Just a little ghost story, a true one

June 6, 2003

       A week ago Tuesday I went to bed early (for me) at about 11 PM or so.  I was immediately asleep I was so tired.  I began to dream.  I was at a friends house looking at something on the bed.  It was a tiara.  I reached to look at it closer and to my horror it began floating towards me.  I tried to reach for it but something held my hands and pulled me towards it.  I screamed in the dream.  I woke up.  I screamed outside of my dream as well.  Something was holding my wrists down and I was quite awake.  Scared myself half to death.  I could feel my  heart pounding.  Whatever was holding my wrists felt angry and held them for about a count of twenty and then let me up.

       Now you can discount this as a very vivid imagination and dream.  This isn’t the first time the ghost in our house has visited us.

       Last night I saw a shadow out of the corner of my eye.  Not a new occurrence with skylights and cats and long hair.  This one however was six feet in height and against a wall it had no business being against.  You couldn’t write it off to being a shadow from lights or a cat or something I was imagining.  Turning on the overhead light of course made it disappear.  What didn’t disappear though after I turned off the light was the feeling of malice that I could feel in the room.

       Tonight, AJ was in our living room waiting while Chip put in a DVD.  Between AJ and Chip a ghost appeared.  AJ yelled “what the heck are you doing?” and it disappeared.  Chip of course thought AJ was just being a jerk, yelling at him and saw nothing.

       A few months ago someone turned on my crystal ball light.  AJ was in his bedroom and Chip across the apartment in his own room.  The only way to turn this light on was to flip an actual switch.

       Another time Chip watched as something flipped on and off the light switch in his room without turning on and off the light.

One night the cats, all four of them, were looking down the stairs to my loft growling and unhappy about something.  The dog seems to be clueless to what is going on.  This incident though had the cats walking back and forth as they looked down the steps but ventured no further than the top of the stairs as they looked down at something.

       I’ve heard noises innumerable times that could be explained as cats running through the house.  What about footsteps up the stairs though?  I’ve walked briskly through the barn several times, convinced that someone had come into the house, no one was there, but the noises indicated otherwise.

       Coincidence?  Maybe.  Explainable?  Perhaps.  I want to go on record though, here and now that it’s odd, getting angry, and perhaps scaring me a bit.

Those two skylights on the right were above my bed in the loft


Medical concerns

About a year ago I made a decision that was supposed to change my life.  My weight had gotten out of control and I recalled my father being very unhealthily heavy for many years.  I also had other relatives I didn’t want to look like in regards to that.  In the course of four years I’d gained something like sixty pounds.  Now, being heavy alone isn’t unhealthy, depending on many factors including your metabolism, your eating habits, genetics, and your bone size.  I’m one of the lucky ones that I actually do have large bones.  The doctors have explained that because I do, that’s where a lot of my weight comes from.  You cannot tell how much I actually weigh since a lot of it is the large bones.  Believe me, having a football player’s shoulders, or a man’s sized hands, isn’t always fun, especially for an effeminate woman.  However, the extra pounds on those bones and my joints was what was causing me to make a decision to change all that.  

As many of you may know I’m a cancer survivor.  I’ve mentioned that in this blog many times, you can read the first mention here.  Due to the aggressive chemotherapy and the radiation treatment I took, I will forever have aches and pains that normal aging wouldn’t give me.  Oh, I’ll get those too, but some of the weird pains are a direct result of those poisons I took in order to survive.

So, I decided to get my stomach surgically altered in order to lose weight.  I began by taking classes where they told about what would be done, had others who had gone through it, and still others who were going through it in various stages.  Now, according to my insurance, I had to go through three months of this.  I followed directions, despite not being a joiner and these meetings drove me crazy.  I don’t like those ‘fun’ games people do at baby showers, or bachelorette parties, and I guess I’m just a party pooper for the stupid games that I don’t find fun in the least.  They are usually embarrassing.  I felt the same way at these meetings when they wanted to include you.  Please, let me just be anonymous.  I don’t want to stand up and be like, “Hi I’m K’Anne and I eat too much.  I don’t exercise enough, blah, blah, blah.”  They don’t actually make you do that, but that’s how it feels!  Heck, I even hated the word they used, bariatric!

