be really beautiful because his ex wife was beautiful. So on this one, check.
  • I was really smart. He requires anyone he would date seriously to be engaging and savvy. I more than met that requirement.
  • I didn't go to the Mormon temple, and that is really important to him. And, probably, I wouldn't be that thrilled to go in the future. And not only if I did agree to go to the temple with him, I probably wouldn't love it enough for his requirement, so I failed on this one.
  • I am Mormon, but probably my absolute knowledge that is everything that the church claims it to be (meaning The One & Only True Church) is a Fail. He wants whoever he marries to have that undying, unwavering faith in the Mormon church.
  • While I might have a close relationship with God, it was more important that my close relationship be with the Mormon Church. Fail on this one.
  • He requires that there be passion so that his wife and him would want to have sex most every day. He thinks that we would have passion. I pass this requirement.
  • His future wife must love to attend all the Mormon meetings, all three hours on Sunday. And all the extra curricular stuff. I probably Fail on this one because I can't stomach more than two hours of the three hour Mormon block and I take liberal church holidays. I fail on this one.
  • His wife needs to want to obey Priesthood authority. My questioning attitude makes me fail on this one.
Overall, we can't be a good match but he really liked me, found me beautiful, fun, engaging, and a real catch. But not for him.

Um... not for me, Guy. But thanks. I guess.

My summary on him (though he never asked): You're not THAT amazingly handsome. Fail.

Passion? Maybe fail, who knows. But I wouldn't give him Date 2 anyway.

His focus on how beautiful I look is odd. A guy might think that, but to bring it up over and over again? Turn off. He went so far as to tell me that a woman he went out with many times had all the components of what his future wife should be. She just wasn't pretty enough. I seriously can't imagine how un-fun dating this guy would be. Fail.

Image, image and more image. Fail.

Oddly enough, I didn't want to punch him in the face. I found him comical and entertaining.

My aunt, who is just eight years older than I am, once told me that dating in Utah was a freak show. I was still in San Diego and I really didn't know what she was talking about. "These men are looking for perfect Barbie Dolls. And the thing is, they're not all that great themselves. Weird." She moved from Seattle and dated a lot before moving to Utah so she had something else to compare the Mormon Utah Dating Scene with. And now that I'm here, I see what she's talking about. Thing is, I'm not ON A MISSION TO GET MARRIED and I really don't care about trying to strike up a relationship with these kinds of men anyway. If they only knew that I just can't wait to get home from my date to come to my laptop and write about them.

And that's all for today, my fearless readers.

xo, Lizzy Smilez

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

From Divorced Moms: How did I become so boring?

My latest on Divorced Moms. I absolutely love the "newness" a breakup brings. Granted, this breakup is one I wanted and was one hundred percent my decision. I've had horrible, painful breakups that are world-shattering. This breakup isn't one of them. With that said, I wake up every day excited about the new community I've become part of, my new friendships, and the flexibility I have to do what I want. I was one boring girl in my last relationship. William and I had great times together. We were so much alike in our likes and routines that it was uncanny. I loved the person and partner that I was in the relationship. I communicated well, was honest, kind, never screamed, and was thoughtful. It brought out the best in me as a partner. That said, yawn. I bored myself, now that I look back on it.

...And so it is that I look for my passion. Here's my take on how I'm doing that now.

How Did I Become So Boring? Single Again, I've (re)Discovered Fun
by Lizzy Smith                    
August 11, 2014                                                     
park city.jpg

On Friday night, I met up with five girlfriends at a swanky restaurant/bar. I dressed up in my new favorite boyfriend jeans and sexy top. I dug out my fun strappy silver sandals that I rarely wear and donned my YSL lip gloss. As we shared sushi roles, indulged in lemon martinis, and caught up on our (very interesting) lives, I thought, “This is so Sex in the City.” It was fun and I realized that I hadn’t done this sort of thing in forever. A few hours later, a nice guy that I’ve been dating a bit joined us. We listened to a live band, danced, and even sang along with the musicians until almost one in the morning. Me dance? Do you know how long it's been since I've gone dancing? Oh my gosh!

It dawned on me the next morning that in my quest to be the perfect mom, girlfriend, daughter and myeloma warrior, I had become (gasp) so incredibly boring. Dull. Stagnant. Predictable. Yuck.
Since leaving my husband in the wake of my cancer diagnosis, my entire focus was fighting my disease, getting a divorce, and taking care of my two young daughters. Once the divorce was done and I was in remission, my entire focus then shifted to my boyfriend (and making sure his needs were met), my daughters, and healing my body and soul. Yoga, power walks, meditation, nutrition, massages and traveling. That was my world. And those things are great and necessary. They are still my priority.

