The ugliness of survivors guilt

I have survivors guilt. BIG TIME.

In 2011 my husband saved my life. He paid attention! He knew I was crashing, and constantly being hospitalized for bleeding episodes. He is not a Hematologist, but he is very smart, summa top class of his class smart. He worked the problem, and I am alive today to tell the story.

He loved me enough to go to any measures necessary to save my life. He rushed me to the hospital, he begged his partners, and about five different specialty doctors to evaluate me.

The result? A diagnosis. One that was long overdue. He didn’t know what it had done to me neurologically.

As of today, it has been 8 years, and three months. I have seen many specialists, a new hematologist at VCU, and a fantastic psychologist, that has helped my brain heal.  I have IV medication (Von Willebrand serum) on hand if I need it, and medication for the constant bruising, and I am better.  I kicked opioids in April of 2018.  Although they gave me some the evening of my Brother’s death (IV) because I was in the hospital, and had to return the next day.  I did not take a prescription home, and I will never ever take them again no matter how much pain I’m in. Those drugs make everything worse.  Furthermore, they were making me stupid!  We have to get these drugs off the streets, and Doctor’s really need to evaluate how long to give them after an episode.

What I do know, is when my Brother Corey passed, I thought it was my fault. I had the records that he gave me, and I also had the records that the Hepatologist had given my husband with my Brother’s consent. That was in May 2018. He died on September 9, 2018.

Why? My sweet Sister and my parents are convinced that it was his time. God had called upon him as their Angel, and it was simply his time. I want to believe this simple analogy. It’s easier to accept. I’m listening to the audible Bible and halfway through. John 11 gives the most comfort. I just won’t lie. Given this history in medicine, and now this new learning in religion, I’m still 50/50. Could I have done more to save him as was done to save me?

My husband says NO. He says one is truly hereditary, and medical (me) and one is bad luck, or maybe lifestyle. That still doesn’t make sense because he held the same job for 18 years!  he was so beloved by everyone he met.  He still hasn’t been replaced at his former job he was so smart. I am a Mom had almost always had the luxury of being my own boss.  Some really successful endeavors, and some just ok.  I just knew that I had no choice but to survive.  That’s difficult to do when you’re exhausted after 13 surgeries and 11 blood transfusions.  I will never forget my husband rushing me to the hospital the last time with a hemoglobin of 4, begging his Partners to help saying  I was crashing fast.  So many Doctor’s and nurses rushing around, and my husband was not about it let me die.  When things looked like I wasn’t going to make it, my husband called my parents.  They rushed to the hospital, and at this point, I was about to just give up.  I was so tired, and I was ready to call it quits.  At that moment, I saw my Mom rush into the room.  I felt so guilty that I had always worried them so with so much medical trauma, so many hospital stays. I remember looking up at my Mom and thinking I have to fight.  I have to survive.  I can’t quit.  Mostly because she probably would have killed me herself if I didn’t fight for myself! Suddenly, I could almost feel my arms and legs again, I was turning the corner to hold on, more blood was on its way and my surgeon was racing to the hospital for another emergency surgery to try and stop the bleeding.

It’s difficult to comprehend. It’s hard to know that my Brother was such a better person than me, kinder, gentler than me but due to economic circumstances I survived? So, guilt?  You think?  Yep.  I have been upsetting my family.  Not on purpose, but they really believe it was his time to go, and I need to just give it up to God.  They believe God needed another angel.  So, because I love them so much, I am going to do just that.  I’m still going to give back to charities, pay it forward, and start awkward conversations that are for the greater good, but I won’t make it personal.

From here until eternity. I am going to believe in my family, that loves me. A sister that makes me laugh at loud, a niece that fills my heart with joy, and my parents who need peace.   They deserve some peace. This is my last post about this.

The end.



The Mask of the Doctors wife

So you had a bad day…Think of the goodness…Husband, children, grandchildren and of coarse…DOGS…

The pictures above are obviously of my family, and I am blessed to have them all.  Now, having said this …. Doesn’t it piss you off royally when you just need a day to re-group and Johnny Sunshine says,”cheer up, look at all you have to be grateful for!”  It does for me.  I want to look at that person and say,”yes, I obviously am blessed – however – I forgot to take my f*cking happy pill today!”  It’s just one of those days.  

I had to parent my youngest child today!  Absolutely hate the pain of having to do that.  He is a good kid, but he made a mistake and needs to learn from it!  I think mine actually knows very well how hard it is for me.  His POWERS go something like this, he gets angry and storms off.  I give him time but HOLD my ground.  About an hour later, he will come to me and say I love you Mom and you were right.  I’m not sure anyone can possibly understand how much this means to me.  It really does mean something to raise a young man who will become a great man.  By great, I mean his morals are in fact, he has empathy for others, he’s kind, sweet to girls that one day become women and he will be a great husband!  He’s laid back and doesn’t have to stress too much because he knows the difference between wrong and right and will use those tools to become successful and happy.  

