Post Lumpectomy Unexpected Infection

Wednesday morning, I woke up feeling fine. I had a banana and sat down with a cup of hot decaf to walk my voice up. Barry was going to the hospital for blood work and bringing breakfast home with him. I crawled up in my favorite chair and got comfy under a blanket. While waiting for Bear to get home, I started to feel horrible. I got up, went back to bed and crawled under all the covers. 

Bear got home and pulled the thermometer out. Other than feeling like a truck had run me over, I felt good. My temperature was headed over 100° at that time. I was a bit dizzy and nauseated, but just extremely cold. I stayed folded up in the covers and rested. My temperature slowly climbed to 102°.

Barry called the breast surgeon‘s office and spoke with the nurse practitioner. She suggested I be seen by a doctor. My family doctor was closer than the breast center, so we called Dr. R.. She saw me at 3:30pm. After a bit of a work-up, she decided it was the incision under my arm. She sent me on my way with orders to rest, take my antibiotics, drink lots of fluids and see breast surgeon as soon as possible.

My private nurse, Barry, is watching me like a hawk. We saw the breast surgeon today. They agreed with my PCP on the diagnosis. They took a good look at the incision; pulled a loose suture out and the pain under my arm went immediately away. I was instructed to use the arm as much as possible, to avoid further fluid build-up. Of course, I was told not to over-do it. More drinking was encouraged and I’m to get the fever gone before my next surgery on the 28th. They want to get my margins clean and me free of breast cancer. I’m ready to be still for a bit. My running legs are getting tired. My chauffeur is starting to show a little wear. I can’t drive at the moment. My poor Bear catching all the driving duties.

Things I thought I would never able to say, ‘Yes, I did that’ , in my life time

If you think you are about to read this ‘naughty girl’ confession list, prepare to be disappointed. I’m afraid to admit I’m one of the tamest women left on earth. I should have titled this post, ‘The things I should be embarrassed by or ashamed to admit I did’, rather than the title I posted. Well here goes, sorry to disappoint you……

1. I called out sick at work, when I just did not want to go.

2. I am currently wearing a kotex pad under my left arm, to cover one surgical incision from my breast cancer surgery.

I sprang a leak. I felt like I needed a plumber. The doctor’s answer was to cover it with a kotex pad to handle the drainage until my next appointment.

3. When I walk briskly, I sound like a bottle of water being shaken up.

4. When driving a drunk friend home, once upon a time, he attempted to grab the wheel and struck me across the face. I pulled over to the side of I-85 and put them out of my car.

5. I have had to send money to a friend stuck in Biloxi, Miss. without a dime to get home.

6. I once let someone get mad at me because I did not like hanging around with them. They got mad and quit coming around. I felt so bad, but I didn’t have the nerve to tell them to go away.

7. I let myself get into a situation at a party once, that a woman thought I was interested in her. Embarrassing….

8. When I went to pick a blind date up once, they attacked, I fought them off and ran. As I ran he tore the shirt and bra off my body. I was running through a parking lot half-naked.

9. In my single days, I let a woman tell an overly tipsy man I was hers, to get him to leave me alone.

10. Left a restaurant/bar with a couple of friends one night. When we got to the parking lot, one of the women I was with, started taking off her clothes as we walked to the car. To date, I haven’t asked “why?”.

11. I watched a girlfriend walk over to a man, whom had hit on her, pull a can of ‘Campbells’  soup out of the bust of her dress and hand it to him. She asked him to leave her alone and told him that he had the only thing he’d ever get from her in his hand.

12. My ex-husband talked me into ‘making-out’ in a casket at a funeral home in a small town in Georgia.

13. I corrupted my new husband in the dark on a boat on Lake Lanier, many years ago. That is all I’ll say about that.

14. I have attended the Masquerade Club in Atlanta, Ga. Not proud of being talked into going.

15. I used to love karaoke.

All of the above statements are true, 90% of them happened within 6 months of my divorce. I decided after that time, that I had put myself and my body through enough craziness. I let the true, sane me come back out to be the decent person I am.

Growing Up in the Shadows, Part 2



My sister’s and I are now adults. There have been many changes. Once, Sandy and I were close, but I have become much closer to Kristie as we grew up.

