About Me

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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.

Friday, July 27, 2012


As Margaret Lee Runbeck stated, "Happiness is not a state to arrive at, but a manner of traveling." How am I choosing to live my life? Am I trying to find the good or positive? Have I allowed a fear or lack of confidence to cloud my perspective? Do I let the reactions of others influence me?

I believe that I am the only one who can create happiness in me. When an event occurs I may find good things in it that will make me smile. Another person might experience that same event and may not find joy in it. At such times there is an opportunity for each person to learn from the other. Perhaps we might come to a deeper understanding, or see the event from a different perspective, or come to appreciate the differences in people. Happiness has levels of intensity, and will not always be a "Rocky Mountain high." Contentment is a wonderful state of happiness.

For me, how I live each moment of every day is an important key to experiencing happiness. I like the quote "Happiness is like jam, you can't spread even a little without getting some on yourself." (Vern McLellan) When we are around happy people it often affects us in a positive way; and the reverse is true for those who are sad or depressed. No one is happy all the time. Our feelings are changing sometimes minute to minute or day to day. 

When I travel in the manner of happiness, my mental, spiritual, and physical health is improved. I want to live with a smile to share with others; and lick the jam of happiness on my fingers!

Thursday, July 19, 2012


I traveled to the northern part of the U.S.A. to do a book reading/signing at a Barnes & Noble bookstore for Outshine: An Ovarian Cancer Memoir, and to seek future opportunities to spread the word about ovarian cancer. The audience consisted mainly of friends, but four people who were there because of God’s plan or purpose. One woman read about the event in the newspaper where there was a two-sentence announcement. She was a 14year, Stage III or IV survivor. “When I was diagnosed, I didn’t think I’d see another Christmas.” We hugged each other knowing we are sisters doing what we can to help other women.

As I gave my presentation there was a woman in the front row sitting alone. Every time I looked in her direction, her eyes were on me and she wore a beautiful smile. She came to get information for her neighbor, who was recently diagnosed with ovarian cancer. Her neighbor did not feel well enough to come, so this young lady gave her neighbor the gifts of kindness, generosity, and her time. God bless them both.

“Please sign my book for a dear friend who has ovarian cancer. She planned on coming herself, but was unable to,” were the words from a smiling elderly lady. When I handed a book to her I noticed a brace on her left wrist. I gently placed my hand on it, and she said, “Oh, my husband has Alzheimer’s and he….” I wrapped my arms around her and told her that she was an angel so willing to help her friend and yet be there constantly for her husband.

For the third lady, all I know is that her name was Jane, and that she was in Barnes & Noble to buy a book or two to read on her trip to Ireland the next day. While she browsed the shelves, she heard my voice due to the microphone, and being drawn to the subject she stood in the back and listened. She bought the last book. “Here is a picture of me and my mother. She died 4 months ago from ovarian cancer.” We were once two strangers, but now new friends. Just to listen to her talk about her mother, my shoulder to cry on, and my arms around her appeared to be what she needed most at that time.

There is no doubt in my mind that God led each of these women to be at that bookstore that night and at that time. I will never be able to thank God enough for bringing them into my life. They each demonstrated different ways God works through each of us. Often we call it serendipity. Thank you, God.

Friday, July 13, 2012

A Quilt of Life

If you were to create a quilt with each patch representing your life, what would it look like? Would you have the patches represent the lows as well as the highs of your life? Would it show mistakes or failures? Or would you try to portray yourself as always having a good, perfect life free of those negative events. What colors would you choose? Would you include lessons you learned, role models who influenced you, or life-changing events?

Facing Cancer Together has a digital quilt for those of us who have faced or are dealing with cancer to make a patch that shares our story about cancer. I was honored when they invited me to share my story and my book, Outshine: An Ovarian Cancer Memoir. You can find the quilt on www.facingcancertogether.witf.org.

My life quilt's background would be mainly of blue and green colors (my favorite colors) with splashes of white. My patches would include a picture of a piano, a bouquet of violets, and a Siamese cat. Each of these represent role models. Then I would have a square of just black, which represents the child abuse; a square with mountains for Colorado University; one with a nurse's cap; one with many books; and another with a computer. A big round patch with the names of all my children and grandchildren; and a heart shaped one with my husband's name. I must have a patch that will have flashes of light emanating from it which represents my spiritual journey.

Writing this blog stimulated my imagination and so many memories. What I described above is only a small part of my quilt. Have you begun to design the quilt of your life? I encourage you to do so, because it will put your life in perspective, give you a symbolic way to look at it, and for others to perhaps learn something new about you. Just know you can always add or take off a patch, but no matter what the quilt is YOU; that special gift from God.

Saturday, July 7, 2012

"What We See"

"What we see depends mainly on what we look for," are words spoken by John Lubbock, who was a British statesman from the late 1800's to the early 1900's. I love this quote because it speaks to so many issues. What we hear depends on what we expect to hear; what we do is often a result of what we anticipate or think we should do; we expect to smell a rose, when it may be another less fragrant flower; and I look for a genuine hug, handshake, or arm around my shoulder.

We live according to what we expect, which is influenced by many factors including how we were raised, our education, role models, hormones, and our previous experiences. Every second of every day we are bombarded by our environment, our bodies' health status, and our most recent history. If I have a more positive outlook about life's events, I will see the glass half full. However, the opposite is true. The more I hang on to the image of the glass being half empty, the more difficult my life will be because of my reaction to it.

Do I see the trees through the forest? For me, the trees represent a lesson to be learned from each experience of one's life. I try to use my cancer as an opportunity to be a better person and to help others. Did I see last night's rainbow after the rainstorm, or was it just a spectrum of colors.

As I go through this life, I will try to see the trees and not just the forest. I will try to be more aware that what I see does depend mainly on what I am looking for.