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.

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Medical Professionals and Touch

On August 29th, I spoke to a group at Mayo Clinic called "Bright Spots". The group included nurses, administrative personnel, a doctor, and other medical professionals, who work in the gynecology, oncology, and research departments. From my perspective as a cancer patient, I tried to convey to them the importance of how they touch patients physically, emotionally, and spiritually. Obviously physical touch involves anything from a gentle hand on the shoulder and up to a hug. The skin is our largest organ and affects the four senses. We need to be respectful of an individual's boundaries, and yet provide the type of touch that the patient needs. If we are sensitive to their body language, the patient's needs will be met without invading their boundaries.

Emotional touch is the smile, the warm look into the patient's eyes, listening, and sharing tears or laughter. A nurse is very busy and it is not always easy to take the time to listen or provide the patient with the necessary emotional support. Actually, I believe that if a nurse takes the extra few minutes to truly "touch" the patient, his or her professional duties will be actually decreased. Cancer patients in particular have many fears, and the medical profession needs to be sensitive to how a smile or compassionate eyes can relieve many fears.

Spiritual touch is demonstrated through prayer, acts of kindness and love, and such energy channels as Therapeutic Touch, Reiki, Kofutu, and Healing Touch. A nurse's prayer for her patients can be powerful. With my cancer, I knew that many people were praying for me, and still do.

How have you been touched? How do you "reach out and touch"? Share how a nurse's touch affected you. As a medical professional, how have you used touch to promote health and reduction of fear?

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Bubbles For A Cure

A friend recently told me about a woman, who upon completing her chemotherapy, went outside and blew bubbles while she said a prayer for each woman she had met with cancer. Obviously it is a symbolic act, but it carries so much meaning and I thought it was a beautiful idea.

I remember the mixture of soap and water I made for my kids, and now grandchildren. There is something about blowing bubbles that is joyful and fun, no matter our age. Each bubble is different with its size, shape and how long it lasts. Does that not describe each of us? We are beautifully special and one of a kind. Even identical twins are not 100% the same. One twin might react to an event  different from his/her sibling. That reaction will help shape as to what kind of a person he or she becomes.

Each type of cancer is also unique with its symptoms and treatments. I have learned that there are several different types of cancer cells for ovarian cancer. Some respond to chemotherapy or radiation different from other cancer cells. We need to help research laboratories find ways to bust the cancer bubbles, and hopefully someday eliminate their creation. I am an ovarian cancer survivor, and my passion is to inform and inspire women, and support the ovarian cancer research fund.

I encourage you to blow some bubbles in honor of someone you know who has or had cancer, say a prayer for a cure, and then support and contribute to cancer research.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Tina's Legacy

Tina was a young lady from London, with whom I became acquainted through her blog "Tina's Journey". She fought the disease of ovarian cancer for 3 1/2 years and passed away a few days ago at the young age of 45. Each blog was one of inspiration, humor, education, or wisdom as she shared her faith in God, love of life and family, and a determination to leave a positive legacy to her two young children.

Today's blog is to celebrate Tina and the too many women who have or had ovarian cancer. I am all the more determined to educate/inform women about ovarian cancer, and inspire them and their families.
The self-help author, Karen Salmansohn, wrote "Let go of what you cannot control. Channel all that energy into living fully in the now." Tina lived in the now right to the end. I have often used the analogy of outshining whatever challenge I might face. Tina shined so brightly (and still does) that her light reached across the miles of cyberspace.

I invite you to read the following books to become more informed about ovarian cancer:

         **Facing Cancer with God's Help by Jeanne Carol Martin
         **A Feather in My Wig by Barbara Van Billiard
         **Bearing Witness by Kathryn Carter

and I hope you will read my book, Outshine: An Ovarian Cancer Memoir. (Proceeds go to ovarian cancer research)

Please forward this blog to the women with whom you are in contact. Let's spread the word together, because that is the best way to fight this disease.

Thursday, August 9, 2012

God's Medicine Chest II

I am very pleased to present a guest blog from Shirley Corder, a breast cancer survivor, author, and Christian from South Africa. Please leave her your comments, and check out her links. 

Ms. Corder did this guest blog 2 years ago and since it was so well received I am presenting it again.

As a student nurse, I hated the subject of nutrition. Provided I ate what I considered to be a balanced diet, I believed I'd be fine.

Years later, after being diagnosed with fast-growing cancer, I was determined to do everything possible to fight the disease. I read every book I could find, flipping past chapters about food, so I could concentrate on the "important" parts.

But when I came to the end of a full year's treatment, I felt panic. I was no longer actively fighting the disease. What could I now do to restore my good health and build my immune system? How could I fight against a possible recurrence?

                                         Then I discovered God's medicine chest.

I visited a nutritionist, and discovered the "healthy" menu I served my family every day didn't have enough vegetables. And despite living in the Fruit Kingdom of the World, I often went for days without fruit.

The recommended daily requirements of fruit and vegetables made me full just to think of them. Following the expert's advice, I bought a juicer and commenced each morning with a cocktail of five raw fruits and vegetables.

                                                      **My energy levels started to rise.
                                                      **My passion for life was re-fired.

Instead of seeing fruit and vegetables as necessary food products, I saw them as God's provision to boost my health and immunity.

"Eat an assortment of colors," the nutritionist urged. "Especially the bright ones." Yellow and red fruits and veggies, I learned, are highest in anti-oxidants, so they are important weapons in our arsenal against cancer.

                          Did God deliberately make fruit and vegetables so attractive?
       Was it part of His plan, that some of the most valuable foodstuffs are also the brightest?

I don't know for sure, but nearly 15 years later, I rejoice in my good health, due at least in part, to the contents of God's medicine chest.

Further reading including many juicing recipes

SHIRLEY CORDER's book, Strength Renewed: Meditations for your Journey through Breast here to read more, and Rise & Soar, her website to encourage and inspire those on the cancer journey.

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Let's Dance

Those of us who have faced cancer or other life-threatening illness are familiar with the phrase, no evidence of disease or N.E.D.  Those words are magical, joyful, and music to the ears! Some of us do the N.E.D. dance, which is an individual's own dance steps. No formal training required.

Today, a very special lady named Sandy, is doing the N.E.D. dance with her husband, Owen, and family. She received the good news of no cancer detected on her recent scan. After 3 surgeries, 3 years of chemotherapy, and 4 hospitalizations, Sandy has traveled this difficult road with dignity, a positive attitude, and gratitude for each day. I have never heard her complain, but always been there to support and help others.

September is Ovarian Cancer Awareness month. PLEASE, support your local ovarian cancer alliances or groups. There will be rallies, walks/runs, golf tournaments, dinners, or other events to celebrate the lives of those who are not with us anymore; to support those who are thriving (or surviving); and to educate and inspire women and their families. Like pancreatic cancer, 70% of those women diagnosed with ovarian cancer do not survive the first year.

It is only through research funding that we will someday find a cure for this deadly disease and find a more efficient way to diagnose its subtle symptoms earlier. The proceeds from the sale of my book, Outshine: An Ovarian Cancer Memoir, goes to ovarian cancer research (ocrf.org/donate). Help us spread the word. All of us want to do the N.E.D. dance.