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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 28, 2014


     Several years ago I was putting a load of just washed clothes in the dryer. My sister, Joan, watched me just grab hands full and said, "Wait, you have to shake each piece out."

     "What? I have never done that," feeling a little indignant that my older sister had something to teach me after I had been doing laundry for some 40 years.

     She explained, "If you shake out each piece, it will not wrinkle, or very little. Therefore, eliminating any ironing." She had a big smile on her face, happy to share the good news that ironing might be one job I could forget about.

Lesson One: Do not take for granted that you know everything even if you have been doing the same task for an extended period of time.

Lesson Two: I sometimes grab things, people, or events, and "throw" them into my pile of life. I do not always listen, look at objectively, or participate in wholly. I need to slow down and appreciate the situation and make the most of it.

     I recently gave a talk to some cancer survivors about "shifting away" from their cancer. In other words, do not let cancer control their lives, but they be the ones in control. One lady shared, "I am new to all of this and I feel consumed by everything. My life is no longer mine."

     We talked about being sure to incorporate joyful things into our daily activities, exercise, eat nutritiously, journal, pray or meditate, laugh, and even shed some tears, and to face any fear which is often the biggest blocker to shifting away from cancer.

Lesson One: Incorporate those things that help you to shift away from whatever challenge you are facing.

Lesson Two: The more people are in control of their lives, the healthier they will be.

     We each need to shake out of our doldrums, fears, bad habits, or negative personality traits, and then shift away from our unhealthy life choices.

These are only some of the many lessons I have learned and share about in my book, Outshine: An Ovarian Cancer Memoir. Please share any lessons you have learned whether from a cancer diagnosis, divorce, financial challenges, empty nest syndrome, or any other life changing event.


Thursday, August 21, 2014


              A fable about the way birds first got their wings:

 The story goes that initially they were created without them. Then God made the wings, set them down before the wingless birds, and said to them, "Take up these burdens and carry them."

The birds had sweet voices for singing, and lovely feathers that glistened in the sunshine, but they could not soar in the air. When asked to pick up the burdens that lay at their feet, they hesitated at first. Yet soon they obeyed, picked up the wings with their beaks, and set them on their shoulders to carry them.

For some time, the load, this burden, seemed heavy and difficult to bear, but soon, as they continued to carry the burden and to fold the wings over their hearts, the wings grew attached to their little bodies. They quickly discovered how to use them and were lifted by the wings high into the air.

                                            The burdens had become wings.

We each have burdens that we must carry until we learn how to carry them and tie them to our hearts.  We must not run from them...where would we go? To be bitter or angry about them...only makes the burdens heavier. To try to have others carry our burden...what would we learn? To deny the existence of the burden...we won't soar like the eagle.

                             "They will soar on wings like eagles. (Isaiah 40:31)

Friday, August 15, 2014



         1. Don’t wait on me to call you if I need anything.  

2. Let me experience real emotions.  Sometimes I will clown around and laugh, and others I might be tearful and sad.

3. Ask me “what’s up” rather than “how do you feel.” Let’s talk about life and what’s been happening rather than focusing on my illness.

4. Forgive me.  There will be times when the illness and its treatment make me “not myself.” I may be forgetful, abrupt or hurtful. None of this is deliberate.

5. Just listen.  Just listen and don’t offer solutions. A good cry releases a lot of stress and pressure for me.

6. Take pictures of us. I may fuss about a photo, but a snapshot of us can help get me through tough times.

7.  Sometimes I need a little time alone.  Just to be quiet and reflective.

8. My family needs friends. Parenting is hard enough when your body is healthy. My spouse could also benefit from a little time with friends.

9. I want you to reduce your cancer risk. stop smoking, lose extra weight, protect your skin from sun damage, and watch what you eat. Please go see a doctor for regular check-ups and demand follow-up whenever pain, bleeding or unusual lumps show up.

10. Take nothing for granted. Enjoy the life you have right now. Take time to jump in puddles, hug the kids, and feel the wind on your face. Marvel at this amazing world God created, and thank Him for bringing us together.

These are only ten suggestions from a variety of sources. There are many more that could be listed. Think about what you would want if you were the one sick. We are each uniquely beautiful and have different needs and personalities. Try to be in tune with those traits of whom you are friends.

Thursday, August 7, 2014


"Improper or excessive use or treatment," "to treat harmfully or improperly," "to speak insultingly or hurtfully," "to commit sexual assault upon."

Bullying is abuse no matter how a person might want to try to say, "We were only kidding." "He/she is such a nerd," "We don't mean anything by it. He/she should not be so sensitive," or "He/she doesn't care."

     Some of us become abusive with alcohol, drugs (street or prescription) or cigarettes. Others abuse their bodies through poor nutrition, obesity, fad diets, or eating disorders. The body you have is the only one you will have here on earth. You cannot trade it in for a new model. What you do with your body now is reflected on its health tomorrow. 

Animals are precious gifts for us humans to enjoy, take care of, and provide nourishment. A horse I had as a teenager had been abused by its previous owner with a pitchfork in the stable. "Babe" learned to trust only me. Any male that came near him stirred up the fear, anger, and hurt from the past.

     Any abuse means the abuser has control. Women who live with abusers need to be strong and leave the situation...take back control of their own lives. Children and animals are the saddest cases of abuse, because they do not understand "what they did to deserve this," they do not always have the resources to get into a healthier, loving situation, and they do not understand how to be in control or what it means.

     I was able to leave my abusive home at 17years. Yet, I was always scared my stepfather would find me, call me a liar, and maybe even kill me. Once I took Christ into my life, shared with a few trusted adults, I was able to forgive my stepfather and live a life of strength, love, and peace.

     I am pleased to recommend these two books for your reading. Both are written in first person from women who did suffer abuse in various forms. I am proud of their courage to speak out, and admire their strengths to turn their lives into positive role models.

Author, Megan Cyrulewski contacted me to highlight her book Who Am I?  How My Daughter Taught Me to Let Go and Live Again. The author is an ordinary person who has faced extraordinary challenges and now wants to inspire people and show them that hope gives them the power to survive anything. Who Am I? is about her journey into post-partum depression, anxiety disorder, panic attacks, visits to the psych ward, divorce, domestic violence, law school, and her courageous struggle to survive with her sanity intact—and how a beautiful little girl emerged from all this chaos.

     Another book I highly recommend is Transformed by Tragedy by Carmyn Sparks. A gripping saga exposing secret sins of a powerful West Texas family. Ms. Sparks will be a guest blogger this fall. She found the real Carmyn when she turned her life over to Christ. www.yoflife.com


THERE IS SO MUCH MORE TO DO TO STOP ABUSE. Please feel free to contact either of the spotlighted authors or myself...find help for yourself...help others.