Tag Archives: Health

I’ll be going through another round of Cancer surgery today.

Yeah, I know what you’re thinking… didn’t she already have skin cancer surgery?  Yes, I did. Twice. This is number three.

The first spot was on my ear.  I had a full body check and everything else was fine.  The next spot popped up less than a year later on my arm.  Same thing… the rest of my body was fine.  Last June, another odd little spot appeared on my leg, and here I am.

Are you ready for the rant to wear sunscreen?  Well here it is.  WEAR SUNSCREEN DERNIT!  Believe me.  It’s just not worth it.  Hey Australia – You guys should slather yourself with it all the time.  Here in the USA, most of us don’t even think of it in the winter, but the truth is, the sun is the sun no matter what time of year it is.  You can’t feel it because it is cold out, but believe me.  It’s still there, and it can still cause damage.

This mohs surgery will take between four to twelve hours.  Most take four to six hours.  My own dermatologist has already removed the visible cancer, but the scar is already showing signs of the original infection.  The surgeon will remove what he can see, test it, and if cancer shows up, he will come back and remove more… and test it.  This will go one for as long as it takes until they no longer find any traces of cancer… and Yes, unfortunately… I will be awake through the entire procedure.

Are you diving for your sunscreen yet?  I would be.

Slather on that SPF 30 or higher and be safe… and if you get a spare moment… pray that I caught this in time and I will only have to go through one round of this surgery.

Write a Story with Me Part 24 — Oh No! Mommy’s Gonna Have the Baby – By Vanessa Chapman

Yay!  Write a Story with Me is back!  We started back up again last week, so if you missed out, hop on back to fill in the blanks.  That battle is still brewing… Enjoy the ride!

Now remember, we’ve got a battle on the verge of rocking.  Marci is tied to a table in her father’s ship, her sister is flying out in space, and the very lives of the faeries are on the line.  But what about pregnant Mommy left home all alone?  Let’s see!

24 – Vanessa Chapman

The pain shook Natalia brutally from her sleep. She sat up and clutched her stomach.  “Yoran, wake up.” She turned and looked at the empty space next to her. Where could he be? She winced at the second wave of pain. “Yoran!” She called louder, “I think it’s starting!”. She wrapped both arms around her abdomen and dropped back onto the bed, doubled over . She knew the signs.  If her previous births were anything to go by, she didn’t have long. “Yoran!” Nothing.

Of course, Marci, he will be with Marci. She lowered her legs over the side of the bed and stood up. The pain had eased, and she scurried to Marci’s room. She pushed open the door. The glimmer of moonlight through the window was enough to show her that the room was empty. She steadied herself against the doorframe. Confusing thoughts wrestled with each other in her mind, and she was once again gripped by the contracting pain in her stomach. She staggered her way to Bethany’s room, instinctively knowing that this room too would be empty. “Yoran!” Her futile scream permeated through every room of the empty house.

Natalia desperately needed the doctor. Her previous births had not been smooth, and any complications this time could prove fatal for her or the baby. But how could she call the doctor? How would she explain where Yoran was when she didn’t know herself? If the Establishment found out that Yoran had gone out after the hours of shutdown, without permission, well, she daren’t even think of the consequences.

Write a Story with Me is a group endeavor just for the fun of it.  A different writer adds a new 250 words each week.  It is the ultimate Flash Fiction Challenge!

If you’d like to sign up, come on over.  There’s always room for more!

Part One – Jennifer M. Eaton

Part Two – J. Keller Ford

Part Three – Susan Roebuck

Part Four – Elin Gregory

Part Five – Eileen Snyder

Part Six – Mikaela Wire

Part Seven — Vanessa Chapman

Part Eight — Ravena Guron

Part Nine – Vikki Thompson

Part Ten — Susan Rocan mywithershins

Part Eleven — Kate Johnston  AKA 4AMWriter

Part Twelve — Julie Catherine

Part Thirteen — Kai Damian

Part Fourteen — Richard Leonard

Part Fifteen — Sharon Manship

Part Sixteen – Shannon Blue Christensen

Part Seventeen — Bryn Jones

Part Eighteen — Jennifer M. Eaton

Part Nineteen — Shannon Burton

Part Twenty — J.Keller Ford

Part Twenty-One — Susan Roebuck

Part Twenty-Two — Elin Gregory

Part Twenty-Three — Aparnauteur

Part Twenty-Four — Vanessa Chapman

Don’t forget to stop by next week to see what happens next.

