“It’s hard to tell you how I feel without hurting you…” – Soho

This is also an essay on how what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger, and that there is hope-for each and every one of us.  You can read my tags, or About feature and see that fate had dealt me a raw deal, and that was 27 years ago!  The hits keep coming, but I will bow to no evil, stay true to my faith and carry on, as He has great and good plans for me, and you, my beloveds.

I had just read the article in Ladies Home Journal that was written by Susan Dey, the ex Partridge, about her cervical cancer and how she knew she had it-her symptoms.  Karl was on a business trip, and I was alone in our house, which had been stress-cleaned by me the minute he left the abode.  I had been having similar symptoms, and as I headed up the stairs to use the ladies, a feeling of foreboding swept over me, like so much dust, so dreadful…..so real.  Shake it off, Michele, my thought cloud read.

And, as fate would have it, I saw the odiferous, grey discharge-which sent me reeling and running to the telephone to talk with my mother.

“Honey, I am sure you are fine.  Just make sure to go to the doctor this week.”  Incredibly comforting, yes.  But I knew………and I was internally combusting at warp speed.  Earlier in the year, I had been diagnosed with HPV-given to me by a long ago boyfriend.  Back in 1998, there was no talk of the vaccination or the virus, really.  Only now does it make sense.  I had no money for the antibiotic, and, being the hair brained procrastinator that I am, I let it go.  Only now, five years later would I be paying for my ignorance.

The next day?  A nurse called me with my pap smear results, which was taken two weeks before.

“The doctor needs to see you to explain the results,” she said.

What do you mean?  I need to speak with the doctor, please tell him to call me.”

“You have cancer,” she said.

With that, I insisted, demanded that I be seen by my doctor.  She had no right to say that, especially over the phone.  I wanted answers, and I wanted them now.  She told me she would call him, and to expect a return call within the next few days.  NOT GOOD ENOUGH.   I in no way think of myself as special, a prima donna, nor do I think I deserve anything more than the average Joe-but I had just moved to the area, and I had been having problems with spotting for over a year.  My gynecologist?

“You look great and your test results are great.” I called him repeatedly, this man who hated women…only to be told the same thing:  “A little spotting is normal.”  I had left him behind in Phoenixville, and the new doctor I was seeing saw it right away.  I wish I had sued the bastard, but hindsight is always twenty- twenty.

The phone rang the very same evening.  It was Dr. Overholt, asking me to come into the office, apologizing for his nurse, apologizing for the news.  As I sat, in paper robe and smiley face socks, I felt more vulnerable than at any other time in my life.  My heart pounded, my hands shook, how could this be?  I had never missed a pap in my life, why wasn’t this caught sooner?  Will I be able to have children?  Will I be able to live a life free of this sniveling coward we call cancer?

He explained to me that I had carcinoma in situ, Stage I, and that he was referring me to a gynecologist who specialized in Cervical Cancer.  I met and loved Dr. Lape from the moment our eyes connected.  He explained that I would have to have a cryosurgery first, and then-a biopsy of my uterus-to ensure it hadn’t spread and to remove the tumor.  His best advice?

“Don’t listen to ANYONE but me.  Don’t go looking for trouble.  Any questions, this is my home phone number.  God bless you sweetheart, we got this.”

And so it was, after  three cryosurgeries (in which the cancerous cells are frozen and destroyed) a biopsy and D&C, that I lay on the couch, my Tylenol #3 and a heating pad for comfort.  My parents took me to my first freezing, and afterwards took me to lunch and tucked me in when we returned home.  I remember feeling as if I had been beaten below the belt, the pain was tough, the recovery tougher.  More cells were found, more cryosurgery.  And finally, freedom.  The freedom that comes with knowing you are free of the dastardly C word.

I was never told I could not have children.  And I didn’t find out until I lost our first child-an uncaring doctor asked me why we didn’t use birth control if I knew I couldn’t carry.  He gave me a script, called it a “spontaneous” abortion and referred me to the local Planned parenthood, where I was given another scraping, and released.

