What Readers Should Love From Amazon

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I don’t know about you, but I am a huge Amazon fanatic. I’m also a huge book fanatic. Well, it’s pretty great that the two can go hand-in-hand!

Let’s start with Amazon Prime (Try it free for 30 days!). I’ve been an Amazon Prime member for a few years now, and while I don’t necessarily order a lot from Amazon (like many people who take advantage of their free 2-day shipping and order pretty much everything, all the way down to soap and toilet paper, from Amazon), I do enjoy other perks that come with Prime, like Prime Reading! Each month, Prime members can select from a number of Kindle eBooks that are chosen by Amazon to read for free or at a discount! I’ve found some of my favorites through Prime Reading like The Best of Friends, or my current read, Every Last Secret. If you don’t own a Kindle, no problem! Download the Amazon Kindle app for your Android or iPhone/iPad.

Now that I’ve mentioned the Kindle, let’s talk about it! I’ve been very back and forth about eReaders for over a decade. I remember my first eReader was the original Nook from Barnes & Noble. I LOVED IT! I thought I was so cool carrying it around and bringing it everywhere I went, reading wherever and whenever I wanted to. After awhile, I missed reading physical books and growing my bookshelves, so I went back to hard copies until I was eventually gifted a newer Nook a few years later, known as the Nook Color. The screen was black and white, but it had a colored touch screen across the bottom where you could access your library, the app store, etc. Again, I thought I was super cool. Now, this was around the time I was getting into my late teen years/early 20’s and reading for longer periods of time (and for those wondering how old I am considering I just said “early 20’s” like it was forever ago, well, I’m closer to 30 than you think LOL). If there’s one definite pro to reading a hard copy of a book, the hard copy doesn’t have a battery life. That was my last e-reader for many many years… Throughout my 20’s, I have grown my physical book collection exponentially. Now, I don’t have an amazing wall-to-wall bookshelf like some of my favorite BookTubers/Bookstagrammers out there (shoutout A Clockwork Reader, Hailey in Bookland, and Brittany the Bibliophile), but to be fair, I haven’t lived in a space (ever) that would accommodate one. SOMEDAY!! A few months ago, my fiancé and I moved from Massachusetts to Florida and are currently living with my family (temporarily) until we buy a home of our own. With that being said, all of my precious books are up in a storage unit in Massachusetts and my bibliophile heart is weeping everyday over it. Since I can’t make a collection right now, I had to settle for an eReader once again and I was given the new Amazon Kindle Paperwhite for my birthday this year. Ok… I’M OBSESSED. First of all, it’s so lightweight, I can’t even feel it in my bag. Second of all, it’s nice and small, fits in one hand, and even fits in my fanny pack when I decide to go for a walk and maybe stop in the shade and read for a bit. Third, the battery life is… absolutely incredible. I read pretty much a few hours a day or listen to an audiobook for a while and I can actually go over a week without charging. If I happen to go a few days without reading for some reason, the battery does not dwindle. It maintains its power. Lastly, it’s water resistant! Call me crazy, but yes, I bring it in the bathtub (don’t have to worry about getting pages wet or keeping my hands dry!), in the shower when I really can’t put the book down, and to the pool and beach! While I know I will someday be buying physical books again, I know for a fact I will never let my Kindle collect dust. Did I mention it’s water resistant?!

So, I’ve fallen in love with Amazon Prime and the Kindle Paperwhite. Am I done being hooked on Amazon yet? NOPE! Let’s talk Audible, shall we? So not only am I a Prime member, but I’m also an Audible member. For under $15 a month, you are given credits to use towards any audiobook on the market. If you think about it, it’s a steal! Audiobooks can be pricey, some up to over $50! One Audible credit is good for any audiobook available through Audible. If you don’t use your credit this month, no problem! It will still be there next month, in addition to your new credit. Credits do not expire and will continue to roll over. Have you racked up 9 credits and there’s a nine-book series you want to listen to? Go listen to the whole thing for free! My favorite audiobooks I’ve listened to through Audible are pretty much anything by Debbie Macomber and the Sweet Magnolias series by Sherryl Woods. You can also access your Audible library on your Kindle Paperwhite. I love being able to connect my Bluetooth headphones to my Kindle and listen to my audiobook to save battery on my phone if I’m out and about. Try Audible now FREE for 30 days!

