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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.

Thursday, December 11, 2014

CHRISTMAS GIFTS FOR THE CHRONICALLY ILL


There are many gifts that we can give to those who are ill, especially with a chronic illness like cancer. Here are some ideas:

     1. Those with cancer rely on their caregivers for so very much...why not give him/her a gift of your time? Spend a few hours or a day and play a game, read to them, pray with them, just enjoy conversation, or listen to their fears and strengths.

     2. Give the gift of housecleaning with either your own energy, or suggest the free service http://www.cleaningforareason.org/

     3. Share food: a pot of soup, fresh fruit, bread, high protein drinks, and freshly prepared vegetables.

     4. Bring small Christmas decorations and place around the home. Fresh pine or scented calendars can be difficult for some to smell due to allergies or nausea.

   
 
    5. Handmade items: Knit or crochet a blanket, cap, or shawl; sew a "belly pillow"; or give a cross-stitched item. Here is a blanket I treasure made by my daughter & granddaughter.


     6. Offer to write their Christmas cards for them.



     7. Take them for a ride; perhaps stopping at a favorite cafe or store.

     8. Provide CD's or tapes of their favorite music.


     9. Do some grocery or Christmas shopping for them.


     10. Stuff a Christmas stocking or basket with useful, small items: unscented lotion, soap, shampoo/conditioner, chocolate, hand sanitizer, tissue, small note pad, nail polish, mouthwash, lozenges, etc.

     11. Books, magazines, Soduku, crossword puzzles, etc.

                       MANY GIFTS THAT WILL MEAN SO MUCH...

                THESE SYMBOLIZE THE MEANING OF CHRISTMAS


If anyone needs a free copy of my book, Outshine: An Ovarian Cancer Memoir, to give someone with a chronic illness, please email me for a free copy. It is my Christmas gift.


***FOR THOSE OF US WITH CANCER, LET US PRAY THAT DR. SOON SHIHONG IS FINDING THE CURE FOR ANY CANCER. SEE HIS INTERVIEW ON www.60minutes.com






Thursday, December 4, 2014

STEP TO THE LEFT


                                                        STEP LEFT

                                                               By Carmyn Sparks

"When you complain, you make yourself a victim.  
           Leave the situation, change the situation, or accept it.  
                 All else is madness!"  (Tolle)

Those "crazy makers" that come in our minds when we flee, freeze or fight to avoid the pain!

               How do we leave, change or accept the situation and avoid the madness?

In the New Testament the process is called "casting." 

              Matthew 6:25 “Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life,"  
              I Peter 5:7 "Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you."




When I was growing up I use to fish with a fishing pole and hook.  In order to lure a fish I had to put a sticky, slimy worm on the hook, yuck!  After a couple of years I finally graduated to a casting rod which came with a bright and slimly plastic worm. No hook to bait! 

It took years to get the hang of "casting!"  It looked so easy to throw that line in the direction I wanted it to go, but I would get my line stuck in a tree, hooked on the ground behind me, caught on my shirt or pants, tangled up between some rocks and once it snagged in my hair.
I never attained to the professional level of "casting," actually, not any where close.

The point is some things in life sound and look so easy that we feel, "Hey, that is easy!  I can do that!"



The Bible has what appears to be "simple" life advice until we actually choose to do it.  Over and over again we have been told by pastors, teachers, our friends and all other biblical inspirations, "Don't worry, God is in control."  "Let it go and give it to God." "Trust and obey." 

If Jesus tells us "do not worry," then the implication is He knows we will worry?  You can't stop something unless you started it!  Therefore, His purpose in telling us is possibly to show us when we do worry, we can stop!  He is just reminding us that we do have the choice to stop! 

Now that sounds and looks really easy, right?

Well, if you are like me, you haven't attained to the professional level of "casting."  Our line gets messed up somewhere, and sometimes when we do cast it way out and another "big one" comes along and tugs at our line, we reel back in!  We may continue to become a wiser "caster," so to speak, but most likely we will never do it perfectly!

There is no life without its "worries" and our human hearts beat so imperfectly, that at times we will fret!

In our walk on this journey called life when our line seems to be stuck or tugging us in all directions, it is time to step left.
                                          L eave
                                          E very
                                          F retful
                                          T hought



Step back from the circumstances of our fretting, worrying, being anxious, complaining, we just stop doing that and start doing this, "cast it upon Him".





Just bear in mind on this journey, there will always be bigger fish to fry!  But always remember what we catch can always be released! 







Carmyn Sparks, author of "Transformed by Tragedy," speaks and teaches in various churches and women's organizations in the Dallas/Fort Worth area.  Carmyn offers Biblical answers which serve to give insights and practical applications that identify and explain personal and interpersonal struggles in the Christian’s walk with God.  Because of her personal identification with other women’s sexual abuse issues, Carmyn has a viable platform from which to minister Biblical truths to women of various backgrounds and cultures. Visit the author's website at www.yoflife.com



Thank you, Carmyn for your insightful guest blog. Every time I cast out my rod and reel in a small or big lake, I will think and pray about when I need to stop fretting and step to the left!