My full time parenting will come to an end as he enters his senior year of High School and then is off to college!  It makes me cry a lot.  It makes me do a happy dance a lot!  Only Mom’s understand these are some very complex emotions.  Throw in menapause and you are a ticking time bomb!

So, I had a bad day.  It won’t kill me, I’m the survivor.  Born that way.  The Cat with nine lives who will land on her feet no matter what!  All phrases I’ve been told, and I couldn’t agree MORE.  Happy HUMP day!

Aka….the mask of the Doctor’s wife….

I want Roscoe P’s life!

All photo's from IP Phone 003

Above is the picture of the greatest dog a girl ever had!  Roscoe P.!  I envy Roscoe and how he happily runs around our yard, and then comes inside for his nap.  I want his life!  Minus being a dog, obviously, but he makes everything look so fun and easy.

Dealing with real life adult life is harder than any horror film you have ever seen.  Are you following me here?  I mean when you are watching the horror movie and the character in the story hears a bad sound coming from the basement.  What person watching isn’t screaming at the T.V., “Don’t go into that basement!  Run girl…RUN!”  Yet, this wouldn’t make a very good horror movie if they just dialed 911.  Am I right?  Life is the same way.  If we don’t face our fears and overcome them then are we living life the life of our dog or simply just bumping around?  Suddenly the horror movie sounds more fun.

There is nothing that I love more than the love of family.  There are great perks to it!

  1.  They pretty much have to LOVE you.  Mine may not like me at times, but I always feel the love.
  2. You will turn into your Mother.  This is something most girls fight, but just wait…It will happen.  In my case this works out great because my Mom is the queen of Prosecco which we have already established that I LOVE.  She is a good time party girl, minus her making me do dishes, but hey it’s a small price to pay.  Believe me I have tried to pay someone else to do it! #loveyourmother
  3. I have a happy, always smiling Daddy that makes a huge hit at our Super Bowl Party every year.  He laughs loudly, enjoys life, and his BIG hugs make this life a better place. #Alwaysdaddysgirl
  4. My Sister is hysterical.  She’s mentally ill, I say this with the most love, and never challenge her to a game of Murder!  (inside joke, sorry)  Pretty much don’t challenge her at anything because she will win!  Her competitive spirit along with her love, and light make our night time phone calls something I always look forward too!  #sisterswillkeepyoursecrets
  5. My Brother.  He is a mess.  You will never know he is because he can keep secrets and somehow always gets out of doing the dishes!  His humor is a bit odd and you never know if he’s really joking or not.  He’ll make comments like, “Mom, I can’t have another beer becuase I’m going to be dropping Acid tomorrow!”  We all laugh, but is he really kidding?  We may never know the truth!  He is awesome with phones and computers which is good because I suck at it, and he will even come over and fix mine if I pester him enough about it. #handycomputerguys

Back to the loveable Roscoe P!  He always wants to be with his Mommy (that’s me) everynight watching a show on a T.V. show he is always snuggled next to me and gets annoyed if I have to get up to go to the bathroom.  It’s a good thing I have Roscoe P., as we all have heard my last teenager is in the home stretch of finishing High School and will soon be in College!  I’m going to need plenty of valium and the love of my dog becuase the thought of this hurts my heart already!  As much as I complain about this job of parenting, I’m really just venting, I wouldn’t have it any other way.

Oh, I almost forgot, my husband!  He has mastered the “dog voice” we all use when talking to them or for them, or about them!  In the beginning, he just couldn’t get it down right and was the recipant of many jokes.  Well, he may make it through five more years of the Doctor life until retirement and then I will be in big trouble!  Surely, there will be a race to the mailbox for the American Express bill.  Thank God he loves me.  REALLY, Thank God.  He saved more than my life, he may have just saved my soul. #loveyourhusband

Your dogs love is the best of all!  He may get mad at you for tossing him outside for a portion of the day, but as soon as you give him that treat – it’s ALL GOOD.  Also, your dog doesn’t hold a grudge, and will protect you from the trash collectors he LOVES to bark at!