But what about fun?

Since I decided to end it with my boyfriend of nearly two years, I’ve (re)discovered a whole new world, and I rather like it. It’s a world of possibility. Potential. New relationships. And, yes, fun.

Keep reading...

Saturday, August 9, 2014

Myeloma warriors: Here is help for paying for those expensive drugs!

I wrote this very important article for If you know of anyone fighting myeloma, please share. There are many amazing financial resources to help those in treatment for myeloma. Here are four of those resources to get you started.

I have personally benefitted. Just a few months ago, I called the Patient Network Access Foundation and after a 20 minute phone call, was approved for $10,000 in co-pays for Thalidomide. They did not cut me a $10,000 check but every time I pick up my meds, the pharmacy uses my approval code and they bill them directly. Instead of paying thousands of dollars, I pay zero. Don't let a phone call or the perception that "you make too much" stop you from calling!

For more info, click here.

Need help with pricey medication co-pays?

Co-pays for medications can be staggering. Recently, we heard from one patient whose co-pay for a month Revlimid was over $5,000. The good news is that there is help, and applying is simple, usually requiring a single phone call. Oftentimes, approval is given right over the phone within minutes. In the case of our patient, she was approved for a $10,000 grant for 12 months in just a few minutes.
Here are four excellent resources for myeloma patients to help get you started.

Chronic Disease Fund877-968-7233 press option #0
Approvals are granted same-day. Patients must have medical insurance coverage, been prescribed a medication that is part of the CDF Formulary and meet program income criteria.

Leukemia & Lymphoma Society877-557-2672
The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society (LLS) Co-Pay Assistance Program helps pay insurance premiums and meet co-pay obligations. It also finds additional sources of financial aid. The Co-Pay Assistance Program offers financial help toward:
  • Blood cancer treatment-related co-payments
  • Private health insurance premiums
  • Medicare Part B, Medicare Plan D, Medicare Supplementary Health Insurance, Medicare Advantage premium, Medicaid Spend-down or co-pay obligations
For myeloma, there is up to $10,000 in assistance for those who qualify:
  • Have a household income that is at or below 500 percent of the U.S. federal poverty guidelines as adjusted by the Cost of Living Index (COLI)
  • Be a United States citizen or permanent resident of the U.S. or Puerto Rico and be medically and financially qualified
  • Have prescription insurance coverage
  • Have an LLS Co-Pay Assistance Program-covered blood cancer diagnosis confirmed by a doctor (see covered diagnoses listed above)
Patient Access Network Foundation866-316-7263
Up to $10,000 per year to help cover medication co-pays. To qualify, patients must meet these criteria:
  • Insured and insurance covers the medication for which the patient seeks assistance
  • The medication must treat the disease directly
  • Patient’s income must be below a designated percentage of the Federal Poverty Level, depending on individual fund requirements
  • Patient is prescribed a high cost drug for the disease, depending on individual fund requirements
  • Patient must reside and receive treatment in the US. They do not need to be a US citizen
Celgene Patient Support800-931-8691
Celgene offers the following support to qualifying patiens:
  • Co-pay Assistance: Patients may be eligible for help to reduce medication co-pays to $25 or less. This depends on the insurance coverage and what Celgene medication the patient’s doctor has prescribed
  • Celgene Free Medication Program: Patients who don’t currently have any health insurance or enough insurance to cover the cost of medication, may qualify for free Celgene medications
  • Transportation Assistance: Celgene Patient Support can help locate options to assist with the costs of traveling to and from a doctor’s office

Friday, August 8, 2014

From Careful what you wish for!

I used to want to rest. Now I have to.

I used to want to rest. Now I have to.

The old adage is true: Careful what you ask for!

Back in my prior life, pre multiple myeloma, I had a very stressful career, was in a failing marriage, had a home and vacation home, two young children, two dogs, and more responsibility than I care to think about. Each day was a struggle and I was exhausted and overwhelmed pretty much every single day. I used to daydream about just being able to rest and sleep. My idea of heaven was a hotel room, no children, no responsibilities, a TV, a bathtub, a book and room service. If only!

