A Life Rebuilt—After Ovarian Cancer

9
Jun

A Life Rebuilt—After Ovarian Cancer

In Wisconsin, we have two seasons—winter and construction. For me, a diagnosis of ovarian cancer hurled me into a winter season. Cancer raised a stop sign, interrupting my life. But when I merged into life after cancer, I faced a new challenge. What do I do now? Who am I as an ovarian cancer survivor? […]

7
May

Bladder Cancer Awareness—A Tribute to Tracy

“I have stage 4 bladder cancer,” my sister Tracy said. “It’s also in my lungs and liver.” No! I felt like I was kicked in the chest. Her life-threatening pronouncement sucked the oxygen out of my lungs. How could this happen to my go-to-the-gym-every-day sister? She was only fifty-two! “Do you remember the bleeding I […]

18
Apr

Walking a Loved One Eternally Home

“I have stage 4 cancer,” my sister Tracy said. I groaned as I tightened my grip on the phone. How could this happen to my sister? She goes to the gym everyday. As a cancer survivor and a nurse with an oncology background, I was familiar with stage 4 cancer. But a few days later, […]

22
Mar

11 Benefits of Creativity Through Crafting

Blobs of paint, faceted stones and skeins of thread crafted into masterpieces by my own hands boggle my mind. (See photo). Crafting has enriched my life since childhood. My Craft Journey I embarked on my journey of crafting at the age of five. I begged my mother to teach me how to embroider. She threaded […]

9
Feb

Ovarian Cancer Survivors: The Fried Eggs—Sunny-Side Up

“We should start a social group for ovarian cancer survivors,” the leader of our STS (Survivors Teaching Students) course said. “Not a support group, but a fun group.” We had just presented our ovarian cancer stories to a class of medical students in the STS program. Our first meeting convened in a private room at […]

12
Jan

7 Steps to Celebrate Life in the New Year for Those Grieving

The ball drops in Times Square, announcing the arrival of a new year. For many, promises of new beginnings and dreams dance in their heads. But with the coming of the new, we must say goodbye to the old. For some, the goodbye is bittersweet. The year has been marked by sadness, sorrow and heartache. […]

6
Dec

8 Ways to Cope with Grief During the Holidays

Turkey, tinsel and Christmas lights cannot fill the emptiness in our hearts after the loss of a loved one. A season to be jolly morphs into a dread of the upcoming holidays. Our hearts are broken. Our holidays will never be the same. How do we cope, let alone celebrate when the vacant chair at […]

11
Nov

A Sparkle of Hope for Gynecologic Cancers

Electricity filled the air, sparking excitement and anticipation as I approached the registration table at the Monona Terrace. The time had finally arrived to get our sparkle on for Sparkle of Hope, a special evening celebrating women touched by gynecologic cancers. I received my nametag and registered my credit card to place bids for the […]

10
Oct

Not All Female Cancers Are Pink

Pink lights illuminate bridges, state capitols and city landmarks. Runners, walkers and strollers race for the cure. Pink ribbons embellish bags, jewelry, hats and t-shirts. Teas, brunches and banquets raise funds for breast cancer research. Even NFL players sport pink in October. Think pink! Wear pink! Celebrate pink! October is National Breast Cancer Awareness Month. […]

24
Sep

Cancer: A Word that Strikes Terror

Are there certain words that trigger pressure in your chest or tightness in your throat? For me, that word is cancer. I am an ovarian cancer survivor. My Story During the summer of 2006, Every time I had another bout of nausea, I brushed thoughts of ovarian cancer from my mind. Surely these spells were […]