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, May 29, 2014

SERENDIPITY: A FORTUITOUS HAPPENSTANCE





     I first learned the word serendipity when Marcus Bach gave a lecture about it some thirty-five years ago at a church I was attending. The word caught my attention and I fell in love with it and all that it means.

    Serendipity is magical, good fortune, mysterious, the work of angels, and a part of God's plan. It is finding something good without looking for it!

     It was first coined in 1754 by Horace Walpole based on the Persian tale The Three Princes of Serendip, who in this fairy tale are "always making discoveries, by accidents and sagacity, of things which they were not in quest of."
               
      **It is considered to be one of the most difficult words to translate.

                **Alexander Fleming's discovery of penicillin is considered to be serendipitous.

                          **The same is said about the invention of the microwave oven.



A serendipity time for me was when I chose to see the gynecologic oncologist, Dr. Matthew Boente, in Edina, MN at the same time my husband's friend and jeweler said, "There is only one doctor for Karen to see and that is Dr. Boente. My niece is doing her residency under him."





My son was called to install a home alarm system on his day off, which he was reluctant to give up. However, he went and the homeowner's husband worked for a national power company, and the contact opened up a wonderful job opportunity. He has had a successful career in this field for 20+ years. That is serendipity.



                How many serendipitous events do you recall?
                       Is serendipity just "good luck"?
                             Or is it the work of guardian angels?
                                  Are they little miracles?

                                 Share your times when you experienced serendipity.


                              Visit my new website at: www.outshineovariancancer.com 

Friday, May 23, 2014

MELANOMA: HOW MUCH DO YOU KNOW?


  • Would you recognize it on yourself or someone else?
  • Do you know the risk factors?
  • Do you know how to reduce your risk for developing it?

According to Mayo Clinic, Rochester, MN:
  1. It is the most serious type of skin cancer
  2. Risk factors are increasing those under 40 years of age, fair-skinned, frequent sunburns, excessive UV, live close to equator, have many moles, or a family history of melanoma.
  3. Exposure to UV light from the sun or tanning beds increases your risk.
  4. Symptoms: change in existing mole or any unusual looking growth on the skin.
  5. This is what it looks like:


How does one choose the correct sunscreen or sunblock? Here is a link from the American Melanoma Foundation http://www.melanomafoundation.org/prevention/facts.htm

           If this blog has raised some concern in you, then I have done my job!
   If you are fearful about a skin or mole change, then set up an appointment with a dermatologist.
 If you use sunscreen, avoid over exposure in the sun, and limit your use of tanning beds, then you are   making some healthy choices.

         The skin is our largest organ, 
               it is related to all of our 5 senses,
                   and it is too often the most ignored and abused. 
                        We can enjoy the sun, 
                               but we may need to be a little wiser in the choices we are making.

Thursday, May 15, 2014

BEAUTIFUL PEOPLE: MY ROLE MODELS


Dr. Elisabeth Kubler-Ross stated:

          "THE MOST BEAUTIFUL PEOPLE WE HAVE KNOWN ARE THOSE WHO HAVE KNOWN 
          DEFEAT, KNOWN SUFFERING, KNOWN STRUGGLE, KNOWN LOSS, AND HAVE
          FOUND THEIR WAY OUT OF THOSE DEPTHS."

                                     It is the remaining part of the quote that is important.

            "THESE PERSONS HAVE AN APPRECIATION, A SENSITIVITY, AND AN UNDER-
            STANDING OF LIFE THAT FILLS THEM WITH COMPASSION, GENTLENESS, AND A
            DEEP LOVING CONCERN. BEAUTIFUL PEOPLE DO NOT JUST HAPPEN."
                                                          

Some of the beautiful people in my life are:

           1. My adopted Aunt Arleigh taught me so much about life, people, and spirituality despite
               serious financial and health issues. At 88 years young she continues to reach out to people
               helping them with any and all issues.


           2. Bonnie Donihi was a leader in the founding of the Ovarian Cancer
               National Alliance, and the Ovarian Cancer Alliance of Florida. She
               helped bring about the Nurses Educational Initiative, the Teresa
               Rosebrough Research Fund, and the Kelly Smith Gynecologic and
               Ovarian Cancer Education and Awareness Act. She is a 19 year
               ovarian cancer survivor with three recurrences.




