A bit of fun

Monday, 15 May 2017

Cancer sucks - Meet an amazing lady who survived.

Cancer sucks, it can be a killer, but for one woman it became a challenge.


😃FREE GIVEAWAY😃 


Karen is kindly offering two free paperbacks -  Anyone who comments on this blog will be entered for a chance to win Karen's Giveaway.


OUTSHINING CANCER 



Margaret Kazmierczak meets Karen Ingalls
Meet Karen Ingalls at her FB event 


Hi Karen, thank you for accepting my invitation to talk to my readers about your book Outshine.

Thank you, Margaret, it is a pleasure to be here. 

Karen just to let my readers know before we start you are a cancer survivor.  

Yes, I am.


Margaret Kazmierczak meets Karen Ingalls
Karen Ingalls


So you developed cancer, can you tell us what your reaction was?


When anyone hears the word cancer it creates fear, anxiety, and sometimes panic. This is true no matter the language, culture, religion, or nationality. When I heard, "I am sorry but the tumor is cancerous" I also felt fear and thought my life was over. This lasted about two days but as I asked questions, did research into ovarian cancer, and turned my fear over to God then I began to see the cancer as one of several challenges I have had to face. 



Interview with Karen Ingalls


Why do you use the word challenge, Karen?


I prefer to use the word challenge because it does not signify negativity, but an opportunity. Just as the athlete trains for the competition, I saw my training as putting my body, mind, emotions, and spirit in optimum condition to live with cancer. I have always been the health nut of the family choosing to eat few red meats, little processed foods, and lots of fruit and vegetables. I have always exercised or been involved in yoga. Meditation or deep prayer has been a daily (or more) event.

Your positive outlook appears to be key in dealing with your diagnosis.


Well, I am a retired registered nurse who specialized in holistic counseling in my private practice as a nurse counselor. I offered the client therapeutic massage, healing touch, biofeedback in addition to the one on one counseling. I pursued these same modalities for myself and after the diagnosis I added Qigong, Reiki, and nutritional advice. 



Interview with Karen Ingalls



I am sure the readers would like to know a little about your earlier life.


Since I was a preteen I wrote short stories, poems, and nightly wrote in my diary. I found this to be very helpful in dealing with my alcoholic parents and abuse from my stepfather. In the 1950’s there was no programs, information, or sources for those of who were being abused. It was a family secret!  

How has writing helped with your recovery Karen?


I wrote and journaled for my healing and continued doing it right up to today. I did not think I had any gift for writing so I did not share it with anyone. One of the positive things that came out of my cancer diagnosis was the publication of my award-winning book, Outshine: An Ovarian Cancer Memoir. This is the story of my cancer journey which anyone who hears the words you have cancer will relate to it. Cancer is cancer is cancer. Even though our specific cancer might be different and there may be some variations to our journeys, we do walk similar paths. It is my hope that my ways of training for this challenge, or coping will help others. 


Interview with Karen Ingalls

Being a nurse you are obviously aware of the symptoms but can you tell the readers of other less known indications.


Yes of course, I also wrote the book Outshine to bring awareness about this lesser known and too often deadly disease. Every female, no matter her age, needs to know the symptoms and act on them. Briefly, the most common symptoms are: 

*bloating,
*abdominal or pelvic pain,
*indigestion or feeling full sooner than normal,
*painful intercourse,
*changes in urination or bowel habits, 
*unusual vaginal discharge, to name the most common symptoms.


If these symptoms persist for two weeks it is imperative to see a physician and demand a transvaginal ultrasound and a blood test called a CA125. These tests are not expensive and they are all that is available to help diagnose ovarian cancer at an early stage. 

What is your advice for any woman who may be concerned about Ovarian Cancer?


Too often physicians do not consider ovarian cancer initially when the patient presents with any or a couple of these symptoms. It is imperative that the woman know and share her family history and be proactive. Gilda Radner was sent from physician to physician until her cancer was so advanced she died young. This still happens today. Physicians, nurses, and every woman needs to know about ovarian cancer.