There’s one more membership on Amazon I am considering joining now that I do own my Kindle and that’s Kindle Unlimited. Now, I don’t know too much about it, so if you are a member, please enlighten me! As far as I know, Kindle Unlimited is a membership for avid readers like myself and you can read an unlimited amount of eBooks! From what I see on the Kindle Store, though, it seems like only certain books are eligible for Kindle Unlimited. So, I’m not sure if it’s something I want to do – I want to hear more about it from others!

Who else is an Amazon junkie?! I can’t be the only one.

Comment below and let me know how you relate! If you decide to try any of these products/memberships after reading my post, please come back and tell me what you think!

BOOK REVIEW: Dial A For Aunties by Jesse Q. Sutanto

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I had heard and read so many good things about this book and I AGREE! Dial A For Aunties by Jesse Q. Sutanto was quite the page turner – I absolutely could not put it down! This story follows main character Meddelin Chan (Meddy) and her Asian-American family. The beginning of the book starts off with every other chapter alternating between Meddy’s college days and present day. When Meddy was in college at UCLA, she fell in love with Nathan Chan (not related), and kept her steamy and intimate relationship hidden from her very traditional family. When Meddy and Nathan graduate from UCLA, they go separate ways after Nathan invites Meddy to move to New York with him as he takes on his career and Meddy can’t find it in her heart to leave her family.

Fast forward to present day and Meddy still hasn’t found love since Nathan and her mother “Ma” decides to set her up on a date – but not in a traditional way… She impersonates Meddy on a dating site and agrees to go on a date with a wealthy hotel manager “Jake.” Well, Jake takes things a little too far with Meddy for their first date together and Meddy ends up tasering Jake while he’s driving her car and they end up in an accident. Once Meddy comes to, Jake is dead… or is he?

Meddy and her family – Big Aunt, Second Aunt, Ma, and Fourth Aunt – have a family business as wedding vendors. They have one of the biggest weddings they’ve ever done tomorrow, and yet, Meddy just killed her date. Her date that is the hotel manager of the resort the wedding is taking place in… or is he?

Then comes the infamous cooler. Meddy calls on her family to help her with the body of Jake. She can’t believe she accidentally killed her date, nor can she believe her family is so willing and ready to help her. They decide to bring the body to Big Aunt’s bakery and place it in a cooler to preserve it while they work the wedding and figure out what to do next. Well, the next morning, the cooler is gone and has been shipped off to the wedding venue. WHAT?! A dead body heading to the wedding venue?! The body of the hotel manager?! Who’s supposed to be working the biggest wedding of the year?! AHHHH!

I don’t want to give any major spoilers, but “Jake” is not the hotel manager… but someone very significant is. And the body, is not the body of a hotel manager, but the body of whom…? A family friend? A thief? A con artist? All of the above?!

If you enjoy a good laugh, but also a thrilling, addictive page-turner, look no further than this right here! Dial A For Aunties is incredible and truly captures Asian-American family culture, especially through dialogue.

If you’ve read it, let me know what you think!

Do Narrators Make or Break the Audiobook?

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I don’t know about you guys, but for me, the narrator is one of the most important factors in the quality and enjoyment of an audiobook. If the narrator is boring or hard to understand, I find myself daydreaming and not listening to the book and having to go back over and over and over again; usually, I end up not finishing/deleting said book.

Some audiobooks I have loved are pretty much any Debbie Macomber book – her narrators are absolutely phenomenal. They truly know how to portray different roles in a story and have wonderful inflection and tone that make it easy and interesting to listen to. Some of my favorites by Macomber that I’ve listened to on Audible are An Engagement in Seattle, A Walk Along the Beach, Cottage By the Sea, and the entire Rose Harbor series. I’ve read the hard copies of some as well, but the audiobooks just make you feel like you’re right there with the characters, experiencing everything with them.