…And then I was diagnosed with multiple myeloma. I went on medical leave with my employer, left my husband and filed for divorce, packed up my two daughters and as many belonging as I could fit in our Jeep Commander, put the cat in a carrier, and drove from San Diego to Salt Lake City, Utah. We moved into my parents’ basement and I entered treatment at the University of Utah’s Huntsman Cancer Institute. I immediately began being prepped for a tandem stem cell transplant.

A few months later, I got my “wish.” Here I was, in a “clean apartment” just a few blocks from the hospital. Actually, it wasn’t an apartment, it was a Marriott hotel with a small kitchen. I had no immune system and had just received my stem cells back into my body. I was awaiting my body to recover so I could go home and let the healing process begin. I was in that hotel, my children were at home some 35 minutes away, I had no responsibilities at all. I had a TV, a bathtub, a book, a stack of magazines, a flat screen TV and DVD player, and a bathtub. Room service (which I couldn’t eat, thanks to my not having an immune system that was functioning) was just a call away. Instead, I had a refrigerator loaded up with all the processed, pre-packaged foods that one could ever want. Frozen burritos, pizzas, canned soups, pickles (which for whatever reason, I craved like a drug addict needing a fix). I did buy lots of fresh fruits and veggies that I cooked up beyond recognition, but at least they weren’t canned and loaded up with extra salt and chemicals.

The problem was that I was so bored that a near panic began to set in. I felt closed in and isolated. I could sleep, read and watch as much TV as I wanted. I could Facebook and surf the Internet and call all my friends. But, really, the only thing I wanted to do was take baths, watch TV, munch on snack foods (yes, I got the munchies during my transplant and gained weight, go figure), and channel surf. I desperately wanted to leave but my body had no energy. Getting out of bed took serious concentration. My mind and body were not synching up and I hated it. One morning, I woke up nearly crazed. I had to get out of that hotel room. But I didn’t know how I would find the energy to get up and get dressed.

I concentrated on one thing at a time. Get up, brush teeth. Check. Wash face. Check. Put on clothes. Check. Put on wig. Wake Dad up (my caregiver). Find shoes and put them on. Check. Take loads of pills. Check. (Getting those pills down my throat was not easy. Though I had no sores on my mouth, my esophagus was clearly inflamed because eating was easy, swallowing liquids and pills was harder.) Put on mask that I could hardly breathe in. Check. Walk to car. Check.

My dad and I drove through the beautiful Utah canyons around Bountiful, Utah. We found a beautiful neighborhood and admired the homes. I craved a soda but I stopped myself from indulging. Instead, I had my dad go into a convenience store and buy me a bottle of Smart Water. We talked. And getting out of that hotel room for a few hours and sitting in the car (with the windows rolled up) was a welcomed respite. I had to get out of that hotel room and see people and be reminded that life outside of myeloma existed. It helped.

We went back to our hotel room and I took a long nap, watched some Dr Phil, ate a bunch of pickles, and later, we drove to my daughter’s soccer game. I couldn’t get out of the car but it meant everything to my daughter to know that mom was in the vicinity.

Not everyone can do what I did during transplant. Everyone’s body and stamina level is different. I had extreme fatigue– mentally and physically. But I also needed to get out and do things. All that rest I once dreamed of in my prior life? I suppose that, in reality, it just isn’t me. Even today, some two years post transplants, I still hate to rest a lot. I get my extreme fatigue days, usually two to three days post dex, and I need to sleep. I allow my body that rest. But usually, I push myself through that fatigue. I have found that if I sit too much, I don’t feel better, I actually feel a lot worse. I discovered this on a trip to Washington, DC between my two stem cell transplants. If I sat and did nothing, my fatigue and “strange” feelings of “fuzziness” never went away. But if I got up and walked and did site seeing, those side effects almost disappeared. Which is not to say that I recommend doing anything crazy. Rest is good. So are naps. But so is moving around as much as you can. I push myself. Do I push too hard? Perhaps. Perhaps not.

But during transplant, the mental and physical fatigue were intense. Sleep and room service and a TV were not all that I had once dreamed of.  Go figure. How did I get through it? My favorite TV shows, Vanity Fair magazine (cover-to-cover, though my dad bought me the issue in Spanish and had to go back to the store and get me the English version), catching up on Mad Men via DVD, and taking naps. Day after day. I actually began to look forward to my clinic visits and lab work. On my second transplant, I actually engrafted a day early and I knew it. I knew my body had started to recover. When the nurses said I could go home, I wasn’t surprised at all. In fact, I believe that I engrafted the day prior, I just didn’t have my blood work drawn that day. When I got home, the first thing I did was go to the spa and get a 90-minute facial. My skin felt like a withered prune. I was home before my children got back from school. When they did, I could hear their “Mommy’s home!” shout. They saw my car in the driveway. Since they weren’t expecting me home a day early, it was a welcomed surprise. They were ecstatic. Hearing their voices made me ecstatic.

