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My journey in surviving ovarian cancer has been a difficult one, and also rewarding. I have met many wonderful people, learned a lot about myself, and have a deeper appreciation for life. Follow me on Twitter @KarenIngalls1, www.facebook.com/Outshine-An-Ovarian-Cancer-Memoir, and you can find my book at: http://www.outshineovariancancer.com. Proceeds will be donated to funding ovarian cancer research. ALL ORIGINAL CONTENT COPYRIGHT 2011 THROUGH 2013.

Thursday, November 20, 2014

I WISH I MAY, I WISH I MIGHT

                                For what do you wish?

                                                        World peace?
                                                             A better job?
                                                                 Improved health?
                                                                      Better relationship(s)?

I do not just wish, but I pray for world peace.  The first step to world peace starts with me...AND YOU. We must learn to get along with our own neighbors before we can extend the olive branch to our city, state, nation, and world neighbors.






I retired from the nursing profession some 10 years ago...I cannot imagine a better profession that helped to prepare me for my current job as an author and advocate.
I know that some of you are looking for a better or different job. I pray that you will keep yourself open to every opportunity...the door you peak into just might be the right door...so do not quickly pass by a door...it may be waiting for you to open it and go through.



I pray everyday for my teal sisters and a cure for ovarian cancer. I give thanks for this day and pray for many more days of good health and being cancer free.






Family relationships are sometimes the most difficult to keep harmonious. When I was a young mother I prayed that my family would be like Leave It To Beaver. Television shows are fantasies, but also they are vehicles from which we can learn. Relationships among friends, co-workers, and acquaintances require the same love, positivity, and forgiveness we need to give to our relatives.



I wish I may, I wish I might is a phrase referred to in both my books: Outshine: An Ovarian Cancer Memoir and Novy's Son, The Selfish Genius. From each one I hope you will learn about your role in life...physically, spiritually, and emotionally. Do we just wish? Or do we act with a heart open to wishes coming true.

                                                   http://www.outshineovariancancer.com
                                        www.amazon.com/Novy's Son, The Selfish Genius
                                  www.amazon.com/Outshine-An-Ovarian-Cancer-Memoir


Thursday, November 13, 2014

LESSONS FROM AN AIR CAST BOOT




In early September, I limped into my doctor’s office and described the muscle spasms in my right calf that had morphed into excruciating ankle pain. While speaking, my mind raced through possible remedies: physiotherapy (my preferred choice) or anti-inflammatory medication (I would grit my teeth and endure the nausea and upset stomach).

    
 “You’re having problems with your Achilles tendon,” he said after inspecting my calf and ankle. “The boot will do the trick.”

     “Excuse me?”

     “An Air Cast Boot,” he said while writing out a prescription. “You can pick one up at the Home Health Care Center across the street. Wear the boot for four to six weeks and your tendon will be back to normal.”

     “What if I just rest and take it easy for a week? Maybe take some Tylenol 3...or something stronger?”

     “Do you want to limp for the rest of your life?”

      A bit extreme, I thought, but I was in no position to argue. At the Center, I listened as the sales associate explained the boot’s benefits. Wearing it would slowly and safely restore strength in my tendon while keeping the foot and ankle at a constant angle. She also showed me how to inflate and deflate the boot, but my mind was elsewhere.

     There was no way I could drive, take the stairs, or walk on uneven terrain wearing that boot. And while I could remove it for showering and sleeping, I would have to wear the boot for at least ten hours a day.

    
 After two days of complaining about my “new” restrictions, I decided to focus on my blessings and emerging positives:

              **I started with a shift in perspective. In 2004, I was diagnosed with inflammatory breast cancer and had to undergo ten months of grueling treatments. In comparison, wearing an Air Cast Boot for six weeks would be a cakewalk.

              **The injury was a minor sprain and not one that would require a hard cast and months of physiotherapy.

              **My extended health benefits covered 80 percent of the boot’s cost.

              **I was grateful for the elevator in my condo building and the well-maintained grounds that enabled me to walk freely and confidently.

            **Whenever I ventured outside, I had renewed appreciation for ramps, elevators, automatic doors, and main level entrances.

           **Wearing a boot slowed me down and made me more mindful of each action taken. If it wasn’t necessary or pleasant, I let it go.

