Skin check

The little road trip we took yesterday was to my hometown. We went so that I could have a skin check. A few weeks back my nose became red on one side and a bit swollen, it was painful. It finally subsided but a little blemish remained. My family dr. felt it was nothing but since I was due for a skin check I decided to go a little early. 


As many of you know last year I was diagnosed with basal cell skin cancer. I was so anxious dealing with PTSD that I could not share with my friends here on the blog. I also had several very good blog friends going through serious cancer struggles and I felt ridiculous to speak of this minor issue. But, when I got home from surgery that day I decided it would be a good thing to let everyone know what was going on.  People were so supportive and reached out helping to calm my fears. The picture below is of me in the car on the 90 minute trip home after surgery last November.


My sweet son Abdullah took me to Spokane for surgery and for the initial appointment before that.  The surgery was a little more involved than I expected but I was very lucky and so happy that it was confined to a fairly small area. It was in between my nose and lip. The were stitches going from the side of my nose near my cheek, down through my lip. I felt very fortunate to have something simple and easy to remove. On the way home things started to thaw out and the pain started.

At home the kids all helped me out while I settled in on the couch.


I was amazed at the precision of the stitches, the pain lasted through the night but was much better the next day.


Over time the bandage got smaller and smaller. My lips were swollen and the scar looked pretty bad, but to be honest I didn’t care, just wanted to make sure they got all of the cancer cells. Again, grateful for the ability to have this excellent medical care and my family to help me get to and from Spokane.

This was the result after stitches were almost gone. Things looked pretty good but OCD and PTSD took over and I was very anxious. After a sescond skin check and a look at the site of the basal, I felt a little better.


I bought a hat, it flew off on my walk. Sumaya bought me a stylish blue hat with a tie and then I bought a second one for myself. I always wear sunblock, keep my hat on, wear appropriate clothing when outside and try not to be out laying around in the sun during the worst hours for sun exposure.


The skin check went well and I was told that the spot most likely is related to the surgery and the stitches that take time to dissolve. After going to the clinic we visited with our little family! The boys are as sweet as ever.


Thanks for the support that each of you give me. It means so very much to me! I have found so many lovely friends through blogging and this has given me the ability to just be me!


Love Lynn



Afraid of flowers

I have not been around much lately. I miss you all and think about you often. 

Rocks clicked beneath my feet, each one a tiny reminder that I was alive, present and accounted for.  The vow to continue a steady pace without looking back would be broken numerous times, bringing shame and despair. Inspecting branches, grassy areas and fields that spilled out onto the trail were now part of the new walking routine. A carefree bush became a supposed breeding ground for squirrels, raccoons and insects, all a threat to my existence.

This was the path I had taken for the past 7 years and each turn was well known to me, but somehow things had morphed and danger lurked. A dog barked in the big blue house, he jumped frantically as if to warn of impending danger. I shuddered and contemplated returning home to relative solace and yet a lingering determination remained. I watched the road with great caution and anticipation, scanning both front and then back, breaking my promise to just walk.

I compelled myself to breathe, to take in the sprawling fields of green and brown dotted with red barns, grain silos and a single tractor. The sky was a pure blue, a painted backdrop to this scene of tranquility. A rush of warm and soft emotion prompted tears that lodged in the creases of tired eyes. Safety and assurance felt like melting snow that turned into soft green grass, the scent of lilacs and honeysuckle played in my mind pushing it to recall forgotten days. The lawn swing creaked as it joyfully rose to the sky, melted popsicles stained my lips a vivid orange.

The visit-1

This is the story of when he was last here (May 2015). I will write what I am able to here and there. This visit was followed by starting a blog and meeting all of you wonderful, supportive friends. It also started a wave of anxiety and panic that I have been trying to recover from for the past year. Thank you for your support and caring! 

Hot water splashed over my hands and face mixed with soapy foam and jags of adrenaline. In my mind somehow I knew that this was it, the dreaded day that had loomed
overhead for years. The fear and utter desolation that had become my daily companion had now vanished and had been replaced by a blank resolution. A strange and constant surge of power overtook my trembling body and signaled me to plant my feet firmly and face what was inevitable.

His footsteps rattled down the hall, at first muted by the sound of water and the unsettling idea that the moment had arrived.  Each step he took represented a rage that had been pent up since his arrival just two weeks before.  Rampant contempt for my bold defiance and rebuffs now came to an unstoppable conclusion. I knew the cycle well but this feeling that welled up inside was somehow different. I told myself that it was time,  I was strong and ready to stand solidly in front of him. I rinsed my hair and let the warmness of the water trickle down my back one last time before returning to reality.

