Archive | November 2015

Holiday closure…

This morning my husband woke me to tell me that the ground was covered in snow, he knows I love that sight. It made the morning peaceful and magical. As Mermaid and I listened to Frank Sinatra on the way to school with flakes falling; I glanced back at her in my rear view mirror gazing at the snow-covered trees and thought to myself, Happiness.

I spent the past few weeks writing down all the moments in my day that made me go Ahhhhh…. those times something really struck me as a moment of gratitude. My list is big to say the least; coffee, warm showers, my readers, my Husbands strength, parents that live close, co-workers that thank me when they don’t need too and so on. It’s certainly proof in itself that I truly am blessed, but towards the middle of the list it says “CLOSURE”, I remember the day I wrote this and I think looking back on my year, closure is absolutely the thing I am most grateful for throughout this chapter in my life.

I speak very little about the struggles I have faced both physically and emotionally over the past 4 years. It hasn’t been all bad, don’t get me wrong, there have been amazing times as well, but a little more difficult to navigate. To save you from a novel I will share the lowlights of this time. I use to work for an extraordinary Physician named Dr. Andrew Lum. Someone I considered more of a Father figure than a co-worker. He taught me skills beyond my ordinary reach, compassion and life lessons I use to this day. He had this infectious laugh and he and I often got carried away in our jokes and joy. Work didn’t feel like work with him, he changed my view of medicine and what it means to help people. Andy fell ill in the fall and was off for a short while as they attempted to find a cause. On Dec 5th 2011 I received a message from him that he would be returning to work that following week. That was the last normal conversation I ever held with Andy; and the beginning of many difficult changes for myself.

Shortly after that message Andy was placed into a medically induced coma, he had complications from a disease called myoendocarditis. Multiple clots, aneurysms, brain surgeries. He never returned. I visited Andy in the hospital, care facilities and then I stopped. As far as I was concerned the man I knew no longer existed, he couldn’t walk, talk, eat, laugh, he was lost; and it only brought me pain and anger to see what he had become.

During this time I was blessed with the gift of my baby girl, despite being told it may never happen. Unfortunately that blessing came with an extremely difficult pregnancy, for those present they can understand just how challenging it really was – and no – I don’t just mean the part about me being an asshole. Though I feel absolutely no regret for throwing away your lunches. I had a tough delivery which resulted in an emergency C-section and despite being over the moon about our new edition to the family, I was struggling to heal and felt ill constantly.

Upon my return from maternity leave I switched positions within my company in hopes to leave some of my sadness surrounding Andy behind and better my hours for our little one; but right after doing so is when Mermaid was diagnosed with LEN. I struggled to come to terms with her condition, an incurable disease just did not sit well with me,  and was still fighting a physical illness. I remember my first year in my new position, I sat behind my office door and cried three out of five days a week. I cried about Mermaid, I cried about being sick and in pain. I cried about being somewhere new and not knowing people the way I did at my past clinic, I just cried.

At the beginning of this year I had a hysterectomy. I handled it well, I knew it had to happen and understood its importance for my health. I was strong about it. Until about 2 weeks later. I remember sitting on the edge of my bed and out of nowhere, I lost it. I sobbed. I was completely overwhelmed with grief. I knew I had no other choice in that situation and maybe that’s what it was, the not being in control of my own body and happenings, I wasn’t pining for more children but having that right to decide taken from you… hurts. My Husband held me for a few minutes and told me he understood and I knew he did. I stood up, brushed myself off and never looked back.

Over the next few months I started to heal physically and emotionally. I found my roots in my new office and the idea of this, of Mommy’s Mermaid, started to take shape. Re-directing my negative energy to something positive allowed me to move past the shadows I had been living in for several years and find my happy motivated self again, but something was still lingering.

About a week ago I got see Andy. The progression he had made was nothing short of a miracle in my eyes. He recognized me, we talked, he walked, he laughed – oh did he laugh. We hugged and hugged again, his amazing wife Dale joined in on the hugs and told me all the wonderful things happening in their lives.  It dawned on me while visiting that I had turned away when Andy became lost, but he was now found again. Perhaps it was because I was just as lost at that time and had nothing left to give. Despite the reasons, we sat there together again, both with our recent new findings of strength and I walked away with a full and happy heart. That day, below Eddie Vedder, I wrote down “CLOSURE.”