Margaret Kazmierczak interviews Karen Ingalls

Does this cancer only affect women over 60?


This cancer is not just for women over 60 years old. There have been diagnoses of preteens, those in their teens, twenties, thirties, and on up. Did you know that Olympic gymnast, Shannon Miller was diagnosed at age 34, Gilda Radner was 42, Maureen Connolly the tennis champion was 34? A teenager in Florida was diagnosed at the age of 18, a 7 year old, and even an infant were diagnosed with rare forms of ovarian cancer. 

How can we help more women be aware of this condition?



I hope you will share this information with everyone. It is only through knowledge and action that we can save the 14,000 lives that are lost every year just in the United States alone. Please feel free to contact me at my website or email listed below if you have questions or require more information. 

Karen, your approach to Ovarian Cancer, can it be used in other instances?


Yes of course Margaret, no matter if your challenge is related to health, relationships, finances, abuse, addiction, or any other number of events my holistic approach can be of help to the reader. I talk about such things as meditation or deep prayer, exercise, diet, imagery, and laughter to name just a few. I hope the reader will find the necessary ways to cope with the stress or challenge in his or her life. 

I would like to ask you if you would share an excerpt from your book Karen, is that possible?


I would be delighted to.

Thank you, Karen, it has been a great pleasure to talk to you. I hope many readers will be encouraged by your testimony.

If you would like to chat with Karen then please pop over to our event on Facebook.

An Excerpt from Outshine: 







Chapter 3 

Prayer and Love 

It’s said that as tears flow out, love flows in. I believe that to be true. For the next two weeks, a lot of love flowed in. Jim and I sobbed until our throats and stomachs ached. The week was painfully difficult while we waited for answers; informed our kids, family, and friends; and I made preparations for surgery and recovery. It was the start of a journey that would have us enter hell and then travel various peaks and valleys of hope, fear, ministry, doubt, prayer, and an ever-closer relationship with God and each other. I have always believed in God, even though I was raised in a home where there was no talk of God, Jesus, or the Bible. We never went to church, grace was only said when my stepfather’s family was at our house for a meal, Easter was about the bunny rabbit, and Christmas was about Santa Claus. 

My grandmother, Edith, was the one who taught me about God, all religions, and how Jesus was her Savior. In my junior year of high school, the abuse had escalated to a point where I knew my life was in danger. I left my mother’s house in Long Beach, California, to live with my dad and his wife in Hollywood, California. Starting in my preteen years, Dad and I had become very close. He did not know about the abuse, because I was scared to tell him the “secret.” 

The move meant changing schools, making new friends, and seeing very little of my mother and two sisters. Both sets of my grandparents had always been very important to me, and now they were even more so. Both Dad and my grandparents provided the stability, strength, and spiritual and religious beliefs I needed. It was an ending and a beginning, frightening and safe, confusing and sane, nightmare and dream, sadness and happiness. 

A classmate invited me to the youth group at her church every Wednesday night. So began my journey in truly knowing and accepting God into my life through Jesus the Christ. My faith has never stopped growing, and it was the foundation for which I found the strength and courage to face what lay ahead. 

The time before my surgery gave Jim and me an opportunity to come to a new level of grief. We talked about the power of prayer and how our love could see us through anything. Prayer and love had already seen us through some difficult times with family, careers, and our own relationship. We were overwhelmed, too, with the love and support we received from family and friends. 

Every message in a card, whether written by Hallmark or the sender, touched my heart and soul in a completely unexpected way. I learned a lesson in life that any birthday, sympathy, or get-well card might be very meaningful and powerful for the receiver. Therefore, cards need to be selected and sent with the ministry they are intended to have. Too many times in the past, I have sent cards without paying close attention to the words inscribed. I must get this in the mail, was my thought as I quickly selected a card after barely scanning the verse. That was not ministering to others. Rather, it was being too self-absorbed in my own busy-ness. 

