Monday, November 29, 2010


Last April, I decided to send my 90 year old Dad a text message and bless him, he has been learning to keep up with the ever changing technology of the 21st century.  Because of his hearing loss, it is difficult to hold a telephone conversation with him.  He really only catches about every couple of words. We live in different states, so, I thought that texting him would be ideal because his vision is pretty good (post cataract surgery, tee hee). 

My sister recently went out and purchased the Samsung Galaxy Tab for him so he would be able to email and text better.  The screen is large and it's lightweight enough that he is having a great time trying to get it all figured out.  I'm proud to say that he is doing extremely well with it.  I have received daily text messages from him since last week, which I think is super cool.  And, he stumbled across my blog and saw my tribute to him, which I think is even cooler! 

Tonight at work, I received a text message from him saying how much he liked the piece I wrote about him.  He asked me where I got all the information about him which I got a kick out of.  Seriously, Dad?  Don't you think I've been paying attention to all the stories you've told me about your life over the last 36 years? LOL

Besides his Galaxy Tab, my Dad also has a Kindle Reader.  Last I heard, he was reading Oprah's "Unauthorized" Biography.  I remember him telling me while I was visiting him last June, that there's lots of "juicy" stuff in there that he's sure Oprah is not happy about.  LOL.  Apparently, my Dad is into gossip these days! 

Hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving!  Looking forward to Christmas this year, even though I'm scheduled to work every single holiday between both jobs.  :(   But this is the first time in a long time that I've spent a holiday where there wasn't any drama.  Gotta love that!

Friday, November 19, 2010


Good morning!  Recently, I found out that my former father in law was diagnosed with bladder cancer.  Not one of the most recognized cancers out there, so I started to do a little research and I'd like to share what I found.

First, some basic anatomy.  The bladder is the organ in our body that collects urine manufactured by our kidneys.  Below is a diagram that shows the anatomy the male urinary tract.  Urine flows from the kidneys through the ureters and into the bladder where the urine will pass out of the body through the urethra.

There are three types of bladder cancer and they are named for the types of cells they form from.  (Try saying that three times fast....form from...form from....for---oops.  Sorry.  It's been a long night shift here.)  Let me get back on track... First, is Transitional Cell Carcinoma.  Cancer that begins in cells in the innermost tissue layer of the bladder. These cells are able to stretch when the bladder is full and shrink when it is emptied. Most bladder cancers begin in the transitional cells.

Next is Squamous cell carcinoma: Cancer that begins in squamous cells, which are thin, flat cells that may form in the bladder after long-term infection or irritation.

Last is called Adenocarcinoma: Cancer that begins in glandular (secretory) cells that may form in the bladder after long-term irritation and inflammation.

Cancer that is confined to the lining of the bladder is called superficial bladder cancer. Cancer that begins in the transitional cells may spread through the lining of the bladder and invade the muscle wall of the bladder or spread to nearby organs and lymph nodes; this is called invasive bladder cancer.

Risk factors for developing bladder cancer include the following:

Smoking.   And, really for all you smokers out there, what doesn't smoking cause? You smoke, you will die-period.  Either from a cancer caused by the effects smoking causes on the body.  A short list of smoking related illnesses--coronary artery disease, peripheral vascular disease, copd (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease), and lung cancer.

Environmental exposures.  The old saying, "This job could kill you"  is no joke.   Being exposed to certain substances at work, such as rubber, certain dyes and textiles, paint, and hairdressing supplies.

One risk factor we can control is our diet.  It is a known fact that a diet high in fried meats and fat is not good for your heart and arteries.  Well, it turns out you can develop bladder cancer from eating this food as well.

Risk factors that can't be controlled are gender, race, and age.  It turns out that being older, male, or white will increase your chance of developing bladder cancer.

Having an infection caused by a certain parasite. Interestingly enough, there was a show on Discovery Health (I think, but it may have been on TLC) that talked about how this parasite this woman picked up while swimming in Africa a few years earlier.  She started to have all these bizarre symptoms like a rash on her thighs.  Had the doctors not found out what had been making her sick, the parasite would've caused bladder cancer.  I guess it lodges itself in the bladder and just feeds on the host and reproduces lots and lots of eggs.  The thought of something like that being inside of me totally grossed me out, by the way. 

These and other symptoms may be caused by bladder cancer. Other conditions may cause the same symptoms such as a bladder infection or kidney infection. A doctor should be consulted if any of the following problems occur:
--Blood in the urine (slightly rusty to bright red in color).

