Retired or Refired?


Retired or Refired?

As a former oncology nurse, I had vowed that I would never undergo chemotherapy. I had witnessed too many devastating side effects suffered by my patients. But when I was diagnosed with ovarian cancer, I knew that like my patients, I needed to go through the process. Dark shadows of fear skulked the path of […]


Camp Mak-A-Dream

This week is American Camp Week. Nestled in the Rockies near Missoula Montana, Camp Mak-A-Dream exceeded expectations for ovarian cancer survivors last summer. Cabins dot the hillside, and there we bunked together. After a full day of activities, we encouraged one another as we shared our cancer stories. We tackled the physical challenges offered by […]


Parade Pink—Teal Aware

Parade the Pink—Teal Aware October is breast cancer awareness month. A parade of pink: sportswear, jewelry, ribbons, marathons, lights. So why am I sporting teal? Researchers have discovered a link between breast cancer and ovarian cancer. Two genetic mutations, BRCA1 and BRCA2 have been associated with an increased risk for breast cancer. But did you […]


Teal Aware—God Aware

September is ovarian cancer awareness month. Let us be teal aware. As an ovarian cancer survivor, I am aware of the symptoms of ovarian cancer. I am aware of how ovarian cancer affected my body and impacted my life. I am aware and often alarmed by episodes of mild nausea, bloating and indigestion. I magnify […]


I Survived!

Today is National Cancer Survivors Day. I survived ovarian cancer. I am a survivor. I had observed the ravages of cancer and chemotherapy inflicted upon my patients as an oncology nurse. But I joined their ranks when ovarian cancer flung me to the other side of the bed. Nursing scrubs and shoes gave way to […]


Color My World Teal

Today the world unites to support ovarian cancer awareness. My last memory of the world uniting revolves around the Olympic games with its parade of trained competitors proudly waving colorful flags representing their respective nations. I sat in front of the television with my eyes glued to its screen, cheering my favorite athletes on to […]


A Silent Alarm

Ovarian cancer. It launches in silence, creeps with a whisper and advances with a roar. It hid in the recesses of my belly, spreading in secret until a palpable mass emerged. No test screens for ovarian cancer. Under  cover of darkness, the cancer cells multiply. Clusters of malignant cells split off from the mother ship, […]


May: Women’s Healthcare Month

A Stealth Attack By Joanie Shawhan Do you know the symptoms of one of the most insidious diseases assaulting women today? I thought I did. But despite my background in oncology nursing, I had missed a cardinal symptom of ovarian cancer—nausea. Over the course of several months, I had experienced a few episodes of queasiness, […]


Christmas on Chemo