Sandy married early and started a family early. She and her husband, Dennis, have twin boys and a girl. All but one are out on their own with their families started. Derrek is the hold out, he is looking for his perfect mate. I have no doubt he will find her eventually.

Someone Dennis worked with, introduced me to my first husband. I was head-over-hills in love. We were married and I moved to Madison, Ga., lovely little town. I discovered while in Madison, I missed Kristie terribly. Twelve years later I was divorced and living back in my childhood home.

While Sandy and I were doing the marriage thing in Madison, Kristie got stuck dealing with mom and dad as they filed for divorce. For years, mom firmly stated, the minute Kristie was out of high school she was leaving.

Two weeks, to date of Kristie’s graduation, mom packed up and left. I felt so bad. She had been threatening for years, I guess I never thought she’d. Mom was really good with acting on her present tense threats, not her future threats. She generally forgot what she had threatened.

I was proud of Kristie, she dealt with the mess at home, started school, helped daddy through finding an apartment and moved in with him. Pop is a pack rat and living with him was not easy. Kristie made a forever friend at school and her home became Kristie’s second home. It was good to see her happy for a change.

Mom met and married her second husband sometime in this period. Just thinking of my mother on a date is scary, but actually getting married. When we would call to talk to her, he would claim he did not know her. Things really did not get better.

We found out somethings from his past, that made Sandy and her husband refuse to let mom see their kids until she divorced him. This only made mom mad. Mom went to Sandy’s one day and flattened all her car tires.

She proceeded to The Office of the Department of Family and Children’s Services. She reported to a case worker that Sandy and Dennis were mentally abusing their children by not letting them see their grandmother.

What mom didn’t realize was that she was talking to a close friend of mine. My husband being in Law Enforcement, she called him the minute mom left her office. She told my ex that my sisters and I needed to go to the courthouse to have mom committed for incompetence. The sad thing is, back then, neither Sandy, Kristie or I had the nerve to do it. We knew what we’d have to deal with when they let her out!

Not long after that, Kristie met her husband. They were married and starting a family early. Kristie and I found out we were pregnant at the same time, about a months difference. I miscarried for the fifth time and Kristie delivered Jonny. He is like my child.

This pregnancy was the end of my marriage. My husbands attitude changed and it started to effect our marriage. It wasn’t long after that we filed for divorce.

Sandy stayed busy with her happy home and wonderful kids. It used to aggravate me beyond means for my mother to drive past my home, to Sandy’s. She would then call me and say “get out here to see me,” even as an adult, my mother put me in the shadows because I didn’t have grandchildren.

Sandy has worked hard and has a beautiful family to be proud of. Kristie has done the same. She has two beautiful boys she is busy raising. They have both done incredible jobs being moms.  I spent these years focusing on my career and working. I’ve done a great job spoiling their kids rotten. Thanks to Julie-bug, I can start spoiling the second generation.

Kristie had been married a few months when I got divorced. I moved back into my childhood bedroom and attempted to get my life together. Jonathan was the light of my life. When he was old enough, I took him everywhere.

His bottle was my alarm clock every morning, he would beat me in the head saying “Gege” until I got up. He towers over me know. We had such special times together when he was younger. I wish I was able to do the same things with Marek, the little man of the family. I miss the old me, but the new me gets better every day.

I had several jobs until I found the place I loved. I was still in that profession when I was forced to retire due to the brain tumor.

This position required me to train people and do a lot of one-on-one speaking with families and corporate officials. I have been brought out of my shell. Taking care of myself wasn’t easy, but I learned I could do it alone.

Not long after starting this position, I met Barry. Little did I know, I had just met the love of my life. Barry was the man I would spend the rest of my life with. He was sweet, handsome, funny and such s gentlemen.

Our one quirk, is his son, Frank, hates me. I have done everything I know to do for that child and he still hates every inch of ground I walk on.

Our health issues started with Barry, but his had been under control, with medications, for years. The hospital trips started with me and the brain tumor, then the thyroid cancer, then it switched to Barry’s heart valve, back to my gallbladder and knee scope; next came Barry’s stroke and my breast cancer. We’re gonna stop there for now. I don’t want to give any body parts ideas…we’re running out!

Coping with a Rare Disease and What It Can Do to Those You Love

If you have followed my blog at all, you are aware that my family and I have been through the wringer over the past several years.