Other audiobooks I have enjoyed are the books in the Sweet Magnolias series by Sherryl Woods. If any of you have seen the Sweet Magnolias series on Netflix, you should definitely read or listen to the book series. It’s spot on with the show and it’s just an amazing story of growth, change, love, and more. Check out the first book Stealing Home and let me know what you think!

Now, some audiobooks I did not enjoy and just couldn’t finish due to the narration are Then She Was Gone by Lisa Jewell and My Sister’s Grave by Robert Dugoni. I found both narrators to be extremely hard to listen to as they kind of droned on and had no intention or enthusiasm to what they were reading. UGH. I ended up reading Then She Was Gone the paperback and it was amazing. Seriously, the narrators make a whole world of difference.

Does anyone agree with me?! Disagree?? Share your opinions and some of your favorite audiobooks!

BOOK REVIEW: This Will Be Funny Someday by Katie Henry

Never have I ever read a Katie Henry book until This Will Be Funny Someday after it came up while browsing on my Kindle Paperwhite. The reviews said it was “laugh-out-loud funny” and I knew I just had to give it a shot. WELL… let me tell you… this book was absolutely hilarious. I think part of me found it even more funny because I relate to the main character/narrator more than anyone could possibly understand! Let’s get started on what I thought…

Isabel Vance (or Izzy V to the comedy club world) is not your typical 16 year old girl. Born and raised in Chicago with her hot-shot attorney mother, hard-working father, and older twin siblings Charlotte and Peter, Isabel feels isolated from people, including her family. She’s not too social, other than around her boyfriend, Alex, who is extremely controlling and specifically chooses her friends. She’s been made to feel like her voice can’t be heard, so why try speaking? Everyone talks over her – her parents, her siblings, classmates, even Alex sometimes.

Until one day, when plans with her ever-busy mother fall through and she had already told Alex she couldn’t get together, Isabel is hiding from him when she sees him out on the street so he doesn’t catch her in a lie. She runs to hide in a small building, which we soon find out is a comedy club. Next thing you know, Isabel is on the stage.

After, she meets some friends, local college students – Mo, Jonah, and Will. They hit up local comedy clubs in their free time and perform stand-up. After seeing Isabel “perform” that day, they invite her to tag along sometime on their next comedy excursion (assuming she’s also a fellow college student, and not a 16 tear old high school junior).

Long story short, so as to not ruin the whole story, we see “Izzy V” transform through this book. She learns how toxic her relationship is with Alex, recreates an old friendship she had with her classmate Naomi, and also has relationships blossom with both her sister Charlotte and her mother. Eventually, after many nights out together, helping Izzy prepare for stand-up gigs, and performances in different clubs, the truth comes out about Isabel’s real age and real life. Will Izzy and Mo remain as tight knit as they were?

GO READ IT! This book made me LOL on multiple occasions. I read 20 pages one day and a few days later read the other 380. SO so awesome.

Follow Isabel Vance, the shy, quiet, isolated teen on her journey to becoming Izzy, the bold, confident, outspoken woman she always should have been.

Has anyone else read this one?! What’d you think??

Weekend’s just about over. Keep reading!!

BOOK REVIEW: Eleanor Oliphant is completely fine by Gail Honeyman

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Hello, readers!

I’m sure many of you have read this book, as it was one of the top books of 2020 on many different lists. That happens to be why I read it – many raving reviews, top rated, etc. Well… here is my review of Eleanor Oliphant is completely fine by Gail Honeyman.

On Goodreads, I gave it 4 out of 5 stars, which overall, is a pretty good rating. I thought long and hard before I rated and reviewed this book because I wasn’t sure what to think or say. It took me over 100 pages to finally be drawn into the story; over 210 pages to finally say “OH! WOW!” and want to binge read the rest.

This story follows the life and thoughts of a young woman, Eleanor Oliphant. She lived a traumatic childhood and is learning how to finally navigate society and have a social life as an adult after isolating herself for many years. While the writing style of the book makes it entertaining as you follow Eleanor through drunken stupor and fantasy-like thoughts, I felt as though throughout the whole novel I was left wondering why she was this way. She has weekly Wednesday phone calls with her Mummy readers are led to believe is in prison, which we (SPOILER) later learn, towards the end of the book, are not real and have been a figment of her imagination this whole time.

