The Unluckiest Girl on the Planet?

“How does it feel to be the unluckiest girl on the planet?”

This was the greeting from my sister after I was diagnosed with two different kinds of cancer – and Influenza A – during the first 14 days in February. At that point, I was still waiting to hear what stage cancer I had, what the plan of action to treat it would be – and had just been put in isolation for the flu.

It had the desired effect. I laughed.

Of course, Kristy + morphine + another pain med (or few) = a jumbled mess of thoughts and feelings. Because during that time, I guess I thought I posted more about the situation than I actually had. So now, I’ll take a few minutes to do a quick update.

I’d already told everyone about the skin cancer (in an earlier post) but, before I could get to the plastic surgeon to get the rest of that cut away, I woke up doubled over with pain on February 13th.

The next day, not only was it not better, but my stomach felt like I was about 9 months pregnant … and in the middle of a labor pain that was pushing up into my diaphragm so hard I couldn’t catch a decent breath no matter how hard I tried. Finally, I asked my daughter to take to the emergency room. I just didn’t think I could deal with that level of pain for another night and, add in the breathing issues- Yeah. I needed to be seen.

To my surprise, after a ct scan, I was admitted with what that doctor felt was something called colitis. I didn’t care because between two doses of morphine, as well as another pain med, I was sort of comfortable for the first time in almost 48 hours.

Fast forward through the weekend. The on-call doctor wasn’t sure it was colitis. In fact, she wanted a surgeon to check it out because she saw something she thought was suspicious. So, late Monday morning, I was transferred to one of the bigger hospitals in a nearby town, one where their surgeon could see me.

The plan had been to do a scope on Tuesday but thanks to the first miracle – a very brief window of opportunity (that wouldn’t have been there if I’d arrived even 5 minutes later), I had the scope within an hour of my arrival in my room at that hospital.

The scope revealed a mass growing in my colon. Definitely cancer.

I’m kind of foggy on what happened the rest of that day, and part of the next. But after another ct scan, where I had a bit of a panic attack because not only could I not take a deep breath, I also couldn’t hold it, I was set up for emergency surgery. Why? Because there was a perforation allowing air and ‘other stuff’ into my abdominal cavity. That’s why it had been so hard to breathe.

The surgeon explained that I would have to have a temporary colostomy – up to six months. I told him fine. Whatever it took as long as I was going to live. He thought that was a great attitude. I didn’t realize until later that I’d lied to him. And to myself.

Over the next few days, my daughter let some people know what was going on. And I added a few more to the list as soon as I could actually sit up and type for a few minutes.

That was actually the hardest thing about the whole situation. Telling people about it. After I hit send, I started crying because, while it sure beats being dead, I still don’t want a colostomy.

It doesn’t matter if it’s 6 weeks, 4 months, or 6 months (hopefully, the max before I can have the reversal surgery). I hate it. I hate having it. I hate looking at it. And I hate emptying the bag 2-3 times a day. But I can mark 2 1/2 weeks off of the worst case scenario – 26 weeks. I’ll get through it. And I’ll be grateful because it could have been so much worse.

I’d like to say I’ve accepted it. And on one hand, I have. I don’t have a lot of choice in the matter. But I’m still in a bit of denial, trying to pretend for most of each day that I don’t have it. And I’m fully prepared to cut myself off from any sort of social life until the surgery that will ‘fix’ everything sometime this summer. At least I hope it will.

Since I’m starting to zone out, I’m going to finish up now.

I alluded to another miracle. And it’s a pretty big one too. Some might suggest that to be a true miracle, God should have prevented this from happening in the first place. True enough – if He was a genie in a bottle. But He’s not. He does answer prayers though.

Not only was ALL of the cancer contained, I don’t even need chemo. And, instead of removing almost half of my colon, as had been the original plan, I’ve still got most of it left. But, thanks to the perforation, I have to let it heal, which is why I have the ‘ostomy.’

So, I hold on to that miracle when I’m feeling down. And that’s still more often than I’d like. I’m really very, very blessed. I know that. But I’m also still very tired and in more pain than I’d like to be. As those things ease up, I expect I’ll return to my cheerful self. And, maybe I’ll figure out ways to escape my self-imposed isolation from time-to-time.

Anyway, that’s what’s been going on. Hope this hasn’t been too disjointed to follow. I’m afraid concentration isn’t my strong suit right now.

But to answer the original question – am I the unluckiest girl on the planet?

