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, April 28, 2016

HAIR TODAY, GONE TOMORROW*

Larry Magnum sang the song "Hair Today, Gone Tomorrow" at a birthday party for a dear friend. Listen to it, tap your foot, and let it put a smile on your face. https://www.google.com/search?client=safari&rls=en&q=larry+mangum+Hair+today+gone+tomorrow&ie=UTF-8&oe=UTF-8

Whether it is due to aging, stress, heredity, illness, or chemotherapy, hair loss can be devastating to some.

     It is an expected part of aging so most people accept it for what it is. However one might see more
     toupees, hair pieces, or extensions.

     Yes, stress can cause hair loss among many other health issues. Lower the affects of your stressors
      through relaxation, laughter, exercise, meditation, or sharing with a confidante.

      Heredity is not something with which we have any control. Look at your parents and you can be
      pretty well guaranteed you hair (or lack of) will be pretty close to the same.

     The more serious and long lasting the illness, the more likely there could be some loss of hair or
      damage to the hair. There is a disease called alopecia which causes permanent hair loss.

     Having cancer is bad enough, but losing one's hair to chemotherapy is an added loss that is very
     emotionally painful.


Whatever the reason that our hair is gone today, what is important is how we cope with it.  Do we laugh it off? Cry and hide? Walk with pride and show the baldness off? Wear hats, wigs, or toupees?

OR we can be like this person in the following story:


      There once was a woman who woke up one morning, looked in the mirror, and noticed she had only three hairs on her head.
      "Well," she said, "I think I'll braid my hair today." So she did and had a wonderful day.
      The next day she woke up, looked in the mirror and saw that she had only two hairs on her head.
       "Hm-m-m," she said. "I think I'll part my hair down the middle today." So she did and she had a grand day. 
       The next day she woke up, looked in the mirror and noticed that she had only one hair on her head.
      "Well," she said. "Today I'm going to wear my hair in a pony tail." So she did and she had a fun, fun day. 
       The next day she woke up, looked in the mirror and noticed that there was not a single hair on her head. 
       "Yeah!" she exclaimed. "I don't have to fix my hair today!" 
                                      (Author Unknown)
   http://www.spiritual-short-stories.com/spiritual-short-story-100-Three+Hairs.html





Shelley Smith a SportsCenter reporter has been diagnosed with breast cancer. In an interview she stated, "I’m bald. Yep. Was sitting around one day wondering why the dog, Rosalita Rosario, was shedding so much? Then I realized it wasn’t her. . . it WAS ME!" 

http://www.espnfrontrow.com/2015/02/beautifully-bald-shelley-smith-continues-battle-cancer/






There is beautiful beauty queen pageant Kayla Martell who has alopecia and refuses to let her baldness keep her from following her dream. http://www.dailymail.co.uk/femail/article-1346025/Bald-beautiful-Beauty-queen-suffering-alopecia-Miss-America-hair.html




 Right now I am off of chemo, my hair has grown back, and my scarves and hats are packed away. I donated my wig to the chemotherapy room for anyone to have. I just never wore it and know I will not in the future.
Most of us can make jokes and laugh about our particular stage of baldness. We grieve at first and eventually come to acceptance.
What is not acceptable is the reason why we are bald...illness, alopecia, or cancer are not acceptable reasons. Research is desperately needed for the causes and treatments for these. 

My personal research cause is for gynecologic cancer. For more information as to where to donate contact Ovarian Cancer National Alliance or National Ovarian Cancer Coalition.


*Credit for the title to this blog goes to Larry Magnum, a talented singer, musician, and songwriter.                    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VnfYIcbJK-A




Monday, April 11, 2016

RAINBOWS AFTER THE STORM

      My thanks to Cindy Helgerson, who was willing to be interviewed for this blog. All too often we are unwilling to discuss the death of someone we love; or to talk about our own mortality. Why we are uncomfortable with this subject is a sad a testament of our society. I believe that through death we learn about living.

When your child dies, how do you cope? How do you keep going day in and day out? How many times do you ask, “Why”?  Is your faith strengthened or weakened?

     Cindy’s son unexpectedly died from fatty metamorphosis of the liver. Zack was only 27 years old with a long and productive life ahead of him. However, he found alcohol as his way to deal with his challenges.
     His mother states, “He was a young man not meant to navigate in this world.” He had dyslexia and reading was his greatest challenge. She continues, "The school system puts all the dyslexic kids in a box and teaches them with all the same methods." Zack’s mother is a retired special education teacher and she now sees her mission is to design teaching programs that can be individualized.

    Cindy states with full conviction, “God decided it was too painful for Zack to continue to live in this world. So, he was taken home to be with God.”

    Zack loved to cook, plan and be a part of any party or holiday. He had a keen sense of the artistic and applied it in several forms. “He was a designer.”

     “My greatest regret is that I was not with him when he died. That is the hardest thing I still struggle with today.” She wipes some tears.


     Zack was also a wonderful friend to his cousin, Taylor. Though they were almost 10 years apart in age, they always had a special connection. Their lives were intertwined, and even in their deaths. Taylor was killed in a head-on collision and was buried just 17 days after her cousin’s funeral.

    To lose two young and vibrant people in such a short period of time is a tragedy that few of us will experience. The strength of Zack and Taylor’s families is remarkable and inspirational. In memory of them the family has started a program called: Rainbows After The Storm. 
              
       Duane and Candis Fancher (aunt and uncle of Zach and Taylor) were a part of a 75 member medical mission team who spent ten days in Tacloban after a November 2013 typhoon struck and devastated the city.

     "On the evenings of both their memorial services, storms struck, and clearing skies produced 
       rainbows. Rainbows After The Storm seeks to honor their lives by providing hope, health, and 
       happiness to the people of the Philippines."

    They collect crutches, canes, wheelchairs, walkers, eyeglasses, body washes, and loofah sponges.

     The family is strengthened by their faith in God, themselves, and a sense of hope. “Every morning the first thing I do is give thanks for this day. I pray for God to fill me with inner peace," Cynthia says. "Since my son and niece’s deaths I am more attuned to other people and more readily reach out to them.”

                                                 
           

  Her final message is for each of us:
                               Live each day.
                              Bring every day to the Lord.
                              Thank and trust God will help you.
                              Don’t dwell on deaths.
                              Carry on and try to do positive things.





               This song was played at Zac’s funeral. I invite you to please listen to it:
                            https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fahr069-fzE

Beloved Israel "Iz" Ka'ano'i Kamakawiwo'Ole sings his renowned medley of "Somewhere Over the Rainbow" and "What a Wonderful World." Israel was among the most celebrated of Hawaiian performers with a kind and gentle spirit that is evident in his touching voice. He tragically died in 1997 of a heart attack at an early age (38) and has been sorely missed by his many adoring fans.