Saturday, July 6, 2013 | By: Megan Held

3 Months Post-Surgery

Unfortunately, less writing has been happening because I have been back to work for almost a month now and going to the gym quite often.

I feel fantastic; better than I have in almost 2 years. The only struggles I have is my scar is hypertrophic, my scar tissue can hurt and well, my skin is itchy. Otherwise, I am a happy person.

I see the surgeon for the last time till next year on the 8th. Hopefully I hear all good news. I have been doing my best to eat well and exercise at least 3-4 days a week. My job is not exactly easy, I am on my feet all day.

Certain foods seem to not settle well; which I know can be do to the surgery having been recent or my lack of gallbladder. For now, I eat what I used to eat and just be careful or cut out the foods that don’t sit well. Eating big heavy meals make me feel nauseous, so I am trying to eat smaller meals more often and chugging back water. It helps a lot.

When it comes to exercising post-surgery:

  • Walking really helps. They tell you do that after surgery and I find that days I don’t exercise or go for a walk my abdomen gets stiff.
  • Work on strengthening your abdomen. It sucks, but I find that I cannot lift all that much because my abdomen can’t support it.
  • Don’t give up. I feel fantastic, but I know I have to draw the line and prevent myself from hurting.
  • Don’t expect to feel 100%. I have difficulty with this. I want to be 100%, but as the hubby says I am about 80-90%.

For those that don’t know or remember, I had my incision split open. It put me back about 2 weeks, but it is no problem now. I am using bio-oil on the scar and have seen great improvement.

All I can say is stay positive and it’ll help. All I have to do is see what my liver and abdomen look like next year, more out of curiosity to see what it looks like.

Monday, April 15, 2013 | By: Megan Held

Right Lobe Liver Resection Surgery and Recovery

I know I’ve been away from the blogging world, which is not a sign I have been writing or editing. I’ve been busy and very distracted. As the title states, I had major surgery Mar. 28th of this year. I got less than a weeks notice and jumped on it because I have been waiting for some sort of relief of pain since Nov. 2011 when I was first diagnosed with Focal Nodular Hyperplasia (FNH), a benign tumour, in the right side of my liver.

Since I was diagnosed with this I had to stop exercising, started taking strong pain medications, clearly had to stop drinking and it basically altered my way of living, which caused my hubby’s way of living to change as well.

The surgery went great as far as I know. The morning of was tough, had to be there at 6am to check in. My mom showed up, started to cry and laugh. Somewhat out of fear, but mainly out of joy. Seeing her cry made me  cry. We’ve all been through a lot, not just family but friends and coworkers of both my hubby and me. It was a relief.

I was brought into the OR just after 8am feeling confident. I received an epidural about mid-way through my back. Absolutely amazing thing. Yes, I was a little high, but still I made people smile and was reassured because everyone was confident.

My surgery was roughly 5.5 hours. I lost 3 litres of blood, causing me to get several blood transfusions. Otherwise, the surgery went great. I lost my entire right side of my liver, roughly 60-70% of my liver, my gallbladder and only 1 out of my 3 main veins, originally it was supposed to be 2. The believed cause of my pain was the FNH was pushing on my one vein and several nerves.

The only hospital complication I had was my epidural malfunctioned several times, causing me to cry in agony the day after surgery, otherwise it went pretty well. The nurses were amazing and they let my hubby do a bunch for me to help out. I was released from hospital Apr. 3rd and then complications set in.

On Apr. 7th, when my hubby and I were changing some of the falling apart medi-strips or steri-strips, like we were told to do so bacteria doesn’t set in, part of my incision on my right hand side opened up. We called the surgeon and was told to put more strips on it and place gauze over it and to wait to see him on Apr. 10th.

We saw him Apr. 10th, where the wound was roughly 5cm long and 1cm wide. He informed us this could happen and is called wound dehiscence. It was nothing to worry about and sent us on our way.

Within 48 hours (Apr. 12th), we had a close friend over and she noticed one of my strips around the bandage placed over my wound looked strange. I lifted part of the bandage to get a better look and saw that it looked green. I peeled off the bandage to check and saw that my wound was severely infected. She rushed my hubby and me to the hospital I had surgery at (roughly 1 hour away from my home). We had called the surgeon twice with no call back. Luckily I got seen by several of his interns. Unfortunately, they had to poke and prod and told me they could see to my muscles in one small hole, but it was not infected internally, only topographical. The wound had  grow to 10cm long and 1.5cm wide at the widest point (the rest of the incision on my right hand side had split open). They cleaned me, patched me up enough to be sent home to receive homecare after it was approved by my surgeon.

As of now the infection has cleared and I am getting great treatment. I am sorry about the graphic photos but this is what I’ve been dealing with personally and my family and friends have been witnessing. Honestly, without such great people helping me stay positive I wouldn’t be doing so well. Yes, my scar is going to be bigger and uglier, but I’ll be better and they won’t judge me. For those suffering with FNH it’s a struggle to get treatment and the recovery is just as hard. Other than my wound I feel fantastic, better than I have in over a year. This is my struggle as a Canadian, so I hope it helps others from Canada and around the world.

