Sunday, January 24, 2010

Grace Under Pressure, or How to be Fabulous When You Have Tumors

My second post to this blog was entitled “Always Have Something to Look Forward To.” At the time I was thinking of something pleasant like a vacation, a Broadway Show or a visit with friends. Life is full of surprises because immediately after that posting, during a routine physical exam, my doctor discovered several large tumors in my abdomen. I was sent for an ultrasound which revealed three major growths & a host of smaller ones. The next step was an MRI which confirmed the results of the previous tests.

I was so wigged out, looking at the MRI j-pegs of these tumors (it looked like a fruit bowl with a small watermelon, oranges & a bunch of grapes) in my tummy, I went right out & bought some ridiculously expensive boots. Then I went home & cancelled all my out of town obligations & began applying large quantities of Belgian chocolate to my already distended midsection. True, I’d been feeling tired & cranky, my body was taking longer to recover from the usual demands of Diva-dom, but I ignored it. I thought “I’m gaining weight, funny, I’m still exercising & eating well. Maybe I’m pregnant!” Ah, but it was not to be. The Doctors gave me the verdict: I now had something really big to look forward to: Major Surgery.

SO instead of going home & blogging about Fabulous Living I’ve been on a futile hunt for alternatives to surgery. Several of my friends have experienced this same health scare & gave me suggestions. Thus began a several month sojourn during which my every waking moment was spent making appointments, getting tested, interviewing MD’s, arguing with MD’s who didn’t realize what an obsessive self-educator (smarty pants know it all) I truly am, getting poked, probed & generally appalled at the way women get treated.

See, I’ve been incredibly blessed with excellent health up until this point. I’ve had no health insurance (& thank God I’ve not needed it until now) so I just didn’t go to the Doctor. If I got flu, I have a wonderful Family medicine guy who understood my financial situation & charged me $25 for an office visit. I’d go get a physical every 5 years or so. I’ve been so focused on the music that I neglected myself. Sometimes you need a thump in the head as a reminder that life doesn’t wait. On Monday, January 25, I’m going to have the first hospital stay of my adult life. They’re predicting the surgery will last 6 hours & after about 6 weeks I can start feeling like my new self.
I’m very grateful for the support that has been shown to me by my husband, family, band mates, and the concerned friends and fans who have asked where I’ve been hiding. I’m sorry I haven’t said anything up until this point. I wasn’t sure what to say. Now, I’m asking people to please pray for me. I’ve never had surgery and I’m really scared.

The challenge is to look at this as another new adventure. I intend to beat this & come back stronger & better than I was before. I anticipate being back at work by late spring. We’re planning a big party to celebrate my full recovery sometime in May with tour dates to follow. Plans are also in the works for a new album, a cookbook, and ventures into film and theatre. The question is: will they let me wear just a little make-up into surgery?

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Everybody Looks Better With A Little Make-Up

Your face looks fabulous tonight, sweetie, your makeup is divine!” this from my friend David on a recent night of blissful clubbing. Then to my surprise he asked “How about mine?
You’re wearing make-up?” I asked, scrutinizing his face…
Of course,” he replied, “Doesn’t everyone?”
You look terrific!” He did look terrific. It started me thinking, does everyone wear makeup?

The short answer is unfortunately no. The men reading this might object but yes, you might look even better with a dab of refinement. You are already practicing the popular art of exfoliation every time you shave your mug, you hunky brute! I guess since the advent of the “Metro-sexual” men in make-up is not the cause for alarm it once was & makeup products just keep getting better. Just visit ULTA & you’ll find make-up for every price, every ethnicity, even every gender!

Thanks to the miracles of modern make-up even marginally attractive people can look appetizing!

What does make-up do? The right foundation evens out your skin tone, blending in with your natural coloring to cause you to look healthier & that equals sexier. Even those who insist their natural face is the best & only face to put forward could benefit from a tinted moisturizer. Everyone should be wearing moisturizer with an SPF 15 or higher. It needs to be applied to freshly cleansed skin every morning. Don’t be fooled by youth or pigmentation, if you have skin moisturize & protect it, you’ll thank me later.
To find the right shade try it out on your jaw line, not your hand. If it is invisible you got the right shade. Really good makeup looks like you don’t have any on. This requires practice & blending. BLENDING is the single most important thing to do with make-up. There should be no visible lines of demarcation, just luscious supple even skin tone, which brings me to my next point: everyone looks better with a tan.

Some of us were born with fabulous caramel colored skin & the rest of us try not to hate. For those, like me, with freckles & pale blue skin, several companies have invented total body moisturizer with a hint of sunless tan in it. Oh joy, the killing of the proverbial two birds with one stone! My fave is Aveeno’s Pure Radiance series. It is subtle, creamy goodness that makes my radiator heated, moisture depleted, January hide a velvety textured human color. I recently tried Olay’s Touch of Sun which did more for my legs than a week in St Martin & was considerably easier on the wallet. Once again, it needs to be applied to freshly cleaned skin. So gently exfoliate in the shower & apply apres taking care to blend evenly. Please remember your feet, they need extra love after holding you up all day. A subtle tan on your legs will help hide razor stubble & varicose veins too.

Smooth, even skin tone, buttery soft skin, two elements that help you to radiate confidence & confidence is what makes one truly sexy!