Barry‘s stroke was a huge surprise. He is alive and kicking today, thanks to modern medicine and the quick responses of the local EMS, emergency room and Emory University Hospital in Atlanta, Ga.

Our journey started over four years ago when I was found to have a brain tumor pressing into my mid-brain that needed removing  quickly. If you don’t know much about the brain, your vital function are regulated in the mid-brain.

Long story short, the brain tumor was just a symptom of a genetic disorder called Cowden Syndrome. It truly isn’t a big deal to check. The trick is to stay vigilant and organized with check-ups and diagnostic testing. If you don’t something can sneak up on you and bite you in the honey.

Cowden Syndrome is a mutation of the PTEN gene. It makes you body unable to stop formation of certain types of tumors. The tumors that develop are  benign or cancerous. They can also appear quickly.

I have already been through three episodes of issues from Cowden Syndrome and survived each without major issue. I am about to tackle the fourth. We were lucky to catch this one early, like one other. Hopefully this will be a breeze like a few others.

I can now state that I am not only a Thyroid Cancer Survivor, I will soon be able ta add breast cancer Survivor to that list. I am not sure I like making a list of the cancers I have survived, but I’m glad I’m still here.

As long as I follow-up with my list of 20+ doctors monthly as they ask, I can keep these issues under control without adding another cancer to the list.

Since my condition is rare, I have joined a research study on Cowden out of the Cleveland Clinic in Ohio. Hopefully this research can help someone else breeze through this mess of a disease. Currently, 1 in 200,000 thousand people diagnosed yearly.

Barry has been my rock. Even after the stroke. He’s hanging in with me. We take care of each other. My mother has been with us almost a year. Her health is declining a bit. Barry and I take care of her issues, as they come up. Mom is having trouble dealing with giving up her independence and she isn’t taking it very well.

Our local friends called and came around for a while, but have slowly disappeared from the picture. It really hurt Barry’s feelings to start with, but he has since realized that people have trouble dealing with change and they don’t know how to handle our illnesses.

What has hurt the most for me, is the change in my older sister’s attitude toward me. I called to tell her I have breast cancer, she stated she was speechless and I have not heard a word from her since.

After I had brain surgery, her attitude changed because of my communication problems. We used to talk at least once a week. Now that I am healthier, her attitude has not changed. I love her dearly and will do anything in the world for her. She is my sister, that will never change.

When I attempt to discuss it with her, she denies everything. I miss what we had. Barry thinks her attitude change is because of him, I tell him continuously that Sandy isn’t like that. My younger sister and I are closer than ever.

My mom does her best to deal with my illness. She starts to cry every time she is around me and looks at me as if it is the last time she will ever see me. I talk with her and ask her to help me get through life. I told her I need her strength, not her tears. She’s getting better. My nieces and nephews all treat me the same.

Barry and I have found a church home. Mom goes with us. The church has welcomed us as if we had gone there for years. They offer many areas of ministry that gives us many choices to volunteer and get involved. We all enjoy Victory Baptist Church in Loganville, Ga.



Daily Prompt: Wall to Wall

What do you display on the walls of your home — photos, posters, artwork, nothing? How do you choose what to display? What mood are you trying to create?

We love antiques, flowers, pictures and signs. Each wall is different. We have tried to give each room its own personality, but coordinate wall color and house style; where our budget will allow. We want our home to feel lived in. Every room in the house is well used and comfortable.

Putting a name to what we tried to create, would be comical comfort. Our signs make you giggle, the atmosphere and furniture make it comfortable.

Our pooch,Maggie, agrees with the comfortable part. She sleeps wherever she sits down.wait…..she is a dog, they are good at that.

Of course there is my step-father James, he falls asleep the minute he sits down when getting to our house.

Check the pictures out tomorrow. Had plans to take new pictures today, but my body wouldn’t cooperate this afternoon. Run a few errands, I have to sleep. I’ll update post in the morning. Show off my miss-matched wall decor. We may not be for a Southern Living Magazine write-up, but we like it!

Daily Prompt:

If you could clone yourself, how would you split up your responsibilities?

Cloning is an interesting topic. The medical profession has come so far in the past 20 years, I wouldn’t be surprised if cloning were not around the corner.