Most of this story revolves around Eleanor’s secret fantasy of meeting and falling in love with local “rockstar” Johnnie Lomand – as readers learn as the story goes on, Eleanor truly has no idea how real life works and how the social world works, and come to find out, Eleanor learns too, the very hard way. She turns to alcohol as her coping mechanism on many occasions and you read through many pages of wondering how this could possibly end if this is how bad she truly is.. Lying nude, alone, on the floor of her apartment looking for at least one bottle of vodka that isn’t empty. WOOF!

I think my favorite character I met and followed in this story is Raymond, Eleanor’s coworker and eventual “pal.” Raymond helps Eleanor adjust to social life and the real world, without even knowing Eleanor is afraid of the world or why she is the way she is. We are also introduced to Sammy, the elderly man Raymond and Eleanor find lying in the street with his groceries. He’s not a long-lived character in the story, but he brings a lot of joy and love by welcoming Raymond and Eleanor into his life and family, and Eleanor grows a fondness to him as well.

Let’s just say, I felt like this book was all over the place, much like this review. I’m spitting out my thoughts because I felt like the book spit out pieces of the true story, while we tiptoed around it with Eleanor. The whole time I’m thinking, “Just get to the point already! Why is she like this? What happened to her? Why does she have a scar on her face she keeps mentioning? Hellooooo??” BUT by the end, everything finally came together and I thought, “Ok, that all makes sense, but there was really no reason for it all to be drawn out that long for that point.”

It’s a great story, written in a very odd manner, in my opinion. You might find you think differently! (Also, maybe I should’ve given it 3 out of 5 stars based on my actual review…?? I’m still confused on my own level of love for this book.)

Happy Thursday!

Keep calm and read on! The weekend is almost here 🙂

BOOK REVIEW: The Best of Friends by Lucinda Berry

*SPOILER ALERT – THIS REVIEW CONTAINS SPOILERS.

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The Best of Friends – by Lucinda Berry is one of THE BEST books I have read in a long time. I had never read anything by Lucinda Berry before, but this was amazing and I will definitely be checking out more of her books.

Again, THIS POST CONTAINS SPOILERS.

This story revolves around three best friends – Dani, Kendra, and Lindsey – and their families. Each woman is experiencing something different in their marriages, and each one is a secret. These secrets eventually come out after one night, when their three teenage sons – Caleb, Sawyer, and Jacob, respectively, are hanging out together at Dani’s house when they get their hands on a gun.

The story takes you through the parents’ woes of trying to piece together what happened that dreaded evening and who shot who. The gun belonged to Bryan and Dani, the parents of Caleb, who swear their son would never shoot or use their gun irresponsibly or recklessly.

BIGGEST SPOILER – The boys were very drunk and high when it occurred. Caleb (Dani’s son) shot Sawyer (Kendra’s son) in the abdomen, killing him. Jacob (Lindsey’s son) took the gun and shot himself in the head, which ultimately made him braindead and killed him by the end of the book.

Throughout trying to figure out how this all happened, Dani experiences domestic violence in her home and finally calls it quits and tells once her husband Bryan physically hurts their daughter, Luna. Lindsey experiences her “perfect husband” emotionally cheating online with a woman he’s never met when they have two children at home and one in the hospital in a coma. Kendra ends up having to admit to her husband after many years that she has been giving her son Reese prescription Adderall for his ADHD even though Paul forbade it due to being against medicating children. This infuriates him as they find out their son Reese has been selling Adderall and possibly taking it on top of the secret dose his mother has been giving him all these years.

Also – who would’ve thought that two of the boys were gay and in love with each other?

A lot of reviewers say the parents seem super clueless in this book, but I find it to be pretty accurate with today’s times! There are plenty of kids that lie to their parents about where they are and what they’re doing and plenty of parents that are unaware. I thought it was perfect. I was on my toes the entire book WITH these characters trying to get down to the bottom of what happened that evening their lives changed forever.