Not even close. 🙂

Photo credit: Pixabay

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So I Got a Phone Call Yesterday…

I knew who it was when I saw the number, even though I’d only called it once – to set up my first appointment with a dermatologist. I figured they were calling to tell me all was well with the mole I’d had removed about a week ago. I mean, I’ve always been what I call a shade seeker. Being in the sun is not something I’ve ever enjoyed. I also don’t like the way sunscreen feels on my skin, so I don’t wear it. Why would I, avoiding the sun all the time?

Of course,  you know where this is going, right? And you’ll probably understand when I realized where it was going, I wanted to slap my hands over my ears or hang up on the woman.

As she said there were cancer cells on one side, I waited for that knot of fear to form in my stomach. The kind where it’s hard to breathe. Where your skin feels all prickly, and you think you might throw up.

But it didn’t come. Surprisingly, I wasn’t scared.  And I’m still not. What I am is very blessed.

I’m know I’ve alluded to what a long and horrible year 2019 was. Seriously, I’m not exaggerating when I say I don’t think I’ve ever been so glad to see the end of a three-hundred and sixty-five day period. 

There was one good thing did come of it though. I decided I needed to see a doctor again. I knew that after more than five years, I needed to get treated for hypothyroidism again. I was exhausted long before everything happened, but after? Holy Moses… I could barely function. So I made it my mission to get medical coverage.

Then I figured, I might as well have an annoying mole by my eye removed. And I did … two weeks after I started back on the medicine. I wasn’t worried. The doctor wasn’t worried. She was probably more surprised than I was to find out there really was a reason to worry.

What if 2019 hadn’t been such an awful year? What if I hadn’t decided I couldn’t successfully treat my thyroid with supplements alone? Who knows how long I would have waited to have that mole removed? Would the skin cancer have been caught early enough? 

From what I’ve read, in rare cases, people can die from it. It would have been more likely to have caused worse scarring though. And right on my face? 

Yeah. I definitely feel blessed. If anyone would have asked my opinion, I’d have been skeptical that much good can come from bad. But in this case, it did.

I’m also glad that my dermatologist has decided that since it is so close to my eye, I need to see a plastic surgeon.

You all know by now that I have a ‘different’ sense of humor so it won’t surprised you when I say I’ve thought about asking the surgeon if he could do something about making me look a little more like Sandra Bullock, but honestly? Walking away with minimal scarring will work for me.

It also shouldn’t surprise you when I say that I laughed until I almost cried when I turned on my computer – to find that yesterday was World Cancer Day. Really, what are the odds that I’d get that phone call on that day?  I didn’t even know there was a world cancer day until yesterday.

Anyway, on a more serious note, I want to add this. Just because something looks like it should be okay doesn’t mean it is. I’m definitely getting a few more moles checked. And it’s scared my son into deciding he wants his checked too. I hope my experience will encourage all of you to do the same.

Photo credit: Pixabay

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I don’t usually post twice in a couple of days but wanted to share that through February 1st, at, you can get 12 of my novelettes, novellas, and novels FREE, as well as 3 books that will start at .99 cents during their Kindle Countdown Deal days! Check the schedule below to see the dates each book will be available.

***If the schedule isn’t showing up for you, because it isn’t showing up for me in a regular Chrome window, you can find it on my Facebook page:

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Happy 2020!

How is the new year treating you? Fantastic, I hope!

We’re a full week into this brand-new decade and I have to say, things haven’t really changed. Not the run of the mill, everyday kinds of things anyway. But I find my attitude and expectations are much different than they were this time last January.


When I see those numbers, specific things come to mind. Clear vision. Hindsight. Focus. 

I don’t really want to focus on hindsight though because, while I can learn from the past, what I’ve done, my mistakes … and the even the good choices I made, it’s all in the past.

Today is here now—and the future lies before me like the blank pages of a new book. The question is, what will my pages hold?

It’s going to depend on the choices I make when I get out of bed each morning. And I find I’m giving life, dreams, and possibilities a lot more thought than I’ve ever done before.

A few days ago, I was sorting through a huge stack of index cards (I use them to make notes for everything) and found something I copied down a while ago…

“What you do today is important because you are exchanging a day of your life for it. When tomorrow comes, this day will be gone forever; and in its place will be something you’ve left behind. Let it be something good.”

This quote has been credited to several people, including ‘author unknown,’ but it doesn’t matter who originally said it. What matters is that it’s true.

