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, November 28, 2013

GIVING THANKS


                                                 THANK YOU...

                     TO THOSE WHO HAVE FAITHFULLY FOLLOWED MY BLOGS;
            LEFT COMMENTS, QUESTIONS, AND ENCOURAGEMENT; AND WHO HAVE DONE 
            GUEST BLOGS... 

                                    AND MY MOST HUMBLE THANKS TO THOSE WHO
                                    HAVE SUPPORTED GYNECOLOGICAL CANCER
                                    RESEARCH THROUGH THE PURCHASE OF MY BOOK...
                                    

           
     AND MY THANKS TO THE WOMEN, THE SISTERS, WHO HAVE TOLD ME
                ABOUT THEIR JOURNEY WITH CANCER. WE HAVE SHARED LAUGHTER
                AND TEARS, EXCHANGED INFORMATION, AND GIVEN EACH OTHER
                HUGS. WE HAVE DONE THIS IN PERSON AND ACROSS THE MILES...
                SOMETIMES ON THE OTHER SIDE OF THE WORLD!


     In the United States, Thanksgiving is a very special day when we share a supper together with
family or friends. Usually we eat too much turkey, dressing, mashed potatoes, cranberries, and an assortment of pies, but the togetherness of special people in our lives is what matters.



     In Canada they celebrate Thanksgiving on the second Monday of October. They have parades and family dinners with turkey and all the trimmings expressing thankfulness for the year's harvest.

     India is a multi-cultural and multi-ethnic country that celebrates the thanksgiving of God's grace on them. With the increased influence of Western culture, several areas do celebrate Thanksgiving where it is known as Ladin or Ladainha. It is a time of "thanks for all material and spiritual benefits."

     "Other Asian countries such as China, Malaysia, Korea celebrate....Harmony, peace, feeling gratitude is the underlying theme of the celebration all over."

I wish you a most blessed day today wherever you are in the world...a time to give thanks for all the many gifts we have. 


(Quotes from http://www.thanksgiving-day.org/thanksgiving-around-world.html)




Thursday, November 21, 2013

OBSESSED WITH LIFE: A MEDICAL MIRACLE

When I read about Rachel Lozano I wanted to share her story with you. She is an inspiration to me and her courage, self-will, and attitude are all beautiful traits that I admire.

                                                   At age 19, I found out I had weeks to live.

      This wasn’t my first introduction to cancer. The infamously opportunistic disease made a dramatic entrance into my life at age 15, when doctors discovered a cancerous tumor known as Askin’s tumor pressing on the top of my spinal cord and shutting down my body by the hour. Following an emergency surgery, intensive chemotherapy and radiation became my new normal.

      After a year of remission, the cancer reemerged in my bone marrow. This time was even worse. Worn completely down, I could barely walk at my high school graduation. Two days later, I was ad­mitted for a stem cell transplant, which gave me a brand-new immune system. Due to severe adverse effects from the transplant, the skin over my entire body peeled, I developed serious infections, and even went into septic shock. Never­theless, I again surpassed all odds and made it through. While my friends went off to their first year of college, I was relearning how to walk and eat.

      Another year and a half passed, and I seemed to be doing much better. In fact, I even headed off to college. Yet my body was once again screaming that some­thing was wrong. I soon learned there was a new tumor between my heart, lung, and spine. I was told I had a zero-percent chance of survival and was given only weeks to live.

      Three months went by. I was still alive. I realized that perhaps I wasn’t dying just yet, so I took a job at an art materi­als store and moved on with my life.

      My doctors scoured the globe for options, but the experts still concluded I was incurable. By May 2004 – a year and a half later – an amazing thoracic and cardiovascular surgeon relocated to my hospital, and he believed the tumor was stable enough to operate. Surgery went smoothly, and the entire tumor – which was the size of a small Nerf football – was successfully removed. The biopsy results showed the tumor had completely died while inside me, despite very little treatment. It was an inexplicable medical miracle

The lessons I learned through my cancer experience have caused me to be obsessed with life. Here’s what I’ve learned:

                                  ♦ Plan for a long future, but live for the moment.
This may mean something completely different to everyone. For me, it means spending time with family and friends, using my talents, and stay­ing open to new opportunities.

                                  ♦ Practice (and receive) empathy.
Everyone will have burdens in their lives. These things are often out of our control. The only part we can con­trol is how we choose to handle the hard times and whom we choose to help us along the way. Because of the empathy of others, my three bouts with cancer were bearable, and some­times even enjoyable. Help others when you can, and accept a helping hand when you need it.

                                  ♦ As my grandma always told me, "Do what makes you happy."
It’s be­come a cliché, but there really is a lot of truth to it. In my own life, I’ve found that what makes me happy is using my experiences to help others.