There are so many more spoilers I could give – such as why the other children of the women (Reese and Luna) feel involved in the incident with the boys or what happens to Dani in her escape from Bryan and Lindsey in her battle of learning to let go of both her son and her husband. BUT I am SO not doing that because I want you to READ IT! I read it on my Kindle Paperwhite and I loved every second of it. I could not put it down.

I can’t wait to read more by Lucinda Berry and share my thoughts with you!

2 Years Since I Last Blogged?! How’s Everyone Doing During the Pandemic?!

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WOW! It feels like yesterday I started my little mini-blog, but it’s actually been four years and it’s been two years since I’ve been on. HOW?!

I guess I lost desire and motivation to continue because I didn’t gain a huge following – but hey, that’s the joy of it being a blog, right? You can write for no one, even just for yourself, and if people happen to stumble upon your content and like it too, that’s even better!

SOOOO what have I been up to for 2 years, one might ask (other than trying to survive this pandemic with the rest of the world)?! In January of 2020, I finally graduated from Southern New Hampshire University with my Bachelor’s Degree in Healthcare Administration. Although I finished my last two years of school online and my “graduation” consisted of me hitting ‘submit’ on a screen in the loneliness of my tiny apartment kitchen in the middle of the day on a Thursday, it was still, by far, one of the happiest moments of my entire life. I felt so accomplished and I proceeded to dance around my apartment with my dog.

I worked in long-term care both while I was in school and after I graduated and, of course, continued through the throes of COVID-19. In late April of 2020, I tested positive for COVID-19 and, although I was very ill, I am blessed to say I never had to go to the hospital and I survived. I will never forget the day I just KNEW I had the virus and I was filled with total dread… So here’s that story: It was Friday, April 24th (sad I didn’t even have to look at a calendar for that, it’s just that memorable) and we found out our first employee and first resident at the facility I was working in were positive for the virus. Now, mind you, this was AMAZING at the time because most facilities around us were absolutely drowning in COVID by mid March – but here we were, almost in May, thinking we were really going to keep this thing out, but this dreadful day came. We were donned in full PPE, going about our day, trying to keep our residents isolated and safe, and with it being Friday, we were preparing for another week ahead – a new one, with COVID. I was changing out the employee masks (we all received one mask per week and I had the awesome privileges of changing everyone’s nasty mask out for a shiny new one) and I remember telling my coworker I didn’t feel right. She told me I was probably overtired and that whatever I was feeling was probably psychosomatic since we knew we had likely been exposed. My heart was racing, I was sweating (it was 30 something degrees out and I was in a basement that wasn’t too warm), and my head was pounding. I drank some water and continued my day as there was about an hour left. As I was leaving work, I said to my coworker, “see you in 10 to 14 days” just knowing. She laughed and told me I was nuts. That night, I made a lovely meal for my boyfriend (now fiance, we’ll get there) and I from a new cookbook I had. Man, no matter how much garlic I put in there, I couldn’t smell it. Now I really started panicking. It was time to eat – couldn’t taste it. FULL panic and feelings of impending doom set in. The next morning when I woke up – I could feel my heartbeat through my whole body, my lungs were absolutely FILLED with phlegm, and I had a high fever. Off I went for a COVID test, already knowing what my fate would be, and the following day I got the call saying I was positive for the COVID-19 virus and that my local board of health would be contacting me. It took 9 days for my heart rate to reduce from the 130/140s… I thought I was going to stroke out at 26 years old. It took me approximately 10 days to feel well enough to return to work and normal life, although it took 3 months to regain my taste and smell. I think that was the worst part of my experience, if you ask me, because I love food, especially my daily coffee. I was a sad, sad camper. I became very fond of Tabasco sauce during this time as it was the ONLY thing I could taste – only because it left a zing on the tongue! LOL

After my own COVID experience, I returned to work and, let me tell you, it was the worst experience of my entire life. Working in long-term care pulls at your heartstrings on a daily basis as it is, but when your residents can’t see their loved ones, are taking their last breaths alone with just you by their side, are dying by the day, it only sets you up for heartbreak. All I have to say is – to anyone out there that lost a loved one to COVID-19, my heart is with you. This virus was nothing we expected or were ready to handle.

My heart aches just seeing this and remembering how I felt.
Can I just say… those plastic face shields HURT.

