Monday, August 8, 2011

Good Karma and Korean Spas

Hmmm ... did that title catch your attention?

I seek good karma (plus your prayers) as I am having surgery on Wednesday.   It started with a Korean Spa ....

Back in LA, as the RT Booklovers' Convention was winding down, Kathryn Falk treated me to an "afternoon at a Korean spa."   We joined an Avon author and her mother at the spa, dipping into the exotic baths.   Should I mention that everyone wears their birthday suit?

Once it was time for our "ultimate scrub", we hopped up on the massage tables where Korean ladies performed their magic.   As my masseuse scrubbed my abdomen, she said in broken English, "Go to doctor."   She repeated pointed to my lower abdomen - I figured she probably knew more about women's bodies than the women themselves.

As soon as I arrived home, I called the Hickam clinic appointment line.  The dilemma - how to explain the "ailment".   I requested to see my doctor for "abdominal pain."   Since my assigned doctor was deployed, a contracted civilian doctor attended me ... and she was fantastic.   She chuckled with me about the Korean lady's advice and responded, ""Let's do a Well Woman Workup on you."    I was embarrassed to report that it had been two years since I had a Pap Smear and Mammogram (the Air Force required both before I moved "overseas" to Hawaii).   I was able to accomplish both that day and the results showed no abnormalities.

Tripler Army Medical Center - "the Pink Palace"
Is it pink in honor of women's health?

Next step - ultrasound at Tripler Army Medical Center.  The ultrasound revealed I have an oversized fibroid.  Since it was not causing any discomfort, I could delay surgery so I could travel to the mainland for my father's memorial service, the RWA National Convention, and my cousin's wedding.  

During the convention, I learned that Avon is sponsoring a campaign - K.I.S.S. and Teal - to promote awareness of ovarian cancer.  From the Ovarian Cancer National Alliance website:

September is National Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month, and Avon Books is joining forces with the Ovarian Cancer National Alliance to urge women to learn about the symptoms of ovarian cancer–and to help us spread the “K.I.S.S. and Teal” message (Know the Important Signs and Symptoms) to friends and family. “Ovarian cancer was long thought to be a silent killer, but now we know it isn’t silent at all,” says Dr. Karen Orloff Kaplan, the chief executive officer of the Ovarian Cancer National Alliance. 

Read the rest of the article to learn why Avon is sponsoring this campaign and who this disease has impacted. We'll talk more about this campaign in September.   Avon's efforts reminded me that women have to take control and know their bodies.   I am scheduled for a hysterectomy on Wednesday morning to remove the fibroid and prevent others from growing back.  I plan to be home Friday night ... and then four weeks of recovery.   The benefits:

- Instant weight loss!
- Mandatory reading time!
- Opportunity to hone my Jeopardy skills!

Not quite me but I do have a pile of ARCs!

I  have preposted this week's blogs.  My older son is tasked with posting the links to my Facebook account.  My younger son is tasked to "be helpful."  I am fortunate that hubby is not deployed and I have three cats who give comfort.   Plus I have a pile of ARCs to review!

What do you do to take care of your body?  

Check your boobies?  I know Alba advocates this!

One commenter will win a book of choice from my stash of the Avon titles.   This giveaway is open to all readers as we are one in this fight to keep ourselves healthy.   Comments are open through Saturday, August 13, 10 pm in Hawaii.  I'll post the winners on Sunday, August 14 (or the job will fall to my older son).


Kim in Hawaii

Also from the Ovarian Cancer National Alliance website:

A portion of the sales from each of these September 2011 Avon titles will be donated to the Ovarian Cancer National Alliance as part of the K.I.S.S. and Teal Campaign:

  • Viscount Breckenridge to the Rescue by Stephanie Laurens
  • The Seduction of Scandal by Cathy Maxwell
  • The Deed by Lynsay Sands
  • A Night to Surrender by Tessa Dare
  • In the Arms of a Marquess by Katharine Ashe
  • One Night in London by Caroline Linden
  • Star Crossed Seduction by Jenny Brown


  1. Will keep you in my thoughts and prayers, but confident that you will have no problems.

    I try to take care of myself - annual mammogram and well woman exam; diet & exercise!


  2. Best wishes for successful surgery and a speedy (though leisurely) recovery.

    Came across this link (uterine cancer) last night, while checking out books that might be both of interest to a cancer support group and available at the local library.

  3. Hope you recover quickly! Heating pads and pain medication are your friends.

    I take vitamins and am trying to exercise (kind of hard to do until the tendon on my leg heals).

