The Finish Line

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That’s the title for tomorrow!

As I go through my day today, the last with crazy cells in my body, I keep picturing tomorrow as the finish line.  That dawned on me yesterday as I was talking to patients for the last time before my day was done that it really is a finish line of sorts.  I have spent just shy of a year wondering, worrying, going from procedure to consult with, seemingly, no answers.  “Just one more procedure”.

Of course I lost my grandmother and my boss of 11 years in the first six months of that year and I can’t say whether that made a difference to this or not but here I am.

Tomorrow by this time, if everything goes on time and I respond the way I should, I should be settled in my room.  I will have a fresh 12″ incision in my lower abdomen but the there will be no further threat from those bad cells.

And then I will pause in order to recover.  I will rest, I will read, I will write and address Christmas cards.  I will have others do all the things that need doing… laundry, cooking, dishes, vacuuming, etc… and I will heal and I will get stronger.  Then I will move onto the starting gate… the start of, well, I don’t know.

I have to try to negotiate that.  Stress, anxiety, worrying and not-great test results have become all I know.  Where do I go from here?  I don’t know.  What do I want to do?  I want to get back to my writing.  I want to feel that pleasure of putting words on the page and planning story arcs and creating characters and letting them live in my mind and tell the story while I become the mode of telling that story.  Just writing about that doesn’t even bring me much pleasure right now.  There’s a twinge.

Perhaps this will be the time for starting that job search all over again.

Well, no matter what the New Year brings, I hope that it is positive and filled with magic and wonder… exactly what this year has not had!

I will post an update as soon as I feel up to it.

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Apple Cider & Christmas Music

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I know, many of you think it’s too early for Christmas music and I usually try to keep it off until after Remembrance Day but this year everything is different!

I am six sleeps away from my surgery and I feel like I have a million things to do.  I also have a kitten who is ruining Christmas for me (and if anyone would like him he’s yours!) because he broke my tree!  I put it up last week to see what he would do with an empty tree before I put decorations on it.  It was up Friday, Saturday and Sunday before I came home for lunch Monday to find out that he had obviously attempted to lay on the bottom branches and broke them.  I cried. I cried my heart out!

It has been a tough week trying to figure out what to do.  I know that Christmas isn’t in the tree and decorations or the gifts under the tree but in the Nativity that I set up on Wednesday.  I have also never gone a single Christmas without a tree up.  After losing grandma this year, it will be incredibly difficult to not have my tree.  With surgery this year it will be very difficult too because I was looking forward to coming home from the hospital next week and having it there.  But I don’t know what my options are… I said I could put it in my room!  It’s a thought since I will be spending a fair bit of time there for a week or two!

Anyway, my bag is getting full.  I bought a new pair of slippers as well as a Christmas pillow to help support my incision while doing those wonderful deep breathing & coughing exercises at the hospital as well as sitting up, rolling over, probably getting into and out of the car.  And then it will make a great decoration.  It says “Dear Santa, I am good at being naughty… I think that should count”  I’m thinking the hospital staff will love it!

Aside from that, I’m not spending as much time on NaNo as I’d hoped.  Though I’m grateful for everything my mom has done for me to help me “nest” my time has been severely compromised the last several weeks too.  That is not helping my “blues” and then last evening it snowed so my emotions are all over the place.

So I have put a mix of Wild Orange, Ginger and Cinnamon into the diffuser which, combined, smells like Apple Cider and I’m listening to my Canadian Tenors Christmas CD (I know, who listens to CDs anymore? I do!).  Tonight is the symphony which should be very good because it was a year and a half ago when the Dancin’ Through the Decades was done.

Anyway, this will likely be the last post before my surgery since I’m managing bi-weekly posts, at best, these days.  I will try to get on next weekend, whenever I get home, and see if I can post an update.  It may be incredibly short!

So until then and wish me luck!

Scatter-brained…

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Well November 16th it is!

How do I feel?  Well, completely scatter-brained.  I am trying to get so much done that I’m flitting from one thing to the next.

I am going to decorate for Christmas on November 11/12 (so Remembrance Day will have to forgive me) but I also need to work on Christmas cards and shopping!  So I’ve been madly trying to figure out what I can get for people, at least the initial gifts and then I can people to pick things up for me here and there or I can order them online.  I have even written my Christmas letter… there may be a few minor changes but it’s ready to print as soon as I get some paper.

