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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.

Monday, December 14, 2015


I love the Christmas season for many reasons. I love the music, sights of decorations, smells of baking, and so much more. One thing I do not like is the song The Twelve Days of Christmas!! So today I am going to share my Five Gifts of Christmas.

One: the gift of smell. Did you know that people can detect at least ten trillion scents of smell? Our scent cells regenerate every 30-60 days. We can smell fear, it is the oldest sense we have, and women have a stronger and more accurate sense of smell. Yet health wise, a decreased sense of smell is an early sign of Parkinsons and Alzeihmers.
I love the smell of pine, pumpkin and pecan pies, and our balsam/cedar candles.

Two: to have one's eyesight is a blessing beyond measure. When I learned I had early stage Macular Degeneration I cried dreading the loss of the ability to drive, write my books and articles, and to knit. Those people who are totally blind from birth cannot see the beautiful lights, trees, and other decorations plus the faces of their loved ones.

Three: my Master's thesis was Loving Touch: One Path to Health. Our skin is our largest organ and affects or influences all our other senses. Touch is the third gift because I can give and receive love through hugs, kisses, held hands and arms around shoulders. As we visit family and friends there are lots of gifts of touch.

Four: there have been wonderful advancements in treating hearing loss. I shed tears of praise and joy when I see the face of a person hearing something for the first time. How blessed I am to hear the many beautiful songs of Christmas. My favorites are:
          The First Noel
          Ave Maria
          O Holy Night
          It Came Upon the Midnight Clear
          O Come, O Come Emmanuel 

Five: I can taste the French Christmas cookie galette that Grandma Crislip used to make in her waffle iron; my mouth is watering for the rich taste of Cousin Edwin's fudge; and the delicious varieties of cookies (Russian teacakes, gingerbread, biscotti, white chocolate macaroons), and the decadent candies (almond bark, English toffee, divinity).

The real gift of Christmas is that of the birth of Jesus. He is a gift that is here for us everyday, forever. 

My thanks to Everyday Health for important facts about our five senses.

Saturday, December 5, 2015


    The National Ovarian Cancer Coalition has grown from a grass roots organization to a thriving non-profit making great strides and lasting impact in the lives of so many over the last 25 years. 
     The National Ovarian Cancer Coalition 
     *works hard year round to raise awareness on the early signs and symptoms of ovarian cancer. 
     * chapters across the nation engage in a variety of community outreach outlets to promote education in order to increase early detection and survival rates. 
     *Tens of thousands participate in Run/Walks to Break the Silence on Ovarian Cancer, dress and decorate in TEAL (the color for ovarian cancer awareness, also standing for Take Early Action & Live), and help the NOCC to spread education.  

     The mission of the National Ovarian Cancer Coalition is to save lives by fighting tirelessly to prevent and cure ovarian cancer, and to improve the quality of life for survivors. The coalition supports their mission by distributing unlimited educational literature to hospitals, doctors’ offices, and a variety of community centers. 

     Through their Faces of Hope Program, we provide support to newly diagnosed women in over 250 hospitals across the country.

     Since collaborating with Stand Up 2 Cancer last year, the NOCC is now investing much more into leading-edge research for the cure, along with the Ovarian Cancer National Alliance and the Ovarian Cancer Research Fund to support our RESEARCH-IN-ACTION Initiative.

      The ACS estimates that over 21,000 women in the U.S. alone will be diagnosed with ovarian cancer this year. That’s 1 in 75. Early Detection is key to survival. When diagnosed early, the 5-year survival rate is over 90%.

     Over the past 2 years the overall survival rate has risen from 37%-45%. This can be attributed to raising more awareness and education on ovarian cancer, investing more into cutting-edge research, and the development of more successful treatments and clinical trials.

     The Pap Test does not detect ovarian cancer. It only detects cervical cancer. 

     Risk factors include undesired infertility, increasing age, a family history of breast, ovarian, or colon cancer.

     Recto-vaginal exams should always be given at an annual in order to detect abnormalities, but a transvaginal ultrasound can be given for a more in depth screening to women who are at a higher risk, or who are exhibiting early warning signs, for ovarian cancer.

      The signs and symptoms of ovarian cancer whisper and can be vague, and therefore are often ignored or misdiagnosed. 
                                      1.  bloating
                                      2.  trouble eating or feeling full quickly
                                      3.  pelvic or abdominal pain
                                      4.  feeling the need to urinate urgently or often
                                      5.  fatigue
                                      6.  upset stomach or heartburn
                                      7.  back pain
                                      8.  pain during sex
                                      9.  constipation
                                    10. menstrual changes

It is important to note that these signs should be taken seriously if they are NEW to you and have been persisting for 2 weeks or more.

     All of the NOCC’s chapters are supported by local volunteers who assist in events coordination, community education, fundraising, and a variety of other awareness activities. If you are interested in finding a local chapter to help support the mission of the NOCC, promote life saving education, and have a little fun while doing it, you may visit www.ovarian.org. You can also download mini awareness posters to distribute within your community, read more about statistics, and new research.


                     Together We Will Break the Silence on Ovarian Cancer  

My thanks to Caroline Eudy of the Connecticut Chapter National Ovarian Cancer Coalition for writing this most informative blog. Please support this organization with your donations. www.ovarian.org

For the month of December Outshine: An Ovarian Cancer Memoir will be at reduced prices on www.amazon.com What better gift than that of health information? 

Tuesday, November 24, 2015


People of the past liked to express their love of religion and beauty with objects carved from wood...they were tiny enough to look like walnuts.

        *In the 16th century they were produced mainly in northern Europe.
        *Only the wealthy could afford them.
        *They were a symbol of faith and a person's status.
Opnamedatum: 2012-04-27prayernut1AlbertKunsthistorischesMuseum

There are those who use prayer beads to count the number of prayers that have been said. In early years people used stones or knots in a rope.

Whatever is used or not used the importance of prayer cannot be ignored. It is my way to commune with God. To tell Him what are my needs, fear, worries, and to listen to His answers. When I pray I often use various images to stay focused because too often my mind can wander or be distracted.

My prayer list is long...for my sister recently diagnosed with breast cancer, for a dear friend who recently had a stroke, for my ovarian cancer sisters, for my dear friend's daughter who just gave birth to her first child AND diagnosed with breast cancer, and I pray for my own health to be free of cancer, plus many many more. There is so much suffering and need.
Some of us pray with our hands folded, others arms outstretched above their heads, some kneel while others stand, some of us close our eyes and some of us look upward, there are those who have designated times of the day they pray, while others pray when they feel the need or desire.

I believe in the power of prayer because it provides healing, guidance, forgiveness, and help. I know I am alive today because of the prayers that were heard and responded to with a yes. God is far wiser than me and sometimes he says no to my prayers while offering me comfort.

I believe in prayers of thanks...each morning I give thanks for the day, thank God for my husband and family, thanks for my health and safety, and  thanks for the beauty of the world. 

Thanksgiving Day is a federal holiday in the United States ...For us in the United States, this Thursday is a time of giving thanks. We celebrate through food, gatherings of family and friends, and gratitude. Thanksgiving is one of my favorite times of year. The act of gratitude is too often overlooked or taken for granted. It is a day for me to most humbly give thanks to my Creator, my God, for all that I have been blessed with.

        I wish you each the most blessed Thanksgiving. I am grateful that each of you are in my life.