Monthly Archives: June 2012

What Are Writers, Really

This is why writers write

“It is impossible to discourage the Real Writers – They don’t give a damn what you say – They’re going to write” – Sinclair Lewis

What Are Writer’s…Really?

By Author Donna Jean McDunn

How would you describe a writer? If you are a writer, how would you describe yourself?

I was thinking about this the other day and I don’t think there is a good way to describe a writer. We are all so different; one description does not fit all. But then I thought about it a little more and I realized there are a couple of things every writer on the planet has in common, but is that enough for a description for every writer?

One place to start investigating is on Twitter, Facebook or LinkedIn and read the comments of writers. Examine their pictures and read their blogs and websites. You’ll learn many things about them and their thoughts.

They come from all walks of life. Some are married with children; others are single by choice and still others who haven’t found the right “one” yet. There are single writer moms and dads and there are young and old of both genders, which work full or part-time jobs. They are all different in many ways, yet all of them are writers.

Many are published, but all are hoping they will be someday…soon…again and again and again…Well you get the point.

I include myself in that writers list. I’m one of the old ones, but I’m not dead yet. I still work full time. I live with a husband, two dogs and four indoor cats and several more outside cats. When our three daughters and son-in-laws and eight grandkids aren’t visiting, I write.

We writers, no matter what our differences, find time to write books, poems, plays, screenplays, blogs, articles and short stories of all genres of fiction, nonfiction, essays, and memoirs. Wherever there is a need for a story, there you will find a writer hard at work, developing their own unique “voice” and doing what they love.

At the end of the day, each writer may have taken a different path, but before their day ends, they will each have fulfilled their dream. Whether they sat typing or scribbling in a notebook or simply writing the words in their memories to put to paper at a later time, their dream of writing is real and it’s always there, pulling the writer to write.

Just like the quote above from Sinclair Lewis so adequately states, “It is impossible to discourage the real writers—they don’t give a damn what you say, they are going to write.”

So how would you describe a writer? I guess for me, it’s really not all that difficult after all. A writer is well, a writer. It’s not just what they do, it’s what they are. Enough said.

As always, I appreciate your opinions or questions. Please, leave a comment. If you leave your blog or website address or where you can be found on Facebook or Twitter I will follow you, leave a comment, like, or Tweet in return.

It’s been said that writing is a lonely business and that’s true, but if we writers and readers continue to support one another, then we are no longer alone.

Some of my work can be found online: My children’s story “Pack Leader” can be found at www.knowonder.com.

I also have a children’s story, “The Golden Stallion” online at www.storiesthatlift.com. Once on the site click on the Story Library and then Children’s Stories

In May 2012, my children’s story, “Gus’ Big Adventure” was published at Bumples Magazine. http://www.bumples.com/

Sometime in June or July 2012 my first adult short story, “Saving Katie” will be published at www.thepinkchameleon.com.

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Who Does Your World Revolve Around?

 

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Who Does Your World Revolve Around?

By Author Donna Jean McDunn

“If your world revolves around you, it’s a very small world. But if it revolves around others, then it’s limitless.” – Master Betsy Steven’s, a sixth degree black belt

 I ran across this quote and thought wow, so I wrote it in the back of my address book. I put it there a long time ago so I could read it often…and then promptly forgot about it.

 Have you found a quote that’s made you sit up and think? One that made you say, wow! One you wanted to remember? If so, then you probably wrote it down or copied it, and like me, stuck it somewhere…and then forgot about it? Maybe, like me you found it unexpectedly while looking for something totally different and it still made you say, wow!

 When I read those words above, they made me question my life and ask myself some thought provoking questions. (Isn’t that why we save stuff like that?) What exactly is my world? Who’s in it and why? Do I want everything to revolve around me? Am I concerned about others? Do I go out of my way to make other people feel good about themselves? Am I willing to step out of my comfort zone to help others, even strangers?

 I think for many, many years, I hid behind my shyness. I know there are some who know me now, and they’re thinking, “What shyness?” The truth is I’ve fought being shy my entire life. I remember as a little girl, hiding behind my mom when a neighbor lady talked to me. I never knew what to say, so I didn’t say anything. I’d rather be alone than be with other people I didn’t know, or go somewhere I’d never been, because what if I said or did something I shouldn’t. People might get mad at me or even laugh and make fun of me.

 It wasn’t until I was nearly an adult that I began to understand other people often feel the same way and they are sometimes thought of as conceited or a snob, when in reality, they are afraid. (Of course there are conceited snobs everywhere.) I didn’t want to be one of them and I didn’t want anyone to think I was.