 Ravena Guron —- TAG!  You are “It”

Write a Story with Me Part 20 – Throwing bethany under the bus with J.Keller Ford

Jenny Keller Ford kicks it back to the main storyline this week. So, What’s happening with Marci? What does Yoran have to do? Take it away, Jenny!

20 J. Keller Ford

Yoran left the cloaked air rider hovering as he retrieved Marci’s limp body from the house. Janosc was waiting in the sleep cabin when Yoran returned.

“Did you get the medicines I asked for?”

Yoran nodded while covering Marci with a blanket. “Yes. It’s all there. Every last drop of it. And the weapons, too. Now let’s go.” Yoran made his way forward to the cockpit.

“Not so fast, Yoran Sumner,” Janosc said. “There is but one more item we need before we depart.”

“I refuse to get you anything else” Yoran said, his temper bubbling beneath his skin.

“Then your daughter shall die.”

Yoran advanced. “Why you—”

Janosc thrust his arms before him, his palms facing Yoran. A bubble of green light pulsed forward, buffering the space between him and the commander. “Do not threaten me, human, or our deal is off. Understood?”

Marci moaned in her sleep, uttering nonsense.

“Delirium is setting in,” Janosc said. “We have little time. The choice is yours.”

Yoran clenched his fists, but his anger was pointless. He had to save Marci. He placed his hands on the overhead compartment. “What do you want me to do?”

The bubble of light vanished. Janosc flitted forward. “I want you to go inside and get Bethany. She’s coming with us.”

Yoran’s eyes widened. “What?” he shouted. “Why?”

“Because she is responsible for Marci’s illness, therefore she is necessary for her cure.”

“Responsible how? What are you talking about?”

“Why don’t you ask her?”

Write a Story with Me is a group endeavor just for the fun of it. A different writer adds a new 250 words each week. It is the ultimate Flash Fiction Challenge!

If you’d like to sign up, come on over. There’s always room for more!

Part One – Jennifer M. Eaton

Part Two – J. Keller Ford

Part Three – Susan Roebuck

Part Four – Elin Gregory

Part Five – Eileen Snyder

Part Six – Mikaela Wire

Part Seven — Vanessa Chapman

Part Eight — Ravena Guron

Part Nine – Vikki Thompson

Part Ten — Susan Rocan mywithershins

Part Eleven — Kate Johnston AKA 4AMWriter

Part Twelve — Julie Catherine

Part Thirteen — Kai Damian

Part Fourteen — Richard Leonard

Part Fifteen — Sharon Manship

Part Sixteen – Shannon Blue Christensen

Part Seventeen — Bryn Jones

Part Eighteen — Jennifer M. Eaton

Part Nineteen — Shannon Burton

Part Twenty — J.Keller Ford

Don’t forget to stop by next week to see what happens next.

Susan Roebuck —- TAG! You are “It”

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Oh No! I’m Fat! And, Umm, too skinny too? Huh?

My company recently acquired this nifty little machine that analyzes your body in a whole lot of different ways.

It sends an electrical pulse through your body on several different frequencies, and measures not only BMI, but the amount of water in your cells, outside your cells, how much muscle is in each leg, each arm, and oodles of other stuff.

After getting my report I slipped into the “Huh?” factor and needed to talk to the company health coach about it, because the report told me I need to lose 22.6 pounds.

Now, If you take a look at the pictures of me on my site, you will be in “huh” mode with me… those were taken earlier this year. Do I look like I need to lose 22 pounds?  A few maybe, but not 22.

What she explained to me is that my body is mis-proportioned.  My arms both only have about 85-86% of the muscle they should have to fall into the “normal range” and proportionally, I should only have between 18-23 percent body fat….. [**GACK**] I have 36.

Honestly, I totally believe this percentage part because let’s face it… writing is sedentary.  My thighs are a little thicker than they used to be… okay maybe 36 percent thicker… but I’m glad this little machine told me… because now I have a goal.

No, don’t worry, I am not going to try to lose 22.6 pounds… I’d have to starve myself for that.  What I am going to try to do is get down to my high-school weight… back when I was still a “babe”.  That’s losing sixteen pounds from where I am now.

Luckily for me, my husband in the last year or so has lost 65 pounds… and he’s offered to be my personal trainer.  I am going to try to lose as much fat in my legs and tummy as possible, while building muscle in my arms.

I need to get in the best shape I can in the next two weeks, and then I will jump on that nifty little machine again.

