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Ovarian cancer will be diagnosed in 1 of 72 women; 14,000 will die. Please know the symptoms and risk factors: read Outshine: An Ovarian Cancer Memoir. Books at www.amazon.com. ALL PROCEEDS GO TO GYNECOLOGIC CANCER RESEARCH. I am a member of Rave Reviews Book Club and Rave Writer's International Society of Authors, and Patient Leadership Council for Tesaro, Inc. I WILL NOT USE YOUR EMAIL ADDRESS FOR ANY OTHER PURPOSE THAN CONTACTING YOU DIRECTLY. ALL ORIGINAL CONTENT COPYRIGHT 2011 THROUGH 2018.

Tuesday, May 22, 2018


What makes someone a hero or heroine?  A hero is defined as "a person who is admired or idealized for courage, outstanding achievements, or noble qualities." https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/hero

As a child Superman was my hero...he fought against evil and he was always victorious. At times I wish I could look up in the sky and see Superman saving us from murder, rape, robbery, and other such acts. But, he was a comic book character, not real.
DC Database - Fandom

One of my heroes was Albert Schweitzer who did such wonderful works in medicine and his philosophy of Reverence for Life was a powerful message that I still try to live by. It is the belief that good consists in maintaining, assisting, and enhancing live, and to destroy, to harm, or to hinder life is evil." https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Reverence_for_Life. I believe he had the noblest of qualities.

Albert Schweitzer On Happiness. "

I have always marveled at the work and dedication of Florence Nightingale. How many lives she saved by her insistence on hygenic practices? She was a true pioneer by making nursing a true profession.


Mahtma Gandhi was a highly moral man whose strong beliefs in the equality of the human race, he sacrificed for the good of many. He was courageous, achieved independence for India, and was noble in his kindness, honesty, integrity, and patience.

The Indian Express

Both my grandmothers had a tremendous influence on me. They both of them suffered the death of an adult child, one from World War II and the other from breast cancer. They both had a strong faith that taught me about the power of a loving God. They also taught me to always be strong, caring, and to live a healthy lifestyle. They are my heroines because they also had the noble traits of courage, stength, and love.

So who is your hero or heroine? Who do you look up to? What are their traits? How have they influenced you?

In a perfect world, our parents would be our heroes and heroines. But, we do not live in a perfect world. We all need a healthy, strong, and moral role model.

P.S. All of you who follow my blog can be rest assured that your emails will never be used except for me to personally contact you. This is in accordance with the laws of the United States and the soon to be enacted General Data Protection Regulation in Europe as of May 25, 2018.

Wednesday, May 16, 2018


This week I am sharing a series of quotes that over time I have found comforting and inspirational. The photographs are my own and each adds something special to the quote. I invite you to share your favorite ones from here or other places.







Thank you for joining me on this journey of inspirational quotes and photographs. 
In the comment section below share your favorite quote and/or photograph.

Friday, May 11, 2018


Rave Writers International Society of Authors bestowed the honor of naming Outshine May's Book of the Month. I am humbled by such a recognition. It is about my journey with ovarian cancer, which is a similar journey for anyone dealing with any cancer or serious illness. I discuss some of the ways I coped, and still cope with the cancer even though I am currently in remission.

To outshine is to "shine more brightly...overshadow...transcend...." (https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/outshine)

When personal tragedy, serious or life-threatening illnesses, over-whelming financial issues, divorce or any other challenge comes into one's life, I believe we need to outshine it. One might ask, "How can I possibly outshine the situation I am in?" 

Here are 7 things one can do: 
     1. As a person goes through the stages of grief: shock, anger, depression, bargaining, and acceptance. It is important that they get to the level of acceptance. With the help of counseling, friends or family, and our faith that can be achieved. 

     2. Exercise is beneficial. Just taking daily walks, swimming, going to the gym, or playing an outdoor activity improve the mind, body, and spirit. 