 Do you ever wonder if shyness is a fear of making mistakes, or a fear of being laughed at, or maybe it’s a fear of being hurt either physically or emotionally? If not, what do you believe shyness really is? Are you shy, and if so, what do you do when you feel a case of shyness coming on? How do you handle it? Do you hide behind your mother’s skirts like I did?

 I’ve learned to face it head on. I ask myself, what could this person or this place do to me? Now, if there are killers and drug addicts where you are or if the person you just met is really dangerous, like a serial killer or rapist, then the fear is legitimate, but if that person or the people there, are just ordinary human beings, probably facing the same fears you are, then look them in the eye, smile, think of something nice to say and say it.

 “Hello, my you have lovely hair.”

 Or “I love your shoes. They’re so cute.” (I love shoes.)

 Or you can even comment on the weather, but you can only use that one if you’ve already tried to think of something better to say and couldn’t.

 I guess what I’m getting at, is we are all in this life together. If we allow fear or shyness or anything else, to hold us back from helping others in whatever possible way we can, then our world is very small and will stay that way.

 I’ve been trying very hard to make my world limitless. This blog is a small start. I try to comment on Facebook and Twitter and I read other peoples blogs and leave comments. It sounds easy, but for me it wasn’t. I had to step out of my comfort zone, but now my small world is growing and soon I hope it will be limitless.

 So what size is your world? Is it very small or is it limitless? Only you can answer that question.

 As always, I appreciate your opinions, comments or questions. Please leave your blog address or where you can be found on Facebook or Twitter and I will return the favor by leaving a comment, follow, like, or Tweet in return.

  It’s been said that writing is a lonely business and that’s true, but if we writers and readers continue to support one another, then we are no longer alone. I’d love to hear from you.

 Some of my work can be found online: Last year my children’s story “Pack Leader” was published by Knowonder.com.

 I also have a children’s story, “The Golden Stallion” online at www.storiesthatlift.com. Once on the site click on the Story Library and then Children’s Stories.

In May 2012, my children’s story, “Gus’ Big Adventure” was published at Bumples Magazine. http://www.bumples.com/ 

Sometime in June 2012, my first adult short story, “Saving Katie” will be published at www.thepinkchameleon.com.

 

Working Together When Life Throws Punches

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When Life Throws Punches You Can Always Count On Grandpa  Family

When Life Throws Punches

By Author Donna Jean McDunn

Have you ever woke in the morning and found the world, as you knew it, no longer existed? That happened to me recently and it was not fun, but did I give up and crawl back into my bed? No! I faced the day head on like a true black belt.

That’s what we all have to do from time to time when our world is changed without our permission. No one is immune until you’re dead, and I don’t know about you, but that’s one place I’m not too anxious to see anytime soon. 

So how do we cope? Is all change good or bad?

In my opinion, not all change is good or bad. Winning the lottery, getting a raise, changing jobs, because the one you have sucks, buying a new car or house; these are things that have the potential of good, for obvious reasons, but sometimes turn bad, but incase someone doesn’t see the good and the bad, let me explain a little.

Okay, so you won the lottery, you are now the newest millionaire. You can buy anything you want, live anywhere, new house, new car, no more boss, travel is no longer a problem, so many good things.

But then the leaches start coming out of the woodwork wanting your money. Suddenly you have an agent and he’s investing you’re money in stocks and bonds and whatever. Your lawyer is supposed to look out for you and keep his eye on the agent.

You’re too busy having fun and helping the less fortunate to notice what your lawyer and agent are really doing. You’re a good and trusting person, so you’re loaning and giving and buying and…hold on…you’re a millionaire right, so why is the bank foreclosing on…everything? It’s because life throws punches and even when we’re paying attention, those punches can hurt.

Yeah, you say, I suppose that could happen to a lottery winner if he had his head up his butt, but what about the other things you mentioned, how could those things be bad and good?

Okay, so you got a nice big raise, but you better duck, because life is about to throw another punch your way. Now your boss is going to want you to work late, come in early, skip lunches, be at his beck and call day or night. You want to keep your job, you like it, it pays well, it also pays the bills, but now you’re only home to sleep.

Your wife/husband is about to leave you and take the kids. You’ll have to pay child support and alimony for the next umpteen years and even worse than that, move in with your sister’s family. You’ll never recover your losses and you don’t have a life anymore, except at work. Now you realize you hate this job, so to save your marriage you quit and find a new job.

