Well, well, well…it’s almost February, and yet this is my first weekend rambling of 2019.  I keep starting these weekend posts without finishing any of them…which I’ll chalk up to a rather tumultuous month.  My kids’ ski team is in full swing, and we’re trying to attend one weeknight practice each week, in addition to the full weekend practices.  This requires complete and total adherence to a schedule, a crock-pot-based meal plan, packing checklists, and The Doing of The Laundry on a Regular Basis.  Basically it requires that I become a completely different person (aka Linzi).  It requires me to be like Linzi!!  (She would reframe it as Just Being An Adult but I am not enough of a Linzi to concede that point).

As of January 1st, I’ve also stopped taking Tamoxifen.  If you aren’t in the breast cancer circles, let me just tell you: this is a BIG DEAL.  It means that I’ve taken this estrogen-blocking drug for five long years and….I’m done.  Cancer over, NBD, go Live The Life. That’s the idea, anyway.  The reality has left me feeling….untethered.  Breast cancer, in one way or another, has been a defining force in my life for the last 5-6 years and while that doesn’t seem like many years….I can barely remember what life was like before my diagnosis.  I remember I was always nursing.  I had a two year old and a five year old.  Who was that girl??


I’ve been meaning to thank you guys (at least you Instagram folks) for your kind words a few weeks ago.  In memoriam of the original set of hair I had lost, I threw a bunch of photos up on Instagram (@shanachristine) of bald breast cancer me, short hair me, and now.  Crazy, crazy, crazy.  I’m starting to eye shorter haircuts again, but for now, long hair feels like a victory.

As I type this, Mike and I and the kids are currently in Utah.  We’re doing a little skiing at Snowbird (well, Pax is boarding, which is why Snowbird).  It was a last minute trip, planned for the sole purpose of distraction.  My birthday next Tuesday marks the one year anniversary of my Dad’s passing and…it just sucks.  This whole month has felt like some slow, awful march to that day one year ago and I just can’t.

That’s not quite true:  I can.  We all can, and we do, but for this weekend at least….I just don’t wanna.

So in the spirit of distraction….

Still French, though.  I found a winter beanie that’s a dead-ringer for my Apres Ski hat.  The main difference? Instead of “Apres Ski” the writing says “Bonjour”.

Won’t squish the pooch.  I’ve gotten a bunch of DMs about the bikini I put up on my IG stories.  The top is Marysia, but the high-rise bottoms are by Mara Hoffman.  I love the fabric, and the fact that they don’t squeeze.  (More sizes and colors available on Amazon….)

I don’t normally do color…but this red tee was too pretty to pass up.  The Free People model makes it look, um, dramatic, but it’s really just a cool long-sleeve tee IRL.

Speaking of fancy tshirts….this blouson-sleeve one is so freaking cute (and under $50).

Bootcut, baby.  I just ordered this pair of AG bootcut jeans.  True to form, they’re super soft and the wash is perfection.  Rumor has it that bootcuts are on their way back and I AM ALL ABOUT IT.  I just also ordered this pair as a point of comparison (the rise is higher than the AGs).

Skin.  My main concern is skin.  I just ordered a personalized box of vitamins from Care/Of – has anyone else tried it?  My box contained something that’s supposed to make your skin look amazing, a really good probiotic, B vitamins, magnesium, and calcium.  I’ll let you guys know what I think of the whole thing in a month or two.

This totally blew my mind.  This article, “Is Sunscreen the New Margarine” a group of researchers are turning long-standing beliefs about sunscreen and Vitamin D on their heads.  They’ve hypothesized that our Vitamin D levels aren’t the important thing….they’re merely a marker of how much sun exposure we’ve had – which is the key to lowering blood pressure, and maybe even reducing cancer deaths.  “Melanoma? True, the sun worshippers had a higher incidence of it—but they were eight times less likely to die from it.”  The whole thing is a fascinating read.

The Best a Man Can Get?  If you haven’t yet seen Gillette’s new ad addressing toxic masculinity, go watch it.  I watched it with my two little guys, and couldn’t stop the tears from streaming down my face.  The ad is like a breath of fresh air.  And if you’ve actually watched it, it’s hard to even begin to understand the pushback against the ad.  It’s anti-bullying, anti-harassment, and gives me hope for our future.

Enjoy your weekend….




  1. I read the article on Sunscreen as well, and like you I am a pale skin sunscreen wearing woman and it blew my mind. Also the fact that appropriate and deficient Vitamin D levels are just “estimates” as they seem to change. I’ve decided not to drive myself crazy with sunscreen every 1.5 hours (like my dermatologist suggests) but due to the changes in your skin I’m going to go for moderation, which seems to be the healthiest way to go through life.