Xoxo, SCT, mask of the doctor’s wife ❤️

The fresh Princess of Salisburyfare…Speaks to her youngest son, the Prince of Fashionfare…

Parent’s Just Don’t Understand  (<–Click Here)


I guess I am just one of the parent’s that just doesn’t understand….Boys hit sixteen and all of the sudden that little boy who was always by your side is hiding on the other side of the mall terrified that he may be seen with Mom.  However, my son MUST have the latest in fashion!  I am apparently just supposed to hand my credit card over and say, “My credit limit is $15,00.00, now go get whatever you want?”  What Mother in her right mind does this?  So, we have settled out of court with on-line shopping, and he sends me the link of everything it is acceptable to buy.  Not the greatest compromise for me!  I miss the experience of going with him and waiting outside the dressing room while he throws things at me stating YES or NO!  Okay, so maybe I really don’t miss it that much, but I enjoyed our time together.

This gradual coming of age as all teenage boys do, makes a Mom who is so desperate to hold on to that little boy cry tears of separation!  What happened?  It seems only yesterday he was following me into the bathroom and talking to me while I was drying my hair, now he is constantly in his room and I am no longer allowed to say certain words or phrases like, “Mom has game”.  You know what I am sayin?  He looks at me as if I had three heads and says, “Mom – don’t use slang!”  Why the heck not?  Who crowned him King of slang!  I still have it “all going on”…I am referring to the half bag of chocolate covered peanuts I just ate, but he just doesn’t understand me!  So basically I don’t understand him, and he would rather die than to even try to understand me.  What’s a Mom to do?  Embarrass that little brat!  So, here is my music video an oldie but a goodie…so buckle up, and understand this!

Rules You Must Live By!  (<–Click Here)

Because…Because…Because…I said so!  I’m the Mom that is why.  You will Thank me for this when your grown.  Well, maybe you won’t actually thank me but you will appreciate not becoming homeless!

XOXO to Carter, LOVE – MOM (Yes, I hope this is highly embarrassing)







You are not what went wrong in my life, You are what saved me…


Standing to my left is my oldest son and he IS what saved me.  Drew Barrymore screams in this movie, “When will this job ever be over?”  The true answer is NEVER.  You will always want to take care of them as the Mother no matter how much you fight it and no matter how many times you tell yourself to let go.  For me it just won’t happen.  We are like the Titanic!  I will never let go, and they won’t either.  The bond between a Mother and her son is so huge if you think about it too long your heart may explode.

Comparing this movie in my blog is so ironic considering I am writing a book about it, well sort of about it.  Watching this clip made me think back to how hard it was then, but yet I survived!  I have it pretty cushy now and sometimes you have to push the reality check button!

When I started down this book journey I thought I would never make it to the end and here we sit just two short chapters away.  I re-read most chapters every other day, I tweak them, I revise, I make changes to the flow of the story.  It’s alot like life itself.  We are constantly checking ourselves trying to improve, wanting to be better, healthier, and stronger.  The love inside grows more everyday, and we constantly find ways to give more of ourselves to the people we love most.  For me I am happy to be somewhat crossing the finish line, but a little sad as well.  It has been a wild ride!  Like raising kids and having a family – it’s pure hell while you are doing it, but once you get close to the end you feel sad?  Insert LOL.  What the heck is wrong with us?  I should be putting my party hat on!  Instead, I’m looking at baby pictures of my youngest knowing he too will be off to college soon since he is approaching his junior year in High School this fall!  Did I just say that about my baby?  Crap!  Bring on the Valium!  I cannot even think about it for long or I start to panic!  WTF?  Seriously!

Men.  Father’s have it so easy!  Damn them.  This is all their fault!  They are so laid back about it all.  Bye son!  See you in four years!  How do they do it?  They are constantly giving the wife the eye roll when she breaks out the kleenex, like, oh please, it’s just another day, you will be fine!  Admit it…Sometimes you just want to hit them over the head with a baseball bat and scream WAKE UP!  Feel something dammit!  I think they do.  However men have shared their wives with kids for a long time and when it comes time for the couple to be the focus of life they are really looking forward to it.  HA!  No one tell my husband that it is NEVER truly over for me.  I have been doing this since I was nineteen years old and I just don’t know any other way.  I am however WILLING to give it the old college try….perhaps the Bahama’s after we drop Carter off at college….sipping on a pina colada….wait, maybe it won’t be so bad!  I can picture it….Just BREATHE.


The Mask of the Doctor’s Wife…

Another sleepless night, do other writers/authors experience this? ANGRY and truth telling…..

Your mind is racing with your “TO DO” list, so much that you have to drag yourself from a sleepy slumber and just write.  Another such night for me.  I know my husband is a light sleeper, and my tossing and turning will awaken him.  I cannot bere the thought of an innocent person being hurt, because he was deprived of sleep.  So, here I sit, admittedly productively finishing Sunday nights blog.