Do I want the rest of my life to be a collection of dull and unproductive days? Minutes and hours that pass far too fast, with nothing to differentiate one from another?

Or do I want to exchange each day of my life for something meaningful? Something that says, “I did something worthwhile today.” Something that makes a Thursday in June stand out from a Saturday in September.


Clear vision and focus. That’s what I want. No more days blending together so each one feels the same as the one that came before it. Nope. No more of that. The future lies before me … and I’m going to embrace it.

Hello, 2020! You’re going to be my best year yet!

Falling back on one of my favorite songs again. I can’t help it. It ‘speaks’ to my heart.

Photo credit: Pixabay

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Live or Exist?

Sometimes, when I think I know what’s best for me, I’m 100% correct. Other times, I’m 100% wrong. This time, I’m sorry to have to admit I was 100% wrong. About what? Thinking I could treat my hypothyroidism without prescription medication. While supplements do help me to feel better, I haven’t felt good for about four years.

I thought the change to a ‘normal’ schedule last month would be enough to put me over the top but, while it did help some, it still wasn’t enough. Even a little stress, over and above the garden variety, everyday kinds of stress, is enough to wipe me out for days. Sometimes even longer.

So no more pretending it’s working. I’ve got an appointment in a little over two weeks, and then another three days later. Why two? Because it’s a new doctor, and she won’t order the blood test without first meeting me. And she won’t prescribe the medicine unless I come in again. Sucks, but at least I was able to schedule both appointments in the same week.

Part of me feels like the word photo above. Like I failed. It’s a very small part though. Most of me is so excited at the thought of feeling good again, of thinking clearly again, and of having energy again, I just want to celebrate.

Having to laugh here. Aria watched the video with me and when the guy jumped in front of the truck, then rolled under it, she grinned up at me, gave me a thumbs up, and said, “Wow. He did a great job!” I responded immediately with, “No! He did something really stupid. He could have been crushed by that truck.” Pretty sure she still thinks he did a great job. Now she’s walking around singing, “It’s my life,” the only lyrics she can remember. 😀

Those lyrics are part of why I love the song though. It is my life, I’m not going to live forever, and it’s past time I start living while I’m alive. Because I’m tired of being tired all the time and not having the energy to do the things I enjoy.

Writing is one of those things. I honestly thought I’d have a new book out for Christmas but my energy ran out before I got to ‘the end.’

So, as 2019 comes to a close, I know it’s time. Time to get the medicine, to take it, and to start living my life again. Life is way too short to merely exist.

Photo Credit: Pixabay


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The Difference Between Night & Day

During the past eleven or so years, living a vampiresque sort of life, I’ve missed seeing the sunrise. I’ve missed the limited winter daylight hours. And, if I’m being completely honest, I’ve missed living like a normal person.

I’d convinced myself – and truly believed it – that I was more productive as a writer if I didn’t start before ten at night. That part might be true though. I don’t ever remember writing as much during the day.

But we’re going to find out if I can.

Why? Because of a huge schedule change, I’m in bed (most nights) by ten – and up by six. Yup. The babysitting grandma is back at work. But that’s all right. Y’all know I like Aria just a teensy, tiny little bit. 😀

Aria and her mama watching a helicopter a month or so ago.

Four years after I first started, things have changed a lot. Now, she can entertain herself for short periods of time. Periods of time when I can write and edit. And I’m finding it I get started right away, I can get a good hour in before she even wakes up. Kind of feeling my way around the rest of the day, working in as many writing sprints as I can. 

I can see this succeeding though. As easily as I’ve adapted to the normal schedule again, I can totally see writing productivity increasing too. And that’s good. I’ve really missed telling stories. I’ve also missed being a morning person and, as each day passes, I’m loving it a little more.

Can’t think of a better song to express my feelings about my new schedule!

Photo credit: Pixabay

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Finding My Place

Wow. In looking through fifty –  fifty! – unpublished blog drafts, this one was at the top of the list. And, apparently, I wrote it a year ago yesterday. What really jumped out at me is that it’s as applicable to my life today as it was then. And has been for a while.

So, while I’ll update it a bit to reflect the past 366 days, I won’t be changing much. 🙂

Between life in general and the constant changes in the writing world, I’ve been pretty burned out when it comes to blogging. For nearly seven and a half years, I’ve tried to find my ‘niche,’ the perfect subjects to write about here … and nothing has held my interest for any length of time.

This is as true today as it was then.