Then on Friday I got a call… I have to go to the pre-surgical clinic at the hospital.  Yes, because three weeks ago I was agitated about my upcoming appointment with the specialist but life was carrying on and now I feel like I’m trying to squash a six-week span of time into two and a half weeks!!  Now I have to add a 1-2 hour appointment to the mix!  I guess they wouldn’t understand that.

It’s because I feel so scatter-brained that I can’t seem to focus on any one thing for any length of time because some other thought is creeping into my brain.  It’s that “so many things, so little time” adage.

Of course I’m also supposed to be starting NaNoWriMo on Wednesday.  I’m not so sure I’m going to be able to squeeze in 1,667 words a day.  I will also end up losing at least a few days.  The laptop is going to the hospital with me though if it’s going to be two nights.  He said two days and surgery is at 9:00 a.m. so getting kicked out late in the afternoon on Friday works for me!  If all I’m going to do is sleep there and then get up and get kicked out before 10:00 what’s the point?  I could be at home, in MY environment, in MY bed and be more comfortable and rest better.  That’s what health-care is all about… or at least it is in family practice!

So I’m going to carry on in my scatter-brained ways and see what else I can manage to get done in the sporadic amounts of time I have available to do so… or go clean out the fridge!

Answers…

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As you know, I saw the specialist on Wednesday morning.  The specialist who still will not acknowledge the fact that there were malignant cells in what he removed in March.  He went over everything, bypassed my one concern and then said he wanted to wait until February and do yet another of the biopsy procedures.

That’s when I said ‘stop’.  I wanted to discuss surgery as an option.  I have not, up until now, divulged the cancer I had but will now because it’s much easier to tell the story… cervical.  So I asked about a hysterectomy because I’m in my 40s.  Not having any more babies and explained that my anxiety is out of this world and I can’t keep going from procedure to consult to procedure to consult with no real end in site and no answers.

And then what?  When HE determines that everything is okay I spend every year wondering if there are going to be bad cells turning up again?

It’s not worth it.  My family doctor had asked me why they just wouldn’t do the hysterectomy based on those first biopsy results and I explained that the specialist merely told me “we weren’t there yet”.  Well, because of my anxiety, I win… finally!

So, my message to all of you is to keep on pushing when it comes to your health.  Who knows where else cells are hiding!  So on November 16th, that’s where I will be.

Remember my asking when I would have time to read those writing magazines I bought?  Well, here it is!  Except that I did manage to read through The Writer which was very good and left me feeling good about my self-publishing!

I’m sure that by the middle of November there will be new ones out for me to get and read.  It’s also NaNoWriMo so it’ll be interesting to see if I’ll be able to sit and write!

One thing is for certain, there will be a LONG list of things I won’t be able to do and my daughter will HAVE TO step up and do a lot of it!  Laundry, vacuuming, getting the garbage out, etc.  I have a really long list of things I need to do in a month as well.  I’m even hoping to be able to get back to work part-time after two weeks… but the boss is on vacation starting December 14th so I could, essentially, be back off for that time.  We’ll see… it’s unfortunate that I have no idea how I will feel.

I will, of course, be posting between now and then, as usual!  If you haven’t signed up for NaNo yet make that happen!  Take the challenge! Write 50,000 words in 30 days!  You can do it!

Happy Thanksgiving

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Work is done for the week and I’m finally free for a long weekend… yet I keep asking myself what it is I have to be thankful for.  I remind myself of family, friends, and my job (though challenging).  But I find it incredibly difficult to appreciate those things when there is so much turmoil in my head.

It’s now five days to my follow-up appointment with the specialist.  Five more days until I have more answers.  What will I face going forward?  That has to be the only question I can’t answer.

So what will I do for this long weekend?

Enjoy the time both with family and away.

And, hopefully, continue writing; continue adding on to the 5500 I have managed to write, most of which was written on Wednesday.

I would also love the opportunity to be able to sit and read some of the writing magazines I bought, what? Two weeks ago?  I’ve opened one of them.

Okay, so as I wrote this, I was watching the end of a Netflix movie and it just ended.  The credits are still rolling and, oh my!  HUGE disappointment in the ending!  It didn’t settle anything!  So the entire story was basically pointless!  No happy ending, just stupid and disappointing!