My goal is to push all my “underweight” areas into the “normal” zone by gaining muscle, and bring down that high fat percentage.

Hubbs said the chances of losing 16 pounds in two weeks is slim… but I probably consume that much in chocolate and ice cream alone in two week’s time.  I need to make healthier choices.

Diet and exercise.  Yep, I can do this…

What about my writing routing?  Yeah, I can’t possibly cut more time out of my sleep, so the writing and marketing time is going to suffer.  Social networking?  Erghhhh…. Might be a problem too… but this is something I need to do for my health.

Hubbs has been complaining we don’t spend time together… now we will.  And I WILL be a babe again, dernit!

Have you gained weight since you started writing?

If not, how do you make time for exercise, along with the laundry, dishes, taking kids to sports, dog training, and all the other normal things people do?

Six Sentence Sunday — Trail’s End By Denise Moncrief

Here’s Six Sentences from Trail’s End By Denise Moncrief

In this scene, Scarlette if nervous because her horse is missing. Libby has just motioned to her to sit on the couch.

I sat on one end, and she sat on the matching chair across from me.

“I’ve had the feeling someone has been watching me lately. And…I got that weird phone call.” I looked her in the eye. “Cade said the fence line had been cut on purpose. I’m afraid someone’s followed me here.”

Duh Duh Duh!  Sounds like it’s time to run!

Flash Fiction Friday on Wednesday: Trials of the Tooth Fairy- The Fairy Trap-A true story

What does the tooth fairy do when a little boy sets a trap for her?  Read on!

The tooth fairy peeked around the doorway, tip toeing into the little boy’s room, being careful not to make a sound, but when she made it to the bed, not only was there no tooth… there was no little boy!

Hmmm. She scratched her head and checked her notes.  Yes, there was definitely a tooth lost in this house today.  She tip-toed into the next room, and found the youngest little boy sleeping soundly.  Nope, he was too young to lose a tooth.

Across the hallway, the sounds of snoring rattled behind a closed door.  The tooth fairy carefully grasped the door handle and gently turned it, cringing as the door made a big “pop” sound.  She held her breath, and closed her eyes, not that closing her eyes would keep a little boy from seeing her, but it settled her nerves.

The snoring continued.  She tip toed in the room, smiling over the bed of the oldest child.  No, he hadn’t lost a tooth either.  A small rustle from the other side of room caught the tooth fairy’s attention.  She crept around the bed and put her hands on her hips.

Aha!  A little boy with a missing tooth!

The middle boy lay wedged in the two-foot space between the bed and the dresser.  He slept soundly on a thick fluffy pillow, covered with a full Spiderman comforter. She could feel the tug of the prize tooth nestled below his sweet little head, but how would she get to the pillow?

The tooth fairy scratched her head, wishing she hadn’t left her wings at home.  Is she had them, she could fly over the little boy to his pillow, and steal his tooth.  But alas, wingless, she needed to find a way to thwart this little boy’s plan to catch her in the act, and still run away with that prized tooth.

She took in a deep breath, and balanced one hand on the bed, and the other on the dresser.  Concentrating hard, she slipped her foot along the side of the frame, just beside the little boy.

OOPS!  She jumped as she stepped on something hard.  The little boy’s arm was under the comforter!  Frozen, one hand supporting her on either side, and one foot hovering in the air, the tooth fairy watched as the little boy groaned, and rolled over.

Oh No!  When he turned over, he bend his left his knee and pointed it in the air… just a few inches beneath her leg!

Balancing on one foot, she remained silent, waiting for his breathing to relax.  Certain he’d fallen back into a blissful slumber; she allowed her foot to touch the ground in the few blessed inches of open carpet beside his shoulder.  Using her fairy agility, she jumped over him, and crouched in the few inches of clear space by his pillow… a full grown fairy… in a six by twelve box.  Well, she’d had worse challenges.

Her heart pumped madly, dreaming of the prized tooth she would find beneath his pillow.   She slipped her hand under, only to find a long wire.  A wire?  The cable stretched from under the pillow to a nearby chair filled with toys.  Yup.  A booby trap… set up in the only possible place she would be able to slip her hand in.

Not to be thwarted, the tooth fairy contorted her body, twisting and mashing her large form in the little space provided, and slipped her other hand (upside down) beneath the pillow.  Tapping and feeling, being careful of the wire … she struck gold.  But was it gold?  No!  It was not the prized tooth… but a Nintento DS carefully hidden underneath his pillow.

