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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.

Saturday, January 9, 2016


          You cannot have mountains without valleys nor will valleys exist without mountains.

      When I am in the mountains or see one from a distance, I feel strong, protected, and peaceful.


The times of joy, peace, laughter, happy thoughts and just simply "warm and fuzzy" were the result of coming out of a valley or desert.
                           "I see no evidence of cancer," said the doctor.
                           "You have a healthy baby boy," said the doctor three times!
                           "I love you," by so many people and it is so special when my husband says it.
                           "Congratulations, your book won first prize."

There are three women friends who have been special people in my life for over 20 years. When the four of us get together there is LOTS of laughter, GREAT talks, and UNBELIEVABLE talks about anything and everything. Though one of us might be walking in the desert the other three are able to bring her up to the mountain step by step. There is trust, honesty, and compassion.

 As a teenager I spent many weekends in the desert because my dad loved to go rock-hunting there. For me the landscape was barren, unfriendly, and unwelcoming. I felt vulnerable and lonely. But, those also were years of great challenges, troubles, and fears.

What can we do for ourselves when we are out in the desert?
             1. Meditation or deep prayer is a powerful way to release fears and find peace.
             2. Exercise helps to move blood around, clear the mind, get endorphins flowing.
             3. Eating right. Turning to alcohol, sweets, and junk food only harm the body. During
                 times of stress the body needs foods that are high in vitamins/minerals, fiber, and 
             4. Share why you are in the valley. Often just saying the words out loud is enough to ease
                 the pain. True friends will be there to listen and only give well placed advice.
             5. Laughter is one of the best natural healers. When I was diagnosed with cancer and after
                 my surgery I watched "Laurel & Hardy," "Carol Burnett," and such shows. I avoided
                 negative people, television shows, and news articles.
              6. Don't forget to hug yourself! Go to a mirror and look deep into your eyes and smile at
                  the beautiful soul that is there.

From the times in the desert or low times of life we can learn from whatever challenge we are facing. It is an opportunity to take steps towards the mountain for a healthier and more fulfilling life.

My prayers are for those dear "cancer sisters" I have met and come to love and appreciate. May they have a lot more mountains than valleys in their lives. 

                      May you be on more mountaintops than valleys for the year 2016. 


  1. i love reading your entries Karen! They are so inspiring and uplifting! I have been remiss in not writing. Will get an email out to you this week. Lots and lots of love to you and Jim!

    1. Thank you for your kind words, Theresa. Jim and I often think to that delightful evening we spent with you in Barcelona. God bless you.