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, May 23, 2013


Those of us who have faced, or are facing, the diagnosis of ovarian cancer we often talk about "winning the battle," "fighting the good fight," or "warrior woman" and other such warrior phrases.

              **Our healthy white cells try to kill the cancer cells.

              **Some cancer cells attempt to "hide" from the chemotherapy or radiation.

              **We choose to eat or avoid certain foods giving us strength or ammunition.

              **We armor ourselves with positive thinking, meditation, and humor.

              **Some of us will win battles, but others will unfortunately lose the war.

              **Research and doctors learn something from every case.
              **Those before me have contributed to the health of today's woman.

              EVERY TUESDAY
                            AND SHARE ABOUT
                                            OVARIAN CANCER
                                                                                    HONOR THE WOMEN WARRIORS

My humble thanks to the men and women who have served, and those who are currently our national warriors. 

             AND SERVICEWOMEN...
                       THEY NEED TO KNOW WE CARE...
                                 NOT JUST ON MEMORIAL DAY,
                                                    BUT EVERY DAY.


Friday, May 17, 2013


                          Appetite change is a common symptom of ovarian cancer.

                                   "Gosh, I was hungry, but already I'm full." 


                      How much of your meal can you typically eat before you feel full? 

                              100%               75%               50%               25%

***Are you constantly full?

         ***Do you have queasiness or indigestion?

                       ***Are you constipated?

                                      ***Are you bloated?

                                                  ***Have you had a weight change?

          PLEASE see your physician if you are aware of any changes in your appetite for 2 weeks. Keep a diary of your appetite changes; write down your family history of cancer; and take this information to the doctor.

         Ovarian cancer has a 90% survival rate if diagnosed and treated in Stage I. 

                  *** Listen to your bodies and act on any change that is not healthy or normal. PLEASE DO NOT IGNORE OR MAKE EXCUSES about what your body is saying to you.

Ovarian cancer does not discriminate. It can affect any age.

To learn more go to:

(Photos courtesy of www.healthexcellence.com and www.picsearch.com)

Thursday, May 9, 2013


I am grateful to Cecilia Crandall for sharing her story about her daughter, Laura Crandall Brown, who had a rare and aggressive form of ovarian cancer. Mrs. Crandall is a member of the Speaker's Bureau for the Laura Crandall Brown Ovarian Cancer Foundation. She shares this most poignant story to help spread awareness of the signs and symptoms of this lesser known disease.

Looking back on my daughter's cancer journey, I know I can count on one hand, the number of times I saw Laura absolutely break down and cry during her fifteen month battle. Maybe she was being strong in front of me, just like I was trying to be so strong in front of her. I tried to not let her see my anguish and fear at not being able to "fix things" like Moms always do for their children. I would imagine myself in her shoes and think, "How does she do it?"

Laura began writing a journal during her journey. Reading through it lately has not only inspired me even more, but made me realize that Laura was preparing. It helped me to know what she was thinking and how she made it through those days, and yet she was not bitter. So I felt it appropriate to now share some of Laura's journal entries with other Mother's as my Mother's Day gift to you.

                  "Do I feel God gave me this to deal with for a plan or purpose? Not really.
                    I feel more like I got cancer and He was more like a parent there waiting
                    to support me. Strengthen me, but I don't think He gave me this.
                    I trust He is just taking care of me from above."

Laura made me realize just how important it is to try and stay positive in spite of what God has planned for us.

                   "I don't want people to pity me. Pity finds fault and spreads sadness like 
                     disease. Rather I'd like to get positivity, fun, sense of humor. Let's share
                     that and we'll all feel better in the long run."

                     "I'm not trying to bring anyone down, hell we all know life is tough in
                       some personal way or another. No one is better or worse off, just 
                       But, how we take it, process it, and push it out is what matters. And there is
                       no right answer or method, but we work on it.  Thank you, instincts, thank
                       you for kicking in."

She reminded me to be thankful for all that we have and especially for our health.

                      "I am grateful to be on this earth today and look forward to tomorrow. I will
                       not take for granted all the love and beautiful things here on Earth. I continue
                       to thank God for my time here on earth, each and every day. I ask Him to 
                       guide me in His will. I want to do His will. I do feel His peace and calm when
                       I tap in."

She continues to inspire me and all the work I do in her memory through her foundation.

                       "To think that your life can help to develop a cure is better than voting for a
                       presidential candidate that supports stem cell research. Better than donation. 
                       My body is my tool for researching to help others. My fight is only one among 
                       many. Today cancer is common. More people experience it than we know. We 
                       are a club, a race all our own of medical roller coasters."

A few weeks before Laura died, she needed to be admitted to the hospital for a blood transfusion. Realizing she was receiving more blood than ever before, Laura began to cry and asked me to lie down next to her on the bed. We hugged and cried as Laura told me of her fears and desire to live through the upcoming holidays. "You are the best Mother on earth and I've been so fortunate to have had you as my mom," she said to me. 

I treasure that memory
               and those words
                               so much now,
                                                but especially on Mother's Day every year.
                                                                           WHAT A GIFT!

                  PLEASE support the Laura Crandall Brown Ovarian Cancer Foundation.



Thursday, May 2, 2013


      The last two chapters of my book, Outshine: An Ovarian Cancer Memoir are titled "Remission" and "New Birth-Day." 

       In the field of cancer the word CURE is almost never spoken. It is defined as the relief of the symptoms of a disease. REMISSION, is defined as there being no evidence of symptoms of cancer cells present, which is the term most often used.

     I celebrate my new birth-day on June 20th, the date of my diagnosis. I have been in remission for 5 years. I am surviving and thriving, which means I am continuing to live and living to the fullest. The song "Circle of Life" says it all, no matter what are circumstances are:

                                     From the day we arrive on the planet,
                                     And blinking, step into the sun
                                     There's more to see than can ever be seen
                                     More to do than ever be done
                                     There's far too much to take in here
                                     More to find than ever be found
                                     But the sun rolling high
                                     Through the sapphire sky
                                     Keeps great and small on the endless round.

                                     It's the Circle of Life

                                     And it moves us all
                                     Through despair and hope
                                     Through faith and love
                                     Till we find our place
                                     On the path unwinding
                                     In the Circle
                                     The Circle of Life.

      "In life, things happen around us, things happen to us, but the only thing that truly matters is what happens within us." (Anonymous)

     I like the quote from Michael Douglas: "Cancer didn't bring me to my knees, it brought me to my feet."    

     I have lived for 5 years cancer free, which is not typical for those women diagnosed with ovarian cancer. Yes, my life changed forever since I heard those fateful words, "You have cancer,"

                                but, my life is richer, has a new purpose, and filled with greater gratitude.      
                                That is my Circle of Life, and why I am surviving and thriving.

     Proceeds from my book go to ovarian and gynecologic research. It may be purchased at: