Tag: Beauty

Why You Should Smile

Why You Should Smile

There are people who love to star-gaze; I love to smile-gaze.  I miss my smile, it’s difficult to look back on pictures and see how vibrant my smile was, and how beautiful my teeth were when I smiled. Yesterday I was looking for the picture…

Living With Autism

Living With Autism

My amazing daughter Kayla is our oldest, she and her husband Jeremy have three boys diagnosed with Autism. Recker is the oldest 8 and 1/2, Ezra is 5 and Theo just turned 2. We love these boys so much, our entire family is in love…

The Truth About Scars

The Truth About Scars

What the hell is beauty anyway? It seems the world in general is quick to measure something none of us can really define.  I mean let’s be real here, I adore the classic look of Jackie Kennedy, while some of my best friends think she looked stuffy and too conservative.  And what about the color of your kitchen-Do you love it?  Maybe I don’t love it, but I love that YOU love it.  I think something is beautiful because I say it is, not because the world does.  If I say the scars on my breasts, or the droopy face I am forced to live with is beautiful, then it is.  I’ve always struggled with the concept of ‘beauty’  why it matters, or what it means. Maybe because I was told as I child I was not beautiful; ‘boobless’ was a common phrase sent my way. My life was ugly growing up, I was marred by deceit, anger, trauma and pain.

My body is riddled with scars, some are visible to most people, some are hidden deep within my soul. The story behind each and every one of my scars has molded me and helped me become the woman who I am today-someone I like.  I for one do not want to live in a world where beauty is limited to what other people say it is? Do you want to live in a world where we try to contain beauty into a small little box?  Beauty is undefinable and some may say uncontrollable, it is an experience not a ‘thing’

I chose to make my own rules, define my own beauty, dismantle the boxes, and break all the celebrity rules, I am and should always be defined by my self-worth, my integrity and the love I have for all of God’s creatures……and when I say ‘creatures’ I’m including the human race, seemingly the hardest critics of all.  It wasn’t until I lost my smile that I realized I had always took my smile for granted. I want to smile so badly, I want to belly laugh with my girls, I hope they will remember me with a smile.

Lights, camera, action …..Hollywood has decided that beauty is in the glossy pages of a magazine, or a wafer thin model.  Beauty has become superficial; eye color, hair texture, and the number on the scale. Beauty has become something to be weighed and measured.  I may have fed into that before I was diagnosed with breast cancer and endured over 41 surgeries in 8 years.  I no longer see beauty as merely something flawless or perfect.  To me beauty is a grace point between what hurts and what heals, between the shadow of tragedy and the light of joy. I see beauty in my scars, emotional and physical. Doesn’t everyone have some scars?  Whether freckles from sun damage, triggers- hearing, tasting or smelling a reminder of the past.  Maybe you’ve had a broken heart or a broken bone. Whatever it is, or when it comes (and it will) live with no regrets, do what you can to protect yourself, but love the scar it may leave on you.

Scars, I mean my scars are beautiful, it means I’ve lived an amazing life, I’m a fighter they remind me of my inner strength and propel me to want to be a  warrior and survivor.

XOXO Monya

Memory Of Cleveland Clinic

Memory Of Cleveland Clinic

Every 3rd of July I am reminded of fighting for my life in The Cleveland Clinic. Four years ago today I was in surgery, literally hoping for a miracle. Little did I know the miracle was sitting right here in Arizona, with Doctor Lettieri. On…

His Grace

His Grace

  I remember taking this picture in 2015, just a year after being diagnosed with facial paralysis. Frenchie took me on a trip between surgeries; funny I can’t remember where we were. We’ve been on so many trips together trying hard to mark everything off…

Dr. Lettieri Post Op

Dr. Lettieri Post Op

This is the REAL Dr. Lettieri–my Flip Phone Doctor is back-with his Converse, humor and beautiful blue eyes. After assessing my bruising and clotting, we have decided to wait a couple of weeks to see how it looks-we are not afraid of the blood clots traveling. My face feels like it did when I had Capsular Contracture in my breasts–extremely hard to the touch–but the bruising is almost gone. Dr. Lettieri said because of how much work he needed to do my face will take longer to heal. I will be undergoing a few more surgeries this year. My sinus reconstruction will be toward the end of the year, and Dr. Lettieri referred me to someone he said he would “allow to operate on his family’ If knew Dr. Lettieri like I do that is quite a compliment. He picked up  his handy dandy flip phone and contacted Dr. Howard’s office to send me asap. It’s nice to have a surgeon who is humble enough to understand there maybe another doctor (who was trained by Lettieri) he trusts and admires. I told him how nervous I was to see a different surgeon, he explained to me on the next surgery Dr. Lettieri will be in attendance, but not for the nasal reconstruction, to perform the rest of the facial reconstruction. (and possibly to check in on me) So three surgeries in one if if works out.–Can’t wait for that recovery;  if it wasn’t for my perfectionist surgeon he would have kicked my out and given up on my by now.