                                  ♦ Be open to change, because life is a series of endless changes. 
If your carefully mapped out plan for the fu­ture changes – by choice or by force – it’s OK. Because of cancer, I had to give up some of my own ambitions. Comparing myself to others never helped me. I had to become comfort­able with making my own way. Today I am blessed with the opportunity to speak around the country; I have pub­lished writing, done advocacy work on Capitol Hill, provided charities with donated artwork, and have even trav­eled abroad to spread cancer awareness. I never realized how much my life could affect others.

                                                                      My hope for you is simple: 

       Become obsessed with living your own life. You will be amazed at what awaits.


This article was published in Coping® with Cancer magazine, May/June 2012            (http://copingmag.com/cwc/index.php/article/obsessed_with_life)

    

Rachel Lozano is an inspirational speaker, art therapist, artist, writer, Glamour magazine’s 2008 Woman of Your Year, and an Askin’s tumor sur­vivor. Visit her at ObsessedWithLife.com or on Facebook: Rachel Lozano: Inspirational Speaker.

Thursday, November 14, 2013

OVULATION & OVARIAN CANCER


In his book The Ultimate Guide to Ovarian Cancer, Dr. Benedict B. Benigno states "The monthly ovulatory cycle produces an explosion in an ovary as the egg is released, and this appears to be why having pregnancies early in life may confer protection against this disease....It is believed that the damage to the ovary at the time of ovulation contributes to the genesis of this cancer."


***The birth control pill provides a 50% decrease in the incidence of ovarian cancer if taken for a minimum of 5 years. When the birth control pill first emerged I was against it, saying, "you don't fool around with mother nature!" I have since learned my lesson.


***As long as a woman is breast feeding, she rarely ovulates. Women in Western countries tend to start having children in their mid-thirties or later; fewer of them breastfeed (49% for 6 months); and she is having about 2.1 pregnancies during her reproductive life. Again, if she is not ovulating then it decreases the incidence of ovarian cancer.

***Women in other areas of the world have multiple pregnancies, breastfeed for several years, and often get pregnant as early as their teens. The statistics of ovarian cancer is these countries is almost non-existent.

                                                  So, what does all this mean?


***I am not suggesting that women start having children in their teens, have multiple births, nor that every woman should breast feed for a few years.

***After reading Dr. Benigno's book and other research I have done, I do believe that there must be some kind of a connection between ovulation and ovarian cancer. I also find the current information quite interesting. According to cancer.org "The risk goes down with each full-term pregnancy. Breastfeeding may lower the risk even further."

***There is a fairly well accepted theory that ovarian cancer actually begins in the area between the ovary and the fallopian tube. Is it related to the number of ovulations? Is there some kind of a change or damage to the epithelial cells which repair the ovary's surface after the egg is released?

***Even with modern medicine more than 25,000 women will be diagnosed in 2013 with this disease. And the overall survival rate has NOT changed in the past 20 years! I am asking for your support to fund research. Here are some suggested sites:

                                                               www.ocaf.com
                          www.mayoclinic.com
                          www.ovariancancerinstitute



Both books are available at www.amazon.com.




Thursday, November 7, 2013

BODACIOUS MEN & WOMEN

      The first time I heard the word bodacious was about 4 years ago when I was having lunch with other ovarian cancer survivors. At the time I was not sure what it meant, so I had to look it up.

       Bodacious is a new word that was developed in the 1980's. It combines bold and audacious according to Urban Dictionary. We all know that bold means bravery, daring. To be audacious can also mean the same as bold, daring, fearless, heroic; or it can mean impudence or impertinence (but that is too negative for this writer).

When I hear the word bodacious:

             
**I think of our service men and women who with great bravery protect our country. Let's
                  honor them this Monday, Nov. 11th. November 11 is Veteran's Day, which is a time to
                  thank and recognize their service to us and our country. I admire their boldness, daring,
                  remarkable heroism. They are bodacious.


             
 **I think of the many women I have met who will not let cancer
                 defeat them.
     Let's support them with love, prayers, and caring.
     One often hears or reads about cancer
                patients talking about how they will fight the cancer;              
      No matter what illness we fight, it requires bravery, daring,
                 boldness and hope.
      No good fighter enters the ring without hope.


         
 **Or, I think about a good friend's son whose remarkable spirit helps him deal with
                               colon cancer for the past year.
                I pray that my spirit will be like his.
                               His determination, faith, and strength define him as bodacious.
                       



On a lighter note, I think of the bull, Bodacious, who lived from 1988-2000. He was infamous in the world of rodeo because of his innate and impressive way he bucked the riders off. Sometimes he caused serious injury, but it was the unique way (the bodacious way) he faced each rider (challenge) that made him famous.

Am I bucking off negativity, problems, fears, etc.?
          Do I face challenges with "bull-headed" determination?
                    Am I strong? Am I fearless?
   

So, be bodacious as you walk your path in life. Be brave, awesome, and hopeful. In other words,
                                          outshine whatever challenges you face.
                                 
                                                  www.BeaversPondBooks. com
                                                  www.amazon.com
                                                  www.barnesandnoble.com

                                    All proceeds go to gynecological cancer research.