In July of 2020, I finally completed the last of my 11 operations for my skin graft removal. It was a painful two years of medical treatments, but so worth it. I am so happy with the results and can’t wait to put my new body to use when I am pregnant someday… which will hopefully be within the next couple of years because……..

In July of 2020, I said yes to being Mrs. Cousineau! Photo by: @stephanieberensonphotography

Then, in February, 2021, we decided to pack up our little life in the tiny apartment we had dwelled in for 3 years and we moved down the east coast to Florida to join my family! We couldn’t be happier. While it was quite an adjustment period when we first came down, we are thriving and can’t wait to soon buy our first home and finally tie the knot!

What a whirlwind of a couple years it has been! And yes, I am still a total bibliophile – I read the entire Harry Potter series (yes, finally as an adult, yes) and it was amazing! I was gifted a Kindle Paperwhite (https://amzn.to/3lxvVJp) for my birthday and I have been LOVING it! For Amazon Prime members, Prime Reading is amazing! There are a slew of free books offered monthly for prime members and it’s great for bibliophiles like me who either don’t know what to read and don’t want to spend money on a “maybe,” or if you simply can’t afford a book.

I can’t wait to continue blogging and doing some book reviews! Follow me on GoodReads to see what I’m reading now 🙂

Tidying Up for Spring!

I’ve been on this roll lately where all I want to do is clean! I used to be really lackadaisical about certain things that my mom was always super uptight about – a dish in the sink, random things on the table/counter, miscellaneous clutter…

NOW… I DON’T KNOW WHY… all I do is clean. I wake up and I’m itching to wipe things down, clean my sink and counters, clean the bathroom, vacuum, do laundry… and I feel like it never ends.

I’m not dirty, nor have I ever been dirty. I’m more… messy, if you will.

I recently stumbled upon Tidying Up With Marie Kondo on Netflix after I saw her appear on The Ellen Show. First of all – Marie Kondo is the most adorable little thing on the planet. If I were as tiny as her, some small clutter would probably overwhelm me too… nonetheless, she has great tips for everyone!

I’ve always been sort of a clothing hoarder… I never was able to really go shopping when I was growing up. I had the same clothes forever and I lived off hand-me-downs. I guess I’ve always had some sort of attachment to clothing with an underlying thought that if I get rid of an item, I’ll never have anything like it again.

Wrong-o. I don’t need them all. I don’t need 15 white tank tops, half that look like I’ve had them since I was 15 myself (which is very likely…). I don’t need knit sweaters from 2007 that have more holes in them that were originally there. I don’t need combat boots from 2009 with a zipper that barely works anymore. I can get a new pair. I don’t need t-shirts from events and concerts from 2004. Those take up a whole drawer…

So… let the purge begin! Out go the clothes.. in go the… drawer and closet fresheners? I can’t afford a new wardrobe right now, let’s be real. But I can live with what I’ve got.

I’m also obsessed with mopping my floors. I feel like they can never be clean enough. Is this a new found OCD I have?

What are your organization hacks? What kind of purging are you doing in your house this season? Talk to me!

Happy Tuesday!

Been Awhile…

Well… hello!

It’s been a bit since I’ve blogged, which is sad, if I do say so myself. I guess I got caught up with my surgeries, the holidays, school, etc… but here I am.

I honestly can’t even say I’ve been reading too much on this blogging hiatus either! I can’t even say I’ve read at all… I’m currently reading Accidental Heroes by Danielle Steel and am loving it. I purchased it right before flying on a plane… that was a bad idea, but nonetheless, it’s a great read so far. I’ll let you know how I feel about it in the end.

I am about to start my next round of surgery, but my goal is to not go on a hiatus from blogging, but rather use blogging as an outlet and a way to fill my free time. I promise to read too. I can’t remember the last time I went this long without reading a book… yikes.

Instead of reading, I’ve turned into a couch potato and have become a total Hulu and Netflix junkie.

