About Me

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My journey as a writer began as a child. I wrote poems and short stories which were my way of dealing with various life changing events. I am a member of Rave Reviews Book Club. Follow me on Twitter @KIngallsAuthor www.facebook.com/KarenIngalls, and you can find my books at www.amazon.com. My first book is Outshine: An Ovarian Cancer Memoir which received two awards. All proceeds are donated to gynecologic cancer research. My second book is a novel Novy's Son, about one man's attempt to find love and acceptance from his father. This is an all too common problem in our society. My third book, Davida: Model and Mistress of Augustus Saint-Gaudens is about the love affair between this great American sculptor and his model. ALL ORIGINAL CONTENT COPYRIGHT 2011 THROUGH 2017.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

CA125

Yesterday I had my blood drawn to measure my CA125, which is the marker for cancer. Even though the test is not 100% reliable, it is the one we have. I am feeling fine and have no symptoms of the cancer returning, yet I feel anxious as I wait to learn the results. I am grateful that I now see the oncologist every 6 months and can say that I am a 3 1/2 year survivor, but for the last week I have been more tired with increased indigestion, and more general aches and pains. I see the oncologist on the 29th of Feb. and I anticipate that these symptoms will be diagnosed as stress, not cancer. That is the positive energy I am sending out.

Every day I pray and meditate that either the cancer won't come back; or if it does come back, that I will face it with dignity and courage; and that my light will outshine the cancer. Those of us who have faced a terminal or serious illness, are uniquely changed for the rest of our lives. We are hyper-alert to any physical change in our body, which is a double-edged sword. We might communicate with our physicians more, but on the other hand, we might create more stress for ourselves by worrying about every change, small or big. Sometimes it is difficult to balance between the two.

On the last two blogs I talked about the power of touch, both physical and spiritual. It is the hugs as well as the prayers from family and friends that uplift and sustain me. I also receive wonderful support from you, my blog readers, and those I communicate with on inspire.com. God bless you all.











Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Spiritual Touch

I believe that through prayer we touch someone's life, including our own. We benefit from praying for another by sending out love. I believe that at some level, one which I do not completely understand, a person's life is affected. I know that people are praying for me just as I do for others. The prayers of others gave me strength and encouragement during the height of my cancer treatments. In prayer we become attuned to the light of love or Christ that is in us. When we are concerned about someone's health, we can reach out and touch them through our prayers.

There is the saying that as we sow, so shall we reap. If I act and think on kindness and love to others, so I shall receive the same. Do we not actually feel better when someone smiles versus frowns at us? During times of illness, surgery, or chemotherapy, do our fears and anxieties decrease when the nurse or physician is gentle and kind? More harmony and order is the result of our surrounding a person with God's love. The more I see the light of Christ in people, the more I want to be like them.

So, let your light shine on others. Be open to receive the touch of God's love through others and through prayer.

Thursday, February 9, 2012

The Healing Power of Touch


Some of you are friends of Betty Sue, who suffered a serious stroke a few days after her double mastectomy surgery. As I wrote her "get well" card I became struck with an overwhelming desire to wrap my arms around her and hug her tight. Unfortunately I cannot do it physically, because visits are limited to  the immediate family. For now I send her hugs through my prayers.

The skin is our largest sense organ and is a part of the other four senses (taste, smell, hearing, and sight). Even as an infant, it  'knows" good or safe touch versus negative or dangerous touch. The body responds to healthy touch with the release of endorphins who calm and heal; yet in times of negative touch, adrenaline is released to put us in a state of "fight or flight".

I grew up in a house where there was not a lot of healthy touch so I had to learn how to give and receive loving touch. Thanks to my grandparents, some friends, and God I learned! The beauty, fun, joy, and healing power of loving touch won me over quickly, because the real me was craving it. Since then I have made healthy touch a part of me as a mother, wife, grandmother, friend, nurse, and even to strangers. I wrote my master's thesis on the subject of healthy touch.

Since the beginning of my journey with cancer the importance of touch has only increased. During chemotherapy I especially needed to be touched from a simple touch on my shoulder to a full embrace. Though bald, dark circles under my eyes, and pale, I was still the same person. I am blessed that all my friends and family members are touchers, which contributed to my recovery physically, emotionally and mentally.

So far this blog has been about physical touch, but I believe there are emotional and spiritual forms of touch which will be discussed in future blogs. Share with me how touch has impacted you.

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Photography of Life

I recently read the novel, Winter Garden, which was a very moving and emotional story about two adult sisters and their aging mother about whom they know so little. One of the daughters is a professional photographer and somewhere in the book something is said to the effect, "Life is like photography, you develop from negatives." As an amateur photographer I was quite impressed with this observation and how I have grown from some negative aspects since my ovarian cancer diagnosis.

Needless worry, superficial goals, and foolishly taking life for granted are just three  things I have let go of. When I find myself worrying about something, I meditate about it and "let go, let God." Worries are only fears that I let control me.

One of my main goals is to be supportive to the women who have/had ovarian cancer. I want to teach/inform women of all ages about the subtle signs or whispers of ovarian cancer. I try to do this through this blog, my soon to be published book (Outshine: An Ovarian Cancer Memoir), support groups, and anytime I have the opportunity.

To truly live each day fully and lovingly continues to be a deep part of me. That seed was planted the day after my diagnosis, and like the saying goes, "I bloom where I am planted." Or so I try. I do not take anything for granted, but know that I must nurture, water, and fertilize each day.

What negatives have you turned into beautiful photographs of yourself?