     3. Deep prayer or meditation is a third way. It connects us to our God, quiets our mind, brings a sense of peace and purpose.

     4. If we think and react with positive thinking, then once again we will let the light into our lives. Negativity blocks us from seeing things clearly. "If you change the way you look at things, the things you look at will change." (Wayne Dyer)

    5. Humor releases tension and anxiety. Endorphins are released which improve our sense of well-being.

    6. During challenging times, eating healthy and nutritiously is vital. Stress uses up a lot of our vital vitamins and minerals, which we need to have energy, clarity, and health.

    7. A belief in something greater than you is vital because faith gives us purpose and peace. My faith in God is an integral part of who I am and how I live. 

The title of my book Outshine came from one paragraph: An important lesson I learned early in life is that the beauty of the soul, the real and the real you, outshines the effects of cancer, chemotherapy, and radiation. It outshines any negative experience."

                   To outshine means we are set free. We
               have overcome the challenge, we are at
             acceptance and living our lives burden-free.

In Outshine the reader will learn about ovarian cancer, which is the least well-known and deadliest gynecologic cancer. It is important that women recognize and immediately act on any of the symptoms, which unfortunately mimic other disorders. 

Carol Channing, Gilda Radner, Loretta Young, Dinah Shore, Kathy Bates, and Loretta Scott King are just a few of the well-known women who had ovarian cancer. 

Please help me alert women of any age to this type of cancer. Even pre-teens and teenagers have been diagnosed with ovarian cancer.

All proceeds from this bookgo to gynecologic-ovarian cancer research through Dr. Robert Holloway at Orlando South Hospital.

http://amzn.to/29lotEO    (US)
http://amzn.to/2jDSbAb  (UK)

Sunday, May 6, 2018


Gayle Irwin is an author, animal rights advocate, and animal rescuer. Her passion for writing parallels her passion for creation, especially companion animals. She volunteers with various pet rescue groups and donates part of her book sales income to such organizations.

Knowing that pets benefit people in so many ways, from lowering stress and saving lives, and that pets need people to care for them, Ms. Irwin volunteers for pet rescues and shelters. More than 9,000 companion animals are killed every day in America’s animal shelters, estimates the nationally-acclaimed animal rescue group Best Friends Animal Society, and nearly 10,000 puppy mills operate in this country, according to the ASPCA (American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals). 

This is Be Kind to Animals Week so it is only appropriate that we highlight Ms. Irwin, her books, and how animals play such an important part in our lives, especially dogs and cats.


           Companion animals mirror positive character traits, such as empathy, devotion, and friendship. Their service to humans is well-known: companion, guide, rescuer, therapist. Dogs are known to sniff out cancer, calm PTSD, bring smiles to people in hospitals, and ease the loneliness of those in nursing homes. No wonder so many people love pets!

Cute but imperfect, Jeremiah, my recently-adopted Shih Tzu, wouldn’t be welcomed in a prestigious dog show … but, he’s most-welcomed in my home and my heart. Jeremiah was born into a puppy mill situation. He spent the first three years of his life living in a tiny cage, unsocialized, not groomed nor provided vet care, and given low-nutrition dog food – a primary reason for the tooth decay and eventual extraction. His principal task when old enough was to stud puppies, generating income for the people that confined him. He and other small dogs were rescued from the deplorable conditions and pup-producing lifestyle in 2016. 

Jeremiah came to live with my husband and me and our other pets, a dog and two cats, but he came tarnished. He wasn’t potty-trained, he was timid, and he experienced trust issues. He’d never been on a leash nor lived in a home. Within three months, our new little furry friend blossomed into a delightful companion. Patience, love, and compassion brought forth his beauty – as did regular baths and haircuts. He may be blemished, but he’s beautiful. Like many dogs and cats, Jeremiah can teach people life and faith lessons.  

