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Please be warned there is a huge pity party coming your way in this post.

I spent most of the last hour stopping myself from either laughing or crying. I’m not sure what possessed me, but I decided to try sunscreen and tinted moisturizer today. I left the Aquaphor at home. Big Mistake. I walked back from the gym completely unaware that the combination of dry, flaky, peeling skin, sunscreen and tinted moisturizer had dried and now resembled a shag rug hanging off of my chin. I am not making this up, and this is not an exaggeration in any way.

I set about peeling off what remained. It’s sort of like peeling back sunburned skin that has flaked. I think I’ll stick with the Aquaphor for another day or two.

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Today is the first day I chose to try and exfoliate some of the dead stuff off of my face with stronger means. Pre-Efudex I used a buff puff to take off dead skin cells each morning in the shower. Today was the first time Post-Efudex. It totally rocked. And instead of staying a shade of newly flambed lobster, the redness remained happy pink and then faded. When my skin dried there were several areas of tight dry skin that remained. I’m sure those will flake in the next few days and I’ll be left with pink smooth skin that will tolerate sun screen again.

I think that the infusion of Omega 3 and 6 was a great idea. Add to that my eating fresh yummy veggies and fruits and my eyes are clear and my skin looks healthy. I need to remember that the salmon and sushi are vital beauty treatments, not just food. They are essential to my beauty regimen. (Insert a snort of derision here)

Here’s to more flaking. More bad stuff I do not need is leaving my body.

OK, it’s also 99 plus degree outside. Just slightly less than hell or Palm Springs. I’m less red, but still awfully pink. Part of the problem is that only parts of my face were affected. So, much of my skin is pasty white with big red scabby polka dots on it. Add to this the “Fetching” bee keeper veil combo that is my hat and scarf. I can’t bear the thought of sunscreen yet and I must be protected from the sun which is blazing to beat the tar out of the UV meter. Add to that I am actually painting myself in diaper cream. I got to work with big white splotches of it covering my delicate pink skin. The stupid cortisone did nothing. It was supposed to blanch the redness and stop the itching. The diaper cream is doing that as well as providing a small amount of UV protection on the healing skin.

I seriously do have a UV meter. It’s a little card that measures the intrinsic UVness of the moment. I use it while driving to prevent myself from throwing caution to the winds and whipping off the lovely sun hat, scarf ensemble.

The itchiness has subsided (except in the heat). I’m able to peel off the gummy flakes of skin that have become saturated in diaper cream and the goopy stuff known as Aquaphor. I have lots more to peel on my chin and cheeks. My nose I have been able to exfoliate over the last day. So I’m now looking forward to day 10 which falls around next Monday I think. I should see some real improvement by then. My next milestone will be 2 weeks.

I am still glad I did this. I can see the many spots that were waiting to turn on me. And funny thing. I can’t even see the scar from the surgery anymore because the other symptoms are so much more noticeable. The scar has softened and that makes it look much less puckery and sad.

DO NOT USE SUN AS A COSMETIC!

Got the word yesterday that I have come to the end of the Efudex treatment on my face. And not a moment too soon I might add. While I never looked like Mr TopicalChemo dude, I had definitely reached the end of my patience with the itching and unsightly appearance. I think I just peel and scab a little now and then wait for the redness to fade in 4-6 weeks. Then I start Tazorac which is an industrial strength Retinoid. That will continue the process of getting the old skin off and letting newer, healthy skin emerge.

This is the first weekend alone in a long time and I’m going to take it slow. Kids are gone, sweetie is gone. I will enjoy myself. Without itching like crazy

4th of July firework are a memory, but a very good one. The sounds of the Waterfont Blues festival in the background. The many bridges across the Willamette. The little fireworks displays making a lovely backdrop to the main attraction. Hanging out with my beloved late at night – it’s still 80+ degrees. It doesn’t get much better than that.

OK, now I look like someone who had a pot of boiling oil held really close to their face for an extended period of time. It itches and I find myself waking to the sensation of me scratching my face. Which is pleasant for the first nano second, and then it hurts.

My beloved is a restless sleeper who snores and he came home late last night so I’ve had just a little bit of sleep. Add to that the new night guard and it’s been a little less than ideal to sleep. The night guard is supposed to help with bruxism – tooth grinding. I’ve always been a bit of a grinder and clencher but it was affecting one of my teeth to the point that I was worried I needed a root canal. Enter the night guard. I’ll give it the next two weeks and see how it does.

I admit that this whole Efudex experience has been humbling. I’m uncomfortable with how I look, and feel just bad enough to make me a little cranky. Add to that the fact that my weekend was shot through the heart on our abortive maiden voyage to send my kids off to Hawaii. There was a problem with the age of my youngest not meeting the unaccompanied minor cut off, and the age of my eldest not meeting the required 18 to escort. Their dad had to fly over to pick them up from the airport, instead of waiting for the destination arrival. They finally got out the next day, but by then the damage was done to relaxing and hanging out with my beloved.

My best friend and friend I have known the longest has to go in for a double biopsy on Thursday. They found some micro-calcification in both of her breasts and it make me very afraid. I will be praying for her and I hope you do too. While I suspect it’s nothing it still makes me afraid for her, and hits way to close to home.