Books are the gateway to imagination

Books are the gateway to imagination
Morgan welcomes you to her personal blog

Sunday, December 14, 2014


My life has changed a lot since July 2012 when I was operated on for breast cancer. The good news--it was caught early, the disturbing news--I needed the dreaded chemotherapy. 

Actually, I could have opted out of the chemo because I was borderline, but when faced with something like that, you want every advantage possible--at least I did. Fortunately I only needed four courses of chemo followed by 25 radiation treatments. My attitude appeared to be helping so much, the radiation oncologist released me after 17 treatments and said I no longer needed it. However the entire cost had I not had insurance was a HUGE STATEMENT on why you need health insurance if at all possible. When I added up all of the bills including chemo and radiation, it came to over $300,000. Without insurance that would have been devastating. With insurance, the impact was not huge.

I kept a very positive attitude, did not complain, tried to be as productive as possible except for the day or two after a chemo treatment when I slept like Rip Van Winkle--sometimes 18 to 20 hours. Even when my hair fell out, I had an array of cool wigs available.

That kept my mind active and my spirits high. I even worked on the book LA BELLA MAFIA, the shockingly true
story of Bella Capo, by working with my co-author Denny Griffin and Bella herself as much as possible throughout treatment. All of my doctors felt my positive attitude helped me to heal as rapidly as I did. In fact, they were quite surprised I bounced back as fast as I did.

In February 2013 we gave up our residence in Marina Del Rey CA and moved into our Las Vegas home full time. In March my husband had hip replacement surgery and did not heal well. Just slightly over 2 months after my cancer treatment was completed, I was thrown into the role of caregiver. Still I kept my spirits high, positive and continued to be productive although my time was now not as available.

He got worse, and it was discovered in early 2014 that he had fluid on his brain. Add another $200,000+ of medical bills that were thankfully covered by insurance. Until that diagnosis, there was lots of falling on his part and lots of stress for both of us. They thought it was Parkinsons, but when the cause was finally diagnosed as the fluid on the brain, one treatment did result in an improvement. While still impaired and unable to drive, the falling and lapses in memory disappeared. Score one for the team!

In April 2014 after a routine follow-up appointment with my oncologist, I was on my way to the doctor who had performed the breast cancer surgery for another follow-up. My appointment was at Cedars Sinai Medical Tower in L.A. and as fate would have it, I tripped over a speed bump as I neared the elevators in the parking lot, went flying, and fractured my elbow and sprained my ankle. Now I had a husband who could no longer drive or work and I was dealing with my own injuries and had to drive back to Las Vegas with my left arm in a splint and my left ankle wrapped in bandages. But, I did it.

I continued to do everything I could to remain positive, cheerful and productive. During 2012-2014 more books were produced and I made it a point to help others, including participation in a fund raiser for abused women.

I am generally a very private person when it comes to personal information. This is the first time I've shared a photo of me 2 months after radiation ended and my hair, now platinum white, began to grow back. 

The reason I've shared all of this today is that it is a known fact many people become overwhelmed with their personal situations during the holiday season and depression seeps in. If you don't allow that to happen, and fight against it by trying to remember good times, concentrate on what you can do rather than what you can't, and be aware of the needs and emotions of those around you, life will feel better. It's that old saying of turning lemons into lemonade. I've only touched on a few of the things that happened from 2012-2014, but suffice to say I had enough lemons for a really successful lemonade stand, so I drew on every bit of strength I had to get through what could have been debilitating.

If you are dealing with stress, I hope this helps you get through a season that should be filled with cheer. A man at a dinner party the other night said, "I have the best blessings in the world. When I get up and feel the carpet beneath my feet, I know I have at least one more day."

God Bless.

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