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My journey in surviving ovarian cancer has been a difficult one, and also rewarding. I have met many wonderful people, learned a lot about myself, and have a deeper appreciation for life. Follow me on Twitter @KarenIngalls1, www.facebook.com/Outshine-An-Ovarian-Cancer-Memoir, and you can find my book at: http://www.outshineovariancancer.com. Proceeds will be donated to funding ovarian cancer research. ALL ORIGINAL CONTENT COPYRIGHT 2011 THROUGH 2013.

Friday, April 11, 2014

WRITING: IT IS HEALING



           "I have always used writing or journaling to heal, to motivate, and to comfort me."

   
                                       LET WRITING HELP BRING YOU HEALING.

"Journaling about my diagnosis, treatment, and survival of ovarian cancer helped me 5 years ago, and so it does again as I face this cancer challenge once again."


"I am so honored and grateful for the awards, recognition, and praise I have received for my book, Outshine: An Ovarian Cancer Memoir."

"I am pleased that I have been able to donate to ovarian cancer research at Florida Hospital Cancer Institute."

      **Writing does not have to be published to be helpful, inspirational, or worthwhile. What matters is what does the author gain, learn, or receive from the experience of sharing thoughts, fears, ideas, or answers to questions.

 
 **More often than not, when I "pick up the pen" it is like a time of prayer or meditation. I write from my heart and soul, sometimes just for myself, or at other times to share.

  **When I was a young girl, diaries were popular and I wrote down my daily activities, my dreams, and life's questions. I recently read some of the diaries that my grandmother wrote in every day of her adult life. I know it helped her cope with the death of her daughter.

**When we send a get well, sympathy, birthday, or any occasion card, we are "writing" our prayers, good wishes, or thoughts to someone. Hallmark might be the label, but we chose the card. Such writing is healing and welcoming to the receiver.

**Blogging is the 21st century way of writing in a diary.

**I encourage you each to try to journal in the form of a story, a poem, or just random sentences.  If you have a fear that is holding you back: write down words that describe your emotions; draw pictures; use different styles of writing such as block letters, script, etc.; write down words that show you overpowering the fear.

**Fear, hate, or jealousy can be such strong emotions that they can stop a person from living his/her life fully. Gain control of them and take their power away through journaling. It is a powerful step.

**You can do the same kinds of things with unanswered questions, happy or sad memories, or any thing. I always start with a prayer for guidance and God's presence.















   


Monday, March 31, 2014

NUMBERS: POWERFUL AND SYMBOLIC



                            WHAT IS YOUR NUMBER?

         
  I LOVE THE NUMBER "7"...it is my birthdate,
                                                                   it is lucky,
                                                                   and it is great number for tumor markers!



             
  I ALSO LOVE THE NUMBER "3"...it is my birth month,
                                                               I have 3 sons,
                                                               and I have 3 stepchildren.
                                                             



                                   Here are some number facts:
           
              Unity is represented by the number






             Is for the duality of the human and spiritual parts of Christ




              Trinity of Father, Son, Holy Spirit




                                                 
                                                
The four Gospel writers, there are four seasons.




                                                      Christ suffered with five wounds.


         




                                                                   Creation occurred in six days.








         

Seven represents perfection; gifts of the Spirit.

                   Regeneration or resurrection are represented by the number eight.



           
           

                                             There are nine choirs of angels.



                                                   And ten signifies completion.


Today the number I celebrate the number 19...
                                     a drop of 11 points of my tumor marker...                             
                                                               
               SO THE CHEMO MIGHT BE DESTROYING THE
                                           CANCER CELLS,

              I MAY BE BALD AND MY ENERGY LEVEL
                             IS DOWN, BUT I CELEBRATE
                            THE LOWER BLOOD LEVEL

       AND I THANK YOU EACH FOR YOUR PRAYERS, 
                                  GOOD WISHES,
                                     AND HELP.