--Frequent urination, or feeling the need to urinate without being able to do so.

--Pain during urination.

--Lower back pain.

There are a series of tests that can be performed to diagnose bladder cancer.  Some invasive and some non-invasive.  Here's a list and a little bit about each:

--CT scan (CAT scan): A procedure that makes a series of detailed pictures of areas inside the body, taken from different angles. The pictures are made by a computer linked to an x-ray machine. A dye may be injected into a vein or swallowed to help the organs or tissues show up more clearly. This procedure is also called computed tomography, computerized tomography, or computerized axial tomography.  This is painless and as easy as taking a basic x-ray.

--Urinalysis: A test to check the color of urine and its contents, such as sugar, protein, red blood cells, and white blood cells.  This one is easy--you just pee in a cup.

--Internal exam: An exam of the vagina and/or rectum. The doctor inserts gloved fingers into the vagina and/or rectum to feel for lumps.  Definitely doesn't sound pleasant, but physical exams rarely are. 

--Intravenous pyelogram (IVP): A series of x-rays of the kidneys, ureters, and bladder to find out if cancer is present in these organs. A contrast dye is injected into a vein. As the contrast dye moves through the kidneys, ureters, and bladder, x-rays are taken to see if there are any blockages. A lot of people have allergic reactions to the dye that is injected.  Some symptoms as easy as a rash, but others that may include swelling of your airway--not good.  So, make sure your x-ray tech asks you the right questions prior to getting an IVP done.  These questions are designed to rule out if you might have a possible allergy to the dye.

--Cystoscopy: A procedure to look inside the bladder and urethra to check for abnormal areas. A cystoscope is inserted through the urethra into the bladder. A cystoscope is a thin, tube-like instrument with a light and a lens for viewing. It may also have a tool to remove tissue samples, which are checked under a microscope for signs of cancer.  Thank God that you are put out for this test because it definitely is not a pleasant procedure.  We get these in the recovery room all the time.  
Once you've been gone through all the worry, pain, and tests and you find out you do have bladder cancer, you need to be advised of what your options are.  Typically, the options are the same as for any cancer, which are: surgery, chemotherapy, and radiation.  You may or may not have heard the terms--slash, poison, and burn, which is exactly what occurs.  Sometimes, I'm really dumbfounded by the fact that we seem to have so much technology and knowledge at our finger tips, but these are our only treatment options. 

In any way, shape, or form, the bottom line is--CANCER SUCKS!!  When our family members are faced with the nightmare of having cancer, we are stuck having  to sit by and support them in whatever manner we can all the while hoping for the best.  Although I've had some differences with my former in laws over my divorce, I always had a good repore with them.  I'm saddened to learn that the family is having to go through all of this and I wish him and the rest of his family well. 


Wednesday, November 17, 2010


So, today I thought to lighten things up with a little humor.  One place to enjoy great hospital humor is  They always have great comic strips to enjoy.  Working in the stressful conditions that I do working critical care and recovery, I like it when as a team, we can help each other out.  It is especially great when we can find humor in some of the most tedious, disgusting tasks that are sometimes required of nurses.  Let's face it, nursing is a tough job and not for those with a weak stomach.  The human body can produce some of the most vile, gross wounds, smells, draining fluids....EWWWW!!   My fellow nurses know exactly what I'm talking about, but I think the average joe gets the idea.

With that said, here's a few Nurstoons to begin your day....Oh, and before I forget, the toons didn't transfer well, but if you click on each one, it will open the toon strip in a larger screen! 

The definition of time....

Lately, there have been quite a few code blues...

Late discharges.......

Why having an experienced nurses is always nice....

And last but not least, sometimes practical jokes are not so funny (but are...LOL)

Have a great day!

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

What Do You Find Therapeutic?

Recently, I treated a couple of friends of mine to my favorite therapy--a manicure and pedicure.  The nail salon I go to always does a great job and the massage you get on your feet, arms, legs, and hands is well worth the price.  Plus, you get the additional benefit of having great looking nails--no dead, gross skin and chipped nails!  Ick!! 

In return, my gal pal decided I needed to experience my first hot stone massage.  Well, my first massage, really.  It was a completely awesome experience.  My aches and pains weren't the only things to disappear.  I found my stress level plunging the longer I lay there. It wasn't just the actual hands on treatment to sore muscles that was appealing, it was the complete presentation.  The lights were dimmed, the air scented with lavender, and soothing music played through surround sound speakers.  The experience was complete and total ZEN!!