Oh, oh, you’d better duck again because here it comes. Instead of the new job being your salvation, it turns out the boss is even more demanding than the last one. He sends you on business trips for weeks at a time and to top it off, you had to take a cut in pay because of the economy. You don’t even get home to sleep anymore. Your spouse is threatening to leave or lock you out of the house.

Hold on, you say, I suppose that could happen, but getting a new car or house, how can those things be bad?

I have the perfect examples.

My sister-in-law bought a new car so she didn’t have to worry about maintenance. She was a single mom with one son. She figured the warranty would cover pretty much everything. She’d be worry free.

She loved the new car; hence, the good.

It drove great and was easy on gas, but wait for it…here comes the sucker punch…one day, a few weeks later, while driving down the highway…it just stopped running like someone flipped a switch. She had it towed back to the dealer for them to fix. They had it for two weeks. It started again when it was unloaded and every time they turned the key it fired right off. They found nothing wrong.

My sister-in-law took it home and for a few days it ran perfectly, until one day it stopped again. It went back to the dealer. They found nothing wrong. This continued for several months. Sometimes she could drive it for several weeks, other times just a few days.

The mechanics thought it must be electrical, but no one knew for sure. They replaced things though, hoping to fix the problem, but each time the car would die, refuse to start again and then suddenly start.

Finally, one afternoon, on her way home, the car stopped again. She was fed up with the dealership, so she called her brother, my husband, and asked him to please look at it. She told him where it died on the highway and that she’d left the key under the floor mat.

When he arrived at the designated spot, the car was gone. To this day, no one has seen it since. We live in a small town and everyone knows everyone else’s business, even the police. They knew of the problems my sister-in-law was having. After the car was reported stolen, they contacted my husband and asked him where he dumped the car. I swear, he didn’t do it. They sure thought he had, but of course, they didn’t have any proof, because there was none.

My sister-in-law had to fight the insurance company to get a replacement for the stolen car, because she’d left the keys in it, but in the end this punch from life turned out to be a blessing in disguise.

Hang on; we’re not done yet. I haven’t showed you the example of the good and the bad of buying a new home:

My niece and her husband bought a new house one spring. They loved it. But soon after moving in, life decided to throw them a punch. It began to rain and didn’t stop for several days. The windows leaked and then the basement flooded. Remember, this is a brand new house.

But the worst punch, was the driveway. The house was built on a little hill and the driveway sloped down toward the street. It began to crack from the rainwater eroding the yard and allowing water to undermine the driveway. It became so bad, they couldn’t use it. They notified the contractor of what was happening. He said it wasn’t his problem.

They contacted their insurance. They said we’re sorry, but it’s not covered. They tried to fight the contractor and the insurance, but to no avail. In the end, her father and uncles repaired the damage and rerouted the flow of water. They also fixed the windows and several other things the contractors had screwed up. They now love their house again.

So, as the examples have shone, not all change is bad, but not all is good either. I guess what I’m trying to point out is when the punches from life come, you have to pick yourself up like a black belt…brush yourself off… and call your family and friends for help.

Of course, there are always some family members and friends who won’t answer that call, but that’s for another blog, for now take comfort in the ones that do.

As always, I appreciate your opinions or questions. Please, leave a comment and allow me to find your words, so I can learn what has inspired you to use your imagination to create. If you leave your blog address or where you can be found on Facebook or Twitter I will leave a comment, like, or Tweet in return.

 It’s been said that writing is a lonely business and that’s true, but if we writers and readers continue to support one another, then we are no longer alone. I’d love to hear from you and read your work.

Some of my work can be found online: Here’s a direct link to my children’s story “Pack Leader” at Knowonder Magazine. http://www.knowonder.com/2011/11/03/pack-leader-short-bedtime-stories/

I also have a children’s story, “The Golden Stallion” online at www.storiesthatlift.com. Once on the site click on the Story Library and then Children’s Stories

In May 2012, my children’s story, “Gus’ Big Adventure” will be published at Bumples Magazine. http://www.bumples.com/ 

Sometime by June 30, 2012 my first adult short story, “Saving Katie” will be published at www.thepinkchameleon.com.

Gifts From The Heart

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    Would This Happen To A Psychic?

Gifts From The Heart

By Author Donna Jean McDunn

Whenever I watch a TV program like The Mentalist, I wonder what it would like to have psychic powers and to know when something bad was about to happen. Maybe even prevent a disaster like an airplane crash or find a missing child. 