Hmmmm, the tooth fairy thought.  She would have to leave a note for his mother letting her know he’d been playing games when she thought he was sleeping.

Having come too far to give up without her prize, the tooth fairy dug her fingers around the rest of the carpeting.  A marble, a toy soldier… Where was the stinking tooth!

Her hand touched plastic, and the wonderful sound of a Ziploc bag crinkling excited her ears.  She slipped the bag out from beneath the pillowcase.  The prize tooth!  Slipping her free hand under the pillow, the tooth fairy deposited the required fistful of jingly coins and stood.  Prize in hand.

But she could not yet celebrate her victory!  Her eyes adjusted to the light, the moon revealing the true intricacy of the booby trap.  How she hadn’t tripped it was a blessing in itself.  The older boy turned in his bed, covering the one point on his mattress that she’d used to support herself.

Dangit for forgetting my stinking wings!

She gritted her teeth, and placed one toe on the pillow, shifting the fabric beside the child’s head.  With a huge leap, she used her magical fairy powers to sail over the comforter and the booby traps, and landed solidly on the carpet at the edge of the bed.

THOMP. The flooring shook beneath her mass.

She froze.

A cricket chirped outside.

Both children reacted to the noise by turning in their sleep.

The tooth fairy waited, ever so patiently until they’d stopped moving. Whew! They remained asleep. Two steps took her from the room, and a now trembling hand eased the door shut.


The tooth fairy rubbed her temple, and smiled at her prize tooth.

I don’t get paid enough for this.


Writing time:  24 minutes.  Fresh in my mind since it was last night.  J

Yeah, I know there’s show verses tell and all.  It’s speed storytelling, remember? Give a girl a break.

Flash Fiction Friday on Wednesday – The Long Walk

First of all… If you haven’t signed up for Write a Story with me, hop on over and sign up.  Our authors are already plugging away.  What fun!  Sign up here.

Okay… now on to the important business of the day… Flash Fiction… Setting the timer for five minutes.  I have a bad headache, and I’m wondering what I can write with this kind of distraction.  Go…

I ease into the long hallway.  Whiteness blinds me.  Where does it go?  Should I really be here?

I turn back, but the door has closed.  No other path lies before me than the one straight ahead.  Lights swirl, voices of the past berate me.  Was I sad?  No.  But was I ever happy?  Did I do enough?

Three steps further.  The light is blinding.  How far must I go?  How far can I go?

The hallway ends.  The sounds stop.  All but a handle disappears.  I’m compelled to take it, to turn the handle and face what lies behind the door, but terror fills my soul.

I don’t know what lies on the other side.  I gasp for breath, but there is none.  The air disappears.  There is no longer a choice.  I must move on.  I grasp the handle, and turn.

A breeze hits my face.  Terror subsides.

I walk through.


(Time:  Four minutes … sans correcting typographical errors.)

Note:  No, I am not contemplating taking that “long walk”, but I did write this with a mild migraine, and the lights are hurting my brain.  That may be where that idea came from.

Cancer leaves Scars that you Cannot See

For those of you who may not be aware, I recently went through my second round of Cancer surgery.  If you’re interested in the kind, or the details, click here or here.

I’m cured at the moment.  Everything is fine.

Something unexpected happened to me the other day, though.

I sat on the floor, packing up the paperwork after finishing our taxes for the year.  I set one folder aside—the one with all the important investment information.  I realized that I was the only one in the house that even knew this folder existed, so I didn’t want to bury it in the filing cabinet.

My husband entered the room, and grabbed something from the table.

“Sweetie,” I said.  “Just in case anything ever happens to me, I need you to take this blue folder to a financial advisor.  He will tell you what to do.”

His face grew pale.  His expression blank.

I held up the folder.  “I will keep it on top so you can find it easily if you ever need it, okay?”

He stared at me for a moment more, before he burst into tears.  “It was just a little cancer spot,” he sobbed.  “You’re not allowed to die!”

I sat on the floor, stunned.  Actually dying was the furthest thing from my mind at the moment.  I was just trying to be a responsible adult.

I jumped up and held him, his tears dampened my blouse.  “Sweetie, that’s not what I meant.  I just want to make sure you and the kids would be okay if…”

“Don’t say it!”  His body shook in my arms.  “I can’t do this without you.  You can’t die first.  You can’t leave me alone.  I need you.”

“Sweetie, don’t worry.  I’m not going to die.”

We held each other for a while, silent.