Dr. Lettieri is Italian and loves Canolis–so this is what I brought him today. The plate says “Be Happy Always”

As I waited for Dr. Lettieri, I realized they brought me into a surgical procedure room. This is the bright light he uses to see EVERYTHING–it’s pretty bright.

One time on my way to MIHS to visit with Dr. Lettieri, I watched 2 teens having full on sex under this tree. I honked; many times yelling at them to stop. I seriously would have given anything to have a hose and spray them down likes dogs in heat. I told Dr.Lettieri since it was happening just outside his window but off campus; his answer “Nothing surprises me here, I’ve seen it all” I shouldn’t have been surprised either; it did shock me. Today as I was leaving the Clinic I watched a van open and police officers escort a prisoner in an orange jump suit and shackled by his feet, secured with handcuffs on his arms.

I didn’t judge him, he was typical looking nothing to scare or offend me, in fact it made me want to show compassion for him, especially not knowing is story or the journey he has been on.

Yes I am definitely in a surgical room–what are they going to do to me today?

Bored……? Yes, soon Dr. Lettieri entered the room, stuck his large hands into my mouth to feel for the blood clot, and I’m pretty sure created another bruise. However, we are getting close to perfection he was very happy with the surgery outcome; still he has some follow up-but we need the swelling and bruising to go down, he thinks he can work on it at the same time Dr. Howard performs my nasal reconstruction; not crossing my fingers on that one. Dr. Lettieri hugged me and said “I will see you soon, we have been through a lot together but remember I’d let Dr. Howard work on me, you need to listen to me she’s good” I now have an appointment with her in the end of June–but l’m not having another surgery until I decide.

Monya Bonbon

 

Continue reading Dr. Lettieri Post Op

Dr. Lettieri (Update Post Op)

Dr. Lettieri (Update Post Op)

This morning Frenchie drove me to Mayo Clinic to have a little visit with Dr. Lettieri and Lindsay his resident (she’s super sweet) This is what I do while I wait, I sit in Dr. Lettieri’s chair and pretend to be him  until he walks…

Beauty

Beauty

Tale as old as time? Perhaps, with a few modern changes. I’ve always loved the original animated movie. Kaitlyn was obsessed with watching. She’d wake up every morning, I’d hear the pitter patter of her little feet running as fast as she could to ask…

Love The Ordinary

Love The Ordinary

 Sometimes it’s good to sit back and enjoy an ordinary, normal day.  It is a treasure to be completely aware of who you are and where you are going.  I love to learn from other people, I’d love to learn from you!

 
“Anyone can love a rose, but it takes a lot to love a leaf.  It’s ordinary to love the beautiful, but it’s beautiful to love the ordinary.”  –Unknown Source
 
As I stumble through my life, I’ve come to realize how many things I have taken for granted.  Mostly  the ‘typical‘ everyday stuff we all seem to skip over.  The ordinary is often overlooked for the beautiful.  There is so much to love and appreciate about the routine day to day affairs of our lives.  
my view from the road

Recently I was driving towards Mayo Clinic for an appointment-I take the beeline highway which I have usually viewed as not very scenic; but on this day I noticed everyday beauty.  I had seen these a thousand times on that drive, but on that day they were beautiful.  I wondered why I had never taken the time to notice the cactus, or the artistry of the desert.
 
My personal philosophy leads me to believe our Heavenly Father, who created all things loves ordinary people as much as he loves what the world deems as ‘beautiful’ people. My personal beliefs also affirm that there is goodness in all of God’s creations, not just the things that are easy on the eyes. I’m convinced that the ordinary-both people and nature-deserve much more of our attention.
 
I am more spiritually in tune and mature than I was seven years ago–now when I recognize beauty I’m able to see with a different lens-viewing ‘ordinary’ things through the eyes of God is a beautiful sight indeed.  Wouldn’t it be nice if we all could see the world through the looking glass in this manner? How lovely it would be.
 
–Monya
 
The skinny on skinny

The skinny on skinny

  Me and Taryn, dinner before the show. The truth is skinny does not equal happiness or health.  I am the thinest I’ve been since my twenties, I’m also the most unhealthy I have ever been.  I know friends who with age have gained weight–it…