The gift of seeing into the future would be a magnificent “gift”, one that would do great and wonderful things. But what if those who received this “gift”, this “power” had a cold heart for anyone but themselves? What if that person used the gift for their own personal gain and destroyed others in the process. That’s where the problems lie with a gift of such magnitude. It can corrupt and make many want to use it for selfish gain.

 Throughout history, men and woman have been known to abuse any kind of power and to take advantage of those who are weaker in someway. Power corrupts. Does that mean all who receive the “gift” would eventually become corrupt?

 I don’t believe so. Do you?

 I base my belief, not on the bad we see happening, but on the good that happens everyday. Power will corrupt some people. There is no denying that fact, but from the very rich, to the very poor, there is good and bad demonstrated everyday. It’s the bad that often captures our attention and the attention of the news media.

 Bt if we listen carefully, sometimes we’ll hear about a different kind of gift…a gift that comes from the heart. It’s seen nearly everyday. The neighbor who rescues a child from a burning house, or the wealthy woman who helps a destitute mother stay in her apartment, or the teenagers who rescue a child from a lake, these are gifts from the heart that saves and changes lives. We can be one of them if we’re willing to sacrifice our time, money, even our own welfare to prevent someone else from suffering.

 Gifts from the heart come in all forms; big and small and a person who posses a “psychic gift” could make the choice of using it for good. Whether you believe such a gift exists isn’t really the question. The question is “does the gift come from the heart”?

 Psychic powers may only exist in fiction where the writer is the one wielding all the power. She decides whether the gift is from the heart or one shrouded in darkness? The characters in a story have no real power, or do they?

 In my young adult paranormal novel, the protagonist is an eighteen-year-old girl who doesn’t know she has the “gift”. It’s not until a mysterious voice tells her to remember her past, so she can save her boyfriend and herself that she begins to have disturbing visions. She believes she’s going crazy and is gradually falling apart emotionally. Her boyfriend is completely clueless about why his strong, self-assured girlfriend is suddenly becoming a basket case. He wants to help her, but he doesn’t know how.

 I thought I was in charge of what would happen to them in the story, but as I wrote, I realized the characters had taken on a life of their own. They led me down some pretty scary paths and kept bringing home other characters I hadn’t even planned on creating. Some of them were pretty scary too. It was exciting and a lot of work, but my characters were worth it. I can’t tell you if she ever acknowledges her “gift” or why she lost it in the first place, but I will say, I enjoyed the journey she took me on to get where she needed to go. Does her gift come from the heart or from somewhere dark and self-serving? I can’t tell you that either, but when my story is published, I will let you know and you can decide for yourself.

 Which brings us back to whether psychic powers are real. Do they exist in the real world or only in our imaginations? Does it depend only on what we want to believe? 

 What is your opinion on psychics? Are they real in your mind too? Maybe you know someone who is psychic. Share your thoughts and opinions with us.

 As always, I appreciate your opinions or questions. Please, leave a comment and allow me to find your words, so I can learn what has inspired you to use your imagination to create. If you share your blog address or where you can be found on Facebook or Twitter I will leave a comment, like, or Tweet in return.

  It’s been said that writing is a lonely business and that’s true, but if we writers and readers continue to support one another, then we are no longer alone. I’d love to hear from you and read your work.

 Some of my work can be found online: Here’s a direct link to my children’s story “Pack Leader” at Knowonder Magazine. http://www.knowonder.com/2011/11/03/pack-leader-short-bedtime-stories/

 I also have a children’s story, “The Golden Stallion” online at www.storiesthatlift.com. Once on the site click on the Story Library and then Children’s Stories.

In May 2012, my children’s story, “Gus’ Big Adventure” will be published at Bumples Magazine. http://www.bumples.com/ 

On or around June 30, 2012 my first adult short story, “Saving Katie” will be published at http://www.thepinkchameleon.com

The Ovary From Hell

Beauty In Color

The Ovary From Hell
By Author Donna Jean McDunn

Recently I had a very strange thing happen and because of this I want to share my experience with all the women out there that read my blog. So if any of you men or women following my blog, gets upset over female health issues, you may want to stop reading now, unless you have a woman in your life who matters to you, because what happened to me is something that can happen to any woman at any age unless she has had a complete hysterectomy.

Since this incident took place, I have had several women ask me questions about it. What causes something like that? How did you know what it was? How did you find it? What were your symptoms? How was it removed? Was it cancer? How long did it take you to recover? These were the most often asked questions and I’d like to try and answer them.

