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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.

Thursday, January 26, 2012


I have shared my thoughts about serenity, change, and courage from the Serenity Prayer. We are called upon to have the wisdom to know the difference between the things we can and cannot change. Wisdom is defined as deep understanding and realization; the ability to discern inner qualities; and taking the best course of action based on knowledge and understanding. Some words associated with wisdom in the Bible are: humility, calmness, optimism, peace, healing, happiness, discipline, sincerity, impartiality, knowledge, understanding, and mercy.

One psychologist summarized that wisdom is difficult to define, but a person knows when they have it. As with other aspects of my life, I have found meditation and prayer to be the keys for me to know when I am making a wise decision. Somehow it feels right and I do not sense or see any roadblocks. For example, before I got cancer I thought I would choose alternative or complementary therapies. I was inspired by Suzanne Somers and others. Yet when I heard the words "...it was malignant," I knew that for me chemotherapy with complementary therapies was the right choice. I have always felt good about that decision and have no regrets. I had wisdom due to my years of experience with herbs, supplements, yoga, and healing modalities in addition to my experience and faith in traditional medicine.

I believe that if we are respectful and have a reverence for God, then wisdom is at work. So for me the most beautiful and meaningful part of the Serenity Prayer is its last line: And the wisdom to know the difference.

Please share your thoughts about wisdom, or examples of when you acted wisely. We can learn from each other.

Thursday, January 19, 2012


Without dreams, there can be no courage. And without courage, there can be no action." (Wim Wenders)
I found this quote to be inspiring and helpful particularly when I think about the second line of the Serenity Prayer. I have always had dreams about the kind of person I wanted to be, things to accomplish, and places to see. Some of those dreams have come true, or I am still working on others. For each achievement courage and action had been required.

When I first heard, "You have cancer," for a few days I let fear destroy my dreams, and therefore, my courage. I turned to God for guidance, my family and friends for support, and information from the doctor. Once I allowed these three components back into my life, I was able to dream about my new life with bravery. I was able to face the consequences of the extensive surgery, do things to counteract the side effects of chemotherapy, and become a survivor and advocate. I had courage (and still do) to change the things I can. Therefore, this blog was created, my book is being published (Outshine: An Ovarian Cancer Memoir), and I support ovarian cancer awareness activities.

How have dreams and courage been parts of your life?

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Accept the Things I Cannot Change

"God grant me the serenity to change the things I cannot change." How difficult it sometimes is to change things, especially if it involves more than one person. The more people involved the more interpretations, personalities, goals, and methods to bring about change.

I may choose to make a change in my behavior, thoughts, or physical presence. Some things may be easier to do than others. The deeper or more spiritual the change, the more effort is required and yet greater the reward.

Meditation can help us recognize the things to be changed at the same time give us serenity. I used meditation before, during and after each chemotherapy session to change my attitude towards it. I learned to let go of fear, doubt, and negativity. Serenity provided my body the optimal environment for the chemotherapy to flow through me.

Has meditation worked for you? How have you made changes?

Thursday, January 5, 2012


For the month of January I am going to focus on bringing more serenity into my life. Serenity is a state of calmness or tranquility. To bring such a state into my life I will meditate, spend more time with nature, and surround myself with people who display sereneness.

It is not by chance that Alcoholics Anonymous adopted the Serenity Prayer. It was first introduced by a member to one of A.A.'s co-founders, William Griffith Wilson, in 1941. It has been an important and powerful part of A.A. and other 12-step programs. This prayer is just as relative for those of us who are facing the challenges of cancer or other devastating diseases.

                          God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change,
                          Courage to change the things I can,
                          And wisdom to know the difference.

I encourage you to think, pray, and act on the simple but meaningful message of this prayer. Serenity will promote improved health for the body, mind, and spirit.