“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.


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.

Actions Speak Louder Than Words…

If you have a narcissist in your life, first off I’d like to give you my condolences, support and empathy. They are seething, rabid snakes who think the world owes them something, think they can bring you to the brink of insanity, then walk away laughing-as that is where they want you. Gaslit, anxious and drooling…..they have already spread the word in your family, circle of friends or even the general public-you are batshit crazy, you are lying, you are cruel and will most likely end up in a mental institution, cause baby-your empathy, love for others and soul ties infuriate them. You are only pertinent when they need supply, and, furthermore, they will discard you like so much trash, even after they have done serious damage to your life, reputation and psyche.

The Holy Bible speaks of such people. They are Jezebels, who walk this earth with one and only one thing in mind: how can I get my supply today? How can I spread poison like a cancer that wraps itself around her soul, then leave her laying in the dust…….off the wagon, medicated, heart broken?

They find out what is truly important to you (in my case, family) and wrench it from your grip, destroy what is good and divide and conquer. They have no conscience, no remorse-but a sickening pride in getting the job done, they want you in unspeakable pain, just so they can feel better. They eat people like you and me for breakfast, because in their fragile, psychopathic minds? They know they hate themselves, and what does misery love? Company.

They speak of their love for you one minute, then throw a monkey wrench into your life, and if you are very lucky you will figure them out. If you can get a word in edgewise……

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.

wells new york 2017 (21)

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.

Spit it Out….

Sitting in my safe place, watching it try to snow in Central Pennsylvania. My thought cloud has no shape or form, just winging it today…but I was contemplating the messy, suffocating, codependent strife that is our relationship with our family members. It doesn’t have to be this way, oh no, it doesn’t.

I have never understood why people don’t say what’s on their mind, even though I myself have been known to hold a grudge, hold it back, seethe for awhile. And the more I seethe? The more I hurt? Well, communicating is an art form-let’s just say that.

The bible tells us all how to handle this. If you have been offended, go to that person with your heart on your sleeve, and tell them in a loving way that they have wronged you. It’s that simple….and yet, that horrifically complicated.

Telling my truth has never, ever gone over well. I am a perfectly nice person, loving even in my walk, but mess with my mind? My heart and soul? Mister, you better have an excuse-and even if you don’t I’m coming at you-full throttle. Empaths have the ability to read a person in two seconds flat. We know if you are in genuine, bring malice or aren’t what you appear to be. I read faces like some read tea leaves, and I am almost never wrong. Ever.

Not to say that the wool hasn’t been pulled over my eye a time or two. Fool me once, shame on you-but fool me twice and I am put in the position of having to address your hijinkery and call you out on your insincerity…I have been known to be stubborn, and that’s on me, but wouldn’t it be so much EASIER if we spoke what is on our mind and hearts?

So much melancholy in so many families……..but hey, the Bible says that if you are “doing it right” your entire family will hate you.

At least I have my tribe, and that means each and every one of you.

Finding Peace in the Chaos

I just read a blog on how to be a great blogger. Actually, more like a “popular” blogger who makes a decent dime threading words and telling others what they “want to hear.” That subject brought to mind my inability, since birth basically, to “fit in” to the world or worldly endeavors. I never actually pursued acclimation to material things, but it would have been nice, I suppose, to be popular-the kind of kid other children flock to-it wasn’t meant to be. As a matter of fact? I relish in my difference as of late. The world can be a dastardly place, and I’ll stick to the peace that surpasses understanding any day…especially knowing what foolishness lies in the mainstream media, or anything they are trying to sell you on a daily basis.

Did you know that the latest conspiracy theory comes with UFOs and just what CERN is up to-they want us to believe that we are being invaded by aliens, I kid you not. So don’t be alarmed if ET phones home, FAKE NEWS everybody….FAKE NEWS.

I don’t believe that God doesn’t give us more than we can handle. I hate that cliché and I will until the day I go home. It is my belief that God indeed gives us more than we, alone, can deal with-precisely because He wants us to turn to Him. If there has been a recent illness, job loss, family drama or newly diagnosed mental disorder, perhaps we should take this as a symptom. A symptom of our need to be reminded of his greatness, his compassion, grace and mercy. A cry from His heart to turn away from our pain and turn to Jesus-the great I AM.

A joyful heart is like a sunshine of God’s love,
the hope of eternal happiness,
a burning flame of God….And if we pray,
we will become that Sunshine of God’s love-
in our own home, the place where we live,
and in the world at large.

-Mother Theresa

Great is His faithfulness, and only He can calm the storm~