Had I not traveled the road I did the past few years I don’t know how genuine my feeling of “happiness” would have been this morning as I glanced back at Mermaid, but it was. The fight to overcome and come out the other side makes victory sweet.

I now have closure on Andy and I’s rocky journey and know he is happy. I have closure on my families journey to expand and can look to the future with my health, and I have closure to my fear of Mermaid’s disease because I have all of you to walk through it with me.

It’s that time of year where we look back at what we are thankful for and yes, I am thankful for my friends, my family, my home and my job, but this year – I am most thankful for closure. As this chapter closes and another one opens I thank my family and friends for sticking through it all with me, but most of all, I thank my best friend, my husband. For he stood strong as I crumbled and continuously picked me up, He watched my health deteriorate, my happiness disintegrate and yet still, believed in me. He loved me through it all, To you I say: “Il n’y a qu’un bonheur dans la vie, c’est d’aimer et d’être aimé.” – There is only one happiness in life, to love and be loved.

“There’s a trick to the ‘graceful exit.’ It begins with the vision to recognize when a job, a life stage, or a relationship is over — and let it go. It means leaving what’s over without denying its validity or its past importance to our lives. It involves a sense of future, a belief that every exit line is an entry, that we are moving up, rather than out.” ― Ellen Goodman


I asked friends and family to share with me what they are thankful for this year in words or a picture and how joyous it was to hear them share…

“The love of good man, a roof over my head, my family’s health, my adorable nephew and my niece that’s due the day after Thanksgiving, a job I enjoy, the best friend’s a girl could ask for…”

“I’m thankful for peace on earth where there is peace, thankful for coworkers and friends I CAN TRUST, thankful for my daily LITTLE struggles as they keep me going, keeping me thankful and my mind open:)”

“I’m thankful I still have a friend like you in my life. “ (and I for you my little cajun partner)

“Working in health care, particularly Oncology and the kind of illness I see people with day-to-day I am thankful for mine and my family’s health this year.”

My personal favorite…

“Many chances… not just the second but the third, fourth and tenth as well – and possibly more.”

My how we should all be thankful for chances.

And the pictures? Love them… Can you tell were from the Northwest?

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I challenge you all to think about what you are REALLY thankful this year.

Looking forward to a year full of joy and adventures!

Hoping this week’s Holiday greets you all with good health and good spirits!

Thanks for walking with us today,

Mermaid’s Mommy

Peeling away our blemishes

I am so excited to share results from our trial of WartPEEL. If you missed the post explaining what the product is just scroll down to the last one and read up. It really is worth educating yourself about and considering a try.

Being that this was our first trial I was indecisive on how many nights to apply it and the exact quantity so we fumbled through this a bit. In the end we applied the WartPEEL to Mermaids wrist for 3 nights.

In all honesty I was shocked after the first application and thought I had done something wrong until I read more about how it works and realized it was ok that it appeared “worse” than better.

So here is what we were working with before using the WartPEEL. Now remember, I chose the spot on her wrist because she verbalizes that it is bothersome to her. It’s difficult to tell in the picture, I should have gotten a better angle, but the crease on her wrist houses a raises patch of Nevus that causes her much angst.


Mermaid’s nevus is beginning to spread up her arm and hand but thus far is flat. This area on the wrist is much thicker than the picture gives credit. Its rough, bumpy, scaley and bothersome on many levels.

Now to see how it did…

Below are days 2 , 3 and 4 the morning after application.

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a different view…


The medication requires that you allow 15-20 minutes to dry prior to placing tape over it for the night. However, it also states to wash your hands immediatley if you come in contact with it and I was given direction via phone to ensure my Toddler did NOT touch the product. That being said attempting to get a 2.5 year old to stay still and allow the medication to dry without touching it is slim to none. I covered it immediately after application leading to some of the medications spreading off the direct target and causing mild irritation.

We used one of our generous gifts from Wild Carrot HERBALS called triple Tumeric Salve to help eliminate the redness and swelling in the few days following. Turmeric has been used for thousands of years in Ayurvedic medicine. It offers incredible anti-inflammatory and anti-fungal properties. It is also known for making skin tags, moles, and unwanted skin growths to fall off or disappear.

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Embrace the color, it will be with you for a while but learned it truly IS an amazing product!

In the end, nearly 2 weeks after we started this adventure we are both THANKFUL and HAPPY to show you that Mermaid’s Nevus is no longer present on her wrist.