 3. Harriet Hodgson who raised her two teenage grandchildren with unconditional love after the sudden and tragic deaths of their parents. She is a member of the American Society of Journalists and Authors, Association for Death Education and Counseling. Author of more than 25 books. www.harriethodgson.com
             
             






  4. Those volunteers who give their time, energy, and talents
       while facing their own health issues without complaint. They
       volunteer in the chemotherapy room, at rallies, fundraisers, and
       luncheons. Each of them face their own personal challenges
       with a gynecologic cancer with dignity, humor, and honesty.


When you are a beautiful person:
    * There is no egotism, but a healthy ego;
     *There is no self-gain, only gain for others;
      *There is no financial reward, but God's reward;
       *There may not be any historical recognition, just appreciation.



Please let us know who are your beautiful people? Add a photo of them if you so choose.




You can read more about some of my beautiful people in Outshine: An Ovarian Cancer Memoir
                                 All proceeds go to gynecologic cancer research.
                            Visit my new website at: www.outshineovariancancer.com.











                                     

Thursday, May 8, 2014

MOTHER'S DAY


Just as we take time to change the batteries in our smoke alarms when we "Fall Back" and "Spring Forward" with Daylight Savings Time each year, take time to honor the women you love this Mother's Day by sharing important information about the risks, symptoms and prevention of gynecologic cancers. This important information truly can save lives!

  • Learn the symptoms   
  • Listen to your body 
  • Know your family health history 
  • Act by seeking care from a gynecologic oncologist if you suspect or have been diagnosed with a gynecologic cancer
Visit the Women & Girls' Cancer Alliance for more information and how to contribute towards research funding. It is thanks to research that a vaccine (HPV) was developed to lower the risk of cervical cancer. We need more research regarding ovarian, uterine, and fallopian cancers.

                     
                                CANCER IS TOO OFTEN A CHRONIC DISEASE

My ovarian cancer returned after being cancer free for 5 years. According to the National Cancer Institute, 22,000 women will be diagnosed with ovarian cancer and 14,270 will die this year (44%). It occurs in all ages, even infants and children. 
                  THE MORTALITY RATE HAS NOT IMPROVED IN 40 YEARS.

The 5 year survival rate for uterine cancer is 86.5%; for cervical it is 67.9%; and for vulva cancer it is 70.5%.


May each of us celebrate Mother's Day in a meaningful and special way. Let's donate our time by volunteering to help inform and inspire women toward better health. Let's help raise money at rallies, runs, and fundraisers. And, let's dig a little deeper into our pockets to donate money for research.



Thanks to the Foundation for Women's Cancer, National Cancer Institute, Ovarian Cancer National Alliance, and Women & Girls' Cancer Alliance for providing some of the above information, and their continued efforts to raise gynecologic cancer education and funding.

Proceeds from my book go to gynecologic cancer research at the Florida Hospital Cancer Institute in Orlando, Florida. Available at www.outshineovariancancer.com
                

Friday, May 2, 2014

TO SLEEP OR NOT TO SLEEP


                                                   DO YOU SLEEP LIKE A BABY?


            Do you easily fall asleep?
                    Stay asleep?
                             Feel rested when awaken?
                                       Take naps?
                                                                 
                                                          OR ARE YOU AN INSOMNIAC?


                        Do you toss and turn?
                                Count sheep?
                                       Take sleeping pills?
                                               Tired when awaken?

           For most adults 7-9 hours of uninterrupted sleep is required for optimum health.


Healthy Sleep Tips:
        * Avoid heavy meals, alcohol, or cigarettes before retirement.
        * Keep the same sleep pattern even on weekends and holidays.
        * Avoid bright lights or stimulating activity.
        * Exercise daily.
        * Do not take naps.
        * Have your room cool (67-69 degrees).
        * Have a comfortable mattress and pillow.


Benefits:
        1.   Feel better overall.
        2.   Improves memory.
        3.   Live longer; improves quality of life;
        4.   Decreases depression and accidents.
        5.   Reduces inflammatory processes.
        6.   Spurs creativity.
        7.   Sharpens attention, improves grades and athletic abilities.
        8.   Maintain a healthy weight.
        9.   Decreases stress.


"I have struggled with insomnia for about 15 years. It started during menopause and continues to be an issue for me. I am making some healthy life style changes as suggested in the above and am experiencing more restful nights of sleep. I know a good night's sleep contributes to my body's immune system to fight the cancer cells and chemotherapy side effects."

My thanks to the National Sleep Foundation for its information. www.nationalsleepfoundation.com