Size of Tumour Size of the tumour in the right side of my liver.

IMG-20130401-00101 24 Hours after surgery. Bloated so much I looked liked I was pregnant.

IMG-20130402-00279 48 hours after surgery.

IMG-20130410-00283 Apr. 10th, after I was seen by the surgeon. All the other images are too graphic.

Anyone struggling with FNH or wants more information feel free to email me at: meganheld@live.ca

Once again, I cannot thank my hubby, family, friends and coworkers of both my hubby and me. Amazing support, laughs and positivity. Without any of you this would not have been as easy to deal with. My recovery is going great because even if it hurts, I still laugh and smile. I owe you all so much…even if the mocking has come to an end (I was really moody/hormonal) I knew it was out of love and to make sure depression never plagued me.

Monday, March 11, 2013 | By: Megan Held

The Great World of Authors

As I work on writing the sequel to The Selected and try to get myself in the mood to edit Control Me I have been terribly distracted by many things. Life, reading a bunch of novels that I downloaded from Smashwords Read and eBook week, which most are phenomenal. I have never been so amazed at all the talent out there and am glad I found that site.
For those that have ereaders we are able to find more writers that the world does not know about. Well, unless you work a minimum wage job and found out one of the most regular customers wrote a trilogy about the War of 1812. He leant me the books for a change of reading and well, I am happy to read them. The look on his face made my work week, plus I’ll learn something too.
Only downside is that I am going to be proud of his work and jealous of how talented he is. One day I may be a great writer; for now, I’ll just stick with what I am doing and be happy.
Talking about great writers, a fellow author/friend Dean Smith-Richard, whom I have featured on my blog before, posted about the terrible news of E.L. James writing a novel about writing advice: http://deanfortythree.wordpress.com/2013/03/11/monday-morning-randomness-5/
To me, she has nothing really to offer. I would love to read a novel, or even several posts on blogs about aspiring novelists and what advice they have to give. So, all the writers out there, time to give some advice and let me know what you would tell writers.
Mine: Don’t stress about word count or chapters. A book will chose all that for you. Write what you are thinking about and worry about that stuff later.
“Books are my life!”
Saturday, February 23, 2013 | By: Megan Held

New Writing Phase/Genre Time

I am back to trying to edit again…not because I want to. Editing is my least favourite thing to do, especially when I have a novel that keeps screaming to be written and couple ideas running through my head.

I tend to go through phases of writing genres. I don’t know why and I wish I could explain it. It seems like I am going to be in a dystopia YA genre phase. I’m not complaining because it has me intrigued. The only complaint is more of a worry because it is a new genre. Sure, I’ve written one novel, but that is not enough.

It is easy to speculate about the future because so many things can happen. I think I am drawn to this genre because there will always be violence as the world changes. Also, most of what has been established will be changed. It’s intriguing to think of these concepts. It’s also as close to science fiction writing as I will get.

Have other writers gone through a phase similar to this? Or are most authors always in one genre and have never ventured?

Sorry for the short post, not much is new and I’m more distracted about my health issues. Update to come about that later.

Tuesday, February 5, 2013 | By: Megan Held

Control Me Cover Reveal

I doubt I really need to say anything. Been busy writing my other book and figured this would give me drive to edit more.

Hope you all like. May be fixed before publication date.

Front cover

Full cover

Tuesday, January 29, 2013 | By: Megan Held

Almost Time to Edit…Again

Well, that title pretty much gives away what this post is going to be about. I finished typing up Control Me, reaching just over 90,000 words. There is one problem though, I tend to add more than remove in my novels.

I find when I write I forget parts of sentences or I don’t fill in the blanks when it comes to describing scenes or parts. It’s the only downside of handwriting what I think of at the time.

Editing will resume soon, I just need to make sure I’ve taken a long enough break. I did do all the chapters, making sure that they were not too long. I like smaller chapters, easier to read. This, too, may change as I edit. I remember changing a lot with Murder Never Dies and Unknown Caller.

Once I get the first 10-15 chapters edited I will post them for free for people to download and get a feel of my novel. It’s not like any other I have written and I enjoy it, but I am sure most may not.

For now, I have been working on the sequel to The Selected while processing two other book ideas. This tends to happen a lot, I get many ideas, but I have to make sure I really want to edit or not. The sequel is going well. Most of the plot is starting to fall in place already, making it easier to write. The only problem is my work and health issue is making it difficult to stay awake once I am home.

I am 60 pages into the novel, which is a nice chunk. Some day’s I wish I was a full time writer with a schedule I created and had a room I could lock myself in that never let me get distracted. I’ll continue to dream.

Back to writing! I am in the mood to do it and have not done any yet…I am terrible. Next week I should be editing and should have Control Me up by the summer!

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Monday, January 14, 2013 | By: Megan Held

Word Count and Control Me

I didn’t feel like posting two small blog posts for two things that are both small. Update on Control Me will be my first topic. I am already 76k in, with more still to type. I think this will be my longest novel yet; which I cannot tell if that is a good or bad thing.