But at first, I had trouble completely relaxing because for me, I can be totally relaxed physically but my mind still races.  Thoughts of conflicting work schedules, scenes (written needing revisions or to be put down on paper) play out behind my closed lids, worries or joys about my children, upcoming cakes that I may be planning to bake...This keeps me from being completely relaxed. 

 I find this most often happens when I'm trying to go to bed and get those hard to earn eight hours of Zzzzzz's--whether it be day sleep because I work nights or going to bed like the rest of the world.  So, what can I do about this?  I need to sleep, don't I?  I seem to get so little as it is.  I am still looking for solutions, but I find that if I have other things to occupy me during my waking hours (besides work) that when I finally lay down to sleep, I'm able to actually get some rest.  One of the hobbies I developed this year, was to learn to bake and decorate cakes.  My daughter and I took cake decorating classes back in January that continued clear into April. 

Here's Haleigh.  We had a pile of icing for our clown cakes!

And here I am...trying...

But as our cakes have evolved, and we've learned so much about how to decorate and bake cakes, I have found that baking and decorating cakes has been very therapeutic for me.  I put a little music on in the background, my mind becomes focused on what I am doing.  Nothing else seems to matter.  The kitchen becomes a complete disaster!!!  I end up a mess with powdered sugar and icing on my t-shirt, in my hair, on my face.  But I don't care because I'm so absorbed in what I am doing.

  And that's what is so great about the entire process--nothing else matters at that moment in time.

Have you ever found something that absorbs you in such a way, that all your troubles and stresses seem to disappear temporarily?  Keep looking if you haven't because the solution may be where you never thought to find it!

Here are some cakes I've done this year!  The first is a football cake for a friend at work who had a birthday.

 This next one, I made for a bachelorette party!
 And this last I did yesterday for a dear friend and fellow nurse who is retiring!
Everyone have a GREAT Tuesday!!

Friday, November 12, 2010


I've been sick the last several days, so this little tribute is a day late, but I can't let this Veteran's Day go by without saying a small something about my dad, Frank King.  This last June, this amazing man turned 90 years of age.  There was about a 26 year age difference between my parents.  We  are a blended family as they each had children from previous marriages and then they had a daughter together--but all girls--five to be exact.  Even our dog was a girl-LuLu.  With one bathroom, you could definitely say it was a challenge for my dad when us girls were growing up!

Here is a picture of me and dad during his birthday celebration last June.  We've always been close.  I love him dearly.  I admire how he has lived his life with honesty and integrity.  He has worked hard all his life, never really slowed down when most men his age had retired years ago, and remains active today. 

When the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor, my dad was 18 years old.  He immediately signed up for a tour in the U.S. Navy.  He served on two submarines as a torpedo man--the U.S.S. Tunney and the U.S.S. Sterlet.  While aboard those subs, he patrolled the South Pacific.  To listen to the stories of when the Japanese ships were above them dropping depth charges is fascinating.  Men aboard learned to rely on each other because they had to--it was a matter of life and death.  If I'm not mistaken, dad recently told of a time when they had to patrol the waters off of Japan when the U.S. dropped the bomb on Hiroshima--just in case the Japanese attempted to retaliate.

I believe this picture was taken in 1943.  The sub had surfaced during a routine patrol off of New Guinea.  My dad was one hot specimen!  He never lacked for female companionship.  I have always loved to listen to his stories about the different women.  In fact, the older I get, it seems the "racier" his stories become! LOL.  His favorite port was when they would go to Australia.  He recently said that Australian women were the "most welcoming"!  *wink*   But in all seriousness, it is very interesting how couples "hooked" up in 1940's vs. how couples "hook" up in the 21st century.  A man and woman communicated face to face, by snail mail, or by phone.  Now, there's online dating sites, text messaging, and facebook.  Very big difference, there.

The above picture is dad at his 90th birthday celebration this last June.  As my 42nd birthday approaches, I think about all I've learned from this man.  His influence on my life has been monumental.  Thank you, dad.  For always being there.  For teaching me the importance of love and compassion.  For weekend baseball games that included pretzels and beer.  For broadening my musical horizons to include big band swing music.  For attempting to teach me to jitterbug and having the patience to laugh good naturedly because I have two left feet!