As a writer of inspirational pet stories for children and adults and a lover of God’s creation and creatures, I am aware of the multitude of lessons we can learn, especially from dogs. My latest children’s book, Jeremiah Finds a Home is a story is one of trust and confidence; the story is told through Jeremiah’s perspective. Timely and relevant, Jeremiah’s story can bring greater awareness and compassion for companion animals, which hopefully will lead to much-needed change: less puppy mills and more pet adoptions. Kind Dog Named Mary, is a children’s book about Mary, which was trained as a therapy dog and through her interactions with humans and pets, she showcases kindness and compassion.

My mission as a writer is to create animal stories which teach life lessons and inspire positive change. I’m an advocate for pet adoption. My hope for this, and all my books, is that the flame of inspiration will flicker in my readers and they, too, will discover and apply the lessons we can learn from pets, the characters in my stories. I write about important character lessons: courage and perseverance.

Karen Ingalls writes: All of us who follow and read this blog, have had or are having a serious health or personal issue. As many of you know I use the word "challenge" instead of crisis, problem or issue. 
I know my cat named Smokey, which I had for many years was very sensitive to the energies of people. Some of my clients wanted him with them during their counseling session during which they petted or hugged him. Twice my cat sensed bad energy from two different people and stayed away from them. 
I sometimes wonder if Smokey had been with me in 2008, would he have sensed my ovarian cancer. I do know my loving and petting him would have been therapeutic.
Please share in the comment section below how animals have impacted your life. As always we can learn from one another. 

Author Bio:
A writer of inspirational dog stories for children and adults, Gayle M. Irwin is a contributing writer for seven Chicken Soup for the Soul books, including The Dog Really Did That?, The Spirit of America, and The Dog Did What? Her devotional-style memoir, Walking in Trust: Lessons Learned with My Blind Dog, was released in 2012. 
Whether for children or adults, the books I write highlight important character lessons, such as courage and perseverance as shown in Sage’s Big Adventure and Walking in Trust: Lessons Learned With My Blind Dog, both about Sage, a blind springer spaniel who lived with me for more than a decade. 
A freelance writer for more than 20 years, Gayle writes short pet stories for Colorado’s Prairie Times and regularly contributes to Wyoming Rural Electric NewsShe maintains a weekly pet blog on her website and writes and distributes a monthly pet newsletter.   

Thursday, May 3, 2018


My mother faced death many times and had three near-death experiences. She said, "There is nothing about death to fear." In the last year I have had several friends and a family member pass away. It is always difficult for those of us left behind, but I am at peace knowing that they are free of pain.
In our society we tend to not talk about our own mortality, but it is a reality. I believe the more we have dialogue about our individual beliefs, questions, or fears the healthier we each will be living for whatever time we have on earth.  (Karen Ingalls)

Tina Frisco - author picture

It is my pleasure and privilege to welcome Tina Frisco, author, blogger, singer-songwriter, RN, activist, who daily deals with a chronic illness. Death is a difficult thing to face, but Tina puts a different face on it.

                                       On Facing Death
Facing death is a life-changing experience and one that most of us fear. The first time I faced this monster, I paced and cried, ranted and cursed its arrogance. The second time, I tightened my mid-section and refused to acknowledge it; but I couldn’t sleep. The third time, I took in a deep breath, sat down, and closed my eyes. In a flash, I saw myriad lifetimes pass before me – incarnations I was fortunate to have lived.
What is it about physical death that throws so many of us into a tailspin of grief, anger, and denial? Is it not knowing whether life continues beyond the body? Is it not knowing what awaits us on the other side? Is it not wanting to leave the glorious sensations afforded us on the physical plane? Whether or not we believe in an afterlife, death is often viewed as The Grim Reaper.
Not believing in life after death implies that spirit – the dynamic force animating us – dies with the physical body. But that scenario begs the question: Where did spirit come from in the first place? It can’t be traced scientifically in the same way we trace a being from zygote to birth. So is spirit a mere product or side effect of brainwaves and a heartbeat? In contrast, believing in life after death is based solely on faith. Or is it?
Enlightened beings walking among us speak of the other side in many different ways and languages, vividly describing the magnificent beauty awaiting us. They proclaim to travel back and forth at will.