After the three meetings you have to get a psyche evaluation.  I laugh at this.  Anyone can pass a psyche evaluation, even if I were crazy!  You can tell them what they want to hear, follow the protocol and use their own answers against them, etc.  However, I was just being me (not always a good thing) and told them like it was.  I was impatient to get the surgery and move on, I had plans!  I felt the meetings were a waste of time and that these delays were annoying.  In the end, I understand why they make you go through all these hoops for this life-altering decision. You have to be ready for the changes, able to cope, and yes, I could probably have done it, but didn’t, deep down, want to. 

After the psyche evaluation, which I passed (I know, many of you might be surprised), I had to go see a nutritionist.  For three months.  She required me to keep a journal.  I can’t tell you how much I HATE to keep a journal about ANYthing.  It always feels like someone is going to use my own words like that, real words, honest words, personal words (nothing like my fiction) against me.  Not only that, but then she decided I needed another month, was not at our scheduled meeting due to her illness (ironic, right?) and I had to have a zoom meeting with another nutritionist who didn’t know me, didn’t read the journals (I could tell) AND I totally could have snowed with my ‘tell her what she wants to hear’ BS.  I didn’t, but I COULD have.  It was all so pointless and I think it’s how they bilk the insurance for their outrageous fees.

So, they tell me now they are waiting to hear from my insurance company to see if I’m allowed to have the surgery.  Allowed?  After all this you are talking about if I’m allowed?  I remember thinking, get ON with it already!  I had thought I’d have had the surgery in January, and if so, then I could have the summer I had planned!  I was going to GCLS (Golden Crown Literary Society) and I was already scheduled to be on three panels which I was genuinely looking forward to.  I was also going to Canada with my then girlfriend and we were going to do the Lake Superior Circle Tour.  I’d bought all the rock-hounding equipment I’d wanted for a while, and was ready and waiting!  We planned on Lake Superior for agates, amethysts, and a little-known glow in purple light stone called a Youper!  If we were even luckier, we’d find Petoskey stones and who knew what else?

I get a call from the surgeon’s office.  I need to get a health check (which I’d also had in February) from my general practitioner.  I’m like, doesn’t the one I’d had in February count?  (I have to have one every year for blood work because the radiation therapy ruined my thyroid and I take meds for that).  She said, I don’t know, let me check.  Took two weeks to get back to me to say, no, you have to have a new one so we know it’s safe for the surgery.  I called my general practitioner’s office to get the health check.  They are like, we don’t do these health checks until your surgery is scheduled.  Um, catch 22?  I couldn’t have the health check without the surgery scheduled but they won’t schedule the surgery without the health check?  Grrrr.  I call back the surgeon’s office and they take SIX WEEKS to straighten THAT out.

Then, after all this time, it would have been nine months since start until surgery!  I was impatient.  I knew that the Canadian trip was not going to happen if I had the surgery in June.  I’d already been told by the doctors to cancel the GCLS trip since I’d be healing and unable to travel at that time in July.  Sigh.  Letting down a few people.  I’d really wanted to see some people I only see at these events, friends that I only communicate on Facebook or Twitter as well as fans.

By the time they got back to me, I was getting pissed.  I mean, really, SIX WEEKS?  C’mon, that’s unprofessional and my calls to them going unanswered?  I started emailing.  At this point I’m fed up after all these months of jumping through ALL their hoops.  I’d dotted all the I’s and crossed all the T’s.  But they couldn’t behave in a professional manner and I was to entrust my life, my physical well-being to these incompetents?  I was done.  I told them, no, I didn’t want the surgery because I couldn’t TRUST them!