How can an author have an ending like that… yes, it was based on a book!  As a romance author it’s even more disappointing!  There was no closure. Boy meets girl, things go along slowly, there’s the average amount of conflict and then there is the point where they end having to part ways for some reason but then that’s it!  There’s no happily ever after.  There’s no knocking on the door with a ring or proposal.

Just a whole list of questions by me, the author!

Maybe I’ll just have to write my own happily ever after ending!

And for starters…

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why did my computer restart yesterday and I was logged out of EVERYTHING?  I’ve had to log back into sites that I haven’t logged into in, well, forever!

Okay, so now that that’s off my chest… it’s hot here!  It has reached 30 degrees the last several days.  I, personally, am loving it because I hate the cold and, frankly, you can’t have everything!

After everything I have gone through this year I think my wanting to be happy is the least I could ask for.  Of course I’m not there yet.  The specialist’s appointment is on October 11th.  Just over 2 weeks away now.

I’ve been trying to write.  I’m working on a “sequel” to a movie that I fell in love with many, many years ago.  Of course I’m changing character names and the year and some of the storyline but it’s one of those movies I found on DVD and still watch almost 30 years later.  It’s one of those movies where you always wonder what happened to them after that night because they’re so young and have their lives ahead of them.

It’s worth a shot anyway.  Maybe it will be one of the many that will remain always and forever on my unpublished shelf but I will have satisfied my curiosity!

The storm at work has not settled either.  I will bring news on that when I have it.

I really do feel like I’m in the eye of a tornado and I just keep swirling around and around sometimes even feeling sick.  Up until just now I always felt I was on that ship that was tossed about in the midst of a hurricane.  Maybe the tornado is a better comparison.  I don’t really know.

Every emotion is jumbled with the next.  Every time I want to move forward, I end up backing up.  Every time I want some peace and quiet the storm gets louder.

I wonder if and when it will ever end.  I have a wedding to go to next Saturday.  That will instill a little hope, I hope.

After that, it’s Oktoberfest here and that always makes me melancholy as well.  I think because I used to be out there.  I used to love going and I haven’t been in such a long, long time.  It’s like everything.  Every good thing seems to come to an end.

My day off…

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and I’m having difficulties writing.  The Sunday after my last procedure was much like this… I just wanted to do nothing!

For me, that’s difficult because when I want to write I can’t find the time.  When I have the time, my brain seems to need the break.

How do I find medium ground?  How do I write when my brain tells me it doesn’t want to?

And it’s not that I don’t have a good idea to write about… I’ve started to write it.  But I get a few sentences down here and a few down there and I just feel like everything has been a string of interruptions again.

My mind, at the moment, is not a help to me!  I do way too much thinking and there’s been a lot going on.  Between my pathology reports and waiting, desperately, for my specialist appointment on October 11, my daughter deciding to not go to school but accepting full-time at work, my own work issues and a multitude of other things that are a basket full of good and bad mixed I’m on overload… definitely!

At some point it would be interesting to write a memoir on all of this but I’m not sure I’d ever get to writing it!

I went to Chapters on Saturday and found 3 new writing magazines as well as a number of journals they have on the topic of writing… one is titled 500 Writing Prompts, there was another there with 300 and then there was one titled Complete The Story which was also awesome.  There was also a journal titled Why I Love You.  All of these are really cool because the first two have the writing prompts or story starters.  The latter asks questions about your relationship, if you’re in one.  On Saturday I bought the magazines and the 500 Writing Prompts.  Today I went back and bought the other two because I am a sucker for these things!

So I have managed to write at least something today!  I can say that I have succeeded!  The day is not over, however, and I’m tired already!

There’s a Lighthouse…

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In the harbour, shining faithfully, pouring its light out, across the water…

Those are the next words that Garth Brooks sings in his song When You Come Back to Me.

I have kept that lighthouse in my sights though, I must admit, it has disappeared from sight a few times.

And here I am, sitting at the trailer again, looking out the sliding door towards the lake; a lake that from the lookout is royal blue but from the beach is green.

I wanted the escape to wind down from my vacation before I go back to what could be unpleasantness at work.

As you know, I had my procedure the last time I posted and the results were in yesterday… I picked them up last evening.  There were no malignant cells in the samples he took (he took 2 this time!) which is excellent.  That means he got it all in March.