I love you,

Tuesday, November 9, 2010


I wondered about something the other people really learn from their mistakes?  Or, do we as human beings go through life with a genetic penchant for always making the wrong choices?  As I thought it over, I think that maybe it's a little of both.  But, then as I thought deeper about life and the choices we make, it seems some people continue the same patterns, whereas others veer off and make a different choice--taking their life in a different direction.

Why is that the case?  I guess if I really knew the answer, I'd make millions in self help books and videos! LOL.  Why isn't making the right choices in life as easy as when we place a hand to a hot stove and our brains register "HOT!" and we snatch our hand away--we immediately KNOW that it's probably not a good idea to be doing that action again.

Some people are unlucky in love....  But are they really?  Or, are they just programmed or destined to continually choose the wrong partners?  In romance books, its usually whatever the writer chooses for the hero or heroine--the baggage that keeps them apart until the end of the book.

Some people are unlucky financially... struggling to scrape by to make a living.  But don't some people live outside their means--Constantly trying to keep up with the "Jones'" until they are so far in debt that they can no longer afford the basics?  Is that a product of their environment? Or, human nature, struggling to get to be the "king of the jungle" so to speak?  Again, financial hardship or lack thereof is a great tool to create conflict in a story.

Some people thrive on chaos and the dominoes continue to fall this way and that....  I have known people in my lifetime who are absolutely miserable.  The only time they become animated or are partially happy is when things around them are falling apart.  Its like they make a poor choice on purpose just because of the reactions they receive from others.  Or, they're happy because some tragedy has befallen someone else and they gossip about it--becoming animated and appear to "thrive" in the midst of someone else's misery.  Why is that?  I just can't seem to wrap my brain around that and I'm deeply saddened and disturbed when I see this happen--which is far too frequent....  A character like this can help move a story along, either creating the chaos that helps to move a story forward or flourishing in the midst of the H/H's misfortune.

Some people seem to have the kind of luck where everything they touch turns to gold.... But they can't handle their own success.  What is THAT all about?  I must shake my head here, because I don't understand that at all.  Mostly celebrities come to mind--you know who I'm talking about...

My beautiful daughter (she's 18)  has recently made a life altering decision regarding her higher education.  As a parent, I can only sit back and support her in the choice she has made and pray things work out for her.  The experienced adult in me is stomping my feet, screaming, "NO! This is a big mistake!"  But I can tell her that until I turn blue and die from asphyxiation.  She's young and won't truly know what I'm talking about until she experiences and learns for herself the hardship she is setting herself up for.  At least, that is what my voice of "experience" is telling me.

Who knows? Maybe I'm wrong.  Maybe everything will turn out the way she wants it to.  There are times where I certainly don't mind being wrong!  This is certainly one of those time.  Although, those that know me may find that hard to believe.

Before I sign off this morning...I'd like to give you my current NANOWRIMO word count....  Currently up to the same 3024 words!!!  Yeah!  Yeah!  *Whistle*  Because I did make it that far, however BOOOOOO HISSSSS BOOOO.... For my damn computer crashing this weekend and pretty much putting everything into a tailspin.  My story is backed up on a flash drive, so that was not the issue.  The issue was getting my computer reloaded with the basic programs.  What a royal pain in the rear!  Hopefully, by tomorrow night, I will have more to report.

Have an inspiring day!


Friday, November 5, 2010


Yeah~tonight will be my Friday, too!  Although, I'm thinking I may work Sunday night...have to check the schedule.  It's been busy at work tonight, so I haven't had a chance to add to my NANOWRIMO count today.  Too bad, too because I'd just set the scene for some hot sexual tension...

Rounding out my music videos, I'd like to leave you with a little Tim McGraw....because this song reminds me of the music I'd left my characters listening to--although, that may be a stretch for your imagination since they are in the middle of a little salsa dancing!  It may be hard to follow my thinking here, but here are the lyrics: (Unfortunately, there wasn't a video with good enough quality to post)

Tim Mcgraw - Felt Good On My Lips Lyrics

Said her name was a hand me down name
From the side of a family that long ago came
Over here on a boat from somewhere in Spain
Sounded to me just a little bit strange, I guess.
But I have to admit, it felt good on my lips.
She tipped the DJ to play her favorite song
A Spanish little number that was a rockin' on strong
She took my by the seat and said lets go and get it on
By the second chorus I was singing right along with it
I don’t know what it meant but it felt good on my lips.