Wednesday, November 26, 2014

GIVING THANKS DAY

                               




I have always wondered why we do not say "Happy Giving Thanks Day"...

                                             I GIVE THANKS, 

For the healing of my grandson. He will be discharged from the hospital after fighting off an aggressive bacterial infection.

                                           

For the safe delivery and health of our first great-grandchild:


For my healing from ovarian cancer...tumors are gone: 


AND I GIVE THANKS to each of you who have supported me through my website, blog, books, and being a part of my life. I praise God for these and other blessings.

www.outshineovariancancer.com

Thursday, November 20, 2014

I WISH I MAY, I WISH I MIGHT

                                For what do you wish?

                                                        World peace?
                                                             A better job?
                                                                 Improved health?
                                                                      Better relationship(s)?

I do not just wish, but I pray for world peace.  The first step to world peace starts with me...AND YOU. We must learn to get along with our own neighbors before we can extend the olive branch to our city, state, nation, and world neighbors.






I retired from the nursing profession some 10 years ago...I cannot imagine a better profession that helped to prepare me for my current job as an author and advocate.
I know that some of you are looking for a better or different job. I pray that you will keep yourself open to every opportunity...the door you peak into just might be the right door...so do not quickly pass by a door...it may be waiting for you to open it and go through.



I pray everyday for my teal sisters and a cure for ovarian cancer. I give thanks for this day and pray for many more days of good health and being cancer free.






Family relationships are sometimes the most difficult to keep harmonious. When I was a young mother I prayed that my family would be like Leave It To Beaver. Television shows are fantasies, but also they are vehicles from which we can learn. Relationships among friends, co-workers, and acquaintances require the same love, positivity, and forgiveness we need to give to our relatives.



I wish I may, I wish I might is a phrase referred to in both my books: Outshine: An Ovarian Cancer Memoir and Novy's Son, The Selfish Genius. From each one I hope you will learn about your role in life...physically, spiritually, and emotionally. Do we just wish? Or do we act with a heart open to wishes coming true.

                                                   http://www.outshineovariancancer.com
                                        www.amazon.com/Novy's Son, The Selfish Genius
                                  www.amazon.com/Outshine-An-Ovarian-Cancer-Memoir


Thursday, November 13, 2014

LESSONS FROM AN AIR CAST BOOT




In early September, I limped into my doctor’s office and described the muscle spasms in my right calf that had morphed into excruciating ankle pain. While speaking, my mind raced through possible remedies: physiotherapy (my preferred choice) or anti-inflammatory medication (I would grit my teeth and endure the nausea and upset stomach).

    
 “You’re having problems with your Achilles tendon,” he said after inspecting my calf and ankle. “The boot will do the trick.”

     “Excuse me?”

     “An Air Cast Boot,” he said while writing out a prescription. “You can pick one up at the Home Health Care Center across the street. Wear the boot for four to six weeks and your tendon will be back to normal.”

     “What if I just rest and take it easy for a week? Maybe take some Tylenol 3...or something stronger?”

     “Do you want to limp for the rest of your life?”

      A bit extreme, I thought, but I was in no position to argue. At the Center, I listened as the sales associate explained the boot’s benefits. Wearing it would slowly and safely restore strength in my tendon while keeping the foot and ankle at a constant angle. She also showed me how to inflate and deflate the boot, but my mind was elsewhere.

     There was no way I could drive, take the stairs, or walk on uneven terrain wearing that boot. And while I could remove it for showering and sleeping, I would have to wear the boot for at least ten hours a day.

    
 After two days of complaining about my “new” restrictions, I decided to focus on my blessings and emerging positives:

              **I started with a shift in perspective. In 2004, I was diagnosed with inflammatory breast cancer and had to undergo ten months of grueling treatments. In comparison, wearing an Air Cast Boot for six weeks would be a cakewalk.

              **The injury was a minor sprain and not one that would require a hard cast and months of physiotherapy.

              **My extended health benefits covered 80 percent of the boot’s cost.

              **I was grateful for the elevator in my condo building and the well-maintained grounds that enabled me to walk freely and confidently.

            **Whenever I ventured outside, I had renewed appreciation for ramps, elevators, automatic doors, and main level entrances.

           **Wearing a boot slowed me down and made me more mindful of each action taken. If it wasn’t necessary or pleasant, I let it go.

             

     
            
 After meeting with a foot specialist, I learned that improper footwear may have contributed to my Achilles tendon problem. I retired my heeled shoes and invested in Finn clogs and Etonic running shoes. Whenever I wear my new shoes, I know that my feet and ankles are comfortable and well-supported. Bliss!  

I retired my Air Cast boot on October 11, and can now walk without limping.