I’ve binged:

Grey’s Anatomy (of course, not for the first time)

Friends (probably for the 19th time)

Real Housewives of Beverly Hills (yup, I know)

Real Housewives of New York (…this one too, yup)

The Fosters

Switched at Birth

I’ve started to watch:

Say Yes to the Dress

90 Day Fiance (that sh*t is crazy!)

Good Trouble

My 600-lb Life (yeah, those TLC shows are racking up here)

Movies I’ve watched recently (whether for the first time or the 90th time):

Ted/Ted 2

Bad Moms

Girls Trip

Forrest Gump

Saving Private Ryan

Dunkirk

I Feel Pretty

The Proposal

Princess Diaries 1&2

The Town

The Departed (I’m from Boston… 2 Boston movies in a row is acceptable)

The 40 Year Old Virgin

 

….That’s not even all of them… and it was a lot… I think I should hit the books…

What’s everyone reading??? I want to hear!

Happy Saturday!

Join Me In My Life-Changing Journey…

WARNING: This blog post contains graphic content and may be sensitive to some. If this is too much for you, you may unfollow me or simply leave the post alone. If this is somewhat awesome to you, please share my post with others (and let me know!).

So… no, it’s not a bookish post, but I’m hoping y’all will read anyways!

I haven’t been reading much – between school, all of my doctor’s visits, and this recovery in general, I’ve been a little neglectful of my books, but I promise I’ll get back to reading and reviewing soon!

As I have mentioned in my other blog posts, I am going through a medical journey. Last night, I decided to finally reveal what I am going through on my personal Facebook page and I received such an overwhelming outpouring of positivity and support that I decided to share with the whole world, including my fellow bloggers!

I will begin with the backstory…

In 1994, I was born with a rare skin condition that left me with pre-melanomic cells, with a high likelihood of becoming metastatic melanoma. Doctors decided to take all precautions necessary and remove the concerning marks, beginning with a giant congenital nevus that was splayed from the left side of my torso around to my back. This surgery was done by an amazing plastic surgeon at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston when I was 8 months old, just old enough to go through a procedure like this. The surgery was done over 8 days, including excision of skin and the addition of skin grafts. Unfortunately, I do not have any pictures of this time… Pictures weren’t as easily taken and kept back in the 90’s as they are now on all of our digital platforms.

Below are 3 photos that show you what the scar has looked like over the years – I have never been ashamed of my body, scared to display my scars to the world, or even sensitive to the subject. It is a part of who I am and a part of my story.

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If these are gross, repulsive, or even scary to you, please step away. They will only get more graphic as we go.

A couple months ago I met with a new plastic surgeon (since my wonderful surgeon from the 90s has retired) about something on my face. Little did I know that this would turn into having my scar REMOVED! Little did I know, if I want to have children, this procedure is necessary and I am not getting any younger so I said, “let’s do it!”

It has been an uncomfortable struggle, but I know every minute will be worth it in the end.

I have 4 tissue expanders located subdermally – two in my torso and two in my back. Tissue expansion is often seen done in the head, arms, or legs for burn victims and is not often done in trunk of the body. I am rare, tell me something I don’t know.

The expanders are filled up twice a week with saline solution – the main goal is for the expanders to stretch the healthy skin so that once they are big enough (about the size of a full grown eggplant), the scar can be excised and my trunk can be covered with the new grown skin.

Below are 4 photos I took yesterday (11/5/2018) after my 3rd week of fill-ups. These are graphic.

Screen Shot 2018-11-06 at 11.28.39 AM.pngScreen Shot 2018-11-06 at 11.28.46 AM.png

Screen Shot 2018-11-06 at 11.28.53 AM.pngScreen Shot 2018-11-06 at 11.29.00 AM.png

Some questions to answer:

  • Yes, it is painful, especially the days of fill-ups.
  • Yes, I can only sleep in one position.
  • Yes, they can pop! I have to be mindful of sharp edges, even pen tips.
  • Yes, I feel like the Pillsbury Dough Boy or the Michelin Man.

 

I wanted to post something since it’s been so long, but I didn’t have any material. This is my personal blog so I decided to get personal!

I hope you will all continue to follow and support me through this journey. I am so grateful for this experience and would be even more grateful if I had a team of supporters behind me!

Thanks for reading 🙂

Happy Tuesday!