A couple of days ago, I had an epiphany of sorts. One subject has consistently held my interest and that’s in the better health area. That I can totally get excited about. And since I plan to dedicate the next year or so to getting healthier, I’ve decided I’m going to share that journey here.

Yeah, I know I’ve tried before, and failed. But after being nearly incapacitated for a couple of months because of the pinched nerve, I realize I need to make my health – and getting in great shape – a priority. For real this time. 

Yes, folks, I’ve come to another fork in the road…

My birthday is five months from today. I’m going to make that my ‘transformation goal.’ Not sure how transformed I’ll actually be but I’m determined to make some positive changes.

What might those changes be?

  1. Stop hopping on and off Trim Healthy Mama like it’s a trampoline. I already know that sugar and high glycemic carbs make me feel bad. I know that the residual pain from my car accident (eleven years ago!) pretty much goes away when I eat right – and exercise regularly.
  2. And that leads me to this change. The treadmill is my friend, and we’re going to start spending more quality time together. I also intend to start incorporating the fifteen minute T-Tapps routine into my life. At least a few days a week. And by spring, I think I’ll get another pool membership because I love working out in water. Especially the warm pool.
  3. Share progress here so I can both use it as motivation for me – and maybe help to motivate others who have similar goals.

That’s not all I’ll blog about. You know me. I can’t stick exclusively with one subject. Ever. So I’ll still be sharing progress reports on my writing, stuff about my family, and anything else that strikes my fancy. But my health has to be one of my main focuses right now because it affects every other area of my life. Including energy levels and the ability to think clearly – both of which are needed in order for me to write more books.

I’m actually very excited about the changes I’m planning to make – and I look forward to feeling better. Much better.

When I was thinking about a song that would fit my change in attitude, this seemed perfect (other than the fact that I’m not a guy!). I’m not sure why because I’ve never even seen the movie, but here it is…

Okay. That’s it for now. ‘See’ you soon. 🙂

Photo credit: Pixabay

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New Writing Prompt & NaNoWriMo Update

I had to chuckle when I chose the photo I’d use for today’s post. “My Plan.”

I make a lot of plans. From day-to-day and from year-to-year. Sometimes, those plans go off smooth as butter. Other time, I can almost picture Life ROTF (rolling on the floor laughing) at me. This NaNoWriMo has gone similarly to most years past, but I’m determined to finish at least one book. And maybe get a good start on another.

For now, I’m happy to be through half of the editing process – even though I’ve realized I may have to add a few thousand more words to the story. That’s okay too. It’ll still be within the word count I chose at the beginning. Of course, I could be wrong. It might be a tad longer. Time will tell.

Now for the writing prompt…

I guess I expected the book I bought to be a little different than it is. Kind of more fiction related than ‘real life.’ So, I may change that one of these days. 

Lately, after I read Aria’s bedtime story and lights are out, she begs for another one. And so… I’ve been making up short stories on the spot. Usually, they are about Princess Aria, Princess Mama, and Queen Grandma. Last night, because the windchills have been too cold to enjoy our snow, Princess Aria dumped a bunch of flour on the kitchen floor and she, Princess Mama, and Queen Grandma had fun playing in the pretend snow.

When we reached ‘the end,’ Queen Grandma issued a warning that Princess Aria was NOT allowed to REALLY dump flour on the floor in the kitchen – except in the story. 🙂

I’m thinking something like that – with no planning or plotting – could be a fun blog thing. But only after NaNoWriMo is over. Does it sound like something you would enjoy reading? Let me know in the comments below.

For now though, I’ll go with the book’s suggestions. This week, it says to list three realistic goals I’d like to achieve in my lifetime.

  1. Through nutrition and exercise, find the energy I had as a teenager. I’ve got too much I want to do and enjoy to let hypothyroidism keep me from it anymore.
  2. Write at least 100 books (not counting the ones I’ve already done), some under a pen name or two because romance isn’t my only favorite genre.
  3.  Earn enough from my writing that I can have a small indoor exercise pool AND a greenhouse. I love the idea of working out in warm water and growing all (or at least most) of the produce for my household – year round.

I’ve used this song on my blog before, most likely when thinking about goals. I just think it’s a great reminder that life is short and getting shorter all the time.

What about you? In addition to opinions on the spur of the moment stories, what are some of your goals in life?

Photo Credit: Pixabay

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Updates and Some News


I mentioned, a post or two ago, that I’d have some news some might love – but others would not. And I’ll get to that in a minute. First, the updates.

