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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, 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.


  1. Thank you Karen for a great night on Tuesday. Everything is so much bigger than we will ever know. I love the stories!!!!

  2. Karen, what a lovely post. Thank you for sharing this story. A beautiful reminder of how we are able to encourage and offer hope in simple, yet meaningful ways.

    1. Thank you for your positive feedback, and many thanks for your support of my writing.

  3. I am that woman who thought for sure I'd be dead before Christmas in 1999. I enjoyed the book reading - and reading it myself. You cover all the phases and feelings of being diagnosed with this disease. Isn't it a treat to have your book published?! All of us have stories that should be told and preserved - so is the theme of Daniel Taylor's book, Leaving A Spiritual Legacy. I was blessed to have part of my ovca story published in that book. Maybe someday , like you, I'll write my own. Can I call on your for mentoring? Carmen

    1. I was wondering who "anonymous" was. I am so glad that we met and would love to hear more about your journey with ovca...yes, write a book! It was a therapeutic process for me, and there are not enough books about ovca out there.
      Please feel free to stay in touch either through this blog or via email (available on my profile),
      God bless you.

  4. A friend let me know that you were doing your reading at Barnes and Noble and I so much wanted to be there but had made previous plans. So I ordered your book and read it the night I received it. You did a beautiful and accurate job. We are truly sisters, joined together by this common experience. I was III C, diagnosed in October of 2000, when the survival statistic for 5 years was 20 percent. It has changed my life in huge ways. It was a wake up call that keeps calling. I went 7 years and then got 2 re-currences two years apart. Do you live in MN part of the year? Are you still here now?