             

     
            
 After meeting with a foot specialist, I learned that improper footwear may have contributed to my Achilles tendon problem. I retired my heeled shoes and invested in Finn clogs and Etonic running shoes. Whenever I wear my new shoes, I know that my feet and ankles are comfortable and well-supported. Bliss!  

I retired my Air Cast boot on October 11, and can now walk without limping.





Ms. Guidoccio is an author and retired teacher. Her debut novel, Between Land and Sea is a paranormal romance about a middle-aged mermaid. "After giving up her tail for an international banker, Isabella of the Mediterranean kingdom is aged beyond recognition. The horrified banker abandons her on the fog-drenched shores of southwest England, leaving her to face a difficult human journey as a plain and practically destitute fifty-three year old woman.
With the help of a magic tablet and online mermaid support, Isabella evolves into the persona of Barbara Davies. Along the way, she encounters a cast of unforgettable characters, among them former mermaids, supportive and not-so-supportive women, deserving and undeserving men, and several New Agers."

http://joanneguidoccio.com
http://www.amazon.com/Between-Land-Sea-Joanne-Guidoccio-ebook

Thank you, Joanne for sharing your story which is a lesson from which we all can learn.



Thursday, November 6, 2014

MILITARY: & GLOBAL HEALTH ISSUES

                             

A worldwide concern for all those who serve in the military, especially for those who see combat, is their health issues. These are some of the common ones:

                                  Chemical: Agent Orange, contaminated water
                                  Radiation: Nuclear weapons, x-rays
                                  Air pollutants: Dust, burn pit smoke
                                  Occupational: Asbestos, lead
                                  Warfare agents: Chemical & biological weapons
                                  Psychological: Post Traumatic Syndrome


                            Yet, war is a fact throughout the history of the human race. 

MANY OF US AROUND THE WORLD FACE THESE SAME HEALTH CONCERNS, AND MORE. The health tips below are for everyone, not just the military.

                                              HEALTH/WELLNESS TIPS:

       1. Stop smoking. Stop smoking programs.
       2. Be up to date on vaccinations. Hepatitis A & B, polio, chicken pox, measles, mumps, 
           rubella, tetanus and diptheria.
       3. Annual flu shot
       4. Teach ways to prevent the spread of infection (hand washing, avoid people
           showing signs of a cold/flu, respiratory protection)
       5. Maintain normal weight with proper nutrition and exercise.


                                          RESOURCES FOR THE MILITARY:

WOUNDED WARRIORS is one program to help with finances, support, counseling, and equipment.

SOLDIERS' ANGELS whose motto is "may no soldier go unloved."

OPERATION INJURED SOLDIERS "...working to provide unique opportunities and experiences that are tailored to your needs and your family."

FISCHER HOUSE "helping military families."

                                          GLOBAL HEALTH RESOURCES:

           1. World Health Organization
           2. Major International Health Organization
           3. CDC Center for Global Health
           4. International Health Organization
           5. Fogarty International Center


My thanks to all those who sacrificed for world peace, and those individuals and organizations who provide health information, resources, and aide.

The ebola epidemic in Western Africa and the recent fears here in the United States, brings to the forefront that:
              1. We must give our bodies the healthiest choices.
              2. Eat plenty of vegetables and fruits, take vitamin supplements.
              3. Exercise
              4. Be up to date with immunizations
              5. Use hand washing and appropriate respiratory precautions.
              6. Do not smoke.

My book, Outshine: An Ovarian Cancer Memoir, is part of a drawing from November 3-17. Go to http://lps.wegohealth.com/book-giveaway-outshine/? and enter your name.

Some of you have nominated me for "Best Blogger" and I appreciate your support. Nominations are done at www,awards@wegohealth.com

Thursday, October 30, 2014

THE POWER OF FRIENDSHIP

        Friendship is a relationship of mutual affection and a strong bond between two people.
                   



                                     "Friends are angels who lift us to our feet
                              when our wings have trouble remembering how to fly."
                                                       (Unknown))
       

When I was a college student at the University of Colorado, five of us young women formed a bond for those four years plus another 51 years. We scattered in different directions geographically and career-wise, but we always stayed in touch. We had our first reunion 3 years ago with three out of five us making it. 


There is a bond between the four of us who play golf every week. An opportunity to share, laugh, and just have good fun.


A group of us women gather for lunch on a regular basis and we share our joys and fears. We support one another with listening, kind words, and love.

