Good things come to those who….

Trust.  Oh and wait.  But more importantly, it’s trust.  I have spent the last 2 years going back to school and working through some personal issues with myself.  Personal in the fact that I want too many things and I want them all now.  And no, it’s not monetary objects, it’s just a feeling of fulfillment and happiness and content.  Living off of one income while I have been finishing school has been hard to say the least, but it is important that I finish something that I start.  I am not really good at that, for proof check out Emma’s half painted room, or my sewing machine or the baskets of laundry or….well you get the picture.  I was told by my oh so loving husband in his oh so loving voice that I WILL NOT QUIT SCHOOL this time around.  However, the lack of income and the constant struggle to make ends meet and the stress I see him go through was just too much.  SO, after this last little battle with skin cancer and the realization that I’m not getting any younger, I decided to go back to work…for real work.  I wish that Leilani Tan could be a huge money making, tan producing mecca but alas, it’s a fun little side job for an extra little money.  In my decision to go back to work, I made a promise to myself that I would only go back for X amount of dollars and ONLY do something that I would be truly happy doing. When I came across the job post for an account rep for a major Beauty Trade company, well it seemed too good to be true.  And when I got a response with a request for a Skype interview, it seemed to just be dumb luck…and then when that Skype interview went over really, really well…it seemed scary hopeful that I might just get this job and then after waiting 4 days, countless minutes and seconds….anxiously waiting for a return call that I was convinced I wouldn’t get because it seemed too good to be true…I got the email tonight that I did in fact get the job!  So, I am proud and excited to announce that I am the new account representative for a MAJOR hair extension company in the US called HairDreams.

(Kristen Stewart in Snow White and the Huntsman, wearing HairDreams)

 

This in conjunction with Leilani Mobile Tan is everything I love and I am so excited to start this new chapter in my life!  So thank you everyone for hanging in here with me over this past month and seeing me through one of the hardest experiences of my life…but like I said in my last post, I am moving on…ready for the next chapter to begin and so excited to share it with you all!!!

 

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Day 10 Post MOHS Surgery on My Nose

10 days after my surgery, 10 days.  It is funny how fast the days are going by, yet still how slow.  Sometimes I look in the mirror and I think, wow, that looks pretty good.  Other times, I see myself and just feel…sad.  I know it sounds so incredibly vain, but I do, I feel sad that I was once that young girl who felt it necessary to damage her body in order to make herself look a certain way so that she could FEEL a certain way.  And, now, here I am today…with this scar and this worry of wondering if I will constantly battle this?  The wound is healing well, it is sore and it is numb.  Sometimes it feels like a tickling on the tip of my nose, which drives me insane, sometimes I can’t feel it at all.  At the worst it’s a throbbing pain in the bridge of my nose, that radiates into a headache.  All of which my doctor says is normal and a sign that the nerves are healing.  Anyhow, this is it.  This is my last picture for a while.  I’m ready to put it behind me, the skin cancer, the surgery, the healing and the scars.  I am ready to move on with my life and quit defining myself by how dark I can be or in this case now, how noticable my scar is.  I am ready to be recognized for something more.

So here it is, no make up, raw and untouched.   Like I said, it is getting better, what you can’t see in this picture is how it pulls slightly at my nostril and how deeply it tucks in at that spot.  Only time will tell how that relaxes, and I guess I have nothing but time to wait and see!  There is a great quote by a novelist named Harry Crews…

“There is something beautiful about all scars of whatever nature. A scar means the hurt is over, the wound is closed and healed, done with.”
So, as this wound is now closed, so too is this chapter in my life.  Will I have other spots biopsied and removed, yes, of course.  However, I do not feel that any of the other ones will be as personal and scary as having my face cut on.
I will continue to advocate for safe tanning practices, and I will continue to harp on everyone I know (and don’t know) about sunscreen and for God’s sake STAY OUT OF TANNING BEDS!  But, for now, I am ready to move forward, I am ready to see what Leilani Tan brings me, and whatever other awesome adventures are out there.  Please, continue to write to me, please continue to share my story and please do not be afraid to ask me any question at all about my experience throughout this. From now on though, any pictures you see of me will be with a big, crooked smile (thanks to the skin cancer scar) on my face and my resilience and love for life shining through!