Driving home, it hit me like a ton of bricks.  My girlfriend Annie, not taking her eyes off of the road, shushed my tears.  She held my hand.  She took me home and put me to bed, with a stuffed teddy bear and a sippy cup.


And She Was……

There is a well known fact in this household, rarely spoken of, but my heart beats for him continuously, and he has earned my adoration.  David Byrne, MARRY ME.  🙂  I had the pure privilege of seeing the Talking Heads at Emerald City in Philadelphia, circa 1980.  Front row.  The rolling melodies and heart thumping bass can still be heard in my head, and I am dead serious when I say that the female guitarist made a pass at me.  Ah, the good old days when rock was rock and  a spade a spade.

I had a horrible nightmare last night.  Or I should say this morning-Dwain had decided to go to work, despite the blizzard conditions-he wasn’t answering my calls, he was nowhere to be found.  I awoke in a cold sweat, extremely anxious and confused.  Moments later, while sipping hot coffee, I phoned my husband and my nerves were calmed just by the sound of his voice.  Strange way to start the day…….

As I walked down to the garage, to feed the feline community, I felt it-or, perhaps didn’t feel it is a better way to say this.  No pain.  During Lyme flares, my feet are constantly in pain.  Bone pain, muscle pain-I don’t let it slow me down, but the mere fact that I was pain free was reason enough to look up at the sky and praise Him.  My lymph node has diminished, and there is even a noticeable lift in my loafers.  Oh, how beautiful life is.  And here’s the thang-none of us are promised more than this day.  We have a choice-to be positive among the chaos and confusion, carpe diem,  or, as I did yesterday-we can pout, stomp our feet and be a miserable pain in the ass in general, bringing everyone around us on edge, walking upon proverbial eggshells.

I fail Him each and every day, by thought and deed.  I repent, ask for forgiveness, and concentrate on my future-with my main man, golden retriever and Yeshua-and between the four of us?  We have this, He is working in our lives, whether we see rainbows or coffins-the choice is ours, and I choose life-oh, my dear friends, I choose life~



I’m on the Outside…..

Good Sunday morning to you all.   I was unable to attend church today, and I was supposed to be working the Welcome Center.  At this moment I am almost hysterical at the idea of being held hostage by Lyme related complications for the duration of my life.  I keep telling myself that others have it much worse (and they do) but I have a sneaking suspicion that I fucked up my meds, as after the fight with my step son?  Well, let’s just say I wasn’t on top of my game and now I am left with decisions, so many, do I go to a Specialist?  Shouldn’t I just trust God?  I am not going to ask Why Me? because that is a ridiculous supposition, we all suffer in one way or another, right?

I want to rant and rave.  I want to hide in the fetal position, as I am as afraid as I was as a little girl, terrorized by thunderstorms.  As a sufferer from CPTSD, I do not do well with unanswered questions or the unknown.  I loathe going to the doctor, deplore their inadequacies in diagnosing, well, anything.  My doctor is most certainly not on top of this, and I need to move on, and I hate change.  Like poison.  Change sucks.

I feel as if I stand outside the window, looking at the healthy and content, as if they have something I desire, something I need.  They look oh so pleased on the outside, and maybe that’s the secret.

I’ll just fake it ’til I make it……I want someone to hold me and tell me it’s going to be okay.  I want, oh how I desire, to be that ten year old child once more.

The Silent Scream

I want to write about treating others as we would expect to be treated (if you love yourself enough)  In recovery, there is this long and arduous, yet somehow pure and raw discovery of who we really are and what our destiny entails.  If you are one of the lucky ones?  You will go through the darkest nights of repressed grief, shame, abandonment and despair.  I say this because in order to get sober, you have to do the work.  There will be slips and relapse, until you finally come face to face with your demons, make amends to people you may not even like (over and over again) have awkward discussions in the supermarket aisles because you run into the nurse you screwed over in regards to a shift you didn’t show up for because you were home, hungover and sick…..and not remembering that you had told her just last night you would work for her because her aunt died.  Those conversations.  Bad lighting, bad feelings and bad memories, oh my GOD those first years re hard.

