2016 finally ended by Barbara Edwards

2016 was a rollercoaster ride. Not the fun one at an amusement park, but a shock after shock. My husband was diagnosed with bladder cancer. He started with chemo that hurt his kidneys and he had his bladder removed along with his prostate, two lymph nodes and six inches of his small intestine to rebuild the drainage duct. I learned more than I wanted to know.

img_0215He had complications that resulted in his gall bladder being removed and a collapsed lung. Four months later he was home and doing better. It took him all summer and fall to get back his strength and routine.

During the summer I got an inquiry on my ancestry.com account asking about my deceased daughter. It turned out to be my grand-daughter, her child, looking for family. She’d been adopted and her father had claimed there was no family for her. Just grandparents, five uncles with spouses, a dozen cousins and a half brother they didn’t know about.

Thank you, God, for answering twenty years of prayer that her children would be taken care of. I now have spoken with my three grand-daughters. It is difficult to know what to say. They are scattered across country and my husband and I are thinking about a road trip to at least the closest.

My book was rejected by a big publisher. Sigh. Another asked me to remove a sub-plot and its back to work. Otherwise my writing has been slow. Even my blogs have been difficult.

img_0779

 

Most of my family gathered for Christmas Eve and did a silly grab bag involving colorful socks. My oldest son and his wife had her son for company in another state.

On Christmas morning my oldest son’s wife Linda had a massive heart attack and later died. She was a wonderful woman who loved my son as much as he loved her. She called me her Mom. I don’t know why things like this happen. I don’t blame God. I may never understand.

So here I am. At my computer, determined to write my stories. To have a good year. To remember Linda with love. To welcome my grand-daughters, and in another sweet moment, my grand-son’s wife calls her two children my great-grand-children.

No Cancer Cells by Barbara Edwards

The laboratory results from my lumpectomy said the atypical cells were all removed and no cancer cells found.

I exhaled the breath I’d been holding for two days and thought I relaxed. I didn’t. The scare wasn’t so easily removed from my spirit.

Having a lumpectomy is a fairly simple procedure. The in-patient office called on Friday to say my surgery was scheduled for 2:30 pm, to arrive at 10:45 to have the wire inserted.

Nothing to eat or drink after midnight except for my cardiac medication with a tiny sip of water. I can handle that. Okay.

At this time I still didn’t know how it would turn out and I was really nervous. I was having this done at Hartford Hospital where my cardiologist’s and ICD offices were located. I was sweating.

The insertion of the locator wire happens where the mammography is done. The tech was the same woman form my last visit and I found that oddly reassuring. She explained everything.

I donned the infamous hospital gown and robe then waited for the doctor. She also took the time to go over what was being done. My breast was squished by the plates and the area numbed. They recommended I avoid looking if needles made me nervous, so I studied a picture of the beach. The shot pinched and I didn’t feel the needle inserted. The needle is hollow and a wire inserted to the marker left during the biopsy. No so bad.

I admit I was really anxious. Next would be the really frightening part.

I waited again, then was taken to pre-op. More really nice nurses, techs and aides were nice enough to explain what would be happening next.

The RN from the ICD unit came over to disconnect my pacemaker and connect me to a temporary unit. It seems the cauterisation can cause the pacemaker to kick. Not what I need to have happen while under. I had a large patch placed on my chest and on my back to use if they needed to stimulate my heart. Now that was scary.

The anesthesiologist talked to me about the medication. A whole new procedure since I had my gall-bladder removed. The medicine doesn’t make you sick or sleepy afterwards.

So here we go. I get the needle inserted, taken to the operating room and then realised there were a dosen people there. Most of them had been by to introduce themselves and explain their part. Did I mention that the surgical intern was really cute.

I was asleep within minutes. When I woke, I was ready to go home.

They gave me medical orders to take it easy, no swimming for two weeks and call if there were any problems.

Two days later they called to let me know I had no sign of any cancer cells or atypical cells. The relief was overwhelming.

Despite the clearance, it took me this long to be able to talk about the procedure. My heart goes out to those women who don’t have the wonderful results I did. And I thank all my friends and family for their support and prayers.

Sincerely,

Barbara

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Afraid of Breast Cancer? by Barbara Edwards

Afraid of Cancer? By Barbara Edwards

 

I’d be a fool not to have the fear niggling in the back of my mind despite all the reassurances about the odds.

Sunrise at Sugar Hill
Sunrise at Sugar Hill

Atypical cells are not cancer. Not yet, maybe never. I could get run over by a bus and not have to worry at all. I have to laugh at myself. I had a dear friend who required a double mastectomy and kept her good spirits and joy of life through the whole process. She’s a sweet woman who is a survivor. How can I obsess over my own problem? I guess because they are mine.

My lumpectomy is scheduled for next Tuesday and I will be so glad to have it over. I am anxious. This date was the next available when I called and I thought two weeks was a hellishly long time to wait.

I had to have a physical by my doctor and my cardiologist and the breast surgeon. If it’s not a big deal why do I need all this extra fuss? I needed more blood-work and to stop taking any herbals, aspirin, etc two weeks before the date. Cut that one close.

Christmas Creche
Christmas Creche

On top of that, my new book, Journey of the Magi, A Christmas romance, is being released on Monday. I’ve been scurrying around scheduling blog visits, planning tweets and posts for Facebook and trying to work on my next book.

I feel like I’m on a roller coaster. Up one minute, down the next.

The breast surgeon has a wonderful bedside manner. I had a list of questions and she sat down and answered them all before I could ask. I guess everyone has the same worries. She did add that the chance of my atypical cells being cancer is one in one hundred. I breathed a big sigh of relief. Then my very active brain injected that I buy a lottery ticket with odds worse than that and expect to win. Geez.

So I going to admit that I am worried and afraid. There. I said it. I don’t have to put on a happy face to share this with you.  Every woman knows what I feel. And offers support. I do thank all of my friends, those who commented and my family. Without you and what you’ve shared, I would be a wreck. The prayers have wrapped me in comfort. Thanks

If you get a chance, visit my website www.barbaraedwards.net