The path to feeling “better” wasn’t that easy. My heart often pounded by simply walking up the stairs. Short walks around the block left me exhausted. My brain just didn’t function that great. Concentrating on sentences and verbalizing thoughts that were in my head was a struggle. I became cranky easily. But each day got just a bit better. Two months later, I went skiing. I couldn’t believe it– the year prior I had just been diagnosed and I felt so horrible. While the day of skiing left me exhausted beyond belief, the fact that I did it was amazing! One day, I hiked a big trail. Another day, I took an eight mile walk. Progress!

I still haven’t gone back to work yet. I am on maintenance therapy that includes weekly Velcade and Dex, and a daily capsule of Thalidomide. I have major chemo brain. Some days, I need to sleep or simply be horizontal for a few hours. I get a cold every four weeks. If someone is sick, me too! I need to have flexibility and time to concentrate on my health. I try to eat really healthy, though I over indulge too often on cookies and fries (though not together!). I do Bikram yoga from Fall through Spring. I do power walks. I try to sleep eight hours a day or more. I try to stay positive. I use lots of alternative therapies to combat side effects that include some neuropathy in my feet, insomnia, and stress. I write, journal and blog because I love it and I do it to help others. I travel, because life is about creating memories and learning new things.

This myeloma journey has been quite the surprise. I have learned a lot about myself. I have learned I’m stronger than I ever thought. I am resilient. And I am an optimist. Those traits have served me well thus far in my fight to get and stay well. A mind-body connection? I strive for that every day. I often talk to my body. I remind it that we have to fight cancer cells together. And my sleeper myeloma cells? I talk to those, too. I tell them that if they proliferate, we’ll all go down together. Survival is a group project. I pray, meditate, and laugh. On my dex days, I swear a lot and lose my composure with my children too often. But I’m getting through it. One day at a time.

Thursday, August 7, 2014

My amazing parenting skills last night

Last night, my Dear Morgan really pissed me off. First, we spent a really fun day at the new Aquarium. It wasn't cheap. $50 to get in plus we got lunch. We had a great time together.

We got home, I cooked up some dinner, and then I reminded Morgan that we had to pack her up for Youth Camp (she left this morning). She was in her room lying on her bed. I pulled out a sleeping bag, pillow, water bottle. There was Morgan, still lying on her bed.

"Morgan, I want to be done tonight soon, too, and I can't do it if we don't pack you up," I said.

"I know, Mom, I've got it, I've got it," she said in that 14 year old snotty voice.

That set me off (and I'm not even taking Dex until tomorrow!). "And you need to vacuum. I've asked you every single day for a week."

"I've been busy," she said in protest.

"You've been busy? You wake up at noon, you're not ever ready until two in the afternoon. And you have no time to vacuum?" I was seething. "Pack yourself up NOW and vacuum pronto. You're on your own."

"Fine, I've got it, I've got it."

"Give me your cell phone," I said. She handed it over. "Don't even ask me for it until Sunday. It's mine. You are taking Siena's phone with you to camp as a backup. I'm not taking you to Subway to pick up lunch for tomorrow. And I'm not taking you anywhere to get snacks for the drive tomorrow. Pack your own stuff up."

At this point, Morgan thought better than to open her Big Fat Mouth and challenge me anymore. Tw hours later, Morgan asked if we could talk. She didn't know why she was mouthy. She didn't mean to be. Can't I be like (my BFFs) Julie and Shane who just yell at their kids and then don't carry through on any of their consequences?

Gosh no! I am a parent. Good parents give their kids consequences and they don't back off.

And then 30 minutes later, I told Morgan in my very big Lizzy Stern Voice, "Get your shoes on and get in the car." She was surprised. Oh no, now what? I could see it in her eyes. We got in my car, I stopped by her friend's house and called her mom to send her out. When Shelby was in the car, I told them that I was taking them to Walmart and they had $11 to buy snacks for the next day so plan together and buy wisely. Yay! They were so excited. We stopped by Starbucks and got their new hand-crafted sodas (yum), and then I dropped Shelby off at home. I then gave Morgan an option: sleep with me since it was our last night together for three days and get her phone back, or sleep in her own bed and take Siena's basic phone with her.