It actually doesn’t come at to of an inconvenient time considering it needed to be done in the first place.  How engaging is this?  It’s not.  But, wait there’s more…..

Early evening I attempted, once again to get insurance matters, and finances out-of-the-way with the EX for our youngest child.  Money is a difficult thing to discuss as it is, and I have the two most important men in my life squabbling over a few dollars, and payroll deduction versus trusting him to pay us on time. How many women can relate with this?  I would be willing to bet MANY.  How many women would rather forgo money in lieu of harmony and happiness even if the other party wins?  Probably many, as long as you have an equal participant in other aspects.  I do not, unless it includes fun things like sports, etc…Otherwise, every parent/teacher conference, every tutor, every guidance counselor meeting, every doctor’s visit, every part of being a parent is on me. All school fee’s, new outfits, any other money requirement is on me.  When I’m a good girl and I don’t complain, and when I am as accommodating as I can be, all goes well!  The second I question this or suggest another route, usually, I am yelled at.  To the point of tears…(Disclaimer…as of late the babies daddy has significantly improved, but I’m still making a point!)  My wonderful husband who really provides so much for my children, including his time, vacations, and other things, get’s furious!  Why wouldn’t he be?  Okay, so dope head that says he pays medical bills, he says, hey don’t worry it’s all taken care of,he is not worried when the collection notices show up at my home.  This makes my husband furious!  These are our colleagues and friends that are taking care of my children.  The embarrassment of a collection notice coming home is NOT acceptable.  Does carefree, newly single motorcycle guy care? NO. I have an offer on the table for us to take over the inadequate insurance he offers that would save him money, he does agree, but will not agree to having it payroll deduction?  So, the issue is after a long history of not paying the required bills, or even asking for child support, do I fight or give in for the greater good?  I’m not going to get into this fully, because it is addressed in the book and a – GIRLFRIENDS GUIDE OF WHAT NOT TO DO, accompanies this. I always want to keep the peace.  Parents are at peace, so are the children,  Right?  I, personally do not care to engage in such arguments, it’s easier just to pay the bill and move on.  However, my income has been significantly reduced due to time off and finally dealing with my medical issues which are life threatening.  This EX that proclaims he is so understanding of this, is NOT at all.  He has made it clear to me if I go for a payroll deduction (just medical, plus expenses, no child support) he will either flee to another country or sabotage his own career and work at McDonald’s?  He claims this “garnishment” would ruin his upper level executive job?  Okay, let’s think about this upper level executive job for a moment.  Is he working for IBM?  Wall street?  A large financial institution?  NO.  He is working for a Mom and Pop HVAC company.  I am not in any way bashing his accomplishments, but it’s not that big of a deal, and since it will be clearly stated in the court’s order, he would still be able to get this done pre-tax dollars.  So, who wins?  I’m caught in the middle of “Who’s private part is bigger?”, I can tell you that answer without a doubt, not only does the husband Doctor win, but he is right!!  If I am doing all the work, paying all the bills, and this is the minimum he has to put up with – what is the big deal?  What?  Someone please enlighten me.

He has had to pay medical bills, and my attorney’s fee’s in the past.  He has lost at every turn.  Now he states that he has consulted with an attorney that says he can appeal to civil court?  This is crazy talk.  In the state of Virginia, it is a chart.  I make X, you make X, I am the primary custody holder, and the calculation is done!  It is of no relevance what my husband makes, this is his final child to pay for, at 15, I might add, so you are going to work at McDonald’s for three years?  I have already agreed to pay out our youngest son’s full college tuition, which he will be attending directly after high school and you are going to spend thousands, he told me, so this doesn’t happen?  Where is the logic?   (If you have thousands, why not put them in a college fund for the kids?)  Where is the brain of this once smart savvy person I knew?  Where?  To boot at the end of the conversation, which was becoming heated, my children arrived for dinner and I was certain they had heard part of this conversation.  So, I politely say, listen, I don’t agree with your attitude, but I love you and we will work it out.  This makes my baby (15) smile at me as he is headed for the shower before dinner.  This smile is what I LIVE for.  So, a person has to wonder, does being the doormat make you the better person for the greater good?  Or, does this just encourage people to break laws, disabuse trust, and treat others poorly unless they get their way?  What lesson does that teach in the end?

