All I can Do is Smile


Shingle all the way

The holiday season is upon us!

Just kidding.

Sort of. (I’m sure Costco will have their Xmas display any day now…) It’s just I like a punny title and that’s all I could come up with today. Bear with me, as today is the first day it doesn’t feel like I’ve been punched in the face.

So yeah, I got/have shingles.

On my face.


This time, it occurred in and around my left eye. Also this time, I addressed it FAR SOONER than I did the last time (11 years ago now), so I’m calling this a win, even though getting shingles is definitely, definitely NOT a win.

So much for heading into full-time work with a smooth transition from vacation land. We had a rough travel day coming home, which was followed by many sleepless nights as I got back on the California clock. Turns out, sleep deprivation really messes with your immune system, among other things. My eye had been bugging me since our travel day, but I assumed it was from some rogue piece of sand irritating my eye. Upon closer inspection in the mirror a few days later, I immediately knew what I was dealing with.

And immediately said to myself “FUUUUUUUUUUUCK.”

And then promptly got my ass to urgent care.

The receptionist (bless her heart) red-flagged me so I got in right away (I had barely picked up my magazine of choice from the waiting room when my name was called) and my self-diagnosis was confirmed, much to my chagrin. A course of antivirals was obtained. (Valtrex, which not only treats genital herpes, but also herpes of the eye, which is exactly what this case of shingles is. Fun fact.)

Ophthalmology wanted to see me as soon as possible and OF COURSE the department upstairs didn’t have any availability, but a location in Anaheim did, so off I went. From there, I received 2 more prescriptions and upon filling them, discovered one required compounding and wouldn’t be ready for an entire week. Not exactly helpful. So an alternative was suggested by the doc, aaaaaaand that alternative was not available at that particular pharmacy. Or any other pharmacy that was remotely near where I live.

But it was available in Downey.

Tour de Kaiser facilities, ho!

I got to Downey, got my meds, and then got to remember why I don’t do anything north of Tustin on a Friday afternoon. Southern California rush hour, you are so cruel.

In any case, I’m on the mend, I’m totally fine, and there will be no lasting damage to my eye. It’s a pretty bitching shade of bloodshot right now, so it’s a good thing I work from home.

In other (more important) news, the latest CA-125 looks good and this whole “holding pattern” thing seems to be working. I meet with my oncologist as well as my breast specialist next month and there will hopefully be nothing to report, except that everything is the same and we continue to march on.

Work starts on Monday (!!!!) and I’m excited and nervous all at once. I’m enjoying these final days as a Lady of Leisure (ha), but I can’t wait to have some structure in my day that isn’t dictated by a chemo schedule. Onward we go.

The Journey of the Warrior

“This is it.

The journey is learning that pain, like love, is simply something to surrender to.

It’s a holy space we can enter with people only if we promise not to tidy up. So I will sit with my pain by letting my own heart break. I will love others in pain by volunteering to let my heart break with theirs.

I’ll be helpless and broken and still — surrendered to my powerlessness.

Mutual surrender, maybe that’s an act of love.

Surrendering to this thing that’s bigger than us: this love, this pain.

The courage to surrender comes from knowing that the love and pain will almost kill us, but not quite.”

– Glennon Doyle Melton (yep, still reeling from Love Warrior. Read it already.)