Opportunities…

One of the things that I have loved the most about this journey through skin cancer and starting Leilani Mobile Tan is the opportunity to meet so many new people.  I have made connections that I would have never had the chance to do.  I have developed relationships via long distance and online with people that I don’t even have a face to match them to.  I have reached thousands of people through my chance to bring awareness to skin cancer by my interview on TV with ABC news, my blog on MD Anderson, and more recently my news article with our local paper the Kingwood Observer, which should go to print this week!

I have also made new friends through this…and helped young girls realize the importance of taking care of their skin now.  All of these things have ignited my passion for writing and reminded me of how much I enjoy being out there meeting new people.   The best thing about it all is that I really LOVE doing what I am doing.  I LOVE the airbrush tanning business and I LOVE being an advocate for skin cancer awareness…I want to do MORE!  And I know I will.  I am already scheming on setting up a team of girls to do the Dirty Girl run in October and represent Leilani!  Be watching for that!

Before I close, I wanted to mention one particularly awesome person that I have met, Lauren Briant.  She came to me awhile back needing an emergency tan…I was able to fit her in, no problem.  Because she said she had a regular person that did her airbrush tans I didn’t think anything of it and wasn’t sure I would hear from her again.  She called me last week and proceeded to tell me how much she loved her tan…which of course I loved to hear!  Lauren is so sweet and humble and during our conversation this time, she told me that she was a singer.  Of course with a 9 year old daughter who loves to sing, I thought that was great and introduced her to Emma.  We later went inside and looked her up on the internet as she had told me that she had an album on Itunes…well let me tell you she is AMAZING!  She has a beautiful voice and I believe she will go far in this business!   Again, I just love my job and everyone I am meeting and a HUGE thank you to all of the people that are supporting me!

Day 3 after MOHS on my nose…

Ha!  That just made me laugh…MOHS on the nose…I think I’ve been laying around too long, I’m starting to feel a little crazed.  Anyhow, 3 days post surgery and I thought I would share some pics with you as well as my website which I finished AND a news article that our local paper here in Kingwood published about my experiences.  Whew…I’ve been busy! This first picture is from yesterday…

This second one was taken after a fitful night of sleep and dreaming of being thrown into a MMA fighting ring….from the looks of the picture I’m not sure you can say who won this fight!

OUCH, looking at it makes my face hurt even more.  The lovely shades of yellow and purple would please all my LSU friends, however I’m more of a natural look kind of girl, and this just doesn’t look too natural!  The swelling has gotten pretty bad around my entire left eye.  Most of the pain radiates from the bridge of my nose around my cheek area…I’m guessing from the undermining and tugging that had to be done to stretch that skin over my nose…hmmm, wonder if that works like a little face lift type thing?

In other news I FINALLY got my website finished, well for the most part.  I am not happy with the domain name and I’m trying to figure out how to shorten it.  There are a few other tweaks I still need to do but I’m pretty excited about it!  Please check it out and let me know what you think!  http://www.leilanimobiletan.wix.com/leilanimobiletan

And last but not least, our local paper here in Kingwood has published an article telling my experiences with skin cancer, tanning and my new airbrush tanning business.  Stephanie Thomas did such an awesome job sharing my story and I am so excited to see it in print!  Right now it can be read online at http://www.yourhoustonnews.com/kingwood/news/skin-cancer-patient-finds-passion-amidst-struggles/article_3240d260-0704-53e8-8551-ce6c58c0d4be.html .

So as you can see, even though I am down for a few days recovering I have been pretty productive!  Now I have school to catch back up with…so if you need me I will be imagining a life as a CSI agent as I’m studying Theory of Crime or maybe I’ll just stay here in bed and spend one more day watching marathon shows on Investigative Discovery! 😉