I also need to start getting a good little description for it to tell people what it is about. That part is the hardest for me. I tend to ramble. Alas, I need to think back to my schooling.

What I have so far:

What would you do if people were hunting you for your special abilities? What if you were the one to discover this?

Janet Clemmons was trying to get her Master’s Degree in Rhetoric when she gets offered a job to help the government. While working for the government she discovers that people are hunting for an object that can control people. As she continues to analyze she discovers that she is the object that is being hunted.

In order to help her the government assigns her a personal bodyguard that makes her travel the world to keep her safe, but that is not possible.

She is forced to use her powers to escape being captured causing her to do things she never wanted to do: kill people.

The more she uses her abilities, the more she is hunted. Arguing, fighting, and death are becoming popular in her life because of what she makes people do. Soon, she will have to make a tough decision to stop the hunt and end her having to murder people in order to live.

I hope it sounds all right. Once I find someone to edit my novel I can do more and get their opinion. I love this novel because it is not my normal style, but that topic is for another blog post.

Tuesday, January 1, 2013 | By: Megan Held

New Year, Time to Write and Another Part of Control Me

Don’t worry, that is not my resolution. I never was a fan of them. What’s the point of setting a goal to last all year? Why not strive to be happy and do what you love? Well, and I have to learn to stop doubting myself. I have a tendency to think my writing is awful and I will never get published. No, I don’t have a fear of rejection, more a fear of being accepted. Maybe I will finally get over my fear and send out Query Letters. Hence the word ‘maybe’.

In regards to that, I plan to do what I have been doing for the past couple years: write a novel a year and type up a novel a year. Hope that I can do that. Writing is my hobby, but my passion. Plus, if I don’t get confident and published, lots of friends and coworkers will be angry about not going on any trips.

I do have to say, I was spoiled for Christmas. I got a lot of amazing writing gifts. I can admit this, getting anything like that makes me feel like a little kid again.

Favourite one is this:

IMG-20130101-00201

All I am waiting for is the blue ink I ordered so I can write my novels with it.

But, seeing as I have gotten side-tracked, I will stick with what I had initially planned: posting a little bit more of Control Me. Remember, it’s not edited yet, but enjoy! One of my favourite parts:

I helped Jared fold up the tent and stuff it in his bag. We woke up as soon as the sun hit the tent. There was no chance we wanted to risk being caught while packing. “Do we need to pack up anything else?” I said to Jared as I did up all the clasps on my large bag.

Jared closed up his bag and put it on his back. “No, the tent was the last thing.” He grabbed his small bag and waited for me to get the bags situated on me so I was able to move with ease. “We’ve got to grab a train to an airport. It’ll take three hours.”

“Fantastic. Let’s get going then.” I began to follow Jared through the woods. As we walked we listened for the sound of footsteps. Last time we checked a group was close to where we were. Every twenty metres or so he would stop and signal for me to do the same. It allowed us to be safe and protect ourselves in case people were near. This particular pause was longer than normal.

“I think that there are people near us,” Jared said as he focused on listening to the area around us.

When he went to reach for his weapon I placed my hand over his to stop him. “Let me handle this.” My method was quieter. I stood against Jared as I listened to find where the people were hiding. Not being able to see the people would make it difficult to control them. I signalled to him that I needed to move closer. Don’t follow. I need to make sure I can run back and find you. I waited till he nodded in acknowledgement of my message before I began to make my way through the brush towards the direction of the voices we had faintly heard. There was a group of twelve discussing the plan to do the search of the area. Now the method of trying to incapacitate them at the same time was going to be tricky. Either they would all attack us after they revived if I just put them to sleep or I could kill them and not worry about them chasing us. I decided to do the latter because it was the best decision for Jared and me. All of them had weapons, which made it easier on me. All I had to do was make them go after each other like they were all enemies. I stood, hidden by the trees as I looked at the group, thinking of the thought I had created in my mind. Within seconds one man had pulled out his gun and killed the guy across from him. After that shot it was chaos. They all fired at each other, falling to the ground in agony. As the last guy fell I dropped my head and stopped thinking of the thought. The deed was done. I was a monster. I had killed twelve people by making them kill each other. I was a monster. I had killed twelve people. Not wanting to dwell on the facts, I turned around and walked back to where Jared had stayed hidden.

Jared looked at me with a concerned face. “What happened?” he said when I had not spoken a word to him once I returned.

“They’re dead, or dying.”

“How many?”

“Twelve.”

“The others will notice. We better start moving, and fast.” Jared started to jog, weaving around the trees. He could sense my dislike of what I had just done, but he had no time to console. Twelve people were dead and whoever they worked for would take notice. He knew that my decision was the correct one. “You made the right decisions even if it seems like you haven’t. I told you, the first time always is the hardest.” That was not at all that supportive, but it was all he could think of while navigating back to the train station.

“I hope it does. If not, I don’t know what I will do.” It was hard to keep up with Jared’s pace carrying a large bag on my back and carrying a smaller one in my arms. The death of those men should distract whoever sent them long enough for us to get on a train and head towards an airport.

“Another ten minutes and we’ll be there.” He increased his pace, not wanting it to be longer than ten minutes.