I won’t even go into the remarkable person that my husband is that has NEVER overstepped his boundaries, and despite dealing with this foolishness, just flipped the bill for the entire family vacation to Vail, including my children!  This is the guy you are angry with over $270 dollars payroll deduction for medical?  Really?  He is simply supporting his wife and making the person who says he wants to be the involved parent accountable.  No grudges, no hatred, nothing more.  The only sort of unkind text he sent my EX was to say that he was adolescent in his view of this matter, and the way he would graciously add our son to the insurance was through payroll deduction.  The response he received was it was “none of his business”, and he was only talking about what he had heard and had no real knowledge of the facts?  Are court orders, and collection bills not facts?  Are hearing his wife cry and suffer when she is in no condition to do so, not a reason to step up?  In my thoughts that is what any great man would, and should do.

Again, not wanting to ruin the plot of the book, I suffered tremendously for years at the hands of his live in(aka demon from hell, in the book) girlfriend.  As I have written in previous blogs, as soon as she was shown the front door – all was forgiven.  To quote Carly Simon, “Your so vain”, tells the entire story.  My forgiveness was not for him, and honestly not even for my children.  It was for me.  Carrying around that boulder weighs a person down.  It’s not a life I want to lead.  Forgiveness, sets your heart, mind, body and soul free.  I did it selfishly for me.  Is an apology, I’m sorry I put you through all that too much to ask?  Especially, when you have already admitted that you weren’t your best self at the time?  When he went through all of that – who was by his side?  Who cheered him on and said you CAN do this?  Me.  Did I forget his Birthday?  Nope, gift wrapped and all, from the kids.  Did I not help in furnishing his entire basement for our 19-year-old?  YES AGAIN, I did it all.  Big screen TV, bed, dressers, lamps, night stands, and everything. I did it for our oldest son so I am not asking for cheers and BIG thank you’s.  I’m simply asking for the decent person I once knew to step up, help me out some, participate in SOME of the real parenting that goes into raising fine young men.  That’s all.  Too much to ask for?

In closing, and I truly believe this – paying it forward is the way to live.  There is no greater life without it.  Despite my disease, despite my other medical conditions – I am a fighter and am here to stay.  I really believe in the natural goodness of others.  I really believe in the “girl code” and having each other’s backs.  I also really believe that there are good men out there who know how to treat their wives, girlfriends and women in general with the love and the respect they deserve.  I believe this because leading by example produces great men.  My oldest son is a wonderful caring husband.  My youngest son at the airport saw an older woman struggling with her luggage and without hesitation, turned around and said, “Mam, can I please help you with that?”  Those are the rewards of living a good life.  Those are the rewards of your heart being filled with joy knowing they are practicing what has been taught without being told to do so.  My middle son is getting it.  New gorgeous, smart, blonde haired – hazel eyed girlfriend!  That’s all for now.  Breakfast sandwiches made, Doctor off to the hospital, boy genius off to school – Mom off to bed.


Mask of the Doctor’s wife

Chapter 5 is an approved wrap!


How many of you have had to re-live things in your life that were OK, good, great, terrible, horrifying, and yet you might feel like maybe you were your best self during some of that time?  If you can’t handle it, don’t write a book because you will re-live it!  As a young mother of two, when my oldest was in school, my toddler and I would paint, make chair rails with wall paper border, cook, clean, and plant tulips all over the yard.  We lived on a quaint ranch where wild flowers grew abundantly, and the tulip bulbs from Holland made our house look like a fairy tale.


Yes, I did cook.  They may not have been the greatest meals, but I cooked them.  Enrolled my middle son in a Catholic preschool, went to soccer games, stopped at the 7 for a slippery! (aka 7eleven Slurpee)  Young love is fragile, and you are always guessing and wondering if the fairy tale you had always dreamed of was present.  One day I will never forget, I was giving the baby a bath – he LOVED the bath.  He was always splashing and loved the duck wash cloth.  So, needless to say, I looked like a mess with hair everywhere, drenched with water and baby wash when my first love walks in.  He looks at our baby and looks at me and says, “God you’re beautiful“.  I remember turning to kiss him, thinking he never comments on how I look when I try, but here I am a wet mess and this is the moment?  If I could talk to that young girl again, I would tell her life is filled with moments.  Some moments that can seem so simple, are actually the glue that holds everything together.


Do I regret making the choice to leave?  No.  I think you can experience things for a moment, awhile, or a life time.  The knowledge that comes with it helps you make better life choices next time. Or you could know deep inside that there is a part of you that will always need to be a little wild, a little free, and the right person will respect that about you.  That’s real love to me.  Acceptance of the good and bad, whether right or wrong.  This is your hero.  He will save you every time, love you, understand every part of you.  He will make everything okay.  He will help you figure out who you really are, which is the greatest gift of all.  Then it will be okay for our princess to put the mask back on once and awhile. After all, who doesn’t love a little mystery?