              

Sunday, March 23, 2014

FATHER TO SON TO FATHER

My deepest gratitude to Susan Gonzalez for the guest blog she wrote last week. It was very well received and deeply appreciated. If you have not read it, I encourage you to scroll down to For No Fear: You Must Know Fear. Be sure and get her book, 100 Perks of Having Cancer.

*********************************************************************************





**I am proud to announce the release of my new novel,  Novy's Son, The Selfish Genius.

Now available on Amazon.com as a paperback or an ebook

 





      Synopsis: From his early childhood, Matthew Collins sought love and acceptance from his father, who was raised as the bastard child of a famous artist. Matthew struggled with jealousy toward his younger brothers, and he questioned the morals and values of people around him.
As an adult, Matthew lived life his way, with years of lying, womanizing, and heavy drinking. Though married four times, did he ever find unconditional love? Would Matthew’s high intelligence, his love for his two daughters, and his unique philosophy of life help him rise above his demons?


                     Please check out my new website at www.outshineovariancancer.com.
                  There are links to ordering books, ebooks, and keep you up to date on events

For my Florida friends, there will be a book launch on Sunday, March 23 from 3:00-5:00 pm at the Belton Building in Tavares. Come one, come all.

                                  THANK YOU, EACH AND EVERYONE, FOR YOUR
                                       PRAYERS, SUPPORT, AND GOOD WISHES.


Thursday, March 13, 2014

FOR NO FEAR: YOU MUST KNOW FEAR



                                                                                                                                                            Having just been diagnosed with a recurrence of ovarian cancer, I know how fear can be destructive. I am so grateful for this inspirational and informational article by Susan Gonzalez, who is a breast cancer survivor.




                                                           FEAR!!!!!


*If you’re a human being, you have emotions. 
     *We can’t deny them any more than we can deny having a right hand. 
         *We love with passion, we enjoy a good, sad movie, and at times we are
            overcome with tears of joy.
         
            But when do our emotions become destructive to our health?

While we can’t simply shut off our emotions, we can learn to guide the destructive ones….to recognize them as destructive, and then loosen them…the same way a tight knot is loosened and set free.

        One emotion every person with a cancer diagnosis struggles with is fear.

Fear is the most destructive emotion we own. It not only keeps us from making our dreams into realities, it also causes physical changes in our body that inhibit the healing process, and in the long run can actually make us more susceptible to all disease…including cancer.

As destructive as fear is, this monster can be defeated. You just have to know the kill spot.

The kill spot is faith.
1.     Faith kills fear in a flash. 
2.     I’m not just talking about the religious kind of faith, (although when pure, that kind works perfectly)
3.     I’m talking about the faith that goes with knowing you are meant to be in this particular place at this particular time;
4.     Faith that you are not alone and that no matter what happens, it’s going to be OK;
5.     Faith that you know there is a reason you are reading this right now, and that reason may not show itself right away. 

                        This kind of faith must be cultivated.

The fact is, faith and fear cannot co-exist.  There can only be one victor.  Yes, occasionally a fight will break out for the right to reside in your brain, but in the end, it’s one or the other that wins.

           So how do you strengthen faith so it will always have the upper hand?
                               The answer lies in the “spirit” within you.   

As humans, we are made up of 3 parts: physical, mental, and spiritual. 
**Some deny the spiritual aspect of their being, but it’s there, whether they deny it or not. 
**That spirit is a powerful force against despair and destructive thought.
**Exercises that help us reach that part of ourselves which can connect us with God or the Divine help us to cultivate a sense of wellbeing and faith.  

Simply attending a church is not enough.  You not only have to believe in God, but you must establish a relationship with God. 
1.     For some, being in nature is enough to connect with the Divine. 
2.     For others, it’s formal prayer. 
3.     But most times all you have to do is just shut up. 
4.     We tend to have too much noise in our heads…too many distractions….too much involvement with possessions, schedules, and stuff. 
5.     The spirit could be shouting in our ear, but unless we quiet our minds, we won’t hear it.

