My Life– Medically Speaking

brighter colleen kelly mellor picPatient Witness: My Lifelong Journey Thru the American Healthcare System


My plan, for years, was to write the story of my husband’s 18-month, lung cancer ordeal and its effect on us–his family. By doing this, I hoped to save other families the miseries we suffered.

But life interrupted.  There was the death of my fiancee, two years after my second husband died, a mere 24 hours after he experienced a heart attack…

There was my own breast cancer, mastectomy, and reconstruction, resulting in 5 surgeries over the next year and a half. It seemed every time I came up for air, I was hit again by a giant wave that knocked me down. Life was just too demanding.

But 20 years later, when my husband (yes, my ‘current’ one) and I endured a terrible medical experience, in Asheville, NC, echoing a familiar theme (doctors dismissed my concerns,) I determined to remain mute no longer. Life had changed me.

The years have made me a powerful advocate.  I used my knowledge and experience to fight for his well-being.  It was a long, tough journey, but we  prevailed.

Soon, I’ll share my information with you, in my book,  Patient Witness (to be offered at  In the meantime, I give tasty morsels of the topics I cover in the author bio. section, in the lower part of the header picture on that site.

You’ll learn how you can increase success in interaction with those in the health care field. It’ll also show you what to steer clear of, too, as I share mistakes I made.

Some recount terrible experiences; others are hilarious; all are illuminating. The setting for these accounts is Rhode Island and North Carolina, over the course of 60+ years, which tells me the problems I encountered know no limits of time or geography.

Please join me on this journey.  And if you don’t wish to miss a post, sign up to get e-mail notification. My literary life is very busy this year, both with my columns appearing across New England and now in Asheville, NC where I’ll weigh in on life in the mountains from a senior perspective.

Now, click


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New Year…A New Gig (or a Few of Them)…


cropped colleen kelly mellor as baby(Pic to the right is my baby pic…I’ve got a space in my front teeth a la Lauren Hutton. That’s basically all I have in common with that glamorous older star, but I’m still cute…Right?)

OK, I got a little delayed in posting this Biddy Bytes. That’s reasonable. We hosted Christmas and then got sick (I guess we’re getting too old for all the hullabaloo).  In any case, we’re in North Carolina now and will be for the next few months. It’s ironic:  We’re here to get out of the cold, but it’s colder here…Asheville was -40 degrees this past week (with windchill); -14 degrees otherwise. It was warmer in our home state of Rhode Island.

But on to my message. This year will be busy for me. I am now in hibernation mode to finish my book, Patient Witness, documenting my lifetime experiences with the health care industry. In it, I will peel away layers that have made me who I am–birth family, terrible marriages, bad decisions…how tough life crises made me a powerful advocate. Its message is positive (No Debbie Downer here.)  In the next months, I’ll edit the daylights out of it and prepare it for release.

In addition, I will continue with regular columns in the Providence Journal, about education (another topic near and dear to my heart.) I’ve made the commitment:  I won’t let my 30-year profession be beaten up by those who know nothing about teaching.  There’s been far too much of that. So, I’ll do my part.  Since Sept. 25, 2013, five of my Op-Eds have run in the Providence Journal on aspects of teaching (go to,  then colleen kelly mellor in upper right hand Search bar.)

Finally, I will soon appear in regular columns in Mountain Xpress, the hip weekly magazine, here in the mountains of western North Carolina, where I’ll weigh in on host of issues and I’ll pack those posts with humor. The title of my column? “Asheville Under Glass:  View from the Lens of a Senior.”

So, retirement?  It’s not happening for me, if one means reading…golfing…traveling…relaxing.

Please make a note of the change-over to my new website…I’ll be adding to it in the weeks ahead til it’s complete….Biddy Bytes will morph into a website bearing my own name…one which will house educational Op-Ed’s, humorous anecdotes on the region of Asheville and surrounds, the Grandpa and the Truck books, and Patient Witness….

Now, go to and sign up, too, if you don’t wish to miss any. I’ll look forward to your weighing in on any of the issues I raise. Remember, it’ll take me a few weeks to get the new site all lined up, so please be patient.cropped miss mosey Below are some time-modified (a euphemism for “older”)colleen kelly mellor--asheville under glass shots of me..Little different from the baby shot above, but still “cute”?

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Merry Christmas 2013!!! And Happy New Year in 2014!!!

other paint christmas treeFor the next two weeks, Biddy Bytes will be on holiday break and will resume new posts on January 6, 2014.

In the meantime….

Enjoy our Christmas tree…It’s all lit up and festooned with lights and ornaments from a long way back….but not all the way back. A 3 foot flood in the basement of our former home destroyed those…

It’s OK…We got to make a totally fresh start and that actually worked out for the better because my little family desperately needed that fresh start.

Speaking of new beginnings, I’ll soon make a big announcement concerning a fun, new writing job I’ve taken on (it would appear I elude complete retirement.) Maybe some of you out there do the same (avoid retirement, I mean.)

Finally, there’s my book, Patient Witness. Its catalyst is the event that happened in the region to which we will soon be going–Asheville. I plan to pretty much hibernate there, while I complete the editing process. Then I’ll move to publish my book, either through traditional channels or self-publishing.

At this wonderful time of year, I extend to you all my best wishes for a blessed and beautiful holiday season….I wish you joy, too, in the New Year.

P.S.  The picture at the top of my blog?  It figures into the announcement I’ll make, so please Stay tuned…And tell me, too, your plans for the coming year. Anything new on your horizon?

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