Really? Morgan almost shouted for joy. We watched TV, talked in bed, and bonded. It was a fun end of the evening.

Hey, I did not get her Subway for lunch the next day. Instead I made her a lunch. I did stay firm on one consequence, right?

Yes, consistency is not my strong point as a parent. I'm a total push-over. Any my kids know it.

Bad Mom, I am.

Divorced Moms column: 10 resolutions for the new school year

My latest Divorced Moms column is out!

10 Resolutions For The Upcoming School Year
by Lizzy Smith                     
August 07, 2014
Share on Tumblr

At the end of the summer, I'm always really bummed to let go of the "un-structure." I love not having the pressure of helping with homework, packing lunches, managing morning carpool, ensuring that backpacks are pre-packed before going to bed, and juggling endless after school activities. But ready or not, school is back in session in less than two weeks for us. And as I stare at the inevitable, I made some resolutions for the year ahead. Maybe if I say focused, we will have the best school year ever. My list is now on my refrigerator door so I am continually reminded of my goals. Here they are:

I will cook dinner and we will eat together 
The dinner table is a critical component in raising healthy kids. This summer, I've failed miserably. In fact, if I'm not hungry, I forget that I should feed them at all. But once school starts, I am re-committing to cooking dinner several nights per week and eating together.

Keep reading...

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

I have quite a back story now (thanks to one tiny little diagnosis)

Last week, an editor of sorts contacted me after reading my blogs and articles. We spent quite some time chatting about my background, my story, and my life today. I talked a lot about what inspires me and my purpose in life, my greatest passions, and where I see myself going from here.

As of January 1, 2012, my life was one of an overworked mom in a horrible marriage working too many hours at the office and way too many hours once I got home. But the very next day, my life took a dramatic change. That was the day I underwent a battery of tests and I also had my husband removed from the home be police. It was the day of our official separation. I was diagnosed with multiple myeloma just four days later.

...Which now gives me quite a back story. The person I spoke with was stunned with my story. Stunned that my husband would dare spit in my face after I got home from getting scanned for tumors. Stunned that he would call me a thief, liar and drama queen. Stunned that he would threaten to cancel my health insurance if I left him. Stunned that he told a whole host of people that I wasn't sick and that I should just get my lazy ass back to work. And since then, my fight to get well at the same time also fighting my husband in court as I sought to end our horrific marriage, my life has been one of hope, renewal, recover and repair. Where do I go from here? To continue making a difference in the lives of others. Whether it is of entertainment value, or others who have survived (or are trying to survive an alcoholic home), or who are fighting a disease, who knows?

One thing I absolutely love about this blog is the opportunities that it has opened for me. Thanks to this blog, I got on Twitter. I met Jenny and I get to help her with the Myeloma Crowd efforts. We have been on radio programs, TV shows, and featured in print articles. I have been on radio shows. I have become a Featured Writer on Divorced Moms. I have been published by the Chicago Tribune, Huffington Post and Maria Shriver. And this is just the beginning. I have nearly 100,000 readers at Divorced Moms alone.

I am so grateful today for all the blessings that have come from my illness, from my survival through my marriage and thriving post divorce. I hope my story inspires, entertains or has value out there. It is quite a story. Perhaps there really was a reason for all of this. Did the hand of God have something to do with this? I chose to think yes. 

Sunday, August 3, 2014

Divorced Moms column: Should we conduct background checks on Mr Wonderful?

My latest on Divorced Moms!

Should We Conduct a Background Check on Mr Wonderful?
by Lizzy Smith                    
August 03, 2014
Here are a few stories that make my toes curl. All are true, though names have been changed to protect their identities:

-Lori met a guy, fell fast and hard in love, and they quickly married. Less than two years later, he’s in jail for molesting her six year old daughter. Turns out, he had prior arrests for sexually assaulting his sister and elder abuse.

-Lisa’s boyfriend served time in prison years prior to their meeting for bribing corporate officials and gaining unfair advantage in the bidding process. He also claimed to have a successful land development business that he turned over to his oldest daughter to manage. She was so good at it that he only needed to check in every several months to see how it was going (and collect big checks that the business was raking in). Turns out, that business doesn't exist at all.

-Jack married his wife and less than two months later, found out that she had several other ex-husbands and a past that was shocking. He had her removed from his home and filed for divorce days later.

Keep reading...