  2. Wow, congrats on finishing Tamoxifen! That’s a huge milestone. I’m three years in myself on complete ovarian suppression (was stage III so chemically induced menopause was the better way to go). But I relate so much to your comment of feeling like a different person than the one before cancer. Not necessarily all bad, just two totally different lives. I was nursing my youngest when diagnosed too and now all my kids seem seem so grown up.

    I dread the thought of losing my parents. Be gentle on yourself, I’m sure you are honoring his memory well.

    Regarding sunscreen: so interesting to see some pushback. I’ve been suspicious of chemical sunscreens for years (but got cancer anyway hahaha). I only do sunscreen if I’m actually going to be out in the sun all day. Otherwise, nada. I even go so far as to find tinted moisturizers etc. that don’t contain any sunscreen (they are hard to find!).

  3. Thank you for featuring Gillette’s toxic masculinity ad. I am impressed with companies willing to take a stand (Nike, Starbucks, etc). This ad was spot-on. It doesn’t have to be this way. Norms can be changed- even though it is frustratingly slow work.

  4. Hope you’re enjoying Utah, Shana! You picked a great weekend, since our air is actually breathable right now. I’ve never skied before, but I hear we have the greatest snow on earth. 😉

  5. I enjoy the sunscreen article if only to assuage my mom guilt over having tanned children in the summer. I sunscreen everyone when it’s an all day outside/pool/beach situation but otherwise yeah…. not so much.

  6. Great article and yay you. On the sunscreen thing, I have had many suspicious “things” removed at by the dermotologist … all good. Derm tells me never go in the sun without 30 spf or above. My PCP tells me my Vitamin D is low and this didn’t improve with vitamins, fortified milk, yoga, dried fruit. PCP suggested 10 minutes a day exposure to my hands and face. Outcome – have had a few more “suspicious” looking things removed, still all good and my Vitamin D levels are fine. (Full disclosure – during the summer, I may stretch that 10 minutes a bit.)

  7. Loved this read! I just started following you and felt a kinship regarding breast cancer. I am in my second year of taking anastrozole after my breast cancer diagnosis in 2017. Looking forward to my 5 year mark! Yay You!!!

  8. I completely agree about eyeing short hair cuts but long hair feeling like a victory. I’m enough months post end of treatment now that I have to count the months as the memories fade a little, and have a decent long-ish bob which I actually want to cut but can’t quite bring myself to do. It feels like a badge I’ve earned over long months of bad hair and make do hairstyles.

  9. The sunscreen article was interesting, I’m curious if the Swedish study is the same one that has been referenced for years- if so, people should actually read it. The Swedish study I read a few years ago when people started saying sunscreen causes skin cancer lumped anyone who ever wore sunscreen into the “sun avoider” category- which is very misleading, especially because people who wear sunscreen are actually often in the sun much longer than those who do not. I’m sure this will be a controversial topic for years to come.

  10. Sending love and support as you walk through the year anniversary of your father’s death. My parents died in a car accident on their way to my house for dinner when my daughter was a baby. It’s been 25 years but I so clearly remember the feeling of dread as I came upon the year mark. You can and you will get through. The memories will start to feel more comforting than sad. I’m sending you all sorts of extra strength.

  11. Instant happy tears here at Stopped Taking Tamoxifen! I’ve read you since way back in ANMJ days, I remember the no hair, short hair, and blond wig, and I’m so happy for you and your family! Wishing you happy memories of your Dad on Tuesday.

  12. Congrats on finishing tamoxifen.
    Short hair versus long hair. I work for a surgeon and did it educational video. When I first did I long here, but I did an addendum where I had shorter hair. Both men and women comment on it and most lean towards liking the shorter hair better. One woman even said I gave her courage to cut her hair because it made me look younger.
    I do have to point out the fact that you potentially embraced what the sunscreen article had to say, where much of it was focused on how long-term studies show supplements provide no benefit. Yet at the same time you ordered supplements from a website where you take a quiz and it tells you what you’re deficient in and then sends you supplements to correct those deficiencies. As the article points out, sun and a balanced diet is the only effective way to provide your body with the nutrients it needs.

    • HAHAHAHA – I TOTALLY did, didn’t I? Well. I think what you picked up on is the fact that I WANT a magic pill to solve all of my health/aging stuffs so very, VERY badly. SIGH. (But also hilarious.)

  13. There’s so much good in this post! Congratulations on finishing Tamoxifen! What a milestone!!! The sunscreen article is mind boggling. I don’t know how I feel about it. And the Gillette ad…So. So. Good. The fact that people are against it makes me want to go hide under my bed until the world goes back to what it used to be or something. It’s unbelievable that there is backlash! And hang in there this week. The one year anniversary is rough. Actually, all of the anniversaries (so far for us, at least) are rough. Your family will make it tolerable. Hope it’s a good day despite the sadness. And happy birthday!

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