I am blessed to have friends from a "card club" I started the year I retired in 2000. The group has changed a lot and is now down to 5 of us. We laugh more than play cards, and we have always been there for each other. 


Such special and beautiful women I have met as we share the journey of ovarian cancer. They are truly gifts from God who have filled my life through their ministry, tears, sharing, hugs, and even laughter. 


We even show off our bald heads with smiles and hugs!





Those people who do not have friends usually tend not to enjoy good health nor live as long. They are often bitter and lonely. As we discussed last week about seeing the glass half full, friendships stimulate good health.

Through this blog I have made friends around the world, and though we may never meet in person, I know there is a bond. I give thanks for such a gift.

WEGO Health is once again having its annual Health Activist Awards. If you would be interested in nominating me for "Best Blog" please go to www.awards.wegohealth.com Thank you for your support.

Thursday, October 23, 2014

KEEPING MY GLASS HALF FULL

                                 HEALTHY WAYS TO COPE WITH STRESS


     Last week I shared #19 humorous statements about stress. Though they may have put a smile on your face, each one had a deep and meaningful message.  Here are some healthy ways to cope with stress and see the glass half full.



Humor is certainly an important way to see life as half full. When I came home from the hospital after having major surgery for ovarian cancer, I watched as many episodes of Leave It To Beaver, The Carol Burnett Show, I love Lucy,  and old movies of Laurel & Hardy, The Marx Brothers, and Charlie Chaplin. Laughter and smiles release endorphins, which are important hormones for relaxation, peacefulness, and stimulating the immune system.




     Meditation or Deep State of Prayer is the most powerful de-stressor as a person allows their mind to declutter, be quiet, and listen to the Word of God. Sometimes it requires practice, a quiet spot, and patience to achieve a time of spiritual peace. I often use a tape or CD of guided imagery to help me quiet my mind, open my heart, and relax my body.






Most any form of  exercise stimulates the cardiovascular system, the mind, and emotions are kept at a healthy place. Listen to your body and find the form of exercise that is best for you. No matter your age or state of health there are exercises right for you. As the commercial states: "A body in motion tends to stay in motion."





     When I see the glass half empty, I often journal about what is troubling me. So often I find that writing a poem, a short story, or just writing down whatever comes to my mind allows me to gain a new perspective on the issue(s). I have used this method most of my life. Once the issue is resolved, a heaviness on the heart is lifted.


     

Love of food is both a curse and a gift. If we overindulge in any of the food groups, our body will be sluggish and not digest it well. Often the foods we crave or want during stressful times, are the very foods we should not be eating. Sugars and alcohol are the most sought after during such times and both of them will only increase your stress. Eating healthy foods that are high in vitamins and minerals will promote health, emotionally and physically.


     
The Power of Positive Thinking was popularized by Dr. Norman Vincent Peale and it still holds true today. Just think about how you feel and react to a negative person. Nothing is right with them or the world. They drain your energy and you do not want to be around them. Right? I had to turn the very negative situation of "You have cancer" into where I could say, "I have cancer. What am I going to do to make my life the best it can be? What can I learn and therefore, grow?"



                                      


Read more about how I kept my glass half full.

www.amazon.com

ALL PROCEEDS GO TO GYNECOLOGIC CANCER RESEARCH.

Thursday, October 16, 2014

THE WATER GLASS QUESTION.


                          "Is the glass half empty or half full?" asked the teacher.

     How we see a glass of water is the level of stress we are experiencing. If it is negative stress (illness, divorce, etc.) we will tend to eat poorly, sleep less, be angry, and see life as a half empty glass.

     If the glass is half full our stress might be due to our upcoming wedding, a new job or home for which we have been hoping for, etc. The stressor is a positive one and we respond with a smile rather than a frown.

     One day the teacher went a little further and said, "It does not matter how much the glass of water weighs (or is half full or half empty). It depends on how long I hold it." The body cannot maintain good health if it is in a heightened and energized positivity mode or in a paralyzing state of negativity for too long.

     The longer we hold onto a glass of water, or stress...for an hour, several hours, a day, weeks, months, or years...the heavier and more paralyzing it becomes. The arm, or body, will ache; the mind and emotions will become negative and angry; and the spirit will begin to blame others or God. The glass of water, or the stress, will become a burden.

                          Don't carry the burden through the evening and into the night. 
                       Here are 19 light-hearted answers to the water glass of life...enjoy.