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In comparison from day 1 to now…


Allow me to answer any questions I feel might arise… Yes, the redness will continue to subside. No, it will not scar. We will not be using the medication again until it returns and creates problems.

What the pictures cannot show you, is that Mermaid’s wrist is now smooth. No more callus like lesions.

Mermaid will even tell you herself, her owie is all better. I am thrilled with the results and so humbled that this was brought to our attention.

Remember I told you a friend, and fellow Nevus Mommy came to me privately with her own experiences. One major struggle for their families  little is that she has a patch of nevus that grows so thick on her heel and foot it is painful and at times impossible to wear shoes.

Here are a few collages of their WartPEEL results. Knee, foot, ankle.

Left shin collage

Left toe collage

Left heel collage


It so important to remember while gazing through these pictures and trials that this is not just about cosmetic changes. Removing raised painful patches of nevus means comfort. Im sure you can imagine how painful it can be for everyone, both physically and emotionally, those mornings our little ones cried because their shoes hurt or the coat sleeve was too tight and rubbed. One small adjustment in their quality of life is worth every moment we dedicate time to a regimen.

This weeks score… Nevus 0… Mommy’s 2!

Thanks for walking with us today,

Mermaid’s Mommy

Warts Shmorts…

I knew before I even started this trial it was going to come with some criticisms and skepticism. I knew that because roughly a third of the people I told as I was just learning about it thought I should leave it as just a thought.

On the flip side, the other two-thirds were eager to learn more and see results. I didn’t dive into anything, in fact, I have had this medication in my posession for a month now and just used it for the first time. In the end my gut and heart said that trying it was the right thing to do.

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So what am I talking about? Several months ago a confidant of mine wrote me privately and told me about a product she had trialed on her child called wartPEEL. She was kind enough to talk me through their experience and share pictures of their results.

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Gaining interest is the easy part. You cannot obtain WartPEEL directly from the compound pharmacy that distributes it. You have to have a prescription from your Dr. And pay out-of-pocket. I will tell you more about that later. Let’s talk about what it actually is.

Medcara pharmaceuticals is a biotechnology company. They seek to discover, develop and commercialize major pharmaceutical products.

Med-101 known under the brand name of WartPEEL is used for wart removal. Here’s where the controversy with some may come into play… it contains 5-fluorouracil and salicytic acid.

Salicytic acid; best known for it’s uses as a key ingredient in topical anti-acne products; is a type of phenolic acid and a beta hydroxy acid.

5-fluorouracil is an anti-cancer chemotherapy drug with many uses, such as basal cell cancer of the skin and actinic keratosis.

The combination of salicytic acid and 5-fluorouracil helps to prevent wart re-growth and reoccurance by means of the salicytic acids exfoliating properties and 5-fluorouracils noted antimitotic and anti-proliferative qualities.

Acid and a chemo agent, I get it, it sounds slightly off kilter but hey, we will never know unless we try!

WartPEEL is NOT FDA approved, however, it IS in the process. The active ingredients are FDA approved individually but not together. It became available to patients in 2010 and once it is FDA approved it will represent an unprecedented opportunity because it will become the first FDA approved topical for resistant warts.

Medcara holds business relationships with compounding pharmacies. They have been able to accelerate new uses of drugs which increase success rates in early development compared to industry averages.

For WartPEEL specifically they partner with NuCara pharmacy which has about 25 locations in 5 states including Texas, Iowa, N. Dakota, Minnesota and Illinois.

Now back to how you obtain it. WartPEEL requires a prescription or authorization you could say, from a Physician. You or your physician can obtain the form directly from their website. Once submitted and approved NuCara will contact you and ask a few questions. In our case they were slightly surprised by the age and use but had no problem with our reasoning.

It is a pay for service product. The cost with shipping was $84 out of pocket for 5 grams. However, I did submit the receipt to our HRA who repaid us the full amount.

Nothing breaks my heart more than when Mermaid stops playing to come tell me her scales hurt, or tells me she needs to go to the Dr. to have them taken off. The constant in both these situations is the spot on her hand. For that reason I am going to trial that specific area for the sole reason that it is painful and/or bothersome.

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I want to wait to share both Mermaid and our confidants results until we have something more substantial.

We will have results this coming week! I can NOT WAIT to share them, you will pleasantly surprised!

Thanks for walking with us today!

Mermaid’s Mommy