Toward the end of last year, I began noticing weight gain. I had just spent the previous ten months losing 32 pounds by joining Weight Watchers online and exercising three – four days a week at the YMCA. I couldn’t understand why I suddenly started gaining weight, but it was the holidays and as most any woman knows, it’s not a good time for weight loss. So I didn’t really worry about it yet. I simply thought I was sneaking a little more than I realized and so I became a little more diligent about what I put in my mouth.

By the middle of January I was still gaining weight and I knew something had to be wrong. I was still following my weight loss plan and exercising, but the weight kept coming on by a half a pound to a pound a week. By this time there was a lot of pain that became worse with exercise. By mid February I could no longer workout, the pain was just too intense and my stomach so hard and swollen, I couldn’t hide it with big shirts and it was embarrassing.

My symptoms included, along with the hard swollen stomach, sharp stabbing pain in the left side of my abdomen, just under my ribs that radiated into my back and hip. A slightly less stabbing pain on the right side, radiated into my back, and the pressure and discomfort was increasing daily.

Other symptoms included nausea, feeling of fullness, pressure in my throat, hard to breathe, pain when pressure was applied to the spot in the center of my chest, where the esophagus and stomach join, extreme fatigue and I could only sleep for an hour, sometimes two, before the pain would wake me.

I’ve had some stomach and also esophagus issues in the past and because of this I believed the whole problem was my stomach. I have to have an endoscopic test done every three years by a gastroenterologist surgeon to determine if the Barrett’s esophagus I have has progressed into what’s called dysplasia. It’s a condition of the esophagus that shows up before cancer is detected. The test was scheduled for March 6th and would be performed by the gastroenterologist surgeon. I felt certain he would take the required amount of biopsies and/or see what was causing my problem.

On March 15th, I learned the results of the biopsies and what he saw in my stomach. The gastroenterologist surgeon found I had no change in the Barrett’s esophagus and he found no reason for my stomach to be swollen. I was back to square one, but I still believed it was my stomach or possibly my liver. I had tested high for liver enzymes on a blood test a couple of years prior and a failing or cancerous liver can make your stomach swell like mine had.

When I asked the doctor what he thought I should do, as only irony can have it, the doctor told me to stop overeating, to eat less uncooked vegetables, stop drinking diet coke, do not eat hard candy or chew gum, eat slowly and chew thoroughly and take Gas-X. ALL things I was already doing to prevent bloating and gas, except I hadn’t given up my beloved diet coke yet and I ate a lot of raw vegetables to lose weight. When I told him I had already done all those things except giving up diet coke and the veggies, he said that was my problem and I should measure my food to eat less and exercise.

I wanted to scream at him, but I’m civilized, somewhat, so I explained to him that I had lost 32 pounds during 2011 by measuring and weighing everything I ate and I had been exercising until the pain became too much. I don’t think he believed me and he didn’t really care anyway, but he finally agreed to give me a referral to another gastroenterologist who was not a surgeon, but specialized in the stomach, liver, and esophagus. I made the appointment…but to my horror, it was almost a month away…on April 11th. I didn’t know how I was going to be able to wait that long, but if the gastroenterologist surgeon was correct, then I needed to do what he said. After all, he’d gone to expensive schools to learn medicine and all I had was Google.

I stopped drinking diet coke and I bought Ensure for my meals. It didn’t help. I was still gaining weight almost daily.

I’ve had three babies (not all at once) and carried them to full term, but I was twice that size now and still growing. The pain was so bad, that I couldn’t sleep. My arms, legs and face were getting slimmer, but my waist and stomach had grown to epic proportions.

On March 26th, I got up to go to work and looked in the mirror and burst into tears and at that moment I realized I couldn’t wait until the 11th of April to find out what was wrong. What if this new doctor told me the same thing the other one had? I didn’t want to go to prison.

I called my family doctor, Dr. Mary Lob or Dr. Mary as her patients call her, and made an appointment for that afternoon.

I told her what the other doctor had said and that I had another appointment with a different doctor, but it was still several days away and I couldn’t wait any longer. I asked if she thought it could be my liver. She said maybe.

When she examined my stomach, she didn’t say anything for a minute, so I said what I knew she was thinking. “I’m not pregnant, because at my age, I believe it’s impossible and besides, this is nothing like any pregnancy I’ve ever had.”

She laughed. “Immaculate Conception, huh?”

My answer was, “No, it would be more like the child from…well you know. The only symptoms I haven’t had yet are cravings for raw liver or blood.”

She laughed again, but then became very serious. “You need a CT-scan immediately, like yesterday in fact.”

