***I’m excited to introduce Karen to you. I’ll touch back at the end of the post, but first, let’s hear from her heart. -Heather ❤***
Like Heather, my story begins as a young child. At the age of ten, I had my first surgery to remove a golf-ball-sized tumor from my left upper neck—right where we all feel around to see if our lymph glands are swollen when we’re sick. It wasn’t long and the tumors grew back. At twelve-years old I was sent to St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital. The sights my eyes beheld that day took me far away from any concern for myself.
I saw children, of all ages, bald and pale, and terribly thin, some in wheelchairs while others walked with their IV stands. My heart broke. I still see these children in my memories and they help me determine that my challenge has been small by comparison.
Being that my struggle was with a benign tumor disease and not cancer, St. Jude’s sent me to another doctor.
Dr. Fleming’s surgery skills were a gift from God! He performed three surgeries on my neck and face when I was thirteen, fourteen and twenty, removing those tenacious tumors that grew little tentacles, planting seeds along the way. With each surgery, Dr. Fleming’s blessed hands had to be more invasive to remove radical sections, raising the chances of permanently paralyzing the left side of my face. Fortunately, I was spared any permanent damage.
At the age of twenty, I married, moved to California, and had three beautiful babies. It wasn’t until I moved back to Oklahoma that I went to see the doctor again, seeing the one remaining doctor who knew me as a young child.
Dr. Garber and the board of doctors at St. John’s Hospital sent me to MD Anderson because they had researched and found an effective treatment. And besides, this surgery was going to be even trickier than any I’d had before. The senior and junior doctor, as I refer to them, removed a great number of tumors again, including one the size of a cigar that had grown along the bottom of my mouth. Unfortunately, there would be no escaping permanent damage this time. On top of that, they found thyroid cancer and then, prescribed twelve weeks of radiation to thwart any future tumors.
Radiation. Temporary situation. Right?
One of my mottos is “I can get through anything, as long as I know it’s temporary.” As I endured the burns, the weight loss, the pain, and the loss of hair, I would say “Temporary!” When they said that my saliva glands would not regenerate, I said “Ha!” and they grew back. When they said that I would eventually go deaf in my left ear, I said “Ha!” and almost twenty years later I have perfect hearing.
What I didn’t realize is that radiation continues to burn for years after the treatments have stopped, and that left me permanently scarred, permanently damaged, and I thought of myself as permanently unattractive.
If you’ve had radiation, you know the terrible after-effects on your skin—not just how it feels, but how it looks. My parents would buy different products to help my skin, as did I! Nothing I tried made an impact on the pain from the ever-tightening skin, nor did any of it make my skin look better.
Fast-forward fifteen years when my friend introduced me to Rodan + Fields.
Immediately, I knew I wanted to use the “little blue roller” (AMP MD) and the NRS (night renewing serum) on my face and neck. Why? Because the AMP MD roller tricks your skin into thinking it is injured and thereby, it increases collagen production and the NRS is specially formulated with peptides and retinol to seep into those little roller pricks to “amp up” the collagen production. And sure enough, after two weeks of using it nightly, I started feeling some relief. After three weeks, I was becoming quite happy with the progress. But at four weeks, I went to see my parents and my mother just looked at me and started crying, crying tears of joy! She could see my skin didn’t hurt anymore!!
I believe we all experience different challenges in life and when we meet someone with a similar challenge, we should offer to help them. Through my years, I offered to help friends and family of friends who have been diagnosed with cancer. I had learned a lot from my experience.
When I read one of Heather’s blogs, I could only imagine that Heather’s burn scars were painful like mine were. Even though the AMP MD is a tool that has been FDA approved for use on the face and neck, we have found it to be effective on other areas of the body. So, I reached out to Heather and asked if she would want to try the AMP MD and NRS on her scars, and….
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This is the very first collaborated post we’ve had. It’s also the very first sponsored post we’ve had!
Over the last four years of sharing little doses of inspiration, joy, strength and encouragement on this blog, we’ve never chose to advertise. There’s been a few opportunities, but call me “controlling,” cause honestly, it’s true; but that characteristic and advantage of being able to regulate whether or not something is promoted on this site, has secured our efforts to share what we feel aligns with our message.
Karen reached out to me through this blog and shared not only her story with me, but extended her compassion for my own journey. While I was very interested in the delivery of what the product boasted, I had to share with her one important detail—my scars don’t hurt. Tenderness? Sure. Sensitivity? No doubt. But nothing, that in my experience, would qualify as pain.
Nevertheless, she convincingly felt it would be a great product for me to try.
I began what I referred to as my washing-and-rolling-nighttime routine back in September.
Now, allow me to be very transparent with you. I guess I have a healthy dose of skepticism for being an optimist. Plus, we’re major budgeters in our family. Meaning that skin-care spending falls in the frivolous category. I didn’t see myself using it long-term. However, I was all-in, following the step-by-step system every night.
Well. You know where the story goes. The fact alone that we’re sharing this on our blog as our first advertised product ever, speaks to the effectiveness of it.
Maybe it’s a mom-thing, but my mom’s reaction was similar to the one Karen’s mom had. While I’m only using the product on my face, my mom commented on how smooth and “not so red” the scar appeared. She noticed a change within the first month of me using the product.
Okay—so maybe you don’t have any scarring on your face. Let me share with you one more thing I absolutely love about my nighttime-rolling routine—I’m not so shiny!
Shiny only looks good on me if it’s coming from my heart and soul. Shiny soul– it’s a classification created by one of my sweet friends! I just love that! Anyway, shiny on the face is a problem of the oily-skinned people like me. Our make-up doesn’t last as long and it smears and it’s just blah. But that nuisance has been eliminated since I’ve used this product. I’ve read that it “improves skin texture, minimizes the appearance of pores and helps reduce and soften wrinkles while increasing skin firmness and elasticity.” A few snazzy words from the company that having now used the product I can say, “yep—it sure does!”
I really wanted you to meet Karen and know her story—it’s why she does what she does. It’s also the reason why I’m recommending you contact her and explore what skin care products she has that may work for you. The AMP MD and NRS has been a great experience for me. As we do in all our posts, I’m sharing this life experience with you.
I hope the information is helpful, and I also hope we see and seize the moments God provides in connecting us with others. He may be working something really good into our lives through it!
Hebrews 10:24 NLT Let us think of ways to motivate one another to acts of love and good works.
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Some R+F Before and Afters