I thought and thought about this prompt, but couldn’t come up with a thing to write. Now, as I go to sleep, it hits me. I hope you enjoy.

If it were possible to clone myself, who would I assign my daily responsibilities? Well, after getting my mother’s medication ready and calling my sisters; I’d pack bags for Barry and myself, get Maggie‘s dog food bag, medication and leash, and we would disappear.

I wouldn’t look back or think twice, but we would disappear to a deserted island and live our lives out. Of course, Barry would have his camera, I’d have my sketch pad and Maggie would have her flashlight. We would be set.

We have been through so much in the past few years, we need a break. It may be a good idea to clone our family to take our place, so no one comes looking for us.

Mom would water the plants. Oops, I would have to see my sweet daddy one last time.Just for spite, if my step-son were around, I’d give him a tooth-brush and assign him bathroom duty.

Running away would be better than having a clone!


Personal Prayer Request

I’ve known this possibility exist for some time, but I was busy being positive this wouldn’t happen that it snuck up on me.

I found out I have breast cancer this morning. I can’t decide how I feel at the moment other than a little mad. I haven’t been able to do more than shed a tear or two, but when I feel the crying coming on, I’ll lock myself in my bedroom and let it fly.

The past few years, dealing with Cowden’s Syndrome and all the health issues it entails, I’ve felt like there is no way I can get cancer. Now I have to change my attitude to there is no way this cancer is going to get me! I’m actually angry. I guess that is where my fighting spirit comes from.

I’m worried about Barry and the stress he is putting himself through.This could have waited another year. He’d at least be two weeks post-stroke. I’m trying to be strong in front of him. He doesn’t need the worry. But I need him too!

Well, I need to write my usual weekend posts, so I’ll stop babbling.

If you are a praying person, please add me to your list. I need as many prayers as I can get. Thanks for your support!

Daily Prompt: Million Dollar Question

Why do I blog?

We could go into detail about our blogging, but if you frequent our blog you know our story and why we blog. So, we decided to come up with a fictional response to this daily prompt.

Why do we blog?

We were sitting around the house one day, when we had an epiphany. “Why don’t we start an online blog to tell the world our deepest, darkest secrets?”

We can discuss our private lives and let our secrets out of the closet. We can finally talk about our real lives and stop hiding. We can finally let the world know who we really are.

In our real world, I am known as the “Wonder Woman” and Barry is known as “Hercules“. We met at superhero church party, many years ago, and fell in love. Batman and Robin introduced us. We were married three years later.

We continued to fight crime and keep the world safe from evil for 10 more years.

As the years went by, we both became weaker from injuries and life as superheros became harder to deal with.

We made the roughest decision of our lives. We decided to retire and lead normal lives. Our faithful friend, “Wonder Dog” decided to join us. 

Under superhero code, you may choose normal life over a superhero life. The one condition in the “Superhero Contract” is you have that choice one time.

Once you choose the path you are taking, there is no going back. Once you are normal, you’re normal. No special powers or super strength, just plain old Jane and John Doe.

We chose our place in the world (rural middle Georgia) and started our lives together as Mr. and Mrs. Barry Baynes with their faithful companion, Maggie.


Daily Prompt: History of Language

Write a piece of fiction describing the incident that gave rise to the phrase, “third time’s the charm.”

Barry and I sat attempting to put a table together, we had purchased. The directions appeared to be useless and there were a million parts to organize into one table. We were starting to have regrets.

He got a bit angry with me for making a suggestion, so I got up and left it for him. Before leaving, I handed him the directions and strongly suggested that he read them, from cover to cover.

After a while, Barry called me back to help. I  went willingly. He may be grumpy teddy bear when being told how to do something, but he really just wants a little help and doesn’t know how to ask for it.

I like to think God was working on his heart when he got grumpy and then called me back for help.

The first thing I did was ask if he had read the directions, yet! When he giggled and took the book from me, was God whispering in his ear to listen to his wife?

We worked together for an hour and the table turned out perfect.

Is this where the saying, “third time’s the charm” came from?

First, we tried together.

Second, he got angry and I ran off.

Third, he asked for my help, read the directions and the table is perfect.

God works in mysterious ways! Was He telling Barry to ask his wife for help?