Saturday, December 31, 2016

Safer Makeup? Yes, please!

Something about hearing the words "cancer" makes you really start to evaluate your lifestyle. I immediately became even more aware of what I was putting in my mouth, how much I was exercising, how much sleep I was getting and how I was managing my stress. I'm also starting to think more and more about environmental things. One of the changes I'm gradually trying to make is to switch to safer makeup and skincare products. I love makeup. There aren't many days I go without it. So I'm trying to learn a little more about it. And some of what I've found is pretty eye opening.

I recently met someone who is a consultant with BeautyCounter. I ordered some bronzer/blush and am really happy with it. I plan on adding more products little by little. My consultant Shelley, shared some great info regarding their products that I wanted to pass along.

Did you know that the last time Congress passed a law regulating the cosmetic industry was 1938? The current government regulations are NOT making companies adhere to any limitations on the ingredients that can be used in products. It is completely legal for companies to use known endocrine disruptors, neurotoxins and carcinogens in their products. EEEK! Increasingly, science is pointing to environmental links to cancer. Even chemicals that are not carcinogenic on their own may be linked to cancer when used in combination of each other, even in very low doses. Of the over 80,000 chemicals on the market today, only 10% have ever been tested for safety. Kinda makes you think about the things you're exposed to on a daily basis huh? Makeup, soap, cleaning solutions....

Shelley also shared a little bit about BeautyCounter. They ban over 1500 toxic ingredients from personal care products like cosmetics, skincare and kids products without jeopardizing the effectiveness of the product to do so. She said their company is dedicated to prevention. Their mission is to move the market and policy away from toxic chemical use and toward safer, cleaner, greener chemicals. To gauge the safety of the ingredients they use, BeautyCounter has a very rigorous ingredient selection process before deciding if they'll use it. And, I also read that BeautyCounter consultants raised $150,000 for Stand Up for Cancer. And BeautyCounter matched another $50,000 for a total of $200,000 raised for cancer prevention and cutting-edge treatment.

This is all new stuff I'm slowly learning more about. And by looking at the graphic above, I have a lot of work to do. But if I can make gradual changes that might help our family live a long, healthy life, I'm willing to do it.


Signature - Tree

Friday, December 30, 2016

Scrappy Time

I've spent some time lately catching up on some scrapbook pages. And it feels good! I love documenting our sweet little family. Today I went way back to 2012 (yep, I skip all around) and did a first day of school layout.

I found a fun sketch over at My Creative Sketches for inspiration. And realized how much I've missed playing along with scrapbook challenges!

I've been doing a lot of digital pages and the Project Life App to help catch up. Last year I did all Project Life traditional pages. And I just signed up for a Jessica Sprague online class with a couple of friends to try Project Life in Photoshop for 2017. But I do enjoy the process of creating pages from scratch (with sketches for inspiration of course). I love it all and can't seem to stick to just one! What is your favorite way to document your memories?

Signature - Tree

Friday, December 16, 2016

CT's and MRI's Oh My!

Yesterday I had a CT scan and two MRI's. That's a whole lot of imaging for one day. I was afraid I might be glowing in the dark afterwards!! Here we are on our way:

I was so happy to get the results the very next day. Sometimes they take sooooo long to get results to you. I couldn't wait to share the results so I ended up doing a Facebook Live video. I thought I'd share it here even though I'm an emotional mess!

So very happy! And so blessed!! Thank you all for your prayers through this all! It's going to be a great weekend!!


Signature - Tree

Thursday, November 24, 2016

Check Your Colon

I'm sharing this text message with permission from one of my besties from high school. I've actually kept a list of the people that have told me they went and got a colonoscopy because of me. This text made me cry.

This is one of the main reasons I share my story. If it can help one person get detected early, it's worth it. The surgeon told me my tumor has likely been slow growing for 5-10 years. (Hello? That's when I was 35 or 40!) And how lucky am I that I've spent the past year and a half working on my health so I can fight this disease. I've read that colorectal cancer prevalence at an earlier age is increasing drastically. The screening age should be much earlier than 50. So don't forget to check your colon! Oh how I wish I had done it sooner! 14 people have told me so far that they have scheduled a colonoscopy because of hearing my story. Who else?! I continue to be amazed by God's hand in this.

Have a great day and thanks for visiting!


Signature - Tree

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Ring the Bell - Radiation DONE!

Ahhhhhhh! I did it! I'm all finished with radiation!! Tears! Last chemo pills will be with dinner! In a couple of weeks the side effects should subside and I'll feel more like myself again. My Radiation Oncologist and his staff were amazing!

I had to give the techs a little gift - silly socks to remember me by and hand sanitizer because they had to touch my butt. They had a good laugh over that! My crafty friends will appreciate my handmade tags:

When I finished my last treatment, the staff all lined up in the hallway and I got to ring the bell! I had no idea there was a bell to ring! I walked past that thing 25 times - how did I never notice it before?! Oh and I had my handsome chauffeur again today which was awesome. 

I'll have another scan in January to hopefully show this ugly thing has shrunk down to nothing. Now I have 8-12 weeks of rest and recovery before surgery. I'm going to enjoy this next phase and try not to worry about what's to come. God's got this.

Thank you again to all of my prayer warriors. Your prayers and sweet messages help get me through!

Oh happy day!!


Signature - Tree

Monday, November 21, 2016

The Radiation Table

I had a handsome chauffeur to radiation today. I had to start taking some pain meds so figured maybe I shouldn't be operating a motorize vehicle - safety first, lol. They let my son come back and see the radiation machine. So of course I had to take a picture. Only two more times on that thing! Woot!!