The 2019 National Novel Writing Month kicks off at midnight tomorrow night – and I plan on joining in. Again. While the pain issue is getting better, it’s not entirely gone. Mostly because I have a hard time staying away from the computer. But, for the most part, I’m keeping my hands off the keyboard and mouse. Which means most, if not all, of this year’s projects will be dictated.

Those projects include finishing several stories – and maybe writing two new novellas. If I do what I’d like, I’ll have the first drafts for seven or eight stories finished by December first. That will be a lot of editing once the pinched nerve is healed, but I don’t mind. 🙂

Second, I’ve decided that enough readers don’t care for my paranormal/fantasy stories, so I’ve put them back under the pen name JJ Belding. Most have new covers and titles. Taking some advice from someone who knows more than me, some have been split up. One story just went live again today. The original title, The Ripple, was a poor choice for a paranormal romance. Now, it’s Wyatt’s Second Chance. Click on the cover to check it out (it’s an affiliate link – click here to learn what those are, if you don’t already know).

And I’m still plugging away at the Trim Healthy Mama – and having fun with chaffles. This was one of my best experiments – recreating a favorite dessert.


This one is called the Wonder Bread chaffle.  Thank you to Sui Generis for coming up with this! Mine didn’t look as pretty as hers but it made three chaffles. I saved one to use in place of the pasta in lasagna for supper (yum – worked perfectly), but topped these two with a serving (10 carbs) of sugar free cherry pie filling, and some heavy cream whipped with a tablespoon of Pyure and a couple of twists of pink sea salt. This was my lunch, totally in line with the Trim Health Mama plan, and oh so good!

And now, the news I’ve been putting off…

I gave it eighteen months, but have pulled my books from all stores but Amazon. Well, except for six from the Coach’s Boys series back into Kindle Unlimited – and those will go in as soon as the final library service takes them down. It wasn’t an easy decision, but it had to be made. 

So to everyone who isn’t an Amazon customer, I apologize. But I will remind you that there are free Kindle reading apps (click here) for most devices. And I hope you enjoy my stories enough to check them out. 🙂

I almost forgot! Over the next three days, you can pick up three of my books for free. Just click on Kristy K. James to take you to my Amazon author pages. 

The Secret Admirer (ends tonight at midnight)
Erin’s Christmas Wish (November 6-7, 2019)
A Prince on the Run (November 7-8, 2019)

Okay. I’m about typed out. It’s time to spend some quality time with my heating pad again – and then see how much dictation I can get done before I get on with the rest of my day. 🙂

Cartoon photo credit: Pixabay

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A Bird in the Hand…

…is a much better saying than ‘A Bird in the Van.’ But that’s exactly what happened tonight. When I realized how much ibuprofen I’ve taken in the past month or so, I decided it was time to find a different way to deal with the pain. So, after lots of research, and finding that CBD isolate won’t cause any sort of high, I decided to get some. And lo and behold, it does work. Even my daughter has taken it for a headache and shoulder pain (from doing too much wall washing).

So anyway…

I realized I was all but out a few hours ago so it was time for a trip to town to get more. No way would I be able to sleep without it. Opening the door, I wound up kind of screaming and jumping back into the grass when something darted across the floor – and it was bigger than a mouse. First, I considered just walking to town (not seriously), then told my daughter I was going back into the house to change from my open-toed shoes to sneakers. I also start to say we’re getting traps – but tell her I’m afraid to say what kind. She asks, “Rat?” I say, “Shut up. I didn’t want to even say the word.”

And then Aria shouts, “It’s a bird! It’s a bird! I LOVE it!” (and she kind of wanted to keep it – not!)

Apparently, the little sucker was hiding under the dash and when I opened the door, it scared it so it zoomed between the seats. I was almost weak with relief – until I realized there was white stuff on the seats, steering wheel, and dash.

Long story short, the bird is out. Most of the white has been scrubbed out. And tomorrow, we’re getting a bottle of Lysol because cleaning it with alcohol doesn’t feel like enough. Oh. And we have a new rule. When carrying groceries in, the doors are to be closed between trips!

Quick update … I believe I’m about three scenes from being finished with the rough draft of the first book in the new series. And if you read the latest Sweetheart Sunday post, you can imagine that it’s pretty rough.

Since this song mentions birds right off the bat, and it’s also a love song, it seems like a very appropriate choice for tonight. Besides, I love The Carpenters. 🙂

Photo credit: Pixabay

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