If someone argues with you that getting sober is easy?  Call them a liar.  Call their bluff.  They may just break down and get real, emotions might be triggered….every sober person has a colorful, if not plethora of “stories” involving how hard it was not to take that drink/drug the night that something didn’t go your selfish way.

My husband just came home to find that I have yet another cold.  I have done everything under my control to protect myself this year (vitamins, homeopathic mixes, probiotics, vitamin C……) and remain healthy.  I do have a compromised immune system, and I can no longer apologize for things of this nature, as I do not relish in it, nor do I enjoy being sick and ineffective when I am painting the entire house, take care of 12 animals, have to clean, cook, do laundry, change sheets, go to the grocery store….. my volunteer work, clean the litterboxes…Come on.

“You’re always sick,” he laughs, bitterly.

His reaction let me down, and rather than retaliate?  I want to lovingly say that I have told him thousands of times that this is related to my Lyme, and my state of mind.  I used to pray for a cold to get a few days off around this time of year-you know, horizontal, you-can’t-clean-you-can’t-cook, you want to sleep until the cows come home, you know the drill.  As of late I loathe the idea of being less than 100 percent.  I wasted way too many days sleeping or sick, although I remain convinced that God wanted me alone, near and quiet.  I want to live this life I love, have new adventures and we aren’t promised tomorrow.  Carpe Diem is literally my new catchphrase.

There are things on my mind this time of year, but I push my feelings down.  Everyone and their mother knows that  many people suffer crippling depression/anxiety during the holidays, and not only are my parents gone, but I am only speaking to one third of my family, and the other third lives thousands of miles away in Las Angeles.

What I am trying to say is:  this has been a hard week.  I found out my estranged sister was diagnosed with melanoma in situ, and obviously I just cannot afford to break no contact.  Sometimes it’s all I can do not to drive down to Exton, and insist she cry on my shoulder, show some emotion, get it off her chest….no you are not perfect, who said you ever had to be?  Please, please seek counsel with a professional for your pain that you have pushed down for 51 years!  I don’t judge you, I am protecting my sanity and well being.

What I’m trying to say Dwain is this:  Why can’t you be happy about how far I have come?  Did you forget how much I dread the holidays…..how I have scratched and clawed my way out of bed, out of depression and addiction.  I have scars on the outside, but that is nothing to compare to what I have on the inside, that remains unspoken, so I don’t have to rock the boat.  But honey?  I’ve been apologizing for my own pain for way too long, just be the husband Jesus and I know you to be.  I love you Charlie.

Serenity Now…


One way to achieve peace is by shutting yourself off from the world. Isolating, ignoring, refusing life on life’s terms.


Another way? Being amongst nature, enjoying the beauty that God has created, being among the elements, invigorating.

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Don’t wait for someone to bring you flowers, paint your own garden. 🙂

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Everyone should own a dog.


Or cat.


The best way to obtain a peace that surpasses all understanding is to get quiet. Turn off the sound, if you will.



Let’s Do Some Living…….

I went for my annual mammogram the other day.  I always go to Heart of Lancaster, and up until two years ago I brought my mother in law with me-my first experience, 17 years ago, left its mark on my psyche.  The tech found a spot on my breast, which she told me about.  Panic ensued.  It was a Saturday and my husband was golfing.  She had no business giving me that information, and it wasn’t until a follow up ultrasound that we found out it was a benign cyst.

So, the squeezing and pinching (3D is a new fresh hell, but I am thankful for the step up in early detection.)  I lost a very close friend to breast cancer.  Before we knew it, the cancer had metastasized to her liver, then brain.  She died a painful death, and none of us, not even her family, were allowed to see her in the final days.  I still weep over this loss, in the jeep, in the shower, right this very minute.  She was light and love and laughter….and she left us forlorn, with unanswered questions and mile high grief.