When I first found out I needed radiation I wanted to know what this thing looked like beforehand. So maybe someone will stumble upon this little blog and find some comfort in it. The actual treatment is quick and painless. I lay on there and the amazing radiation techs get me all lined up (by my bum tattoos - yep, haven't mentioned that to y'all!) Once that's done I lie there for maybe 4-5 minutes. On my stomach, with my naked bum in the air, with a full bladder (to push my healthy colon out of the way to prevent a future bowel obstruction) trying not to move at all. That's it! The machine rotates, makes some noise and does it's thing. I just lay there repeating, "By His stripes I am healed", over and over in my head. I know God's got this!

Ok one more picture:

My other son was out and about and texted me this photo! How funny is that? Someone had a fists up for Cori decal on their car!! Crazy! People are awesome!

Have a great day!

Signature - Tree

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

My Happy Face

Several people have texted me that they get nervous when I'm quiet. (How cute is that?!) So here's my happy face post! Just finished radiation treatment #20. Some days are better than others but I'm surviving the side effects. The doctor seemed happy yesterday that I'm getting through without lowering the chemo dose. Wait... was that an option?! Maybe I should've complained more. hahahaha. Oh, and I'm getting our money's worth out of Xfinity. I'm pretty sure the definition of couch potato has my name somewhere on it. I now know what it means to binge watch a tv series. I cannot wait to get my energy back! Only 5 more to go y'all! Whoop!! #countingdown #fistsup 

Ok, going to go nap now! 


Signature - Tree

Sunday, November 6, 2016

Best Golf Tourney Ever!

Wow! Eddie and I were blown away yesterday! Our dear friends hosted a golf tournament fundraiser in our honor. To walk outside and see all of those golf carts lined up was unreal. 94 golfers y'all! Tears. Thank you Fred & Monica! Thank you to all of our hole sponsors, the businesses that donated raffle items and to the golfers. Thankful for the gorgeous Saturday afternoon. And thankful for my friends that came out just to hang out with me!

I'm not going to lie, the first time I was told the cost of just one my tests needed, I had a little breakdown. What if I fight and fight and leave behind a huge mound of medical bills for my family? My hubby looked at me and told me not to worry a second about that. To only focus on beating this. And that God will provide. And boy was he right. God has prepared us for this journey and filled our lives with wonderful people. I cannot put into words how blessed, humbled and grateful we are. What an emotional day filled with love!

Here are some more photos from this special day.

Oh and I should mention that my hubby's team came in 2nd place. He was smiling pretty big about that!!


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Friday, November 4, 2016

Puzzles and Penguin Slippers

2.5 weeks of chemoradiation DONE! Three more weeks to go! So far it's not too bad. I've had fatigue and some other side effects I won't mention. I do not like feeling tired. But I'm really trying to listen to my body and rest more. I have a big Friday night planned:

Puzzles and penguin slippers. I think this will make it all better. My hubby is a lucky guy. haha! The place where I go for radiation has puzzles in the waiting area. I was so incredibly scared that first day as I sat there waiting to get called back for my first treatment. I found the puzzle to be therapeutic - so relaxing. We used to do puzzles a lot when we were first married. I forgot how much I enjoyed them. So, I stopped on the way home and picked up a couple of puzzles. And when I passed by those penguin slippers, I couldn't resist!!

Here's one of my sweet boys sporting his #fistsupforcori t-shirt! I just love him.

Have a great weekend! I hope it's filled with warms slippers and lots of happy!

Signature - Tree

Sunday, October 30, 2016

Where's the Waterproof Mascara?

So my hubby and I were supposed to fly to Dallas today for a trip I earned through Plexus. I was so excited because this is the first trip I've earned with this company. We had to cancel our plans but I'm super excited for my friends and team that are there. And wait until you see what they've done. I wish I were there with them but I have a beast to slay back home!

Ok, how cute is that? They made a #fistsup Bitmoji just for me?! lol.

I need to start wearing waterproof mascara... So when I earned the Plexus trip to Dallas, I also qualified for the private reception at the Glass Cactus. I have a sweet friend Ashely that I know through Plexus. We met at Convention last July and instantly connected. We've cheered each other on in life and our businesses. She knew earning the Glass Cactus Reception was a goal of mine and she was my biggest cheerleader along the way. I wasn't able to attend because of this little detour I'm on, but look what she sent me! This is even better as I'll have them forever! So thoughtful! Thank you sweet friend - this brought tears to my eyes and a big smile to my face!!

Look at my awesome Plexus friends! They sent a #fistsup from Texas:

Aren't they gorgeous? I am so blessed by the friendships I've made through Plexus!

Ok and then there's this... When your friends dress as "Cori's Army" for a Halloween party... gulp. I have the BEST friends, prayer warriors and support. I just love them! More tears when they texted me this photo!! 

All I know is this:

And when you find those people, love them hard.


Signature - Tree

Friday, October 21, 2016

Faith > Fear

Ahh I survived my first three days of cheomoradiation!! I'm not going to lie, I was scared to take that first dose of the chemo pills. I stared at them for awhile. But you know what, I'm not going to let fear get the better of me! My faith is way bigger than my fear!

So three treatments, down, 22 more to go. The countdown is on!! Luckily, cute shirts and socks make it easier...

Thank you for the sweet messages and prayers! Have a great weekend! 💙👊🏼

Signature - Tree