  4. Best wishes to you with your upcoming surgery. I too have a fibroid...and I do need to make an appt for myself, so I will do that. As for taking care of myself, I do schedule regular appts and I have been exercising more lately and eating some better foods.

    csolinda (at) hotmail (dot) com

  5. You will be in my thoughts as you go through this. I hope you heal very fast. My sister in law had a massive fibroid and had the same surgery you are having but I've had three smallish fibroids for years and never had a problem with them. I do wish you luck and good pain meds with this surgery. get as much reading done as possible and rest. rest and relaxation is the best thing you can do for yourself to heal easier. Oh and a piece or two of chocolate won't hurt either ;)

    I get annual check ups to make sure I am staying healthy.

  6. Best wishes for a successful surgery. I do take vitamins, but I need to be more active and exercise more often.

  7. It is kind of freaking me out that our lives are parallel right now. On my side of the world I am living a life of Ultra Sounds, Scopes in places best not mentioned & tests a plenty. I am actually, physically sitting on the edge of my seat waiting for the Doctor and/or hospital to call. I wish you well!!

  8. I will be thinking of you and you have my prayers. I do not think that you will have any problems, many women have this surgery and end up feeling much better for it.
    I try to remember to do my monthy self check because breast cancer runs in my family. Other tests, I try to put off....I know not good.

  9. My thoughts and prayers will be with you today. I take vitamins and once a year I have a pap smear and a mammogram!

    I tried to listen to my body.


  10. You are in my prayers Kim to heal quickly with little pain. :) I have been remiss in making appts for myself. But I'm definitely going to do so now. Thanks for sharing with us and you have all of us behind you . :)
    Carol L
    Lucky4750 (at) aol (dot) com

  11. I am just commenting not entering the contest.
    As always, best wishes for you on Wednesday.
    Thoughts and prayers are here for you.

  12. Good luck with your issues. Weird how you found out. I just started getting yearly physicals. I never did before because I have so many doctors - allergist, urologist, gynecologist, endocrinologist, and of coure the dentist. I wonder if going is worthwhile because the more I go the more they find.

  13. I hope you feel back to normal soon! I take vitamins daily and because I am a type 2 diabetic- I see my doctor on a regular basis. I take my meds, check my blood, try to exercise as often as the weather allows and watch what I eat. I also get a "Well-Woman Exam" on a yearly basis. It's really important - the dr just found a fibroid on my mom's breast but luckily it's benign (I had to push her to go to the dr - it had been 2 years since her last exam!). Women need to take care of themselves - we are subject to the same issues as men these days (heart attacks and such). Glad your two sons ar home to help you out and that hubby wasn't deployed. Cats are great for keeping you company while you heal:)

  14. Best wishes for an uncomplicated procedure and recovery.
    I had a TVH and several other repairs on 6-16, and am still in recovery mode... 12 wk recovery for me.
    Heating pads, pain medication, ice pacs, dried plums (trust me on this), lots of H2O, soft, soft sheets, lots of pillows,tons of books and don't forget the bedside bell!

    check out
    for more tips

  15. I'll keep you in my thoughts and prayers, Kim! Wow, that's such a cool story about the Korean lady. How did she know? Kind of woo-woo to my dull little western mind.

    Thanks for blogging on such an important topic. You reminded me that I'm a bit overdue for my exams. I'll set them up right away! Thanks for looking out for us.

  16. Wishing you a successful surgery and a speedy recovery. Sending a big feel better soon hug your way!! Take care.

  17. I have Lyme Disease, so I'm pretty diligent about supplements, rest, and stress management. Not so conscientious with the exercise... unless exercising my fingers at the keyboard counts. Hope your recovery is quick and uneventful. Envy you that TBR pile, lady!

  18. Hi Kim, (My Romvet friend)
    First off I am sending positive thoughts your way and wish you a speedy and comfortable recovery. (((hugs)))
    Next I think women as a whole are so busy taking care of others that we rarely think to take care of ourselves. So please, my friends, take a few minutes a day to take care of you. Cheers~

  19. Kim - Congrats on having the Korean lady point you toward better health! Isn't it amazing how somehow help comes where we least expect it? My only suggestion is a laugh pillow, to hold against your tummy for the first few days. It helps your muscles whenever you want to laugh - or cough. Your cats might be persuaded to assist, too. LOL

    Many prayers for fast, smooth healing -

    Diane, only commenting to send good karma not in hope of ARCs

  20. I too will be thinking of you and wish you well soon and how nice to have your family around you. Make sure you take advantage lol. I love being in bed with a good book and my cats purring around me. Very comforting!