Meanwhile, Covid 19 had come on the scene since February and that was an additional worry.  They didn’t know enough about it and having major surgery really wasn’t a good idea.  So, because I was certain the diet wouldn’t work for me, the changes in my habits, etc, I was relieved to have said no.  My girlfriend at the time I could tell was disappointed, but hey, love me as I am, and she did…however, she wanted me happy and healthier.

Fast forward to the end of summer and beginning of fall.  I’m seeing a therapist for my back because the pain has gotten very bad and I’m considering another life change.  One of the therapists listens to my story about the gastro-bypass surgery I had been considering.  He told me he was relieved I hadn’t done it.  Due to the fact that I’d had cancer, chemotherapy, and radiation I had a compromised system.  The by-pass would probably have killed me in about six years!  Holy cow!  He explained to me a few other things, things I could eat that would help me lose the weight, still give me the nutrients I would need, and keep me healthy.  Wow, one decision and all this!  Amazing.

He further told me that yes, I’m overweight, which we will work on, but I hadn’t lost the muscle mass. I’m a big woman, always been stronger than most women, and, a few men, and the muscle is still there. I just have to use it, or get back to using it. It was such a relief to know that. I didn’t even feel awkward, talking to a man my age, in my bathing suit, in a pool over all these concerns. Btw, they made me wear a mask, in the pool, to stay healthy with ‘social distancing’. It was weird, because when the cloth mask got wet, I felt like I was smothering!

I write this not only to remember what had happened, but because not all life-altering decisions have to be made.  Even though my process took nine months and I would have regretted it if it had been the four months I thought it was originally going to be, I would have regretted more that I only got six more years to live my life! 

I have been lucky that it’s been nineteen and a half years since I was told I had cancer.  That I had a ‘mere’ 4-5 months to live, and I’m still here.  None of my books would have been written if I hadn’t stuck around. I’m still accomplishing things that I want to take on.  I’m still a viable member of humankind.  Who knows what I’ll do next?  Who knows what I will accomplish next?  How much I could contribute in the next thirty or so years?  I hope to be looking back at this blog and still sharing with all who read this.  I hope you are around, healthy and happy and functioning, pain-free to read these and my books and see what I accomplish.

~ K’Anne

Outback Yearnings ~ An Audiobook

Forced into marriage with a much older man after her father catches her in the arms of her female lover, Abigail accepts her lot in life in order to save her family. The love of her life is long gone, cast from her life by her selfless decision, and she must accept that the men in her life—her father and now, her husband—are in control and will do with her as they please.
But after an untimely accident, as her husband lies dying, Abigail realizes there might be a glimmer of hope that she could go free. Will she be strong enough to get through all that life is throwing at her and find a way back to the arms of the woman she is yearning for?

Heel or Heal ~ An erotic audiobook

Claudia is looking for a new playmate/partner. Can she train one to her satisfaction? Brenda is looking for…she isn’t sure what but in Claudia she finds a woman she can admire, trust, and eventually love. Can Brenda heal Claudia’s cold heart?

Blown Away The Alternate Cover ~ Audiobook

Ellen Christenson escaped from an abusive life, but can you ever truly escape the scars on your soul?  You try and move on, but life’s patterns tend to repeat until you have learned their lessons.
Ellen’s life choices bring her full circle to the scenes of her abuse, and she will need to deal with the past in ways she never anticipated for the healing to begin.  She must repair her soul and all the people she has devastated along the way.
Ellen hadn’t intended to end up in the high-tech world of Silicon Valley, but she finds herself the head of a start-up.  Cool, calculating, and efficient—this is the mask she shows to the world.  Few people, if any, know the real Ellen. 
Nearby San Francisco provides Ellen a never-ending supply of girlfriends, but are her internal scars concealing her desire to find that one special woman … a kindred soul … her soul mate?
For years, Ellen has borne the guilt of her decision to allow another to die for their sins.  Now, Ellen is blown away by the feelings and emotions she has suppressed for so long!