Being on the receiving end of so many special cards opened my eyes and heart. As the days brought us closer to the surgery, I learned that friends are one of the most cherished gifts I appreciate. One morning, I joined my dear friend, Charlotte, for a cup of coffee. We had met twenty years ago when we worked together in the hospital’s epilepsy unit. Sharing the same philosophy of life and nursing, we quickly formed a deep friendship. We talked about my upcoming surgery and the unknown challenges that lay ahead of me. She helped me deeply explore and discuss my true fears. “I think my greatest fear is for Jim,” I said. “How will he be if I die?” 

For over twenty years, we had lived each day as if we would live forever, though we had buried his parents and said goodbye to other relatives and friends. “Jim and I have such a close bond, it’s like we’re one. We’re best friends, besides loving each other so deeply and profoundly.” Charlotte took my hand and said, “Jim is a survivor. He’ll go through his stages of grief and will miss you terribly, but he’ll survive just because of his love for you. He knows that’s what you would want.” After a few minutes she added, “Besides, none of us knows when we’re going to die. Just because you might have cancer does not mean you are automatically going to die from it.” 


😃FREE GIVEAWAY😃 

Karen is kindly offering two free paperbacks - read below to find out how to enter.

Leave a comment below to be eligible for one of two free paperback copies of my book, Outshine. All proceeds from each of my books go to gynecologic/ovarian cancer research.

If you wish to buy a signed paperback copy at the special price of $3.99 for any of my books, please contact me at kareningalls1941@gmail.com. 

Thank you for your support. Thank you, Margaret for this opportunity to share about ovarian cancer and healthy ways to cope with any life-threatening or lifealtering event. 

You can contact Karen at any of the following sites:

http://www.amazon.com/Outshine-An-Ovarian-Cancer-Memoir/dp www.ourshineovariancancer.blogspot.com http://www.kareningalls.blogspot.com http://plus.google.com/+KarenIngalls1941 
http://twitter.comKIngallsAuthor 
http://www.facebook.com/pages/Karen-Ingalls http://www.outshineovariancancer.com 


Other books by Karen Ingalls: 

Novy’s Son http://www.amazon.com/dp/BO1BO2VQY 
Davida: Model & Mistress of Augustus Saint-Gaudens http://amazon.com/Davida-ModelMistress-Augustus-Saint-Gaudens/dp


Disclaimer - Any of the views expressed in this interview are solely the participant's and not necessarily endorsed by the interviewer.  



You have been reading an Interview with Karen Ingalls hosted by
Margaret Kazmierczak


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Sunday, 14 May 2017

Read all about it Blog Tour and Giveaway: For Love & Honor Jody Hedlund


For Love and Honor Banner


Click here to purchase your copy




About the Book




Author: Jody Hedlund

Book: For Love & Honor    

Genre: Young Adult Historical
Release Date: March 7, 2017
Lady Sabine is harboring a skin blemish, one, that if revealed, could cause her to be branded as a witch, put her life in danger, and damage her chances of making a good marriage. After all, what nobleman would want to marry a woman so flawed?
Sir Bennet is returning home to protect his family from an imminent attack by neighboring lords who seek repayment of debts. Without fortune or means to pay those debts, Sir Bennet realizes his only option is to make a marriage match with a wealthy noblewoman. As a man of honor, he loathes the idea of courting a woman for her money, but with time running out for his family’s safety, what other choice does he have?
As Lady Sabine and Sir Bennet are thrust together under dangerous circumstances, will they both be able to learn to trust each other enough to share their deepest secrets? Or will those secrets ultimately lead to their demise?

My penny's worth...