As the pattern of chaotic marching proclaimed his intentions, my mind seemed to mimic each step. I grabbed the towel and dried my hair, confidently pulling on my jeans and shirt. I felt one last surge of energy that swept me into the moment, my hand grasped the door and I walked into the hall.

What is love

Mom and Dad’s visit came and went, passing by like a tepid breeze, quickly washing over us with warmth and love, then gently disappearing just as it had come. The sounds of laughter, joy and freedom, still echoed in our home long after they had gone.  For a short time I went back to being a child, my mother’s child, she coddled me, forced me to sit and relax. They cooked the daily meals, bought groceries, picked up the house and pampered me.  It was a strange feeling to have helping hands around the house, at first I resisted.  After a few days I  surrendered as my aching feet and back were happy to have the rest. Mom brought me things she felt were not needed, frivolous and lovely, scented lotions, floral notebooks, calendars and candles. I tucked them away for another day and treasured them each time I opened my dresser drawer. For those weeks full of tender moments I was special, I was once again loved.

I watched them back up in the old pick up and pull away from our parking spot, out of the gate and off  to my sister’s home. My brother in law would take them back to the airport and their long journey back home would begin.  The kids stood looking out the large compound window. Grampa’s puzzle still sat on the dining room table, it had been finished with the help of the boys and See See. The little ones, Foof and Abude ran and played and knocked pieces off of the table, that was their contribution.  As the kids wandered off to play, my mind went to my parents and homesickness that had already set in. I heard the words inside my head, the words I had heard so many times before. My mind didn’t accept these thoughts, but somewhere deep in my heart they had taken hold. It had started in the old green vega years before, as we sat in the dark exchanging longing looks and words that lovers share. He explained that my parents were indeed very good, well educated and hard working. He said that of course they cared for me, but no one in the universe would ever love me as he did, as his family did. He informed me that my parents loved me, but in a different way. Those words were so easily repeated time and time again. I heard a loud thud which brought me back to the present time, to find Foof standing on the couch teasing Abude. Life moved on, I cleaned the puzzle pieces off of the table and boxed them up.

I was heading into my 7th month of pregnancy, contractions came and went, my back ached and feet cramped but I didn’t care. Life was free and easy, having a soft bed to sleep on, knowing the kids were going to school each day without the threat of humiliation and fear.  Gloria and Guadalupe continued to question me about my pregnancy and the “plan.”  I continued to laugh and nod as if I had it all under control, the perfect life and family. I could not face the thoughts that tried to break through to my brain, thoughts of another delivery in this place that was unrelenting and cruel. I could see the female Doctor’s face as she raised her voice and pushed something into my IV. My body immediately seemed to convulse and shake uncontrollably, unlike any other birth I had experienced. “I told you to take the medication and you would have had this baby” her piercing voice continuing to berate me as I sputtered and struggled to catch my breath. I could not face this again and so I pushed it back to the furthest corners of my mind with a nod and a smile when inquiries came my way.

Each week continued as before, he came for two days and went back to work in Riyadh for the week. When he arrived, the kids gathered around him as if he was a movie star. They laughed and jumped trying to hop into his arms. He swung them around and sang silly songs in Arabic, it was a picture perfect life. I stood smiling inside, happy for this home coming.  He spoke of the beautiful compound where we would live in just a few months and updated me on it’s progress.  The “sheik” had become a close friend and he spent most nights in Riyadh rubbing elbows with the rich and famous of Saudi. Once the kids had gone back to playing he sat with me to review the week. He spoke of school, homework, the health of the children and the inevitable, my parents. The “incident”  was gone over in detail, questions asked about my behavior, his place in this family, every word repeated and dissected. The “incident” had occurred when I stepped off of the shopping bus carrying bags of groceries, children hanging onto my abaya. Entering my 7th month of pregnancy, I limped, haphazardly carrying groceries, diaper bag and holding little hands. Mom and the kids carried bags trying to help, he sat in the foyer on the phone chatting and waved his hand to hush us as we entered. My mother with a stern look interrupted him and motioned for him to come and help. A scowl grew across his forehead as he spoke louder and returned to his conversation. I diverted mom’s attention and sent the boys out for the rest of the bags. This had stuck in his mind for two weeks and so we began what would be a 2 hour inquiry full of rhetorical questions and unsatisfying answers on my part.