Crazy Days (Or, A List of Excuses)

Photo by Grant Cochrane
Remember the girl in school who told the teacher that the dog ate her homework, but when that didn't work, she went on to say that it fell out of her notebook on the way to class? Excuses, excuses.

Well, I know I said back in May that I would resume blogging again in June, but it didn't happen. I have three good reasons! Honest :-) The dog did not make off with my internet modem.

1. Surgery

*Warning: This isn't a graphic description, but don't read if you're a tad squeamish*

As you know, I had to undergo an operation. It started in April when I went jogging. A few days later, I woke up with the most horrific muscle sprain in my abdomen. Whenever I moved, I felt like an invisible hand was twisting and torquing my insides. It took me fifteen minutes to get out of bed. Once I was able to dress and drive myself to the ER, the docs noticed that my abdomen was swollen. I was given painkillers and told to see my family care practicioner ASAP.

A week later, I was in and out of medical offices, taking X-rays, scans, and MRIs. All the while I was scared out of my mind, wondering what was going on inside me. I didn't want to consider the C-word, but of course, that's what I did. My muscle sprain was taking far too long to heal, and I did notice that I had put on some tummy weight over the past year despite not changing my eating and exercise habits. While waiting for the test results, I kept vainly assuaging my mind, chalking all the symptoms up to stress, environment changes, hubby being deployed, the usual Army wife woes.

Nuh-uh. My doc called me after the MRI and said that I had a large cyst. Before I knew it, I was being referred to an oncologist at a cancer center and scheduled for surgery on May 14. I spent the two weeks in between scrambling to get a Red Cross message out to my husband so the Army would let him come home for my operation and then preparing for the surgery.

The doctor performing my operation said that the procedure to remove the cyst would be two hours at most, but the recovery time would be 4-6 weeks. Being the naturally peppy and optimistic person that I am, I began to wonder if I had, in fact, written my first and last book.

Remember, I've never had surgery before. So I started thinking, What if they can't wake me up? What if I do wake up during surgery but the surgeon doesn't know? What if I have to go through chemo? What if hubby and I can't have kids? What if, what if, what if....???

Photo by Apple's Eyes Studio (I hope my surgery team wasn't having a pep rally over me like this crew)

Yeah. Histrionics at their best right here. If it wasn't for my church family praying for me and the wonderful counsel of great friends, I would have saved my insurance the price of anesthesia and slipped into a five-day coma.

I checked into the hospital at 9:50 on Monday morning, May 14th. My husband was with me the whole time praying and keeping me calm up until they wheeled me into the operation room. I don't remember anything after that except waking up in recovery. The nurses then took me to my hospital room once I was stabilized. My surgeon came in a few minutes later to tell me that the surgery was a success. He was able to remove the large cyst in only an hour and best of all, it was benign. No cancer!

I spent two days in the hospital, enjoying my morphine drip and admiring my newly flat belly. I lost a few dress sizes, but I don't advocate this extreme weight loss program.

No, seriously, it was a lesson in humility and learning that it's ok to depend on others. My husband stayed with me the entire time, holding my hand as I did my daily walking exercises and helping me get in and out of bed. Friends came to visit me in the hospital and when I was recovering at home. I will never forget their kindness. And I will never forget how God delivered me from what could have been something much, much worse.

Oh, yeah. I had a second reason for not blogging on time.

2. Book Two Deadline

I had until June 25 to finish the manuscript for the second book in my Brides of Assurance series, A Windswept Promise. My surgery cut into my schedule, no pun intended. Have you ever tried to write while under the influence of narcotics? Lest I suddenly have my cowboys riding unicorns, I took it easy on the writing during the first two weeks post-operation.

Photo by renjith krishnan

And last but not least. The big daddy of my excuses.

3. The Waldo Canyon Fire

In less than a year of moving to this beautiful state, I witnessed the worst wildfire in Colorado history. What started out as a fire in the national forest area turned into a monstrous conflagration that filled the sky with choking smoke and falling ash. It started on Saturday, June 23. By Tuesday, June 26, the fire has reached the western outskirts of Colorado Springs and 35,000+ people were forced to evacuate that side of town. I watched helplessly from my home as the flames scorched the landscape, jumped the highway, and turned our blue skies an eery mix of gray and orange.

Photo taken by

The area where my church is located was one of the first places to evacuate. I had several friends that were forced to leave their homes. We all got headaches from the persistent smoke that seeped into the air ducts of buildings. For seven terrible days, we prayed for rain and watched the news for updates of fire containment and new evacuation notices. By the time all was said and done, the fire destroyed 350 homes and killed 2 people. If it wasn't for our brave firefighters and the collaboration of city, state, and federal officials, I'm not sure how Colorado Springs would have looked today.

To sum up life these past two months, well, you get the idea. But words cannot express the gratitude I feel for being alive and healthy. I have a new lease on life that can't be contained, and a grateful heart that God has spared me and the people of Colorado Springs. Thank you also, my friends, for your prayers and emails. It means so much to me, knowing that you care. Have a blessed week.

Has there been a time in your life where it seemed all the elements conspired to keep you from writing? Please share.