The next morning, the 27th, at the hospital, I had the scan. In less than an hour I knew the results. It was not my liver. I had an ovarian tumor on my left ovary. The tumor was 27 cm. (about 10.6 inches) and I needed to have it removed right away, but first I had to see a gynecologist surgeon.

It meant more waiting, but I had an answer and just knowing what the problem was and that it wasn’t my fault and that it could be removed, was enough for me.

On April 29th I met with the gynecologist surgeon, Dr. Erin Evans. She told me the tumor was under my ribcage pushing my ribs and organs out of the way as it grew and the top of it was where my liver should have been and that’s why I was in so much pain.

She ordered a blood test to test for the ovarian cancer marker CA-125. This is done, because if the test results show a probability of cancer, then a gynecologist oncology surgeon has to be present during the operation. Only a gynecologist oncology surgeon can remove the tumor and other parts, such as lymph nodes if there is cancer present.

A normal reading for CA-125 is 35U/ml. My test came back over 100U/ml. This meant I had to see a gynecologist oncology surgeon so he could be present with Dr. Evans during the surgery. If the tumor turned out to be cancer, he would perform all of the surgery. If it were benign, Dr. Evans would complete the surgery.

When Dr. Evans called me with the results of the blood test, she had already scheduled an appointment with Dr. John Morris, a gynecologist oncology surgeon. I met with him on April 10th and the surgery was scheduled for April 13th. Finally an end was in sight.

The tumor had to be removed in one piece, but it had now grown to 30 cm (11.8 inches). It weighed about 20 pounds and was removed through an 8 ½ inch incision that started 5 inches above my belly button and continued to another 3 ½ inches below.

The tumor was not cancer, but I had opted in to have all unused and unnecessary parts removed along with the tumor whether it was cancer or not. At the age of 61, I wasn’t using those parts anymore and I wanted no chance of something like this happening again. But this kind of thing can happen to any woman, young or old, and each woman must decide for themselves, with their doctor’s help, what’s best for them.

Women of all ages get cysts on their ovaries. Most go away without a problem, but sometimes, and they don’t know why, that simple cyst will begin to grow and when it does, it becomes a tumor. The probability of it happening increases with age.

Dr. Morris said ovarian tumors that are a solid mass and slow growing are the ones most likely to be cancer, but not always. The tumor I had was filled with 3 liters of fluid, it was fast growing and very large. Dr. Morris said that in his experience as a surgeon, he found that most of the fast growing and large tumors were benign, but not always. In my case that was true, but I believe, that if all three of my doctors hadn’t worked together so quickly and removed the tumor, it would have eventually (sooner rather than later) squeezed my organs so they couldn’t function and killed me anyway.

If you or a loved one has any of these symptoms, don’t delay; seek medical care now. Even if it isn’t a tumor, you owe it to yourself to know what’s wrong. Women have a tendency to always put others before themselves; that’s why we make great moms and grandmas. But I believe this is the reason many women die from their ailments, like heart attacks and cancer.

If the first doctor you go to doesn’t help, find a doctor who will listen to your complaints and cares what you have to say and is willing to try to find a cure or at least the cause.

I’m still recovering, but I’m back to working full time, exercising and eating healthy. I had lost twenty pounds three days after surgery and a total of thirty pounds by the second week after the surgery. At that time, I weighed ten pounds less than I had before the tumor started to grow, making my weight loss 42 pounds.

Dr. Evans asked me, at my last appointment, “How much weight have you lost?”

I told her.

She said, “You picked a heck of a way to lose more weight.”

I had to laugh and said, “Yeah, it worked, but I wouldn’t recommend it.”

As always, I appreciate your opinions or questions. I will do my best to answer them. Or simply tell me where I can find your words, so I can learn what has inspired you. It’s been said that writing is a lonely business and that’s true, but if we writers and readers continue to support one another, then we are no longer alone. I’d love to hear from you and read your work.

Some of my other work can be found online: Here’s a direct link to my children’s story “Pack Leader” at Knowonder Magazine. http://www.knowonder.com/2011/11/03/pack-leader-short-bedtime-stories/

I also have a children’s story, “The Golden Stallion” online at http://www.storiesthatlift.com. Once on the site click on the Story Library and then Children’s Stories
.
In May 2012, my children’s story, “Gus’ Big Adventure” was published at Bumples Magazine. http://www.bumples.com/

In June 2012, my first adult short story, “Saving Katie” will be published at http://www.thepinkchameleon.com.