And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them.(Romans 8:28 NLT)
Can God really cause all things to work together for good? Even cancer?
I could’ve never imagined the path God had planned for me after I was diagnosed with cancer.
In 2006, I rolled over in bed and felt a grapefruit-size mass in my abdomen—ovarian cancer. Being an RN with a background in oncology, I should’ve felt prepared, but I had more questions than answers. I wanted to connect and share with other women who could validate my cancer experience. But there were no Gilda’s Clubs or support groups available. Were there other ovarian cancer survivors?
Ovarian cancer changed the direction of my life. How could I help others with the support I desired when I was going through chemotherapy?
A friend suggested I journal my ovarian cancer journey. I also joined a writing critique group, Friends of the Pen. Since I had no writing background, I attended writing conferences to learn the industry and hone my writing skills. Through these conferences, I met many industry professionals, some instrumental in the publishing of my book.
After writing my cancer story, I realized there were other women with their own unique cancer stories to share, so I interviewed women with ovarian cancer, breast cancer, non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, leukemia, and a brain tumor—making the book relatable to more women.
In Her Shoes: Dancing in the Shadow of Cancer became the book I would’ve liked when I was going through chemotherapy.2.
2. Survivors Teaching Students
Nine years after my diagnosis, I finally met other ovarian cancer survivors. Through an ovarian cancer Facebook group, I learned about an ovarian cancer camp in Missoula, MT free of charge for ovarian cancer survivors. At camp, I met survivors who shared their ovarian cancer stories with medical students in a program called Survivors Teaching Students (STS). I am delighted to be involved with our local STS group.
3. The Fried Eggs—Sunny-Side Up
A few of us STS presenters decided to start an ovarian cancer social group. Once a month we meet at a local restaurant for lunch. We sponsor speakers of interest, plan fun outings, and participate in fundraisers for ovarian cancer. We are The Fried Eggs—Sunny-Side Up.
4. Book Release! In Her Shoes: Dancing in the Shadow of Cancer
I am excited to announce the release of my new book,In Her Shoes: Dancing in the Shadow of Cancer,a collection of vignettes,highlighting the stories of everyday women with everyday lives interrupted by cancer—our challenges, heartbreaks, questions, and triumphs. Each narrative focuses on one aspect of our cancer journey. In these pages, you will find: humor, helpful tips, uplifting scriptures, and encouraging prayers. As you cross the threshold, catching a glimpse into the lives of these women, you will find strength, inspiration and hope.
Cancer is hard, but you are not alone.
God is full of surprises. In Her Shoes: Dancing in the Shadow of Cancerhas opened doors to new and exciting ministry opportunities, including radio and television appearances.
You will show me the path of life; In Your presence is fullness of joy; (Psalm 16:11 NKJV)