Meditation helps quiet the mind and allows the spirit to come through.  There are many types of mediation exercises and all different forms of meditation to try, but they all help to focus on being in the present and listening for the voice of spirit. By focusing on the present moment, you aren’t thinking about the future…which is not reality…and you aren't thinking about the past…which again, is not real.  The more you can bring yourself back to the now and to the reality that you are connected to a force more powerful than anything else, the more faith you will possess, and the less fear will have a hold on you.

     If you are at all, even a little bit interested in finding out more, I encourage you to find a meditation center in your area, get a meditation CD, or look up some meditations on YouTube. There are plenty of free resources for you to get started.  Like anything that needs to be cultivated, meditation takes practice and time.  Or if you just want to get a better idea of what I am talking about, please read the short book “Dying to be Me” by Anita Moorjani.  It’s a best seller and it might just change your life the way it did mine.

                                   IMAGINE NO FEAR...........IT IS POSSIBLE



   Book website: www.100perksofcancer.com 
                                            


We are launching a Cancer Survivorship Program called Cancer Plan 4 Life in May 2014. Website: www.cancerplan4life.com

                                                               

Friday, March 7, 2014

PRAISE & GRATITUDE TO CAREGIVERS

 


For those of us who have or had serious or life-threatening illnesses, we are so appreciative to those who were/are our caregivers. I know that my husband was/is my strength, encourager, and supporter.

                                               HEART OF A CAREGIVER
                                                     BY PAULA J. FOX

                 "They choose to make a difference, regardless of the cost...
                            always willing to help others in their grief.
                   Its' hard to persevere at times, a Caregiver's job is tough!
                   It takes extra strength and courage to get through.
                   But God designed a HEART for them to handle every challenge...
                           so they can DO what others cannot do.
                  He made this HEART much STRONGER just to handle all the weight...
                          of the many heavy burdens it must bear.
                  And HE covered it with SOFTNESS to help cushion all the hurt...
                         with EMPATHY and tender loving CARE.
                  He also made it FLEXIBLE to bend but not to break...
                        when things don't always go the way they're planned.
                  And it had to be SELF-HEALING when hurtful things are said...
                        by those who just don't seem to understand.
                  He gave it more RESILIENCE to bounce band and not get crushed...
                        when disappointment battles against hope.
                  And He knew a SENSE OF HUMOR would be needed every day...
                       to give laughter and prove the strength to cope.
                  He made it with a battery that never does run down...
                      for a CAREGIVER'S day will never end.
                   It just keeps going...and keeps going, always one more thing to do...
                     with another crisis just around the bend.
                  And of course, this HEART'S an upgrade in so many other ways...
                  He made it KINDER...more UNSELFISH than the rest.
                  With more PATIENCE...and COMPASSION and a LOVE that never ends.
                                 Compared to all the others...it's the BEST!




I believe this poem says it all about my husband, Jim, my caregiver. Now that my cancer is back, he takes on the role once again. I am blessed.

Share how a caregiver impacted your life, or your role as a caregiver. We can all learn and be inspired from one another's stories.


Friday, February 28, 2014

MAKING A BIRD'S NEST







A very special friend recently sent me a beautiful email in response to reading my book, Outshine: An Ovarian Cancer Memoir. His wife passed away a few years ago from ovarian cancer and he comes to our monthly lunch in Orlando. 
When she lost her hair she decided to make a bird's nest out of it.





                                        Now it is my turn to make a bird's nest. 





      Yesterday I learned that the cancer has returned!

               It is a tumor in my abdomen near my colon and two nodules in my left lung.

                         I will have chemotherapy again, starting very soon.

                                 The good news is that the tumors are small and contained.


                             I ask for your prayers for me, my husband, and family....

In closing, here is the prayer from St. Francis of Assisi that helped support me the first time I faced this ugly and scary challenge:

                   Lord, help me to live this day quietly, easily.
                  To lean upon thy great strength trustfully, restfully.
                  To wait for the unfolding of thy will patiently, serenely.
                  To meet others peacefully, joyously.
                  To face tomorrow confidently, courageously.