My husband is my rock.  He stood beside me, holding my hand while they cut the cancer from my arm.  He changed my bandages.  He took care of me.  It never occurred to me that he was just as scared as I was.

For the first time in months, the children didn’t interrupt our brief moment of intimacy.  He needed that.

Maybe I needed that too.

Cancer Sucks. I can prove it.

Cancer Sucks.

Well, I guess it’s a given.  No one would disagree with me.  The good news is that I’m cancer free again.  Modern medicine is a wonderful thing.  Yes, skin cancer is curable (if you catch it in time).  But I don’t think people realize what they have to do to cure it.

My malignant basal cell was on my arm.  It was only about a quarter of an inch round.  Like the size of a squashed pea.  No biggie, right?

When I lay on that table, and they started drawing on my arm with a sharpie, I actually said:  “You don’t have to cut that much, do you?”

My surgeon explained that they have to cut bigger and wider so they can close it evenly.  He assured me that the scar wouldn’t be that big.  Okay… not really worried about the scar at that moment!

Holy freaking cow.  Get a ruler and draw a box that is a little over two inches long, and about three quarters of an inch wide.  Now put that baby on your arm.

Say what?  How stinking deep do you have to go?

Well, about ten minutes later, they were picking me up off the floor, and calling my husband in.

Okay, maybe I’m a wimp, but I think there should be a law that says you have to knock someone out before cutting two inches of flesh from their arm.  Sounds logical, right?

My husband is such a trooper.  He stood beside me and held my hand and talked me through it.  When they prepared to close me up an hour later, he glanced at my arm and his eyes told me everything that his fake smile did not.  Today, he told me he couldn’t believe how long and deep the cut was.

I don’t know what it looked like.  I kept my eyes on him.  I didn’t want to pass out again.

Not to gross you out, but this is what the stitches look like a day and a half later, from a pea-sized cancer cell.

Okay.  I lied.  I do want to gross you out.  Now will you go and buy some stinking sunscreen?  Yes, that scar is going almost completely across my arm.

Don’t be an idiot.  I did this to myself 25 years ago, when we didn’t know any better.  Now, we do know better.  Do your best to protect yourself.  Stay out of the sun, and if you can’t find shade, get some descent sunscreen.

Like I said before, if going through this helps a few of you to avoid it, it is all worthwhile.

You can go puke now.  (It’s okay, I don’t mind) and then get back to writing your novel.

(After you order some sunscreen— SPF 50 or higher.)

Sucking out all your creativity with one word: Cancer

Sorry, I know you are all expecting my normal Monday night Manuscript Red-line post, but I really felt like I needed to stray away from writing… just this once.

A year and a half ago, I was diagnosed with Basal Cell Carcinoma.  It is a malignant form of skin cancer.  I was not surprised.  I had a cut on my ear that bled for a year straight while I was in denial.  My cell could not be treated with creams or freezing.  I needed to go through Mohs surgery.

In a Mohs procedure, the surgeon removes a layer of skin from the malignant area and tests it.  If it comes out cancerous, they take another layer and test it.  This could go on for hours, and you don’t know how many “cuts” you will need until it is all over.

Luckily enough, thanks to a very talented surgeon, I only went through one round of surgery, and was cured. And there was virtually no scar.

I prayed that this would be the end of it.  Until today.

Another “thing” popped up on my arm a month ago, and two weeks ago my doctor took a biopsy.  Today they confirmed it was malignant, and I will need surgery again.

I had a good cry.  Not because I was afraid of the surgery, but because I realized that I would be battling this for the rest of my life.

When I was growing up, no one even heard anything about skin cancer.  We never wore sunscreen.  I would lie out in the sun with the INTENTION of getting a sunburn.  One day of pain was worth it for the pretty glow I got for a week after.  If I only knew.

I am not telling you this to make you feel bad, or to share my pain.

The truth is, I am wired to teach people.  That is how this blog got started.  I thought it over, and if I can stop one person from going through what I will be battling for the rest of my life, then at least I am even.  If I can help two people, it would be great.  If I can help three… then it will all be worth while.

Please Please Please wear sunscreen when you go outside.  If you can sit in the shade, please do so.  I’ve been doing it for a year.  It can be done.

If you have children, please slather them with sunscreen, and give them hats.  Remember the backs of their ears.  That is where my first carcinoma appeared.

Please take skin cancer seriously.  It always happens to the other guy, until a doctor calls to give you the bad news.

Feeling better now.