I’m going to remain cautiously optimistic until I see him in a month.

In the meantime, maybe I can try my best to get back to some of my writing.  I have had ideas, I just haven’t been able to write anything… is that any big surprise?

I just bought a copy of Writer’s Digest Writer’s Workbook and look forward to sitting and reading through parts of it.  It even has worksheets inside.

So while I walk around the park and take pictures and try to relax I hope my brain will be, once again, working on the story that I’ve been wanting to write.

Maybe I’ll go to the beach for the sunset after all… I’ll just dress warm!  And make sure I pack my notebook!

 

An unpleasant ride…

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Well, all my friends and followers, it is finished, again.

All the anxiety build-up crashed around me yesterday after the procedure was over.  It hurt more than last time and last evening I felt depressed.  I was hoping so much that he would have a look and tell me that there was nothing there to biopsy but, instead, he took tissue.

I don’t know what that means.  I don’t know if he was erring on the side of caution or what.  Unfortunately he doesn’t say much at the time.  All he said at one point was that he was still looking, which I took as a good sign.  And he also said he didn’t see anything alarming, but then why do the biopsy anyway?  The comment about nothing alarming might also have been in answer to the question I asked during our brief chat beforehand.

So I get to spend two weeks waiting and watching for the Pathology report to come in.  Then it’s even longer to October 11.

After a reasonably decent sleep I feel relatively okay and the majority of the pain I was having yesterday has subsided.

I hope to sit down and continue to flesh out a story idea I had.  I have multiple tabs open on both my browsers… contests, etc. and I’d like to take a closer look.

Vacation is one day from the first week being over already.  I have difficulties believing that.

So much I want to do and too many distractions.

I also had a fabulous weekend at the trailer… take a look…

The first day the water had some white-caps and the second day everything was so calm it was almost like glass.  Of course I had to share some of my sunsets as well.

I didn’t get much writing done there though… no, I wasn’t impressed by that.  I did get some ideas fleshed out, which I now want to work on further, but that was it.  I actually wanted to start writing.

We don’t always get whatever it is we want… life is certainly a roller coaster and I don’t like roller coasters.  I like to know what’s coming at me all the time… not knowing what’s around the bend is a huge distraction for me and though we don’t have control over everything, I don’t like surprises either!

This year has been way too much for me to handle.  I must admit that it felt awesome being by the lake on the weekend and I didn’t want to leave.  I’d still be there if it wasn’t for duty calling!  It’s always something.

So now I will go and spend some time resting.  I have been busy doing some things this morning that were necessary.  Yesterday certainly took its toll and I have to respect the boundaries my body is setting and not overdo things which, as some of you know, I’m famous for!

 

Anxiety++

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I don’t even get to have the anxiety on the side!

I don’t think I have ever known anxiety like I have in 2017.  And it just keeps getting worse!  I am down to 37 hours before my procedure appointment and the anxiety has definitely made itself known starting with a mini attack yesterday afternoon!  Best case scenario is he takes a look and there’s nothing to biopsy.  Oh how I wish for that answer!

Anyway, as for work, well, it was a Twilight Zone week last week and I am now on vacation.  It ended on a good note on Friday and you know how bad it’s been.  The stress was greatly reduced this past week.

I’m hoping to get plenty of writing done in the next 2 weeks but I really need to eliminate this anxiety first!  It’s definitely taking its toll!

I did escape to the trailer this weekend, however.  It was Saturday to Sunday and I came back early for a bridal shower but it was awesome!  The weather was a bit cool but it was sunny!  AND… Saturday night was “Halloween” because the resort is closed by Halloween.  Had I known I would have taken my costume along and got right into it… oh well, I did go into town, got candy and some of the few decorations that were available.

There way more than 50 kids and that’s all I bought candy for so I put my empty bowl inside and went to the beach (for the second time) for the sunset.  It was beautiful!

So speaking of giving away things, this weekend, for the last long weekend of summer, I am giving away Confessions in the Mural on Kindle from September 1-4.  Here are the links…

Amazon.com:

Amazon.ca:

So make sure you get your copies before it runs out!

As I said, I hope to get some writing done!  I also plan on heading back to the trailer in a little under 2 weeks and I’m going to stay until the afternoon sometime!