1. Accept the fact that some days you're the pigeon and some days you're the statue.

2. Always keep your words soft and sweet just in case you have to eat them.

3. Always read stuff that will make you look good if you die in the middle of it.

4. Drive carefully...It's not only cars that can be recalled by their Maker.

5. If you can't be kind, at least have the decency to be vague.

6. If you lend someone $20 and never see that person again, it was probably worth it.

7. It may be that your sole purpose in life is simply to serve as a warning to others.

8. Never buy a car you can't push.

9. Never put both feet in your mouth at the same time, because then you won't have a leg to stand on.

10. Nobody cares if you can't dance well. Just get up and dance.

11. Since it's the early worm that gets eaten by the bird, sleep late.

12. The second mouse gets the cheese.

13. When everything's coming your way, you're in the wrong lane.

14. Birthdays are good for you. The more you have, the longer you live.

15. Some mistakes are too much fun to make only once.

16. We could learn a lot from crayons. Some are sharp, some are pretty, and some are dull. Some have weird names and all are different colors, but they all have to live in the same box.

17. A truly happy person is one who can enjoy the scenery on a detour.

18. Have an awesome day and know that someone has thought of you today.

19. Save the earth...It's the only planet with chocolate!

My thanks to Garden Web and Suz-anne for sharing this post. http://ths.gardenweb.com/forums/load/kitchentable/msg0114164427827.html
Next week I will present ways to lower our stress levels.

I will be sending gifts of thanks to two people: Kathryn and Hanna, who responded to my drawing of names in my previous blog. Congratulations and thank you for your continual support of me.

Thursday, October 9, 2014

HAPPY THIRD BLOGVERSARY!!!

                                        IT'S MY BLOG'S THIRD ANNIVERSARY!!!!!


    Written Oct. 12, 2011, the title of my first blog was "Facing Ovarian Cancer." At that time I had been in remission for 3-1/2 years. Three years later there have been 158 posts and 409 comments.

                           SOME HIGHLIGHTS FROM THESE PAST 3 YEARS:

     18 guest bloggers:

    Shirley Corder from South Africa author and breast cancer survivor;
    Nonnie Jules, author;
    Susan Gonzalez, author and breast cancer survivor;
    Pamela Christian, author;
    Katie Hayoz, author;
    Linda Ryan, cervical cancer survivor;
    Keith Carlson, nurse and radio-internet personality;
    Rachel Lozano, Askin's tumor survivor;
    Lynnette Shepherd, author;
    Laura Hedgecock, blogger;
    Cecilia Crandall, ovarian cancer advocate;
    Madhavi Sood from India, poet;
    Charlotte Hunt, author;
    Winsome Campbell-Green, author;
    Elaine Stock, author and blogger,
    Kristen Abbott, mother and blogger for Bekah and Friends,
    Bonnie Donihi, ovarian cancer advocate, and
    Georgia Hurst, blogger for Lynch Syndrome,

     


Pageviews by Countries 

Graph of most popular countries among blog viewers
EntryPageviews
United States
21014
Russia
1595
United Kingdom
893
Germany
772
France
738
Canada
692
Ukraine
453
Australia
267
Turkey
226
China
185



                                                               Most Pageviews:

                              Obsessed with Life                 11/21/2013             468

                              Making a Bird's Nest                2/28/2014             385

                              Abdominal Bloating                   5/9/2012             304

                              God's Medicine Chest                8/9/2012             244

                              Lynch Syndrome                      7/10/2014             235



I have been honored to receive recognitions, awards, and admitted to groups:
                          cancer blog                                   Del Immune Top Cancer Blog
                                                   
           






IT IS AN ANNIVERSARY...
          LET'S PARTY...
                  I AM GIVING AWAY THREE GIFTS...
                          I WILL RANDOMLY DRAW THREE NAMES
                               FROM THOSE OF YOU WHO GO TO THE COMMENT SECTION,
                                   WRITE "I WANT TO WIN A PRIZE,"
                                        AND LEAVE YOUR NAME FOR CONTACT.

                                 NAMES WILL BE DRAWN ON OCT. 15 AT MIDNIGHT (EST).
                                    WINNERS WILL BE ANNOUNCED ON OCT. 16th's BLOG.

                                  THANK YOU FOR ALL YOUR SUPPORT 

                                                                   I AM BLESSED.