Oh oh oh I.. I wanna go crazy
You can go crazy too
Oh oh oh I.. I wanna go crazy
I wanna go crazy with you
Everybody sayin' whoa how sweet it is
Whoa yeah it felt good on my lips

She ordered us a drink
It was a purple kind of pink
She said it’s got a shot of a little bit of everything
Mello yellow umbrella for a fella like me
It was just a bit mello for me to be seen with
But I took a sip
Yeah it felt good on my lips

Oh oh oh I.. I wanna go crazy
You can go crazy too
Oh oh oh I.. I wanna go crazy
I wanna go crazy with you
Everybody sayin’ whoa how sweet it is
Whoa yeah it felt good on my lips

When the lights came on and they hollered last call
I was busy getting lost in her cherry lip gloss
In a little corner booth..
she leaned in close and gave me one long
And with one goodnight goodbye kiss
And It felt good on my lips

Whoa how sweet it is
Whoa yeah it felt good on my lips
Whoa how sweet it is
Whoa yeah it felt good on my lips

Now, maybe you can follow my Spanish link...LOL  Just because it's Friday, I will leave you with a picture of Tim....because listening to him isn't the only thing that's nice....

Whew!  Nice, ummm...Stetson!


Thursday, November 4, 2010


The hero of my latest completed wip, Firefighter Jett Avery looks like "Anthony"  there above.  So, I couldn't resist posting this picture!  Yumminess aside, Jett is a broody, troubled man who has been lost since his best friend died in a fire.  He feels responsible...It takes a nurse (of course!)  to bring him back from the brink of a dark depression...

Jett's twin brother, is emergency room doctor Cruz Avery.  And it's Cruz's story that I've been working on for NANOWRIMO.  My current word count is 3024.  Not bad, considering I work 60 hours a week.  Plus, I've been following the editor week over at the Harlequin Blog.  Very interesting stuff for romance writers who want to write category, like myself! 

As I was driving (either to or from the hospital--not sure which cuz my time in the car is usually a blur) a song came on the radio that had to do with a guy who is obviously so in love, he's in complete denial about it as he sings.  His lyrics sung with that deep voice of his really melt a girl's heart.  Even the video is sexy, too.  Check it out below  Trace Adkin's "This Ain't No Love Song"....

So, now that you've heard it, I'm sure you agree that he is singing about all those heros we write about in romance novels.  Right?

Have a great DAY!

Tuesday, November 2, 2010


Let's switch gears from romantic Country Music lyrics to Rock and Roll! Here is a song I have listened to for years!  Definitely reminds me of high school and the puppy love that went along with teenage angst and hormones...But as I listen now, I realize the lyrics are long standing and true...even after all this time!

Poison's "Every Rose Has Its Thorn" begins with a *sigh* so listen close....  What's that old saying?  It's better to have love and lost then to have never loved at all?

Now, let's switch gears to SKID about romantic....I've listened to this song over and over...definitely gets me in the mood to write!  His lyrics, "wished ever after would be like this; you said I love you, babe, without a sound"  would melt any romantic heart!

Now for a quick NANOWRIMO update....I have a current word count of....drum roll please......
I didn't quite make my goal of 1667 words for day one, but I had a great beginning--1084 words!  Let's keep the momentum going!!  And as an added bonus, I just found out that I am off tonight!  WHOOT! 

Monday, November 1, 2010


So, Nanowrimo began at midnight...Yes, I'm awake, but working. Sadly, saving lives takes precedence over writing! LOL When nights like tonight occur (because those of you that know me, know I don't function before 3pm in the afternoon), I will either write when I get off in the morning and/or get up early to get some words down on paper before I come back to work.

What are your personal goals for NANOWRIMO?? I listed mine right here on this blog last week. I'm just happy to be writing again on a daily basis.... But my OCD personality had me calculating just how many words I need to write in order to reach my goal--1666.666666!!!!  Hahahahahaha! I guess prepositions like "a" could count as that .6667 of a word!

What fuels my creativity? MUSIC! I love getting lost in a particular beat while I blare out my ear drums! The music can be sexy, romantic, comedic...but it all leads to the same thing for me---WORDS ON PAPER!!

Continueing yesterday's music theme, here's another song that I find romantic. Rodney Atkin's lyrics are charming, quaint, and very uplifting. The object of his admiration--The Farmer's Daughter--is a very lucky woman, indeed!


I will post my word count here and on facebook.  Wish me luck!