Margaret Kazmierczak reviews For Love & Honor by Jody Hedlund

Background


For Love and Honor is set in Medieval England, where superstition abounds. The Aristocracy own patches of Land and defend them with their own army. Keeping peace with one’s neighbour is important and at times skirmishes break out over a matter of honour.



Margaret Kazmierczak reviews For Love & Honor by Jody Hedlund


Characters


Enter the Heroine Lady Sabine and the Hero Sir Bennet. Both characters have a great sense of humour which hides their real emotions. Lady Sabine hides a blemish that if seen could put her life in danger and therefore wears a pair of long gloves to hide it. Sir Bennet is charming, handsome and a gentleman, but he is uneasy about marrying for money. Indeed money seems to hinder his mindset rather a lot. I felt like saying, "get over it" lad and move on, there is a woman to woo.

Then there is the Dowager, now she is a woman not to tangle with. Her intentions and conniving are delicious. Is there nothing she won't do to get her own way? 



Margaret Kazmierczak reviews for Love & Honor by Jody Hedlund.


Historical accuracy



Eager to begin this book I dived into its pages. Then I began to sink - Carriage's in Medieval England, with compartments under the seats? 



I have to admit that this image had me scrolling through Google to find pictures. Being English I dislike inaccuracies in books written by Authors from another country. It took a while but eventually, I found a carriage of sorts. It was like a farmers wagon, heavily made of wood, with side seats and a frame of sorts over the top covered with material. But no door as depicted in this book. 



In my mind, from the description, all I could think about were carriages in use in the days of the highwaymen. And yes the same happened when bandits arrived on the scene, again my imagination summed up the classic highwayman of old England. For days the ebook remained unopened, then I remembered that I had agreed to do an honest review for the Author. Picking it up again and burying the previous images I continued - and I am so pleased I did...

The meat on the bones


Accepting an invitation to visit Sir Bennet, Lady Sabine and the Dowager set off from their home to his Castle with different motives.

Constant self-doubt badgers Lady Sabine during her visit while a chivalrous Sir Bennet fights between duty and love. Sabine asks why the handsome Sir Bennet, who could have any lady in the land, would want to spend his time with a plain Jane like her?

Chapter after chapter the main characters pick daisy petals - he loves me, he loves me not like in the Disney fairy tales.



Margaret Kazmierczak reviews For Love & Honor by Jody Hedlund


Which Character spoke to me the most?


I can’t make up my mind which character I liked the most, Sabine for her strength or Bennet for his honourable nature. Or perhaps the Dowager who would do anything for her Granddaughter. The first two charm and frustrate the reader at the same time. Sacrifice is the main theme running throughout and both characters have their own fair share of it.  


The flow of the book


I did find I struggled at times with the character changes at the beginning of the chapters. Now reading at a pace and eagerly turning the pages I would be Sabine one moment and then have to switch to Bennet. Having said that it was interesting getting inside their heads and hearing from the other perspective.



Margaret kazmierczak reviews For Love & Honor by Jody Hedlund


What did I like about the book?


Once it started to run, I enjoyed the teasing between Sabine and Bennet. The workings of The Dowager's mind, out to get her own way, flowing in and out of the pages like a motherly hen; and Bennet's mother who too is looking for a suitable outcome. Then the blemish that could destroy everything, so neatly hidden by a glove, but ever rearing its ugly head wanting to be accepted and finally Sabine's desperate desire to be loved for who she really was. 

My conclusion


This is a good book for emphasising the importance of honour in love for young adults. The role model depicted by Sir Bennet has almost been ditched by young men today along with the emphasis that women deserve to be respected. The book tackles the pull of early love and how the heart, emotions and physical attraction can be a challenging mountain to climb. Apart from the love story, there is action, reaction and superstition to entertain the reader. 

Would I recommend this book?


Personally, I think this book would be a great read to get young people talking about today's relationships. There is plenty of meat to chew on and in the end whether the lad gets the girl or not it is a good moral story. I would, therefore, recommend it and shall award it 4 stars as I liked it. Oh, that carriage and the highwaymen, I still can't get the image out of my head - but that is my problem! 