After my mammogram, a little voice inside my heart (aka, the Holy Spirit) led me to the volunteer office.  I couldn’t get there fast enough.  One thing led to the other and now I am reeling at how fast this happened.  If God wants you to minister, you cannot walk away from your mission-the Chaplain asked if I would like to work at the front desk in the mammography department, escorting and comforting nervous women who are about to have a vice grip on their precious girls.  I didn’t hesitate, of course, I answered.

What happened next made so much sense to me, I had to shake my head and smile at Jesus, because he knew my isolation and pain over the past few months.  In the chaplain’s office again for a follow up orientation, she asked this question:

“You can say no, but would you like to volunteer in the Emergency Room?”

Shocked, then crippled with insecurity, I said, “Yes.”  On the way home I spoke to God and told him I was NOT THE PERSON FOR THIS JOB.  I didn’t want to be caught in the fetal position with my pants down, if you get my drift.  Anything and everything could trigger me.  I had many, many reasons for doubt, and then He spoke to my heart.

My precious child, my good and faithful servant-what have you not suffered in all the years we have known each other?  Am I not the Alpha and the Omega?  Do you think I would call you to something I would not give you the strength and courage to do?

Stopping into the ER to have my TB test read, I asked the head nurse what a typical day is like.

“Some days are slow.  But because of the heroin epidemic, we have days where it’s nothing but overdoses, one right after the other.”

Walking back to the jeep I looked up in awe and celebration.  The good Lord has given me a ministry I have plenty of experience with.  No, not heroin, but just about everything else has piqued my addictive curiosity.  I know the damage this does, as I know heroin addicts, and because it is so cheap in this area, no one really bothers with pills any more.

For when I am weak, only then am I strong.

They Do the Sharp Turnoff…..

Just back from an uneventful walk in the woods. The poor dog, he can hardly stand waiting for ol’ grandma to catch up to him on the trails. He keeps turning around and looking at me, like, FOR CRYING OUT LOUD, WHO ARE YOU AND WHAT HAVE YOU DONE WITH MY HUMAN? This too shall pass.

Today I want to talk about all of the talk, innuendo, and just plain information there is out there-about God, Jesus and the Kingdom of Heaven. If you listen to Oprah Winfrey (please don’t :))you may believe that there are many ways to Heaven, that Eckhart Tolle and Abraham Hicks have all the answers, and that there is no such thing as Hades.


That’s right kids, I am getting on my high horse for a moment. And no, I am not judging a single person, far be it for me, a lowly sinner to pass judgement on anyone…..it isn’t my job, it’s God’s and only God’s. The ONLY way to HEAVEN is through Jesus Christ-asking Him to come into your heart and life, giving your worldly life to Him only, and through that spiritual and personal relationship we can enter God’s presence, and the eternal kingdom of heaven.


There is no such thing as “Christ consciousness.” Jesus is NOT an ascended Master, He is the one and only son of God who put on human flesh, suffered human despair and longing, and carried His cross throughout his life-never pretending to be anything more than what he was, our Lord and Savior. He died on a cross to pay for our sins. That’s right, we are covered by his blood and thus all of his children will be forgiven their confessed sins, and given a fresh start. The word repent? I used to hate it until I found out what it meant in terms of Yeshua. Repent means “think anew,” leave your sinful ways behind and do your very best (we are human and God knows we will sin again) to be the hands and feet of the man who sits at the right hand of the Father, and who will one day return-to bring justice to those who have harmed his children.

He’ll be back with a vengeance one day-and the Good News? He’s taking his beloved with him, to paradise-to live for eternity in the land where milk and honey flow like water, and reunite us with our families and loved ones alike.

Come as you are. He isn’t picky. He loves you more than you could ever imagine, and this I know, this I have experienced.