The gap between living with a foot in two worlds and faith alone is bridged by experience. Many religious leaders profess the certainty of heaven, paradise, nirvana, as well as hell, hades, the netherworld. Yet most of them have never traveled to any of these places and returned to tell the tale. Again, we could argue that those who claim to go to the faraway and return are charlatans. That is until we speak and work with them. That is until we experience this ourselves.
I’ve had many moments of experiencing the other side and returning. And they were just that – moments in time. I suspect this is due to a belief that growth occurs slowly. Yet I know change can occur in a split second and not merely as a result of developing growth. Take, for example, the mother who lifts an automobile off of her child. Seconds before this, she most likely would have laughed at the prospect, believing herself incapable. Since beliefs are embedded by a lifetime of coding, such an act cannot be attributed to a mere surge of adrenaline or the mere wish for her child to survive.
So how did she accomplish this impossible feat? Consider the 90% of brain power we allow to sit idle. Could tapping into this be the answer? If we accessed the full capabilities of our brains, might we see the infinite possibilities of The Universe? Might we then know, without a doubt, what lies beyond the physical?
And what of the soul? Is there a difference between soul and spirit? Here’s a snippet of conversation between two characters in my latest novel, Vampyrie:
W’Hyani: The soul is life. It is who we are in a physical body. The spirit is what the physical body has dwelling within. It is part of The Divine and connects us to The Divine. The soul and the spirit are wed but are not the same.
Phoebe: So the soul is our psyche – that which makes us who we are as human beings. And the spirit is our essence – that which we are without a body, that which animates the body, and that which is immaterial to the body.
The soul is who we are in a physical body. Could it be that our souls keep a tight rein on our spirits? When we incarnate, we must forget who we truly are in order to accomplish the lessons we came here to learn. Perhaps the soul is the guardian of the portal to enlightenment, granting access if and only when our lessons have been completed.
W’Hyani lives with a foot in two worlds and has experienced traveling to the faraway and returning. When our spirits span the divide between here and there, we clearly see the dreaming brain as a function of the physical, as well as the mastermind of the illusion we’ve come to know as reality. When seated in the faraway, we know we have come home to the absolute, to the truth of who we are. We feel the expansiveness of The Universe and know ourselves as an integral part of – rather than separate from – The Divine. We sit in knowing rather than in faith or belief.
I no longer see death as a monster, nor do I fear it. If there is any fear left in me, it’s relative to missing the first chirping of the birds in spring, the glorious sunsets over the ocean, the mysterious winking of the moon through drifting fog.
Life on Mother Earth is relative and ephemeral. Pausing to breathe and close our eyes, if only for a moment, draws us into the omniscient and eternal realm of spirit and allows us to sense the infinite breadth of existence.
I wish for all of you, my dear friends, release from the fear of death and the experience of living with a foot in two worlds…
Tina Frisco is the author of 3 books:

Tina’s Connections:
Connect with Tina by visiting her sites, commenting and sharing.
Tina’s Links: Website  Amazon  Facebook  Twitter  LinkedIn  Google+Goodreads   Radio Interview – Tell Me a Story
 This is a reblog from John Fioravanti's blog dated May 30, 2017

Friday, April 27, 2018



MYTHS: where do they come from? Are any of them true?
     They are often a collection of stories, exaggerated accounts from history, or storytelling in such a way as to make the story more memorable or interesting.
     We often think about Greek or Roman mythology where the main characters are gods, demigods, or supernatural humans. Zeus, Apollo, Ahtena and Venus, Mars, and Diana are some of the many gods.
 We have present day myths involving superheroes: Spiderman, Superman, Batman, Captain America, Wonderwoman, and such. We need these heroes to bring a sense of power and safety into our lives. We want to believe in them.