Margaret Kazmierczak reviews For Love and Honor by Jody Hedlund



A word of thanks


Thank you, Jody Hedlund, for writing this book and bringing a moral dilemma into action.



*Thanks to Celebrate Lit for a complimentary copy of this book for review purposes. I was not required to write a positive review and all opinions stated are my own.* 


About the Author


Jody Hedlund. Web - Copy


Jody Hedlund is a best-selling and award-winning author who loves fairy-tales and happily-ever-afters. She makes her home in Midland, MI with her husband and five teen-aged children. When she’s not writing another of her page-turning stories, you can usually find her sipping coffee, eating chocolate, and reading.

Guest Post from Jody Hedlund


Is Chivalry on the Brink of Extinction?
By Jody Hedlund
With the release of Fifty Shades of Grey movie and its popularity, I can’t help but wonder about the long-term consequences that such ideology will have on how people view relationships.
Already, too many couples struggle to maintain happy, healthy relationships. In fact, it’s become almost a weekly occurrence to get news of another friend or acquaintance who is dealing with a spouse cheating or leaving.
Mutual respect, loyalty, honor, and self-sacrifice have become out-dated, forgotten, or tossed aside in place of short-term pleasure that often leaves people feeling hollow and empty.
I honestly can’t help wondering where chivalry has gone, and not just the man-doting-on-the-woman chivalry. But mutual chivalry, the kind where each person in the relationship puts the other in high esteem, uplifts them, and makes a concerted effort to protect and cherish (both emotionally and physically).
Has chivalry become antiquated in our modern society? And even if it has, should it be outdated and on the brink of extinction? Should we be making more of an effort to reclaim mutual respect in relationships?
The kind of respect that does things for someone with no thought of getting anything in return.
The kind of respect that is graciously honest about problems instead of sneaking around and being unfaithful.
The kind of respect that is willing to sacrifice and see the needs of others instead of demanding our way and our own needs be met first.
As my teenage children enter into dating relationships, I worry about the influence of movies like Fifty Shades of Grey. I worry that they’ll see dysfunction as the norm. I worry that they’ll settle for a lot less than they should in their relationships. I worry that they won’t even know the meaning of chivalry.
Of course, we’re having candid conversations about all of these issues. Of course, my husband and I attempt to model mutual respect. And of course, I’m praying my teens work on growing their own character so that they can be strong and ready for whatever they might face.
But one of the things I’ve done over the past couple of years is write a young adult (YA) series that is aimed at some of these very issues The third book, FOR LOVE & HONOR, just released this spring (and can be read as a stand-alone). Since the story is set in medieval times amidst castles, knights, and ladies, chivalry is already a huge part of that era.
More than giving readers a glimpse of chivalry, however, I hope the book sparks some discussion about what it means to have healthy, respectful relationships. The book contains reader questions at the end that youth groups, moms and daughters, or friends can use together.
It’s not just another dating book. Instead, it’s a fun and entertaining story that can hopefully facilitate discussion regarding what it means to truly demonstrate chivalry in our relationships.

So what do YOU think? Is chivalry on the brink of extinction? What are some ways we can make sure that we don’t lose it?
Giveaway

For love & Honor Celebration Tour
To celebrate her tour, Jody is giving away all three books in the Noble Knights Series!

2181f4c9-19f5-4e35-8547-d0764ecac556
Click below to enter. Be sure to comment on this post before you enter to claim 9 extra entries! 


    1 winner will be selected.



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May 4: A Greater Yes




May 6: The Scribbler





May 8: Book by Book
May 9: A Path of Joy
May 11: Radiant Light
May 12: Pause for Tales
May 12: Just Commonly
May 13: Bigreadersite
May 14: God1meover
May 15: thewitsabout
May 15: Baker Kella
May 15: Remembrancy