Ms. Guidoccio is an author and retired teacher. Her debut novel, Between Land and Sea is a paranormal romance about a middle-aged mermaid. "After giving up her tail for an international banker, Isabella of the Mediterranean kingdom is aged beyond recognition. The horrified banker abandons her on the fog-drenched shores of southwest England, leaving her to face a difficult human journey as a plain and practically destitute fifty-three year old woman.
With the help of a magic tablet and online mermaid support, Isabella evolves into the persona of Barbara Davies. Along the way, she encounters a cast of unforgettable characters, among them former mermaids, supportive and not-so-supportive women, deserving and undeserving men, and several New Agers."

http://joanneguidoccio.com
http://www.amazon.com/Between-Land-Sea-Joanne-Guidoccio-ebook

Thank you, Joanne for sharing your story which is a lesson from which we all can learn.



Thursday, November 6, 2014

MILITARY: & GLOBAL HEALTH ISSUES

                             

A worldwide concern for all those who serve in the military, especially for those who see combat, is their health issues. These are some of the common ones:

                                  Chemical: Agent Orange, contaminated water
                                  Radiation: Nuclear weapons, x-rays
                                  Air pollutants: Dust, burn pit smoke
                                  Occupational: Asbestos, lead
                                  Warfare agents: Chemical & biological weapons
                                  Psychological: Post Traumatic Syndrome


                            Yet, war is a fact throughout the history of the human race. 

MANY OF US AROUND THE WORLD FACE THESE SAME HEALTH CONCERNS, AND MORE. The health tips below are for everyone, not just the military.

                                              HEALTH/WELLNESS TIPS:

       1. Stop smoking. Stop smoking programs.
       2. Be up to date on vaccinations. Hepatitis A & B, polio, chicken pox, measles, mumps, 
           rubella, tetanus and diptheria.
       3. Annual flu shot
       4. Teach ways to prevent the spread of infection (hand washing, avoid people
           showing signs of a cold/flu, respiratory protection)
       5. Maintain normal weight with proper nutrition and exercise.


                                          RESOURCES FOR THE MILITARY:

WOUNDED WARRIORS is one program to help with finances, support, counseling, and equipment.

SOLDIERS' ANGELS whose motto is "may no soldier go unloved."

OPERATION INJURED SOLDIERS "...working to provide unique opportunities and experiences that are tailored to your needs and your family."

FISCHER HOUSE "helping military families."

                                          GLOBAL HEALTH RESOURCES:

           1. World Health Organization
           2. Major International Health Organization
           3. CDC Center for Global Health
           4. International Health Organization
           5. Fogarty International Center


My thanks to all those who sacrificed for world peace, and those individuals and organizations who provide health information, resources, and aide.

The ebola epidemic in Western Africa and the recent fears here in the United States, brings to the forefront that:
              1. We must give our bodies the healthiest choices.
              2. Eat plenty of vegetables and fruits, take vitamin supplements.
              3. Exercise
              4. Be up to date with immunizations
              5. Use hand washing and appropriate respiratory precautions.
              6. Do not smoke.

My book, Outshine: An Ovarian Cancer Memoir, is part of a drawing from November 3-17. Go to http://lps.wegohealth.com/book-giveaway-outshine/? and enter your name.

Some of you have nominated me for "Best Blogger" and I appreciate your support. Nominations are done at www,awards@wegohealth.com

Thursday, October 30, 2014

THE POWER OF FRIENDSHIP

        Friendship is a relationship of mutual affection and a strong bond between two people.
                   



                                     "Friends are angels who lift us to our feet
                              when our wings have trouble remembering how to fly."
                                                       (Unknown))
       

When I was a college student at the University of Colorado, five of us young women formed a bond for those four years plus another 51 years. We scattered in different directions geographically and career-wise, but we always stayed in touch. We had our first reunion 3 years ago with three out of five us making it. 


There is a bond between the four of us who play golf every week. An opportunity to share, laugh, and just have good fun.


A group of us women gather for lunch on a regular basis and we share our joys and fears. We support one another with listening, kind words, and love.

I am blessed to have friends from a "card club" I started the year I retired in 2000. The group has changed a lot and is now down to 5 of us. We laugh more than play cards, and we have always been there for each other. 


Such special and beautiful women I have met as we share the journey of ovarian cancer. They are truly gifts from God who have filled my life through their ministry, tears, sharing, hugs, and even laughter. 


We even show off our bald heads with smiles and hugs!





Those people who do not have friends usually tend not to enjoy good health nor live as long. They are often bitter and lonely. As we discussed last week about seeing the glass half full, friendships stimulate good health.

Through this blog I have made friends around the world, and though we may never meet in person, I know there is a bond. I give thanks for such a gift.

WEGO Health is once again having its annual Health Activist Awards. If you would be interested in nominating me for "Best Blog" please go to www.awards.wegohealth.com Thank you for your support.