Let's turn to a different area, MEDICAL MYTHS which are the most concerning from my point of view. People can make unwise and unsafe choices based on myths. Here are a few examples, some  you might laugh at or actually say, "I thought that was true." I want you to place attention to myths 5, 6, and 7 because it is very important that you know these facts.

  • Food picked up within 5 seconds is safe to eat
This is a misconception. Germs can stick to food immediately on contact, though not all germs are harmful.

  • A woman's breast implants may explode in an airplane due to low pressure.
The implants might expand a little, but the decompression is not enough to cause them to burst.

  • An adult brain does not grow
Most of the human's brain development occurs during childhood, but it isn't the end of it. Neurons continue to grow and change well into the adult years.

  • Flip-flops are bad for your feet
UAMS orthopedic surgeon, Dr. Ruth Thomas says that flip-flops are fine for those people with normal feet. Those with deformities, poor balance, or numb feet then flip-flops do not provide adequate support, stability, and protection.

  • PAP tests detect all gynecologic cancers
The PAP test or smar only detects cervical cancers

  • Taking birth control pills increase your risk of developing ovarian cancer.
There is a 50% decrease for those women who take birth control pills for a minimum of five years, which do not have be consecutive.

  • Ovarian cancer is always deadly
When ovarian cancer is diagnosed early there is a 5 year survival rate of 95%, but only 15% will be diagnosed early

  • Blowing smoke in a child's ear will cure an ear infection
It will do nothing to cure an ear infection nor will it cause harm to the ears. It will increase the risk of developing a lung disease to the smoker.

                 My thanks to the sites listed below for this information.
        Please share your understanding and experience with myths of any type
                             in the comment section below.

Sunday, April 22, 2018



ARBOR DAY is usually celebrated the last Friday of April and is considered the day of planting trees. This special day was started Mr. Julius Sterling Morton in 1855 who lived in Nebraska and was concerned that the open praries needed more trees to act as windbreakers, to hold moisture in the soil, and for the lumber. In April 1872, he offered a prize to the person who planted the most trees. On that day a million trees were planted!

Johnny Appleseed also planted a lot of trees and is more well known than Mr. Morton. Our thanks to their initiative and providing so many beautiful trees to our landscape.

We need to decrease air pollution, water contamination, and land over-cultivation. We can help by recycling and being respectful of our environment.


We must decrease obesity, smoking, stress, and improving our choices of food. Here is a list of things we can do for our own health:

   1. Exercise, exercise, exercise...walk, swim, while sitting or standing move your limbs.
       Our bodies are meant to move; increases blood flow; lowers blood pressure; reduces weight;
       improves our sense of well-being.

   2. Food...use organic; eat fruits and vegetables (5 servings a day); eat slowly chewing your food
       well. Helps reduce weight; provides important nutrients; and improves immune system.

   3. Smoking...don't do it, quit if you are smoking. Nicotine is detrimental to your body, especially
       your lungs and heart.

   4. Reduce stress...exercise, praying and meditating, find the solution(s) to the cause of stress;
       breathe from the abdomen, not the chest; think positive thoughts; laugh and smile by
       watching funny movies.

    5. Sleep...getting restful sleep improves every aspect of us. Taking time during the day to take
        a short nap or just to sit or lie down quietly is healthy.

Our health is dependent on good quality food, water, and air. There is no question that pollutants affect our bodies in negative ways. Asbestos has affected millions of people with lung cancer and mesothelioma; melanoma and skin cancers are related to exposure to the sun's rays; smoke and second-hand smoke can cause lung cancer, emphysema, and Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease; 20% of all cancers are related to poor diet, obesity, lack of exercise, and tobacco; and several cancers are related to alcohol intake. (https://www.cancer.org/cancer/cancer-causes.html).

Just as we need to take care of our environment so we must take care of our bodies. This week I invite you to plant a tree or a vegetable garden and tend to your surroundings.
Make today the first day of honoring your body by nurturing it, loving it, and making healthy changes.