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Saturday, November 30, 2013

I Am Back

I Am Back

These past few months I have been off the internet have seemed like a lifetime. I have heard people say that people on the internet are not real or at least not real friends but I have to differ. There is no way to describe how wonderful so many have been. I started all of this in 2010 and the people I have met then and now are friends. I may have never seen you in person or heard your voice but you have touched my heart. Several of those I have become friends with on the internet have begun to communicate by phone. For sometime now that was the only way you could reach me.
I had said I was going to write about all of this honestly as I went along. It started with me wanting to see at least one of the things I had written as a book that I could hold in my hand. They had told me I had cancer and with all of the other problems we were all very unsure if I would even wake up from the surgery let alone what the future would bring.
I shared honestly and from the heart. I remember the days before the surgery thinking I may never be able to see and be with those I loved in this life again. I felt so many emotions. I felt fear and even some emotions there are no words to describe but I tried.
I got to hold the proof for Life Goes On days before the surgery. When I woke from the surgery there was no thought about books. The pain was unreal. Nothing stopped the pain. Even morphine did not seem to work. I had to survive. That was all I was doing for sometime.
CreateSpace had worked with me doing the first novel. The patience and support they showed was amazing. You have to realize that my oxygen levels were very low. At one point they were not even able to do the surgery that could save my life. They said my lung capacity was so low I would not survive and if I did it would be on life support. I was doing treatments and working as hard as I could but there was no way I could have done the book without all of their help.
I knew so little about computers and the internet I had to learn everything and had no time to do it. Even uploading the files was difficult.
There were times they worked with me on the phone talking me through it and even then we often had to wait and try again later as I became more and more unable to function.
After the surgery for sometime I was simply surviving and living in a haze of pain. I still did not know how long I would have to live and if the cancer would come back. I decided I would not wait in life. If I was alive, I wanted to truly live my life. If there were things that I wanted to do I was driven to do my best to keep going.
I worked to learn as many things as I could. We had no money for me to do books. It was not that I had a minimal budget but I had no way to pay for things I so desperately needed. I had to be the writer, artist for the covers, figure out how to make a painting into a book cover and send it to be published and make it work.
Since I had not even known how to copy and paste there was so much to learn. I had to be my own editor and I do not recommend that but have had no choice. There are so many things we miss when it is our own writing. Reading it closely was difficult since I had not only written it but read it and rewrote and re-read it so many times I often caught myself skimming through but did my best.
There is another thing that make is difficult for me when writing I have never really talked about before. I am dyslexic. When I say I often scramble and turn numbers and letters around that it an understatement. Even writing down a simple phone number is a chore for me.
When I was young they did not really understand that and in schools just thought you were dumb. I did not think I would ever learn to read. Now I love to read and have my own little methods to make things easier. One thing when writing I have learned to love is spell check. It catches every time I scramble letters in words.
As the years have gone by and after the accident I was in, my hands have arthritis and my little finger on the left hand is no longer usable. It is actually drawing up and stiff. Not long ago I had a mild stroke and lost the use of my left hand. I was going to keep trying to type with the right hand but decided I will make it work again.
I have to type and retype but it is working beautifully. I hope to one day have it back like before. I get tired so easily I am also limited on time to do things.
After the cancer surgery and the removal of the lung I worked with a passion to not give up. I wanted to share that thought because no matter how hard things may be there are so many others out there suffering their own problems that are just as bad if not worse. I had so much to learn but there were so many online who helped and were so patiently teaching me. I wanted to share that with others.
I won't say that everything online was wonderful. There were some people who were very mean to others. If they got mean with me I just did not continue to talk to them. I sort of thought of it in a weird way. If this was my last day alive how important would their opinions or words be to me?