    I avoid drs. like the plague but maybe I should try a Korean masseusse!

  21. Hi Kim,

    I'm sorry to hear of your women's health issue, but I'm relieved that this has a tried and true remedy. Each person bounces back from a hysterectomy at a different pace, so have patience and enjoy your reading time. I'm praying for your speeding recovery.


  22. *Hugs* Kim, keeping you in my prayers for your upcoming surgery. I had a partial hysterectomy for the same reason. Your quality of life will be SO much better. Take it easy and so glad you pampered yourself and leaned about your health need. *Hugs*
    God bless,

  23. Kim - I'm so glad you went to the Korean Spa! She was one smart masseuse! Sending you healing vibes and lots of good thoughts. Let us know how you're doing.

  24. Wishing you a successful surgery and a speedy recovery Kim! I take care of my body by mostly eating healthy foods, taking supplementary vitamins and getting some more sleep (taking baby steps with this one). I am also big on skin care, no makeup unless necessary to let my pores breathe and suncreen to protect my skin. I also read and play trvia/ brain games to keep my mind active.

  25. Will keep you in my prayers.

    I take vitamins and exercise. No need for a mammogram-- I had a double mastectomy in 1968.

  26. Best of luck to you with your upcoming surgery. I hope all goes well.

    I'm a bit behind with my checkups. I will soon be making some appointments.

  27. Kim! What a scare. I was worried you were going to say you had Ovarian Cancer. I've had two friends die of ovarian cancer.

    I've had countless friends receive hysterectomies because of fibroids and all of them felt much better afterward. May you recover quickly (but not too quickly to get lots of reading done!)

    I'm overdue for a mammography, come to think of it.

  28. Sending LOADS of good karma your way....
    I try to exercise, have recently started taking vitamins and check my boobies :-)

  29. My thoughts and Prayers are going out to you! I hope you have a speedy recovery! I try to take vitamins and to eat healthy but sometimes I just forget! I needed the reminder to take better care! Thanks!

  30. Warm thoughts and white light!

    Really I do NOT take care of myself as I should. I know I should take care before something happens. But I'm hoping all goes well your way.

  31. I'm waiting for my two teens to leave the house and then I'll have plenty of time for taking care of myself with walks and yoga. Right????

  32. Hi fellow ROMVETTER, hope you recover quickly and that the procedure goes smoothly. Awesome story about the Korean lady. Makes me wish I had a spa like that near me. Feel better

  33. i take vitamins, but I've never had a pap smear or mamogramn. I do see my gyno reguarly, but for a totally different problem. Maybe when I get a better job I'll have more test done.


  34. Heal swiftly, Kim!!! You're in our prayers and hearts! answer your question of what I do to take care of myself is...hang out with friends like you, walk everyday, and drink plenty of water. BTW, there are goodies coming your way, too! Hugs!!!!

  35. I just had an Endometrial Ablation and they found a whole garden of polyps. I hope everything goes smoothly for you, you heal quickly and I'm so thankful they found it.

  36. Sending my best fast recovery wishes. Meanwhile, hope you're enjoying those ARCs. And the cats. And the spouse, of course. ;-) Get better soon!

  37. Kim You will be in my thought & prayers .. Is it not funny that Angles touched this woman to warn you to see the Doctor....Without getting heavy I found my Breast Cancer because my Angel told my Doctors assistant to tell me I should Think about getting a mammogram, That was the winter of 2000/2001. So Ladies CHECK YOUR BOOBIES as well as anything else you should get checked.
    I adore Lynsay Sands The Deed I found it in a UBS Is sitting on my TBB shelf I may be buying a brand new one when It hits the shelves....
    God bless Ann/alba

  38. Kim, I hope you will recover quickly! Let your hubby and boys pamper you for a long time! :)

  39. Best wishes for a speedy recovery...I don't exercise the way I know I should although I do try to walk when I can and take the stairs if I am only going one or two floors up and I do try to eat a little better (salmon, nuts) but there is always room for improvement. Thanks for sharing your life with us!

  40. Prayers and best wishes out to you Kim! Hope you have a good recovery and feel better soon :)

  41. Recover wikiwiki! I'm sending you good thoughts as I want to see you on the 10th of Sept! Great blog. I need to find that Korean scrub lady. So glad you are okay. Aloha nui, J.

  42. Wow -- what a shock to find this out Kim. Thank heavens you were given such a wonderful gift of a Korean spa. I am so relieved all is well - as it is now a week since you are home. It's such an important reminder to take care of our bodies. You've prompted me to make a Well Woman appointment. Thank you.

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