I had some so called experts demanding I do promotions and things their way because there were experts. Some of it was great and somethings I just had to do my way. I was learning as I went. I saw so many who were giving up on their dreams because they thought there was no hope for them. Every other author they talked to was a best seller and they did not know what to do or how to go. When I found something that worked I tried to share the information.
Three days a week I have to go to cardio/pulmonary rehab. It is through St. Bernards Hospital here in Jonesboro, Ar. and they have been fantastic. It is a lot of work but so worth it for recovering and maintaining.
When I was in the hospital with the last problem, I got to meet many doctors. They checked me from top to bottom. They were conscientious and caring. I had excellent care from all of the staff. There is only so much they can do.
At one point we all had a nice little talk. I have severe back pain and at times my legs quit working. I have suffered several falls lately. The good news is that I do not have any spinal fractures or ruptures in the vertebrae.
The bad news was that I am worn out. I had to laugh at the young doctor as he so seriously told me that , and replied that may be because I am an old lady.
He remained very serious and tried to make sure I really understood. I have a degenerative bone disease. I understand more than most how serious it is and will become. Years ago when they first told me I cried. I was afraid and began to feel depression set in thinking of the future. I had seen my grandmother go from happy and always doing something to bedfast and in constant pain. She would cook so many wonderful things from scratch and sing songs with me. One day in the nursing home she had to live in as she had become totally a prisoner in her own body she turned her head and it cut the spinal cord when the bones gave way.
I had understood what could be for many years but what they were telling me is that is not something that may be in the future but is now. That is why there is so much pain in the back, knees, shoulders, hands and almost every part of my body.
You would think they could give me some really good pain medicine to help, but if they do, it will reduce the respiratory and that could be very dangerous for me. If the pain is too intense the blood pressure goes way up. I don't think they know what to do for me. I was and sort of am beginning to think I don't know either.
After the lung removal I threw myself into my writing, books and even started a writers group to help others with their projects.
This past 7 or 8 months was almost enough to extinguish the passion and dim the hope.
I nearly lost my husband when he fell onto concrete fracturing his skull and suffering brain bleeds. The damage he sustained destroyed life as he had known it. He has always worked and took care of his family. Now he is unable to work and life as he knew it will never be. He is having to adjust and survive.
My father had blood clots that were life threatening but survived. My mother had health issues so severe you never knew one day to the next what the future would hold.
The end of July we lost my mother. Tomorrow will be the first Thanksgiving in my life without her.
I was with her at the end. In those moments I felt a crushing weight in and on my chest. I could not breath. I went down.
My family tried to get me to go to the hospital but I was so grief stricken I felt sure my problems were anxiety and stress.
I was wrong. It was my heart.
I will skip the details. There is no need to try to find words. I will move on along to when I did finally go for help. They did many tests and found out I had a blockage of 70 percent on one side and 80 on the other. I was lucky I lived. With 4 stints put in I began to do much better.
I went to the rehab as soon as I was strong enough. I could not believe how much better I was doing and what a difference it made.
One day not long ago my hand fell down off the handle of the machine. I felt so confused and as hard as I strained it would not go back up. It was numb. They tried to get me to go to the hospital but I explained that I fell the day before and hurt that shoulder as well as all of the rest of me. I am old enough I do not bounce well. I just wanted to get home and rest. I was sure I would be better if I could only rest a bit.
It was not long before we knew I was not better and something was terribly wrong. As I told before there was more than just a small stroke I will have to deal with and endure.
I know I will have to work but I am not dead yet. I was able to get the two projects I had started with my grandson ready and he is so excited. He little face lights up when we talk about the books. I showed him on the computer what it would look like. I even showed him the Amazon page. That is not like holding the book in your hands. Month after month we worked and planned, discussed and learned.
Yesterday my husband told him it would not be long before the book was here. He just gave him a look and said “really?”
When he realized Albert was serious I can not describe the look on his face. He is so excited. I can hardly wait to see his face when the book arrives. We are going to wait for him to get home from school so he can open it. I just hope I will be able to get a picture of his face when he does.
One day at a time....
When I wrote my own story I called it I Will Not Give Up....Not Today....Life Is A Journey.
I did not give up before....did not give up today and the journey is not over.

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